Author's Note: I own nothing :)
Here's another chapter, it's a little shorter.
Chapter Five: Under Pressure
Caspian was silent.
Ever since the day she had sat next to him at the dinner table when he was just six years old. He knew that he would never be able to separate himself from this girl, this absolutely wonderful companion that he had found. The thought of marriage…had crossed his mind…numerous times. However, things had changed when Miraz had been king.
He began to develop feelings for someone else and had he not come to his senses sooner-Rosalie would have been gone. He was lucky to be able to make amends to the girl who he had grown to love so dearly. And even still, to that day, they were still in a forgiveness stage…some days he wondered in a piece of her heart was still devoted to the former High King. Though she told him daily that she was sorry and that she did, in fact, love him…he couldn't help but be curious.
"What say you Caspian?" Apollo asked him tentatively," Surely, this would not be any problem?"
Caspian swallowed, shaking his head," It's just so…short notice."
"Had we known earlier," Thomas said," We would have told you, but just days ago we discovered this."
He nodded, understanding this entirely, but still unable to comprehend the idea of asking Rosalie to marry him. There wasn't a doubt in his mind that he loved her dearly and that she was the only one qualified to be the Queen of Narnia. The only one qualified to be his queen. He just wished that he had more time…more time to let the wound settle.
"This is an important decision," a man from the back of the room chipped in, standing in the shadow with a hood pulled over his head. It did not take long for the man to step forward and reveal himself to be Doctor Cornelius," Isn't a holy ceremony such as marriage something that should be determined by the man wishing to ask for his lady's hand?"
All eyes looked to the man, slightly in awe. It was rare that Doctor Cornelius should come to the meetings and whenever he did-he was respected greatly.
Apollo was the first to speak after the slight pause," We haven't much of a choice. The law has already been broken-"
"And is it not you all who write the laws?" the older man challenged, looking around to each of them," Is it not you all-"
"Doctor Cornelius," Caspian stopped him short. Perhaps…this was happening for a reason. Perhaps this was his chance to be straight with Rosalie, but would she feel as though she was being obligated to marry him? Would she feel pressured to? There was only one way he would know…," It is not a problem."
"But, Caspian, what will Rosalie say of this?" the wise man asked him again, looking confused as he came closer.
"I pray she will say yes," Caspian said with a small chuckle, trying to lighten the rather serious mood.
Doctor Cornelius did not find the joke as humorous as the other men of the council seemed to find it," You're talking about marriage, Caspian. This is not something to be taken lightly. It is not a decision that can be made overnight."
Caspian dropped his smile and nodded with his mentor," I agree, but I would also argue that I have not made this decision overnight. Doctor Cornelius, I have wanted to ask Rosalie's hand since the day I met her."
His professor swallowed hard and nodded his head before saying," Then what has stopped you, my boy?"
The young king shifted uncomfortably, recalling the memories that were still so fresh in his head. He could not seem to pick the right words, but the only thing that came out was," Too much. Too much to describe, but…I think that we have veered back onto the right path. I think we have our differences and our similarities. We both have our faults…but isn't marriage about sacrificing pieces of yourself?"
Cornelius nodded his head, but Caspian felt as though the man still was not completely convinced. He looked up at the king with an understanding nod before saying," I support your decision, but please…heed my word."
Slowly, the man stepped back. Caspian knew what Cornelius was warning him of and he really did take his words to heart…but perhaps this was the opportunity he needed to ask Rosalie. This was the chance he had to prove to her that it was her. And it always had been. And it always would be.
"Well, then," Apollo started once more, clearing his throat," I think we are all in agreement. There is to be a marriage in the castle soon."
"She hasn't said yes yet," Caspian shot the man a look, sending another roll of laughter through the men.
"Very true," Marcus commented," And this is why, to prevent us from breaking this law to an even more extremity, we are giving you two days to ask for the fair lady's hand. In the next month, the ceremony will be held here at the castle."
The words hit Caspian hard.
"Two days?" he asked, stuttering the words slightly," You're mad."
Apollo sighed," Legally, we must. A year has already passed and as quickly as we can arrange for this happen, the better."
"You said there wouldn't be a problem," Marcus said, looking at the king warily.
Caspian nodded in agreement," Yes, but that was before I knew that I would be asking either today, tomorrow, or at the latest, the day after that. And before I knew that the actual ceremony would be month from today."
The young king had hoped that he would have some more time to speak everything over with Rosalie. He wanted to have at least some time to make sure that the wounds of the passed really were cleared up, but no matter how hard he argued with the men, they still brought up the legal aspect. Without delving into any details, Caspian tried to explain how many emotional trials needed to be settled. Despite the fact that the men supported Caspian and would never try to bring him harm, they still told him that this was his one option unless he wanted to see Rosalie leave the castle along with Penelope.
Two days…and in the next month…the ceremony. How would she ever respond to this? How would he respond to this?
"What am I going to do?" the young king exclaimed later, this time in the comfort of Doctor Cornelius's study.
The older man was strolling throughout the bookshelves, acting as calm as ever while he placed the books in their place along the walls. While strolling back to where his former student sat he said," Well, you tended to make a joke the last time I gave you advice. I see no reason as to why you would need my advice now."
Caspian ran his fingers through his hair, stressed out. So maybe he had disrespected Doctor Cornelius, but that didn't mean that he no longer needed his word," I am sorry, doctor. Please, give me some advice. Please, tell me something. I thought I would have more time…"
"Why, surely you did not think that you would be given another year to think on it, now did you?" the professor asked Caspian, treating him like the child he still was.
To be honest, yes. Maybe not to that extreme, but yes. Caspian had thought that he would be given plenty of time to think this over, but thinking back on it…he found this to be a rather foolish thing to think. Of course he wouldn't have been given much time…but two days…it just sounded threatening.
A sigh was released from Caspian's mouth," I shouldn't have, but I did."
Cornelius shook his head, trying to discover just what advice to give, but he soon found a sigh coming from his mouth. Many years he watched Rosalie and Caspian frolic about as children and have the best of time together. Anyone in the castle could have predicted the marriage that would come in the future. Although Cornelius did not like the short notice of this marriage, he still thought that Rosalie would most likely say yes. Caspian was her closest companion, from what he could tell. Why was Caspian fretting over this? Why was Caspian asking his advice?
The professor took a seat beside his pupil and placed a hand on his shoulder," Has something happened between you and Rosalie?"
Caspian didn't meet the man's eyes, but merely looked up to the ceiling, obviously upset," When we were fighting for the revolution…Rosalie grew very angry with me. The anger she had for me, I returned. We couldn't even stand to be in the same proximity of one another, professor. I don't wish to relive exactly what happened, but my mistake almost cost Rosalie her life," he released a sigh," I was lucky that she ever forgave me. I don't deserve her forgiveness, but it was…by the grace of Aslan that she would ever look at me the way she had. She fell in love with someone else in the time that we were quarreling. As did I…"
"Ahh," Doctor Cornelius nodded his head understandingly before speaking," Things have obviously become better between the two of you. It seems as though things are just as they were. You feel that Rosalie still has feelings for this other fellow? Have you any feelings for the other gal?"
Caspian shook his head," I think that being with someone else, briefly, showed me how much I cared for Rosalie. I think it opened my eyes as to how miserable I would be without her, but…I have a feeling that she has not done the same thing. Sometimes, I wonder how she copes with his leaving. I love Rosalie with all of my heart professor, please believe that and I know that she cares for me just as dearly, but I feel as though a piece of her is still elsewhere. Is still with him even though he is no longer in Narnia."
He scrutinized the young king's face for a long hard moment before saying," Was it the Pevensies? Are these the two you are referencing?"
Somberly, he looked over to his professor and nodded," Yes."
"Have you spoken with Rosalie lately over this?" The doctor asked again," Have you asked her how she felt?"
"No, for I do not wish to bring any more pain to her by bringing him up again," he said quietly, almost whispering.
"Listen to me, my boy," Cornelius whispered, noticing that Caspian was on the verge of tears and obviously upset by all of this," You've got a duty to this country now. You've got to set an example for the rest of the country to follow. I wish that I could help you in changing the law so that Rosalie would be able to stay here unlimited until you felt the wound had passed, but that is not realistic to think now. Here is what I suggest you do, talk with Rosalie either tonight or tomorrow night, for those are your only two options. Tell her everything that you feel, everything that is in your heart…make that known to her, even if you have told her millions of times before. Tenderly, ask her how she feels and explain to her the situation that you have been put into. All you can do is say how you feel and how she feels…well that is her business."
Caspian looked into the twinkling eyes of the old man before saying," You really want me to tell her about all of this? You do not think that she will think I merely just marrying her because I have to?"
"My boy," the professor shook his head," As long as you tell her what your heart feels first, I do not think that she could ever turn you down. From what I have witnessed, she looks at you with just as much care. And, knowing Rosalie, she likes to know the reasoning behind everything."
Nodding with a smirk on his face, the young king arose to his feet," Thank you for everything."
Doctor Cornelius rose to his feet as well and smiled at the boy who he had practically brought to raise," I am always here to talk to you."
With a smile, the man turned and without another word, left to enter the realm where he was king. Where people looked up to him. Where he was the one who had to give the advice.
Author's Note: I originally had different plans for this chapter, but I felt it was kind of necessary for Caspian to talk with Doctor Cornelius since he is Caspian's mentor. I will make sure to post the next chapter soon because I know you guys want to see what happens! Thanks all :) Make sure to let me know what you think!