Pairings: Edmund/Caspian, Edmund/OC
Summary: AU. Edmund and Caspian are both sold at the Lone Islands and are forced to work as sex slaves in Calormen. But Caspian knows that they will escape someday.
Warnings: AU, rape (in a fairly serious as opposed to rape as kink manner), prostitution, hurt/comfort.
Disclaimer: Does not belong to me.
It had started so innocently. Lucy had wanted to walk across the sandy little island of Felimath and see if it was as peaceful and beautiful as she remembered. They had all wanted to stretch their legs. He and Lucy, like children, had collected the shells that were lying on the beach. Then, they had walked a bit inland. Edmund could almost feel the short grass tickling his bare feet.
One would think that great kings and queens of Narnia would know better than to walk in a strange place with practically no protection, but they had been so naïve, so innocent. Everything had gone wrong so quickly. Edmund hadn't even been able to fully draw his sword, before they grabbed him and then he was being marched across the island with his hands bound behind his back. He had received his first taste of humiliation when they had stripped him naked and stood him before a large group of people to be sold. A dark-skinned Calormene had purchased him as well as Caspian. The others had been sold to different masters. Edmund never saw them again.
As the man thrust into him over and over again, Edmund tried to think back to that last happy hour when he had collected seashells with Lucy. Some of the other boys had told him that when it was happening, they could go somewhere else. Their minds would wander and it would be like it wasn't even happening. Edmund, however, could never quite escape the indignity of what was being done to him. He could never ignore it. He couldn't see Felimath, all he could see was the purple of the cushion that his face had been slammed into.
Presently, the man finished and rolled off him. Edmund was technically supposed to stay the rest of the hour, but the man was regarding him in the revolted way that some took after they were done. As if they couldn't believe that they had brought themselves to touch him and they were disgusted with both him and themselves. Edmund could understand the feeling. "Finished … sir?" Edmund asked, only remembering to add the "sir" at the end.
"Yes," the man grunted, "you can leave." Edmund noticed that he was dressed more poorly than most of his customers. He'd probably been saving up for months for this, Edmund thought, wryly. The man grabbed his purse and placed four coppers on the table. Less than half a crescent. Not much of a tip. Edmund snatched them up.
"Good luck with your next customer," the man said, awkwardly.
Edmund gave a joyless smile. "You're my last of the night." As he left the room, he put two of the coppers under his tongue. Two he kept in his hand. He walked downstairs and moved through the front room. It was nearly dawn and there were only about a half dozen customers and two or three naked or half-naked boys hanging around. Edmund weaved his way through the cushions, ignoring hands that groped at his body.
He gave the two coppers to one of his masters. They weren't even allowed to keep small favors like this, let alone any of the money that was actually paid for them. The man waved him off and, relieved, Edmund went into the back room and then into the large basement where all the boys slept. He picked his way over sleeping forms until he came to his pallet. Edmund lay down and pulled blankets over himself. After a few minutes, he slipped his hand under his pallet and felt for the loose tile. He took the coins out of his mouth and deposited them in the hole under the tile where there were various monies, trinkets, beads, and even a silk handkerchief or two. It had been Caspian's idea to save up the tips that they were given for when they made their escape. If their masters ever found out, Edmund knew that they would be in for a beating, but Caspian had convinced him to do it anyway. Edmund always managed to make more than Caspian – Caspian was too difficult to receive many tips.
Edmund tried to sleep, but the boy in the pallet beside of him was crying again. Edmund sighed in frustration. He could understand crying, though he himself hadn't cried since that first night, but it seemed like the boy was always weeping. And he was rather loud about it. Presently, though, Caspian came and slid under the blankets beside Edmund. Caspian was still naked, but Edmund scarcely even noticed. They slid their arms around one another. Many of the boys shared a pallet and this seemed to be the one comfort that their masters would freely allow them. Sometimes, Edmund could even hear the sounds of two of the others making love, but not often. Most were forced to use their bodies so much that they had no desire to do it when they should be sleeping.
During the first week, one of their masters had been raping one of the other boys in the far corner of the room – very violently. Edmund knew now that this was a somewhat rare occurrence – usually they would be taken into another room to be raped. At the time, though, the event had paralyzed Edmund with fear. He didn't cry or scream or shake, but somehow Caspian had been able to sense his fright and had crawled under the blankets with Edmund. From that night on, they had always shared a pallet. By now, Edmund had been raped by them so many times that he no longer feared it – he only dreaded it as one dreaded a visit to the doctor.
Edmund could see, by the dim light of the oil lamps, that Caspian's eye was swollen nearly shut. In the half-darkness, it gave him an almost monstrous look. "What happened this time?" Edmund asked, quietly.
Caspian bit his lip and Edmund saw that familiar mixture of hurt and shame and rage. "He wanted me to do something that we usually get paid extra for," Edmund could feel the embarrassment of what he had been asked to do radiating from Caspian. He knew that the other man did not want to get into specifics. "He refused to pay, so I hit him."
"You hit a customer?" Edmund sighed. "Why didn't you just do as he asked? It isn't as though you'd get any of the money."
"He thought I was cheap," Caspian snapped and though his voice was harsh, his hands were soft, as always, caressing Edmund's back.
Edmund let the subject drop. "What happened then?" he asked.
"He went and told the masters and they gave him his money back and let him do what he wanted. Apparently he was either a good customer or an important person. Then they beat me, of course."
"Did they rape you?" Edmund asked quietly. Technically, they all got raped at least a couple times a day since they were slaves and nothing that they did was of their own free will, but none of the boys called working with customers rape. What the masters did was always the worst. Customers weren't allowed to hurt them – not too badly, anyway – masters were.
Caspian was silent. "Caspian, did they rape you?" Edmund whispered again.
"Yes, damn you!" Caspian burst out and Edmund could feel his short, angry breaths.
"I'm sorry," Edmund said and he pressed his lips softly, consolingly against Caspian's. Edmund knew that all the other boys believed that they were lovers, but they never did anything other than kiss and pet. Why would Edmund volunteer to do all the horrible, nasty things that were done to him everyday? Their tongues danced together for a long while before they drew apart.
"Did they give you any presents tonight?" Caspian asked, apparently wanting to change the subject.
Edmund shrugged. "A couple of coppers."
Caspian frowned. "Not much," he whispered. "But even a small amount helps. We will need lots of money to make our way across Calormen."
"And when will that be?" Edmund asked, in spite of himself. Caspian could be so optimistic at times.
"Someday," Caspian said. "As soon as we can figure out a plan." Edmund couldn't think of what such a plan would be. The whorehouse was full of large, armed eunuch guards – two at each doorway. They were the type who had been trained from early childhood in the use of weaponry and if Edmund were being honest with himself, they were far better with their scimitars than either he or Caspian was with a sword. Perhaps Peter would have stood a chance, if he were fully armed and armored in Narnian gear. One of the guards sometimes snuck Edmund food, but he had no doubt that the same guard would beat him half to death if he were caught trying to run. The consequences of trying to escape could be terrible. "Someday we'll get away," Caspian went on. "We will get back to Narnia. We'll find Lucy and Eustace and Reepicheep somehow and everything will be good again."
Edmund frowned. He didn't like being reminded of the others. Long ago, on his first visit to Narnia, he had been taken by the White Witch and thrown into an icy cell where he first met the faun, Tumnus. Tumnus had asked Edmund about Lucy. Serious, pressing questions. Where is she? Is she safe? Edmund could still remember the gut-wrenching feeling of realizing that he didn't know. He didn't know if she was alive or dead and if something bad had happened to her, it was probably his fault. It was the same now. He knew that his sister had been sold as a slave, but he didn't know if she was mending clothes for some nice island family or sweating in the fields or working in a whorehouse like him or lying in a shallow grave somewhere. And Eustace! Poor Eustace had never wanted to come to this world and they had tried so hard to convince him that it would be a wonderful adventure. It turned out that Eustace was right after all.
As Edmund lay with his arms around Caspian, he felt him begin to shake and he knew that the young king was crying, silently. Like the other times, Edmund pretended not to notice. He looked ahead and saw that the boy who had been crying earlier on the pallet next to them was now staring. Big, blue, watery eyes looking right at him,
-- -- --
Edmund was looking forward to an easy afternoon. The old man requested him every week at the same time and kept him well into the evening. Usually, he would only really use Edmund once – the rest of the time would be spent talking to Edmund about his business (he sold rugs) and his grandchildren and what the city council was doing. Either that, or he'd want Edmund to sit on his lap and speak to him as if Edmund were half his real age.
Which was what Edmund was doing at the moment. "I brought you a treat, my pretty one," the man whispered in his ear.
Edmund winced inwardly, but made himself giggle and clap his hands together like a girl. "A treat? What is it?" he hoped that it was made out of gold or silver. The man took out a squishy package and Edmund could tell that it wasn't gold, but something almost as good – food. Edmund couldn't remember the last time that he had tasted something good to eat. The man took out something white and powdery and held it up to Edmund's lips. Edmund took a big bite without thinking.
Then, he gagged. Turkish Delight. The flavor was different from anything he had ever tried, but the substance was the same. He had not eaten any since the Witch.
"Does this not please you?" the old man asked, taking in Edmund's expression.
"No," Edmund managed. "It's … good. Very sweet." There was nothing so sweet as Turkish Delight. "The sweetness lingers in your mouth forever … forever and ever."
Edmund had always refused Turkish Delight since that last time, even when he was back in England. But that had been Edmund the King. Edmund the boy-whore could eat every piece out of the old man's hand and lick the powdered sugar off his fingers.
That night, Caspian told him that his lips tasted sweet.
"A customer," Edmund said, briefly. "Gave me sweets."
"Good," Caspian said. "You feel thin." He felt Caspian's arms tighten around him in the darkness. "Have they not been feeding you properly again?"
"I'm fine," Edmund said, though they hadn't been giving him as much to eat lately. Edmund had been far from fat when he had come to them, but apparently customers liked them to look emaciated, so Edmund had been periodically starved. Caspian was never denied food – apparently they thought him lean enough.
"I'll save you food if you like," Caspian said, but Edmund shook his head. They didn't give Caspian enough to feed two and they would beat him if they found him hoarding food. Besides, there was a stubborn part of Edmund's mind that insisted that the starvation was his cross to bear just as the beatings were Caspian's. It didn't make much sense, but there it was.
"I was thinking," Caspian said, after a minute or two had passed. "Sometimes customers bring weapons up into the rooms with them. If I could get a weapon away from them, then we could maybe escape. I could get out one of the windows."
"You'd have to kill a customer," Edmund said.
Caspian face hardened and his eyes became dark. "There are many that I would like to kill," he said. "I think about it sometimes … dream about it."
Edmund shivered. He could never bring himself to hate the customers like Caspian did – masters, yes, but not customers. He knew that part of the reason was that he, being more manageable, got better customers, but there were other reasons as well.
When he and Peter and Susan and Lucy had ruled Narnia, he had visited Calormen once. The arrogant young prince who had wanted Susan's hand had sent a slave girl up to his room to give him pleasure – a common courtesy for one of Edmund rank. Edmund had not used her, but he had thought about it. Seriously thought about it. It had never occurred to him to think of her as an unwilling victim because she had seemed ready enough – the way that Edmund knew that he must appear to most of his customers. In the end, he hadn't used her because he had thought that he was better than her. He was a knight of Narnia and she was just some Calormene slut.
So Edmund knew that he was no better than any of his customers. He hadn't done it in the end, but he hadn't been raised in a society where slavery was almost as natural as marriage either. He thought for a moment about Caspian's plan.
"The idea still will not work," he said, at last. "That is – it could work if you want to leave alone. Really, you should. But you couldn't face all the guards even with a weapon – you'd have to escape right away and I couldn't be with you. Is that – is that what you want?" Edmund knew it was selfish, but he could feel a ball of panic forming in his stomach. If Caspian went away then there would be nothing good left.
"No," Caspian told him, fiercely. "I will not leave you. I cannot believe that you thought I would be so faithless."
Edmund didn't answer and they lay quiet for long minutes. Edmund felt Caspian's arm tighten around his waist. Caspian pressed his mouth to Edmund's ear. "I want to make love to you," he whispered.
Suddenly, Edmund was very aware of Caspian's hand holding his wrist against the floor. Of Caspian's weight over him. He wondered if Caspian was going to rape him and then he would have to hate Caspian the same way that he hated the masters. If that happened, then that one good thing would be gone as surely as if Caspian had run away. But presently, he felt Caspian's grip loosen a bit and he realized that this was never the intention. "Not now, of course," he said, wistfully. "Not here. But someday. When we get away."
Edmund felt his eyebrows draw together in confusion. "Why?"
Caspian hesitated, reluctant. "I guess that I want it to be normal," he said, finally. "To be with someone because I want to be with him."
Edmund sighed and leaned away. "Being with me won't make you normal," he said, dully. "When – if – we get back then find some pretty girl to marry and make love to. That will make you normal."
"I know," Caspian sighed. "But maybe I cannot get from here to there so quickly. Maybe I need a little help along the way."
"And maybe I don't," Edmund snapped, not liking the way Caspian's grip tightened around him.
"Fine," Caspian said, shortly and he turned away from Edmund. The loss of his arms was an almost physical pain.
Edmund suddenly felt guilty. He had given himself to countless strangers, why couldn't he do this for Caspian who was the most important thing in his world at the moment? "I don't see what all the fuss is about," he muttered. "You've already had me once. You can have me right now if you like. You don't have to wait."
Edmund didn't expect the reaction that he received. Caspian turned on him, quickly, his eyes blazing not with desire, but with anger. "That was for them," he hissed. "For them to watch. It isn't the same thing at all."
Edmund sighed and turned away.
-- -- --
Edmund was sitting in the lap of a customer and accepting his sloppy kisses every now and again. The customer and the masters sitting at his side were having an argument over price. It was no wonder – the master was trying to cheat the man. Edmund could barely concentrate on their conversation, though, because directly in his line of sight, but on the other side of the room, another customer was using Caspian.
"Eight crescents," the master said. "It is a fair price."
"Pah," the customer scoffed. "Eight? I paid two and a half for a boy who could have been his twin in Tashban."
Edmund watched as the other customer nipped at Caspian's neck and placed a groping hand between his legs. At least Caspian couldn't be feeling much – Edmund could tell from the glassy look in his eyes that he had been drugged. They hardly ever drugged Edmund – he was manageable enough without drugs.
"That was Tashban," the master said and Edmund was drawn back to the conversation behind him. "You can be in Archenland in a day or two from Tashban. You won't find any other pretty northern boys this far south, I'll promise you."
"Perhaps I'll go next door and get a pretty southern boy for a third of the price then," the customer shot back.
Caspian was pushed into the cushions on the floor and the man climbed on top of him.
"You can do that if you like," the master said. "Gold is rarer than silver and costs more, but some men are just as happy wearing silver. It is up to you."
"I'll give you three and a half," the customer said.
The master made a noise. "Do not insult me." His eyes followed Edmund's line of sight and lighted upon Caspian. "I would not go to the trouble to get and train northerners if I couldn't get more out of them. They are ten times harder to break than a good Calormene boy."
Edmund couldn't stand to watch, but couldn't tear his eyes away. Watching them abuse Caspian was the one thing that made him understand Caspian's rage. He wanted to leap across the room and attack the customer. Not to box him or fight him with a sword or any other weapon, but to rip him apart with his hands like a wild animal.
Edmund felt his customer shift uncomfortably. "I do not like any trouble out of them," he said.
The master immediately began to backtrack. "I did not mean him," he said. "He's eager enough." The master glared at Edmund, pointedly and Edmund obediently ground his arse into the man's groin. He had never felt more like a whore.
The man groaned. "Six for the boy and a room. I do not like an audience. I can go no higher."
The master smiled. Six was still a full crescent higher than what he usually got for Edmund. "It is a pleasure to do business with you, sir."
Edmund made it back to his pallet many hours later. Caspian still was not back. He lay waiting, half asleep, and dimly aware of the boy next to him crying again. It was when the boy stopped crying that he fully awoke, the sudden silence jarring him into consciousness. He looked over and saw that the boy was looking straight at him. Edmund looked back.
Though they were all called "boys", the slaves ranged in age from younger than Edmund to old enough to be his father. The boy who was staring at him now looked about his own age, but Edmund knew, from hearing him talk, that he acted much younger. He was truly beautiful – big, blue, kohl framed eyes, sandy blond hair, perfect features. Edmund felt sorry for him, having so much beauty – it meant that the masters would work him more.
Perhaps it was understandable that he cried so much. Everyone seemed to react to their slavery in a different way. Some cried, some fought, like Caspian. There were some who walked around like dead people, who one could barely get a response from. Edmund feared becoming one of them the worst and he knew that he was already halfway there. There were others who seemed to accept their new life and who competed fervently with one another to be the best little whore.
"Hello," Edmund whispered, feeling awkward about staring for so long without saying anything.
The boy seemed surprised at being addressed. "Hello."
They were both quiet for a moment, then the boy said; "I am sorry about crying. I know that I am keeping you awake. I will try to be quieter next time."
"Don't worry about it," Edmund said, though he had, of course, been thinking of something along these lines. "I know that they give you a lot of customers. You have reason to cry."
The boy's eyes glazed over as if seeing something far away. "That isn't the worst of it. I don't cry when they are using me – not usually, anyway. When I lie here alone, at night, I start thinking about my family. Missing them. My mother and father, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles – I had a big family. My friends. There was even this girl that I liked. I'll never see any of them again. You are lucky to have him," the boy made a vague gesture and Edmund knew that he meant Caspian.
Edmund blushed. "I suppose."
"I would like to have someone to hold onto at night. Someone to comfort me."
Edmund suddenly knew what he must do. If there was any way to comfort this broken boy, then he must try it. He folded back his blanket. "Would you like to --" he couldn't quite bring himself to say the word "share".
It seemed that the boy knew what he meant. "Oh, yes," he said, breathlessly. Within a few seconds, he was lying with his body crushed against Edmund's.
"So," Edmund whispered, tentatively putting his hands on the boy's waist. He had to put his hands somewhere after all. "What was your name again?" But suddenly, he remembered. "Oh, it's Bastian isn't it? I remember now."
The boy actually gave a brief, low giggle and Edmund tried to remember the last time that he had heard one of the other boys laugh. "That's just what they call me," he whispered back. "They made me change my name. It's really Wat."
"Wat?" This surprised Edmund. They hadn't made either Caspian or himself change the names that they had given the masters (which were not their real ones). Though, with a name like Wat, it was no wonder. "And where are you from, Wat?" He did not want to bring up painful memories, but it just seemed wrong to be pressed, nearly naked, against a boy that he knew nothing about.
Wat became more somber. "Archenland. My family herded goats in the southern mountains."
"Oh," Edmund said. Most of the northern slaves came from the islands, but he knew that nomads occasionally raided into Archenland looking for livestock or food or slaves.
"I was with one of my older brothers. They took us both, but I don't know what happened to him."
Edmund didn't know what to say. "What about you?" Wat asked, after a moment. "Where are you from? Your friend has the speech of a Telmarine noble, but I cannot quite place your accent."
The caused Edmund to jump. He was surprised that Wat was able to place Caspian so well. When they had first come to the city, he had tried to tell the masters that he was a king and that they could get a great ransom for him if they took him to Narnia or even to the Tisroc. They still laughed and called him the King of Whores sometimes. "I'm from here and there. All about, I suppose."
"Oh. And what was your family's station?" Wat seemed honestly concerned about this as though Edmund would press his skin against an injured boy whore without a thought, but once he found out that Wat was a poor man's son, he was going to push him away in disgust.
"My father was … a scholar," Edmund said, carefully.
"So you were rich," Wat said.
"No. Well," he amended, thinking of the poverty that Wat had likely lived in, "I suppose it is a matter of perception. We certainly weren't nobility, though."
"How did you end up here?" Wat asked, softly.
Edmund thought for a moment. "One minute I was walking along the beach with my sister, the next I was in chains."
"And your sister?"
"I don't know what happened to her either."
"I am sorry," Wat said and he looked like he meant it.
"So am I," Edmund said and his voice must have been harsh because Wat looked down. Edmund tilted his head back up and kissed him, gently. When they pulled apart, Edmund could feel Wat trembling and hear his shaky breathing. Then, Wat kissed him again.
He was a good kisser – too good in fact. Edmund realized that Wat was kissing the way that they had taught him. He also realized that he and Caspian had never done this. He pulled away. "Not like that," he whispered. "Be more natural. Just do whatever you want – whatever feels nice." Wat nodded and they kissed some more, their tongues lazily flitting in and out of one another's mouths.
Edmund was actually starting to fall asleep when he felt the weight of Wat's body leave him very suddenly. He looked up and saw the Wat had been jerked up and was being slammed into a wall by Caspian.
"He's mine, do you hear me!?" Caspian yelled. His whole being seemed full of fury. He punched Wat in the stomach and would have hit him again, but Edmund jumped to his feet and managed to hold him back.
"Stop!" he yelled. "Stop it, Caspian!" Caspian shrugged Edmund off and looked back and forth between Edmund and Wat.
"Can't you see that he's just a kid?" Edmund asked, angry. "Besides, it was my doing."
"Fine," Caspian breathed and he punched Edmund in the face. It wasn't a very hard hit. It didn't even knock him back.
"You hit like a girl," Edmund spat, feeling absurd to be using a phrase that he might use during a fight in an English boarding school.
Caspian lunged at him, but by this time, guards had arrived to pull them apart.
-- -- --
Edmund shivered. He didn't know why they had brought him to the back room, but it couldn't be for any good reason. The back room always meant a beating or a raping. The master in front of him smiled a nasty smile, but said nothing, as if he were waiting for something. Edmund crossed his arms protectively in front of himself. This master had raped him at least three times. Edmund always hated how dirty the man kept himself – he could smell him from across the room and his robe and turban looked filthy. There was a table between them and on top of the table, a long wooden stick.
After a moment, Caspian was pushed into the room. Caspian gave him a sidelong glance. Edmund bit his lip and looked away. This must be about the fight then, though that had been over a week ago. Edmund and Caspian had not lain together or even spoken since that time. Another master, a cleaner man in purple, entered behind Caspian.
The nicer looking master took out a velvet bag and dumped its contents onto the table. Edmund heard Caspian gasp. There were coins, trinkets, pieces of silk – all the things that the two of them had been hiding under the floor.
The dirty master began to pace to room. After a moment, he spoke. "We found these – items – under a pallet. The guards told me that the two of you share it. The only question is – which one of you is guilty?"
Edmund clenched his fists.
"It was me," Caspian spoke up from beside him. "It was all me."
"I --" Edmund said, trying to interrupt.
"He had nothing to do with it," Caspian spoke over him, giving Edmund an angry look. "I was going to use the money to run away," his voice was so beautifully defiant.
Edmund couldn't speak. His throat was dry. They would hurt Caspian for this – hurt him badly.
The clean master leaned down and casually picked up the stick.
When they started hitting Caspian, Edmund cried and could not stop.
Later, Caspian was in his arms. Since he had been made a slave, Edmund noticed more detail than ever before. Shapes, colors, patterns. A tiny flaw in the mud brick wall, the blue bead missing from the cushion. Kings never paid attention to things like that. Kings thought big. But the world had become smaller now. Edmund knew the exact shape of Caspian's muscles, the exact texture of his skin better than he had ever known anything. That same skin was now bruised and bleeding.
Edmund himself had received no more than a stray bat or two with the large stick, but he had never seen Caspian so bad. He had so many bruises that there was barely a part of his body that was not discolored and Edmund was afraid that he had a broken arm.
"I'm sorry, I'm so sorry," Edmund whispered, fiercely.
"Why are you sorry?" Caspian asked, through bleeding lips. "You did not hurt me. I had – I had to keep them from harming you."
This made Edmund want to cry again. He realized that, in some ways, Caspian meant more to him than anyone ever had. When he had many good things, he didn't always possess to energy to love them the way they should be loved. But now, the only good thing was Caspian.
"We're never going to get out of here, are we?" Caspian whispered and Edmund bit his lip, sad that they had finally broken him after all this time.
They sat in silence for many minutes. Edmund watched Caspian close his eyes and he hoped that the other man would be able to sleep despite his injuries.
"Caspian," he said, finally. Caspian opened his eyes and looked at him. "I – I want to make love to you too." Caspian looked at him uncertainly. "Not now, of course," Edmund amended, "but someday … when we escape."
Caspian clasped Edmund's hand. Edmund wondered if Caspian could tell that he didn't really believe that they would ever escape either. "Someday," Caspian said.