Disclaimer: Don't own 'em, just love 'em.
Rating: Putting this one up at R for themes and events.
Summary: Peter learns just how harmful loving Edmund can be. The question is, will he realize before it manages to destroy them both? Will he be able to cope, knowing its his love that puts Edmund in danger? (this is NOT SLASH)
Author's Note: A couple of people were wondering why Dorjan waited for Peter to give the medicine before he moved forwards. Part of that should hopefully be answered in this chapter, but also, Dorjan was not expecting Edmund to live. As was part of his plan, to have Edmund die in Peter’s arms was what he was going for. So it was intentional that he did not move.
Dedication: Lesse, Sub, El, Fishy, and Christina. Each one of you helped in some way, and I thank you, as well as everyone else, for staying tuned and waiting for my sorry arse to post this. :)
I'd also like to make a special announcement. Anyone who has printed this story out (you know who you are) needs to see a psychiatrist immediately. You are well past the stages of temporary and benign insanity. Thank you.
A floating chuckle…soft…gentle…
There was no other sound. No wind, no movement.
Stillness. A voice. Hidden within the recesses of the silence.
Lucy glanced around in confusion, searching for the source, the face, the image of the voice. There was another soft chuckle that wafted gently towards her on the wings of quiet.
Lucy’s head whipped in the other direction. But there was nothing. There was…nothing. The nothing did not move, did not breathe. Lucy could not feel anything. Her hands tried to part the darkness, but they moved through air, only she did not feel any air. Her body seemed wound up, paused in suspended animation. …And yet she was animated. Lucy looked frantically around again. At what? At the darkness? She was searching: searching for something, searching for anything. She was searching for the one thing that was not the darkness, not the stillness. Not the silence nor the emptiness nor the calm, nor the quiet. She was searching…
“Edmund!? Where are you!?”
Her only answer was another gentle chuckle, hovering on the edge of her consciousness, or her imagination. A tender touch across her cheek, felt instantly yet felt not at all.
“…Are you not going to come, Lucy?...” Lucy’s head whipped around again. The same stillness, the same silence, the same…nothing: wandering around the precipice of eternity.
“Come where, Edmund!? Where are you!? I cannot see you!” she screamed. Or maybe she did not. She could hear the words, but she could not feel them pass her lips.
“...I can see you, Lucy… Why do you not come?... Why do you not come?...”
A cry of frustration welled up in Lucy’s throat. No matter where she looked, where she turned, there was nothing. Just nothing. Nothing. Only nothing. No more nothing! Something! Anything!
“Edmund! Where are you!? Why can I not see you!?”
If Lucy heard that soft laughter one more time she was going to…
“…Miss too much if you stop to think, Lucy…”
Think? Think?! THINK!?!
“Stopping to think? Stopping where? Stopping what?! Edmund! I just want to see you!” Lucy screamed again, the frustration bubbling over, spilling past her lips with the words, swallowed up instantly into the nothingness about her, if the words ever existed in the first place.
“…See me, Lucy…Open your eyes…”
Lucy blinked furiously. Open…close…open…close…open…open…nothing.
“My eyes are open, Edmund! I am opening my eyes, but I never see anything! I cannot see you!”
Lucy could swear she heard something. Something that was not Edmund: that was not his voice. It was faint, distant, humming on the borderline of her hearing, borderline of her imagination.
“…Deny it, Lucy…”
“Deny what, Edmund?” The noise was growing louder. It was smooth, it was ever present. It was just there.
“…Miss too much if you stop to think, Lucy…”
“…Deny it, Lucy…Look reality in the eye…and deny it…”
Lucy was turning about, spinning amidst the nothing, amidst the stillness, searching through the clashes of colours that created the blackness, the darkness. Searching for a voice that was everywhere and nowhere. Searching for a face, searching, searching, seeking, finding… The noise was growing louder, maybe closer, no never closer, not closer, where is closer… “Miss too much if you stop to think, Lucy…” Twisting, colliding, explosions of colour and sound that echoed about her, never existing, maybe existing. Darkness, blackness…was it dark, was it black? “Don’t think, Lu, don’t think” crushing, screaming, crying, nothing, seeing, blind, chaos, stillness, “deny it, Lu,” colliding, crashing, loud, roaring, deafening, stillness, immobile, lifeless, dead, “miss too much, Lu,” breathing, shattering, gasping, noise, “find me, Lu,” noise, clatter, blasting, blaring, seeking, searching, grasping, finding, “don’t think, Lu,” finding, finding, nothingblacknesspandemoniumquietsolitude
Peter turned his head in surprise, his body still shielding Edmund protectively. Dorjan’s scream of anger choked off suddenly into a shocked gurgle. The delicate balance of the room had suddenly been interrupted, and now it teetered on the edge of shattering. All eyes rested on the man, his knife still raised, yet he did not move. Dorjan’s eyes seemed surprised for but a moment before he slumped forwards, upper half falling onto the bed before it slid off and onto the floor. Peter’s gaze moved from Dorjan to his sister’s as they were revealed behind Dorjan. Lucy pulled out of her attacking stance, her body still poised from throwing her dagger as she stepped forwards. Her eyes were darkened, angered, and livid as she placed her foot on the dead man’s back and jerked her dagger from his back. There was a cracking sound of splintering ribs as the dagger slid from a heart no longer beating. Lucy stared down at the man, her lips curled contemptuously. Her voice was the first to pierce the room, sounding nothing like Lucy as a growl escaped her.
“In my household, you touch my brothers, and you die.”
Lucy’s voice seemed to echo around the room, bouncing around in the stillness, the aftershock of her actions. And it was in that moment that Lucy seemed to almost ‘wake up.’ She blinked, her brows furrowing before she looked down, realizing what she had done. But Peter was there before she could think any further. He slowly unwrapped one hand from around his brother’s form, reaching out to his sister.
“Come here, Luce,” he said softly, his eyes shining with love, pride, and understanding. Lucy looked up, locking her terrified eyes on Peter before she rushed forwards, jumping up onto the end of the bed and crawling forwards into Peter’s embrace, hugging her brother’s tightly. Peter hugged her fiercely with one arm, the other arm still holding Edmund securely to his chest. Though Edmund was enveloped in the hug, he did not awaken, softly sleeping in the crook of Peter’s neck. Lucy’s face was buried in Peter’s neck as well, on the other side.
“He told me not to think, Peter. I didn’t think, I just did it, I killed him but I couldn’t let him hurt my brothers I couldn’t let him hurt you I didn’t mean-”
“Hush, Luce,” Peter said softly, gently. He kissed her hair, rubbing her back. “You saved me. You saved Edmund. Do not fear what you have done. Edmund and I are alive because of your swift actions.” Peter kissed the top of her head again, hugging her tightly. “I love you, Luce.”
Lucy seemed to relax into her oldest brother’s embrace, letting his gentle words wash over her, feeling the relief that came with it. She did not pick up her head for many moments, though she felt the bed dip as Susan came and sat down on Peter’s other side, joining in their embrace. The three siblings rested together, allowing the moment to fully sink in. Between them, Edmund lay protected, nestled against Peter, hidden within the love of his family. Susan looked up as Oreius moved, the centaur general smiling gently to her as he and the guards picked up Dorjan’s body and carried it from the room, leaving the four monarchs to their private moment.
Susan glanced back to Peter and Lucy and smiled, letting her fingers smooth gently over Edmund’s hair. Yet it was Lucy who spoke up first, her brows furrowing.
“Peter, you’re trembling,” she said softly, confusion and worry in her eyes. Peter glanced to her and smiled softly, kissing her temple.
“It is just the aftereffects, Luce. Adrenaline. I’m alright,” he replied quietly, motioning to the empty vial that he had let drop onto the bed. Susan glanced down and leaned over by Edmund’s legs, picking up the small vial. Peter’s eyes followed the movement.
“He almost died…” he murmured quietly, eyes almost haunted. Susan quickly glanced back to her older brother as Lucy tensed and pressed closer to Peter. Susan brushed Peter’s sweaty bangs out of his eyes and kissed his temple, smoothing his hair down this time before she held the vial before his eyes.
“But he did not, Peter,” she reassured, offering him a tiny smile. “He is alive because you saved him. You were able to get the medicine in time.” Her eyes traveled down and she placed her hand gently over Edmund’s heart, a genuine smile on her face from the weak, but steady beating she felt. “He lives, Peter. He almost died, but almost does not count. Not here, not now.”
Peter inhaled a shaky breath but nodded, tilting his head down to rest against Edmund’s, eyes closing. Lucy’s brows furrowed again and she rubbed his trembling back.
“It’s alright now, Peter. Everything is going to be alright,” she said quietly, her voice optimistic in a way only her voice could be. Peter smiled gratefully, though he did not lift his head up. Lucy wrapped her arms around her oldest brother tightly, resting her head on his shoulder. She did not like seeing Peter so shaken up. Peter inhaled sharply and tensed before he closed his eyes and tried to calm his breathing. He let out a soft chuckle, hoping to calm his sister’s worry as well.
“Forgive me, I think I just need a moment to let it all sink in,” he murmured, holding Edmund more tightly. Susan nodded sorrowfully and followed Lucy’s example, wrapping her arms around Peter as well. She rested her head on top of Peter’s, since his was leaning against Edmund’s. The three siblings were quiet for many moments before Lucy finally picked her head up, unable to take it anymore.
“Peter?” she asked quietly, “what about some tea? Would that help you to calm down? Susan and I could go and make you some?” Peter looked up to Lucy and smiled softly, bringing his hand up to stroke her cheek. He did not wish to worry her. He did not like seeing the worry in her eyes.
“That sounds lovely, Luce,” he said gently, kissing her forehead. Lucy’s face instantly brightened and she kissed his cheek, then Edmund’s before she stood up.
“Come on, Su,” she exclaimed, taking her sister’s hand. “Everyone knows Peter likes the way you make tea the best.” Susan smiled and allowed Lucy to pull her from the bed and to her feet. She kissed Peter’s head.
“Take care of him, Peter,” she said, though she knew it was unnecessary. “We’ll be back soon, alright?” Peter nodded, looking up from the dark-haired king in his arms over to the beautiful queens, his sisters.
“I will, Su,” he exclaimed quietly, looking more at ease than he had been in a long time, despite the trembling of his body. Susan and Lucy both smiled to Peter before they left the room, closing the door softly behind them.
By the time Susan had finished closing the door, Lucy was already well ahead of her. She caught up with her just as the redhead rounded the corner leading towards the main staircase. Lucy hugged her sister tightly, eyes dancing with relief.
“I’m so happy Edmund’s going to be alright, Su!” she cried excitedly. Susan grinned down at her, the arm about her shoulders squeezing briefly.
“So am I, Lu, so am I.” Her face became serious. “He has a lot of healing to do though, he’s definitely not safe yet...been through too much.” Lucy skipped ahead of her, turning to her sister and walking backwards, ignoring her sister’s pessimistic words. Susan smiled at Lucy’s enthusiasm.
“Well we are going to help him get better Su! But we have to make Peter some tea first!” she smiled brightly. Susan smiled in return, but it fell quickly, to be replaced by confusion.
“Lu, what is that on your dress?” Lucy glanced down, fingering the large spot of red near her hip. Her fingers came away wet. Lucy’s brows knit in confusion, mirroring Susan’s look.
“I…I don’t know!” she exclaimed. Susan walked over and fingered the dress as well, examining the sticky wetness, before her eyes widened. She grabbed her sister’s shoulders tightly.
“Lu, are you alright? This is…” she didn’t have to finish the sentence. Lucy nodded her head vigorously, her own eyes widening in realization.
Peter’s head whipped up, just as all heads turned in surprise Dorjan. But Dorjan was too quick; he lunged forward, bloody knife raised, eyes locked intently on the two boys sitting on the bed. Peter cupped the back of Edmund’s head to keep him in place and curled himself protectively over Edmund, shielding his brother’s body with his own as Dorjan dove towards them from the foot of the bed, eyes locked upon Peter’s unguarded back, malicious intent in his wild eyes.
Lucy and Susan stared at one another, eyes opening in shock. Lucy’s hands flew to her mouth and Susan cried out, realization dawning upon both of them.
“Oh Aslan…Peter!” Susan cried, turning and running back around the corner, Lucy hot on her heels.
Well, there you have it. Chapter 10. I’m sorry this took me so long to write, but the very first part I was having a bit of writer’s block on. I am also a bit apprehensive, as you can tell, it uses a very strange writing technique which I hope draws the right effect. Sorry this chapter took so long again! I really do hope to have the next chapter up sooner, its most written already so stay tuned!