AN: In this story, the Pevensies get married or have children during their reign in Narnia. There is no piece of canon that says that they didn't do these things and I thought that it would be interesting to examine how their different personalities handle relationships differently. This fic will be multi-chaptered, with each chapter divided into four parts, one for each Pevensie. The four parts of each chapter take place at roughly the same time period. This story does not follow the timeline, but is otherwise canon compliant. It contains (or will) heterosexual, homosexual, and lesbian relationships. It pairs the Pevensies with various OCs. Feedback is appreciated!
Disclaimer: Narnia and any characters that you recognize were written by C.S. Lewis. Various characters are my own creations.
Chapter One: First Love
Peter was eighteen and convinced that he was in love.
Her father was one of the most prominent of the new Narnian lords. For some reason, the various creatures of Narnia insisted on elevating any new human who came into Narnia to the rank of Lord. Peter was unsure why; he had told them over and over that there was nothing special about humans. Peter had found that it was easy to make commands but it harder to get a concept that was unfamiliar to his subjects to stick. People are generally set in their ways.
From the very beginning, Lord Patrim was one of Peter's favorites of the new nobility. For one thing, he was older than most of the others and it was nice to have an older man around to advise him and for another, Patrim didn't put on airs. He had been one of the first to come into Narnia from the islands and he had brought little with him other than his seven daughters. It was quite a remarkable thing, for a man to have seven daughters and no sons and Patrim's ranged in age from young women to tiny girls, much younger than Lucy. At first Peter had barely noticed Patrim's third daughter, Ethnee, who was very quiet, but as time went on, he began to see that she was a remarkable girl.
Ethnee was one of the most beautiful women at the Narnian court, with perfect blonde curls, big blue eyes, and a delicate frame, but men didn't flock to court her as they did with many girls with only half of Ethnee's beauty. Peter thought that this was because she was so quiet and demure. She always kept her eyes downcast, obeyed her father without question, and was perfectly polite and not a bit forward. Peter liked quiet girls; he himself had always been quiet and reserved before being a King had forced him to be at the center of everything.
This was why Peter was having dinner with Lord Patrim that night – to ask his permission to court Ethnee. Of course, he had to ask Lord Patrim. There was a proper way of doing these things. As much as Peter liked Lord Patrim, having dinner at his house was always a bit nerve-wracking, though they were, of course, honored to have the High King in their home and tried to make him comfortable. Patrim's second daughter, Kiara, kept giggling and talking to Peter in the way that he had learned meant she fancied him. His eldest daughter, Marna, was glaring daggers at Peter, though he had no idea why. Occasionally, however, Ethnee would shoot him a shy smile and Peter would feel that it was all worth it.
At first, Peter felt much more comfortable when he and Patrim were left alone in the man's study. Patrim lit a pipe and began to talk to Peter about affairs of state, but Peter could not concentrate long enough make intelligible conversation and he was sure that he must sound quite the idiot. He was not sure why he was so nervous; surely any man would want his daughter to be married to the High King, but Peter knew that Patrim was protective of his daughters and not as impressed as many with Peter's title.
"Sir, I've been meaning to ask you – I've been meaning to ask if I could court Ethnee," he mumbled. He was the King of Narnia, but right now, he felt so awkward and unsure.
Patrim puffed on his pipe while he thought this over. "Well, I can't say that I'm surprised, Your Majesty," Patrim always tacked the "Your Majesty" onto the end of sentences, almost as an afterthought. "I've seen how you look at Ethnee. I have to say that I wish it were Marna – she's so boyish and she tends to scare her suitors away. Or perhaps Kiara, she could use a good, solid young man such as yourself. Ethnee is so young."
"No younger than me, Lord!"
"No younger than you in years, it is true, King Peter, but infinitely younger in other ways. Ethnee has always been close to home, always protected by myself and her older sisters. She is a sweet, loving girl, but she has never known what it is to have responsibilities or expectations placed upon her. I fear that if she ends up marrying the High King, it will all be too much for her."
"If we were to get married," Peter said the phrase with barely concealed excitement, "I would make things easy for her. I would never want to place too much strain on Ethnee"
"I know that you would not, but it would be a strain, all the same."
"I won't court her if you say no, but I wish that you would at least consider this."
Patrim sighed. Peter knew that it was probably the sign of a good and caring father, that Patrim was reluctant despite the fact that Peter was High King, but it was also maddening. "I know that you are an honorable man, son," he puffed. "Well, it won't be up to me. Have you spoken to Ethnee about this?"
"No, sir. I thought it the proper thing to come to you first."
"Of course you did," he blew out a long stream of smoke and Peter thought that he sounded almost disappointed. "You are both very young."
He called for one of his servants and told him to fetch Ethnee. When the girl came in and offered Peter a small smile, his felt his heart leap. He hadn't asked Ethnee to court him, but they had become friends and Peter thought that she had some idea of his intentions. At least, he hoped so.
Patrim didn't delay, but immediately took his daughter's small hand in his rough one. "Ethnee, King Peter has asked to court you. Would you like this?"
"Oh!" she exclaimed blushing, "yes, please, Father."
Peter felt so relieved. He wanted to kiss her, but she already seemed so terribly embarrassed, that he refrained.
Susan was seventeen and very frustrated.
She was proud of her pretty face and figure and she liked wearing the latest fashions. She was always gracious and sociable with all her subjects. It wasn't as though she had asked for the young men to look at her in the way that they did. No one was more surprised than she, when, around a year or two ago, she rather suddenly acquired more suitors than she could keep track of. She simply didn't understand why so many people looked at her disapprovingly. Why, every time a young man's eyes strayed to her breasts, she got a stern look from Peter or a jealous one from Lucy.
Why was it so wrong for her to enjoy the attention, anyway? It wasn't as though she had ever actually slept with a man. Although, if she wanted to have sex, she certainly didn't need Peter's permission. Susan's frustration did not show on her face as she danced with her suitors at the ball that night. All they saw was that Susan looked particularly beautiful that night, with her flushed cheeks and her dazzling smile that she flashed freely. She bristled with annoyance, but she wasn't called Susan the Gentle for nothing and she saw no reason why her mood should affect those around her.
One of the young men, Alberic, was particularly charming that night. He was a bit more enthusiastic and naïve than Susan usually liked, but he did have a wonderful smile and he could dance better than almost anyone she had ever known. As he twirled her around she felt remarkably free and she thought that she should allow herself to have fun more often, no matter what people thought.
"Come to my room tonight?" Susan whispered playfully.
Alberic's eyes grew as wide as saucers and he almost lost his step, but he nodded. Susan laughed and held out her hand to be kissed.
-- --- --
Susan found that once she came to the act, she was terribly nervous, but when Alberic kissed her face, her neck, her breasts with great enthusiasm, she forgot all that in the pure pleasure of it. She had never been kissed like this before. Sometimes she allowed one of her suitors to give her a chaste kiss on the cheek or even a brief kiss on the lips. This was a different experience altogether. She finally understood why everyone seemed to be so eager for it.
"Susan," Alberic breathed, pausing to look into her eyes, "Susan, I love you."
Susan merely laughed and gave him a playful swat on the nose.
Edmund was fifteen and confused.
He had always had trouble making friends and getting close to people. It wasn't that he was friendless, it was just that his relationships never seemed to run as deep as with other people. Lucy, for example, always seemed to take these things so much more to heart than he did. He supposed it paid off in the end, because she formed such deep bonds people, but he could never manage it. This was why his friendship with Cade was so extraordinary. Cade seemed to understand him so perfectly and Edmund found himself wanting to spend all of his spare time with the boy.
One evening found the two young men stretched out on Edmund's bed discussing matters of utmost importance.
"You know, Edmund," Cade said, patting Edmund's stomach affectionately, "if you don't lay off the sweets, then you will grow terribly fat and whatever poor woman has to marry you will be most disappointed."
"Then she shall have to divorce me," Edmund declared, laughing.
"Divorce you for your piggishness!" Cade exclaimed as though he liked the idea. "I still can't believe that the woman is allowed to divorce the man here. In my old country, that never could have happened."
"You saw that law book the same as I did. Besides, it's only fair, isn't it? Not to mention very sensible." Edmund scratched his chin, becoming the serious, knowledgeable King that so many people knew.
"Well, it was very amusing to see the expression on that old man's face when you told him that it was perfectly legal."
"Perhaps he shouldn't have been so obvious about his philandering if he didn't wish his wife to divorce him."
"Aw, Edmund," Cade moaned, "let a chap have a bit of fun, won't you? That old hag would have scared even the virtuous man away from her bed."
Edmund was suddenly very irritated. "You would say that." The one bad side about being around Cade was that he was always bragging about his latest woman. And he had a rather crude sense of humor. Edmund was never really sure why it irritated him so badly. Perhaps it was because he was a couple of years younger than Cade and not nearly so experienced.
"Oh, don't look so sour. I didn't mean to offend your virgin ears."
This, of course, annoyed Edmund even further and he turned his back to Cade.
Cade threw his arm casually across Edmund's stomach, trying to get him to turn back around. "Really, Edmund," his voice was more serious, "I hate it when you're sore at me." His fingers absently danced across Edmund's stomach.
"Have you ever been with a woman, Edmund?" Cade's voice had become uncharacteristically soft. Edmund's breath was ragged. It was such an odd question to ask at that particular moment. He wasn't sure why he was reacting to Cade in this way. It was as though his body understood something that his mind had only begun to comprehend.
"You know I haven't. Now say whatever teasing thing that you're thinking of and get it over with."
"Have you ever been kissed?"
Edmund sighed in frustration. This conversation was starting to become truly tiresome. "You know that I kissed Lady Alise at the Midsummer Festival. Is all this so you can brag about how many women you've been with again? It's getting horribly tedious, Cade. I'll freely admit that you know more about kissing than I."
Cade's fingers were now touching Edmund's stomach in a more deliberate way that made the young King thoroughly uncomfortable. "I do love kissing," he laughed, dreamily, "it's the women that are such a hassle."
Edmund's breath caught and Cade now easily turned him over so that they were facing one another. When he looked in Cade's eyes, he saw that they understood each other perfectly. Cade pressed his lips against Edmund's neck, softly, as though testing out the taste of the flesh. Edmund reveled in the sensation, but when Cade's kisses began to grow more enthusiastic, the magnitude of what they were doing hit Edmund.
"Oh! Oh, no – stop," he stammered, pushing Cade away from him. "I can't. I'm always the one messing up. If we were caught – I just don't want to mess things up again."
"Edmund . . ." Cade breathed. Edmund looked into Cade's bright blue eyes made all the more striking by his dark hair and he understood why so many women had given in to his charms. Edmund knew, with a flush of shame, that he was lost.
Lucy was fourteen and beginning to notice boys.
Normally, she didn't care one whit about her dresses or her hair. She would sigh impatiently when Susan fussed over which dress she should wear to which function and she would swat her ladies-in-waiting when they tried to do her hair up in elaborate styles, preferring to wear it down her back or in simple braids like a girl. Lucy was still half girl, but she was much closer to womanhood than her siblings and most of her subjects seemed to assume. When she was younger, she had only felt pride and sisterly happiness at Susan's scores of suitors, but lately she had begun to feel jealous. She wanted men to look at her in the same way that they looked at Susan. Of course, she felt terribly guilty, both for being jealous of her sister and for being jealous of her sister because of that. She only wished that everyone wouldn't think of her as so young and innocent when she was so clearly growing into a woman.
For the last couple of weeks, Lucy had mainly wanted one young man, in particular, to notice her. She and Lord Roydon had become great friends over the past few weeks and Lucy wanted more, she wanted to be kissed and courted and worshiped, but she was entirely unsure of how to make this come about. Still, when she knew that she would see Roydon that day, she put on her loveliest dress, the one that looked best against her golden hair, which Susan always told her was her best feature. She wore her hair down, but allowed the dryads to put some flowers in it. Of course the downside of this was that everyone immediately noticed how made up she was. Susan smiled and commented in the rather patronizing way that both Lucy and Edmund hated that Lucy was certainly growing up and Edmund teased her about the "weeds" in her hair.
Usually, Lucy would have taken this good naturedly, but on this day when she was trying so hard to be both grown up and inconspicuous about it, she snapped at both of them. When Lucy saw Roydon that evening she was already half humiliated and sure that he would know that she had dressed especially for him. Still, she was somewhat encouraged when he politely asked her if she would like to go for a walk on the beach.
As they walked, Lucy felt very awkward and couldn't think of anything to say, although there was usually an easy manner between them that encouraged conversation. For the first time, it seemed important that Roydon was almost two years older than her. She suddenly felt very stupid for thinking that he could care for a child like her in that way. Roydon didn't seem to notice her anguish, but babbled on and on about the latest tournament. Lucy was usually able to follow tournaments better than many ladies, but on that walk, she could only nod where expected and pretend to follow what he was talking about. Roydon also seemed to have something on his mind and after a few minutes, his nervous prattling died away to nothing and they walked in awkward silence.
After a long time of this, Roydon grabbed her by the shoulder to stop her and they faced each other in somber silence. Lucy's could hardly breathe when she looked into Roydon's large, hazel eyes and his perfect, if serious, features. "Queen Lucy," he said, scratching the back of his head, "you and I are good friends, aren't we?"
"Yes. Well, I like to think so, anyway." Lucy took a deep breath and felt hopeful. Then, she remembered a friend saying that the best way to get a man to notice your bosom without being to obvious was to breathe deeply. She immediately stopped breathing. She was embarrassed to think of a man looking at her bosom.
Roydon sighed in apparent relief. "Then you won't mind if I ask you something? A favor?"
"Of course not," Lucy said sincerely, forgetting about her hopes for a moment and thinking only of helping a friend."
Roydon hesitated as though unsure.
"Really, Roydon," Lucy said, warmly, placing a hand on his arm. "You can ask me anything."
"It's about your sister."
"My sister?" Lucy asked, the blood draining from her face.
"Yes. Queen Susan. I, uh, want to court her. But she has so many suitors and I'm a little younger than her, you know. She would never notice me. But I thought that if you sang my praises a bit . . ."
Lucy wanted to leave. She wanted to lash out at him. She wanted to cry. But any display of emotion would not only be embarrassing, it would be unfair to him. He hadn't given her any reason to hope. This wasn't his fault.
"I'll speak to her," Lucy said, huskily, trying to keep her voice from betraying her.
Roydon grinned broadly and his beautiful smile only made her feel all the worse. "Thank you so much, Lucy," Lucy wished that he would use her title. That would make this easier. He kissed her on the cheek, which was something he had never done before. Lucy gasped. "You are a sweet friend," he said.