TITLE: Save It For Later
Warnings: Slash/Incest - If you don't like that kind of thing, don't read. Flames are not appreciated.
Summary: For all of time it seems that Peter has not seen what has always been there. When he finally does, will it be too late?
Disclaimer: I do not own, I only love.
-- Save It For Later --
WHAT MY EYES HAVE SEEN
My name is Peter Pevensie. I am a High King of Narnia. I am a ruler of beasts and spirits, lands and seas. But I am lost. I am lost in the tides of time, and I fear the tide has pulled me into Narnia once more only to show me that very soon it will pull me out again.
I lived here once. I ruled here once. Thirteen hundred years ago these lands were mine. These lands were green and lush, fertile and wondrous. Now they are dark and morbid. Now my beloved Narnian retreat into trees and shadow. They retreat from the wrath of men. Telmarines who have stolen this land from my beautiful Narnian.
In my arrogance, I have lost who I am. I have sought to lord myself upon those who are not of my time. For my arrogance, the brave and loyal have fallen. For my arrogance, the gaze my sisters cast upon me is a little less hopeful, a little more sad. But there is one who seems never to judge. One who seems never to tell me that how I felt is wrong.
Edmund. He speaks little, and yet speaks louder than any other beside me. For he is always beside me. He does not judge. He does not waiver. He does not detest or chide. He exists as he always has, beside me. Always beside me.
I have perhaps realized so incredibly late just how much I value him. How necessary he has been to my function. In a life before this, thirteen hundred years ago he was the same. He learnt the lessons I am forced to learn again in my humility.
My eyes have seen so much. So much love. So much death and despair. My arrogance led us all to a raid upon the enemy. The great tyrant King Miraz, whose power I grossly underestimated. I was forced to realize the great error of my mistakes when I was made to watch helplessly as my brave Narnian were trapped behind those gates. Those damned gates.
Never before have I felt so helpless. Never before have I wished to be where death was so certain. That I could not share in their sacrifice was one last punishment served upon me for my arrogance. I was lost, and because of that, others were lost.
The great centaur Glenstorm, who reminds me so much of my beloved friend Oreius, lost his only son in that raid. How does he live? How do I live? Knowing I have lost so much, and caused so many others to lose so much as well.
Now, here I wait in my respite from a duel with the enemy in one on one combat. I feel the ominous scent of departure upon me. Is death calling? Have I taken too long to realize the depths of my mistakes? Was it so truly necessary to lose so many before I found my way again?
My heart feels heavier than this great sword I hold. Rhindon, a valiant slayer of darkness, no longer sits so easily in my hand. I grip it tightly and still feel as if my strike would not be so firm. Would not be so true. And then I look at him. I look at Edmund standing before me. He says so little, but I hear everything he says to me. Through his heart, his deeds, his eyes, he tells me. 'I believe in you, Peter.'
"What do you think happens back home, if we die here?" I ask Edmund, before I turn and glance up at him from where I sit, "You know you've always been there …"
He gives me the slightest glance of acknowledgment, the slightest smile in his eyes of thanks. Then he proceeds to snap my shoulder back into place swiftly, ending the moment between us.
"Save it for later."
He says those words so simply and then he is gone. Just like that. He does not realize how much I have come to understand that he is so much stronger than I. For moments so simple he has shown so much. If I were not already preoccupied with this dire moment of battle, of duelling, I would go to him now and … and finish telling him how I feel. But I understand why he does it. I understand why I must accept his statement and save it for later.
SAVING IT FOR LATER
The duel is over. The battle is won. We've come home to crown a new King. King Caspian. My time here is over. For Susan and I, Aslan has told us there is no more here. No more of this place, this life.
Surprisingly, this news did not hurt me as much as I thought it would. I am ready to leave this place. Aslan is right. I have learned all I need to learn. I have done all I can do. The life we led here is long over. This world is not for us. It is for them. For Caspian and his Narnia. For his dreams and hopes. I am ready now to leave this world, this place, this life, this dream. But I cannot leave without doing what I should have done a long time ago.
"What is it, Pete?" Edmund calls back to me as I approached him in the chambers Caspian had allowed for him.
I smile softly at him, knowing this will be one of the last times I get to see him like this. One of the last times I shall gaze upon him as King Edmund the Just, rather than just Edmund Pevensie. I can't help the swell of pride I feel at seeing him this way. My steadfast Edmund. So long has he served, and so long has he asked for nothing in return.
"Ed." I say softly, giving him a small smile tinged with melancholy for our impending departure, "I saved it for later."
He smiles at me, so very brightly, so very broadly. It is as if he's been waiting all this time for me to just notice him. For me to acknowledge him. To appreciate him. Why have I waited so long to be here? Why have I waited so long to tell him? To show him?
The blush on his face is quite magnetic. The happiness my one remark has given him, returns as much to myself. We waste so much time in the waiting and the misunderstanding of ourselves and of our loves, our hopes, our aspirations. Have I wasted so much time here? Have I spent a lifetime wasted before I finally show him just how very true I love him?
I hold out my hands, palms up, as if in wait, as if in hope. He looks at me, he studies me, he smiles at me. I feel I may possibly float, and I do not know why. I do not know why I am doing this, or what I am even doing. I only know that I am doing now because the truest part of my heart is finally free of its own self despair and misguided self importance. While others called me prideful, selfish, arrogant, Edmund's eyes did not. They always understood. He knew my pain was driven from the blame and guilt I felt for leaving Narnia. It was our departure that cast our beautiful home into disarray and foresaw this fate of sufferance for my loyal Narnian. Edmund understood my actions, while misguided, were born out of my utterly endless guilt. I failed them. Edmund knew this. It is why he did not judge when my actions were unbecoming. When my words were unseemly.
Throughout all of this, and even before it, he stood with me. And now I feel our paths are about to diverge. Is it too late to tell him I do? I do know now, Ed. I do understand. I do appreciate.
I stand with my palms still held up, my hands still outstretched. I smile at him, knowing that he would not really wish to hold my hands. But somehow I understand now that when he said he did not wish to hold my hand, he meant that he did not wish to hold my hand until I knew why I wanted to hold his. I know now.
"We've not much time, Ed." I say, my voice soft and accepting, "Not much time at all."
He looks at me with a slightly puzzled expression before he moves his hands over mine. Just that slight touch of feelings his smaller, slender hands moving over mine sends a swell of anticipation into my heart. Has it been this way all along? Have I blinded myself to this all these years?
My heart begins to race as his hands finally rest on mine. I squeeze them softly as I gaze at the coupling. The moment his hands touched mine, I knew this was not at all what I had expected, but had somehow always wanted. Now that my heart is finally free and my fate is sealed, I feel as if I can finally allow this to be.
Is this love? Has this been ever present and I have simply been too blind to understand it? Too simple to understand it?
"You've always been there, Ed." I say to him, my eyes locked on his, "And I've never told you how much I …"
"Save it for later, Pete." Edmund smiles at me, as if he understands me more than I understand myself, "Like you said yourself, we've not much time. Not much time at all."
"I've … I've never …" I sigh, nodding my head and smiling sheepishly at him, "You already know, don't you? I'm sorry, Ed. I'm sorry I waited this long to … to see you. To show you."
True to form, Edmund says nothing in reply. He just looks at me, eyes smiling softly as he moves one hand up my arm to rest it upon my cheek. I close my eyes and exhale, realizing in this one moment that this … this is why I have never loved another. There is no other.
Before I can open my eyes I am surprised by the soft presence of his lips upon mine. From the first moment he touched my hands moments ago, to the moment he touched my cheek, to this moment of his lips touching mine, I do not believe I have ever felt such a nervous flutter of anticipation in my heart. Is this love? Is this what I have sought and never found in another all my life here in Narnia?
The sun is finally setting on my time in Narnia. The sun sets in the one place our love … yes, I can say it now, our love … can feel and exist. Why now?
"You're thinking too much, Pete." Edmund says with a small smirk, his hands now curling in my hair, his kiss bruised lips drawing my clueless gaze, "Save it for later."
I can only smile back and nod simply as his lips return to mine. I close my eyes as the velvet touch of his tongue meets mine and I give in to this last moment, this only moment we will ever have or know before Susan and I leave for the last time.
This love could never be in another world. And while that knowledge brings despair, I choose to put it aside so I can revel in the long desired and never known feeling of utter bliss in his kiss and warm constant presence. Save the rest for later.
- The End -