Title: Don’t Leave Me Here Alone
Character(s): Caspian X, Edmund Pevensie
Pairing: Caspian X/Edmund Pevensie
Notes: Bookverse, with filmverse casting. This deals with themes surrounding Caspian’s denial of the fact Edmund may disappear from his life at any point, and how Ed forces him to recognise (but fails to make him deal with) what this means for his future. Set during Voyage of the Dawn Treader, after Ramandu’s Island.
Disclaimer: Characters you recognise belong to C. S. Lewis.
Summary: You’re living in denial, and the worst part of it is you don’t even realise you’re doing it. Or, at least, not until Edmund forces the issue.
You’re almost a week’s sailing from Ramandu’s Island, both the Star and his daughter far behind you, and you’re feeling quite satisfied with life. The man you love has been back in your life for well over two months now and since nothing so far is crashing around your ears and burning, although you’re aware you should know better than to think so, you wonder whether you can afford to feel a little smug.
And as you ponder just what that might mean, you see Ed walking towards you with a determined look on his face; you feel a grin spread across your face just at the sight of him.
‘I need you to promise me something.’
This is unusual, from Ed; he doesn’t ask for promises. He knows, just as you do, Aslan could return to steal him from you at any point; neither of you knows when, or if, this will happen. Something you will later identify as apprehension crackles up your spine and with it comes the desperate impulse to forestall what he has to say. But when it comes down to it, this is Ed; you could never refuse him.
‘Anything, Ed, if it’s within my power; you know that.’
And then he says what you’ve hoped beyond hope you'd never hear from him.
‘Don’t be on your own; it’s not fair. Promise me you’ll find someone? If I can’t be here—’
The happy bubble of denial you’ve been living in for weeks bursts at last. Your smile freezes on your face; hearing the crack in Ed’s voice has you taking a swift look up at him. You reach a hand out to touch him, unable to see him in distress and not offer comfort.
‘You know I can’t stay,’ Ed continues in a tone, rough with anguish, which breaks your heart a little more with each syllable. ‘Even though you must know I want to stay with you more than anything in the world. I’ll never forget you. How could I forget you? You give me love, and acceptance, and you’d give me the moon itself if you could.’
He smiles at you, then; it’s radiant, full of love. Yet there’s so much pain in it that, even as you bask in his clear adoration of you, you shiver in a way nothing to do with the cold. ‘And ... well, I suppose ... I’ve loved no one else in quite the way I love you, Caspian. Perhaps I never shall again. But, no matter how much I want to, I can’t stay.’
On an intellectual level, he’s right; and you know it. When you met and fell in love with him, the last time he was here, Aslan allowed him a bare few weeks in Narnia; this time he’s had almost thrice that. Yet nothing about acknowledging the truth of it at the intellectual level makes it bearable on an emotional one. Nothing about it can stop your pleading, urgent and entreating:
‘Ed, don’t say that.’
You can’t leave me, not now. Not like this. Not now you’re mine again.
Not caring in the slightest who might see, you lean across the minuscule amount of space between you and brush a gentle kiss across his mouth before returning for a longer, deeper one. You lose yourself in the sensation of it for a few moments before you force yourself to pull away. He’s still clinging to you, and you let your surroundings fade into insignificance as your entire focus narrows to Ed, and what he has to say.
‘I love you,’ he whispers, unable to keep himself from saying it; the words are so quiet, you almost miss them. You give him a careful look before wrapping yourself around him and breathing into his ear.
He whimpers at that, and moves to pull you closer still; it’s clear he doesn’t want to let you go.
‘Ed, stay with me.’
It’s neither order nor request, and you’re not really talking to Ed at all but to the Lion who sees and hears all; you’re begging, pleading, for the chance to keep him with you. You know you won't get another opportunity and, although you know this mightn’t work, you don’t care how manipulative it makes you sound if it gets the results you want.
‘I’ve already lost you once, Ed. It almost killed me. I can’t do it again; I can’t.’
Please don’t make me.