Author's Note: Thank you Caroline and thank you to all who read my story.


Farah had entered the room as though there was nothing wrong with the situation, leaving the Prince to wonder if he was still in a dream. Despite the fact he was certain that his ordeal had come to an end, he was also convinced that something would happen at any moment to prove that his mind was playing tricks on him, or that he was not in full control of the situation. Considering how unreal it was that Farah had returned as though out of nowhere anything seemed possible.

Mistaking his expression of disbelief for one of curiosity Farah sat down on his bed and smiled gently, "Considering what I'd heard about the way you've been acting the past few days I thought you would have wanted to see me the instant you heard that I chose to return."

"What?" the Prince stared blankly at her, not comprehending what it was that she was talking about. How was he to know that she had returned when he had never left his room that day? Then it dawned on him that the servant he had dismissed earlier, the one he had not even bothered to speak with, had been unusually persistent. Farah's return went a long way towards explaining that.

She gave him a disapproving look, "After all we went through together I can't believe that you find it so difficult to believe that I can manage on my own for a few days."

By this point he was used to getting answers that were not actually answers, though to be getting them from Farah was rather disconcerting. To have Farah back and sitting on his bed was almost too much to believe.

In the process of trying to make sense of the situation he realized that he was still sitting on the floor. Since there was still no chair in the room and it would not be proper for him to remain as he was, he got up and sat down on the bed next to Farah. She must have taken his actions as an invitation to continue with her story, for she began speaking again, but he chose to ignore her once it became clear that she was offering neither an explanation nor an apology at this point.

As long as he at least pretended to listen he figured that it would not matter, as long as he let her talk she would probably be content. Besides, there were other things on his mind at the moment, such as whether or not it truly was all over. As much as he wanted to believe it was, after all that he had been through it seemed almost disappointingly easy for it to have ended as it had. Maybe that was why it had ended up being such a difficult process, he had been unwilling to face such a simple truth.

Once he realized that the voice truly was a part of him and came to accept that, it had been easy to bring about an end. He had, for lack of a better way of putting it, been able to reabsorb it. To say that it was truly gone would be wrong since it was a part of him, but he found himself increasingly convinced that it was now permanently silenced.

Convinced that he had triumphed over the voice once and for all, the only thing he was left wondering about was how much of it had been real. Looking back on the whole ordeal he realized that his paranoia and constant efforts to fight with what had essentially been himself had left him in a near delirious state for much of the time. There were points he knew clearly to be dreams and events he was confident actually did happen, but much of what fell between those two points was a mystery to him. Not knowing made his victory a hollow one.

He turned to look at Farah, who was now mentioning something about how she had left when she realized that their discussions were going to do nothing but bring about further arguing. If not for the other things on his mind he might have found some satisfaction in that she was admitting fault, but her words gave no indication if, on the night that she had left, he had attacked her or not. Asking her was not an option since he was unable to think of how to phrase the question. In the event that he had attacked her asking about it would make it seem as though he was unaware of his own actions, but if he had done nothing voicing his worries would make him appear childish, worrying about nightmares and unable to tell what was real. Maybe with time he would be able to piece events together on his own.

While he was thinking of what, if anything, he could say Farah put a hand on his shoulder. He turned to face her, expecting that now she was ready to apologize. Instead she shook her head as though exasperated, "Are you even listening to me?"

"I was - that is to say," for a moment he wanted to tell the truth, explain what had actually happened, but then he saw what might have been nervousness in her eyes and how she brought her hand up to rest at her throat in an unconscious defensive gesture.

Perhaps his victory over the voice was not as complete as he had first believed.