Author's Note: Thanks to the blizzard I've been writing a lot over the last couple days!
I own nothing, it's all C.S. Lewis's.
Chapter Fifteen: Healing
Walking the distance between the How and where the group of Telmarine soldiers stood was once of the most difficult walks of my life. As soon as Caspian and I exited the How, we could see the men, holding a white flag. My insides turned as I saw the face of my father standing at the stone pillars in the field in front of the How. They appeared to be laughing from what I could tell. It sickened me to watch them standing there, having a grand time. Did they not care about anything they had done? How could someone so sick…so evil…live with themselves?
I quickened my pace as we got closer and felt Caspian grab my arm. His touch almost made me jump. I shot him an incredulous look as we came close to the men.
"Don't do anything you might regret, Rosalie," he whispered to me, his eyes soft.
After looking at him for a long hard, moment, I replied with a sigh," I won't," I knew he was right, but I just didn't want to admit it.
"Let me try and talk with them. Do you understand?" he asked me, still tightening his grip on my arm.
I shook my arm loose," Fine," I replied simply.
We were soon standing directly across from the men who wore smiles on their faces. I didn't want to keep my promise with Caspian. I really didn't. I wanted to run at them right there and attack them all, but I soon realized that I was weaponless. I also didn't want to remain silent, but again, as much as it pained me, he was still right. What could I have done or said that would have changed the situation?
"Nice of you to join us," my father greeted us, crossing his arms over his chest," This is quite the operation you've got running here, son."
I watched Caspian's face. I could tell by the way he was gritting his teeth that it was taking everything within him not to disregard the flag they held and kill them all.
"Don't call me son," he snarled at him.
My father released another laugh," As you wish. Now, I think we've got a deal worked out that you might be interested in."
Caspian, still boiling with anger replied," And what could that be?"
General Glozelle stood beside my father and I noticed that there was a rather large group of soldiers standing behind him. They were obviously prepared if we tried to break the truce. I could also see some Telmarines spread out along the tree line watching us; they really must have been quite paranoid. Then again, we had a whole troop watching from the How.
"Well," my father started again," I think you and I can both agree that your numbers are no where close to comparing to what our army has in store for you. Even years of training could not prepare you for battle with us, if you want to go that far. King Miraz and I want to make a trade."
I raised an eyebrow as I folded my arms over my chest. There had to be some sort of catch to this.
My father perceived the silence as an invitation for him to continue," I have your precious High King. He's actually been able to make the journey with us, come along men bring him forward," he looked back to the soldiers.
Some of the armored men pulled forward a limp body. I gasped as I looked into the beaten eyes of High King Peter. His armor that he had worn on our evening ride was ripped horribly. I could see the blood seeping through his clothing and dripping down the side of his face. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. This ,at least, proved my greatest fear of him being dead to be wrong. It was hardly better than being dead, however.
"You can have your High King back," he spat at us as the men threw him harshly onto the ground," We're of no use of him. There is, however, something else that I desire."
I couldn't help running to assist the poor boy lying face down, too weak to pull himself up, on the hard ground. I burst forward and then I slipped my arm under his beaten body as I slowly pulled him to his feet. Almost all of his weight fell upon me, causing me to stumble. I knew that I had broken the promise I had made with Caspian, but I found this to be an understandable case. I couldn't bear to see him there, dying.
I met Caspian's dark eyes as I began pulling Peter away from the men.
"Looks as though someone was worried about her king, hmm?" I heard my father's voice call from behind me. All of my muscles were tightening. All of me wanting to run back and finish him…but I couldn't. I didn't want to test Caspian for one, I was weaponless for two, and all of Peter's body weight prevented me from doing much more than just walking.
"Take him inside, clean him up," Caspian whispered to me as I passed by him, secretly fuming.
I nodded my head as I pulled along the King's dead weight," I'm so sorry, Peter. This is all my fault," I whispered to him softly as we continued back toward the How. I was proud that I hadn't said a word to my father.
"You…don't…apologize-" Peter breathed heavily, his words broken.
That soon changed.
"You know it could have been avoided, Rosalie!" my father called from behind me, once more and I still kept walking trying to avoid him," Had you just stayed home like a good daughter. This pain could have been avoided, mother…Peter…"
My heart started racing as he continued speaking. I couldn't stand it any longer. I turned as quickly as I could without paining Peter, anger spilled out of me.
"You expected me to go along with you?" I yelled at him," You expected me to just live with you, you lying, deceiving, murderer? Even if you are my father, I could never try and justify your actions as you would have me do! This, father, is not my fault. It is solely yours," I hissed through my teeth at him.
Caspian shot me a shocked look," Rosalie, go take care of Peter."
I wanted so badly to stand there and scream at my father, but I looked from my father's face, which was now suddenly angered, to Caspian's, who was shocked, and to Peter's, who was just fighting to keep a steady breath. I couldn't risk Peter's life any further so without further adieu, I continued on my path. Lord Sopespian might have said some more words, but I muted them. Let him tell Caspian his deal and then get out before I killed him myself.
"I need bandages, water, and any type of soothing salves you can manage to gather!" I yelled at the Narnians gathered inside the How. I soon found that many of them started running around frantically at the sight of the High King, so weak and defenseless. I carried Peter into a cleared room in the back of one of the tunnels
"Rosalie!" I heard Susan's voice call from the entry way to the over look," You need any assistance?"
I looked at the Queen, who's eyes looked filled with concern, I could only imagine her concern for her brother.
I shook my head," Keep your eyes on those Telmarines! I don't trust them at all."
She gave me a nod before returning to her post. I continued to dragging her brother along. On my tail was plenty of centaurs and other creatures carrying all sorts of medical supplies.
"Do we have a blanket or something in there that we can put him on?" I asked to all of them as we continued into the room they were leading me to.
"Yes, we've prepared it," one of the female centaurs assured me as we entered into the room.
I noticed the soft pile of blankets in the middle of the room and tenderly placed the High King down. After placing him on his back, I knelt beside him.
The room felt very crowded as many of the creatures wanted to partake in assistance the High King. At first, I felt that it was fine for them to be in there, but soon I felt all of their breath breathing down my neck. Peter was hardly able to even speak and kept his eyes shut for most of the time. After several moments of being crowded in, I finally announced.
"Listen!" I cried," I really do appreciate all of your support for the High King and he does as well, but please as of right now, unless you are a family member of the King, clear the room. You will be able to see him as soon as he is well."
A chatter went through the room as they all stared at me. I'm sure some of them were rather angry, but within moments I found that it was only Peter and I in the room. I could expect that within minutes other Pevensies would be entering. I sighed as I looked around at all of the supplies and then at Peter. His poor body looked as though it had already been through a battle on its own. I looked all along his midsection, where there appeared to be gashes all up and down it. One in particular, looked rather deep. I hadn't the slightest what they had done to him…but it was a miracle he was still alive.
"Rosalie," I heard his voice whisper.
I jumped at the sound of it and looked at his blue eyes which were just now fluttering open.
"Yes-yes Peter?" I stuttered, grabbing the bowl of water from behind me on the ground.
"I-I'm sorry. I shouldn't have-" he tried explaining himself, but it was I who was placing my finger on his lips to silence him.
"Please, don't apologize," I whispered to him as I soaked rags that the Narnians had brought in, in the tub of water.
I knew that in order for me to cleanse the wounds properly, I needed to get the armor off of him. My fingers immediately began working on the fastenings of the armor. I quickly slipped the knots holding them together, careful not to prod any of the wounds with my fingers. After successfully unfastening the armor, I carefully had him sit up in order to pull it off of his midsection.
I returned to the, now soaked, rags and placed them delicately over the wounds, washing away the blood.
I heard a small cry of pain come from him mouth and his hands curl up into fists at his side. It was painful for even just water to touch the wounds.
"I'm sorry," I told him softly, trying to be as gentle as possible.
Just as I started to cleans the wounds, Queen Lucy came running into the room. Her face looked terrified as she saw her wounded brother. She sprinted to him and collapsed by his side.
"Lucy," Peter said, trying to force a smile as he placed a hand on his sister's.
"Oh Peter!" she responded, squeezing his hand tightly," What did they do to you?"
He shook his head, not wanting to upset her obviously," It's nothing worth repeating."
Then, without another word, she pulled a small vile from her belt at her small waist. She titled the bottle over her brother's mouth and dropped, one single drop into his mouth. I couldn't believe my eyes as I saw the wounds as deep and gory as they were, disappear. The flesh seemed to be growing back over…magically. I dropped the rags into the bloodied water, amazed when Peter was pulling himself up.
"Lucy…what just happened?" I asked, never feeling more confused in all my life.
I looked up at the two siblings who seemed to be chuckling at me. Of course they would, they knew exactly what was going on.
" It's a magic cordial, I don't really know how to explain it…" she told me, examining the bottle.
"The first time we came to Narnia, Father Christmas gave it to Lucy," Peter helped his sister to explain, obviously more strengthened as he sat himself up.
"Father Christmas?" I asked," He was one figure that I thought for sure was fake."
The two of them smiled at me. Peter, surprisingly, was already standing on his feet as Lucy opened the small pack she work at her side. She pulled out a thin white tunic and handed it to her bare-chested brother," This is all they could give me right now. They're still finding you some new," she picked up the bloodied armor, disgusted" Clean, armor. For right now, you've got to stay out of trouble."
Peter unfolded the tunic and slid it over his head," I think I can manage that," he replied with a smirk.
Lucy looked at her brother once before embracing him tightly," Don't scare us anymore like that, Peter, please," she whispered to him.
I couldn't help but feel a ping of guilt. Had I not left him…none of this would have happened. I couldn't help, but think that maybe I could have done something, anything. He could have very well been killed because of my father and the Telmarines. Because of my people…even if he was doing it for his people-the thoughts were rushing through my head.
"I can't make any promises Lu," he told her quietly as he bent down to her level," But I'll always be with you, right here," he said tapping his finger to her chest.
The love between the two siblings was so sweet and caring.
A smile came to her lips and she hugged her brother one last time before looking to me and then back to her brother," I'll leave you two alone now," she said, running to the exit of the room, she looked back one last time before exiting with a smile on her face.
Peter let out a sigh before taking a few steps closer to where I stood. I met his eyes, trying to find what I wanted to say to him," You could've been killed," I whispered shooting my eyes away from his.
"But I wasn't," he replied, looking right back at me," Look at me, I'm still here. Breathing and all."
My lips turned upward into a smirk," That doesn't eliminate the risk that there was."
"That doesn't matter," he said, placing himself right in front of me," What does matter, is that I'm here now."
When I looked away from him yet again, he let out a small sigh and said to me, trying to be a comfort," You've heard about your mother?"
It amazed me how he was able to read me. Read my thoughts, exactly.
Tears filled my eyes as I looked at him again and nodded my head. Looking at him, seeing him injured before made me think about my faults and how I messed up. Looking at him, reminded me of leaving my mother. I shouldn't have ever left her. I should have brought her along with Edmund and I back at the castle.
"I was only able to speak with your mother briefly before, you know," he told me, placing a hand under my chin, forcing me to look right at him," She was so proud of you, Rosalie. She couldn't be more proud of you for standing up for yourself. I know that this hard for you-"
I couldn't stand it anymore. I didn't know for sure what to do, but what my body did was collapse into Peter. I felt his arms envelop me and one of his hands comfortingly rub my back. Tears fell out of my eyes onto the white tunic, I'm sure that I was soaking his shirt, but I couldn't help it. I was a mess. An absolute mess.
"There, there," he said softly.
"I don't think I could ever forgive myself… for everything," I balled," For my mother, for my sister, for you, and for…Caspian. I've ruined my own life. Along with all of you."
There was a silence and all I could feel was the warmth of Peter's embrace and the rhythm of his hand running up and down my back. My tears were slowing, but the guilt was only building inside of me.
"Please, look at me, Rosalie," he whispered.
Reluctantly, I pulled my face off of his, now soaked, tunic. I found myself once again face to face with the High King. I remembered the first time I saw the King, in the woods. Out of defense for Caspian, I ran at the King with my sword and swung wildly. Even at that moment, something attracted me to this young man. I just would not allow myself to believe it. The first time I was face to face with the King, I was boiling angry with him and struck him across the face. I had regretted that act since the next meeting the King at the overlook where he provided me with comfort. In the woods, it was I comforting the King before he was taken captive by the Telmarines. Now, we were once again standing face to face.
I could hardly stand it any longer. The attraction that I, at first, did not allow myself to show, was now strong. My heart seemed to be beating out of my chest as he placed his hand on my cheek, replicating the night that we stood in the woods.
"We're going to get through this," he assured me," We're going to fight the Telmarines, and things will go back to normal for you. There's not a person in this whole building that wouldn't be willing to fight against those evil men. They will get what they deserve," he whispered to last part to where it was barely audible," I'll be here with you to help you cope…I know it's hard. And if anything...you've strengthened all of us...not destroyed us. Your mother couldn't stop bragging on how much you taught her and I only spoke with her briefly."
It was a bold thing for him to say. The statement only seemed to fuel the attraction more because as soon as the words left his mouth and entered my ears, I interrupted him. Not with a strike this time, but by pressing my lips softly to his. I couldn't bear to have him gone again, not being with him made me nervous. I wanted to stay there in his embrace. I wanted all of this to be erased. Feeling his lips on mine sent a warmness through my whole body. I briefly forgot about everything around me…perhaps being in his presence was all that I needed. Had I the option to run away from it all right there with him, I would have.
Softly and very softly, I heard a whisper outside of the room. I could have been dreaming. Then there was another voice, one of them whispering a small," Yes!"
And then, reality hit again.
Immediately, Peter and I broke apart as my cheeks turned a bright shade of red," Please tell me that I'm only imagining hearing voices."
"I heard it too," he responded, I noticed his cheeks were rather flush as well," And I think I know just who it is."
The High King crossed his arms and chuckled slightly before calling out," Lucy, you can come out now."
The youngest Pevensie revealed herself, smiling a big smile at us. With an embarrassed chuckle, she answered," Sorry."
A couple moments later, Edmund and my sister, Penelope revealed themselves with small embarrassed smiles. All I could seem to manage to do was laugh as my cheeks only continued to become redder.
I was in love with the High King.
Alright, so there it is! I really enjoyed writing this chapter...I originally had a different plan for this chapter, but I came up with this idea and couldn't resist. Hope you guys liked it! Let me know :)