AN: Hey everybody I know, I know why is she constantly doing this. I know I always seem to be starting another story. But this one was just bugging the snot out of me to be honest. I couldn't get it off my mind so therefore it ended up being written down. This story flowed so easily I really don't know why. It is a bit long but this is how the story worked out to be.
I'll be honest I never in a million years would have put Caspian and susan together originally truth be told. You see I grew up on the books and the original versions of the movie. To be completely honest I didn't even like Susan until recently. I give some major kudos to the director of the new versions of the Narnia movies. I like your Susan so much better and I truly fell in love with this couple. So here you are another story by me. The next chapter is a bit long and I suspect they'll stay that way but bear with me and just read the story it really is worth the time it takes. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it.
Disclaimer: I don't own them simple enough. I only own my spiffy new German pins and a very nice ipod from my parents from Christmas.
Susan could hear that obnoxiously nasally voice calling to her. She jerked her head up realizing just where she was. Her heart let out a deep sigh, she was back in England. She was back to her own world. That boy was calling her name again, "Phyllis aren't you coming?" Susan looked at her other siblings taking strength from them. It was time to get on with the business of living it seemed.
The four pevensie children walked onto the train taking their seats. Susan looked up as Ed let out a low whistle. Peter was the first to ask, "What's the matter Ed?" Edmund's face fell as he spoke, "I left my new torch in Narnia." The other three had to chuckle at his dilemma. Lucy was the nicest about it, "Well perhaps you'll get it back next time Edmund."
Those words of hope stung Susan and she didn't need to see Peter to know they had stung him as well. The next time, there would be no next time for either of them. Her mind returned without her permission to those final moments before the tree. She could see his face perfectly in her mind. It was soo real to her. Lucy looked up at Susan trying to understand what she was staring at. Lucy tugged lightly on Peter's jacket to catch his attention. Peter sighed seeing his sister's vacant stare. He waved his hand in front of her face lightly trying to catch her attention.
Susan's thoughts of him were interrupted with Peter's waving hand. She started in her seat. Her face flushed red at being caught day dreaming like that. Peter gave her an understanding smile. They had only been back for a few minutes and he already missed Narnia. He knew though that life awaited him. He had spoken with Aslan that very morning yet it seemed already like a lifetime ago. He had taken to heart what the lion had told him. He had to face the coming difficulties as the High King he would always be.
The train came to a jolting stop and all four children were pulled from there reveries. They got off the train together, hands clasped. Together they would face the coming difficulties. Facing down the terrors of this world paled in comparison to the giants they had conquered in Narnia. The morning was an average one in England. The wind blew down the cobbled street and an over cast sky met them.
They stayed together until they got to the street corner. When they crossed that street they would have to split off. They boys would head off to their school and the girls would head off to their own. The noise of the cars, the blaring of horns and the yelling people were jarring to the children. The entire street seemed to be altogether too loud. It all seemed so surreal to them. When the street finally cleared they hurried across the pavement to the other side.
The four exchanged hugs as they headed off to another day of school. Lucy would say later that perhaps they mightn't have been so tired if they hadn't come back on a Monday. Susan felt Lucy's hand squeeze her own as they walked. The two sisters gave each other a secret smile. The wind was blowing Susan's hair again and she could almost pretend that it was the same wind as in Narnia. The two walked to school blending into the mass of girls in uniforms.
Time seemed to be kinder to Susan that first day back. It seemed to be flying by and she wasn't sure where it was going. One moment she was staring off into space during Math and the next moment the bell was ringing for lunch. Lucy appeared not long after that. The two girls trouped out into the sunshine to eat their lunches. They both sat on the wide lawn of the school watching the few other girls. Lucy couldn't help but laugh at the girls who didn't want to sit on the grass for fear their clothes would stain.
They sat for the longest time it seemed to Susan. She didn't bother touching her food, she truly wasn't hungry. Lucy didn't bother her about it. The two passed the time in silence until the bell rang forcing them back into the dull classroom. Across a few streets the boys were getting on perhaps only a bit better. Peter was almost as quiet as Susan. Ed wasn't much better at talking.
They didn't know what there was to be said. Also in truth this was not the place to be discussing things like Narnia any way. One might be overheard and then there would be letters to Mother and Father, and numerous awkward questions. Peter secretly dreaded going back to the house. He couldn't call it home anymore. Even in its ruined state Cair Paravel was more home to him than England could ever be again. Once England had been like home to him but it wasn't anymore. Too much had changed him for him to call his own world home.
The bell rang for the boys dooming Peter to the next few hours in a history class. He honestly tried to concentrate on the subject at hand but it was ever so difficult. It was hard to find the history of this world interesting compared to that of Narnia's. Ed and he got up off the grass they had been sitting on. All four put back lunches barely touched to return inside.
Susan was staring out the window again trying not to day dream. It was ever so hard for her. It was harder for her than any of the others. Ed and Lu had the hope of going back some day. They would see Narnia one more time at least. But Peter and herself were to never go back. Susan wanted with all her might to believe that she would move on. She needed to believe that she would forget him one day.
But in her heart she knew that there was a void there now. A void that could only be filled by one man. She had left herself behind in Narnia. A part of her wanted time to move onward for time to heal this wound. But at the same instant she didn't want time to go marching on. For every minute in her world would be perhaps a year in his. She couldn't bear the thought of him dying as time went sweeping by. Her musings were brought to an end as the final bell rang sharply. She saw the teacher give her a nasty look as she left. Susan sighed knowing that could only mean another letter to Mother and Father.
Lucy was waiting for her outside the stone school building. The colors Susan noticed belated seemed so much dimmer here in England. It seemed to her like going from the most beautifully vivid colors to a world of greys. Lucy and Susan waited for the boys to meet them at their usual spot. It seemed so strange to her that they were already falling back into their old routines. It was as if Narnia had never existed.
But in her heart she knew that wasn't so, it just wasn't. She would always remember Narnia and the young man she had left behind. Susan looked out over the street before her as she waited on Peter and Ed. The cars were driving by each headed home. There were still soldiers everywhere walking to and fro from the train stations. The scars of the war were still fresh in London.
She saw the buildings in the late afternoon sun light. It turned them a darker hue as the sun hung lower in the sky. Most of the buildings had been fixed back up after the bombings. The bombings had finally stopped some time ago. But in her heart Susan knew the war was still not over. Lucy caught her attention as she went running towards a figure just a few feet away. She saw Lucy go running to Peter and Peter catch her up in a tight bear hug.
Susan smiled at how easy it seemed for Lucy. She seemed to drift here and there with the changing wind. Peter spun Lu around as Ed headed for her. Ed wrapped his arm around Susan who took it gratefully. Peter sat Lucy back down to the earth. The four caught hands as they crossed the street moments later. The street was mostly clear as they crossed together. They walked in silence on their way back to the train station. Each was caught in their own thoughts.
They were soon seated on the train that would take them back to their house. Not a one of them could call it home. Lucy spoke up a moment after the train began to move, "I am glad to see Mother and Father again." Ed nodded vigorously in agreement with her while Peter and Susan only inclined their heads. Susan was dreading going back to the house again. She didn't want to have to be a child again.
It was immensely frustrating because she knew she wasn't the person her parents wanted her to be. Her parents had blamed it on the war for some time now. Susan couldn't help but drift off onto her own voyage through her thoughts. Peter watched as she stared out the train window. His eyes held such sorrow for his sister. He knew that she more than the others had truly left something behind in Narnia.
He knew that Susan had left herself back in Narnia. The person she was here was but a shadow of her true self. Peter didn't want to remember his sister this way, a walking zombie. He wanted to remember her as the gentle queen she was. He wanted to remember her that final day in Narnia. He needed to recall Susan as she was that bright morning.
Peter could remember the bright blue of her dress fluttering in the morning breeze. He could still see her gentle smile framed by a sea of dark curls about her face. Her laugh had been light that day. He had caught a glimpse of Susan and Caspian walking before the coming ceremonies. He could see the look they shared and he knew just what leaving would cost his sister. He shifted in his seat thinking again. He looked out over the crowd of people on the train that afternoon. Most of the occupants were students on their way home. They were the sort of people he was supposed to be but he wasn't.
He felt so smothered in his school clothes. The thick blazer and uncomfortable shoes weighed on him. He wanted to feel again the light cloth of Narnia on his skin. He wanted to feel his armor on him again. He sighed deeply and brought his attention back to Lu and Ed. They at least were not quite as devastated as the other two but they had a promise. They had a promise of a return some day. It was a promise that Peter would have given a great deal for.
He wasn't jealous of them he reasoned. He knew it had been time to leave Narnia. His time had ended there and there was nothing more to be said on the subject. He would always hold those memories in his heart he mused as the train came to a screeching halt. The four children gathered up their things and left the station behind. They walked together back to the house in the glowing afternoon sun. Peter and Lu took up the front while Ed and Susan took the rear. They talked very little on their walk home each lost in thoughts similar to the other. Their thoughts were so similar there was no need to voice them. The daylight was fading into dusk as they walked up to the small house on the corner. It was a small brownstone made of a light grey color. There were six steps up to the front porch of the house. Wide windows were spaced out over the front of the building. The mahogany door with the silver knocker met them.
It seemed like such a lifetime ago that they had lived here. Susan tried to remember them back before the war. She tried to recall them as they were before the bombings had forced them to escape into the country. It didn't seem like only a year it seemed like a lifetime or two ago. The four entered the house again. Susan almost expected the house to bear signs of their absence. She expected it to be covered in dust and disuse but it wasn't.
It was merely the same as the day they had left it for Narnia the second time. The dark green walls of the short entrance hallway greeted her. She walked further into the house hardly seeing the features of the house she knew so well. Off to the right was the wide doorway into the kitchen and if one went straight you would end up in the living room. Through the living room was the large dining room. Off to the left was the staircase that led to everyone's bedrooms. Susan's was the first on the left across from Lucy's. Peter and Edmund were four stairs up from the girls. Six stairs after that was Mother and Father's room. Across from their room was the spare room. At the very top of the stairs was the attic.
Susan could see each room in the house without every having to step foot in their. The living room was comfortable and cozy with its two large chairs and the long couch. All the furniture was a deep forest green to match the paneled walls of the living room. The walls were a light cream alternating with a starker white. In the evenings the room would become a deeper rouge color from the fireplace. The little coffee table held the family chess set and the book case was off to the right of the fireplace.
The kitchen was a bright yellow in contrast to the rest of the house. It had one bright window over the sink that poured light into the small room. It was a bit cramped with all the appliances but it functioned well. The dining room was a dark crimson with thick cream colored carpet and dark cherry furnishings. Father's study was in the hall off of the dining room. The small bathroom that the family shared was to the left of the base of the stair case. Susan stopped her musings about the house to follow her siblings further in.
They dragged themselves up the stairs to their separate rooms to deposit their school things and perhaps change. Susan threw her bags on the floor next to her bed glancing out the window at the dying sun. She shuffled through her closet for a night dress. She wasn't hungry at all and had decided while on the train to skip over dinner. Mother would be displeased but Susan just didn't feel up to pretending today.
Her hands closed on a light blue night gown. It reminded her of her beautiful gown in Narnia. The one she had worn that last day. It took all of her strength to make it to the bed. She changed quickly and tossed her school clothes into the hamper. She yanked her hair down from the oppressive ponytail it had been in all day. She took one look in the mirror at herself. She didn't seem so very different from that girl who had left London a year ago. She looked at the blue night gown and imagined for a moment that it was her dress. She could almost pretend it was the softest of silk flowing on her skin and that her hair wasn't limp and lifeless but flowing in dark curls about her face.
She imagined he was still with her but when her eyes opened to reveal her dull bedroom her heart broke. She barely had the strength to crawl under the covers and lay there. She watched sadly as the sun began its final descent for the day. She wondered how long it had been in Narnia. Had it been a day, a week, a month, a year? Was there any way to know? Was there any way to tell? And even if she did know how would that help her?
The others had changed into their home clothes after hanging up their school things. It would be at least another hour before Father would be home. However Peter heard his mother calling from the base of the stairs. Peter stuck his head out of the room to see just what she wanted. She was calling up the stairs rather loudly, "Peter, Susan, Edmund, Lucy are you home yet?" Peter came out of his room treading in sock feet towards her down the stair. He didn't have to look behind to know that Edmund was heading down the stairs in a like fashion.
They reached the base of the stairs and their mother rather quickly. Peter scanned her worried eyes. Peter and his mother hugged as he stepped off of the stairs. She hugged Ed directly after. Her eyes were on her two boys. Peter looked his mother over as she started talking to them, "Peter dear where are Susan and Lucy?" Peter answered automatically, "I think they're still changing mother." Peter looked over his mother. She was a woman of average height and build just a little bit taller than Susan. She had dark curly hair that was always pulled back into a tight bun at the base of her skull.
She had the same complexion as Susan that light cream color uninterrupted by freckles. Her eyes though were dark hazel like Ed's and her mouth was thinner than Susan's. She was still dressed for the hospital he noticed. She had hardly taken the time to take off her coat. She was saying something to Edmund Peter gathered as he came back to the conversation. Peter spoke up, "Here mother let me take your coat. Ed and I will check on the girls for you." His mother looked touched by his thoughtfulness, "That would be lovely Peter." She seemed to search his face a moment longer though as if trying to find an answer to an unspoken question there.
She turned to let him help her out of the cumbersome coat she often wore to the hospital. Peter laid it over his arm as she turned back around. Ed had chirped up at this point, "We'll be doing lessons in the living room once we check on the girls if you need us Mother." She nodded at him sweeping a small hand across his cheek, "I'd better start dinner you know how your father is after a long day." All three shared a private chuckle at the joke.
Peter headed off to the small closet in the entrance hall to hang his mother's coat. Edmund headed up the stairs to go check on Lucy. He knew to leave Susan to Peter. Their mother headed off after Edmund to her own room. Edmund knocked and disappeared into Lucy's room as his mother continued her climb. Their mother opened the door to her and her husband's room. It was a small white room with a wide window, hung with a bright blue curtain touching right to the creamy carpeted floor, to the right of the bed. The bed was covered in a light blue quilt and several creamy, fluffy pillows. She sat on the bed facing her small vanity. She looked at the reflection in the mirror.
She sat slightly hunched with worry. She could feel something was off with her children. Every day she questioned whether she had done the right thing by sending them into the country like that. It had been an order from the government for their safety she tried to reason. She couldn't have very well left them in London during the bombings, she shuddered at the very thought of that. Her tired hands moved to tug at the first buttons on her shirt. She mulled over the past year and its decisions as she continued tugging at the buttons. She walked to the small, dark dresser on the right of the dark cherry vanity. She glanced at the few photos scattered across the white lacy cover which lay atop the dresser. She searched absently through the first drawer to find a thinner slip to wear. She slipped out of her work clothes after finding the slip.
With a push she closed the first drawer. She laid the slip on her bed as she moved to the closet which was to the left of the vanity. She pulled open the doors and slid her work clothes into the hamper hiding there. She took note of the laundry thinking ahead to how much she would need to wash after dinner. She pushed her clothes here and there looking for her favorite dress. It was a dark forest green that complimented her brown hair and cream complexion. She laid it on the bed as she slid the slip over her head. Sliding into the dress she thought back over the changes in her children during the past year.
Certainly after returning from the country their marks had shot up considerably. However Peter had suddenly become a disciplinary problem. He always seemed so very despondent and angry. There had been numerous letters from the school and his father had had to speak to him on more than one occasion. Lucy had seemed quieter than before they had left but she more than the other three had become more like herself sooner rather than much later. Edmund whom she had worried about had suddenly turned into the better behaved of her boys. Susan had returned even quieter than she had left. It always seemed to her that Susan was staring off into a world she couldn't see.
She slid the zipper up the back of her dress as she finished her musings. She pushed the closet door closed before heading back down the stairs. She caught hold of the wall as she walked down the wood stairs remembering well just how slick her stockings were on the wood. She headed off to the kitchen to begin dinner before her husband got home and four hungry children could grumble. She walked into the kitchen still thinking over all the things that had happened as she went to the ice box.
Meanwhile Edmund had slipped into Lucy's room after knocking lightly on the wood. Lucy slid the door open for him. She had seated on her bed after changing into her other clothes. She was wearing a plaid skirt and a light white knit top. She had turned her lamp on. The dresser was to the right of the door and her bed was straight against the far wall as you entered the room. Her closet was two feet from the end of her bed, its dark doors closed at the moment. The tiny desk was against the wall on the left of the door. She had a window next to her bed which he knew she loved to look out of. She was perched on the bed still staring at him.
Edmund was quiet as he spoke, "Don't worry too much Lu, we'll be back some day." She took heart at his words looking him over. His hair was mussed again after wearing his cap home. He was wearing a short sleeved white shirt and khaki pants along with thick charcoal socks while Lucy opted to be barefoot. Her voice was kind in return, "I must say Ed I think you've been the best helped by Narnia. You've really been a sport ever since we left." Edmund flushed at his sister's unexpected praise of him. He fidgeted for a moment longer before getting to the reason for his intrusion. "Lu, Mum's home and wanted to see you after you changed. I'd expect she's in the kitchen. Do you have lessons? I'll take your books down if you do." Lucy was grateful that he didn't mind carrying her heavy satchel down the stairs to the living room for her.
She was honest with him no matter how much she didn't want to be doing lessons. "I do have some in math Ed. If you'll take my satchel down I'll go see about mother. Is Peter checking on Susan?" Edmund nodded at her, "I suppose he is I think he wanted to talk with Su. I'll go get my satchel and then take yours down to the living room. I'll be down soon enough." Lucy reached out to her brother as he headed to leave her room. She pulled him into a hug. Lucy whispered to Edmund, "I miss it too Ed." With a sharp nod they split ways as Lucy headed to go see about Mother and Ed was off to gather his school things.
Peter during all of this had slipped into Su's room. He knew she was done changing. The two of them had always been very close and he knew her better than anyone else. She was protective of Lucy and loved her dearly but she and Lucy were so different in age it was hard for Susan to confide in her. Edmund and Susan would talk on occasion but she and Peter had just always been close. He supposed it was because they were only a year or so apart in age.
He had expected what he found not that he was particularly happy about it. He knew that Susan was struggling so much with this change. She had tried her best not to become attached to Narnia but in the end she hadn't been able to stop it. She hadn't expected to fall in love but she had. She had loved and truly lost. He didn't know when she would move on or if she ever would. Susan heard the noise of someone entering and guessed it would be Peter. She turned beneath the covers to face him. Peter for his part sat on the side of her bed. She looked at him and he felt his heart break for her.
He brushed back a stray curl from her face. Susan slid a hand out from beneath the covers to grasp his with her own. She seemed to draw strength from that connection. His voice was quiet in the dark of her room. "Mother came in Su; she wanted to see you and Lu. I'll tell her you feel ill. I'm sure there have been enough things floating about school she'll believe it." Susan smiled her thanks at Peter for protecting her again, "Thanks Peter, I would come down but I really am quite tired." Peter nodded his understanding at the situation. He squeezed her hand with his own for a moment, "It'll get better eventually Su and were all here for you. Just remember that will you." She nodded at him as they their hands fall apart. She snuggled deeper beneath the quilt as he leaned to kiss her forehead softly.
Peter paused at her doorway for a moment longer, "I miss it too Su but we'll get through this together." He took a moment to collect himself before leaving Susan's dark room for the lighted hallway outside. Susan was struck by the irony of the settings. That was how she felt at the moment like the light was being blocked by some sort of door that she was just too tired to reach. She muttered out loud to herself, "I know Peter, I do." Susan flipped sides to stare out the window she had opened. The sky was beginning to become genuinely dark as she began to drift off to sleep. For in her dreams he would be there.
In her dreams they weren't separated by two worlds and thousands of years. There he would be waiting for her.
AN: Well another one bites the proverbial dust and as always review at will.