clovenbuttercup: (Casmund)

Title: For Ever True
Warnings: None
Character(s): Caspian X
Pairing(s): Caspian/Edmund
Rating: T
Notes: Filmverse, with a nod or two to bookverse. A look at what life is like when the person you’re in love with is gone for ever, but you can’t get them out of your mind — or your heart.
Summary: You remember ... because you can’t forget.

You've slipped away from Cair Paravel, somehow managing not to attract too much attention to yourself, to come down here beside the sea. You can't remember what excuse you used and even if you did, you wouldn't care.

You’ve done this every year, ever since you returned from the Utter East with a chasm inside you nothing and no-one except Ed can fill. Ed, who's gone where you cannot follow.

Ed is the reason you're here today at all; you’re remembering the day you lost him for ever. You’ve chosen to mark it near the sea because its wildness reminds you of when you had Ed with you on the Dawn Treader.

And you need to remember.

When you’re in love with somebody who’s for ever gone, ‘once upon a time’ seems an impossible thing, something well out of your reach. Were you not living it yourself, you would never believe how much it hurts to be in this situation. But it is what it is. And even if you could change things, change your history so you never fall in love with Ed and don’t have to suffer through the pain of losing him, you wouldn’t do it. Loving Ed was, is, worth everything you’ve been through, both then and now.

There are others with you now. You married the Star, eventually, because you needed an heir before you die to prevent Narnia returning to the darkness once you’re gone. Long experience, though, shows you how there’s nothing about your marriage that changes, could ever change, the cold emptiness of a life spent living the endless progress of time without the person you love by your side. And there are days, like today, when you don’t want to think about what that has meant for you since you last had sight of Ed. On days like this, something about the sound of the sea soothes your battered soul and makes remembering Ed easier and a little less painful.

Twilight falls.

Your return to Cair Paravel is reluctant. You’ve been holding on for years to the thought Aslan might for once have been wrong when he said Ed would never return, and that dream lies shattered now for yet another year. As you pass the castle’s threshold, the last shards of sunlight disappear from the sky. The encroaching darkness triggers the memory of just how hard the first weeks without Ed were. As it washes over you, your mind recoils on instinct; it tries to force Ed, and everything that surrounds your memories of him, back into your subconscious.

Time has a funny habit of stealing the things you hold sacred, such as your battered, fragile, hope and your ability to keep your love for Ed alive. The wind rustles in the trees, and the hamadryads whisper to you of regrets, maybes, and might-have-beens.

It would be easy, so easy, for you to leave Ed behind in the past. You think it would go a long way towards improving the relationship between you and the Star, but how would you do it? How can you even consider it, when every time you look at her it’s him you see?

If that weren’t enough, you once swore to Ed you’d never let him go. In leaving him behind, you would go against everything he has always been to you. And you can’t do it. Because of what he is to you; because you still love him too much to betray him.

You’ve told the Star everything about who and what Ed is to you, so she’s known from the start. Anything else would have been unfair to everyone involved. Your motivation wasn’t entirely selfless; it was less about fairness than about how what you felt for Ed consumed you entirely, regardless of whether he was still with you. But the Star knows you are still, and may always be, in love with him. The Star knows everything, and yet she still married you for whatever reasons of her own.

But Ed is irreplaceable. The pain of that knowledge is excruciating. And nothing but the steadfastness of your love for him sustains you.

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September 2017

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