Another version of the negotiations between Aslan and Jadis in the tent during the movie before Aslan is taken to the stone table.

Negotiations

Outside, everyone was quiet and the atmosphere was still. It was as if time itself had frozen the second the witch entered the lion's tent and everyone's breath caught in their throats. Time would not begin to move again in their minds until she emerged and maybe even then the pause would continue until they knew of the result of their negotiations. Unknown to them, the events occurring in the tent were odd, to say the least.

"This is unfair," Aslan whined in a very uncharacteristic tone.

"You said I could pick the challenge," the witch grinned, this was too easy.

The lion glared. "I'm not giving up," so far he had struggled with the cards unable to make a simple one story house.

The witch however, had skillfully placed one card after the other, forming a magnificent card castle with ease.

"You do this a lot in your free time don't you?" Aslan had paused in his work and decided to simply observe Jadis as she built her card castle.

"Glad you noticed," she spoke with a hint of icy sarcasm. The lion remained silent so she continued, "I get bored sometimes." He blinked in surprise and she paused in her castle building, looking towards him. "What? You don't think I get bored like everyone else?"

"I didn't think you did. Don't you have prisoners to torture?" There was venom in his voice, the anger flowed through clearly.

She merely rolled her eyes at the remark, but when she felt his insistent glare, she place a hand on her hip and pointed the other at him. "You're quite ignorant if you think all a witch does all day is torture prisoners and so on. I too get very, very bored and need to pick up a hobby like this!" Without thinking, she pointed at her card castle touching it with the tip of her nail none too gently. Her eyes went wide in realization with what she had done. "No!" The entire card structure went down in seconds. Her hard work had been lost.

Aslan grinned contently. "Gotcha," he boasted proudly.

Jadis looked back and forth between the lion and the pile of cards. She really wanted to slap him for that, or perhaps turn him to stone, but instead she settled for stomping her foot and mentally counting to ten. She would not allow Aslan to dry her none existent patience. "It doesn't matter; I'll just put it back the way it was." She tried and tried, but she no longer had the feeling of calm confidence as before. She was rushing her work and because of that, making mistakes. Frustrated, Jadis took several cards in her hands and tore them apart.

"Isn't it harder like that?" Aslan spoke in the most innocent tone.

Jadis glared daggers at him in a metaphorical sense and found herself wishing she really could glare daggers at the lion. Without changing the glare, she strolled over to his side of the tent and picked up his deck of cards.

"Those are mine," Aslan pointed out.

"Then do it right you clumsy lion!" Somehow, though she yelled, her voice was not heard outside the tent. Without giving him a second to reply, she grabbed his paw and slammed a card against it, repeating the action with his other paw and stubbornly attempted to place the two card together, without holding them directly, so that they would be balanced against each other in a triangle. In an awkward position practically riding on his back, she was successful. "There, it's not that hard."

Aslan paused and looked at his paws. "I didn't think I could do that." There was another pause as the witch did not move, but instead admired her work upon the table, while kicking his hind leg's ankle with the back of her foot. "I would appreciate if you would stop kicking me."

Jadis uncharacteristically shrugged and jumped off Aslan, kicking him harder in the process. For that he roared loudly, though again nothing was heard outside of the tent as if by some work magic that sound proofed the space. The witch slightly jumped in surprise at the sudden loud sound. The lion was growing tired of this, but then again, so was the witch.

"Well now, shall we choose another challenge? I believe it's my turn," Aslan voiced.

"This challenge isn't over. You said I would be the one to choose the challenge. Are you going back on your word?" Jadis mocked.

"Let's not forget what the deal was. The first castle to be formed wins, the silver castle is yours and the green castle is mine. You tore the deck of cards with the silver background apart so that castle can no longer be rebuild," Aslan reminded.

"Let's see you build your castle then."It was obvious to her that he could not accomplish such a task without help.

"As you may know I can't, you picked an unfair challenge, but you threw your chance away." It was as if Aslan knew all along that things would eventually take a turn in his favor, even if he allowed Jadis to take the lead in the beginning.

She gave him the iciest glare. "Let's get this over with. To break the tie, I think I will let you choose the next challenge. Whatever it is, I'm better at it than you are."

"Very well then, let us begin," Aslan placed a box the table and pushed the cards aside. "If you would be so kind and help set up the pieces."

"Are you purposely trying to annoy me?" Jadis knew the answer was affirmative. He wanted to make her lose her cool, in a metaphorical way, and push her into making a mistake.

"Oh no, it's just that with your wonderful opposable thumbs of evolution, you could do this a lot faster than I can." Aslan patiently, though with some difficulty had started setting up the chess pieces on the board.

Glaring more icy metaphorical daggers at the lion, the witch started to help him set the pieces and soon the chess match began. It looked like both opponents where doing fairly well until Aslan started taking more than a minute to ponder his moves. "Slowpoke it's your move!"

"I'm thinking," Aslan clearly had no intentions, of making a move just yet, or any time soon.

"Hurry up, I don't take this long to decide," Jadis leaned back in her chair and crossed her arms.

The lion raised a curious eyebrow. "You're too impatient." At that statement he went back to examining the board and finally, several minutes later, he finally made a move.

Jadis was already in a bad mood when she entered the lion's tent, which only became worse after the card castle incident. She was feeling angry and impatient, so she moved quickly, without too much thought, then realized all too late, that her king was in danger.

Aslan gave her a victorious grin and touched the piece that would bring him victory but at the last second he changed his mind and before moving said piece, he instead picked up another and took his turn.

Jadis was about to say something, but she didn't know what to say, she just wanted to say something, anything. She gave the lion a curious look, which soon turned back into an icy glare. "Are you underestimating me?" She was disgraced.

Aslan gasped in an obviously fake way. "Goodness no! Was there a different move I could have made?"

For a change, the witch glared. "Stop playing with me!"

"But playing is the challenge, is it that you give up?" Aslan had to admit that he was acting quite out of character, but then again so was Jadis, though not as badly as him. Besides, this was way too much fun to let it end so soon.

"Of course not, it's a draw let's pick another challenge and it's my turn," Jadis just wanted the chess match to end.

Aslan would expect her to sound a little angrier than that, but the fact that she didn't, made him smile and agree. "Alright, I trust you will be fair."

She could suggest making ice sculptures as the next challenge, but that would give her the obvious advantage. Not that having the advantage was a bad thing, it's just that after Aslan threw he chess match, Jadis wanted to beat him fair and square, if only to prove she could. "I pass, you choose."

"Are you sure?" Aslan asked.

"Don't make me repeat myself," Jadis snapped. Whatever he picked, she would win. She was determined to win no matter what.

"We still have a deck of cards, we could play poker." Though he had some difficulty holding the cards, he could manage since it didn't require the precision of balancing a card castle. "Or we could play something else."

"Enough kid games, a duel, that's what I want," Jadis had enough of Aslan, she was tired of putting up with him.

"You said it was my turn, but a duel it shall be." Before Jadis could reply, Aslan retrieved another deck of cards from a box in the corner. The cards had pictures of different creatures in them, with a symbol to represent an element and numbers for attack and defense.

Jadis eyed the deck with curiosity, then glared at Aslan when she realized what those cards were. "Not that kind of duel." If only she hasn't forgotten her own deck at home, she would have agreed.

"How about a race? But we're not really expected to leave the tent," Aslan mused.

A race sounded like a better challenge then a card or board game so Jadis agreed. "We'll sneak out the back, race and come back the same way after the race is over."

"Alright, let's go," Aslan agreed.

After lifting the fabric of the tent and crawling out the back, they examined their surroundings in search of a place to race where they wouldn't be noticed. In a bold move Jadis started walking towards a grassy hill at the risk of being seen.

"Where are you going, they'll see you," Aslan warned.

Jadis rolled her eyes. "Look at them, they're staring at the tend waiting for us to come out front. With their eyes glued to it like that, they won't even notice we're racing right behind them."

Aslan knew she had a point. "I guess you're right."

The lion and the witch quickly reached the top of the hill. Jadis spotted a large rock at the bottom and decided that would be the goal. "The first one to reach that stone is the winner."

"Understood," Aslan replied.

"On your marks," Jadis voiced.

"Get set," Aslan added.

"Go!" The witch and the lion exclaimed at the same time, as they started to dash down the hill.

Unexpectedly, Jadis' heal bent, making her wish she was wearing flat shoes and she tripped. "Jadis!" Aslan, being the nice kindhearted lion he is, tried to catch her so she wouldn't fall face first into the ground, but the impact was too much and they both ended up rolling down the hill.

They stopped at the bottom of the hill a few feet away from the goal, still unnoticed by everyone else. "Today is not a good day for negotiations," Jadis growled.

"I agree," Aslan couldn't argue with that.

They took a short moment to catch their breath and recover before, they briefly glanced at each other and bolted towards the stone that marked the end of the race. They both touched it at the same time. Jadis was horrified, "not again!

"Again indeed, it seems that we have another draw," the lion nodded.

The witch was tempted to introduce her head to the rock repeatedly in frustration, but decided against it. "I'm sick of this, I'm taking the kid!"

She started to walk away, but Aslan stopped her. "Don't take him; I'll go in his place."

Jadis looked surprised for a second; then her trademark icy glare returned. "Why didn't you say that from the start?" Aslan remained silent and with her question left unanswered, Jadis started walking back to the tent.

Both the witch and the lion entered the tent from the back, crawling under the fabric and before Jadis could leave, Aslan spoke. "Today was fun."

"Tomorrow will be more fun, at least for me, not so much for you." After saying those words, the witch left and the lion emerged from the tent after her, to inform everyone of the news. From that point on, the story of Narnia continued as we know it.

End

Disclaimer, I don't own Narnia.

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