Chapter Nine

Whatever it Takes to Get Her Home

Susan stared at the sky of endless blue. Everything seemed so quiet now. She had stopped gasping for breath and she could not even feel her heart hammer. She knew it had died even before the pain of the blade had reached it. It had died the moment Peter's throat was slashed.

Through her clouded vision, she could see a face appear. It was Peter as she knew him, his noble face shinning as if he was surrounded by ethereal light. She wondered if this vision was a phantom or a work of her own imagination. Nevertheless, she reached out and touched his face, and was surprised that she felt his hair at the tips of her fingers.

"I'm sorry, Peter…" she choked. "I wasn't fast enough… I'm sorry…I couldn't save you…"

She felt his gentle hand on her cheek and she felt so much better as if the pain in her chest wasn't there anymore. Then she realized there was no wound on his neck. He pulled her up and she was surprised that she could sit. She looked down to her chest and expected to find blood, but there was none. The dagger wasn't there either. Instead, to her amazement, she found she was no longer attired in a soldier's outfit, but the elegant and comfortable garb of a Narnian Queen. Peter too was now sporting royal garments befitting his royal title.

Her ears prickled at the sound of music. It was a song that seemed so familiar and so pleasantly sweet it erased all traces of her weariness. She began to relax and felt herself so full of renewed strength she thought she could get up and dance. The song appeared to grow louder and more pleasant by the minute, enveloping her with its beauty that Susan cried with happiness. She tilted her face up to meet the source of the music and saw a wonderful sight at the top of the rocky hill. There was a bright gold light, shinning like the sun yet it didn't hurt her eyes. It began to descend towards her and she realized it was coming from a magnificent mane. It picked its pace until it came to stop inches from her face. She felt the creature's warm breath and the sweet wet flick of his tongue.

"Aslan," she said happily as she received his gently kiss. She buried her face in his mane, relishing in the love he felt for her.

"Welcome back, Daughter of Eve."

"Forgive me, Aslan. I have tried to forget you. I tried to turn my back on Narnia. I would give anything to find it again."

"You already have. You have returned to my embrace, Susan, and now you shall dwell in my house forever."

"But my last trial… I don't understand."

"You have resisted the temptation of riches and power to find beauty in humility. For a Queen of Narnia seeks to earn true love of her people, not flattery or false worship through power and material possessions. Further, you have proven you will sacrifice all, even the one you love most, to do what is right so others will not be harmed. You may have saved a hundred worlds and millions of lives through your courage and your renewed faith in what is good."

"Thank you, Aslan, thank you," Susan cried.

"Peter," the Lion nodded to him.

Peter helped Susan up. "Come Su, it's time for us to go home."

"But the Lonans," she said. "Aren't you going to stay to help them?"

Peter smiled. "Spoken like a selfless Queen. There won't be any need, Su. The princes of the four tribes of Lonan are all alive. Even Tofus and Nauta will survive despite their injuries. The princes are more than capable of ruling their own world. Now that Mephistopheles is dead, they can regain their kingdom easily. My task here is done. I'm going to be with you now. Follow me."

Peter started running, following Aslan that bounded before him. They seemed to be running at such a fast pace that Susan knew she couldn't possibly catch up. But when she started running herself, she realized she was running just as fast yet she did not feel tired at all.

She noticed the scenery around her had changed. Gone was the Lonan camp or the trees and the hills that surrounded it. Instead, she was in a place that felt and looked so familiar.

"Hurry up, slow poke!" Peter teased. Susan rose to his challenge and they were soon running side by side.

Susan kept looking around her and realized that she was in Narnia but this Narnia had looked so much more real to her than the one she used to live in. The colors were brighter, the air around her fresher, and atmosphere more alive as if she had just woken from a dream. She knew then this was where ultimately she and her siblings would live.

They reached Cair Paravel—a more beautiful Cair Paravel than she could have imagined. There standing by its gates were Lucy and Edmund. She ran to meet them and covered them with kisses. When they stood apart, she realized more surprises awaited her. For standing near Professor Kirke, Eustace, Jill and Aunt Polly were her own parents who tearfully welcomed her in their arms.

One by one, the people in Narnia that she had known came to meet her. All the kings and queens, the talking animals and the magical creatures were there. Susan thought her heart would burst with joy as they received her warmly. There were others she had never met but only heard about through the stories of the Professor, Jill, Eustace, Lucy and Edmund. One by one, they introduced themselves and she found them a charming lot.

"There are a few more," said Lucy when Susan finally took a break from all the hugging, handshaking and introductions. "Three more, in fact." It was Edmund who opened the great doors leading to the throne room.

"Mama! Mama!" two cries came to her and Susan burst into fresh tears as her two children ran to her arms. Behind them was her own husband who came to claim her again.

Queen Susan slipped away from the main hall full of merry making Narnians with the heavy-bound A Complete History of Narnian Rulers in her hands. It would make an exciting read later, particularly the chapters about the reign of King David and Queen Sarah that followed the account of her own reign with her siblings. Right now, however, she was thinking of another use for this book.

She climbed the familiar steps of the castle leading to the eastern balcony. When she reached the top step she felt satisfied at what she found there. She tiptoed as quietly as a mouse behind her intended target seated on a comfortable chair, his back to her. Without warning, she smacked the unsuspecting boy on the head with the heavy book she carried. The force of her blow was so hard his gold crown fell to the marble floor with a loud clink.

"Oww! Susan, what did I ever do to you?"

"I just remembered," Susan hissed at him through clenched teeth. "You used me as bait!"

"You're still upset with me over that? Sorry Su, it was the best plan I could think of at the time," defended Peter. "I had to find a way to destroy Mephistopheles, Aslan sent me to Lonan for that. He didn't exactly tell me how to do it, so I had to think of a way to do it on my own. I thought if I could lure him away from his Palace, the Lonans could have a better chance. At the same time, I had to watch over you while you do your trial. When you jumped into my horse, it was the perfect opportunity to do both. Made my job a lot easier."

"And what would you have done if I hadn't jumped?" she demanded.

"Well… I would have kidnapped you anyway…"

Susan gave him a fierce look. "And still use me for bait?"

Peter looked guiltily at her. "Well you needed kidnapping. You were getting too warm with him and he was trying to put that necklace on you." He picked up his fallen crown and replaced it back into his head. But Susan hit him again so his crown hung lopsidedly from his ear.

"Oww! Alright, I get it!" said Peter. "You didn't need kidnapping. You'd come through on your own and choose your freedom and others' over his offers. Congratulations," he added sarcastically.

"Oh don't be too hard on Peter, Su." Susan turned and saw Lucy and Edmund behind them. Apparently, she and Peter weren't the only ones who managed to steal away from the party below. "I'd have done the same," continued Lucy.

"But you didn't. You let me make the decision on my own," said Susan. "Isn't that the whole point of the trials? I have to come to it on my own."

Lucy shrugged. "Yes, but if you hadn't made your decision there to help me outside the Minister's office, I would have done something rash. I'd break out of jail, take you with me and convince you to help the Renegades so you'd pass your trial... eventually."

Susan looked at her incredulously. "But… but, wouldn't that be cheating?" She turned to face Edmund. "Ed? Don't tell me you'd do something like that too?"

"Oy, I let myself get whipped and kicked. If that wasn't enough to get the sense of outrage over injustice out of you, I'd let them mutilate and hang me."

Susan's mouth dropped open. She was completely astounded and deeply touched.

"The point is, Susan," said Peter. "I couldn't just stand and watch you fail your trial and be Mephistopheles' slave. We told ourselves we won't accept you failing your trials. We'll do everything, no matter how long and whatever it takes to get you back... even if we have to cheat a way out of it. There… I just confessed I was planning on cheating the trials by helping you. Me, the High King almost tried to cheat on Aslan's trials. So you could at least have a little bit more appreciation for me. I am still High King after all and I'm setting a bad example to everybody else."

Susan raised an eyebrow at him. "You may be the High King of Narnia, but to me, you're just my brother… and I'm glad for that." She dropped the book and gave him the hug she had yet to give him since she recognized him in Lonan.

"I can't believe you willingly offered to die for me," whispered Susan in his ear.

"I didn't."

Susan pulled back slightly to look at him. "What?"

Peter pulled away completely and continued in an offended tone while rubbing his bruised head: "I didn't know I was supposed to be sacrificed. I didn't even know I could die again… or that it would hurt." His hand moved to rub at his neck where his wound had been while his face took on a grim expression as he shuddered at the memory. "I actually have a bone to pick with Aslan for neglecting to tell me that part of the trial," he grumbled. "It's a bad business dying… and I had to do it for ungrateful sisters who hit you with history books…" He glowered menacingly at Susan.

Susan matched his scowl with her own though inside she could feel the tears welling up again. "Would you do it then if you knew?" she scoffed. She tried to hold her harsh expression, but the tears turned traitor and flowed freely down her cheeks as she knew what his answer would be.

Peter finally let go of his cool stance. He lovingly rubbed his cheek against her own to wipe dry her tears before gathering her in his arms.

"I'll do it a thousand times in a thousand worlds if I have to, to get you back," said Peter. "All three of us would."

Susan hugged him back and rubbed the spot on his head where she hit him. Peter sighed contentedly at her relieving touch before motioned to Lucy and Edmund to join them in a group hug. Lucy eagerly joined but Edmund hung back until Peter dragged him forcefully by the arm and attached him to their happy circle.

Susan knew no joy can equal this. This was forever. This was real love with the family that will always be there for her.

Without loosening her hold, she kissed the top of Lucy's head before tilting her face to do the same on Peter's jaw line. Edmund was too far for her lips to reach, but one of her hands found its way into his hair and ruffled it affectionately. He didn't squirm away this time and she smiled.

He did remember to wash his hair.


A/N: I hope you all enjoyed it. I'm giving thanks to all those who read the story and a jolly dance to those who reviewed, particularly those who sent multiple ones. Tell me what you think and if there are any questions, I'll answer them. Here are a few replies to questions and reactions to those who reviewed:

Callie – There you go, happy ending even though I killed them.

Cass P. – I didn't make Peter alive again, he's still dead—in Lonan that is. (Author runs like hell to avoid the cats). But I thought he really needed to die with Susan because that's the only way to get back to Narnia). By the way, I too would have written letters to C.S. Lewis demanding a sequel to the Last Battle if he was alive. Unfortunately, he's dead so I can't do anything about it but write fan fiction using his world.

amidnightkiss – I'm glad I made you feel better, I hope this last chapter helps further. Get well soon.

Capegio – I didn't let Susan slap Peter, but I did make her hit him with a history book twice. Don't cry, I couldn't let this end in tragedy, not after the way Lewis treated Susan.

tintinnabulation – You got it right again. Saxum means "rock" the same as "Peter."

TimeMage0955– Hope this last chapter answers your question about Peter's death. He actually did die. Aslan made him, Edmund and Lucy alive again in other worlds so they could interact with other people. It's also safe to assume that Lucy and Edmund died as well in Urbicus and Miseria (maybe not as violently as Peter) to get out of that world and come back to Narnia when their tasks were over. It would be too strange for them from the point of view of the people in other worlds to just disappear.

David – I didn't want to go into detail about Susan's children and her husband because I want her siblings to take center stage in this story, but her children did reign as they were included in the Narnian history book.