Disclaimer: I don't own Narnia or any characters you may recognize from the books or the movies, I wish I did but I don't... I also don't own the Narnian Calendar. It belongs to Elecktrum who was kind enough to let me borrow it for my story. Her own stories are awesome and you should go read them too.
Summary: "Hey, Peter, did that plant just move toward us?"
A/N: This is part of my A Light in the Darkness universe. Enjoy!
Two Kings and a Herbivore
Edmund shook his head. As much fun as it was to watch Peter twitch and continually glance over his shoulder in nervous dread of the girls' wrath, he wanted to focus on something else. Anything else besides the frantic preparations for the wedding. Frilly madness would be a more accurate title, in his opinion, for the mayhem that had descended upon the Cair ever since Peter finally proposed to Thalia. "Peter!"
He couldn't help the little snicker that escaped when Peter jumped and nearly lost his grip on the fishing pole and picnic basket they'd liberated from the kitchens before Edmund had led the way through the sneaky bits of the Cair that even the good General didn't know about. His older brother hissed, "Pipe down, Ed. What if they hear you?"
Edmund pointedly looked around at the quiet clearing, not even a Tree to be seen, then spread his arms and asked loudly, "Who's going to hear me? We're over six leagues from Cair Paravel. Even Susan's not that good and it's not as though she and Thalia are going to hunt you down once they realize we're gone. Well, Thalia won't."
Peter just gave him a pained look. "You are underestimating Susan and Thalia. I can barely set foot outside my bedroom door, much less actually leave my quarters, before Susan ambushes me with really strange questions like what flowers I think best match the fabric she and Thalia and Tuulea picked for my wedding tunic. I didn't even know I had to have a special outfit just for the wedding…and yesterday Susan mentioned something about how I might have to change into a different but still new outfit for the reception! And Thalia, my sensible, sweet Thalia, thought that was a wonderful idea!"
He tried to look sympathetic to his older brother's suffering, but he barely kept a straight face as he nodded and intoned sanguinely, "Well this is the price of falling in love and asking the girl to marry you, Pete, but don't worry. It will all be over in two months."
He ducked as Peter threw a stick at him. "Oh come on, Peter, we'll take the day maybe tomorrow too, after all we've earned a few days off and you should-" He cut himself off as something odd caught his attention. But, no, he was just imagining it.
"I should what, Ed? Please do tell me what it is you think I should be doing right now."
Edmund smirked, "You mean other than hiding from Susan and Thalia and the rest of that frilly madness that has conquered our home these past few months?"
"And Oreius. Don't forget we're hiding from him too."
"Can't forget Oreius. But, we're really hiding from your Tigers and my Wolves."
"This is true, but I think my Tigers would track us down faster than your Wolves since they don't get distracted by biting each other's tails."
Edmund scowled, "Romulus and Remus aren't that bad! And they're so enthusiastic, they'd probably stumble upon us by accident faster than your Tigers could find us on purpose."
"You do know that isn't the best recommendation in the worlds, right, Ed?"
"Oh shut up, Peter. You're the one who told them they could be my personal guard in the first place. In reality, I should be-" He cut himself off again and looked around Peter, trying to decide if the odd sight was just his imagination. Because if what he was seeing was correct, it wouldn't make sense.
"You should be what, Ed?"
Edmund's brow furrowed. "Hey, Peter, did that plant just move toward us?"
"Plant? Edmund, what are you talking about?"
Edmund pointed at the large, viny and faintly gleaming plant that he was certain had moved closer to them. "That plant. I think it moved toward us."
Peter shook his head. "Oh no. I'm not falling for that…and I'm insulted that you would think I would fall for such a thing. I'm not that gullible."
Edmund crossed his arms and gave his brother a very mulish look. "Yes, you are. But, I'm not trying to trick you. I think that plant actually moved toward us." The words had no sooner left his mouth than Peter yelped as his legs were jerked out from under him and he crashed to the ground. Edmund barely had time to register the fact that a large, faintly gleaming vine had wrapped itself around Peter's legs before another vine shot out from the plant (that had most certainly moved toward them) and trapped his legs together before yanking him to the ground. More vines shot out until they'd nearly cocooned him completely. The plant turned him so he was dangling upside down and he caught a glimpse of other vines smashing the picnic basket and pulling apart Peter's fishing pole. He tried to squirm free, but that only served to make the vines tighten their constricting grip.
He muttered a rather nasty curse (one that would have brought Susan down on him in all her proper fury) when he realized the vines were covering a sticky sap that was attaching to him like glue and it itched wherever a vine brushed against his bare skin. This was just getting better and better. "Peter! Can you reach your knife?"
A muffled shout was the only reply, but Edmund couldn't even see the cocoon of vines surrounding Peter. He hoped the plant hadn't decided to eat Peter first. Thalia and Susan would take turns killing me. If this misbegotten spawn of an anaconda and a houseplant doesn't kill me first. He wriggled his hand, trying desperately to reach his belt knife or Shafhelm, anything really. But, every time he moved, the vines would tighten around him, threatening to squeeze all the breath from his body. Then the vines shuddered.
The vines constricted tighter around him, causing dark spots to invade his vision. Then they shuddered again. This time one vine released its grip on his right arm and Edmund managed to grasp Shafhem's hilt. The sticky sap had nearly sealed the sword in its scabbard but he finally wrenched it free. Swinging down in a very sloppy move that would've earned him a very long lecture from Oreius, Edmund managed to chop through three of the vines. The cut vines leaked a foul-smelling substance as they writhed and knocked against each other before falling into the squirming mass of vines below. The vines gripping him shuddered again and he felt himself slowly slipping free. Edmund swung Shafhelm, cutting through some more vines, and then the most horrific screech emanated from the writhing plant.
For a brief moment, the vines shifted and Edmund saw green and red serrated teeth flash from an open maw. He slipped further…directly toward the plant's open abyss. There was great irony in being eaten by a plant, but he didn't want to witness or experience it for himself. He swung his sword again. The remaining vines pulled back and the blade sliced uselessly through the air. Then the vines shuddered, swinging him wildly through the air, and thank Aslan away from that hideous maw. Whoever heard of a plant with teeth?
The vines shuddered once more then finally their grip on him slipped enough that he fell to the ground, landing on his back hard enough that he could barely suck any oxygen into his lungs. The vines vanished from view as he lay there gasping, still clutching his sword. The plant shrieked once more then silence reigned. He mouthed what he didn't yet have the breath to say, "Peter."
There was no answer. Edmund dragged himself to his hands and knees. He would crawl over to that bloody unnatural plant and chop it into a salad if it had done any permanent harm to his brother. Ignoring the way his skin burned from the sap and the fact that his entire body was turning into one giant bruise, he forced himself to climb to his feet, still clinging to Shafhelm as he staggered toward the plant. "Peter!"
It had eaten him. Well, he'd just cut the plant open and get Peter back out. Yes, that's what he would do. After all, he remembered it took days for the smaller carnivorous plants in that other place to actually kill and digest their prey. The image of those green and red serrated teeth flashed through his thoughts, but Edmund didn't let it deter him. So what if Peter lost a finger or toe. Surely, the plant's bite couldn't be so bad it couldn't be mended even without Lucy's cordial. "Peter! I'm going to get you out of there! Don't worry!"
He glared at the plant and started hacking through the limp vines, trying to reach the center of the plant. The plant didn't so much as shudder. Maybe swallowing Peter had killed it. He kept hacking through the vines, forcing himself to ignore the growing itching on his skin. "Peter! Peter, I'm going to get you out of there!"
"Get me out of where?"
Edmund stopped and turned around. Peter was standing behind him, clothes torn and sticky-looking from the plant sap, wiping Rhindon clean, wearing a bemused expression. "Get me out of where, Edmund?"
Edmund looked at Peter then he looked at the plant then looked back at Peter. "I thought the plant ate you, but since you're out, did you manage to save any food?"
Peter shook his head, looking rather morose. "No, it was all smashed to smithereens. Even Susan's apple pie."
They stayed silent for a moment while Edmund worked to clean Shafhelm of the sticky plant gunk. His skin was itchy. "Where were you? And why didn't you answer when I was shouting?"
"I was saving you and I had a minor mishap during the course of saving you, brother mine."
Edmund narrowed his eyes. "You let the evil plant knock you out, didn't you?"
Peter immediately shook his head, "No! The plant didn't knock me out. It just hit me after I stabbed it in the body…or pod…or whatever it's called and then I hit my head against a log and that's what knocked me out."
"Because being knocked out by a log is so much better than being knocked out by the evil plant?" Peter scowled, but Edmund didn't let him have a chance to respond as he rubbed at his neck, which still covered in the sticky sap and itching. "And why did that bloody plant have to produce such itchy sap?"
"Edmund? You're itching?"
"I just said that, you lummox, I don't know how you can stand it."
Peter crossed the short distance between them and grabbed Edmund's wrist pulling his hand away from his neck. "Let me see." His eyes widened as he examined Edmund's neck and face. "Oh boy."
Edmund jerked his wrist away from him, scowling, "What? Why do you look like a fish just slapped you in the face with its tail again?"
Peter just grabbed his upper arm in a tight grip and started leading him away from the remains of the evil plant. "You need to get that sap off, Ed. I think you're allergic to it."
"I am not! It's just itchy. And I…" Edmund trailed off when Peter shoved him to look at his reflection in the river. His face and neck were covered in red splotches everywhere the sap touched his skin. "Oh bother."
"To put it succinctly."
"What are we going to tell them? Edmund, stop scratching!"
"It itches. And we're not going to tell them that we were attacked by an evil plant."
Peter shook his head. "We'll have to put it in the incident report for Oreius. And stop scratching!"
Edmund scowled, "Of course, and we'll beg him not to let anyone find out, but we can't tell the girls. They will all mock us for the rest of our lives. And I'm not scratching; I'm moving my sleeve in a repetitive manner."
"Well, stop that too. It will be better when we get to the Cair." An odd smile suddenly crossed Peter's face as he glanced at Edmund. "Hey, Edmund, you know what happened back there? That plant wanted to herbivore us."
Edmund groaned, "That was terrible and an incorrect use of the word 'herbivore.'"
Once they reached the Cair, the girls descended on them in a mixture of wrath and sympathy (Edmund was pleased that he was mostly receiving all the sympathy…of course they did somehow jump to the conclusion that Peter had knocked him into a patch of nettles or poison ivy). But, it wasn't too bad…other than the fact that Romulus and Remus kept bringing him dead frogs and the raw chicken or two in an attempt to help him stop itching. A knock sounded and Edmund snapped, "I don't want a dead frog! I don't care if it is covered in mud!"
The door opened and Peter stuck his head in, feigning a mournful look, as he sighed, "Awww, but I found one covered in a very special mud."
Edmund scowled, "Go away, Peter." He turned back to the heavy law book, hoping his pest of an older brother would just leave. Peter, of course, didn't do what Edmund wanted him to…and Peter claimed he was the recalcitrant one.
Peter walked in and just stood there grinning. Edmund contemplated whether to be prepared to throw the law book or the pillow at him…but he didn't want to harm the law book. He set the law book down and laid one hand on the pillow. "Spit it out, Pevensie."
Peter grinned, "You know there is a bright side to all of this."
"And just what is that?"
"Well, you finally get a summer where you can't be called Snow White." Edmund narrowed his eyes at Peter. He knew that couldn't be all the great lummox had to say. Peter's grin grew wider as he added in a tone so cheerful Edmund was certain there was some law against it (if not, he was going to write the law against it), "Because you, brother mine, are most certainly Rose Red."
Edmund threw the pillow at him then tackled him.
A/N: Please Read and Review!