Chapter 10 -Healing Our Wounds
“Dris? Drisana, wake up.” Caspian’s voice brought her from her sleep. She had fallen asleep hard; exhausted from the blood loss she had been fighting with.
“What?” Drisana groaned, sitting straight up and looking around her. They had arrived back at the How and the soldiers looked exhausted from the night’s endeavors. Caspian dismounted and then turned around to help her down.
“We're back.” He informers her but his voice is low and full of emotion. He was upset about many things that had happened in that castle. She knew exactly what he was thinking about. His eyes said it all, by the way he cradled her in his arms – she could barely stand at the moment – and how his eyes traveled to stare at the wound in her arm that still had the arrow head in it. He felt guilty about everything that had happened to her and the other Narnians. She wanted to comfort him but her energy was so depleted she could barely think.
“What happened?” Lucy’s voice had her breaking eye contact with the Prince and looking at the very worried younger Queen.
“Ask him?” Peter scoffed gesturing over to Caspian. The blame was obvious in his statement.
“Me? You could have called it off. There was still time.” Caspian countered back, not wanting to hear his own guilt out in the open for the rest of the Narnians to hear, much less his own ears; it hurt too much.
“No there wasn't thanks to you! If you had kept to the plan those soldiers might be alive right now!” Peter yelled at him. Caspian handed her off to a Narnian close to him before stepping forward towards Peter.
“And if we had stayed here like I had suggested they definitely would be!”
“You called us remember?”
“My first mistake.”
“No. Your first mistake was thinking you could lead these people.” Peter had thought that his comment would end the conversation and started walking away but Caspian yelled at him, highly offended. Peter had played right into Caspian’s insecurities, easily getting a fight from him.
“Hey!” Peter turned to face Caspian. “I am not the one who abandoned Narnia.”
“You invaded Narnia. You have no more right to lead that Miraz does.” Caspian began walking away as Peter had tried but Peter kept talking. “You, him, your father; Narnia is better off without the lot of you!” The scream that tore from Caspian’s lips startled her out of her weakened state. It was a mix of anger and anguish that she had never heard before but seeing that the boys had drawn their swords gave her a new found strength to step in before anything happened.
“Stop it!” She rushed forward getting between their blades. “Both of You! Go cool down before someone gets hurt!” She directed at Caspian. “I'll talk to you later.” She scowled at Peter. Before following Caspian into the How. She found him staring at the mural of the Kings and Queens on the stone walls. She stood there for a minute catching her breath. He looked even more exhausted as she felt and she understood why. He had just found out that his uncle had killed his parents as well as being berated by a boy who was the same age, which she knew was aggravating. When she finally spoke her voice was kind and full of concern for the Prince. “Caspian? Are you alright?”
“I'm fine.” He replied shortly. ‘Yeah right.’ She thought approaching him and gently grasping his upper arm for both her own support and to comfort him.
“Try to ignore what Peter said. We lost a lot of men, and he was proven wrong. He's just upset with himself and taking it out on you.” She explained to him hoping it would lift his spirits a little. It didn’t work in the slightest.
“He's right you know. I shouldn't be the one to take the crown.” Caspian looked at her and his eyes were brimming with years of unshed tears. Her heart went out to him as it usually did, but it felt different this time.
“Do you really believe that? I see a boy what is becoming the man I knew he would. When this is all over you are going to make an excellent King.” She gives him a warm smile for reassurance and it widens when he sighs and pulls her into a hug, careful of her injured arm.
“Thank you.” He whispers into her hair. She melted into the embrace, enjoying the warmth and security it brought her.
“Are you so glad of that magic horn now boy? Your Kings and Queens have failed us. Your army is half dead and those that aren't will be soon enough.” There at the end of the tunnel Nikabrik was walking toward the pair, a scowl on his face. She could sense that something was off about the situation. Nikabrik hated Caspian and the other Kings and Queens. He had once served the White Witch and was only loyal to Aslan because it kept him alive and well fed. Anything he could do to defeat the Telmarines he would do, even killing the future King.
“What do you want? Congratulations?” Caspian asked his voice holding a strong tone of irritation.
“You want your uncle’s blood? So do us. You want his throne? We can get it for you.” Nikabrik purposed. She didn’t like this. Not one bit. The look on Caspian’s face told her that the dwarf had reached him and that he was actually interested in what he was purposing,
“Caspian? No...” She tried to plead with him but her pleas fell short as he followed Nikabrik to the room with the cracked stone table. She attempted to hold him back but he brushed her off.
“You tried one ancient power. It failed. But there is a power greater still. One that kept even Aslan at bay for over a hundred years.” Her eyes widened. It couldn’t be. Nikabrik didn’t have the power to bring back Jadis even if he wanted to. The stopped in front of the arch and turned around as they heard a growling. She stepped closer to Caspian grabbing his hand as a dark figure appeared, walking toward them slowly. Caspian drew his sword.
“I am hunger. I am thirst. I can fast a hundred years and not die. I can lie a hundred nights on the ice and not freeze. I can drink a river of blood and not burst. Show me...your enemies!” The figure threw back its hood revealing a huge wolf, standing on its hind legs like a human would.
“What you hate so will we. Nobody hates better than us.” From the opposite side a Hag appeared Caspian took a step back away from both of them in fear.
“And you can... guarantee Miraz's death?” Caspian inquired.
“And more. Let the circle be drawn.” The Hag replies and Caspian lets go of her hand to sheath his sword. She is pulled away by the wolf who holds her by her wounded arm, making her immobile for fear of making the internal damage worse than it already was. She starts to struggle but the dwarf grabs at her wound and she bites her lip to keep from crying out. Through teary eyes she watched as the Hag finished drawing the circle in the dirt around Caspian before she began chanting. From her robes she pulled the broken wand of the White Witch and held it above her head still chanting before she slammed it into the ground in front of the arch. Like an epicenter of an earthquake the ice that radiated from the wand crawled up the arch and created a thick wall of ice. A moment or two passed before Jadis appeared in the ice like a reflection on water. At the sight of the Ice Queen Caspian began shuffling backwards.
“Wait this isn't what I wanted.” The Prince panicked. The wolf moved to hold Caspian in place, throwing her out of the way where her head bounced off a rock and she fell to the ground on her side, unconscious.
“Drisana!? Dris? Come on! Wake up!” Slowly her hearing became clearer and she could hear what the man was yelling at her. Well, boy. Caspian seemed to be cradling her in his arms. ‘This is becoming a habit.’ She groaned as she felt the aches in her body scream at her not to move.
“I thought Cornelius taught you not to yell at women.” She whispered as she opened her eyes. It took several moments but eventually her vision came back to her and she found Caspian’s distraught face above her. He had that look on his face like the day he had found his parents and immediately she wanted to wrap him in a hug but she found herself incapable of moving.
“I thought I lost you.” He whispers in her ear, holding her tighter. She winces as her wounded arm gets pinned between her body and his. He quickly lets her go and apologizes.
“I'm alright. It takes more than a bump on the head to get rid of me.” She was about to sit up when he stood up from the ground with her still in his arms.
“Alright, come. Let’s get you cleaned up.” He said walking off toward the room where she slept.
“I can walk you know.” She half-heartedly argues before sighing and just leaning her head on his chest and closing her eyes. His heart beat was racing within his chest and she held back a chuckle at the affect she seemed to have on him. Or was he just worried about her?
They reached her room and he finally set her down but walked out to get bandages and water to clean the wounds with. He came back with a basin of water and a pile of cloth. She watched as he sat across from her on a bed roll that hadn’t been there before. A small smile graced her lips at the thought of Caspian sleeping beside her. The last time they had done that was back when they had camped after the debate on the Dancing Lawn. She had felt a sense of protection, having him so close. One would think that as a Guardian when wouldn’t need to be protected but after many years of needing it she had grown accustomed to the feeling of security.
“You first.” Caspian’s voice pulled her from her thoughts and she looked at him with a confused look. He chuckled and pointed to her arm. “I need to get to your arm. Then your back as well t o make sure there aren’t too many bruises or worse broken bones.” She nodded her head before attempting to pull her shirt over the top of her head, failing miserably. Caspian laughed before skillfully removing her shirt from her torso. The look on his face was one of interest at what he saw. He paid no attention to her covered feminine features but the back ink and scars that littered her body in areas that could easily covered. She was glad when he didn’t ask any question or say anything to her about them. He made a motion for her to turn sideways and she complied also moving closer to him so he could have a better reach. He put his legs on either side of her before speaking. “Grab my ankle and squeeze. I need to get the arrow head out.” He instructed her. She waited patiently as she felt him grab the remaining bits of the shaft. The shock of pain that went through her body paralyzed her and her scream got stuck in her throat but the grip on his ankle had him wincing. He continued to work while she was in her zoned out state and when he finished stitching and cleaning the wound her gently grabbed her chin between his index finger and thumb and had her look at him. She had tears in her eyes from the pain and when she blinked a few rolled down her cheeks but he was quick to wipe them away.
“That hurt!” She whimpered and he couldn’t control the laughter from erupting from his lips. He didn’t know what was so funny about it. Either the fact that she looked like a five year old whose favorite toy had just broken or the fact that all she could say was ‘that hurt.’ She just stared at him, a smile forming on her face at the sight of him smiling because of her.
“Now your turn. You have dirt all over your face.” She announced and he sat up still shaking with silent laughter. She took the basin of water and a piece of cloth and began wiping away the dirt and grime that had collected on his face during the fight. “Let me see your hand.” He lifted it up for her to see and she winced at the sight of it. There was a deep cut on his palm from the base of his pinkie to the start of his wrist. She made quick work of cleaning it thoroughly and wrapping it up before a blush heated her cheeks at the thought of what she was about to ask him. ”You're going to have to remove your shirt.”
“What? Why?” He looked at her skeptically, and eyebrow quirked up in curiosity. .
“There is a wound on the back of your shoulder.” She tells him. He does as she asks and she cleaned the scabbed over cut before starting to clean up the mess. Caspian caught her wrist as she was about to leave his side and he pulled her down so he could look her in the eyes. He looked like he wanted to say something or do something but he didn’t move. They were both shirtless, sitting in the middle of the room with both their bed rolls on the floor. They were nearly nose to nose as she sat there. The proximity was getting to her and the thoughts that flitted through her brain made her blush and heat up everywhere. The warmth spread throughout her body and it made her hypersensitive to his touch. His eyes drifted from her eyes to what she thought were her lips but she thought she had imagined it and decided break the silence.
“Caspian? ... I'm going to go get some clothes on.” She said. He blinked before pulling away and nodding. She got up and went behind the screen to change. ‘Did that really just happen?’ Her mind was racing with the possibilities as to where that situation could have gone and she has to take a few quiet deep breaths to keep herself calm. She couldn’t afford to do anything stupid now. They were too close for that. She didn’t want to mess it up if they ever went that far and then to find out that he couldn’t break her curse. After regaining her composure she stepped out into the room fully clothed and laid down on her bed roll. Caspian was already laying on his, still with no shirt on but she had already guessed that he wasn’t going to sleep with on since he didn’t back at the palace. Though she had seen him shirtless countless many times she had never been that close to him, so close she could run her hands over the well defined abs to feel the taught muscle beneath her fingers.
“Good night Caspian.” She nearly clapped a hand over her mouth in surprise by how lustful her voice sounded. She was lying on her back and he leaned over her, kissing her on the forehead.
“Good night Drisana.” That was all it took for her to swoon like she hadn’t before in front of him and she knew he saw it; the way her eyes closed and she smiled in ecstasy.