Razia's Shadow belongs to Thomas and Paul Dutton, not me.
(P.S. There is still Light and Dark, but the two kingdoms now live in harmony instead of being ~enemies. Just my personal headcanon.)
"But Princess, you're being ridiculous. You have to eat something," whines Sangara, desperately thrusting a steaming bowl of something at Anhura.
She doesn't even spare it a single glance. "I'm not hungry. Leave me be." She sits in the middle of the bed, her dress pooling out around her. Her eyes are unfocused and staring at nothing in particular.
Finally admitting defeat, the butler sighs exasperatedly and marches out of the room. "Oh, for O's sake. Fine, you win."
Pallis observes all this from the doorway. It has been the same for little over a week now. After Adakias' death completed the prophecy and reunited the world, Pallis had taken his brother's body and Anhura back to the Dark. Dumaya wanted her to stay, of course, but Pallis had quickly, ahem, dealt with him. (After all, what was one more murder?)
He couldn't have the old doctor spreading to the world that he had murdered his own brother. No, that just wouldn't do.
The same went for Anhura. Plus, Adakias would probably want her to be looked after. There was no way she could go back to the Light, and face her father, so she went without a struggle.
There had been a quick funeral, a few servants, Sangara, Pallis and Anhura. And that was it.
Anhura had been positively catatonic for a few days after. She would hardly move, let alone leave her room, and she refused food if offered to her. The natural glow she usually possessed was subdued, dimmed by grief.
She's a little better, now. Eating semi-regularly, moving around and actually talking to people, but she is still broken. Pallis can tell. Not that he knows exactly what she feels like, having never experienced true love, or the loss of it, but in the end he has lost a brother, his family, and it hurts like hell.
So he can relate. Sort of.
He clears his throat, announcing his presence.
She looks up, startled, and after a few seconds, offers him a weak smile, and he feels a pang of something new and foreign to him, brought about by the new shift in the world. Pity.
It doesn't matter who you are, or if she even wants to, Anhura will always smile at you. The strange habit probably came from growing up as a Princess of Light, where her job was basically to be nice to every one she meets. Including him, of all people.
Another pang. Guilt.
Leaning on the door frame, he looks around the room, avoiding her gaze. Eventually he settles on a spot just over her left shoulder. "You should eat," he tries.
"I'm not hungry," she repeats.
His eyes finally meet hers. In them he sees mistrust, desolation, and the tiniest amount of fear, but no hate. It's better than he had hoped, and more than he deserves.
Pallis breathes out through his nose. He steps carefully over to the bed and sinks down beside the princess, who shrinks back like a wilting flower, as if his touch will physically damage her. Perhaps it could, he muses. Even after everything, he is still as arrogant as ever at times. Old habits die hard.
They sit in silence for what seems like an age. Pallis, who never deals with awkward situations very well, speaks up.
"Do you remember my brother's final words to both of us?" Probably not the best conversation opener, but it's all he has.
She peers at him, swallows, then nods. "Live for your love every day." Her voice is hushed, as if she dare not speak her love's dying command out loud.
Pallis frowns. "So you do remember. I'm pretty sure that sulking in your room and refusing to eat was exactly what he didn't mean by that."
She flinches, and Pallis feels another strange pang. Regret. He tries a different approach.
"You're just like him, you know. You're different from everyone else. Unique… hopeful. I'm sure that's why you found each other." Pallis is struggling for something to say, not at all used to giving people kind words, but he knows this is something he has to do. This is what Adakias would have wanted him to do, and he owes him this much.
"You have to live the life you and Adakias worked so hard for."
She looks away, and he can see the tears welling up in her eyes, threatening to spill over and onto her cheeks. Pallis is way out of his comfort zone now, but still he presses on. He has to.
"Anhura, look at me." She hears the tone in his voice, and she looks. He sounds so much like his brother she can hardly bear it. "Adakias died for his love. For you, and the whole of our world. He wanted you to live for it. Please, Anhura." He stops, and inhales slowly. "Don't let my brother have died in vain."
And she understands.
Pallis hugs her, and she doesn't break under his touch, her arms go around his neck and she cries and cries, his suit jacket getting soaked through.
Anhura knows it's wrong, so wrong, because this man has tried to kill her, has killed her true love, his own brother, and he's Prince of the Dark, for O's sake, but she also knows that he is right, and as much as she hates him for what he's done, underneath all that arrogance and ego, he hates himself a tiny bit, too. He's sorry.
She knows it will be a long time before she forgives him, perhaps she never fully will, but as long as she can detect that subtle hint of remorse, just below the surface, she'll be satisfied.
Besides, they're all each other has now.
AAANGST. Yeah. I wanted to write fluff but my brain pooped this out and I kind of like it so what the hell
I think the whole "live for your love every day" thing could be taken either romantically or, well, not, and I guess this is the latter, so I may possibly write the former idk idk any excuse to write more Pallis :3