Story Recap: Caspian had fortuitously witnessed several intimate moments between the brothers throughout the years, and on the eve of his coronation, he'd drunkenly instigated a few "almosts" that haunted him. But now he stood at the precipice, awaiting the answer that would change his life.
Dedication: lethargiccayla, free_ghost_hugs_for_all_good_bois, Super-Kätzchen, and SnowFlakeWrites for all your enthusiasm and comments!
Winds of Change
By Noelle Scribe
Change of Heart
"High King Peter Pevensie, will you do me the honor of accepting my hand in marriage?"
The crowd gasped again, excited whispers circling, people shushing each other to hear the High King's reply. Peter was awestruck to say the least; butterflies filled his stomach, his mouth parted in a silent gasp, his eyes wide as saucers. Was he dreaming? He must have been silent a few moments too long, because he felt Edmund, his husband, pinch him, whispering heatedly, "Say something!"
"I...I...I'm already married, Caspian.... I...I don't know what to say." It was the first time Peter had ever seemed unsure in front of Caspian, or his subjects for that matter, feeling for all his years like the young man he appeared to be.
Caspian smirked, briefly confident, shifting his weight on his hips. Caspian motioned to Edmund to join them, extending one of his hands to take the brunette's. Peter certainly hadn't expected a marriage proposal and he wasn't sure what his impulsive friend would do next. All Peter could do was watch passively, enraptured.
Peter barely suppressed the shiver as Caspian's voice lowered deeply, bordering on sultry, "King Edmund Pevensie, would you do me the same courtesy? Along with your husband, of course." He flashed the shorter youth a perfect smile and Peter could tell his brother was similarly struck speechless at its brilliance. The crowd was gaping and whispering while the others on the dais silently watched this momentous act transpire with baited breath.
"I-Is that even allowed?" asked Edmund incredulously, looking to Aslan, who remained resolutely mute as he watched the events unfold.
"It is if you happen to be a king...such as we three," Caspian dared any naysayers to voice a foul word with this statement. When none did, a small teasing grin alighted his handsome face, squeezing the kings' hands. Peter looked to Edmund meaningfully, trying to gauge his thoughts.
"I...I think I need to have a word with my husband first," Peter whispered, giving away no emotion. Peter's stomach had seemed to drop out from under him, his heart racing, the crowd's eyes and whispers boring into him.
Caspian nodded, "Yes, of course," and he politely stepped away a few paces. If he was effected by the onlookers, then he didn't outwardly show it. The Telmarine stood taller for it, arms clasped behind him, exuding confidence. It was his tell, his emotional armor. Peter knew Caspian well enough to know when a maelstrom was raging inside the handsome monarch. Susan and Lucy moved to stand beside Aslan to give their brothers privacy.
The brothers leaned in close so they could not be overheard, hands seeking comfort and support from one another. Peter snuck a glance at the handsome Telmarine and his heart swelled into his throat, a raw emotion stealing over him. "Aslan told us earlier this would be my last time in Narnia. He told me an offer would be made, and that I had a choice that would shape Narnian history, but I thought...I thought He meant it was time for us to leave and let Caspian reign. Maybe He was talking about this instead? What do you think, Ed? Could you live with something like this?" he whispered, voice shaky, his guard only ever lowered in front of his spouse.
Edmund huffed a little in exasperation. "You know Aslan speaks in riddles. I wouldn't be surprised if He meant for you to live a second life here before returning," rationalized the Just King. "And...Honestly, I...I've noticed the way Caspian looks at us. At you especially. And I've seen the way you look at him. I think he's had these feelings for a long time. I'm actually surprised he's waited this long to propose." Peter chuckled - trusting Edmund to know exactly what to say to calm his nerves. Edmund bit his bottom lip, meeting his brother's stormy eyes, measuring his next words carefully - ever the diplomat. "I've felt a growing fondness between us...all three of us...over the years. I can't deny that I...may have entertained...thoughts." The brunette blushed prettily. "What do you think?" He worried his bottom lip in his teeth.
Peter pondered, momentarily distracted by the urge to kiss that abused bottom lip, mindful of the crowd's suspense. "Caspian is kind and good and handsome-"
"More than handsome," Edmund quirked an eyebrow, accompanied by a smirk. "I've seen you ogle him more than you'd like to admit." Peter was about to protest, but his brother held up a hand to smother the outburst. "I'm not accusing and I'm not jealous. I've done my fair share of ogling him, too." Peter deflated at his husband's easy reassurance. "He's kind, good, gorgeous. Yes, I agree that Caspian is all those things...what else, dear husband?" The title was a tease and Peter ventured a grin.
"If you've entertained thoughts...then so have I. Many...many thoughts. There were moments when I was sure we...when he and I might.... I don't know." He shook his head, brows furrowed. "I’d never do anything behind your back, Ed. But...I can't deny that one of my greatest fantasies has been...t-to share you with him," Peter blushed, a rare thing for him to do - which spoke volumes about his discomfort. But he trudged on courageously for the sake of his husband. "I can't deny that...over the years...I've developed...feelings for him. He's intelligent, idealistic, curious...like you in many ways. I...I felt guilty. That's why I never shared this with you, Ed. I'm sorry." Worry creased the High King's features.
"Ya know, Pete, one of the reasons I love Narnia is that it is so free here," the brunette shook his head like the notion was obvious, rolling his smiling eyes at his brother. "They accepted our rule, our brotherly love, our marriage, our children. And maybe you weren't paying attention before, or maybe you just hated cracking open a book, but group marriage is also a Narnian tradition. Mr. Beaver ended up having two wives. Trufflehunter had a husband and a wife before they passed. It is not uncommon for centaurs to have large marital groups." Peter could see Edmund's tactician gears turning as his hand flitted over his stomach, pulling on the brocade hemline. "What better way to unite the Telmarines and the Narnians than with an old tradition by being the examples of love and acceptance."
"But...what if one of us gets jealous, or spends more time with the other? What if the Telmarines don't accept it and decide to uprise again? It's not like multiple marriage was part of their culture. Could you live with this? With two husbands?"
"Peter, I'm sure we'll have a lot of help from those who are in similar relationships. And I'm sure we'll figure it out as we go along. That's what talking is for," he chided. "And I'm sure the Telmarines will enjoy Caspian's progressive rule better than their last oppressor. I see no reason why they'd oppose him in this, since it means they'll enjoy the same liberty." Edmund shifted his weight on his feet, absentmindedly carding fingers through his luscious hair. "I know your bond with Caspian is stronger than mine is with him, but I don't doubt he and I could easily fall for each other just as deeply in time.... Look at him." They turned to Caspian, standing stoically and patiently, appraising the leader with a burning gaze they normally reserved for each other. "How brave he is. He's risking so much. He said he'd wanted to do this differently. He's been thinking about it for some time." They turned back to each other when Edmund sighed. "I don't want to go home, Peter," he smoothed the fabric over his flat stomach, a nervous habit. "Not yet. Not for a long time."
"Okay." Peter leaned down to place a sweet kiss upon Edmund's forehead, to the shock of all watching since the kings were renowned for their restraint. They clasped their hands together, presenting a united front, striding over to Caspian with their answer.
Caspian held his chin high, voice low enough to reach only Peter and Edmund. “Before you say anything, I would like to remind you I would have liked this to be a much different setting and time, but the circumstances.... I don't think I could bear to see you go, never to return." His accent thickened as he bordered on rambling. "Would it not be beneficial for a king to marry other monarchs, especially those with more experience? Would it not be beneficial to have your knowledge and skill to heal and rebuild this broken land that you once loved?” reasoned Caspian, appealing to rationality and taking an unconscious step closer towards the two kings. He turned to Peter, passion filling his voice. “Would it not be beneficial to be able to provide the best for your brother-husband? Would it not be beneficial, King Edmund,” Caspian’s accent became slightly thicker, revealing his desperation as he appealed to emotion, “to live here, in Narnia, where your brotherly love, as well as your marriage, is accepted?”
There was a pregnant pause and silence reigned as the crowd strained to hear their whispers.
Caspian obviously must have thought he was about to be rejected if he felt the need to convince - not knowing the kings' favorable decision. However sincere Caspian appeared, Peter had to be sure this proposal was born of genuine feeling and not fear. The young Telmarine king had expressed reservations earlier about ascending the throne and had been quite ready to hand all authority to the Pevensies had Aslan not acknowledged him after the battle; indeed, even Caspian had just noted that it would behoove him to marry someone with leadership experience. If this marriage proposal stemmed from his insecurities about ruling – if he was scared and wanted someone else to carry his responsibilities – then those issues had to be resolved here and now. “Caspian, if you’ve any doubt about your ability as a leader–,” Peter began quietly and earnestly before Caspian interrupted him.
“I ask you to stay not only for the greater good of Narnia,” Caspian’s voice was firm now with determination as he knelt before Peter and Edmund, taking their hands and continuing in a deep voice that only reached the brothers’ ears, “but for my own...selfish...reasons.” He looked up at them pointedly – one might even say suggestively – through sable lashes that did little to conceal the fire in his black eyes. The look was gone in an instant like the breeze through the trees in the courtyard. “High King Peter, King Edmund, I know my timing seems sudden, I certainly hadn’t planned on you announcing your departure, but…I have been considering this proposal for some time now. Even before the battle, many a night I would think–,” he cut himself off before he finished the sentence, perhaps revealing more than he'd been ready to. Something raw, trembling, and genuine saturated his voice, something that made Peter’s eyes soften for the brief moment it took for Caspian to school his features. “Please consider my proposal for I ask in all sincerity. Please don’t dismiss…my feelings.”
Caspian gazed at the two Kings of Old with such open intensity that it was hard to meet his gleaming charcoal orbs, trying to convey what he really yearned to say. The Telmarine bowed his head like a man to the slaughter, seemingly now realizing that the crowd of stunned onlookers were still staring with rapt attention, their curious gaze weighing down on his shoulders and his spirits.
The dark beauty turned back to Peter’s unreadable face with pleading, resigned eyes. Peter's heart broke for a second, watching his friend, his love, struggle, and he was about to open his mouth to assuage him before Caspian seemed to plunder on, “Please, forgive–”
“Stand up, Caspian,” whispered Edmund gently, a hidden, knowing smile crinkling the corners of his warm caramel eyes. Peter could feel the smile in his brother’s voice, borne from years of familiarity.
A blush stole across Caspian's high cheekbones as he began to rise awkwardly, dejected. “My kings, I apologize for my impertine-,"
“Oh, goodness!" Peter exclaimed, good-naturedly exasperated. "We accept, you silly prat! Now get your arse off the floor!” Peter’s loud, ever-so-eloquent exclamation echoed through the courtyard and it took a full minute before the news registered.
Raucous cheers erupted from the onlookers, but Caspian was still stunned into silence. Peter rolled his eyes and placed a chaste kiss upon the Telmarine's lips, noting that they were indeed as soft as he'd dreamed. It took a moment for the shock to subside, but Caspian returned the gesture enthusiastically, cupping Peter's cheek to hold him to his mouth, as if he would fade away. Peter fought to restrain the scorching lust crashing over him, seeing it reflected in Caspian's smoldering eyes, promising sensual wanton things in private.
The crowd continued to cheer when Edmund lifted up on his toes to place his own sweet kiss, sealing the deal as Caspian snaked his hand into the brunette's hair, pulling him closer. It seemed Caspian couldn't help the gesture much like the moth tries to resist the flame. Even though the scene was brief enough to be considered courtly, Peter felt himself harden in his breeches watching the two dark-haired beauties, and he was thankful his vestments hid his hips. If that was all it took to awaken his raging lust, he knew the two might just be the exquisite death of him. He'd relish every second.
As the crowd cheered, the three kings' smiles seemed too little a gesture to fully contain all the joy bubbling inside them.
It seemed another celebration was in order.
To Be Continued.
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Update 5/6/2021 I have been working on so much original content and creating my writing website where you will be able to view said original works!!! (So excited!) On top of my original works, I’m hoping to start churning out more fanfiction more regularly - I’m so sorry I’ve left ya’ll hangin’ for years *sobs*!!!