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...
Summary: Turns out being late to practice was not the biggest problem Peter had that day.
A/N: This story is part of my A Light in the Darkness universe. For a friend who is having a tough day. I hope it brings a smile to your face. Enjoy!
Peter the Lamb
Something giggled. Then another giggle came next to my other ear. What? I groaned then pried my eyes open. Three little Raccoons with wide dark eyes were staring at me. They hummed in unison, "'Ing Pet!"
Rikki, Ikki, and Suki. The Raccoon kits giggled and rubbed their cold noses against my face until they heard Edmund's disgruntled growling. I watched them disappear out the slightly cracked bedroom door. I still had no idea why they had been in here. Although, I supposed I should be glad they didn't decide to wake me up by beaning me with a 's'iny' like the last time.
I did have that meeting with the council right after training and breakfast. Being able to speak, see, and think clearly would be preferable. Throwing back the covers, I stumbled out of bed and caught sight of the waterclock. Great Lion, was that time?!
Rushing about, I hastily changed into my armor and pulled on my helmet. I snatched up Rhindon (my shield was in the armory) and pelted into the hall. I was only slightly out of breath by the time I made it to the training yard. Edmund was already practicing again Captain Cletus. Kat, Oreius, and Ardon were waiting for me. I swallowed hard as Oreius walked over to me, making use of every inch that he towered above me. The Centaur didn't say anything as he circled me, dark eyes gleaming with a light that never foreboded well for Ed and me during training. I forced myself to stand there as Kat and Ardon moved closer while Oreius finished circling me. "So," his deep rumble cut through the morning air, "Sir Wolfsbane, you do not seem injured nor ill. Your delay was not caused by some unfortunate mishap, I trust?"
"There were not duties that called for your immediate attention?"
This was far funnier when he did it to Kat…or Edmund. "No, General."
"Have you progressed to the point of no longer needing daily instruction in the art of war, Sir Wolfsbane?"
"No, General. I am yet a student in need of instruction."
My hope that admitting such would appease Oreius was sadly misplaced. Instead, his dark eyes narrowed and he leaned forward. "Why then are you late for training, Sir Wolfsbane?"
"I overslept, Sir. It will not happen again."
"No, I do not think it will. Dame Sepphora!" Oh no. There was a gleam in Kat's eyes that was most disconcerting. I also think she was enjoying not being the one questioned about her tardiness. She stepped forward, moving with just a hint of the stiffness that bespoke of her formerly broken ribs. Oreius had only allowed her to return to training last week. He nodded to her. "I leave Sir Wolfsbane in your hands. Do what you will then return him to train with his brother in one hour."
She bowed her head then smiled at me. I really hated it when she smiled like that after being given control of my training. "Come along."
Left with no alternative, I trudged after Kat as she led me away from the training yard. When we turned to the beach, my heart plummeted. Kat's favorite practice exercise to inflict on Edmund and me was one of endurance. Only unlike Oreius, she never sent us to visit the points of the compass…she preferred to take us to the beach and make us run an exercise rather ominously named 'Suicides.'
Kat marked the start line and then she drew another line in the sand roughly twenty yards down the beach from me. "Begin."
I sprinted to the line, touched it then immediately launched into a sprint for the start line. Kat's voice called out the order, "Again," over and over until my limbs were trembling and sweat beaded my forehead and dripped down my back. Kat's voice rang out once more. "Enough."
Stopping, I bent over. Hands braced against my knees, I panted as Kat's boots appeared in my line of sight. There was just a touch of amusement in her voice. "You really need to show up for practice on time, Peter."
I really did. Kat handed me a flask of water. I gulped the cool liquid greedily. "Why do you make us run these things?"
"It's both resistance and endurance training all rolled up into a neat little ball of evil." She smiled when I graced her with a dark look. "At least, I didn't make you run the entire hour. Cool off and then we'll go back to the Kentauri's oh-so-tender care."
"Does he make you do these blasted suicides?"
She laughed. "Sometimes. Normally, he just makes me come down to training an hour or two before you show up. Or, if I truly irritate him, he makes me go on a survival run."
Pulling off my helmet, I poured water over my head. Kat laughed again. I was half-tempted to ask her what she found so funny, but such questions rarely ended well for me. At least since my helmet had been kept safe in my rooms, I knew she hadn't dumped dye in it. I glanced in the helmet just to be sure…no dye. Tugging it back on, I buckled the chinstrap then strode past her (she was still giggling) toward the training yard.
I was drenched with sweat by the time Oreius finally called an end to training. Panting, I didn't wait to return to the armory to tug my helmet off. The low conversations between Oreius and the other swordmasters ceased. Kat snickered. And then Edmund cackled. "Peter! Who did your hair? Susan and Lucy will demand to know!"
What? I turned to look at my reflection in the water trough. My jaw dropped open. My hair had been put into dozens of tiny braids. In spite of the helmet and sweat, they were still standing mostly up. Oh no…oh no. I closed my eyes. Rikki, Ikki, and Suki! Those little kits had done this while I slept!
I turned around. Even Oreius was struggling to keep his amusement hidden. Kat was already walking off, laughing. I glared at Edmund. "You let them in my room!"
Edmund snickered then gave me his best innocent look. "They were so lonely without their 'Ing Pet. I just had to help them."
With a shout, I chased the little beast into the Cair. My valet couldn't quite hide his smile when he attempted to help me tame the damage done by wearing the braids for hours. I ignored him. My sisters giggled then cooed over how curly my hair was at breakfast. I endured it. The councilors stared and I know I heard snickers (mainly coming from Edmund where he sat just out of reach). I suffered it. Then, as we walked back to our quarters to get ready for the rest of the day hearing petitions in the Great Hall, I heard Kat snicker and whisper, "Mary had a little lamb…named Peter." I tackled Edmund from behind.
The little beast squirmed and laughed. "Peter, you must remember your delicate lamb-ness."
I put him in a headlock and rubbed my knuckles against his skull. "I'll show you delicate!"
A soft sound came from behind us. I looked in the mirror, trying desperately to avoid focusing on the curly ringlets currently springing from my head. I had expected to see Susan. Instead, three pairs of dark, wide eyes watched us. I let go of Edmund and turned to face the Raccoon kits. They hummed then Suki pointed. "'Ing Pet pretty!" All I could do was bow, giving them a smile as I accepted defeat. Although, I did begin to plot how to let Atuki into Edmund's rooms over the next few weeks. I'm sure the young Raccoon would be delighted. I caught another unfortunate glimpse of the curly ringlets and fervently hoped my hair would go back to normal sooner than later.
A/N: Please Read and Review!