Disclaimer: C.S Lewis owns all the characters used below, and the setting. I'm just a sad little fan fiction writer who lives in a fantasy world where she thinks she can use said characters and setting.
Lucy knew that Peter and Caspian could get petty, but this was just too much. Everything that went wrong, the prideful and hot-tempered Peter would blame it immediately on the emotionally-driven and responsible Caspian, who always and without fail found a way to throw the blame back in his face, and so on. But as far as scribbles on the wall were concerned, all Lucy knew was that she'd do just about anything to stop them from fighting. Anything except admit it was her. And since that was just about the only thing she could do to stop them fighting, Lucy simply sat in observant silence and watched their respective prides burn and shrivel.
'They're YOUR crayons! Who else has access to your personal supplies?'
'And how do you know it was done by my crayons? Because you did it yourself, that's why!'
'I happen to have artistic abilities. This cave-art could only have been done by your uneducated hand!'
'Uneducated?! How dare you call me uneducated, you prehistoric spoiled brat?!'
'That's rich, coming from a 3000 year old child.'
'I'm not the one who scribbled fauns and centaurs and butterflies all over the castle walls!'
'Neither am I, but that brings me back to the original point. These were done by your crayons.'
'And how do you know they were my crayons, again?'
'What other young man besides you could possibly keep coloured crayons in his room, much less leave them lying all over the floor for the chambermaids to giggle about?'
'I never leave my crayons lying all over the floor!'
I do, Lucy thought guiltily as she watched them bicker. Caspian, who had previously been clutching the back of a chair, white-knuckled, had now advanced, and was challenging Peter with his slightly more masculine frame. Peter, who had originally been on the other side of the table, had also advanced, so that they were both mere feet apart, though shouting at a volume that would suggest they were on opposite sides of a canyon.
'I didn't do it, because I'm not as childish as you.'
'You're the child, not me.'
'You're an over-emotional little prince who thinks he's more important than he really is!'
'And you're a proud, simple-minded , hot-tempered, impatient, incompetent, obsolete old ruin of a King!'
It didn't take long for Susan to turn up and verbally rip them away from each other, calling both of them immature in many different ways and sending them away with her superior shouting abilities. Caspian slunk like a scolded puppy from the room, and Peter stormed out the opposite door. Susan then turned to Lucy, and crossed her arms, toes tapping on the stone floor. Lucy bit her lip and made an apologetic, guilty little face. Susan shook her head and led her little sister away by the hand.
'Stupid, senseless, foolish, idiotic ...' Caspian growled under his breath. He and Peter had thoroughly avoided each other during dinner, under the hawkishly watchful eyes of Susan. Even though they were seated near one another, they did not speak a word to each other. Lucy hadn't looked at them either. Caspian dwelled often on his fights with Peter. He did not think Peter was obsolete, in truth; he admired Peter's confidence as a leader, and his directness in all the things he did, not to mention the undeniable air of royalty and dignity he often carried with him. He himself felt considerably smaller when in Peter's company and that contributed greatly to the heat in their fights. Of course, the animosity between them was fuelled by the intensity of his first impression of Peter, or rather, who he thought Peter was. He had been raised on stories of the Kings and Queens of Olde, and Peter had always been his favourite.
And when he had met Peter, all he had seen was a stubborn, self-absorbed, barely-a-man nearer his own age and mental state. In short, he had felt let down. Disappointed. He was trying to balance an equal measure of respect and disrespect for Peter, and it was proving remarkably difficult.
He found himself beneath the stars after excusing himself from a dinner he had no appetite for, staring up at the shining, burning white pinpoints. He wondered if they were souls. The hearts and minds of all those who had died in Narnia. He wondered at how brightly some burned, and how dull and small others seemed, and soon began to contemplate his own life. Would he appear and dwindle and die in quick succession like the morning star? Would he be dull and small, or a moon?
He heard the approach of footsteps on stone steps, and did not sit up.
Peter saw Caspian and felt suddenly tired; he wanted to retreat if his peace was to be interrupted by the other King's presence, but he knew he would have been noticed by now, and to retreat would give the wrong impression. He wordlessly lay back on the platform, crossing his arms behind his head and drawing up one knee. There was almost a peaceful silence there, as he breathed steadily and heard Caspian breathe. It was so silent. He wondered what Caspian was thinking about. He had made no gesture of recognition, but that could be him just being sulky, Peter supposed.
His vacant mind drifted to a memory of when had first been introduced to Caspian. He had looked and acted like a prince, to the point of not surprising Peter so much with the announcement that he was one. He had grudgingly admitted Caspian's very capable sword hand, and come to respect him to some degree as they worked together to beat back the Usurper Miraz and his warriors and troops. As far as Caspian himself was concerned, Peter was hard-pressed to come up with insults in moments of calm between each storm. Caspian was, in reality, very capable. It was only in moments of great stress that he required any assistance, and even then, he managed quite well on his own. Beyond that, he was honest, and patient. Peter thought of the scene that unfolded before his eyes in which Caspian refused to kill the man who had stolen so much from him. His kingdom, his pride. His father. Peter turned his head, just slightly, to look at Caspian, silhouetted beneath the moon and the shadow of the wall behind them. He saw him in a whole new light now, a warmer one, and a clearer one. He turned his head more, not caring if Caspian thought he was staring. He was, as he thought. His eyes wandered to Caspian's eyelashes, flicking up beneath the sloping cliff descending from his eyebrows. The shadow of the wall behind him covered his tanned skin, making it match the sky above, and Peter could almost see stars reflected in the light of his eyes.
Caspian turned to face Peter, and there was a slight change in his breathing. They observed each other calmly, and Peter could almost feeling Caspian's eyes sweep along his own figure, watching him, not looking for a weapon, but simply for a meaning, or a sign, or another way of understanding.
Caspian could see the black orbs of Peter's eyes in the darkness as they moved along his body, but for the first time, felt neither ashamed nor uncomfortable. Peter was not speaking or commenting or doing anything in particular; just looking at him. Caspian did not feel like he was being studied, though for all he knew, he was. His own eyes traced the outline of Peter's round face, his almond eyes and soft straight hair, his full lips. His neck retained the narrowness of youth but the leanness of approaching manhood, the same with his shoulders. Under the moon, with no-one to impress, he looked more like one of the stableboys or a young scholar, regular in shape, a typical pose, casual and still. Caspian looked away, back to the sky, but knew Peter was still looking at him. He heard and felt Peter shifting closer, and in his peripheral vision, Peter's right leg joined the sky, balanced on his left knee. Peter would glow in the sky, he knew. He would shine more brightly than any star. Peter would decline to hide in the night, only appearing for those wistful watchers below, Caspian realized. Peter would invade the daytime sky and become the sun, illuminating the world, lighting the way for all. He would shine. And lying beside the normal-looking teenage boy under the sky, the boy who seemed so casual with no-one to impress, Caspian felt smaller than he ever had.
He wanted to get up and go to sleep, but not because he was sleepy. He wanted to leave, but not because he didn't want to be around Peter. Peter must have sensed his discomfort, because his leg fell and he sat up. Caspian looked up at him, still feeling small.
'What are you thinking about?' Peter asked. Caspian blinked. 'I'm not sure I know what you mean.'
'It's a pretty simple question.'
Caspian wondered how he could explain without sounding like an idiot. He had not shared his thoughts with someone before, and he wondered at how easily Peter could make him want to use the right words.
'What do you suppose the stars are?'
'It's a pretty simple question,' Caspian said, sitting up and mimicking Peter's tone. He heard a sigh of irritance, and Peter crossed his legs. 'According to my teachers back at school, they're sort of like small suns,' Peter began. 'They are made up of different gases, and they burn.'
'That sounds strange,' Caspian commented.
'I didn't make it up,' Peter said, his tone slightly defensive. Caspian shut his mouth and the stars became less interesting to him.
'Why? What do you think the stars are?'
Caspian suddenly felt foolish, and wished he had just said "i was thinking about dinner". He sucked his lower lip and looked down at his hands in his lap, hoping Peter would sense his unease and let him off the hook, but Peter only nudged Caspian's leg with the tip of his boots. 'What do you think the stars are?'
'It matters not.'
'What were you really thinking about?'
'It matters not!'
Suddenly, Caspian found himself on his back again, after being gently buffeted by Peter. He looked up in surprise as Peter sat on top of him, and tried to struggle free. Peter simply put his hands either side of Caspian's neck and looked down at Caspian's face. His eyes were shining, not quite mischievously so much as in the same way a cat's might before it darts for it prey. His legs were strong, Caspian noted, but his own hands were free. He took a risk and used them to grab Peter's wrists and hurl himself over on top of Peter. They wrestled, but not with intent to hurt. Caspian heard Peter laughing, and found that he himself had joined in. They pushed and rolled each other like playful dogs, each knowing that bruises would be left, but no real damage done. He had to stop the pretend-fight in order to catch his breath; he had laughed far too hard. They sat next to one another and looked out across the kingdom.
'So what do you think stars are?' Peter asked after a moment of silence. Caspian had nearly forgotten he had asked. He scratched behind his ear and, thankful for the darkness that hid his blush, and confessed.
'I was thinking of how perhaps ... the souls of the dead go to the sky. Some shine bright and bold, while some are quiet and small, and barely noticeable. My mind was wandering.'
There was another silence that followed, and Caspian was sure he had sounded a fool. He felt something warm touch his hand, and nearly pulled away in surprise, when he realized it was Peter's hand. The hand was strong, the fingers narrow and the knuckles defined, and the sweat on the palm and slight lack of pressure indicated that Peter was unsure. And, as soon as it had appeared, the hand was gone. Peter did not apologize of say anything after that. But Caspian felt as though a mountain had shook beneath him. It was profound, the touch of a hand, especially one so unsure, so gentle and meek and shy. He sought out the hand in the dark, and took it in his own. They both lay back down, fingers intertwined, staring at the souls above them.