Title: Peter's Sacrifice
Summary: The War ends and the Pevensie's lose one of their own. Now they have to find a way to get him back.
Warnings: Angst, torture, rape, slash, some het
Status: Not complete! This is a very short chapter. I'm just trying it out right now.
Peter looked up as Edmund was stabbed by the White Witch and screamed in anguish. He charged the bitch and fought her, willing to die defending the rest of his family and Narnia.
When Aslan got there he was able to see one of the minotaur's grab Peter from behind. As he struggled, the white witch leaned down and said something to him. Peter's face fell and he looked around, somehow meeting Aslan's eyes. He looked back to the witch and nodded.
Immediately she called for a retreat and her army backed off of the fight, still ready to attack anyone that came their way.
Aslan let out a yell, suddenly realizing what Peter was doing. "No!"
Jada just looked at Aslan and smiled. She knew that Aslan couldn't help the boy now, at least for awhile. By the time they found Peter, he'd be of no use to the fight. Her reign would continue and Aslan would be short two sons of Adam to aid him.
She had him taken in her chariot to her new castle. She knew that she couldn't go back to her old one because that would make it too easy for Aslan to find her. So she allowed spring to come to Narnia and found a new dwelling that she could make into her own.
Aslan creeped forward as they left, glad that the daughters of Eve hadn't seen Peter being taken. He joined them at Edmund's side just as he awoke. "Young prince, you gave your sisters quite a scare." He turned and began waking the people up who the White Witch had turned to stone.
The Sentry Centaur, Orieus, took a deep breath as he was woken. The first thing he did was look around for his leader. "Aslan...where is Peter?"
At the words, Susan, Lucy, and Edmund stopped their celebrating of Edmund's rebirth and looked around as well. Susan stood up and walked closer to Aslan. "Aslan?" She shook her head, seeing the sadness in the great lion's eyes. "No, Aslan...he fought bravely for you. He can't be dead. What type of reward is that?" She felt the tears running down her face and started to run through the fields, calling for her brother.
Her cries of pain reached the ears of the other soldiers and they, too, began searching for their brave and cunning leader. There was no sign of him and they feared the worst. The idea that the witch turned him into stone was one thing, but could she have smashed him to bits as well? The fighters all bowed their heads in silence and respect for the great king.
Edmund was infuriated and ordered them to stop. "He's not dead! Stop acting like he's dead!"
Lucy watched her sister cry and her brother yell and the sad eyes of all those around her. She knew that they loved her and wouldn't do anything to be cruel. She had a feeling that her brother was alive, but she had no proof. She sat down on the grass and stared at the ground, willing Peter to rise up and tell them all that he'd learned how to be a chameleon. After all, anything was possible in Narnia.
Soon Edmund and Susan stopped and walked over to Lucy to also stare at the ground. They didn't know what the point was, but it felt better to lose themselves in the textures of grass and dirt than to allow what was going on around them to eat at their hearts. Where was Peter and what could they do to find him? Those thoughts were, at that moment, flowing through the minds of every living creature within a mile of the battle.
Aslan was more determined than ever to kill the white bitch now and gathered his followers to him to tell them of Peter's sacrifice. He hadn't wanted to, but he understood that by not sharing the knowledge that he was condemning Peter to a senseless torment.
"Friends, King Peter is missing, but he is not dead."
Excited whispers filled the area as people began talking of secret missions, magical spells, and various other possibilities for the boy's absence.
"He's with the White Witch, isn't he?" Lucy's small voice broke through the sounds of the men and the other creatures and silenced them all. It wasn't what she said and it wasn't that her voice was small. The shock was in the fact that the once innocent voice of youth was now tainted by the horrors of war and the maturity of an adult.
Aslan nodded. "Yes, Lucy, he is."
Gasps and cries echoed in Edmund's mind as he tried to fathom what was being said. He had been held in that captivity. He remembered his wretched guard and his hands trying to touch him in unspoken places. He'd managed to hold him off, though. Surely Peter could do the same. He was bigger and stronger.
"But he won't."
Edmund looked up in surprise to see the lion studying him. He had somehow read his thoughts and that didn't surprise him as much as the implications of what was being said. "Why not? Peter would never..." He shook his head in fear and disbelief.
Susan came forward and dropped to her knees in front of Edmund, hugging him around his waist. "Peter would never what?"
Edmund stroked Susan's hair, vaguely aware that Lucy had come from behind him to also wrap her tiny arms around him. The feel of her head leaning against his back with Susan's resting on his belly was enough to give him the strength to speak of his ordeal.
Orieus, Aslan, and Mr. Tumnus looked on, but did not approach, unwilling to break the chain of bravery Edmund had found in his sisters.
"They were horrible to me there. Bread and ice is all I was given."
Tumnus nodded to the others, verifying what was being said.
"And..." Edmund bit down on his newly healed bottom lip. "And once Mr. Tumnus was gone..." He looked up, shy suddenly.
Susan grabbed a hold of Edmund's chin and pulled his face down to look her in the eyes. "I love you, Edmund. We all do. No more secrets..."
Edmund gasped back a sob. "They tried to....touch me...." His eyes snapped to Aslan, needing to see the reaction there. He was horrified that there was no surprise. "You knew..."
Aslan nodded. "After talking to you that day on the hill and seeing how you carried yourself I had my suspicions. But they didn't..."
"No. I always fought them off long enough for a distraction to catch them off guard and give them something different to do."
Susan held him close and Lucy tightened her grip. "You're okay now...I'm so sorry. We should have gone after you that first night..."
"Don't be foolish!" Lucy had decided to chime in at that point. "If we had done that then we'd all be dead now and the war would be over and decided in favor of the witch."
Susan nodded her head in shame, having allowed her emotions to cloud her better judgment. "You're right, of course."
Mr. Tumnus walked over and put his hands on Lucy's shoulders. "We'll find him."
Orieus nodded. "Yes, we will. I will not leave him behind. He would have died for us."
Aslan sighed. "I'm afraid that death would have been kinder." The others looked to him in confusion. "Peter was not taken as you believe. He chose to go with her...to save all of us."
Mrs. Beaver was beside herself and sobbed as others let silent tears fall. They were all aware of what that meant, but the Pevensies remained clueless until Mr. Tumnus' soft words broke the news to the children.
"The laws are clear. A sacrifice of this magnitude, for the whole of Narnia, cannot go unrecognized. We must respect his wish."
"Respect his wish?" Edmund was turning red with fury. "We won't allow him to stay with her for one moment longer than necessary for us to get to him!"
"Mr. Tumnus is right, Edmund. Peter knew of this. We spoke of many of the rules of Narnia and he seemed particularly relieved by that one." Aslan sat near the group.
Susan sat once more on the ground. "Relieved?"
Lucy sat next to her and looked at Mr. Tumnus, her brother, and then Aslan and Orieus. "Of course...he knew it would come to this. Like you, Aslan."
Aslan sighed. "Yes, like me. He was aware of what would happen."
Susan threw her hands up in irritation. "So we just leave him there forever?"
Mr. Tumnus hurried to answer. "No no...not forever. Just for a span of thirty days. After that time, his sacrifice will be duly honored and his rescue can commence."
Aslan looked into the eyes of all three children before continuing. "I believe it was his hope that you three would return home while he suffered this alone. Perhaps-"
"No." Edmund took a deep breath and shook his head. "We're not leaving Narnia without Peter, no matter how long it takes."
The girls looked at each other and smiled slightly before standing up with their brother, unifying them against anyone who tried to convince them otherwise.
Aslan nodded in pride. "And neither will I..."
Cheers rose up as the army was rejuvenated with the idea of planning the rescue of their king. They had one month to find the witch's lair and discover a way inside to rescue Peter.
Aslan only hoped they'd have someone to rescue. He didn't doubt Peter's strength, but there was only so much that any living being could take. He took Orieus aside while the children were engaged in talks with the others.
"You know what she'll do to him."
Orieus frowned. "I'm trying not to think about it."
Aslan nodded. "As am I. However, I need your word on something." He waited until he thought the centaur was ready to hear it. "We may not get to him in a month. Even if we do...he may not be the same Peter. If he suffers more from life than death..."
Orieus bowed. "I told him I'd follow him even into death. I will give him peace if that's what I need to do. But do not ask this of me and think that you'll discuss my decision with me later." His eyes were filled with tears, but he would not let them fall.
Aslan was in awe of the loyalty that Peter inspired. Knowing that he would lose Orieus and Peter was difficult and he felt he needed to protest at least once, however futile. "Peter wouldn't want that."
Orieus shrugged helplessly. "I will not abandon him to the darkness of death. I will be his companion even there."
Aslan nodded in defeat. "Very well. This stays between us."
He walked back to look out over the horizon. Hold on, Peter...Don't fight anymore. Just survive.