Title: This Is Home
Notes: Filmverse. Yes, this is post-Voyage of the Dawn Treader Edmund/Caspian. No, I don’t give a fig for canon. All characters you recognise belong to C. S. Lewis.
Character(s): Caspian X, Edmund Pevensie, Other(s)
Pairing(s): Caspian/Edmund Pevensie
Summary: You’re making the conscious decision your unconscious mind reached weeks ago: you cannot leave him.
When the Lion pronounces it time for you to leave, never to return to Narnia, Caspian wastes no time. He lurches towards you, his arms open; you throw yourself into his embrace, desperate to feel him against you one last time. You bury your face in his shirt, at the part where his neck becomes his shoulder, and breathe him in before kissing the skin you find there. Caspian’s arms tighten around you, at that; for a moment, his grip on you is so fierce you find it difficult to breathe.
When his embrace loosens, and he pulls away, you make the conscious decision your unconscious mind reached weeks before. You are certain you cannot leave him.
Caspian turns to hug Lucy good-bye, and you move across to where Aslan is standing. You look at the floor instead of looking Aslan in the eye as you summon all your courage and say aloud what your heart has been telling you for months.
‘Please, Aslan; I want to stay here, with Caspian.’
You are certain Aslan will be angry at your desire to go against his wishes, but there is no trace of anger or frustration on his face when you dare to look up at him. There is only the deep loving kindness he has always shown you since the long-ago day the Talking Beasts saved you from the Witch.
‘Are you sure, son of Adam?’ is all he asks you.
He needn’t say a word about how you’ll never see your family again; it’s obvious enough already.
You throw a glance over your shoulder; Caspian is watching you. He sees something, in your posture you presume since you are too far away for him to have a clear view of your face, and whatever it is he sees there has him walking towards you. You tense for a moment, and then relax, before bringing your attention back to Aslan.
‘I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life.’
Aslan says nothing, just stands looking at you for a few moments, before he nods slowly; the next thing you feel is his breath on your face as if in blessing.
‘Then you may stay.’
He turns away, towards where Lucy and Eustace are standing by the towering wave.
Caspian has reached you by now, and he lays a gentle hand on your shoulder.
The question is gentle. It doesn’t seem to matter that you have an audience; his tone is full of the soft tenderness he uses when the two of you are alone.
‘Ed, are you all right?’
‘I asked Aslan to let me stay here, with you.’
‘You’ll be here, away from your family, for ever.’
You turn at that, expecting to see an angry or disbelieving expression on his face. But Caspian wears nothing on his face but loving concern, and at the sight of him any remaining flickers of doubt that you’ve made the right decision disappear as if they had never been.
You reach out with your hand to take his, interlacing his fingers with your own; your grip is so tight, it’s possible you’re hurting him. But, if you are, it doesn’t show on his face; he says nothing, either, instead choosing to use your joined hands to pull you into a part embrace before dropping a soft kiss into your hair. For a moment, the urge to bury your face in his shoulder and weep like a child is so strong you have to blink back sudden tears.
Dragging your eyes away from Caspian’s face you look across again to the towering wave, where Lucy and Eustace are standing with Aslan. The two of you turn to face the wave, with you holding fast to Caspian’s hand as if you don’t quite trust him not to disappear if you let go. You take one last look at Lucy and Eustace, the only links you have to a place and time you will never see again, before the water closes around them and they are gone. Caspian says nothing, just pulls you back into his arms and holds you for a long moment as you begin to accustom yourself (to acclimatise, you might almost say, although this situation has nothing to do with weather) to being here alone with no-one but him for company.
Then you look up at Caspian and give him a smile. For you, what you’re keeping far outweighs what you’ve lost.
Much later, after Aslan too is gone and the two of you are stepping out of the coracle, after having been hauled up the starboard side of the Dawn Treader, you reach out for his hand. He takes it and brings it to his lips to place a kiss on it before letting go; the whole time, he refuses to break eye contact.
As you reach the rail, and Drinian is there to offer Caspian his hand to help him on deck, Caspian gives you a gentle smile. Once safe on board, Caspian leans towards you, offering you his own hand, and it’s a matter of moments before you are back aboard the ship you’d feared you’d never see again.
‘Sire –’ Drinian seeks to monopolise Caspian, but Caspian is half-listening at best with most of his attention still on you.
‘Not now, Drinian. His Majesty King Edmund and I need rest and refreshment; we shall remain in our cabin for now and I shall speak with you later. Edmund?’
Caspian holds his hand out to you; you take it, without a word, and the two of you walk away from Drinian. As you walk up the stairs towards the royal cabin, you look up at Caspian who, again, has nothing but affectionate concern for you in his expression.
‘Being here with you? That’s not so bad,’ you say to him.
‘No?’ Caspian says, as he enters the cabin and holds the door open for you.
‘No,’ you say, in a tone of utter certainty, as you follow him inside.