So I have a mild obsession with the 'Sorcery & Sudden Vengeance' scene (henceforth to be referred to as 'SASV'; see story summary). One of my favorite parts in the movie is mid-duel, where Peter tries to get all sentimentalish about Ed always being there for him and Edmund says 'Save it for later' (accompanied by a touching setting of the arm—yeah, I'll be definitely writing about that one). Anyway, I thought that revealed a bit of Ed's character that I've tried to stay true to in this pile of drivel. I'd appreciate knowing whether this felt in keeping with Ed's character. Also, I know Peter seems a bit OOCish, but honestly—he just nearly brought about the return of the White Witch; I should think there would be a lot more insecurity as a result of that scene than the movie conveyed. I've tried to show at least the beginning of a recovery from that, but we'll see if that's clear or not.

Not to get word-nerdy or anything, but did anyone else notice the (brilliant) play on words used by Ed in the challenge scene? The bit where he corrects Miraz, 'Just King'—it could be seen as self-degrading, in the sense of "merely king," which is probably how Miraz took it--but it also can be taken to mean "Just King" as in "Edmund the Just" as in "a proper ruler as opposed to Miraz the Unjust Slaughterer" as in "ooh, Edmund just totally scored on Miraz and Miraz never noticed!" Yeah. So I thought that was pretty awesome. I'm sure I'm picking up on this rather late in the game, though...

There might be one more story in this particular vein coming along. I've an idea. I'm not sure. Enough of that. Read the silly story.

Having It Sorted –by JotM

"Pete."

The fair-haired king sits on the dirty ground of a damp tunnel in Aslan's Howe, as if commiserating with the tunnel over their mutual empty, cold darkness. He looks up at the speaker before he remembers that he doesn't exactly know what to say or how to look once he looks. But it's too late—he's already looks—and so he merely gapes uncertainly.

Ed's lip is bleeding. It's something he's noticed about his brother lately. When something goes wrong, Ed turns up after the fact with his lower lip dripping red. He decides his brother must chew it (hard!) out of a nervous habit. He's going to have to talk to Ed about that later.

If his brother even wants to talk to him later, that is.

He decides if he's going to do this, he might as well do it properly!The first step is most likely a bit of groveling, so that's what he's going to do. He contemplates rubbing his face in the dirt at Edmund's feet, but decides that even the truest remorse has its limits. There's nothing else for it—he's going to have to talk.

"Ed…" he begins, and he's surprised at how weak he sounds. "Ed, I have to say—back there—you were…great—"

"Stop it," the younger king cuts in. His tone is hard—quiet—vehement, even—full of resolve—empty of any snappishness or childish frustration, but too dark to be his brother's voice—the brother he used to know. "I didn't come here to… to make you grovel." ('What are the odds he uses that same word I was thinking just then?' Peter wonders.) "Peter, I came here to—well, apologize—and then talk."

Peter blinks. He opens his mouth to respond, but his brother hurries on: "I…I was rather short and self-important back there—with the ice—and…and I'm not proud of that. I acted like I had it all figured out, when really I should know—I mean, I'm the one who fell to the Witch worst of all, aren't I?"

The High King stares while Edmund shifts from one foot to another uncomfortably. (While his sense of right inevitably drives him to apologize, that didn't make him any less loathe to actually give aforesaid apology.)

Then Peter's tongue catches up with his brain and the words come spilling out all at once.

"Ed—that's utter nonsense, and you know it—you've nothing to apologize for—I'm so sorry—I shouldn't be the High King—honest, I shouldn't—I'm completely pathetic—I don't deserve the title—" He's babbling now, and fighting tears. He knows that emotion and illogic—especially combined—are two things that drive his brother mad, but he seems to have already done that with no turning back now. He's surprised when Edmund simply turns away slightly and waits until he's finished with his self-beration. Then, when Peter finally shuts up, the younger king speaks.

"I know all that," his voice is cool on top of being resolved, "and I don't mind saying, Peter Pevensie of Finchley, that I was so angry with you back there that I could have bashed in your silly head, and that anger hasn't diminished yet as much as I'm sure it will." He glares at him somewhat remorsefully, and Peter feels very small. When Peter doesn't say anything more, he goes on.

"I also don't mind saying that I don't think much of your abilities or magnificence right now. You are pathetic. But listen—" A gleam comes into his eye—the Edmund-gleam that says 'this is going to be good so pay attention!' "Aslan made you High King. If I'd been right for the job, he'd have given it to me, but he didn't, and wishing he had would be—well, wrong. I know what it's like to be—to be tempted by her, and the Lion knows I know what it's like to give in more than anyone else, but Peter—" his voice dropped to a whisper—"He saved me! That's what counts, in the end, and I'm not going to believe he's stopped doing so just because we forgot it for a while. Peter!" His fist clenches around his sword hilt, shaking it once or twice for good measure. "Have you forgotten where we'd be without him? You'd be a coward, and I'd be a—a traitor. Pete—" his voice takes on a pleading edge. "Maybe it's time to remember who made us Just and Magnificent in the first place." He paces around Peter to a corridor on the left and stops, his hand resorting to pounding the sword hilt as he searches for the proper words. Finally he sighs and throws up his hands. "I have to say—that is, I want you to know—I haven't given up on Aslan, and that's the only reason I'm not giving up on you."

And then he turns, feet leaving a trail of dull sounds as he stalks away in a decidedly tired fashion.

It hurts, Peter decided. Being told you're absolute rubbish at something and the only reason you've ever been good at it was beyond your control and the only way you'll get good at it again is still beyond your control—it hurts beyond measure.

His ability to triumph or fail is in the paws of his infinitely wild, infinitely good Sovereign.

It hurts like crazy—but it also helps. Oh Aslan, how it helps!

"Ed!" He jumps to his feet and runs down the corridor after his brother. "Oy! Edmund!"

His brother stops—turns—faces him.

He skids to a halt, breathing lightly. He stares, wondering briefly what he was going to say, then reaches out and knocks his brother lightly on the shoulder.

"Find Lucy and have her take care of that lip of yours," he says finally, trying to make his voice sound light.

An odd look crosses his brother's face as he turns back down the tunnel. It's just a hint of a smile—not the bitter, old smile he'd seen earlier, but a hint of mischief and a bit of wry disgust all mixed together—conveying the knowledge that things aren't right yet, but they will be.

It's only a ghost of the old Edmund, but it's enough.

Aslan saved them before. He'll do it again.

"And—Ed?" Peter's voice enters the air before he comprehends it.

Edmund stops and turns again.

He ponders what to say, then settles for something simple. "Thanks. For...for everything."

He can see his brother fighting a full-fledged smile as turns back to go on his way. Two words come floating down the corridor—two words that assure Peter that all will soon be right with the world:

"Shut up."