When Edmund awoke he was slightly disoriented. His body felt worn in the way he associated with crying oneself to sleep and yet he felt more well rested then he had in a very, very long time. He also felt "warm". And someone was holding onto his waist. A very"familiar "someone. He looked over to confirm his guess and, unsurprisingly, yes it was Peter.
Edmund felt a thrill of joy go through him at the thought of Peter home, if only for a little while. He "loved "having Peter home, as being away from his brother caused a gaping hole of loneliness to open in his chest, even with his sisters still with him. (Although if he was to be honest, which he tried to be, Susan had been steadily drawing away from him and Lucy these last few months and it "hurt".) He had not gone this long without seeing Peter since Peter went off to battle the Northern Giants.
The long absences caused the nightmares, Edmund shuddered even at the thought of them. The nightmares were twisted, dark things of pain and fear. Usually they ended in his siblings dead or dying in some gruesome manner. They were often reenactments of past events and battles, only twisted so that events ended bloodily. So often they end with Peter dead in his arms, dead by the witches hand, and the witches voice echoing in his ears.
He is so caught up in his thoughts that he does not realize it when Peter awakes. Peter can tell by the stiffness of the boy in his arms that Edmund is thinking of the nightmares that have obviously plagued him for quite some time. When Lucy had written him and practically "begged" him to come home he had been beyond worried. He had been able to almost feel the worry in her words oozing off the paper. He had packed, begged family emergency and caught the first train back home.
He'd not got home until late at night and had resolved not bother any of his family at so late of an hour. He had figured (hoped) that whatever was wrong with Ed would hold until morning when both boys were properly awake and could deal with it together. His hopes had been dashed (or rather stomped on violently and tossed out like last weeks leftovers) when Edmund had shown up in the kitchen. And promptly collapsed into Peter's arms, a sobbing mess of Edmund.
Peter had found himself soothing his brother something he had done all to often after one of Edmund's nightmares. An action that had been oft returned when Peter had his own bout of night terrors. It was a side effect of many battles and the closeness of the two. He "had" soothed the younger king, however, but it seemed as though he had once again begun to loose himself in thoughts of those dreadful nightmares.
"Ed?" The older asked startling Edmund out of his dark thoughts. Edmunds head snapped around, looking Peter directly in the eyes, and then blushing furiously. Peter laughed gently, making sure that Edmund knew he was not being laughed at.
Edmund just blushed harder and buried his face in Peter's chest. Peter's laughter died down as he felt Edmund's breathing hitch.
"Ed?" He asked again, this time slightly more concerned.
"It's nothing," The younger told him slightly muffled, shaking his head against Peter's chest, "I'm being silly."
Peter tangled his hand in Edmund's hair gently, taking comfort from his brother's presence after so long an absence. "I doubt you're being so silly that you cannot talk of it to me, Ed." He told the other softly.
Edmund smiled against his brother, letting himself go, taking comfort in the scent of his brother that surrounded him and the warmth. He felt he was being just a little silly but truly could not be bothered to draw back.
"I missed you." He admitted softly. "I missed you terribly much."
Peter tightened the arm that was wrapped around Edmund's waist, pulling the younger boy closer to him.
"I missed you as well, brother-mine." He admitted into soft, dark locks.
They both fell silent for a time, comfortable in the presence of each other, and reveling in the comfort the other brought with them. Finally Edmund pulled away, stretching slightly. Peter let him go, though slightly reluctantly, and rolled out of bed. And got caught on an errant blanket, tumbling ungracefully to the floor, tangled hopelessly in said blanket.
Edmund let out a surprised laugh of amusement. He slipped out of bed and padded near silently over to where his brother lay looking slightly dazed and held out a hand to help the older king up.
"I see you haven't lost your normal grace and agility, my lord." He teased lightly.
Peter mock scowled, though inside he was reveling in the fact that he had gotten Edmund to laugh so freely. "It's morning, much to early for any sane person to be up. It's understandable that I would be a little less than my "magnificently "graceful self."
Edmund snorted. "Magnificently something at least." He agreed easily.
"An affront on my personality!" Peter exclaimed. "I challenge thee to a duel, good sir."
Edmund laughed again. "I accept, oh magnificent king! But what are we using for this duel?"
Peter frowned, he didn't actually have anything they could use even for a mock duel. Inspiration struck and in a lightning fast move he grabbed a pillow and whapped Edmund quiet soundly right in the face. For a moment Edmund looked stunned before he grabbed the other pillow and retaliated.
"Oh, no you don't!" He exclaimed grabbing the other pillow and chased the gleeful Peter around the room. He finally tackles Peter to the ground and proceeds to tickle the other boy into submission. It is a still giggling Peter that finally calls "Mercy!"
Edmund lets up with a wide grin and straightens up. He offers a hand to the spasmodically giggling boy, hauling Peter up when he takes the offered hand. Peter's hand is warm and firm and Edmund grasps it a little longer than strictly necessary to try and once again reaffirm that yes, Peter is standing here with him. It seems slightly ridiculous since they just spent the last ten minutes having a 'duel' with pillows but Edmund still needs this.
Peter grins widely and pulls Edmund into his side when Edmund finally does let go. "Food." He states simply and Edmund's stomach lets out a soft gurgle of agreement causing Edmund to blush wildly and Peter to laugh.
Edmund allows Peter to pull him out of the room and down the stairs, an arm wrapped loosely around his waist still. The easy contentment will be shattered soon, for there is a weeping Lucy waiting for them but for now the two of them lean into each other breathing in the scent of each other. Taking comfort from the fact that they have the other back.
Even Lucy's sorrow and their own sorrow at the loss of Susan, the true and final loss, will be easier to bear as long as the two stand together. The two of them truly strongest with the other by their side.