title: lept to faith
fandom: Ico
characters/pairings: Ico/Yorda
rating: G
warnings: none
summary: Yorda's not sure why she trusts him so...
notes: for my darling one, because i love him so. takes place during the game.

He moves her about like a rag doll sometimes. She's always ready to take his hand when he offers his, and she follows him as best she can.

Perhaps it's because she knows there's no point to this. All this running around... time is running out. But he can't know that. He doesn't understand a word she says. She doesn't understand him, precisely, either, but it's not like he's difficult to comprehend.

She thinks he must be a very nice boy, because when he was free, he risked that freedom to help her find her own. Still, he won't be able to leave this cursed place. This castle is more than it appears. It's a trap, a trap for power, a trap for hope, a trap for life. Nothing leaves here once inside.

He can't understand her when she tries to tell him, though.

He takes her to a spot, and there's no way out of here, except up a chain. The jump across to where they can see a door is too far. He leaves her to climb the chain, to look for a way to get across.

This is a trap, and they're getting in deeper, she knows.

She thinks there is probably a way for him to get out without her. True, he can't open the doors without her help, but he's resourceful and clever. There would be a way, she thinks, if he wasn't trying to save her, too. So, she waits for him, even though there is no way out for her, even though there is no freedom, even though there is no hope.

He's far away, but he's worked it out so there's a platform, now, to get across the chasm. But it's not going to help. The Shadows are coming to get her. She doesn't fight them, but she's afraid. She doesn't want to go back to her cage. She likes being with him.

Still, she just repeats to herself, over and over again, he's coming for me, he's coming for me, he's coming for me...

When he's holding her hand while he's fighting, she's scared, but she clings tightly to his fingers. The closer she stays to him, the better. That's selfish... she knows it is. She's using him, just like her 'Mother' is using his dead brethren. But... she doesn't want to take his life...

She already knows that she can't get out, but she's decided that maybe he can. Maybe. With her help, maybe... she's not sure what sort of life he has out there waiting for him. The 'legend' of the horned boy and the disaster he brings is ancient. Her 'Mother' fostered it when she was still of her own blood and bones. Where can he go, after he leaves here?

He is resourceful, though, and resilient. He's clever. And he's good. She's decided that it's his voice. She knows he is good from his voice.

She's not a good person. But he can't understand her, so he doesn't know that yet. And maybe, if she stays with him for as long as she can, she can help him, maybe.

It's been a long time, now. She's getting used to standing up, like she couldn't in her cage, and walking around. She thinks that it is good that she'll be dead soon, because she doesn't want to go back to the cage.

Even still, she forgets what they are trying to do. It's so useless... there's no way out. Every trap seems to be mocking her, telling her, Freedom is not for one such as you. Your purpose has already been decided. Stop breathing the air that wasn't meant for you.

She forgets that they are going to find a way out. She forgets that he is rescuing her. She forgets that there is such a thing as hope.

He calls to her, holding out his hand. The ladder is tall... so tall. And there's no more point to being up there than down here. But, he's calling to her, and holding out his hand.

She puts her foot on the bottom rung of the ladder.

She watches him fall. She has no power, none at all, but she wishes, fervently, powerfully, that instead of hitting the water, instead of being flattened, drowning... oh, let something break his fall...

A wind kicks up, and a round dais, one of the many mechanisms that bring power into the castle, wafts out, and catches him. He's unconscious, but he's not dead. He'll wake up... from there, he can climb down, get to the water... maybe swim to the shore...

Oh, thank God, she thinks as her 'Mother's' nails dig into the flesh of her shoulder, pulling her back.

She hadn't been aware of believing in a thing like God.

She watched him fight, and she would have called out to him, she would have warned him, but it didn't matter. He was playing right into her 'Mother's' plans. Those spirits needed to be sacrificed so her 'Mother' could occupy her body. He's just saving her 'Mother' the effort of destroying them herself. And all he'll get is a chance to be killed by her 'Mother.'

She doesn't say anything, though, because it doesn't matter anymore. She's too weak, and he's stupid, really. So stupid.

He could have escaped, but he stayed behind, for her. The idiot.

He'll die here, like all the other horned boys, and it'll be because he was too stupid to run.

Something happened.

The ritual was completed. The castle granted her the power of spirits and the shadows. She is the mistress of the castle.

But, she is still herself. She is still Yorda.

Her body is cloaked in blackness. Shadows. Death.

Well, this is the pact that was made ancient times ago. Only.

It must have been...

She goes up to find him, and... her 'Mother' is dead. He did it. He saved Yorda. But now he's unconscious, and the castle is falling apart.

She considers it. She shouldn't have to; after all, this boy is her savior. But she considers it. In this place, the dead do not leave. Nothing leaves, save by the power of the mistress of the castle. If she lets him die here, they'll be together forever.

The walls are crumbling, and she remembers hope.

She picks him up, and carries him down. Down, all the way down, to the water, to the boat, and she pushes him. He's coming to... he's waving to her. She doesn't want to be parted from him. If he calls to her, she wants to answer.

She always wants to answer him.

Once upon a time, she thinks, she was a human girl, and a human girl and a human boy could be together, she thinks. Once upon a time, she gave up, and waited for what was surely inevitable. Once upon a time, she lived in a cage, and she knew there was never going to be a time when she could walk freely on her own.

She remembers hope.

And she decides to follow him.

She has to leave behind her power, leave behind the spirits that belong to the castle. She could be dying. It feels like it, as she wades after him. She could very well be dying...

But she hopes that she will live.

She hears his voice again, and she lifts her head. He's holding his hand for her, and she takes it.

This is what she was born for.