Title: Me and My Plus-One at the Afterlife (10/10)
Pairing: Peter x Caspian
Rating: R/NC-17 (Overall)
A/N: This is for everyone over at NarniaSlash…Dame loves you! –Blows kisses.- Thanks for all the support, guys, especially during this rather difficult time in my life.
When writers die, they go to Hell and become editors.
When boys like Peter Pevensie die, they go to Narnia and get to do unspeakable things to a certain Telmarine.
For the next nine months, Caspian was a wreck. At least twice a week, sometimes twice a night, Peter would wake to find him pacing about, muttering to himself under his breath. It was understandable, really; the pair had grown so used to one another that neither Caspian nor Peter were thrilled at the prospect of having to start all over if something should happen to their unborn heir. Although his pride kept him from admitting it, Peter found himself feeling rather jealous at the way he kept fawning over the former chambermaid, who had since been elevated to a more honourable position—certainly not a titled member of the court, but much improved from her previous standing. She was, after all, carrying the heir to the Telmarine throne.
The night of the new prince's birth had begun rather uneventfully; Peter and Caspian had taken a short stroll through the gardens, then retired to their quarters. They had only been asleep for a few hours when Haidee's agonized screams filled the castle, echoing loudly enough to reach the Kings' ears. Caspian was up in a flash, throwing on some clothes and dragging a very sleepy Peter (1) with him as he dashed to Haidee's room. They were promptly stopped at the door by a stern, matronly-looking woman.
"I'm sorry, Sire, but the girl is in great distress…and she's requested that only King Caspian be allowed in. Won't let anyone else; we're lucky she even let the doctor in."
Caspian nodded brusquely, but after seeing the crestfallen look on Peter's face, turned back to the woman and shook his head. "Tell her that, with all due respect, it's either both of us or none at all." She sighed, tapping her foot, before rushing back into the room. She returned a moment later; although Haidee's screams were steadily escalating in volume as she threw what appeared to be a labour-induced temper tantrum, the older woman motioned for both of them to enter.
Caspian stepped gingerly into the dimly lit room and over to the side of the bed; the wailing girl immediately calmed upon seeing him, reaching for his hand, which he readily extended. Peter, meanwhile, sat rigidly in a chair near the door, feeling somewhat left out. He mentally scolded himself; it was, after all, Caspian and Haidee's child, not his. For a first child, the labour seemed to be rather short; Caspian stayed by the bed, smoothing back the young girl's hair and whispering words of encouragement to her. When it was all over and she fell back against the pillows, looking frighteningly pale, Peter watched as a tiny, squalling infant was lifted up and gently cleaned before being swaddled and placed on its mother's chest.
At last, Caspian broke away from the group of people around the large bed and walked over to Peter, taking him gently by the hand. "Come and see your son, my King…" He planted a delicate kiss on his lips before leading him to the bed. Peter glanced down at the baby, every bit as dark and delicately structured as his parents, and felt something inside him shift. He looked nervously at Caspian, and the warm, benevolent smile that spread across his face, illuminating his features as he gazed at the child, was one of the most beautiful things he'd ever seen.
Haidee glanced up at the two men standing above her and smiled weakly in return, stroking the infant's glossy, dark hair as it began to feed. Her eyes closed slowly, and while the graceful smile faded, it did not disappear completely from her lips. The midwife touched Peter's arm, and they both jumped at the intrusion.
"She's lost a lot of blood, Sire…we're doing everything we can, but…"
Peter turned his gaze back to Caspian, whose smile slowly fell as he noticed Haidee's grip slacken, face draining of colour. Her chest hitched with one last laboured breath, and then she stilled. He slid his arm around the dark haired man's waist, drawing him close as he shuddered, fighting back tears. Caspian looked first at Peter, dark eyes moist with emotion, then bent down and placed a gentle kiss on the girl's forehead. "Thank you, milady…" His jaw clenched slightly as he watched the infant pull away, realising that its mother had passed. Peter felt his heart breaking as he watched Caspian lift the child, seeming rather uneasy and fearful of dropping the baby; when he turned, Peter noticed the tears coursing down over his fine cheekbones, curving around his jaw. He made no attempt to wipe them away, and Peter made no attempt to comfort him, knowing that, at this point, it was best to let him grieve.
"What are you going to name her, Majesties?" The midwife's voice had softened as she looked upon the new family, wringing her hands in front of her.
Caspian's voice was soft, cracking slightly as he answered. "Rilian…I think she would have liked that." He glanced at Peter as if asking for consent; he nodded. (2) The pair let their eyes rest on the now-deceased woman, who looked as if she were merely sleeping, for one long moment before turning away; it was not their place to gawk at the body. They realised the sacrifice she'd made for them, and would honour it; that was enough.
The Telmarine turned his attention to the midwife, holding the baby awkwardly in his arms. "H-how do we look?"
She chuckled, and Caspian seemed to relax as she adjusted the baby with strong, gentle hands. "Like scared new parents. Ye'll do fine."
In the scant, clandestine light of the chamber, a solemn air seemed to overtake those present. Peter leaned down and kissed the baby's plump and tender cheeks before embracing Caspian. The older of the two sighed, leaning into his lover's warm body as they watched the stars slowly begin to fade into the soft light of early dawn.
"The dream is ended: this is the morning."
-Aslan, from The Last Battle
1 That didn't sound right…
2 Here is where I land the final death blow in bastardizing the canon; Rilian was the name of Caspian's child, though Ramandu's daughter has basically been vaporized (to quote 1984).