Don't Touch My Hair
A/N: For something to do while the muse whittles away at the next chapter of I Will Find You, I wrote this oneshot. It's fluffy. Be warned, ye haters of the fluff. Some of it is based on funny things that my younger brother has shouted out.
This has been edited since this morning, because I didn't notice until too late that the ending was missing. Sorry, pplz!
Finchley, UK, 1935
"Edmund, hold still!" Susan snapped for the umpteenth time. She crouched down, trying to reach for the hairbrush she'd dropped and hang on to Edmund's shoulder at the same time. Her five-year-old brother squirmed in her grasp, flailing his short arms.
"I want to play ball!"
"You'll get to play ball," Susan replied, at last catching the hairbrush. "But not until we get to the park." She stood behind Edmund and said, "Now hold still," with all the maternal authority a seven-year-old can muster. Ske knew no self-respecting little boy would consent to having his hair brushed, but she simply could not allow Edmund to appear in public as he was. She gently pulled the bristles of the brush through Edmund's dark hair.
Edmund didn't care how gentle she'd been; he screamed loudly enough to melt ice, threw himself to his knees and tried to crawl away. Susan quickly bent down and grabbed his ankle before he could exit the hall.
"Don't touch my hair!" Edmund wailed.
"If you want to go to the park, you'll have to put up with it," Susan insisted, dragging the boy to his feet and taking the brush to his hair again. Edmund howled but he didn't try to escape this time. He might not have tried again at all if Peter hadn't chosen that moment to walk through the hall and say, "Don't worry, Ed, Susan will make you look lovely."
Edmund lunged at the fleeing Peter, while Susan shouted, "Leave us alone, or you're next! Now Ed, stop that--"
"I don't want to look lovely!"
"You won't!" Susan cried. "I promise I won't make you look lovely at all. Just handsome."
Edmund wiped his nose on his sleeve. "Handsome?"
"Yes, like Robin Hood."
At the mention of his hero, Edmund brightened. "Robin Hood? Really?"
"Yes, but you have to hold still and not try to get away."
Susan started her work with the brush again, and Edmund remained motionless and noiseless until she had finished. "All right, now go to the looking glass and see how handsome you are."
Edmund obeyed, scuttling over to the looking glass at the end of the hall. He glanced at his reflection and promptly burst into tears.
Confounded, Susan started towards him. "What's wrong?"
"I don't like it!" Edmund yelled, turning an embarrassed face to Susan. "Terr-ble!"
Before Susan could intervene, the child had disarrayed his hair with desperate fingers. "Edmund!" she shrieked as all her hard work became hair sticking out in every direction.
Edmund bolted out of the hallway, satisfied with his hair. Susan, gripping her hairbrush, started to chase after him, but gave up. She sat down on the floor. "Phooey."
Cair Paravel, Narnia, 1008
Twenty-year-old Susan chuckled as she sat at her dressing table and secured her long braid with a ribbon. Never again had she tried to brush Edmund's hair, not even when they moved into Cair Paravel and were surrounded by subjects, courtiers, and foreign guests. Lucy and sometimes Peter would allow her to work on their hair, but when Susan had a brush in her hand, Edmund still gave her a wide berth.
Someone rapped on the door of Susan's apartments, and her dryad handmaiden, Finola, entered.
"Good morrow, cousin," Susan greeted warmly, standing away from her dressing table. "Has Governor Dalmas yet arrived?"
"Not yet, milady," Finola curtsied. "But your brother waits in the reception room to speak to you."
"No, milady. King Edmund."
Susan raised her eyebrows in mild surprise. "Hmm." Edmund almost never visited her apartments. "Let him in."
"Aye, milady," Finola again curtsied and drifted out of the room.
A moment later, Edmund peeked through the doors. "Hullo?"
Susan sat back down at her dressing table. "Good morrow. Come in." As Edmund stepped in, she said, "Are you ready to receive the Governor Dalmas and the delegation?"
"I suppose." Edmund plunked down in a red-cushioned chair near the door.
"Now remember what Sallowpad told you. Pay attention to the whole delegation. Look everyone in the eye. When speaking to each member of the delegation for the first time, address him by his full title, even if it takes two minutes to recite."
"Yes, I remember," Edmund said impatiently. "I just--um--I just wanted to ask you something."
"All right, ask it," Susan replied kindly, fastening pearl drop earrings in her ears.
Edmund stammered, "Well, if you'd--I mean--you're best at--and what with--"
Susan glanced bemusedly at Edmund, who finally held out a hairbrush to her, with a helpless face.
"Would you please brush my hair?"
Susan blinked. "Come again?"
"I need help," Edmund burst out sheepishly. "Lucy says I look like a crow decided to build a city on my head."
It wasn't that bad, thought Susan as she smiled and took the brush, but his hairstyle could be refined. She stood up behind him, picked his silver crown off, and pulled the brush through his hair.
Edmund jumped as she caught on to a tangle. "Ow! Careful."
Again Susan brushed at his hair. Again Edmund jumped. "Careful!"
Susan rolled her eyes. "I'm being as gentle as I can, Ed."
"You're scalping me," Edmund contradicted.
"If you don't stop whining, I'll give you scalping," Susan threatened playfully. Edmund said nothing else until Susan laid the brush on her dressing table. "You're done."
Edmund turned to a looking glass, winced, and, to Susan's horror, raked his fingers through his dark hair, causing it to stick out chaotically. He nodded briskly, replaced his crown, and ducked out of the room with a quiet, "Thank you, Su."
Scoffing, Susan whirled towards the mirror, adjusted her own hair, and glared at the hairbrush on her dressing table.