AN: Just a little Edmund/Caspian piece I worked up. I hope it is enjoyed.
Edmund stormed into his lavishly furnished chambers and slammed the door behind him. He looked around him and smirked at the opulence. In his day – the Golden Age of Narnia, they called it now – his chambers would never have been furnished with cloth of gold curtains or intricately beaded bed clothes that scratched something awful or the largest mirror he had ever seen in this world. Telmarines. Bloody ridiculous Telmarines. Everything was so much simpler on their last trip to Narnia.
Edmund's eyes scanned the room landing on the bottle of red wine that a servant had left on the end table. He walked over, poured himself a glass and downed it in three gulps. He heard the door open behind him, but didn't turn. He poured himself another glass of wine.
"Do you want to tell me why you're angry with me?" came Caspian's voice from behind him. Not even the customary note of deference for kingship that he usually heard in the boy's tone. Well, Edmund thought, the knowledge that he was now a king himself had likely eroded that. And the familiarity, the intimacy that they shared eroded it even further.
"Not particularly," Edmund answered Caspian's question and sipped his wine.
Caspian kept talking. "I give you warm welcome at a ceremony. I honor and salute you. And I am repaid with sulkiness?"
Edmund turned and faced him for the first time. "Sulkiness? Caspian, you kissed me. Right in the open for everyone to see – with hundreds of people looking on."
Caspian came and put his arms around Edmund's waist. "I am not ashamed of you. But if you are ashamed of me, then there is no reason for them to see anything in the kiss other than friendship."
Edmund sighed. How could he explain to this Telmarine, whose people Edmund had observed greeting one another with a firm kiss on the mouth, how strange the custom was to him? How disastrous it would be back in England, for two men to show such an affection.
"There was more in the kiss than friendship. And people knew it." Anyone could tell that from the shocked silence that had greeted the action. It had only lasted a moment before it was replaced by uneasy twittering, but Edmund heard it just the same.
Caspian put his chin on Edmund shoulder. "And so what if they did? Half the lords in Narnia keep a boy."
Edmund shrugged off Caspian's embrace, angry. Disgusting Telmarine tradition that Caspian was talking about. Some of those boys were too young to be so kept. Surely, he and Caspian weren't like that. They weren't so far apart in age.
"I'm not your boy," he said. "I'm your king."
"Oh, really?" Caspian's face flushed red and Edmund could tell that the other boy was wounded. And angry. Edmund's lived in a state of near constant annoyance and would swat at other people like flies. His friends and family had grown used to it. Caspian's anger was an altogether more serious thing. His eyes were deadly when he was in a rage.
"I only meant --" Edmund began, trying to alleviate some of the damage.
Caspian moved closer. "Perhaps you do not want my kisses, great king?" he asked, but his eyes said otherwise. Edmund was drawn closer, almost against his own will. Caspian had an intense quality about him that could make one forget what one was about. Edmund had expected that when their lips met this time, that they would crush together. Not so. Caspian's kiss was firm and delicious. The most perfect that Edmund had ever had. For a moment, he wished that they could kiss like this, before everyone. But this was, of course, a ridiculous idea. A fancy.
--- -- ---
Edmund had seen how they were together, of course. The stolen glances, the conversations that were just a little too shy, the way their hands seemed to always want to touch one another, but would immediately be drawn back at any meeting. Somehow, he had managed to convince himself that it was nothing or that it was one-sided. Which was ridiculous. Susan had never fancied a man in her life who didn't fancy her back.
Once, Caspian had dared to tell Edmund that he looked like her. Edmund had snapped at him so voraciously that it had almost caused a fight. He had heard it before. Men said it to him, as if it were a compliment, as if he wanted to be pretty. Part of Edmund knew that it must be at least a little bit true – it wasn't just lovers who commented, but ancient great-aunts looking for the Pevensie jaw line and friends brought home during the holidays ("Oh, this must be your sister, obviously"). But it always irritated him.
He watched Susan and Caspian on that last day, exchanging sheepish smiles and flirtatious glances. They seemed about to part when Susan turned and kissed Caspian firmly on the mouth. There were cheers that pierced Edmund's heart even more sharply than the silence that had met him when Caspian kissed him. Somehow he managed to stand still and not do anything foolish. He just looked on in distaste, made some sarcastic comment to Lucy and pretended not to care.
Secretly, he wondered if Caspian thought he and Susan interchangeable. And if he did think them interchangeable, then why? Edmund didn't think them so very similar in temperament. He knew that Lucy envied Susan her beauty, but he sometimes thought that she didn't have so very much to be envious of. Lucy had fewer suitors, but they always liked Lucy for Lucy. With Susan, they always started by liking a pretty face. Is that what Caspian liked in him? A pretty face? And not even as pretty as Susan's.
Caspian never looked Edmund in the eye as they finished saying their goodbyes. Edmund somehow managed to act halfway civil to those around him.
When they were back in England, sitting on the train – so mundane, so commonplace – Peter said; "Well, I hope that Caspian is able to handle everything on his own. I suppose that Ed and Lucy will be able to find out, the next time they go to Narnia."
"I hope that Caspian is dead before we get back," Edmund said vindictively. There was silence and Edmund realized that they were all looking at him in shock. He had spoken, barely realizing what he was saying.
"That's an awful thing to say, Edmund!" Lucy chastised him.
"It really was," Peter said, giving him a funny look. "Even for you."
Edmund bit his lip and didn't answer. He did not truly wish Caspian dead. Quite the opposite. But when he remembered the cheers of the crowd, the smile on his sister's face, Caspian flushed with youthful enthusiasm, he could almost wish it. Edmund would never be able to give him that – an open proclamation of love. That was what hurt most of all.