I'll come back when you call me (dancing_in_time) wrote,
I'll come back when you call me
dancing_in_time

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Fic - So Close

Title: So Close
Rating: T
Pairing: Susan/Caspian
Summary: Susan and Caspian have a bit of a heart-to-heart over a wounded hand. Missing scene.
Disclaimer: “You are a mouse!” “A mouse with copyrights who would gallantly strike you down if ever you tried to take the credit!” I am not the Mouse.

The tunnel chilled her bones where only a minute before, the flames from the torches flushed her cheeks. Even now, walking fast to catch up to her brother didn’t warm her. “Ed, slow down!”

A voice from a bend ahead of her echoed, “Just leave me alone, Susan!”

She stopped walking and released a frustrated sigh. Sitting on a handy outcropping, Susan decided to wait until Peter left the Table room. At least then she’d be able to talk sense into someone out of her family. Brothers, she thought, shaking her head.

As she waited, the chill increased. She rubbed her arms quickly, using friction to heat them up, her long sleeves doing little to keep the cold out. Ever since that…Witch showed up again, the How lost a bit of its welcome, becoming more of a tomb than before. She looked at a torch above her and wished it would melt the remainder of the ice away and then get rid of the terrible memories.

Memories of Edmund being told he had to die, as a traitor.

Susan shuddered anew at that remembrance. Thank heavens Aslan was there to save her brother.

Aslan at least showed up that time.

She tried to keep the morbid thoughts away, but with everyone around her fighting and seeking new ways to win, it proved difficult. Susan hated feeling helpless and the reappearance of the White Witch, though short-lived, increased that feeling.

Susan heard steps quickly approaching her. She kept her gaze at her feet and said, “You really should be more appreciative for everything Ed does for you, Peter.”

“Queen Susan?” Susan’s head popped up immediately at the voice that did not belong to her brother. Caspian looked down at her, worry creasing his brow.

Susan sighed and pursed her lips. “I’m sorry, I thought you were Peter.”

“I heard.” Caspian smiled a little bit, but Susan saw that his dark eyes did not shine with the same amusement. She noticed his right hand clench as if out of annoyance and found herself wishing for a moment to take that hand in her own and help his stress disappear.

She immediately shook that thought from her head. Don’t be ridiculous, Susan. This is a war, not a holiday.

Yet, the prince did not walk on. Susan supposed that it would be wise to walk with him and get both of them out of the cold tunnel. She stood up and gave Caspian a small smile before taking the torch out of its holder and pointing it ahead of them. “Shall we?”

He bowed his head to her. “After royalty, of course.” The quick banter looked to improve his mood somewhat. Susan smiled wider and started onward. She was glad for the warmth gained from walking, and before she knew it, Caspian was right beside her, some of his own warmth mixing with the air around her.

As well as his scent, she noticed.

Oh, stop it already.

They walked on in silence for a few moments until Caspian spoke up, a slight tremor in his voice. “I want to apologize for my actions back there, by the Stone Table.” He looked over at her, searching Susan’s profile for any acceptance. She slowed down, but did not meet his gaze. He grasped at something else to say, anything to defend himself. “I had a moment of weakness. And after learning everything you and your siblings did to rid Narnia of the Witch, I feel even more a fool.”

Susan stopped, still not looking at the prince. She wanted to be angry with him, chastise him for his foolish behavior and bad decision, but the sincerity in his voice stopped her. She of all people knew that mistakes were made by even the best of people. Peter, Edmund, even Lucy, weren’t perfect people. She definitely wasn’t.

And, she quickly thought, no bad consequences came of it this time.

She sighed and turned to look at Caspian, but something distracted her from his face. “You’re bleeding.”

He instinctively hid his left hand behind his back, hoping she really didn’t notice, but it was too late. She stood in front of him and gently grabbed his arm to get a better look at his sliced palm. “It’s…it’s nothing, just a scratch. Nothing I’d worry about.” But her hand gripping his forearm, now that was something worth noticing.

Susan looked at his face. “That’s what I’m afraid of. If you keep your hand unprotected like this, it will get infected in no time.” She smirked. “And what great swordsman would be so careless as to let his other arm fall into disrepair? Come on, let’s get you bandaged up.” She let go of his arm and continued to lead the way through the tunnel.

Caspian watched her for a moment, watched the way her hips barely swayed; she was intent to meet her next goal head-on. He followed her, still relishing the feel of her hand on his arm only seconds before.

One final turn in the tunnel led them into a small room, the walls lined with a few chests and makeshift tables. Susan walked to the center of the room and starting turning in a circle as she surveyed the chests. “Bother, I can’t remember where the first aid supplies are.” Caspian watched, a barely visible smile playing on his lips, as she rested one hand on the nape of her neck and bit her lower lip. She then focused on a random chest and walked to it, determination etched across her brow.

Caspian sat down at the nearest table. “I wouldn’t take you for someone interested in the healing profession.” She looked at him from her kneeling position in front of an open chest, a questioning look in her eyes. “I mean, I know you’re called the Gentle, but from what I’ve seen of you personally, you’re quite the warrior.”

Susan closed the chest with a smile and moved to a different one. “I have to do what I can for Narnia. If that involves fighting, then I’ll do it, though I’d rather not.” She opened this new chest and dug around. “I’d rather sit in a high tower and read about the history I’ve missed all these years.” She closed the trunk and stood up, looking slightly miffed. “Lucy could’ve been a little more specific as to where everything was.”

Susan heard Caspian clear his throat behind her back. She turned around and he pointed to an open trunk beside where he was sitting. She sighed and trudged over to him, putting her hands on her hips when she reached her destination. “Lucky guess?”

“Your sister, actually. She took care of my arm after we returned from the raid.” He nodded to his arm and Susan saw a glimpse of bandage through the tear in his sleeve from where he was shot with a crossbow bolt. She silently thanked Lucy for her thoughtfulness. It had been such a long day that she hadn’t even remembered Caspian’s injury.

“Oh, Lucy.” She went to the open chest next to Caspian and found the bandages right away, as well as some absorbing cloth. She leaned across Caspian to place the items on the table and noticed him look at her with those beautiful, dark eyes. They locked eyes for a moment and time seemed to still. Susan’s heartbeat quickened, but she pulled away before either of them could do anything they’d regret. “I’ll go fetch some water.”

Caspian sighed and watched her walk quickly out of the room through a different tunnel than the one in which they arrived. She had been so close, her smell still wafted around him. He closed his eyes and breathed deeply, taking in the smell of old books. Susan was an enigma to him. She was a young woman who fought for Narnia without fear or question, but admitted to only wanting time to herself, some peace and quiet. Caspian didn’t know which side of her he wanted to get to know better.

He didn’t have time to muse as he heard her come back with a bowl of water and a small towel draped over her shoulder. “Here we are.” She set the bowl down in front of Caspian and took a seat beside him. “Also, if you could take off your vambrace, it would be helpful. I want you to be comfortable, at least.” He didn’t question her motives since the vambrace wasn’t uncomfortable anyway, but he quickly undid the leather and unbuttoned his sleeve cuff. As she dabbed the towel in the hot water and took Caspian’s hand, she took her mind off the intimacy of the moment by talking about her sister. “I wish Lucy wasn’t so interested in the healing arts sometimes. She should be thinking about dresses and flowers, not pain and even death. This may sting a bit.”

Caspian winced as the wet towel opened up the wound again, wiping away the caked-on blood. He had been caught up in the feel of Susan’s hand holding his own, her fingertips calloused from her archery training instead of the smooth he always imagined a woman’s hand to be, that he was unprepared for the sharp pain coursing through his hand and arm. He tried to pull his hand away, but Susan kept a firm grip on it, wiping away the blood as gently, but also as quickly, as she could. “I’m sorry.”

“It is alright.” He focused again on their physical attachment and bore the stinging in his hand as best he could. “You were saying about your sister?”

“That was it, really. And it goes for Peter and Edmund, as well. We’re all growing up too fast, I think.” She wiped away the last remnants of blood and gently blew on his palm to keep the stinging at bay. She then pressed the thicker cloth to his cut and said, “I’ll need you to apply pressure to stop the bleeding.” She started to unroll the bandages.

Caspian did as he was told. “But, you will all need to grow up soon enough. It is a dangerous world here.”

“Back home, where we come from, we’re still children and will be for a few years yet. I don’t want them to forget how to live back home if we have to leave Narnia.”

“Leave Narnia?” Caspian nearly gasped. Susan nodded, now wrapping Caspian’s hand with the bandages. “Will you have to?”

“I don’t know. I never know how this world works.” She ripped off the bandage from the roll and tied it around Caspian’s hand. “There, I hope that lives up to Lucy’s handiwork.” She smiled, but didn’t move from her spot at the table.

Caspian decided not to think about Susan leaving and instead looked down at their hands. Susan’s was still on top of his and, although his hand throbbed with slight pain, he began to curl his fingers around Susan’s hand. He wanted so badly to hold her hand, to let her know that she didn’t have to be alone. He looked at her face, capturing her eyes with his impenetrable gaze. Susan tried to look away, but couldn’t, and instead she found herself tenderly grip his wrist and slide closer to him. They both straddled the bench next to the table, and their knees soon touched. Susan wouldn’t let them go farther than that.

Caspian took her other hand and intertwined their fingers. He parted his lips, his breath coming in short spurts. Surely Susan could feel his pulse running rampant through his wrist, but she didn’t make any note of it, for she was in a similar state of mind.

So close…

Without taking his eyes off her, Caspian slowly moved his head toward Susan’s, letting their foreheads touch. Susan closed her eyes, her breathing shallow. She squeezed his good hand and licked her lips. Caspian’s eyes followed her tongue, and he leaned in closer, their lips barely touching, when Susan pulled back suddenly. “I…I can’t do this.” She looked at him apologetically. “We’re in a war, Caspian. We don’t have time for frivolities.” She stood up, letting go of Caspian’s good hand and slowly running her fingertips over his bandaged hand. Calloused tip met calloused tip and Caspian tried to keep their hands connected at first, but then let her go when she shook her head. “I’m sorry.”

Susan quickly walked out of the room without looking back. Caspian sighed, and looked at his left hand, fingers still tingling from the recent touches. Queen Susan may have been young, but Caspian decided that she was worth anything that came his way.

Yes, there was a war going on, but Caspian would fight just as hard as Susan. He would fight for Narnia and for his throne, he would fight to restore peace to the land and to set everything right again.

But most of all, Caspian would fight to have one more moment with a young woman who could make him smile again.
Tags: caspian, chronicles of narnia, fic, narnia, susan pevensie
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