The much-awaited Peter/Edmund comfort chapter! Yaaay! :D Enjoy :)
DISCLAIMER: I do not oven Narnia, the Pevensie children, or anything affiliated with them. C. S. Lewis does :) The plot is mine!
In 2 smooth strides, Peter crossed the distance between him and Edmund. He bent down and gathered the shaking boy into his arms before going to the bed and sitting, with Edmund in his lap.
Susan caught Peter's eye and motioned to the door, asking if he wanted her to leave. When he nodded, she left, shutting the door behind her.
Peter turned his attention to his brother. Edmund was crying so hard, Peter was afraid he would make himself sick. "Shhh, Ed," he whispered. "It's alright. It's alright." He slipped his hand underneath Edmund's shirt and rubbed his back, feeling Edmund tremble under his touch. His face was hidden in the crook of Peter's neck, which was rapidly dampening as he cried...and cried...and cried. "Edmund, shhh," Peter tried again, "you're okay." But nothing would quiet him. Edmund sat up and began to cough and gasp for breath. "Ed, you've got to calm down. You're going to be sick," Peter spoke calmly. Edmund glanced up. He saw Peter talking to him and he felt Peter's hand on his face, wiping away tears, but everything was foggy and unclear, like he was looking through a raindrop. He tried to breathe slower and steadier, and soon he had calmed to quiet sobs.
"Shhh," his brother hushed him. "Just calm down." Peter tightened his grip around Edmund. "Relax," he instructed gently, "I've got you." Edmund allowed himself to go limp, dropping his head to rest on Peter's shoulder again.
The two of them sat there for quite a while, neither one saying anything. Peter continued to rub a pattern into his brother's back, occasionally reaching up to brush away a stray tear with his sleeve, occasionally pressing a kiss to the tousled head of hair. Edmund calmed and quieted, occasionally taking in irregular, hitched breaths as he tried to steady himself. When Peter thought Edmund was ready, he spoke.
"Edmund," he began. He felt his little brother tense. "Edmund...I love you." And Edmund relaxed again. Peter felt him sigh, then pull in his breath as he tried to keep himself together. "Okay?" Edmund nodded. "Do you believe me?"
"Uh...yeah, of course...I mean, I guess-"
"Edmund." Peter grasped his little brother's shoulders and sat him up so he could look into his face. "Tell me how much I love you."
"A...a lot?" Peter nodded, motioning for him to continue. "A...lot..." Again, Peter nodded. "I don't really know what else to say." Peter sighed and leaned his head down to look directly into Edmund's eyes.
"Then I will tell you what else." He put his hand on Edmund's arm and rubbed his thumb back and forth across it.
"I love you more then this world we live in. I love you more then any of our subjects. I love you more then my own life. I love you more then every drop of water in that ocean," he pointed outside, "and every grain of sand on that beach. You are extremely, extremely precious to me." Edmund gave a small, disbelieving smirk. "Really. I mean that. I've never lied to you. I love you very much. So much that I am willing to discipline you when you need it." Edmund rolled his eyes. "Ed."
"Sorry, I just...I knew that was coming." It was Peter's turn to smirk.
"You know me well." Then he became serious again. "Really, though. I know the way that I've been treating you these past 2 days has been really confusing for you. If I have hurt you, Edmund, I apologise. Please forgive me."
"I forgive you," Edmund said huskily.
"Thank you." Peter continued. "I just...yesterday was awful. I had the same feeling in my stomach that I did that day the Witch stabbed you-" He stopped. Edmund glanced at his brother's face and quickly looked away when he saw how dark it was. Peter's eyes were shooting daggers at the wall, and Edmund suddenly felt very cold.
"P...Peter?..." And just as suddenly as the darkness had encased Peter's face, suddenly it was gone.
"Peter? I'm right here. I didn't die. And she can't hurt me again."
"I...I know, Edmund. I know. But...but my point is that you ended up there, lying on the ground, because you didn't do as I told you to." Edmund withdrew at that.
"We wouldn't be here right now! You didn't know what you were saying! She TOOK me! Of course I was going to try to-"
"Edmund, Edmund, peace," Peter placed his hand back on his brother's arm, "peace. I'm not angry at you. Not attacking you, not cornering you. Please, let's just...talk."
"Well, talk then." Edmund was scowling.
"Ed." Peter's voice held authority. "Please stop." The scowl disappeared, and the look on Edmund's face was unreadable as he sank against Peter's chest one more time. Peter wrapped both arms around his brother and continued. "Whether or not my brash decision was the right one at the time, you still did not listen, and you ended up gasping on the ground, near dead. And last night, I thought I had lost you again. And that is why, I suppose, I've been so hard on you. If I ever lose you, Edmund..." He trailed off and pulled his brother closer. "I would be crushed." Edmund drew in his breath, held it for a second, and then promptly burst into tears.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry," he threw his arms around Peter's neck and cried softly into his shoulder. "'M sorry for not listening to you...and...and 'm sorry for wo...worrying you yesterday...and hurting Lu...Lucy, and diso...obeying Su-sun...I'm sorry, Peter...I won't do it again..." Peter rubbed his back and let him cry and listened as he sobbed out his apologies, hushing him and telling him over and over that he was loved and forgiven and safe. Peter began to rock Edmund back and forth in an effort to sooth him.
It must have worked, because Edmund quickly quieted. He rested his head on Peter's shoulder heavily and yawned. "How much sleep did you get last night?" Peter inquired, gently amused.
"Not...not enough...'m awful tired..." Peter laughed quietly.
"Ah, Edmund." He shook his head. He continued to rock him until Edmund's breathing was deep and steady, and he was completely limp against him. "Ed?" He asked, very softly.
When there was no reply, Peter put his hand under his brother's head and lay him down, tugging the sheets out from underneath him and covering him up. Peter stood and bent to kiss Edmund's forehead.
"Love you, brother mine."
And that concludes our little story x) that was so much fun to write :) Review! And tell me if you have any story requests at all! xo