I had major Tumnus feels after the ending of the first Narnia movie. I haven't (yet) read the books, but I felt I needed to publish this, even if it didn't satisfy my feels to the extent that I can piece my heart back together.
Any mistakes are my own. Any continuity errors are spawned from my own ignorance. This barely went through the editing process, so I apologize in advance. I own nothing, not even Nausus and Randy.
The Dawn Treader wasn't particularly boring. There was plenty of work to be done, and plenty of places to see. However, work only went so far before there was a deficient, and places to see ran few and far apart on the open ocean. There were times when Nausus wished for the excitement of home, of Narnia's vast forests and grassy clearings where he and the other Fauns of Narnia held dances and concerts of all sorts. Where the air was filled with cracking energy of Dryads and Satyrs instead of the crashing of waves against the hull, or the deep wooden tones of the Fauns' flutes as their hooves thudded across packed dirt instead of the eerie silence of nighttimes at sea and the hollow sound of boots on wood.
Not that any of these things were undesirable. Quite the opposite, in fact. Nausus quite enjoyed the ocean breeze and the sound of gulls shrieking and the company of the Treader's crew, but sometimes even Fauns got homesick.
It was in these rare times where work on the Treader had been completed and his heart yearned for the night time dances of his people when he reached into his side pouch and pulled out his flute. It was crafted in the traditional Narnian style, two pipes and one mouthpiece, the wood stained a handsome burgundy. It had been passed down through his family since the Golden Age, when the High Kings and Queens of Narnia ruled.
Speaking of, the moment Nausus raised the flute to his lips, a slight girl sitting on the Treader's railing caught his eye. Queen Lucy the Valiant was watching him intently with the soft gaze for which she was well known. Curious and a little wary, Nausus lowered his flute and dropped into a deep bow. "If it displeases her Majesty, I will not play."
She was quick to protest. "Oh, no! Please, play all you like. I have not heard the sounds of a Narnian flute for quite some time."
"If you are certain, your Majesty."
With this affirmation, Nausus set the mouthpiece in its place and drew out a hearty springtime tune. Within seconds, his companion and the only other Faun on the Dawn Treader appeared by his side.
"A little out of season, is it not Nausus?" Teased the other Faun.
"You cannot tell me you do not miss springtime in Narnia, when the Dryads dance like angels," smirked Nausus in reply. "We all knew your taste for them, Randy."
Randy's expression changed to visibly distressed, his eyes flickering to the Queen sitting not four feet from them. "Not in the presence of her Majesty, Nausus!"
But the young lady just laughed, and it was at that moment that Nausus saw her less as a Queen and more as the girl she was. "I like that one. Is there more to it?"
Nausus nodded. Taking her question as invitation to continue, he did so. The light song played out over the waters, filling the soundless emptiness with warm memories of his friends and family. The music was joined by the tapping of hoofbeats on wood. Randy had begun to step to the dips and flows of Nausus' melody, taking the position of the lead in the dance that accompanied said song. Normally a Nymph or Dryad would take the opposite position, but seeing as they were scarce in the middle of the ocean Randy danced solo.
That is, until Lucy hopped off the railing and slipped as easily into the opposite position as the mermaids slipped through the water below the Treader. Nausus' eyebrows raised in surprise, but Randy saved him the trouble of asking the next question.
"You know this dance, your Highness?" His feet never missed a beat, despite his obvious astonishment and delight at this fact.
Lucy matched him step for step, even as she replied. "I have been to my share of Faun celebrations." Something mischievous sparked in her blue eyes, reminding Nausus very much of a Nymph. "And to ensure you will not run out of breath before I, please call me Lucy."
Randy grinned at the combined permission and challenge. To entertain himself further, Nausus raised the tempo.
They continued for some time, drawing the stares of the other crewmates. Finally, Randy spun away from Lucy upon the excuse that he was out of breath.
"You have beaten me in the battle of stamina, my Queen," he laughed, though Nausus could tell very well that the other Faun was well away from being out of anything. The change in position was favourable, though, because now that Randy had pulled out his own flute Nausus was free to take the empty spot across from Lucy.
The sun was setting low on the horizon by the time Lucy finally admitted defeat, rosy cheeked and laughing. The crowd around them dispersed like sea foam, leaving the three of them to their own devices.
They leaned against the railing of the Dawn Treader, basking in the evening sun. "You dance very well, Queen Lucy," Randy commented. Nausus nodded his agreement. While there were very few humans ever invited to a Faun celebration, Lucy had quite obviously attended many. The dances were like second nature, fitting her body like a second skin.
The Queen smiled, bright as the red sun. "A good dancer can only come from a good musician." She nodded towards Nausus' flute, which he still held. "May I?"
"Of course." He passed it over to her under the impression she wished to look at it. Therefore, it astonished him greatly when she placed the mouthpiece between her lips and blew out a mellow tune, one both Fauns were familiar with.
"I don't suppose," started Randy hesitantly, "that you had a Faun friend during your reign?"
"There are very few outside our people who can do what you can," Nausus added, taking the flute as she handed it back to him.
It came as a blow to Nausus when the young Queen's eyes dipped from the sun to the waves, adopting a melancholy quality. In a voice barely louder than the waves that battered the hull, she said, "Yes, I had a friend. He taught me many things, and not just about Fauns."
They were all silent for a time, before Randy asked, "do you know what happened to him, your Majesty?"
Her fingers tightened on the white fabric of her shirt. "No. I returned and he was..." She trailed off, glazed eyes indicating she was far away from the ship's deck at the moment. After a moment, she straightened abruptly, smile lighting her face again. "I'm sorry. Thank you very much for the dances and the music. It made him seem... not so far away."
Both Fauns stood as well, offering her low bows. "The pleasure was ours, Queen Lucy~"
Nausus was cut off by two arms around his middle as the High Queen of Narnia embraced him like an old friend. Vaguely, he registered moisture where her cheek resided. Shocked, he merely stood dumbly as she offered the same treatment to Randy before backing away. Her eyes glistened, face damp. She scrubbed at it with the heel of one hand.
"I'm sorry again. I really should be heading to bed now. Goodnight." They issued their soft goodbyes at her retreating form, watching her vanish below deck.
Nausus pondered many days after that, but even with Randy's help he could not discern what would have made his Queen look at them with such equal expressions of joy and sorrow.