This is Home
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the persons, places, or things in The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis.
Goodness, you guys are making me blush! You say such nice things and it makes me want to update even faster. So, after reading all of my reviews for the whole story for about the 10th time, I can't resist writing the final chapter! Thank you to everyone who took the time to review. I hope that you all have enjoyed reading this as much as I've enjoyed writing it.
Chapter 16: Night Falls on Narnia
Susan breathed in deeply the fresh, familiar air of Narnia from her spot on the Western Wall of Miraz's- Caspian's- Castle. He was in fact the High King and this was his castle now. Smiling to herself, Susan watched as the sun slid down the sky, slowly setting into the horizon. It created a great array of beautiful colors that stretched clear across the sky and blended seamlessly together. It started out dark blue, then turned violet, then a deep red, then bright orange with a tinge of pink, finally ending with the blinding yellow sun.
She shivered at the beauty of it; it couldn't be any more beautiful. London never had sunsets like this; Earth never had sunsets like this. All of sudden a warm pair of arms snaked around her waist, pulling her back against a familiar, toned chest. Sighing happily, Susan leaned back and rested her head against Caspian's shoulder as he placed a soft kiss on her neck. Resting her hands on top of his, Susan laced their fingers together and reminisced about the unbelievable events of earlier that afternoon.
"What?" Peter blurted upon hearing that Aslan was returning them to Narnia. Remembering who he was speaking to, Peter quickly rephrased, "I mean, excuse me, sir?"
"Narnia needs you, all of you, in this time of turmoil," Aslan replied patiently to the Pevensies and Caspian. Ever since Caspian had awakened her, Susan had clung to him as if he was her lifeline. In a way, he was. Without him, she was certain she wouldn't be here right now. Tightening her hold on his hand, she nuzzled her face into his shoulder, breathing in his scent. At Aslan's mention of turmoil in Narnia though, she perked up and listened intently.
"What's wrong?" Lucy questioned desperately, the thought of all of those wonderful creatures in Narnia in trouble caused pain to shoot through her heart. She had made many friends in Narnia and if there was any way that she could help them, she would. Turning his giant face to look at the valiant queen, Aslan gazed sadly into her eyes but addressed them all.
"All is not well with the surrounding lands and you are needed to bring peace once again," Aslan said, crypt as always, "Will you return?"
"You mean, we have a choice?" Edmund asked incredulously. When was the last time they got to choose whether they went to Narnia or not? Something was different this time and he didn't know if it was a good thing but he knew that he would give anything to return to Narnia. There people respected him and he felt as if he mattered, like he was making a difference.
"Nothing ever happens the same way twice, King Edmund. I believe I told all of you, save High King Caspian, that you would never again return to Narnia. Unfortunately, even I could not foresee certain events," Aslan turned his yellow eyes on Susan and Caspian who blushed and smiled sheepishly, unable to meet the piercing gaze of the Great Lion. Did Caspian and Susan's love have something to do with him letting them stay? Whatever the reason, they most certainly weren't going to question Aslan.
"I'll go," Lucy announced, having difficulty containing her excitement at returning to the place she had spent most of her life. She just hoped that all of the friends she met on her last visit were still alive especially one red dwarf in particular. Looking around at her siblings, Lucy wondered if they felt the same way she did. It would break her heart if they didn't return with her, but she would never be truly happy living in London even if she was with them. Narnia was more of home to her than London ever was or would be.
"I will too," Edmund affirmed, nodding to his little sister who grinned toothily back at him. Edmund had become rather attached to his younger sister ever since their first trip to Narnia and he would go wherever she went. He had made the mistake of betraying her once; he would not let her down again. Narnia held a special place in his heart as well and he couldn't pass up this chance. The thought of leaving his parents made him a little sad, especially his father, but he knew that he would see them again one day. Even if it was in Aslan's Country.
Glancing over at Susan and Caspian, who were lost in each other again, Peter knew exactly what she would choose. Peter had learned to trust Caspian with his life and, more importantly, Susan's, but he had his entire family to consider. He had spent this entire summer studying for his A-level exams, trying to lead a normal life and thinking that he would never get a chance to return to Narnia. Now, that he had the chance did he really want to give up his life in London? He already knew the answer, remembering the words of his mother all those years ago at the train station: "Take care of the others." He had no intention of going back on his word now.
"I will return as well," Peter declared confidently, casting a smile at his siblings. Only one Pevensie had yet to decide.
Everyone looked over at Susan who had wrapped her arms completely around Caspian at this point. Caspian gazed down at Susan who had nuzzled into his chest and was smiling to herself. The torrent of emotions flowing through Caspian was making it difficult for him to think straight, especially with Susan so close. Would Susan really leave her parents, her friends, her home, her life? Could he ask that of her? She had grown up in London, and while she had lived a good portion of her life in Narnia, did she really feel home there? With him?
As if sensing his distress, Susan looked up at him and searched his seemingly endless dark eyes for the source of his unhappiness. She could sense his hesitation at her returning to Narnia, not because he didn't want her there, but because he didn't want her to be unhappy, even if that meant he had to let her go.
"Susan...," Caspian began quietly, having every intention of discussing this in depth with her first, but she never gave him the chance.
"I'm going too," Susan stated firmly, looking straight into Caspian's eyes as she said it. The other Pevensie grinned, already knowing what her decision was going to be before she said it, but they were thrilled none the less. Pulling back a bit and holding her at arm's length, Caspian looked into her eyes seriously.
"Are you sure? What about your parents and home and-," Caspian rambled but never got to finish because he was interrupted by Susan's lips on his. Returning the kiss, he couldn't help the joy that bubbled up from his chest and he didn't really want to. Susan wanted to stay with him! Though he still wanted to make sure that this is what she wanted because he couldn't truly be happy unless she was. This kiss gave him all the answers he needed and assuaged any fears he had.
Slowly pulling away, Susan snuggled back into her spot in his arms and held him even tighter. Caspian could feel the warmth of her skin through her thin nightgown, but that wasn't good enough. Like he had done right after the first time they had kissed, Caspian placed a light kiss on her bare shoulder and nuzzled his face there.
Smiling to herself, Susan knew, without a doubt in her mind, that she had made the right choice. Caspian held her tight against his chest and was currently trailing warm kisses up her neck which drove Susan crazy. Reaching a hand up behind her, Susan gently tilted Caspian's face down towards hers and pressed a passionate kiss to his lips. Not satisfied, Caspian turned her around in his arms without breaking the kiss in order to deepen it. Her hands had a mind of their own as they explored his chest and shoulders and eventually weaved their way through his thick hair. Meanwhile, Caspian's hands slid across her nightgowned back until they made their way to the bare skin of her shoulder blades.
Breaking away for air, Caspian rested his forehead against hers and closed his eyes in bliss. He was with the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen and she loved him and he loved her. They were finally allowed to be together without having to hide their love for one another. While he knew that there would be many adventures and grief ahead, he couldn't help but be content at this very moment. Susan was with him and they would face whatever came their way together. Breathing in deeply the scent that could only be described as Susan's, Caspian remembered their journey back to Narnia.
"It is settled then. You shall all return to Narnia and reclaim your thrones with Caspian as High King," Aslan spoke regally to the young kings and queens who stood anxiously in front of him. "You will never return to Earth, do you still accept?"
Everyone looked around at each other. While they were happy that they wouldn't have to worry about being sent back as soon as they grew attached to Narnia again, the finality of it made them solemn. Despite this, they all nodded their approval to Aslan.
"Do not worry young ones. You will be reunited with your parents when it is over, in my country," Aslan affirmed, trying to ease their minds. Satisfied that they were all ready Aslan encouraged them to follow him. Walking through the springy grass they all prepared themselves for the return. Caspian held Susan's hand tightly, refusing to be separated from her. He had no idea how they would be returning and he wanted to be ready for anything. Finally after a few minutes of winding around trees and huge puddles, Aslan stopped in front of one particularly huge puddle which looked about ankle-deep.
"Once you walk into this pool, you will arrive on the shores at Cair Paravel," Aslan turned to look at them once more. Without a word, Lucy hugged the huge lion around the neck and throwing an excited smile back at her siblings and Caspian walked into the puddle and vanished. Nodding appreciatively at Aslan, Edmund went next, quickly followed by Peter. Next Susan and Caspian, still holding hands tightly, smiled at each other and kissed quickly.
"Thank you, Aslan," Caspian gratefully said, bowing his head to the Great Lion. He could hardly believe this was really happening and he hoped he didn't wake up anytime soon to find it was all a dream. If it was, he'd have to ask for a lot more than five minutes.
Aslan gave him an acknowledging nod, but said nothing to the young king. Looking into each other's eyes one last time, Susan and Caspian walked through the pool.
The sun had set completely in Narnia and Susan shivered a little from a chilly gust that cut through the air. Caspian felt this placed his hands on her bare arms and gently rubbed them to warm her up a bit.
"We should retire. It is getting late and you are cold," Caspian whispered worriedly in her ear causing a shiver that had nothing to do with the cool air.
"I'm fine. Can't we stay here a little longer?" Susan pleaded with him, pouting slightly. This gained her a laugh from Caspian who resumed his hold on her waist and pulled her closer to him to keep her warm. After a moment, his thoughts strayed to his unanswered questions from earlier which were still nagging at his brain. He was certain that she loved him, but could she truly be happy here?
"Susan?" Caspian began cautiously looking down at the top of her head.
"Mhmm?" she mumbled back incoherently, content in his embrace.
"Will you not miss your home?" Caspian was truly concerned about her happiness and it touched Susan to the core, but the answer was in front of both of them. Susan smiled looking up at Caspian's concerned face, and then standing on her tip-toes, she kissed him soundly and said,
"This is home."
So that's it. The End. I'm leaving for London tomorrow and I squeezed this one out just in time to pack. I already have the sequel planned out in my head. Oh yea and I'm a dork and I'm very inspired by music. If anyone's interested most of my inspiration for this story came from not only "The Call" by Regina Spektor and "This is Home" by Switchfoot but also "Never Alone" by BarlowGirl and "Clumsy Card House" by Blue October. Oh yea and "Can't Take it in" by Imogen Heap. So, if you're interested you should check those out. Anyway, once again thanks for reading and reviewing and sticking with me. This is by far the best response I've ever gotten to any of my writing and I love you for being so helpful and kind. So, THANK YOU