Disclaimer: I own nothing. (And if I did, the world would be a much different place, methinks.)
best. That's why she doesn't mind when her brother's sneak in.
Notes: I don't know thing one about gardening, or flowers, or when stuff blooms. So if I screwed up royally somewhere, please just keep in mind that it is fantasy. After all, it's not really about the flowers.:) And remember: This IS slash! (Also, this was dedicated to Capegio, for all her encouragement. Thank you!...and Sub, as soon as I get something worthy of you, you're next!)
Lucy knew that love is what makes a garden grow best.
Luckily, it's not hard for her to love the flowers, the trees, the vines and the fruit, so Lucy's garden has become positively splendid. A tiny, but charming fountain and pond sits in the middle, inhabited by colorful fish swimming lazy circles. Vines with pink and yellow roses cover every archway, and purple, full-blossomed flowers grow tall along the trellises. Trees that bloom with apples and peaches encircle the walkways, making the garden like some secret little world within the walls of Cair Paravel.
This little piece of land had been in Lucy's care since her first year as Queen, back when she was still melancholy over that place called Spare Oom. Peter had noticed how she would spend her hours quietly but steadfastly tending to the flowers at the Cair, and had gave to her as a present her own special garden. It had worked wonders, both for Lucy and the flowers, and many people had commented that there was no place in the castle more beautiful that Lucy's little garden.
But it had been hard at first. Back then, there was nothing there but the trees, and Lucy sometimes spent entire days toiling in the dirt, fumbling with seeds, and pulling weeds. Often, Mr. Tumnus had stopped in to offer his help. As they worked, he gave the little Queen tips on gardening (he was quite the gardener himself, it seemed,) and among all the lessons on when to plant, sun and shade, he was also the one who told her that love is what makes a garden grow best.
He had blushed when he said that.
And now Lucy sits under a tree among her beautiful flowers, a young lady of fifteen, and she still believes. That's why she has no problem with her brothers sneaking into her little garden, thinking no one can see them in the moonlight. It's why she smiles and gives a petunia one last gentle pet before getting up to leave, letting Peter and Edmund whisper loving words to each other. She practically giggles on her way back to her rooms, ready to turn in, thinking to herself, "finally!"
Days pass and Lucy can't help but watch her brothers a bit more closely. She tries to catch glimpses out of the corner of her eye while they're all in the throne room, listening to an ambassador from the Lone Islands. She watches at mealtimes, when the two sit next to each other and talk to everyone around them. She peeks in as they both work to try to translate the ancient Narnian language of some old documents. Lucy doesn't see anything special, though, and feels slightly disappointed as she cleans up her own papers. Finally she picks up her apron and goes out to her garden.
Spade in hand, she wonders if her brother's whispers were all her own imagination. But as she rounds a corner, she smiles and claps, and knows she was right all along. A lily that had refused to grow for years now stood in a glorious white bloom, looking full and healthy and proud. Lucy does a little dance, because that is the spot where her brother's stood.
It's nearly a month later and Lucy's retired to her garden again. The moon is shining bright and full, and she loves times like these. The silver light makes everything look both pale and healthy, strong and fragile. Sometimes, Lucy will dance in her moonlit garden, but tonight she's content to sit under a tree and watch the fish swim in her pond.
As the little Queen runs her delicate fingers through the water, she hears it again; the whispers of her brothers, and the soft noise of their footsteps on the other side of the hedge. She smiles and presses a finger to her lips, as though the fish would somehow ruin the moment. She straightens up and strains her ears, biting her lip. She can't make out the words, but they sound so serious tonight. They don't sound upset, though, and Lucy almost giggles; her brothers will be serious at some of the most wonderful moments. She can just picture Edmund's face, looking so stern and grand in that way he mastered, while still looking so very, very boyish with his freckles and coal-black hair curling around his cheekbones. And Peter, who could set his face so gentle and proud, but with every emotion he felt shining through those crystal-blue eyes of his, clear as day.
Then she heard Edmund's voice say something, and she heard Peter give that shy laugh of his, and she knew that the masks had broke and both were smiling. Lucy fought the urge to lean over and tell the fish this, when suddenly the garden fell silent. Worried, Lucy got up as quietly as she could, and tiptoed barefoot over to the hedge separating her from her siblings. Pushing aside a little flower, and fingering her way through the prickly bush, she peered through, squinting with one eye shut and her tongue between her lips. What she saw made her gasp and smile and fall back all at the same time, and her hand flew over her mouth to keep from making any more noises.
There was Peter and Edmund, her dear big brothers, standing under the tallest peach tree, with their arms wrapped around each other and both very busy using their mouths for something other than whispers.
Lucy wrapped her arms around herself in a great hug, and practically skipped back up to her chambers. She was elated; both for her brothers, and for her garden, both of which she knew would be blossoming wonderfully.
The next couple of days, Lucy bewildered her brothers with coy smiles and waggling fingers. When they would look up from their work with wide eyes and ask her what she was so happy about, she would simply laugh her tinkling little laugh and go back to whatever she was doing. Lucy elated in their confusion, more than anything because it was so rare that she had anything over those two.
But what delighted her most, even more than knowing a lovely secret that wasn't hers to know, was the way Peter and Edmund acted with each other. Where before they kept themselves distanced and quiet, they were now laughing with each other, and sneaking loving, happy looks. No one else seemed to notice, except maybe Mr. Tumnus, who when seeing Lucy giggle at the two, would smirk back at her with a bashful, knowing smile. (Lucy adored how Mr. Tumnus seemed to know what everyone was feeling, even when they tried to hide it.) If Susan saw or thought anything, she gave no sign of it. Lucy didn't mind, though. While she did love to carry on delightful conversations with her sister long into the night, she secretly reveled in knowing something Susan, for once, did not.
And her garden, her precious garden, was doing marvelously. Though Lucy had been resisting the temptation, this morning she gave in and sampled a peach from the tree which Peter and Edmund had shared their first kiss under.
It was positively delicious. It was sweet, and juicy and perfect. Lucy picked as many as she could carry in her skirts, and flew back up to the castle. She found her family still in their private dining room.
"Oh, everyone! Look at these, they're wonderful!" she said, practically shouting (an old habit she had yet to lose). "You simply must try one!"
She pressed a peach into each of her siblings' hands, careful not to drop the others out of her skirt. Looking around, she spotted an empty basket and started to place the fruit inside.
"You seem awfully happy about these, Lu." Susan said, smiling.
"Oh, that's because they're from my garden!"
"Lu! These are good!" Edmund exclaimed around a mouthful of peach. Peter laughed and bit into his, while Susan gave Ed a reprimanding look.
"Well, they should be, Ed," Lucy said, placing another peach in Edmund's hands, "After all, it was you and Peter that made them grow so well!"
She laughed gaily at Edmund's face, which had stopped in mid-chew to stare at his sister, while Peter actually choked slightly, coughing into a fist. Without saying another word, she left the room, basket under her arms, intent on giving the rest to Mr. Tumnus. After all, he had helped much as well.
Lucy hadn't gone into her garden at night for some time now, content to give her brothers their privacy. But it was her garden, and some of the nocturnal plants needed tending to. So rather late one night, she slipped out of bed, fetched her tools, and made her way to her garden. She hummed a tune as she went, but quieted as she entered. She practically tiptoed her way to the pond to fetch some water, where she paused to listen carefully.
Lucy heard no voices, and decided that her brothers must have come and gone, if at all. She made her way past the lily, still tall and proud, and past the peach tree, which was still bearing fruit. Finally she came to a little spot where pale pink flowers grew, and she knelt down in the soft grass to work at the vines. The night was calm, though a wonderfully soft breeze came from over the sea, and the sound of waves breaking somewhere below was marvelously calming. Lucy batted her long braided hair over her shoulder as she dug into the earth, a smile playing over her lips.
Then she heard it. There was the sound of something large and solid and very body-ish hitting the ground followed by someone grunting. Concerned, Lucy got up as quietly as she could, and tried to pinpoint where the noise was coming from. Was someone being attacked? In her garden? The thought alone angered her. A garden was a sanctuary, a place of love!
As she waited, standing stock-still, more noises began to drift her way. Someone was moaning: perhaps they really were hurt. Lucy kneeled down slowly and picked up her spade; if someone was being attacked, she would certainly help.
Keeping all the lessons she had been taught on hunting and fighting in mind, she crept forward, until the noise was right next to her, on the other side of a row of purple-blossomed bushes. She raised the spade, ready to spring, when something made her stop.
Was that Peter's voice?
Saying Edmund's name?
Arching an eyebrow, Lucy lay down on her stomach and tried to peer through the roots of the hedge. At first she didn't see anything, but then she caught a flash of Peter's golden hair. Lucy would have darted out and helped right then and there, but Peter did seem to have the upper hand against whomever he was fighting, and she knew she should let him have his honor in victory. But Peter did have a rather odd, almost pained look on his face, and Lucy wondered if he was hurt. The other person, (who seemed to have lost most of his clothes,) was writhing underneath her brother, scratching at his back and bucking his hips, as though trying to lever Peter off him.
Suddenly, pale hands grabbed Peter by his collar and rolled him over. It wasn't this that startled Lucy so much as that the very next second, those same hands had undone and flung Peter's belt to the side, and ripped open his handsome tunic. She gasped in surprise as the man, straddling her brother's hips, pinned his arms above his head, bent over and…kissed him? Peter, for his part, certainly didn't seem to mind; he was kissing back heatedly, and hardly trying to fight the man off. Lucy began to worry again as Peter moaned, wondering if the man had hurt him, but then Lucy gave a gasp as he turned his face in her direction as he nuzzled his nose against Peter's.
It was Edmund!
His hair was even messier than usual, and his face was flushed bright pink as he began to kiss his way down his brother's chest. Now it was Peter's turn to twist and turn, gasping Edmund's name. His fingers dug into the ground, clenching fistfuls of grass as Edmund continued to lick in ways that made Lucy's eyes go wide.
It wasn't until Edmund rid Peter of one last article of clothing that Lucy snapped back to her senses. Realizing what she was watching, she leapt up and covered her mouth with both hands, eyes wide. She turned ran back into the Cair as fast as her legs would carry her.
When finally she reached one of the inner, brightly lit hallways, she stopped and dizzily reached out and found an ornate bench to sit on. Flopping down, she sat still and quiet for a moment, catching her breath, mind reeling.
Then all at once she started giggling. She couldn't help it; she started laugh so hard her sides hurt, and she doubled over, clutching her stomach. She clenched her eyes shut, trying to fight back the tears of mirth that threatened to fall. Several minutes went by when suddenly someone familiar clip-clopped around the corner.
"Lucy? Are you well?" came Mr. Tumnus' voice. Lucy looked up through watering eyes to see him peering worriedly at her. She gulped a mouthful of air and waved a hand.
"Oh, yes, yes, Mr. Tumnus!" she gasped, "Oh, but I just saw the funniest thing!"
He blinked, "And, what would that be?"
The faun immediately turned a rather unhealthy looking shade of red, and went wide-eyed.
"S…sex? Sex, my lady?"
"Sex!" Lucy said, now laughing even harder, "It has to be the funniest, most absurd thing I've ever witnessed!"
Mr. Tumnus was now looking distinctly uncomfortable as he backed up, twisting his scarf in his hands.
"I'm afraid I don't quite understand…sex is…funny?" he asked. Then he seemed to think about what he heard, "And you…'witnessed' it?"
"Oh, yes!" Lucy cried, probably louder than was appropriate for the time of night, "Out in my garden…it seems to be nothing but funny noises, awkward movements and trying to fit parts into other parts-"
"-and the faces they make! They look like fish out of water-"
Lucy stopped and looked up, wiping at her eyes once again, "Yes?"
"Who…exactly…did you witness?"
"Oh." She giggled softer, and straightened her skirts, "Peter and Edmund."
Mr. Tumnus seemed to think about this.
"Well," he said, "I suppose that really, it's about time…"
"Quite." Lucy said, placing her hand in his arm as they began walking down the hallway, " And I can't wait to see what happens to my garden now! It should be marvelous tomorrow!"
The next morning, Lucy got up extra early to see her garden, as the elder three monarchs ate their breakfast. Susan kept throwing her brothers questioning glances as the two of them simply smiled mysteriously and contentedly. Finally, the gentle queen could take no more.
"Oh, alright," she suddenly snapped, spearing a piece of fruit, "What are you two so happy about?"
The brothers simply shared a great smile as Edmund continued to stuff egg into his mouth and Peter sipped some tea.
"Nothing that would interest you, dear sister." Peter said, grinning.
"Oh really?" Susan huffed, dabbing at her face with a napkin. She looked between the two a few times, before finally, "Edmund, you have quite an appetite this morning."
"Had a workout." He answered through a large bite of toast. Peter just laughed.
Susan threw her hands up in the air and was about to write the two off as a lost cause (again,) when the door flew open, banged off the wall, and almost slammed shut again.
"What in the world…Lucy!" Susan exclaimed, staring at her normally calmly chipper sister in shock.
Lucy stomped, very un-lady-like up to the table and pointed a shaking finger at Peter's nose.
"Me?" he asked, wide-eyed.
"And you!" she squeaked, swinging to point at Edmund.
"Me too?" he gulped, swallowing much more than was comfortable.
Susan's eyes darted between her sister and brothers, worried that she might face Lucy's wrath next. But Lucy ignored her older sister, and instead stamped her foot as she huffed accusingly.
"Lu," Peter began, "What-"
"Don't 'what' me, Peter Pevensie!" she said, regaining some composure, "You know perfectly well what! In fact, you and Edmund, more than know what…oh…ooh!"
Edmund and Peter looked nervously at each other, then back to Lucy.
"Hush, Edmund!" she said, rounding on him, "I let you two use my garden all this time! You did such wonderful things for it! The lilies, the trees! It was so lovely, I worked so hard, and now...!"
"Oh dear…" Peter flushed bright pink, and began to fumble with the cuffs of his shirt, "Lu…what happened?"
"You two crushed my posies!"
And so, the rest of the summer was spent with Lucy tending happily to her flourishing garden, with Peter and Edmund, sleeves rolled up to their elbows, helping to replant all the flowers they had mangled. And every now and then, when the moon would hang clearly overhead in the night sky, the two brothers would sneak out and, mindful of the flowers, help the garden along just that much more.
A/N: Firstly, that scene where Lucy was watching was so freaking hard to write. Writing stuff like that normally is difficult enough, but trying to describe it through someone else's eyes…who doesn't quite know what's going on…without making it absolutely, completely and totally absurd…I hope I did well.
And woe be to me for updating the same day as the lurvly SubOrbital, but as is finally working agian... Anyway, reviews are loverly! Much loves to all!