Title: Heal

Author: Starbrow

Rating: G, but nobody reads K fics

Summary: How do you go from being a traitor to a king? Lucy tries to understand what's going on in Edmund's mind. Oneshot

Disclaimer: This is just one of the many playthings of an overactive imagination, and I am but the sad executor of it. I make no profit and certainly do not wish to deflect any glory from the creation of C.S. Lewis. So bow, ye minions! Bow! Ahem. Sorry you had to see that. On with the story. Oh yes….review if you wish.

Did Aslan's breath heal all your wounds?

Amid all the glitter and excitement and flurry of activity in the days immediately following their coronation, this question kept nagging Lucy. Of course, Aslan could do anything. She had even put her hands in his silky mane, felt the dangerous power that crackled in the smooth fur. It wasn't a matter of could, but did.

Did Aslan's breath heal all your wounds?

Peter was all right. He'd always been like this – big and bold and steadfast and gallant and always taking on things he shouldn't – so this was just a lot of things he had to take on, and not just Su and Ed and herself anymore. His smile when she would impulsively hug him, to remind herself he was still Peter, that her big brother hadn't been swallowed up in the grand figure of High King, was still the grandest sight. So that was all right.

And of course Susan was just the same, only more. She loved to solve problems and mother people, and now there was a whole kingdom to put back right and a legion of bewildered Narnians to set straight. Susan loved this world where she was taken seriously, almost like an adult. Lucy thought she might have to do something soon to remind Susan she was still a little girl – maybe a game of hide and seek? The castle had wonderful nooks and crannies. Well, she'd think about that later. If anyone could survive the responsibilities that had been placed on their shoulders, it was Susan.

Lucy didn't even pause to evaluate her own state of mind in these reflections. It simply didn't occur to her. She couldn't imagine being happier than here. There wasn't any one thing that made it right; just the fact that it was Narnia made it right. A Narnia with Aslan. Lucy couldn't wait for long lazy summer Narnian days spent in the cool arbors, eating apples and devouring Narnian books, or sparkling autumn nights dancing with the dryads on the lawn; exploring the high seas on an adventuring boat, harvesting the fall crop, even feeling the first snowflakes of another winter falling softly on her nose each held a charm of its own.

But Edmund? Did he look forward to that?

Lucy watched him out of the corner of her eye and wondered.

He seemed to be trying to take it all in. Unlike Peter or Susan, Lucy had trouble reading this new Narnian Edmund. He was quieter than usual – well, he had always been rather quiet – but he seemed almost afraid that if he spoke, he would say something wrong…or that this whole world would vanish and he'd be back to his old self.

Lucy didn't even know where this thought came from, but the more she watched Edmund, the more it felt true. Outwardly he was becoming more and more of Edmund; he was growing more real, like they all were – bigger and stronger and wiser; his skin seemed more translucent, his cheeks flushed with health as they never had been from eating the Witch's food, and, oddly, able to smile a real smile. When called upon, he would think for a minute, then give advice that was worth listening to – and following.

Yet he was drawing into himself; Lucy had seen him do it before, and she felt it even more keenly here, where the connection between them was so much stronger than ever. His eyes spoke more eloquently than anything else of this silent retrenchment, dark and thoughtful with reflection. There was a part of him she couldn't touch, and he was retreating to a place she couldn't go. Everyone else saw what he put out for everyone to reach, which was the majority of himself, but Lucy wanted to know what piece of himself he was keeping back – or what piece he was missing.

She wanted to go up to him and hug him like she did Peter. She wanted to tell him how beautiful he was, how there were days she wanted to stop just watching him from the corner of her eye and throw her arms around him and soak him in and dance with him around the throne room. She wanted to show him how well being a king suited him, so much more than being a scared boy in England. She wanted to complete whatever bit of him he was holding back. So what was keeping her?

He would think she was being silly, for one. Childish, sentimental, all those things you aren't supposed to be. No, that was the old Edmund. The new Ed would just…shut her out. Turn away. Or be hurt by her assumptions. Could she even talk to him about it without inflicting more wounds? That was what puzzled Lucy.

It hurt her to have to keep her distance like this, always smiling politely at Edmund and never talking with him like she used to, even in England when anything she said could come back to bite her. Even then, the risk was well worth it to try and get beyond Edmund's shell, and the words had less power to hurt when she had his fleeting glance of love-thirstiness to sustain her.

It was odd to think now her words could have the power to hurt him. When had Edmund become so fragile? Lucy didn't want to think about the possibilities that could arise from an Edmund that still had some of the White Witch's poison left in him. She didn't doubt for a minute that he was wholly theirs now; what little concealment he used to have was now gone, and everything about him was transparently and fundamentally good. So why was he so afraid to show her this thing?

Lucy knew if she simply asked, his eyes would tell her the answer even if his lips didn't. Yet Lucy was valiant, not stupid; the two weren't the same thing, you know. Lucy somehow understood, or guessed, the fine line she walked in finding Edmund and pursuing him to a place he would never come back from. There were lash marks too fresh, sorrows too quick to come to his eyes, and nothing yet had tested his thin charade of normality, or at least as normal as you can be when recently made monarch of a country. Would he be able to feel the snow on his eyelashes without crumbling if she probed now, driving him further into a place of solitude? Or would he finally let himself cry tears she had never seen him shed?

Lucy kept silent, and watched out of the corner of her eye; and if she sometimes caught Edmund unexpectedly in a hug or asked him for an extra dance around the room at the Midsummer's Ball, well, that was Lucy for you, impulsive and affectionate. She tried not to let him catch her looking into his eyes, searching for something she couldn't find.

Did Aslan's breath heal all your wounds?

A/N: Hope you enjoyed this story! I was overwhelmed by the response it got, and am eagerly awaiting reviews now! I was so encouraged, in fact, that I decided to continue the sequence. I know for a fact I want to tackle Edmund, as I've recently been fascinated by his character. I was listening to Skillet's song "Imperfection" when I first got the inspiration for this story, and I think it perfectly captures the possibilities of Edmund's struggle after he's been redeemed. We don't often think of the aftershocks of Edmund's experience, but I can't imagine a boy betraying his brother and sisters to a demonic tyrant without being left with some serious issues. Remember, this particular chapter was Lucy's interpretation of Edmund, not necessarily the reality of the matter...but she comes pretty close to the truth. If all goes as plan and my Muse stays with me, I hope to give you the other siblings' viewpoints. Coming up...Susan's thoughts!