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08 August 2008 @ 11:07 pm
Three Hearts, One Destiny - C3  
Three Hearts, One Destiny
Chapter 3 – The Fall of Hope   
Paring: Peter/Susan, Edmund/Susan
Rating: NC-17
Summary:  Peter realizes that the life he lost is just that: lost.
Disclaimer: I own nothing
A/N:  This little story was brought back from the dead by aminuleen who requested I finish it.  Thank you!  

Previous Chapters:
C1 - Of Marriages and Loves, Born and Born Again
C2 - Return of the Magnificent

“She simply needs to be reminded of our love.” Peter said to himself, pacing back and forth in his chambers.
He found himself greatly displeased that Susan chose not to return to their chambers tonight. He was certain that by now she would have come to her senses. He was hurt that Susan seemed to have forgotten their love, their marriage when it was the one thing that kept him alive all these years alone.
He stepped out of his chambers and made his way to where he knew Susan must be. With their son. A son he’d agreed to slowly get to know. Susan didn’t want her little boy to be confused if Peter smothered him too quickly. Peter could understand the logic of that, but he still longed to be a pivotal part of his son’s life.
In Peter’s hand he held the ring he’d given to Susan on their wedding day. A ring he was horrified to find she no longer wore. With Aslan’s grace, he’d see her wear it once more.
As he expected, he found Susan in the nursery, accompanied by the sound of laughter and mirth. He stepped through the open door, a smile forming on his face as he saw his son playing on the ground as Susan watched on. Before he could speak, he realized it wasn’t just Susan watching on. Edmund was with her. He wasn’t just with her, he was holding her. He was holding her in ways Peter believed only he could. Even worse, she was ... happy to be in Edmund’s arms. Her head nestled against his shoulder and her arms were wrapped around his waist, as his were to her. They were both smiling, laughing softly at the sight of the two year old playing before them. 
Peter’s eyes furrowed with pain and he found himself stepping backward. His gaze moved from Susan and Edmund to his son, who seemed as happy as Susan to be in Edmund’s company. In his ‘father’s’ company. Peter returned his gaze to Susan and Edmund, just in time to see her smile and tilt her head up. His stomach tightened as he saw her lips mouth ‘I love you’ to him before he smiled and kissed her lingeringly.
Peter found himself struggling to process this sight. Struggling to process the meaning of it. Could this truly be happening? Could she have truly moved on and not even his return could bring her back to his heart? He stepped backward and stumbled into the wall behind him, causing Susan and Edmund to both turn in surprise and see him. He stared back at them for a moment, his eyes filled with hurt and confusion. Before anyone could speak, he turned and ran as fast as his legs would carry him. He couldn’t breathe. He couldn’t think. All he could do was move on instinct as felt what little was left of his hope fall away from him. Deny as he might, he knew now that Susan truly had moved on. She was no longer his.
“Peter?” Lucy said softly, finding him sitting alone in the courtyard.
She could tell he was deep in thought. She could tell he was melancholy. She could tell he was changed. He was not the brother she remembered. He had a despair about him, and one she did not believe belonged just to Edmund and Susan’s marriage. He had returned darker, sadder, hiding a pain she did not understand. Her heart ached for him. She wanted her brother to be magnificent once more. She wanted him to feel magnificent once more.
“Not now, Lu.” Peter whispered, his gaze still focused on the stars in the night sky, “Not now.”
Lucy frowned, wishing she could do something to help him. Something to connect with him. Something to feel the Peter of old return to her and Narnia. She placed her hand upon his shoulder and squeezed gently.
“Peter, please. I’ve missed you. You were gone for so long and now you finally return you are ...”
“Darker?” Peter asked, turning to face her for the first time, “I am a shadow, Lucy. Do you not realize what I have lost? I have lost years, Lu. I have lost hope. Who are you to expect anything from me but what I am now?”
“Your sister.” Lucy pouted sadly, “Peter, it’s me. I haven’t changed.”
Peter brushed her hand away from himself forcefully as he stood up, speaking with contempt, “You have all changed. We have all changed. I’ve changed.”
Lucy could not believe what he had just done. Peter had never raised a hand to her before. He had never been so forceful with her before. She was startled by his contemptuous tone. As he walked away, Lucy watched after him sadly, wondering how and why her brother had changed so much. 
“Peter, I cannot yield my heart or my marriage.” Edmund said desperately, having finally found Peter to try and ease the tensions between them, “I understand this is a difficult period for you, but ... please, try and understand. Susan and I have a life together now. We have a s..”
“My son!” Peter snapped suddenly, grabbing Edmund by the collar, “He’s my son!”
“And he is also my son, Peter.” Edmund said calmly, keeping his composure, “I have raised him as my own in your absence. He is my son as much as he is yours. I am not here to keep him from you, but I will not stand here and pretend he means nothing to me either. He is my son, and he is your son, and we both love him dearly. Do not let that be a reason for contention, Peter, when it can simply be another reason to bless him with twice the love of a father.”
Peter gasped with bitter tears, “You have taken everything I love from me, Ed. I have dreamed of returning to those I love only to find they nestle their hearts next to yours and look at me as a stranger. My crown, my heart, my son? What would you leave for me? What reason was there for me to live and return home when my home is just here to remind me of what I no longer have? This is not my life, it is yours.”
Peter shoved Edmund off him and turned on his heels, marching away as quickly as he could. He pulled his hood up over his head and disappeared out into the cold night. He could no longer remain in Cair Paravel, pretending he was fine with Edmund and Susan’s relationship. Pretending he was fine with the fact his own son, the pride of his heart, had no idea who he was. 
The most frustrating aspect for Peter is that he did not hate his brother for what he’d done. He did not hate him now for what he was doing. Edmund had become the High King and with grace and calm he reigned over Narnia. Peter could not fault his brother in that regard. As much as it pained him to admit it, Edmund was as capable, if not more capable than he was.
Peter walked into the night, freezing rain falling all about him. He knew he was not being tracked and he was cautious to ensure he remained hidden. He needed time to breathe, to think, and perhaps to cry. Perhaps definitely to cry. 
After walking for hours and finding himself spent physically, Peter collapsed against a tree. He slid down against it, huddling and bursting into weak sobs. He did not feel a High King anymore. He did not know what he felt or where he belonged. All he could do was sob pitifully and let the rain soak through his garments and spread a biting chill throughout his body. He didn’t care about the cold. The cold seemed a greater friend than the confusion at Cair Paravel.
“Where is he?” Susan gasped, “Where is Peter?”
“I do not know, Su, but I have our best scouts searching for him. The dryads will alert us immediately if they find him.” Edmund reassured.
“This is our fault. I was too hard on him. Too distant.” Susan said frantically, pacing back and forth with tears in her eyes, “We have driven him out. He came home only to find it was a home he no longer felt welcome in. This is what we have done, Ed.”
Edmund took her hands in his own and stared at her with confusion and anguish in his eyes. He loved Peter. He felt terrible for the pain he’d caused Peter. Yet he still could not bring himself to let Susan go.
“If you want him, you must tell me.” Edmund said anxiously, “If your heart is with him, you must tell me.”
“My heart is with you both! How am I to decide between the man I fell in love with and married, and the man I fell in love with and married?” Susan gasped, “I am your wife and I know this in my heart, but the more he is here and around us, the more I feel as if I am still his wife as well. And what are the legalities of both our marriages? Am I married to him or you? If he was never dead, how can his marriage to me be annulled?”
“I am still High King, and I stand before you now telling you that you are my wife, and no longer his.” Edmund said adamantly, “And I will only yield that position when you tell me yourself that you no longer wish to be my wife.”
“And when he is High King again, Ed? What then?” 
“Then I shall ... trust in and honour whatever he decides. Legalities aside, Su, I married you in good faith as much as Peter did. You are my wife and you are his wife. To debate whose wife you are more than the other comes down to you and what you desire.” Edmund said, placing a chaste kiss against her cheek, “But know that no matter what you or Peter decide, there is no choice for me. You have always been my heart, my desire. You always shall be.”
Susan turned away, tears streaming down her cheeks. Her heart hurt for Peter, and yet she could not change how deeply she loved the man beside her. She turned back to Edmund and stepped into his arms, kissing him deeply. She sobbed into the kiss, hoping he would hold her, love her, erase the fear and doubt she felt within her. Just as she hoped, he did. He held her, he loved her, he erased the fear and doubt she felt within her. When their kiss was done, she knew. She knew Edmund was her heart, her desire. 
“I love you.” She whispered, still crying, still hurting for her first love, “But we must bring him home. We cannot cast him out of our hearts and minds as if it will make our lives any easier. He is the High King of Narnia, Ed. He is our Peter.”
“I shall see it done myself, Su.” Edmund said, invigorated by her kiss, her submission to his arms, “I shall see it done myself.”
Edmund kept his word to Susan. He personally set out with a detachment of his Royal Guard, on a quest to find Peter the Magnificent. Edmund was a keen rider and a skilled hunter. He could track the most elusive of prey through the thickest of forest or the whitest of snow. Yet he had never hunted prey as magnificent as his brother. If anyone could evade Edmund, it was Peter. If Peter did not wish to be found, Edmund would have his work cut out trying to find him.
“Where are you, Peter?” Edmund asked himself as he stared out around the forest, “Where are you?”
- To Be Continued -
elexandros: Nerdy Narniaelexandros on August 8th, 2008 03:06 pm (UTC)
Oh! I thought for certain this would be the third and final chapter but WHEEEEEEE cause there's more! :D
I'm so happeh you finally updated this. ^____^
Only you can make someone feel sad for both parties. Normally one side is presented as being the right side, but not with Subbie, nope nope. I feel horrible for Peter but they *did* think he was dead. Ed did what he should have, in that case. But its sad.
Can't wait for the next, Subbie!
aminuleen on August 8th, 2008 08:52 pm (UTC)
Love it!
WOW! There's more? I just love your characterization of Edmund:) I feel bad for Peter though. Hopefully a solution can be resolved so that both he and Edmund can have what they want*Grin* Great Job! And you did it for me.*Gives Hug*.
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