The Calm Before the Storm
Author's Note: I own nothing...you know the drill.
Thanks to the reviewers/alerters/favorites. Also, thanks if you have voted in the poll. Keep voting because right now I have two different endings and I can't have that haha so the poll helps me to gauge what you guys are interested in reading.
I hope ya'll like this chapter, especially you Caspian fans out there :)
Chapter Eighteen: The Calm Before the Storm
I couldn't answer. I didn't know how I was suppose to answer. All I could manage to do was run my fingers through my hair, searching for some sort of comfort through each strand of hair.
"No," I shook my head, fingers still tangled in," No, there's no way."
"Rosalie," he answered, his voice tender," You know it must be done."
I turned away from him and continued walking, pacing really. Trying to think of something, anything that would keep him from going into one-on-one battle with Miraz. Anything but that.
"There's got to be something else," I mumbled to him, finally stopping my pacing," Anything! It can be avoided, we don't have to do this…we-we can just fight them!"
His hand laid softly on my shoulder and shook his head" You know that we don't have the numbers."
But I would not accept it, not just yet.
"They're a bunch of cheats, Peter," I argued," How do we know that they will not just break any deal we pose to them?"
He nodded his head in agreement, but his decision still stood," I know, Rosalie. We've got to take the risk though because you know that they would just…annihilate us."
What point was there in arguing with reality?
In his eyes, I saw determination. A beautiful thing really that could produce one of two seeds. Either success or failure, simply enough. It was useless for me to argue it with him because he had already set his mind to it and there was no stopping him. He was willing to do anything for Narnia and no one, not even myself, could stand in his way. Knowing this to be true, I painstakingly nodded my head, just to please him and avoid further argument.
"You don't like it, do you?" he asked, smirking; he knew me too well.
A small smile came to my lips," Not at all."
He pulled me into an embrace and I felt his strong, protecting arms around me once more. This could have been one of the last times…if he was unsuccessful. I wanted to think that Peter would easily defeat Miraz, but Miraz was not an easy man to battle. He was very strong and would be quite the challenge for Peter. I felt the High King's chin rest on the top of my head," I don't want you to do this, Peter."
"I know," he said into my hair, "But Edmund's going over to send the message early this morning."
"This morning?" I asked, my eyes looking up to his, desperately wanting to hear a different answer.
He nodded his head," We can't wait forever."
After Peter had continued trying to provide some sort of comfort with no success, I finally broke away from him and tried to force myself to sleep. Perhaps, just like from my childhood, the realm of my dreams would be able to erase reality's impact upon me. Maybe I could just get away from all of this madness, maybe. When I arrived at my sleeping chambers, Susan and Lucy were sleeping soundly in their blankets, but I noticed that Penelope was no where to be found. I probably should have shown more concern, but my mind was spinning and extreme fatigue washed over me. I curled up in my own blankets and tried to force sleep, but just as soon as I would drift in the land of sleep, I would be disturbed with nightmares. Horrible nightmares.
First, I would see my poor mother dying, all over again. Then next it would move onto my sister and then after her, Caspian. The last to be brutally killed was Peter, my father the lead over all the killings. After countless rounds of this, I finally pulled myself awake and began walking around. When I walked around, I noticed that Penelope was still missing and that Susan and Lucy were still dreaming.
Groggily, I stumbled out of the room, careful not to wake the slumbering Queen Lucy and Queen Susan. Some creatures wandered through the How, but most were still asleep as I could safely assume. My destination was the overlook, where maybe I could find some true peace of mind. A calmness before the storm.
After stumbling my way to the top of the How, I sat myself down and dangled my feet over the edge. It was still dark outside, but in the distance the orange burst of sun started to pop through the darkened sky. There was just enough light for me to see the Telmarine guards riding along the tree line out in the far distance. It was so odd to picture a battle there, it was so peaceful at the time being. Just the sight I needed to see.
We can't wait forever…Peter's words rang in my head as I watched the Telmarine guards trot back and forth on their horses. In just a matter of hours, we would know the fate of our cause. Perhaps, the battle could be avoided, but for some reason I still believed there would be blood shed no matter the result of the duel. Miraz might even deny the duel, I didn't know at that point. I thought of turning myself in. Maybe if I sacrificed myself, then some way, some how the Telmarines would spare the rest of them.
But this was not a logical point. It seemed rather foolish for me to think that turning myself in to my father would solve all of our problems. It would be foolish for me to fantasize about taking the easy way out...there wouldn't be an easy way out...not of all that had happened.
"It is peaceful up here," a voice said from behind me and I quickly turned my head to see who it was.
Caspian. Standing in just a white tunic and trousers, his hair untidy and his face filled with mixed emotions. I looked him up and down and watched as he continued walking toward me. Confused, I finally replied," Yes, it is."
"Strange to picture any sort of battle happening here, isn't it?" he asked me, the tone of his voice the same as it had been before, like nothing had ever happened; he motioned to the empty space beside me," May I?"
I nodded, still baffled. I continued to scrutinize him to try and see just what he was up to. His slowly dangled his legs over the edge of the overlook along with me.
"It is," I answered, finally looking away," I rather wish that it could be avoided."
Out of the side of my eye, I could see him nodding. The two of us sat, watching the sun rise over the landscape. The sky exploded with bursts of red, orange, and pink as the sun rose out of it grave. As it rose, the curiosity in my head was about to explode. I didn't want to face Caspian…I didn't want to have to relive that night where we fell apart, but I had to know something.
"Caspian," I finally said softly," Why did you come up here?"
The silence that hung seemed like forever before words came from his mouth. My heart almost skipped a beat as I waited for his reply.
"Your sister has kept me up all night," he said simply, without further explanation," Talking to me about the way things used to be."
Tension ran through my body. I felt my muscles tense up all through my legs and arms. I left the air silent, hoping he would take it as an invitation to continue. I really didn't want to relive any of this...I didn't want to talk about any of it. I wanted our falling out to be a thing lost in history.
"She reminded me of memories that I had long forgotten since we have been home. She spoke of everything all of us did as children…all the fun times running around the castle…all of the times your mother would tell us stories…all of the times Doctor Cornelius would. The times when life was…" he paused, searching for the right word.
"Simple?" I offered and he looked straight at me.
"Yes," he answered with another nod of his head," Simple."
Another pause hung before he continued on," Penelope, is one of the smartest girls I have ever met. She has all of these opinions and grand ideas, but there was something she said that I felt was necessary to share with you. I feel like you need to know this. It is hard to believe that she is merely thirteen years old. She said so much and opened my eyes to so many things."
"She is a blessing," I said to him after he paused briefly before he looked straight at me and I at him.
"She is," he agreed before continuing on," I do not want to relive the whole conversation I had with Penelope to you, but there is one main thing that I feel like you should know of it and what she told me and what I told her."
I watched him as he nervously continued, but I still said nothing to him. Mostly because my muscles were so tense that I could hardly manage any thing other than just sitting still and keeping silent.
A sigh came from his mouth," I also know that you could probably never forgive me for my actions. You could probably never find it in your heart to soften your feelings for me so that we could be the friends that we used to be," there was a pause as he searched for more words," I just want you to know that my feelings for you are the same as they have always been. You are my little sister, both you and Penelope are, and I want you to know that I would still do anything to protect the both of you. After talking with her about all of this, I have realized it now, here on the eve of battle, that I still care about you as any brother should always care for his sister."
The tiny part of my heart that wanted Caspian to be a companion again fluttered. I couldn't look at him because I knew that if I did then I might break down right there. I had to be strong, but hearing him say that was so good to hear. I didn't know how I was suppose to respond, I didn't know how he expected me to respond, but it felt so odd to listen to him say this. Our relationship had been cold and hard and solely a professional matter up until this point. Even though my heart was warming, I could only seem to find a question to answer his heartfelt monologue with.
"Why are you telling me this Caspian?" I finally asked him, very quietly.
"I am telling you this," his voice shaky," Because I do not know what lies in those woods. I tell you this out of fear of the unknown, Rosalie. If I die, from this battle for independence, then I would forever regret not telling you what my heart says. I am not asking for your forgiveness, in fact, you do not have to listen to a word that I say. You may ignore every single word of it, but had I never verbalized this, then I would have regretted it."
So he was scared of that death awaited us as well. I wanted to answer, I wanted to say something to him in return, but I could hear him starting to shift himself away from his position at the edge of the cliff. I didn't want him to leave; I wanted to be able to answer him, but my timing was long and we sat for several moments in silence. All I could do was replay his words over and over in my head, after all of this...after all the times I had been so mad at him and so enraged with him...now he said that he would always care for me. Like a brother should.
How could anything I say match that?
After several moments, I heard him pulling himself away from the edge of the cliff before standing up," I just felt that I needed to share this with you. Make of it, whatever you would like."
I met his eyes," Caspian, I-"
"Please," he silenced me, a certain softness still in his eyes," You do not have to say anything. All I needed was your ear to listen."
"Caspian-" I tried again, still softly, but there was only one thing I could muster," Thank you."
I looked away, embarassed slightly by my pathetic answer, but he took it very seriously. He gave me a nod before starting to leave once more," I hope that once all of this is over you and the High King are happy together," he told me, his tone genuine.
It took me a moment, but I felt it was only appropriate that I answer with," As well as yourself and the Queen," I told him, just as soft.
His stare was intense for a moment after I said the words, he seemed almost as shocked that I had said it that I was, but nevertheless, he still thanked me before turning on his heel to begin the big day.
As soon as he left, I shook my head in disbelief as I looked into the distance. I couldn't believe that Caspian had just come up to see me and spilled his heart out. There was no mention of our fall out, no mention of our despise for each other, but only true feelings. Well, Caspian's true feelings, I felt guilty that I couldn't even answer. I was too caught off guard to come up with anything, but it was a relief to know that Caspian was not still bitter toward me. It was a relief to know that he still thought of me as family.
The only problem was that I was then more confused than ever before.