Disclaimer: Of course I don't own 'em! They're all Lewis's property. They'd be too much of a headache to handle anyway!

Did You Know?

Did you know I was watching you that day, Peter? When Father Christmas gave us our gifts? Oh, I pretend I don't remember, but I see you standing there, in my mind's eye, accepting your presents, those harbingers of fate for you. When you drew your sword for the first time, the expression on your face sent chills up my spine. It is not something I can ever put behind me, no matter how hard I might try sometimes. You believed, my brother, in spite of your uncertainty, and a spark kindled in your eyes as you gazed solemnly on Rhindon's gleaming blade. A hint of nobility, an understanding perhaps, even before Aslan explained it to you, of your ultimate destiny as High King over us all.

Do you remember, Peter? What it cost you to be the strong one, to be the brave one, to be magnificent? My dreams are still haunted by memories of messengers coming to us out of the night, bringing the dreadful news that you lay near death's door, wounded; injured gravely by your stubborn, bull-headed resolve to be a hero. I watched you then, too, watched you struggle for life and most often pull through not very much the worse for wear, thanks mostly to our sister and her cordial. It still brings a rush of fear to my heart to recall those times, as deep as I bury them. Yes, they are there.

Did you realize I knew, Peter? When you paced relentlessly in your study or the war room or the council room or even the Great Hall, firmly determined to do the right thing, no matter what? When you spent nights praying in the chapel for guidance, your sword your only company? You came to breakfast often with dark circles beneath your eyes, and our sister would make you laugh and our brother would engage you in debate, and you would eat. But oh, so sparingly on those days when the weight of your kingship pressed down upon your shoulders. Oh, I wish I could forget, but the memories linger still.

Did you know I cried for you, Peter? When there came a knock on my door and a gentleman stood there with the news that my family was dead? And there came the awful unspeakable task of identifying you and preparing for a funeral and packing up your belongings? And those of our sister, our brother, and our parents? How I longed for your presence, wanted you to be a hero, no matter what the cost. How I hoped you would step through the door, girt with sword and brow encircled with crown, to save me from the task ahead. But you never will. And now I will never have to remember again.

I laugh - for such resolve is foolish - and the sound is bitter.


AN: I found a screencap of the movie online where Peter is drawing his sword just after being given it by Father Christmas. Just over his arm you can see Susan, and only her eyes are visible, watching him. Tada, this teensy little ficlet was born. I'm not sure where all the bitterness came from, though! Susan isn't my favorite, but I don't particularly wish her ill and am glad she is eventually redeemed.
And Peter praying is a shout-out to Starbrow's amazing Between Worlds.