AN: So this is a short one-shot because I fell in love with Dragons Dogma and the idea of pawns in general. For those who haven't finished the game I tried to keep things as general as possible so no spoilers here :)
I'd love to hear what you think so feel free to send me a message or review!
As always, I don't own anything you recognize.
He is hers, and if it is that Pawns have souls then Ludo believes that the Arisen owns him completely, body and soul. The notion is, he admits, a romantic one, and yet this thought is one that Ludo has only recently come to consider fact. Because he's becoming more human, at least he thinks so. People no longer dismiss him as a Pawn, there's something else, something that complicates how they see him now.
They're walking along the beach in Cassardis, just the two of them, and though the sun is setting Ludo realizes that neither of them moves to light the small lanterns that swing in their hands. There is little need now, peace has come to Gransys. They have forever.
Behind them, framed against a magenta and tangerine sky, the small fishing village glows softly, golden light spilling resplendent from wooden doorways and stalls. The light touches her too, the girl he has watched become both woman and hero; the Arisen.
She has never said a word to him; indeed she's been incapable of speech since before he existed. But Ludo knows he will never forget the moment when she traced her name in the dirt of that tent and pointed to herself with an awkward half smile. His first word was her name, and though other words would come later, it seems as if this one name, her name, has imprinted itself upon him so deeply that all words pale in comparison.
And that too is strange, because for all that she is Talen, and he is Ludo there is the sense that there is only one, one mind and one soul.
Pawns do not, as every citizen of Gransys knows, die; nor do they seem capable of losing limbs or even falling ill. And while Pawns can certainly get injured from time to time, Ludo has found that the only scars that remained on his body are those he bore from the very first, from the moment when Talen willed him into being.
It seems too much a coincidence that Ludo's scars look as if they should have prevented him from speaking, the scars slashing across his face, neck and down his shoulder. There is no memory for these scars, no information on the beast that left marks deep enough to have rend flesh from bone, but the marks are there nonetheless.
Talen cannot speak, and Ludo reflects such a truth; because they are the same, one body, and one heart.
She still refuses to look at him though he speaks louder this time, speaks her name rather than her title. Stubborn as she is, Ludo cannot help but smile as he watches his mistress walk further ahead, awash in the gold of the city lights. Having forgone her customary yellow headdress the light glints on the wave of her hair, the fringe of her lashes as she eventually turns and looks at him.
Eyes soft, expression caught between happiness and anguish, Ludo does not need to see her in the full light of day to know every detail of her face. It is a look she has been giving him more frequently as of late, one that he knows he has mirrored many times before.
She cannot say what she wants, is physically incapable of opening her mouth and speaking the words. But Ludo has no such excuse, and though he has fought all manner of beasts, hydras and chimeras among them, there is nothing else that tests him so entirely as this moment.
"Please –" he beckons her closer unable to finish, inhaling softly as she ducks her head and slowly, so slowly, crosses the sand to stand in his shadow. He has spent months together with her, healed her and acted as her shield through all manner of fight. And he knows he's done so because he cares about her, but somewhere along the line he became more than just a pawn, just as she became more than just Arisen.
She mouths his name, her lips tugging into a small smile as she slowly raises a hand to trace the stitching of his shirt. First the cuffs, then up along the arm, Ludo can feel her hands cold and small, soften against his chest as she finds where his heart beats.
His heart beats and it is because of her that it is so.
Trembling hands brush the sharp line of his jaw; trace the scars on his neck before his hands come up to do the same to her. She is softer than he is, her figure more generous in its curve than his own.
So too are her lips softer, and Ludo cannot help but think them sweeter as well. And as he dares to brush his lips against hers a second time Ludo is surprised to find her hands in his hair, holding him close. He knows her, just as she knows him. And though they cannot say it in as many words there is no stronger force than what exists between them both.
He wasn't 'born' in the city, Ludo knows that he doesn't actually own a house within its walls, but here, at this moment in time, for the first time, it feels as if he has come home.
Because she is here, and she is his home.
Because they are of the same heart and Ludo can feel the warmth of her in his arms.
One heart: Beating.