Disclaimer: I don't own Chronicles of Narnia or "No Air" by Jordin Sparks ft. Chris Brown
It had been over a week since the Pevensie siblings had left Narnia after helping Prince, now King, Caspian in saving Narnia from the vicious Telmarines.
After going on a great adventure, the four children found themselves thrown back in to the reality of Finchley, England. They immediately had to start the new school semester and were forced to live their lives as if nothing had happened; something that was increasingly difficult for each of them.
Lucy found it difficult to concentrate. Her mind was always wandering back to the times of the Golden Age and their recent escapades with Caspian. She was always wondering about what her next adventure there would be like. She was constantly dreaming of nymphs, centaurs, fauns, dryads, phoenixes, talking animals, dwarves and many of the other mystical creatures she had met in Narnia.
Even after the small amount of time she had spent in her new school, her professors had already labeled her as an inattentive child; one with a short attention span. They took her as the type of student who was always staring out the window and doodling imaginary creatures on her assignments.
Edmund found school completely worthless and boring in every aspect. Technically, he was a grown man who had already learned all that he would need to know. His mind had already carried the information he was being taught for more years then most of his classmates had been alive. So for him to have to listen through lessons he had already learned – he found himself in short tempers.
He especially found himself bored to tears and impatient in History class. After spending years learning of Narnia's lush history, that of England seemed dull and uninteresting. Not to mention that fact that he always seemed to mistake the two. His professor thought he was insane when he would say that England had begun with the roar of a lion.
Peter, much like his younger brother, found himself getting in to fights and arguments. He often forgot that here in England, as opposed to being a High King who was greatly respected and feared, he was simply a child whom supposedly knew little to nothing and wasn't someone that hindered any form of respect. He would always lash out at any show of disrespect or belittling before he would remember where he was. His head master had already learned his face and name for all the times he had already been sent to the office for starting a fight of some kind.
And then there was Susan.
Since returning, Susan found herself nothing like she had been before their trips to the magical land. The first time they had returned, she had had hopes of returning, which kept her living life. However, after their second adventure, she, along with Peter, had been told that they would never return to Narnia, for they had learned all that they could. She had been heartbroken with this news and wasn't sure how she would be able to live in England without hopes of returning home.
Then, to add to her growing misery, she had fallen in love. Now most people would consider love a beautiful thing, something that would send a person soaring on wings – and this was true for Susan. That was until she was forced to leave her love behind in a world she would never return to. After just a taste of what could have been and then being ripped away from it, Susan felt as though she would never recover.
After leaving everything behind, she felt like a shell of her former self; she felt like an empty shell that only one person could ever fill, and that was her love – Caspian.
In school, all professors and students had labeled her as someone that was scarred. Susan was the person who didn't talk very much and kept to herself. Despite her efforts to return to life as normally, she knew that that wasn't possible. Her icy blue eyes that had once been vibrant and full of laughter were now dead and haunted. Whenever she smiled, a rare thing indeed, it would never be for real and would never reach her cold eyes.
Some of her peers had been brave enough to try and reach out to her, but all of them were unsuccessful. They would find Susan alone in the courtyard and would approach her, trying to figure out what was wrong. From there, Susan would either flat out ignore them or politely tell them that she wanted to be alone. No one was ever able to break through for no one would ever understand her problems.
Most of all though, her siblings were beyond desperate to return their sister to normal. At first, they had only been slightly worried about her. None of them yet understood the intensity of what she had felt for Caspian and only had worry nagging slightly on the edge of their minds. But as time progressed, she even began to shut them out. Their conversations would be rather one sided and would get them nowhere. It was when Susan had suddenly fled out of the room in tears at the mention of Caspian that they became completely concerned with her.
As the week anniversary of their return came around, Susan finally found everything more then she could handle.
She woke up that morning in the most pain she had ever felt in her life. Her heart was searing as if someone had ripped it apart and set it on fire. Her lungs felt as though a huge weight was set on top of them, crushing them and allowing no air to pass. She felt as though she were going to die.
All thoughts of classes or school had ceased to even pass through her mind, she didn't care at all. She simply laid in her bed her heart aching trying hard just to breathe. All the while, his image burned in to her mind. He was all that she could think of, and that only made the pain worse.
She spent all morning in her bed, not daring to move. Susan simply laid there, clutching her heart while tears brimmed in her eyes. She would have never believed that broken love could cause such immense pain, yet here she was. And she was certain that her broken heart was the cause for her anguish, nothing else explained what she was feeling.
At that time, Lucy glanced around the school's courtyard nervously. Susan always met her by the fountain at lunchtime so that they could eat together. It was the one time of day when Lucy could actually manage to get Susan's mind off of Caspian and Narnia and catch a small glimpse of the old Susan. She looked around and caught sight of a young girl named Claire, sitting in the courtyard with some of her friends. She knew that she was one of the many students who had tried to break through Susan's shell and was in many of her classes.
Lucy walked over to where she was seated under one of the school's larger oak trees.
"Excuse me" Claire looked up at her questioningly.
"I was wondering if you had seen my sister Susan today?" Lucy asked politely, concern evident in her eyes.
Claire shook her head, "I haven't. Susan didn't show up at any of the morning classes we have together. I'm sorry" she said apologetically. Lucy voiced her thanks before heading to the dorm building that Susan lived in during the school year. She entered and climbed the stairs to the second floor. Lucy walked down the halls to Susan's room and knocked on the door.
"Su? Are you in there?" she voiced, making herself better known. Lucy furrowed her brow at the silence she received in reply. She turned the handle to the room, finding the door unlocked, and carefully entered. What she found was one of the most heartbreaking things she had ever seen.
There was her older sister, lying in the bed, silent tears streaming down her cheeks. She was clutching her chest as if in pain and it sounded like she was struggling to breath. Lucy rushed to her side and kneeled down next to her.
"Susan… Su. What's wrong? It's me, Lucy" her sister turned her head to look at her and Lucy gasped. Her eyes showed a great deal of pain and anguish. However, she could tell almost immediately that it wasn't a physical pain, but an emotional one. Lucy instantly recognized that this could be the pain of heartache. Susan made no response though, almost as if she couldn't bring herself to speak.
Lucy simply sat there for a moment, completely out of her element. She had never seen her older sister so distraught and she had absolutely no idea what to do. Usually Susan was the one comforting Lucy, but this time it was a complete role reversal. As Susan closed her eyes and let out a small whimper, Lucy realized that she wouldn't be able to help her sister on her own.
Feeling tears brim in her own eyes, she lifted herself to her feet. She took Susan's hand in her own,
"Su? I'm going to go get Peter and Edmund. I'll be right back." Lucy bit her lip, disturbed by Susan's unresponsiveness. But she dropped her hand and left the room.
When she left, Susan felt her throat burn as a sob escaped. Why was this happening to her? What had she done to deserve such searing pain? The tears fell down her cheeks faster as she imagined Caspian next to her, softly whispering in her ear that everything would be just fine. Her heart felt like it was completely engulfed in flames and Susan bit back a flood of tears, incredible unsuccessful.
Lucy sped across the campus to the headmistress's office. She wasn't allowed to leave the campus without permission, and despite her desperation to help Susan, she knew she wouldn't be helping anyone by getting in to trouble. She burst in to the office to find Miss Walker sitting at her desk, glancing over papers; she looked up at Lucy's entrance.
"Miss Pevensie. What may I help you with?" she asked, slightly perturbed with the desperate look in Lucy's face.
"Please Miss Walker. My sister Susan isn't feeling well at all and I really need to go get my brothers," she explained, slightly out of breath from sprinting across the entire campus.
A look of concern crossed the headmistress's face, "is she alright? Should I call the nurse?" she asked, wanting to help. She knew that Lucy wasn't lying by the look in her eyes. No one could fake a look like that.
"No, she isn't alright, but I'm afraid that the nurse won't be able to help her. Please, it's incredibly difficult to explain but right now I really need my brothers, and so does Susan. I…I don't think anyone but the three of us will be able to help her" tears had begun to slide down the young girl's face, shocking the professor.
"I…well, yes, of course; if it's really that urgent" Miss Walker took a piece of note paper from her desk and quickly scribbled something on it.
"Here," she said, handing the paper to Lucy, "show this note to the boys' professors to get them out of class, plus it will eliminate any trouble other teachers might cause".
Lucy nodded, folded the paper and tucked it inside her jacket's pocket. She quickly swiped at her tears before looking up the professor, "thank you very much".
Miss Walker nodded, "I hope Susan feels better" she said, offering her form of condolences.
As Lucy turned for the door, Miss Walker heard her mutter a small, "me too" before exiting the room.
With the headmistress's permission, Lucy ran towards the boys' boarding school, which was just across the road. Despite the two schools' close proximity, the students from each never crossed path, making them seem as if they might as well be on opposite sides of England. Though Lucy was excited to see her brothers for the first time in a week, Susan was the main thing on her mind. She just couldn't seem to get the image of such a vulnerable Susan out of her mind.
Once Lucy had reached the other school, she immediately ran to the main office building to find out where her brothers were. After showing the note and a small explanation, she had gotten the information she needed she rushed towards Edmund's class first, which was the closest.
It took her a few minutes in the unfamiliar setting to find his classroom, but the thought of Susan kept her going. She finally reached the room and practically flung the door open.
The entire class looked up at the sudden outburst and Edmund's eyes widened in shock. At first he was glad to see her, until he noticed the tears streaming down her face.
"Lucy!" he exclaimed, instantly getting up from his seat and moving towards his little sister. He wrapped his arms around her, completely forgetting about the students and professor staring at them.
"What's wrong?" he asked her nervously. She pulled away from him slightly so she could look up at him.
"Ed, Su…she's…she's not well" she choked out. Edmund's eyes grew wide and nervous. He turned around to look at his professor who was viewing them with a look of sympathy in his eyes. Edmund's panicked eyes were all it took and the professor nodded at him, silently giving him permission to leave class; Lucy didn't even need to show him the note that her headmistress had written.
Edmund wrapped his arm around Lucy's shoulders, guiding her out of the room, "let's go find Pete" he said as they walked out of the room. His peers took obvious note of the worry in his voice and were taken slightly off guard. This was a side of Edmund Pevensie they had never seen before. Usually he was ill-tempered and somewhat unavoidable, but here they were seeing him genuinely afraid and nervous.
The siblings headed down the hall at a quick pace. Lucy was surprised that they simply had to walk down a few halls until they reached a classroom that Ed said Peter was in. The two entered the room and like before, the entire class looked up from their work. Silently, Edmund took Lucy's note to the professor while Lucy made her way over to where her oldest brother was sitting.
When the two had entered, nervousness shot up Peter's spine. The first thing he noticed was Lucy's tear stained cheeks and Edmund's desperate eyes. He shot up from his desk and looked nervously at Lucy.
"It's Susan" was all she had to say for a lump to form in Peter's throat. He had been worried about his younger sister ever since they had returned; the empty eyes, small voice and distance she had put between the other three was such a far cry from the Susan he was so used to that he had almost been waiting for her breaking point which he knew was coming.
Without another word, the siblings left the room leaving another classroom of students in shock. Peter Pevensie was known for getting in to fights and arguments, so to see him genuinely scared and worried was something none of them were used too.
The trio ran across Lucy's earlier path to the girl's academy, each ignoring the stitches in their sides as they practically sprinted across the road and to the dorm building. When they entered, Lucy led them to Susan's room and cautiously opened the door. The three entered and were struck hard.
Lucy took note that Susan had barely moved, and if anything, seemed to be more pained then before.
"Oh, Susan" Peter breathed, moving to her side.
Susan turned her head, and when she caught sight of each of her siblings, she finally just let loose. Sobs racked her body as the tears she had been trying so hard to barricade poured down her cheeks.
Edmund moved to sit on the bed next to his sister and wrapped his arms around her while Peter took her hand, running his thumb gently over it. Lucy sat on the end of the bed and gently rubbed her sister's back, offering what little comfort she could. Unfortunately, Lucy had a nagging feeling that while the three of them were a great comfort to Susan, they would never be able to heal her aching heart, and that scared her.
The four siblings stayed there for the entire day. None of them really spoke, the only sounds that were audible were Susan's sobs and the few comforting words her brothers and sister could offer.
After awhile, Lucy had fallen asleep with exhaustion from the day's events. Peter had placed her in a chair that rested in the corner of Susan's small dormitory as comfortably as he could, regretting the neck pain she would probably have tomorrow. He then turned back to Edmund and Susan, the latter of which who had drifted off in to a fitful sleep about an hour ago.
"I'm seriously worried about her Pete" Edmund voiced. Peter pulled the chair from Susan's desk and placed it next to the bed where he picked up his sister's hand again.
"I know Ed, me too" he said softly, "what are we going to do though? I don't think anyone but Caspian can make her feel better." Peter said solemnly.
"I don't understand" the younger of the Pevensie brothers said.
"Don't understand what?" Peter questioned, looking up at his little brother.
"They only knew each other for about a month, maybe a little bit more. And none of us really even noticed it. How can such a small relationship cause her so much pain?" he asked, his eyes shining as he watched his sister fidget in her sleep as if she were hurt.
"I think that's just love Ed. I don't think we'll ever understand it until we've experienced it ourselves" Peter said after a few moments.
"But didn't you hear what she was saying?" Edmund asked. His brother looked at him with confusion; he hadn't noticed her saying anything.
"She was saying that she couldn't breathe. How can heartache do that?"
Peter thought for a moment, "Ed, do you remember what Mum used to tell us about Dad after he had gone to war?" his younger brother nodded slowly, not quite understanding where this was going, "I remember that she was so upset, that she just had to vent to us. She told us that she missed him so much that her heart literally ached. She said that Dad was like the air she breathed and she didn't know how she would deal without him"
"I guess Dad for Mum is like Caspian for Susan. Even though she only knew him for a short period of time, she really fell for him hard. And I guess being here, trying to live without him is like trying to breathe with no air."
The two brothers sat in silence and looked down at their sister.
"Wow" Edmund broke their silence, "I didn't know you could feel like that about someone" he said softly.
Peter simply nodded. He didn't know personally himself, but if Susan was any indication, love was something powerful. And for her to know that she would never see the one man she loved ever again, it must have been crushing; Peter couldn't even imagine what that would feel like.
After a bit of time, Ed too fell asleep, his arm still comfortingly around Susan. Peter leaned back in the chair, his mind racing. He didn't know what he would do about his sister, he didn't think there was any way he could help her besides comforting words.
Peter looked up, sighing deeply.
"Please Aslan" he started, "she's in so much pain. I would give anything for her to feel better. I… I just can't stand to see my little sister like this. Please, help her any way that you can. I would be forever grateful if you could just heal her heart"
Peter sat in the room, cloaked with darkness, the only light coming from the moon shining through the window. His eyelids began to flutter and soon he was taken over by sleep.
Susan knew that she was dreaming as soon as she saw the rich blue sky and deep green grass that could only belong to Narnia. She smiled sadly as she walked the skirt of her dress swishing as she moved. This wasn't real no matter how badly she wanted it to be.
She found herself walking across the all too familiar fields she had spent her last days in Narnia in. The field lay just beyond the Telmarine castle where Caspian had been crowned. It was filled with beautiful flowers and the breezes flew over it lazily.
This was the place she and Caspian had come to together, just to talk. It was their time here when Susan figured that she was truly in love with the King.
She reached down to pick a small purple flower that had been her favorite. Caspian had once told her the name of it, but it was something she could never remember. She smiled as she ran her fingers across the petals; the scent coming from them was captivating.
"I would give anything to come back here, to be with him again" she said quietly, remembering that this was nothing more then a dream. In fact, it was one that she had had many times, and it always was the same. She would be here, relishing in memories of Caspian and her, and in the end, she would hear an all too familiar calling her voice. And just like that, she would wake up back in England.
Susan walked through the grass, preparing herself for the end of the dream. It was coming soon, she knew. She had been through this so many times. She would always be so close, but never make it.
However, just as she figured she should be hearing the voice across the wind, the dream had an unfamiliar factor in it. Instead of her name being called, she heard a roar ring across the field, one that she recognized well. In response, she closed her eyes as a warm breeze came over her.
After a few moments she felt different. She felt more…real. And then it came.
"Susan!" she heard a voice call.
She opened her eyes and looked up, expecting to be awake in her dormitory as usual. However, when she opened her eyes, she saw a sight she had been dying to see for a week.
The figure of a King came striding across the field, coming towards her.
Susan smiled broadly; feeling better then she had felt in days as she realized something.
She could finally breathe.