Author: Carla, aka cali-chan.
Genre: Family, romance, crackish fluff.
Disclaimer: I don't own The Chronicles Of Narnia, C.S. Lewis and his representatives do. Please don't tell them I've kidnapped Peter so I can have my wicked way with him...
Warnings: Movieverse, after Prince Caspian.
Summary: We've all seen Peter be overprotective... sometimes the roles are bound to reverse. And good things may be in store for Caspian when he finds himself in the middle of it.
Note: Out-of-character-ness for the WIN, dude! xD Apologize I shall not, for it was all done intentionally, albeit under duress by the muse, who was jonesing for crack-- please direct all flames to her. You may even want to burn her harp with them, too; that'll drive her crazy ;) And yaaaay, for this is the closest thing I've written to Narnia AU. LOL xD What I do apologize for is the crappy ending, but for what it's worth, I wasn't really going for full-on mush to begin with-- I was only going to mention it very lightly, but Caspian & Su staged a coup d'etat. They do that sometimes. Anyway, the plot was going to be pure crack from the beginning, so at this point I'm insanely happy that it even got finished at all. Heh.
Note 2: If you happen to find this similar to a few of the past prompts at the SusanCaspian community at LJ... yeah, it's not a coincidence. I was trying to make this fit with at least one of them, but as I'm sure you noticed, those prompts came and went by a long while ago. I decided it was better to post it as a standalone
Note 3: Oh, and the nickname "Little Lu" was coined by Em. I just nicked it because it's adorable! :3
It was a rare enough sight, to see a frown mar Queen Lucy's features. The girl was usually such a bundle of joy and innocence that those times when she was upset about something were very, very few and far-between. And usually to do with her older brothers teasing her. Now, Caspian hadn't known her for too long, but he knew a distraught Lucy without an amused Edmund or Peter around generally meant a cause for concern.
He'd never have expected to find her in his bedroom, though. Pouting. On his bed.
"Uh, Your Majesty...?" He stood at the doorway, a bit clueless as to how he should proceed.
His voice drew the little girl's attention to his presence. "Oh, Caspian!" She quickly rubbed her hands over her cheeks and nose, wiping away a couple of stray tears. "Golly, I'm so sorry. I know I shouldn't be here, I'll go now," she affirmed as she scrambled to get off the bed, which wasn't a quick move since it was so much bigger than she was.
"That is alright," he hastened to interrupt. Technically he knew it was improper, but she was just a kid and he was more worried about whatever had caused her to be in such a state anyway. "Why are you so upset? Did something happen?"
She didn't seem to hear him, just went on about getting off the bed. "I was just hiding from my siblings. I knew they wouldn't look for me here..."
That alarmed him more. He quickly moved to sit on the edge of the bed, effectively blocking her way. "Queen Lucy," his tone was firm, trying to get her to stop shifting about. "What has happened?"
The girl finally stilled, looking at him in resignation. Then she rearranged her position so that she was sitting beside him, legs off to one side. She heaved a sigh that was almost bigger than her. "Peter's got a girlfriend."
Caspian, who had never had any siblings and as such was regrettably clueless as to these issues, could not for the life of him understand why this was such a catastrophic event. "I... did not know that," he added slowly, trying to make something out of the fact. He'd apparently been too busy lately, or too distracted, if he hadn't noticed something like that.
"That's because she's new," she sniffed, then hurried on before he had time to ask new where, exactly. "And she's horrible. She laughs too loud, and Peter's jokes aren't even that funny. And she doesn't eat-- Pinkpoppy told me so, she only picks at her food. Maybe that's why she's so skinny. And if she's so skinny, then why does she wear her corset so tight? I don't think she can breathe properly that way, that's just silly. She always wears her jewellery, no matter where she goes; I think she even wears it to bed! And she keeps hanging onto Peter all the time, like he'll get lost if she lets go of him, and she drags him off for rides, and walks and such, and it's like he doesn't have time for anyone else anymore." She took a deep breath, seemingly done, but then she added: "And her shoes are ugly."
Poor Caspian was still reeling from his attempt to process so much information in so little time. "A girl... the Lady Hilde?" Now that he thought about it, he'd certainly seen the woman in question a few times around the castle. She'd certainly seemed very... eager in her attempts to catch the High King's attention, and he'd seen King Peter throw her a few glances, but had thought nothing of it-- even the High King was allowed some female companionship if he so desired. He hadn't imagined Queen Lucy, of all the people involved, would find herself affected by such a thing. "So we, uh, do not like her, then?"
The girl thought about it for a few seconds. "It's not that, it's just..." she started, but halfway down the sentence she cut herself off, frowning. "Well, yes, I guess we don't like her." Caspian held back a snicker as the littlest Queen let out a long groan. It was obvious this bothered her very much. "Oh, I'm being bad, aren't I? I should want Pete to be happy," she said, covering her face with her hands.
The newest King patted the distraught girl lightly (and rather awkwardly) on the head. "Do not say that, now, your Majesty..."
Lucy let out a cross between a sniff and a giggle. "You can call me Lucy, you know. You're a King now, we're equals." She rolled her eyes, seemingly amused by his overly polite behaviour. "You have a lot to learn about this family thing, Caspian."
He cleared his throat, a little taken aback by her bluntness. However, his heart warmed over by the fact that she considered him part of her inner circle now; never in a million years would he have imagined that he'd find his place among the Kings and Queens of Old... among the Pevensies, actually, for they were more than just their titles. But now he couldn't imagine not caring about them, and was immensely honoured that they cared about him as well. He'd never had a real family before. "Yes, well... Lucy," he tested the name, still a little unsure, but wanting to help. She nodded at that, satisfied with his first try, and he continued. "I am sure you want him to be happy more than anything, the problem is just that you are... new at this."
"But I'm not!" she exclaimed, as close as he had heard her sound to wailing in all the time he'd known her. Clearly she was deeply troubled about this issue. "He's had other girlfriends, and I just never like them! I'm a horrible sister..."
"The High King has shown interest in women in the past?" That particular bit of information caught Caspian's attention immediately. "Really? How interesting, such a thing was never mentioned in the history books, as far as I remember." He was sure not to mention it to Lucy, but sometimes he couldn't help but think, privately, that the High King's tunnel-vision and extreme fixation on leading Narnia and not much else were very... suspicious... "So, how many times--"
"Yeah, Caspian, would you mind focusing back on me, please?"
Out of anybody else's mouth, the phrase might have come off sounding conceited, but the Queen's expression was so utterly dejected that Caspian knew she wasn't being intentionally rude, just really worried about this topic, and begging for help. Therefore, he hurried to get back on topic. "Yes, of course," he cleared his throat, a bit embarrassed at being called on for gossiping. "So, what is it about these girls that you dislike, exactly?" She opened her mouth and took a big gulp of air in, as if preparing herself for a tirade. Caspian was quick to interrupt. "Besides the fact that they are... horrible, that is."
The girl took her time to think deeply about the question. Caspian had struggle to keep a smile off his face, with her constantly changing expressions. "I don't know, really," she finally said, her tone airy as if she was still grasping for a reason. "I guess it's just that... they don't seem to fit with him. It never seems like they love each other. They just like to... kiss and such."
He couldn't help but chuckle; obviously Lucy's ability to see what others didn't see stretched far beyond Aslan. And if she couldn't see love in their behaviour, then he had no reason to doubt that the High King was, certainly, thinking with his... well, you know what. Idly he wondered just how much detail of the King's past relationships Lucy had been privy to. Peter would definitely owe him one after this. "Well, the kissing and such is... not necessarily a bad thing, Lucy."
She cocked her head at him, curious. "Mum always told me and Su that only men with the most honourable intentions should be allowed to kiss us. Only those who really love us." She frowned. "Kissing is a sign of affection, right? So why would you kiss someone you don't love? It's like you're lying."
Caspian could almost see the wheels turning in her head, and sought to relieve her confusion. "Alright, let me put it this way: Kissing is..." he squirmed a bit, trying to find the right words. How had he been roped into giving Lucy the "facts of life" conversation? King Edmund had better not find out about this, ever. "...It is certainly a wonderful thing, when you love the other person. But the problem is, sometimes you have to... grow into loving someone. And it takes some people a few tries."
"You and Susan fell in love the moment you met, though," she was quick to point out, in a tone that made her sound nothing but perfectly practical.
He blushed lightly. "Ah, that is..." His relationship with the Gentle Queen was enough of a public affair that he really shouldn't feel any awkwardness about it, but hearing it put so bluntly made him falter a bit. He'd never actually thought of it that way, never tried to pinpoint which exact moment he knew he loved her, though he figured Lucy's version of it could very well be true, at least on his part. He could not presume to know if his Queen's feelings were similar to his own, for neither had spoken the words out loud yet. But Lucy, she was certainly tremendously observant for such a young person. "Yes, well... not everybody is so lucky," he admitted, making the girl smile. "And even if love is not quite in the picture yet, it can be nice, regardless. And it can help figure out your feelings, sometimes. It is not a bad thing, as long as the two people respect each other."
She was quietly ruminating his words, putting them into perspective. He was glad he'd managed to put it in such a way that his words didn't confuse her more. "Just kissing, though," he was quick to add in a very pointed tone, taking advantage of the fact that she was paying such rapt attention. She'd asked and he'd answered to the best of his ability, but he wasn't about to let her go off and get any other ideas. "Any boy that tries to get fresh and go past that, you push him away, you hear me?"
Her eyes lit up, hearing one detail she seemed interested to understand better. "Go past that? You mean like--"
Caspian coughed frantically, realizing his slip-up. Oh, Peter and Edmund would have his head for this one... "Um, never mind that. We shall leave that for another day," he quickly stomped on that particular thread of conversation. "So, do you understand now, that it is not wrong for your brother to have a girlfriend?"
She thought about it for a second longer, and then sighed a bit sadly, with a shrug. "Well, at least I'll always have Edmund. He's too mean for any girl to like him..."
"Actually, you'd be surprised," Caspian said under his breath. Sometimes one couldn't help but overhear what other people were saying, and he'd heard many a good comment about the youngest King-- young as he was, he certainly had his fair share of admirers among the town's teenaged female population.
When Lucy turned to glance at him, wondering about what he'd muttered, he turned back to their original topic without a prompt. "Is that what you think? That you will lose your brother?" Her upset visage was enough of an answer. "Oh, Little Lu..." Out of instinct he passed an arm around her shoulders, drawing her to him, trying to comfort her somehow. She buried her face in the folds of his tunic. "Now, you are being silly. Anyone with eyes can see that you are the High King's utter adoration. He would never just forget about you." The only reply he got was a sniff. "He loves you so much, and that is never going to change, I am sure of that. He will always be near you. In fact," he added in a teasing tone, trying to lighten the mood, "In a few years you will be wanting him to leave you alone, I am sure." These words were laced with amusement and a fair bit of annoyance as he recalled all those times him and the Queen Susan had had to scramble to get some time by themselves, for it was a hard task to achieve under the High King's watchful eye.
She giggled, shoulders shaking in light mirth. "I could never," she said, her voice muffled against the fabric of his clothes.
He laughed as well. "We shall see about that," he told her, poking her shoulder with a finger, teasingly. "But remember, Lu... your brother is a smart man. If the Lady Hilde is as bad as you say she is, he will see that, and he will realize that she is not the right woman for him."
She nodded, then pulled away looking relieved, as she wiped one or two stray tears from her cheeks, and then tried in vain to dry the small splotches of wetness on Caspian's tunic with her sleeve. "Thanks, Caspian. I feel better now." She rewarded him with a bright smile and he tightened his hold on her for a second, in return. "See, you are good at this! I knew you'd be a great older brother, Caspian, you're just a little slow."
He chuckled at her enthusiasm. "I shall take that as a compliment," he let her know. He felt his heart fill with warmth; he'd never thought he could comfort a little girl, let alone have one care for him so much that she thought him an honorary older brother. He felt very proud that he did, and that he'd managed to make her feel happy, even if he stumbled a bit at first. Someone as pure as Lucy shouldn't ever be sad-- it almost made it seem like there was something wrong with the world, when that happened.
"Oh, it is!" She assured him with a laugh, as she jumped to get off the bed. "You know, I think I'll go right now and tell Peter that I don't mind anymore that he's with Hilde, even though she's horrible, because I know he's only trying her out for now! Thanks, Caspian!" And with that, with her usual boundless energy, she excitedly started on her way out, in search of her beloved older brother.
Caspian was left a bit gobsmacked by her sudden parting. "Uh, Lucy, you might not want to use those exact--" he tried to add, but the girl was out of the room fast enough that the only sign of her previous presence there was a faint echo of "Oh, hello, Su!" out in the hallway and the tear marks on Caspian's tunic. He cringed a bit, hoping against hope that Lucy wouldn't happen to mention to her oldest brother that it was him who helped her reach such conclusion.
It was then that the girl's last words registered in his mind, and he turned to look at the Gentle Queen, who was leaning against the doorframe, with a soft smile on her face. "My Queen," he sat up from the bed, respectfully. "How long have you been here?" he asked, his tone laced with affection for her, yet a bit worried that she'd think he'd overstepped his bounds in giving advice to her young sister.
"Just since a little bit after you came in," she admitted. Hugging herself lightly, she took a few steps into the room. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have eavesdropped," she added, a little embarrassed. She needn't, though, as Caspian could never be bothered by her presence, no matter the reason... especially when she was looking as beautiful as she did today, pretty blush on her freckled cheeks. "But I couldn't help myself, as I had many of the same doubts Lucy did."
He moved closer to her as well, sidestepping the bed. "You were afraid to lose your brother, as well?" he asked, somewhat surprised because it did not sound much like Susan to think that way. She was too level-headed for such jealousy.
She shook her head, thinking. "No, I don't fear that. I will be happy if he finds someone to love, and who loves him unconditionally," she added, smiling at Caspian as he took one of her hands in his. His eyes shined warmly as he gazed at her, something she always revelled in. "No, I would say it's more that I am... disappointed in his current choice of a companion," she said, a frown marking her features.
In this moment Caspian could clearly see the similarities between the Queen and her younger sister. "I take it you are not too fond of the Lady Hilde, either," he stated, more than asked.
She cringed very delicately, like she was ashamed of how negative her true opinion about their guest was sure to be. That was Susan, polite until the very end. "Well, I'm sure she's a perfectly nice person," she started, and he could see her trying to find the most politically correct words to use. "But... she's not the brightest candle in the fixture, if you know what I mean." She bit her lip, apparently realizing that there was no polite way to put this. "It's clearly not her mind my brother's interested in."
Caspian had to laugh at that. Poor High King of Narnia, how to regain his sisters' confidence in his intelligence, if they doubted him because he was male? "Well, I cannot say I blame him. A woman who is both smart and beautiful, inside and out, is quite a rare treasure. Only those of us who are lucky enough have found it," he said, focusing on her hand as he caressed it, looking for all the world like there was no implication in his words.
She caught the sappy compliment, though, and couldn't help but chuckle at it. "Charmer," she called him on it, with her smile teasing. He could hold his innocent expression no longer, and instead broke into a sheepish grin. "You know," she started, her gaze growing thoughtful, "I was ready to come in and rant for a long while about Hilde, perhaps even pace around the room a bit." She seemed a little bit chagrined to admit this, but soldiered on. "But then I heard you speaking with Lucy, and..." She turned her hand around in his, so their fingers could entwine. "How is it that you always manage to say exactly the right thing to make me feel better?"
He tightened his hold on her hand, and raised it up to his lips, to kiss it. "I do not know, my Queen, but I am glad I could help you, even if I was unaware I was doing so." He looked deep into her eyes, his dark orbs reflecting humble devotion.
She felt a warmth envelop her, almost as if he had taken her into his arms, yet he hadn't. She stepped closer to him with a sigh, instinctively reaching for that source of comfort. "Thank you for helping Lucy, as well," she whispered, for they were close enough that a whisper sufficed, and laid her head against his shoulder.
He finally moved to hold her by her waist, as she had wanted, and she leaned into him, comfortably. "It was all I could do. I do not like seeing her sad." She could feel the rumbling of his breath in his chest as he spoke the words.
"It was very big brotherly of you," she told him, and he could hear her smile in her voice. "I should have expected it, too. It's not the first time this has happened. Lucy's so close to Peter, and she depends so much on him, it's not strange that she'll be a little jealous if she feels she'll be... displaced," she finished, contemplative. Caspian opened his mouth, ready to use that in to enquire about the High King's previous paramours (he normally was not one for gossip, but this time he was genuinely intrigued, he had to admit), but Susan kept on, not realizing he wanted to say something. "Well, now thanks to you, I think we can be fairly sure that there won't be anymore... accidents with goblets filled with juice," she concluded, with a bit of a derisive snort that may have been hiding amusement.
It took him a couple of seconds to get her meaning, and when he did, he was surprised. "That was Lucy?"
This time Susan did laugh outright. "She did say Hilde's shoes are ugly," was all she offered as an explanation, as caught up in her mirth as she was. Lifting her head off his shoulder, she regarded him with her eyebrows raised. "You really are clueless about these things, aren't you?" she said, as she put her arms one by one around his neck.
"Your sister seems to think I'm not entirely hopeless," he reminded her, as her laughter dwindled to a light giggle. He leaned his forehead against hers and she closed her eyes. "Oh, and speaking of which, she mentioned something very interesting... about how you should only kiss men with the most noble intentions?"
She didn't exactly nod, more like caressed his nose with her own, but the airy "mm-hmm" that resounded from her was good enough for him. Still, she leaned back, just a little, so she could look at him as he spoke. "Yes, Mother was very adamant about that." Her smile was nothing if not sly, and he didn't think he'd seen her smile that way before, but he liked it. "And it was very good advice. It has yet to fail me," she added, a bit of a hook to him, but she needn't have, for he was certainly very interested in what she had to say, given the position they were in.
"And what did she say, exactly?" he muttered against her temple.
"She said..." she started, looking at some point past him, like she was seeing in her mind a scene previously forgotten. "...she told us that the only man deserving of our kiss, has to be someone very special. A man who would protect us from any danger without hesitating, and even when he couldn't, he would make us feel safe, no matter what the situation. Someone who can bring tumultuous passion or anger out of us, yet make us feel perfectly calm and relaxed with a simple touch. Someone who will always make us laugh, and who would rather die than make us cry..." Her tone lowered, almost like the memory was too precious to be disturbed with any sound. She was playing with his hair, her hands lightly caressing his neck; it was like her words were coming from far away. "Someone who will treat us like a star when we want him to, and like an equal when we need him to. He doesn't have to be the man we will marry; rather, he must be the man without whom we cannot imagine living. And above all... he must be a man that loves us more than anything..."
She turned her gaze on him once more, the sincerity in her shining blue irises smouldering as he got lost in them. He could hardly hear her words under the pounding beat of his heart, but he knew what she was saying, simply from the way she was looking at him. "...And whom we love with all our hearts."
Her words hit him hard, as they were meant to, and he felt anything he could say was wholly inadequate. She would only kiss a man that she loved. Then, that meant...
She must have seen the question in his eyes, or maybe it was the immense hope that surged within him at that moment, but whatever it was she smiled sweetly at him, and nodded her head almost imperceptibly. Just as he was sure he had forgotten how to breathe, she stood on her tiptoes and pressed her lips to his own. He tugged her closer to him and fervently kissed her back. Oh yes, kissing someone you loved, and who loved you back, was certainly quite an experience...