It was only one fear of many. One of those things that the black river or trauma fed, until it grew and fattened into a beast the size of a star system.
They wanted to exalt him. To fuse his skull with the crowns of those that came before him. They yearned to worship and glorify his every action, and walk in his footsteps. It was already in his title - that accursed label he never asked for.
Which of those things were literal and which not, didn't make a difference.
Besides, he knew the truth. They didn't want him. It was never really about Caspian.
It was all about Kate. Her hourglass would eventually run out, and the people so lost would be left with no one to look up to. Their lives were so bleak, that their desperation was fiercely voracious for any glimmer of hope that it could sink its claws into.
But in the end, it was just a nightmare. A drop in the sea of restless nights. He had them all the time, Caspian reasoned with himself.
But it didn't remove the fact that during the worst nights, he didn't sleep for a single blink. They were common enough that he knew how to navigate around them, and catch up the lost sleep progressively in the weeks after.
In only a few days, it all came crashing down. One single world, one single time. One single group he was forced into, the cruel grin of fate constantly nipping at his heels.
It all got so much worse after that cursed Faedin trip - even added another hundred layers to the mess that some called Golde.
Steve could see him drowning, but there was nothing she could do to help.
She couldn't tell him.
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