Breathe

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Susan woke up to find herself cuddled into Caspian's chest and dried tears stuck to her cheeks. She also noticed Caspian asleep with his head on top of hers. She leaned into him more and smiled even though she thought that this was no time to smile. She looked around the cell and noticed everyone else asleep except Peter who was looking at her with black and blue bags underneath his eyes.

Susan asked Peter with a cracked voice, "Have you been awake all night?"

Peter looked at her with tired weary eyes and said, "Yes." Susan glared at him for a few seconds and Peter said, "Well it was because I can't sleep knowing what might happen soon. I can't spend my time sleeping."

Susan noticed Caspian move a little and she whispered loud enough for Peter to hear, "Peter you need to sleep. It's bad if you don't. What would you do if I stayed up all night?"

Peter rolled his eyes, sighed, and said, "I guess I would be telling you the same." Peter paused for a little and said, "But I also had to watch out for more guards to come and get you."

Susan questioned him and asked, "What would you do Peter? You're chained up. I mean that is the reason you, Caspian, and Ed are chained up. The guards find all three of you a threat."

Peter smiled and Susan asked, "What are you smiling about?"

Peter said, "They find me a threat…I haven't heard that in a while."

Susan rolled her eyes like she was annoyed and said, "I think this sleep deprivation as gone to your head Peter."

Peter said shaking his head, "No it hasn't. I'm fine." Peter's eyes drooped a little when he said that and Susan noticed. She felt her stomach curl because she felt bad for Peter. Peter was her brother, and he was doing this to make sure she and her family was okay. He even did this for Caspian who he didn't really fancy.

Susan got out of Caspian's embrace which made him wake up. Caspian looked at Susan with harried eyes and Susan noticed. She grabbed Caspian's hand and squeezed it for reassurance and said, "It's okay. You can back to sleep." Susan kissed his forehead, and Caspian leaned against the wall and fell back asleep.

Susan went over to Peter, sat next to him, and leaned her head on his shoulder. She said gesturing to Caspian, "See…Caspian fell asleep. Why can't you?"

Peter sighed and put his head on top of hers and said, "Well he hasn't lived with you all of his life. I was also given a job to look after you and Lucy and Ed. I want to know I can fulfill that promise by staying awake and knowing you and our siblings are okay."

Susan felt a shudder from Peter and picked her head up from his shoulder. She looked at him, and he had tears falling from his eyes. Susan wiped them away from his cheeks and smiled at him reassuringly. She looked at her brother and noticed that he looked a lot more different than when they left the ball. His facial features were thinner his cheekbones were pressed inward. It looked like he was being starved; which basically he was. They all were.

Susan hugged Peter, as Peter cried into her hair. She had only seen her brother cry a few times in her lifetime. This was the first time she ever saw Peter breakdown like this. The times she saw him cry was a few tears slip from his eyes. Peter was actually crying uncontrollably.

Susan felt as if she was going to cry just by hearing Peter cry. When Peter's crying slowed down, she noticed that everyone was asleep except Frederick. Frederick was staring at Susan with sympathetic eyes.

Susan looked at him and asked, "How long have you been awake?"

Frederick cleared his throat and said, "Ever since King Peter started crying."

Susan smiled at him and said, "It would be smart if we make it out of here alive you keep that to yourself. Peter doesn't cry that often." She paused for a second and whispered "He's sort of a hot head too."

Frederick smiled at her and Peter said, "Yea if you tell anyone about this…you may not know what's coming."

Susan looked at Frederick and said, "I don't think he even knows what's coming yet." Peter chuckled wiping tears from his eyes and said, "Thanks Su."

Frederick looked at them like they were weird and asked, "Do you all do this a lot?...Even in the worst times in life you know when to laugh."

Caspian chirped in like he's been listening the whole time saying, "You have no idea Frederick. Sometimes I just don't understand."

Peter pulled his eyebrows together seriously and asked, "Did you hear everything Caspian?"

Caspian asked stretching out his back, "You mean the part where you cried? Yes I heard everything when Susan left. I pretended to asleep."

Susan said, "I wouldn't be surprised if everyone heard your crying Peter."

` Edmund rubbed his eye, which made his chains rattle and asked, "Peter cried? I thought he was supposed to be the tough one in times like this?"

Everyone chuckled quietly, and Susan answered Edmund by saying, "Peter wasn't just crying he was bawling."

Peter said rolling his eyes, "I'm glad everyone finds my tears to be quite enjoyable. Oh but when Susan or Lucy cry we all feel like we're going to cry as well."

Susan said noticing Peter get offended, "Sorry Peter I just wanted to lighten things up a bit. But if I hurt your feelings I'm sorry." She gave him a very sympathetic look because she knew that those were Peter's real feelings, and she was hurting them.

Peter shrugged his shoulders and said, "It's fine Su. I understand it's so hilarious to see the High King Peter cry." Everyone chuckled except for Lucy who was still sound asleep.

Susan was looking at Lucy for a lingering moment and everyone noticed. Edmund asked, "What's wrong Su?"

Susan was looking at Lucy and said "Nothing….I just can't believe Lucy might not be around anymore." She paused for a little and felt Peter's arm go around her shoulders which made his chain rattle. She said, "Actually I can't believe any of you won't be around anymore."

The thought in Susan's brain made her cringe. The sight of a wedding where she didn't show any emotion, to make matters worse none of her family could be there. Just her and Demeterius alone with no way of escaping. A bloody war against Calormen and Narnia because of her family's death, but it was actually Demeterius, and she would have no say.

Susan was pushed a little by Peter who made her come back into reality. Peter asked, "Are you alright? You seemed distant."

Susan nodded her head and said kind of angrily, "You know what?...No I can't live with all of this. If Demetrius's plan goes into effect, I will not let myself be without any of you."

Everyone knew exactly what she was talking about. Caspian snorted and said, "You won't give up your own life Susan."

Susan gave him a stubborn look and said "Like you wouldn't do the same, Caspian. Tell me, if Autumn's original plan was working once she killed us off and married you… would you do the same?"

Caspian looked down at the ground because he knew Susan was right. He couldn't live in a world knowing he was somewhat the reason his family was dead. Susan felt a lump in her throat. She didn't mean to be so uncaring about it.

Lucy woke up and asked while rubbing her eyes, "What did I miss?"

Susan forced a smile at her and said, "Finally you're awake. Nothing really happened."

Lucy noticed her sister was lying and saw her fake smile. She just let it go and said poking at her stomach, "Okay…..I'm starving." She tried to change whatever subject was so important not to tell her about.

After Lucy said that, there was a loud stomach rubble coming from Edmund's direction. Everyone laughed quietly and Peter said, "I think Ed agrees with you Lucy."

Edmund said frustrated, "But seriously when's the last time we ate?"

Caspian chirped in saying, "I think it was Susan gave us food from her dress."

Susan got up from where she was sitting next to Peter and walked to the cell entrance. Everyone was staring at her as she walked. She noticed a guard standing up against a wall and Susan cleared her throat and said, "Excuse me."

The guard looked at her and asked sarcastically, "What is it your highness?"

Susan looked back at her family and back at the guard and said, "Can you please give everyone in my cell some food and water. We haven't eaten in a long time."

The guard chuckled and said "It doesn't seem that way princess. As I recall you had lunch with the King. I also heard you fed your lovely family there some apples and bread."

Susan was shocked this guard knew about this she asked, "How do you know I gave them food?"

The guard smiled and said, "Wow. You must take our King for a fool. He saw you sneak apples into your dress but let it go. You're lucky our King would be so kind."

Susan was angry that this guard kept saying our King. She was no one's King. Susan yelled at him, "He is not our King! He can be your King, but he sure as hell is not mine."

Everyone's eyes became big in the cell. They have never seen Susan this angry before or use a foul word. Caspian was smiling that Susan said that. He never saw this side of Susan before; he found it quite funny.

The guard had shocked eyes as well and said, "If you're going to behave this way, I can make King Demeterius come in here and calm you down in front of your family. I've heard what he does to calm you down. I'm sure you don't want to let your family watch."

Susan lost her anger which was replaced by fear. Her eyes showed fear in them which made the guard chuckle. She said in a calm voice, "That won't be necessary….but would you think about food please?" The guard turned his back to their cell and didn't say a word.

Susan turned around and felt like she was going to cry. She had a huge lump in her throat, and she felt as if she just talked, tears would just come out. She needed to hug the first body she could cling herself to. It was Frederick. She didn't care. She just clung to him like if she didn't she would fall apart; which is how she felt right now.

Frederick didn't know how to react. Her arms were wound around him, and she was crying. The legendary Gentle Queen was crying on his shirt. His arms eventually wrapped around her back, and he said comforting things to her. Frederick felt uncomfortable about after fifteen minutes of crying and carried her to Edmund.

Edmund took Susan in and felt soothed to have Susan in his arms. To know she had emotions, and she was alive. Susan felt the same. She felt as if she could always say something to Edmund, and he wouldn't care. He would always be there for her. Sometimes Peter would yell at her, but Edmund would never do that.

The guard came in about five minutes of Edmund with Susan with a tray of bread and six glasses of water. He put it down and walked out of the cell. Susan looked at it and said wiping some of her tears away, "Well at least my break down was worth it."

Susan rubbed the rest of the tears from her eyes and breathed in deeply. She picked up the tray and cut the bread into six pieces. She gave two to Lucy, two to Fredrick, and two to herself. Lucy gave her second piece to Peter. Fredrick gave his second piece to Edmund. Susan gave her second piece to Caspian.

While everyone was eating, Caspian asked Susan, "So what does that King do to you to calm you down?"

Susan shook her head trying not to think about it. "Can you take a guess Caspian? Why is it uncomfortable for me to kiss you anymore? Why do I have all these bruises and cuts on my body?"

Caspian looked down at his half-finished piece of bread and said, "Sorry….I just don't know what to say anymore Susan."

Susan pulled Caspian's chin up with her fore-finger to make him look her in the eyes. Susan whispered, "Then don't say anything."

She then pulled his face to hers and pressed his lips against her own. Susan didn't care her family was watching them; she wanted to feel Caspian's lips against her. She wanted to breathe in Caspian's scent and feel something again.

Caspian loved it when Susan kissed him. He loved the feeling inside of him when she kissed him. It felt like an electric shock, and it felt good. It made him feel calm and serene. Even though the Pevensie children didn't have any more hope, he did. Some of the reason was Susan. If Susan wasn't there with Caspian, he wouldn't have any more hope.

Peter watched as Susan pulled Caspian in for a kiss. He felt anger in the pit of his stomach but yet felt happy. He felt happy, because he knew this made Susan happy. He also noticed Edmund and Lucy watching them as if they were happy. He was happy his family was happy in the mist of all this. Though Peter had an urge to punch Caspian in the face or pull them away from each other.

About an half an hour later, Susan was curled up on Caspian's shoulder asleep. Lucy was intrigued by Frederick, it was something about him. She went over and sat next to him. Frederick smiled at her, and Lucy mimicked the smile.

Lucy looked at him cautiously and asked, "Frederick?...I want to know what is it like to live in a kingdom with a ruler like…King Demeterius?"

Frederick gave Lucy a shocked expression like he didn't expect her to ask him something like that. Peter, Caspian, and Edmund all looked over at Fredrick wondering what he would say.

Frederick took a long pause and sighed. "It's rather gloomy. Most people have to do whatever they can to make a living. It seems as though Demeterius doesn't really care much for his subjects. I heard if you try to compromise with him, you get thrown into the dungeon. I also heard his father, the King before him, was a better King and was grateful of his subjects."

Lucy nodded her head and suggested, "You should live in Narnia. Everything seems better there to what you're describing."

Frederick shrugged his shoulders. "Well my family and I have tried, but Demeterius has sent guards to not let any subjects leave. I don't know why."

Everyone heard footsteps and were quiet. A guard was leading about five young women to a cell and all of their hands were chained. They were all quite beautiful three of them were dark haired and the other two were light colored. The guard leading them stopped to talk to the guard that was standing in front of their cell. The women looked at them in the cell and had shocked expressions.

They whispered to themselves, "It's the Kings and Queens of old and King Caspian. Calormen doesn't have them locked up after all." The guard gave them a shove in the direction they were going, and they stared into the cell the Kings and Queens were in the entire way down the hallway until they were out of sight.

Caspian said angrily, "Narnia better not go into war with Calormen. They better not." He cursed under his breath and turned towards Frederick and asked, "Do you think that Demeterius is taking more women into these cells?"

Frederick shrugged his shoulders and shook his head. "I only saw that one woman in the marketplace, and that's why I'm here."

Edmund asked, "Well, he can't just take every woman he finds attractive...Can he?"

Peter looked at Edmund like he agreed and said, "Well he is the King." He emphasized the word "King".

Lucy was confused and was angry that Demeterius wasn't marrying Susan out of love but out of beauty. She was angry that he thought other women were more beautiful than Susan. She thought love should be that you shouldn't think anyone else is prettier than your love. She was so angry that Susan was forced to marry someone she didn't love. Lucy got up and started pacing back and forth.

Edmund pulled his eyebrows together and asked, "Are you alright Lu? Why are you pacing?"

Lucy said throwing her hands up in the air, "I'm just really angry, and I'm releasing my anger by pacing. It's better than what Peter does with yelling." Peter turned red and everyone chuckled except for Susan who was still asleep.

Edmund then asked with a little smile, "What are you angry about Lucy? I've never seen you this angry before."

Lucy sighed and said, "I'm just angry that Susan has to marry a man that thinks other women are more beautiful than her. She has to marry a man that only loves her for beauty not for all of the beautiful qualities Susan has. She doesn't even love him. It's…just..not…fair."

Caspian looked at Susan sleeping on his shoulder and said quietly, "We all don't think it's fair, Lucy. What happened to the hope you had? We'll get out of this somehow."

Lucy started to cry and went to hug Peter. Peter was getting use to the feeling of tears in his shirt and didn't like it. He wanted to be there for whoever needed it but was tired of all the crying. He felt like this King was breaking his family apart.

Moments later, Demeterius came in and smiled to see Susan the only one asleep. He said "Why hello Princes and Princess of old and Prince Caspian. It's so nice to see that you're all getting along with my prisoner." Frederick looked at him evilly and looked back down. King Demeterius continued, "Well well we seem rather comfy for the last day alive."

Lucy looked at Peter and Edmund and Caspian. They all had the same expression; fear. This made Demeterius chuckle.

He looked over at Caspian and said pointing to the two, "Well aren't you getting a little friendly with my fiancée?" Caspian had rage all over his face that looked like he wanted to kill Demeterius. Demeterius said, "Well I think it is time to wake up precious Susan…don't you think?"

He kissed her lips which made her eyes flutter open. Edmund's stomach was raging. He didn't want the same thing to happen to her. She pulled away and all three boys were pulling on their chains. Lucy ran up behind Demeterius and punched his side. He laughed at her attempt and pushed her to the ground. Lucy hit her head off the ground and had a gash. Frederick went over to Lucy's side and touched her head where it was hit.

Susan yelled pulling away from him, "Don't you dare push my little sister to the ground!"

Demeterius smiled looking Susan straight in the face. "Why not? She's a dead corpse anyway."

Susan had the same look of rage on her face Caspian did and punched him in the face. There was a cracking sound where Demetrius's jaw was. He popped it back into place and said villainous, "How dare you. I do not take orders from a woman. I am the man, and I will rule you."

He smacked Susan so hard she fell to the ground in the direction he slapped her. She fell to the ground and felt her stomach twisting in knots. She felt tears in the back of her eyes and bit her tongue to hold them back. She got up, and Peter, Edmund, and Caspian were yelling stop.

Edmund's stomach was becoming uncontrollable. He couldn't stand to see his sister this way. He wanted to do something but all he could do was pull on his chains. He wanted everything to end.

King Demeterius snapped his fingers and said to a guard, "Take Queen Susan to my Chambers."

Susan's eyes got filled with fear and grabbed Caspian's arm like it was the only thing keeping her alive. A guard tugged at her and said, "Let's go."

Caspian looked at Susan one last time, and she noticed no hope in his eyes. The guard pulled her away from Caspian and threw her over his shoulder. Susan was kicking and screaming, "Please let me go! Put me down!" She had tears in her eyes. No one had any hope left neither Caspian nor Lucy.


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