Lest Faith Turn to Despair
Disclaimer: I own nothing. CS Lewis and his Estate own the Chronicles of Narnia and all her people. The title comes from a quote from Romeo and Juliet.
Author's N: I have tried to touch upon matters of faith with the greatest sensitivity. I myself am not religious, but I know many of this fandom are. Please know that I meant no disrespect, and will never judge anyone based on their religion or personal beliefs.
It's cold. The church, though bright with the reflection of the stained glass window on the floor, is chilly, and the blond shivers just a little as he enters, wishing he had brought a coat or jacket instead of putting his faith in the unpredictable British weather.
There's a strange resonance as Peter makes his way cautiously, quietly, to the confessional booths. He knows his mother – who isn't exactly a devout Catholic – probably wouldn't approve of this, but in this instance, Peter Pevensie isn't entirely sure who to turn to. In Narnia, there was always Aslan. If not in person, then in presence. England in comparison is cold – the crystal air cuts like a knife into the soul. He is nothing here; another soul, another desperate soul trying to live by the Word.
He is a good boy. He knows where his loyalties lie; what his beliefs are. But this is not just about belief – this about something deeper, something stronger. In Narnia, it was not quite so clear cut – Aslan did not make his disapproval (if indeed he felt it) known; and Edmund always tried to assure his brother that if the God did feel disappointment or disapproval, he would have shown as much. Slowly, gradually, truths were awakened. Thoughts were revealed. The Narnians were not as damning as Peter had assumed they would be, and he had learned to live in truth; learned to be whom he was without fear of dismissal.
But England is not Narnia. The world is still in a state of fear; the war might have finally ended, but rations are still in short supply for the poorer families, and people are looking for someone to hate, someone to blame. Now is not a time to be different. Now is not a time to stand out, as Susan would say.
She has… changed. Peter barely recognises her; and it isn't the paints she uses, it isn't the dresses or the talk or the friends she keeps or the men she flirts with – it is Susan; the very essence of her seems to have changed. She tells him she has adapted; that she isn't different, but just changed, and happy, but he can see it sometimes, when she thinks no one is looking. The way she will touch at where a necklace with a lion's head once used to be; the way she will reach for a bow when now there is none.
Edmund thinks she is buried so deep within herself, they will never find the Susan that they were all so proud to know. Peter thinks he would rather die than do the same.
So he has come here- to ask, to pray, to receive guidance. He's not entirely sure what he might get; what the priest's answer will be, but he knows that whatever it is, he must abide for it. For surely priests are the spokesmen for God; and it is in them that Peter Pevensie will find himself; or, as Edmund would say, find his truth [thinking of Ed confuses Peter though; he knows his brother would not approve of this; has known since those dark eyes turned upon his own lighter ones with such disapproval].
The priest nods at him as he enters the confessional booth; and with a deep breath, Peter follows suit.
The darkness is soothing. Somehow, though it feels like madness to think it, God feels closer in this moment. Aslan feels closer; and the once High King wonders if, perhaps, things might begin to be even the littlest bit… better.
The door of the confessional booth closes. The priest takes a moment, settling himself, before murmuring "Begin."
Peter squares his shoulders, tries to quieten the thrum of his heart, and plunges forth, opening his mouth and slowly, carefully, pouring out his soul; hoping that in the end, Edmund was right, and there is redemption for him.