Title: Tomorrow Before Dawn
Day/Theme: sword and sorcery
Series: Time To Love (Bu Bu Jing Xin The Movie)
Character/Pairing: 4th Prince (Si Ye/Yin Zhen)/Ruo Xi (Zhang Xiaowen)
Rating: Fiction T
Notes: Spoiler. Title from the song "Heart Of Sword" by TM Revolution.
"Though alone, I'm gonna make it...
...to the far off tomorrow before dawn.
My feelings for you are so deep...
...that it doesn't matter if destiny doesn't help me find you."
- Heart Of Sword (TM Revolution)
In the space of two heartbeats, he loses his brother. A loud blast and Fourteenth falls to the ground in a heap of blood and bones.
Someone screams. It's loud and irritating and he wants it to stop but when he opens his mouth to give the command, he can't seem to speak because his throat is raw.
Methodically, he takes a deep breath and tries to quell the constriction he feels in his chest (as if it's him that received the fatal shot and not his brother).
Scarlet is blooming on his chest, seeping from him and nourishing the way to the throne.
The path has been cleared for him but he does not expect the pain which comes with the ascension. He knew there would be pain for others, but to see Fourteenth lying on the ground feels like an attack on himself.
Fourth Prince manages to stand on shaky legs, a moment of weakness he does not care to hide. If he swiftly walks to Ruo Xi, he would not deny it too.
Ruo Xi is cold and he remembers the fear of seeing the blood on her lips. In that moment, he did not feel anger that she had pointed the gun at him. His fears were for her safety and health even then.
Carefully, he picks her up in his arms. She is so light, almost weightless. For a moment, he pauses. He could take her back to the palace and let the healers save her. He tucks her closer to him, a subconscious desire in his part to hold her in his arms.
He is selfish, he knows this.
But when he looks at her - at her pale face - he remembers her pleading with him. He remembers the trusting girl who made him laugh, the only person who he felt was honest to him and he could be honest with.
Slowly, Ruo Xi opens her eyes and looks at him. Her gaze wavering and trying hard to hold back the tears which threaten to spill from her eyes.
"Shaman!", Fourth Prince sees the widening eyes of Ruo Xi. She is frightened and he wants so much for her to not look at him that way.
He breaks eye contact and looks at the shaman. His eyes hard and imperial.
"Send her back."
He feels Ruo Xi relax in his hold. He doesn't know how she looks. He won't... he can't... look at her right now. To look would be to feel and he prefers the cold imperial mask he wears than a heart that is vulnerable to wounds which Ruo Xi can and will inflict on him with her open face.
With a gesture from the shaman, he walks into the water. Eyes on the horizon, he tells himself.
Eyes to the future, to the throne.
To a life without Ruo Xi.
The truth drowns his heart and he's barely holding on. He keeps his head up, to not do so would make him relent from his promise.
He feels her start to float in his arms and he has to force himself to let her go.
A deep shuddering breath escapes him when he feels her hand on his face. Her fingers are wet.
He looks at her eyes and begs her to see the truth in his.
"I am the emperor and the emperor rules the world. But what is the world if you are not alive in it?", he whispers to her.
He lets her float to the sky. As she drifts from him one last time, he feels it then... a sharp piercing in his heart which does not go away and he knows will never fade.