He had grown old, his life lived the way a king's out to have been. His son set to take the throne, and be a just and wise king. His many subjects, and many friends each had passed on, until only he remained, save Aslan who would live forever. Sighing, realizing that this may be the last breaths he would take he closed his eyes and imagined a time many, many years ago when his life had truly just begun. Smiling a secretive, sad smile he remembered the beginning, and her eyes, her sparkling blue eyes that caught the light, always seeming to know but never telling.
That hidden smile that graced her face as she watched those she loved….him included. How she was always there, never wavering, a beacon of consistency in a world filled with war and treachery, for him and for those she cared for most.
He remembered them all, their laughs, smiles, personalities, but he remembered her most of all. And now, old and feeling the icy breath of death he thought of no other but her. He had restored Cair Paravel for her, for even 1300 years later the walls still seemed to echo with the voices, thoughts, and people who knew and were the Kings and Queens of Old.
Despite the warmth of the late day sun upon his face, he felt cold he had lived so long without her that he had learned to forget the emptiness that lived within him.
And like a dream, from long ago, he stood before Cair Paravel, though not as it stood today, but as it had once been. The golden looming room, with its glass ceiling and majestic thrones were all around him. Light shown as if it came from the walls themselves. Then he felt it, and looking down he was once again young, and youthful, he could feel the blood that flowed vitality through him, and warmth on his tanned skin.
Looking up and feeling the warm light hit his face he surrendered to the moment.
"Welcome King Caspian," and turning Caspian saw the large lion, Aslan before him. "You have come a long way, in your journey," and smiling like a father would upon a child he added, "I am proud. You have done all that was expected and more of you, but it came at a cost did it not?"
"I am not sure I understand?" Caspian asked confused not only at the sound of his youthful voice but also at the question, for did not everything come at a price?
"I have made many decisions based on what I saw fit at the time, and you being a King must understand what I am saying, correct?" And with Caspian's nod he continued, "On that day, the day I sent them away, I saw before them a bright future. Success and fortune awaited them, but I made one mistake…I said that Peter and Susan may never enter again, but now looking at the paths they are set upon, I know that they should have come back one last time. Along with their siblings and cousin, they should have come, and this…this which is about to occur would not be possible."
Looking into the sad, wise eyes of the lion, Caspian felt his blood run cold, and glaring up at Aslan he asked, "What is about to happen?"
Looking about the beautiful room Aslan sighed, "I look into the future and nothing is clear…And if they die nothing will come as it should…"
Caspian clenched his fists, rage filling his youthful features, "What do you mean they will die?"
"Caspian, you are a king of Narnia, and I have one last gift to bestow upon you….that is of course whatever you wish," Aslan finished hinting at some meaning of the wish.
All Caspian could think of was Susan, was she going to die, would today take all their lives? He would give his own life just to save hers. Looking up into Aslan's wise eyes he said, "I will do anything to save them, and so that is my wish." Bowing his head, ready for the lion to speak once more, but when he did not he looked up as Aslan shook his mane.
"That is what I hoped you would say," smiling as the room began to swirl around them, falling away into nothingness, "Listen carefully Caspian, find them! You must stop them, for they will all die, perhaps not in body, but soul on this day." And with that the lion faded away into the swimming surroundings.
And then… it stopped and he was surrounded by people, pushing and shoving in every direction. They were dressed oddly, but then looking down at himself so was he. But what pulled him out of his reverie was the loud horn that blasted through the stone room, and the people pushing even more so to reach their destination.
Looking around the room though his eyes stopped on the back of dark headed lady. The soft waves fell down her back, and the way she held her form, were fit of a queen. And beside her stood a tall man, his blonde hair brushed back though some seemed less than sorted. They looked like Peter and Susan, despite the man being taller than he last remembered Peter; he could not deny the resemblance.
A gust of wind rushed through the room, and as the horn screeched, Aslan's voice drifted through drenched in fear, "Stop them!"
Realizing that he needed to get their attention, he shouted, "Susan!" and receiving no response he again shouted for her. The thrumming of his heart in his ears, as he called out, his voice seeming like nothing more than a whisper in loud room. His dark eyes darted through the crowd to keep track of where they were headed, and how to reach them.
Up ahead, Lucy faltered in her step, she could have sworn she heard him, she heard Caspian. Shaking her head she proceeded forward, reaching out and clasping Edmund's hand, but that's when she noticed it. Edmund's hand was cold as ice…like he had seen a ghost. Looking up at her older brother she saw no signs of anything until she heard the shouting again. His eyes flickered with a haunted recognition. Gasping she stopped suddenly stopping Edmund with her.
Their mother turned to look at her younger children, smiling she asked, as she looked about, "Do you children know who that is?"
Caspian's breath caught in his throat as "Susan" turned around, but he stopped suddenly causing several to crash into him, but he held his ground. That wasn't his Susan, this woman's eyes were a warm brown, and though they glowed and sparkled like his Susan's there were also subtle differences. And then the man turned, and though he looked remarkably like Peter he lacked Peter's confidence and constant look of authority.
Pulled from his thoughts by the horn once more, he was chilled to the bone. Just a few hours ago he had been facing death, and he once again could feel the mocking whispers of death upon the room. Cringing he shouted another name, "Lucy!" knowing that if she was there, her faith that it wasn't just her imagination would cause them to stop.
They both heard it, like a beacon of light in the dark, dropping Edmund's hand she began to race back through the crowd of people. Edmund quickly following in her quake, the loud people and train seemed to be blocked out as they ran, determination filling them. Hearing their parents following after them, calling for them to stop, but they didn't.
Peter, had heard the last time as well, and the most valuable lesson both he and his sister had learned was faith. Turning back and scanning the crowd, he couldn't see Caspian, but upon hearing the call for Lucy again, he turned brushing past his parents and racing to Lucy and Edmund. Until he was beside Lucy, and grabbing her hand, he wedged their way through the people toward the voice in the crowd.
And finally there he was, just as Peter had last seen him. Out of breath, and sweating, worry etched across his brow.
"Where's Susan?" were the first words out of his mouth before he looked frantically at the train.
"She's not with us today," Lucy said still staring at Caspian, before she launched herself at him, wrapping her arms about his waist, smiling brilliantly.
Caspian's face was visibly relieved as he relaxed, returning Lucy's embrace. As Peter stepped forward, and smiling ever so slightly, he laughed and shaking his head he stepped forward and enveloped his friend in a hug as well.
But as they broke apart, and their family rejoined them, Edmund was the first to ask the logical question, "Why are you here?" No sooner had the words left his mouth then the loud grinding of the train taking off was heard.
The lady who Caspian had thought was Susan, sighed shaking her head, and commiserating on the fact they had missed the train and then turning to Caspian she eyed him suspiciously, and turning to Peter asked, "Who is your friend?"
"Caspian Telmar, mother. He attends school with me."
Smiling, she tilted her head ever so slightly, "Well it's wonderful to meet you, Caspian. As you may have guessed I am the Peter's mother."
"A pleasure to meet you, madam," Caspian said with a boyish smile.
Edmund's question had seemingly been forgotten, but it had not been. As arrangements were made for the next train, Caspian was confronted by the Pensevies, as well as Eustace and Jill.
Lucy looking up at Caspian with her wise, kind eyes asked, "Has something happened in Narnia?" worrying lacing her voice.
And looking at the eager eyes of those he had lived his life's adventures with his shook his head, "No, now everything will be right."
"I don't understand?" Edmund asked, his face scrunched with confusion.
"An old man's dying wish to be with those he loves, and they are right here," looking into each of their faces he said with confidence, "None us die today."
Eustace, ever the worrier and disbeliever, looked Caspian in the eye and asked, "Were we to die today?"
Looking between the two, Lucy asked with worry, "All of us?"
Caspian's smile turned sad, "I suppose our fates, whatever world, had been connected."
"You want to see Susan don't you?" Edmund asked ever the logical and playful sibling.
And Caspian smiled, so wide that it must have hurt, "That is the idea," his answer only causing the others to laugh at his expense.
After careful consideration, Caspian had been granted stay with the family, and then would travel to the professor's home to live there until school resumed. Though figuring out how to get him into school was something they were leaving for the professor to work his magic with. Thus when they went to retrieve Susan from her friend's they had been told to find the girls at the park nearby.
Caspian had seen her immediately, from the way she stood and how her hair blew in the wind. Walking up, silently, beside her he stood there admiring her. For whatever reason she refused to look at him though, as if he was a dream, something of her imagination.
And yet it was that fear that kept her from looking. Telling her over and over again he wasn't there. That whatever it was, it was just something she wanted to see, a figment of the imagination, a ghost of someone she would never see again. And closing her eyes, a lone tear escaped and began its journey down her porcelain cheek.
Ever so gently he reached out, his thumb and brushed the tear away, and cupping her face with his hand he continued the path, tucking an errant strand of her ebony hair behind her ear.
Gasping ever so slightly at the feel of touch, and the tender care she was receiving she slowly opened her eyes. She was still where she had last been, but she was with the last person she ever thought she would see.
"Are you here?" she asked, reaching out and tracing his jaw and the outline of his face, just as she had remembered.
Nodding, and smiling like a fool, a fool in love, "Forever and always I am yours."
Smiling, a smile she hadn't in years, she reached up and kissed him just as she had before. This was euphoric; it was if the sun shone brighter, the trees sang in the breeze, the world was cheering out to the couple who had finally been reunited.
Both laughing, and he twirled her around in the air, each thrilled to finally have their hearts desire, after each living a lifetime without the other, they could start this one together and finish in that same manner. Forever and for always.
And that was the way it went. Narnia forever remembered their valiant King Caspian X, his stories carved with those of the Kings and Queens of Old. His son and his son's son, and so on lived by his example, loved by their peoples.
And in our world, they grew old and happy together, sharing their stories and knowledge in their own ways. Whether it was in politics with Peter and Caspian, or philosophy and logical reasoning in Edmund, or Lucy's art in her paintings and books, and finally Susan in her care for them all.
And one day, when they had lived this final life, they passed away one by one to be together with all they had loved in their lives, in the one true Narnia. Together forever and for always.