I realize now that I'm re-writing this, that this story is really really fluffy. I normally don't do fluffy, but I guess I was just craving some nice clean fluffiness. So I apologize if its sickly sweet or something. Lemme know if I need to lay off the fluff. Please enjoy this chapter! The next one will be out in a couple of days.
I don't own anything except Aria and I'm not making money off her.
I was anxious beyond belief. It was mid morning by the time the How came into view and as soon as I saw it I wanted to turn and run. I kept telling myself that we weren't that far from the castle to ease my worries of leaving Aria, but the sight of the How solidified my fear. We were a long ways away from the castle and I wasn't sure when I could slip away unnoticed. Especially with the professor with us. He would do all he could to keep me from going, so he should be the one I watch out for the most when I make my escape.
I had two emotions in me at that time and they took up so much room that nothing else could stay. My first emotion was anger. I was mad at Peter for continuing with the plan when it had so obviously failed. We lost good men tonight, because of him and I was having a hard time laying the blame on anyone else. Yes maybe I was partly the reason the mission had failed, but I wasn't the one who refused to listen to reason and go ahead with a futile attack.
Guilt was my second and more prevalent emotion. I was in a way feeling guilty for causing the mission to fail, but I could not get Aria's scared face out of my head. When I saw my uncle with is hands yanking mercilessly at her hair and roughly forcing her to look at the carnage below her, I knew that she would not have been in this situation had I not left her. It was all my fault that Aria was locked away in that castle right now. It was all my fault that Aria, the woman I...love, could be being tortured for information right now. It was eating me alive from the inside out and I didn't know how much longer I could take this waiting.
I knew I had more than friendly feelings toward Aria and after our kiss I was positive that the feeling went far beyond the realms of just "like." I worried that Aria took that kiss as an act of desperation. Something someone might just do if they thought death could come knocking soon. I was going to tell her after the mission that it had meant so much more to me and now I couldn't. How appropriate that I recognize the feeling as love, now that I cannot tell her. Now that she could be in the most pain she's ever experienced.
I don't know whether it was the realization that I love her or the guilt for leaving her that had this affect on me, but I suddenly felt as if something was crushing my chest and I had to slow down to catch my breath.
We were through the ruins in the field when Lucy came running from the How and she stopped as she saw the troops. We were a poor sight as we slumped and limped our way to the How.
I didn't say anything, just waited for Peter's answer, but I did not expect what came from his mouth.
"Ask him." He spat at me. Wait, how was this my fault? I didn't do anything wrong here.
"Me?" I questioned, "You could've called it off. There was time."
I stopped walking as I talked and we both ignored Susan's attempt to calm the situation. It had been tense before, but now it was so much worse. I could feel my blood start to boil and I would not back down from this.
"No, there wasn't, thanks to you." I was not taking the blame for this. I was in no mood to fight. "If you kept to the plan, our soldiers might still be alive and Aria wouldn't have been captured."
I couldn't believe this. As if I wasn't already beating myself up about this whole situation he has to pull that. It was eating me alive that it was my fault Aria was captured, but he just made the pain I felt ten times worse by voicing the reasons for my guilt and laying my mistake out for everyone to see.
"If you'd stayed here like I suggested, the soldiers definitely would be alive and Aria would be fine!" I yelled all this as I felt my control slipping. My blood was bubbling with my rage and I was starting to see red.
"You called us, remember?"
"My first mistake."
"No. Your first mistake was thinking you could lead these people." And with that he turned and started to walk away and I was tempted to let him go so this fight could be over with, but I couldn't stop myself as I yelled at him.
"I am not the one who abandoned Narnia."
"You invaded Narnia. You have no more right to lead it than Miraz does." He was getting in my face now and this is when I knew we should stop. Yelling at each other was one thing, but I did not want to get into a fight. I pushed past him with all intentions to go find an empty room and cool down, until Peter started yelling something at my retreating form.
"You, him, your father...Narnia's better off without the lot of you." I couldn't control myself. My vision went red as he mentioned my father and I drew my sword. Peter drew his also, but I was, again, not going to back down, but Edmund's shout stopped us. I tore my eyes away from Peter to see Glenstorm holding the limp form of Trumpkin. They laid him on the ground and we lowered our swords, our fight forgotten, as Lucy ran to the group.
I quickly turned and stormed off as Lucy poured a drop that that potion she has into Trumpkin's mouth. I had to go cool off and think of my plan for slipping off.
It was mid morning by the time we came upon the How. The cold air kept me from falling asleep on the journey and the griffin was slightly agitated at me, because I kept asking if he was alright.
"Ahh...finally. Now you can get some rest, Swiftwing."
"I'm fine. You worry about yourself, Aria, not me."
"But you've been doing all the work. I just sat here."
Other than tired I was fine. The cold air on my face helped keep the swelling down on my cheek, but it was still a deep purple and the cut on my neck stung. Plus I ached all over, but I would be alright. I could handle some sore muscles. I was just really really tired. A centaur saw us coming down to land and sent a messenger inside, to get Caspian hopefully.
I felt my exhaustion level rising as Swiftwing touched down and I slid off his back. I reached up and patted his beak.
"Thank you my friend." He just smiled at me.
As soon as I heard my name I knew it wasn't Caspian calling. I turned and it was Peter and Trumpkin. They both just stared at me for a moment, probably at how horrible I looked. They met me halfway as I began to make my way towards them and Trumpkin pulled me down for a hug. He seemed to recognize that I did not want to talk. All I wanted to do was see Caspian and go to sleep.
When I stood back up Peter lay a hand on my shoulder as he spoke. "I'm glad you're alright."
I just nodded before I started making my way into the How.
People were doing that thing again, where they would stop what they were doing just stare at me. Maybe they didn't expect me to come back or something. I was startled by Edmund running up to me and Peter.
"There is trouble in the table room. It involves Caspian. Come quick." He said all this between breaths, but Peter and Trumpkin were already running to the table room. I quickly followed and Lucy joined me as we ran.
"Stop!" I heard Peter yell from down the hall and when I reached the room I froze while the others ran straight into the mayhem. A werewolf, a hag, and Nikabrik tried to stop my friends from getting to the other side of the room. Which is what held my attention. Between the two large columns was a wall of ice with the image of a woman, who I immediately recognized as the White Witch. I realized that it wasn't just an image as she reached her hand from her icy prison and held it out to Caspian. He stood there with his hand bleeding freely as he held it up to her and my blood ran cold at the sight.
This couldn't be right. Caspian would never willingly raise the White Witch.
I bolted into the room, ignoring the fighting going on around me as I ran to Caspian's side. He didn't look at me or even move so I turned my attention to the witch. She stopped her movements at the sight of me, but she quickly turned her surprised stare to a sickly sweet smile and I felt the tingle of magic wash over me. My body wanted to calm as my heart tried to slow down and I was almost lost in her eyes, but as quickly as I felt all this I threw it back at her with a loud growl that I didn't even know I could make. I sounded like some kind of animal, but it did the trick because she stood back up straight and Caspian broke from his stupor.
"I see you're not a myth after all, little lioness." She smirked when she saw my confused face, taking pleasure in knowing something I did not. "I didn't believe it when I heard what Aslan did, but here you are."
"What are you talking about?"
"Get away from them!" I didn't get my answers as Peter slammed into us, sending us barreling to the ground.
Caspian was coming out of his stupor slowly, but he was clinging to me so I couldn't move and I was forced to watch in horror as Peter fell under the witch's spell.
"No! Peter don't listen to her!"
Time went agonizingly slow as I watched Peter's control slip and he lowered his sword, but just then a sword went through her stomach and the ice shattered all over the room. We all stared up at Edmund who had his sword held high.
"I know. You had it sorted." What he was talking about I didn't know, but I wasn't asking. I was just happy it was over. I was left with a cloud of confusion and an adrenaline high that I was having a hard time coming down from. What was she talking about? Why did she call me lioness? Was it because of the growl that emitted from me when she tried to work her magic on me? There was so many questions that I knew were going to be left unanswered and it was frustrating me.
"Aria?" I felt Caspian's arms tighten around me as he pulled me into a crushing hug. I was vaguely aware that we were still on the ground and everyone else in the room was thankfully beginning to filter out. I wound my arms around his neck and my hands into his hair as I hid my face in the crook of his neck. Thank Aslan I was with him again. I never felt so safe in my life than when I was with him.
His hands were on my back and waist before he moved them up to tangle in my hair. I pulled back to look at him and his face was lit up with what I hoped was joy, but I also saw other emotions. Guilt and concern being the most powerful. I slowly pulled from his embrace and stood helping him up also. His hand held mine as we stood close and he examined me. His eyes flitted to my bruise and the slash on my neck before returning to my eyes.
"Are you okay? I was so worried about you."
"Yes. Other than the obvious injuries I'm fine." I smiled up at him. It was probably a large, silly smile, but I couldn't help it. I was so glad to be back with him.
"I was coming back for you. I promise. I wasn't going to leave you there."
"No need. Your Aunt helped me escape. She isn't happy with your Uncle it seems."
He didn't act like he heard me for he was looking at the cut on my neck. I stiffened as he leaned down and place a light kiss on the cut. I know I would have enjoyed it if the slash wasn't there. Then he wouldn't have to be as gentle as he was being now. He leaned back and did the same to the bruise on my face. My eyes were closed throughout this whole ordeal, trying to keep control of myself and relishing in the feel of his lips on my skin.
"There." He said when he was done. "Better?"
I had definitely forgotten about the dull pain coming from the bruise and the sharp stinging from the cut, but I didn't want him to stop. My breathing got heavier as I spoke my next words.
"I think I busted my lip." I was trying very hard not to smile and hoping very much that he would understand what I meant. He must have, because he smiled and pulled me into a lip crushing kiss. Aslan, I love him.
Well lemme know what you think!