Edmund never felt quite at peace. Whenever he was in England, he yearned for Narnia, but whenever he was in Narnia he missed home. When they had gone to Narnia the first time, he had stayed there until his late twenties. He always had dreams about home, he always worried about how much time was passing, he worried for his parents, and he missed the things that only England had, like radios and cinemas. But, they would probably be blown to bits by the time Edmund got home. Whenever he was in England, however, he got mad because everyone treated him like everybody else, and not like the king he was. The only place in Narnia that really seemed like his home was Cair Paravel.
Caspian had proposed to rebuild it, or another castle there, but he had not yet taken action. It was still in ruins, but it was beautiful. Over the years, Cair Paravel had gone from a peninsula to an island, so it took Edmund a while to get there. Everything seemed to be at peace; the plants, the ruins, the ocean-everything.
As he sat in what used to be the main hall, overlooking the beach. The white sand glowed, and the ocean licked the sand delicately, making a gentle waving sound. As he looked around, he could see the ghosts of his past. The castle when it was in its prime, when they were being crowned, when he had tried to teach Lucy how to dance for a ball she was having honoring her eighteenth birthday, when Peter tripped and fell flat on his face, there were so many memories. He would give anything to be in that place again.
He would give anything to be out with Caspian. He would give anything to know if last night had meant anything to him, or if it was just some experimental experience that Caspian would shrug off and never think about again. He wished he could tell Caspian how much he loved him, without rejection.
When he felt a drop of something cold on his pant leg, he scolded himself, thinking that he was crying, which to him was incredibly un-masculine. However when he felt another drop on his head, he knew that it was rain. The castle was at least an hour and a half walk, he stupidly didn't bring a horse, but it was to have total isolation from people. Before it got any worse Edmund got up and started off to the castle.
Lucy was very artistic when put into the proper mood. She could paint portraits without having the persons in front of her, she could always paint from memory, she could even put a paintbrush in her hand and paint a masterpiece with her eyes closed. Today, she was painting a picture of Edmund, Caspian, and Eustace. She would have put Susan and Peter in it, but it hurt her too much, and she didn't have any more room. As she finished up her painting, she looked it over and smiled, happy that there were no smudges or blank places. When she looked at Caspian and Edmund, who were painted next to each other, it looked different; in a good way. She was painting this from memory, because this was right after she had found her camera. She had planned to bring it to school with her, but that was when they were swept away to Narnia the second time. Caspian had saved it, like Edmund's torch, and gave it to Lucy. She sat them altogether to see if it still worked. Caspian's arm was draped over Edmund's shoulder, almost as if to choke him, and Eustace's face was sour and turned away. He didn't like pictures.
She remembered that in the second photograph, that Caspian and Edmund were looking at each other. There was still a faint smile on both of their faces, but there was a look of astonishment now. As if they had just seen beauty for the first time. As she had just finished her halfway mark on that second picture, she saw a roll of green, brown, and blue paint roll down between Caspian and Edmund's face. Then, another spoiled Eustace's sour character. Fat rain was starting to fall down, and Lucy tried desperately to rescue her two paintings.
"Caspian!" She said with a panicked tone
"What's wrong Lucy?" He asked, putting down a stack of parchment
"Have you seen Edmund since this morning?"
"It's raining, and he said he was going to Cair Paravel. Caspian, he'll catch his death if he walks back!" Lucy put her silky brown hair back into a ponytail in preparation. If she knew Caspian, he was going to send out a search party on horses.
"Lucy, go and get Harpan and the guards! Tell them to get the horses and that I will be down shortly!" he ordered. Lucy nodded and then rushed to get Harpan.
When Caspian arrived, he had changed his clothes accordingly. If there was one king who might catch pneumonia, they didn't need another one. Lucy mounted her horse, Ezra, who was jet black with a brown diamond right above his muzzle.
"Lucy, you must stay here." Caspian said, kicking his horse into gear
"But Caspian-" she protested
"Lucy," Caspian turned to leave again, but Lucy wouldn't give up
"Caspian he's my brother!"
"Lucy! Stay here!" he ordered.
Lucy sank down and got off of her horse in defeat. But, then she had a thought: Caspian doesn't know the way to Cair Paravel from here! Naturally, Lucy had to assist Caspian. She waited for about ten moments, and then got back onto her horse and followed after Caspian.
After a while, they had gotten a little over the halfway mark to Cair Paravel. Caspian thought it be a good idea to start calling out for Edmund. If he was still on foot, he would have been around the area they were searching now. How did I not think of that? Lucy thought
"Edmund!" She yelled "Ed!"
Caspian's ears perked up at the yells. He stopped his horse's trotting, and he rested for a couple moments. Soon enough, Lucy came charging in. Caspian was fuming, angry that Lucy did not obey his orders.
"Lucy!" He followed after her
"Why, Caspian! Didn't see you there!" Lucy lied
"He's my brother Caspian! You can't just expect me to lay around why my brother is in peril now can you? I respect your orders, but I am also his sister, and family orders come first!" Lucy pleaded
"You've spoken like a true queen." Caspian smiled
"Why thank you you're highness!" Lucy beamed. Caspian cocked an eyebrow, and so Lucy moved on "What I don't understand is why we haven't found Edmund yet. If he was walking, he would have already gotten this far."
"Is it possible for him to have taken shelter?" Caspian suggested
"There is a cave on the island, and there are some on the land surrounding it. You go check the island, and I'll go and check the milieu."
Caspian nodded, and then kicked his horse into a higher gear. Sand flew from beneath the horses' hooves, and the waves on the beach were getting violet. Water sprayed Caspian from the sky and from the shore. getting to the island was going to be a challenge. There were no boats, but if Caspian rode his horse through the channel they would be submerged. "Stay," he ordered his horse. there was only one way to get onto the island now, and that was swimming.
As Caspian swam through the water, it felt like a thousand knives were stabbing him. The water was unbearably freezing, and on top of that the rain was pouring down on hip, painfully so. It felt as if something was pulling him down, trying to make him stop. After trekking through the water, Caspian finally reached land. A couple of times he had gone under the water in all of the commotion, so he had to couch up some water. After he expelled all the water he could from his lungs, he started to run around Cair Paravel, yelling out for Edmund.
He had actually never been to Cair Paravel before. He had heard of it, but many Narnian's didn't go there after the big battle, not only in fear of Telmarenes, but out of respect for the Queens and Kings of Old, who went missing. Even in ruins, it looked powerful and beautiful. An overgrown orchard had started to hug the remaining walls, plants decided to live within the parts of the old castle that were barely there.
Some time later, he saw a big cubed-shaped structure that was still standing in the middle of the ruins. It was made out of stone, but a block had been pushed away to reveal an old wooden door. He pushed it open tentatively, it looked like it would break with one touch. The inside looked like a shrine. There were four statues, two boys, two girls. Large oak chests lay at the feet of them, encrusted in gold and barred in iron. He rushed down the steps and through an iron gate to investigate, but found Edmund shivering in front of a statue. That statue and chest were his. The statue was Edmund before he left Narnia the first time. He stood proudly, smiling, while as the Edmund that was here was sitting in a fetal position.
"Edmund!" Caspian rushed over to the boy. He quickly wrapped his arms around Edmund, trying to get him warm. He had brought a bag with a blanket in it, but the blanket must have been soaked through while he swam. "What were you doing?"
"I t-t-tried to s-s-swim th-through the ch-channel, but it was too c-c-c-cold!" His teeth chattered and his eyelids were heavy and his lips were purple, almost blue.
"I can see that, but what I meant was what you were doing here?
"I c-c-c-come here to th-think somet-t-times." Edmund replied
"About?" Caspian asked, suddenly very interested
"You." There was a long pause "Us..."
"What about us, Ed?"
"L-l-last night? D-d-did it m-mean anything to y-you?"
"Oh Edmund! It meant everything to me!" Caspian turned his head to kiss Edmund, but Edmund turned away
"Then why did you ignore me all this morning? Why were you so cross?"
"What do you think would happen if someone found out about us? Never in my whole life have I ever seen a relationship like ours. Everything I've read, seen, heard. I doubt that it's any different on your planet?"
"I g-g-guess so."
"I am a king, and I don't want to know what would happen to me if someone found out about us. Do you realize that my leadership is in jeopardy?"
"S-s-o now I'm n-not a king? First it was P-peter, and now it's y-you!"
"What?" Caspian was confused
"Everyone underestimates me. Just because I'm not the oldest, or the strongest, or the smartest," he started to dig through the chest, his teeth no longer chattering "They think that my position as king isn't worthy." He suddenly whipped out a sword with a whoosh "But they are wrong!"
"Edmund!" Caspian stood up and backed away "Put your sword down!" He reached to his side for his sword anyway "I have never questioned your position as king! Ed, we've been here before! Lucy's not here to keep the peace. You're sick!" he pleaded
"My name's-" Edmund struck his sword against Caspian's "-not-" the sword went up to Caspian's neck "ED!" Caspian hopped in the air to doge a blow that was meant for his legs "I am-" Caspian got backed up into one of the stone walls "King Edmund, the Just!" Edmund held his sword against Caspian' neck, so hard that he would break the skin in a matter of seconds now. Caspian just stood there, hands against his side, eyes closed. "WELL!" Edmund pressed the sword further against his neck, finally drawing blood. "FIGHT BACK!"
Caspian's eyes slowly opened, and panting he spoke "I'm not going to fight you."
"WHY?" Edmund demanded, again pressing the sword harder against his neck, more blood spilling
"Because I can't. I love you too much to hurt you like you're hurting me." Caspian's dark brown eyes, that now looked totally black in the darkness, looked unbearably sad for Edmund. "I have never questioned your leadership, but all that I can think about is that you can leave Narnia at anytime, and you may never come back. If that happens, I will be the only king in Narnia, and I have to have the people's trust."
"Then shouldn't we make the most of it?" Edmund dropped his sword and let it clank against the ground. Edmund wrapped his arms around Caspian's neck and started to cover him with kisses.