This is my first Narnia fic - I am generally a die-hard Maximum Ride fan. However, I have also been (not as scarily) obsessed with Narnia. I very much enjoyed the books and now appreciate how well they are brought to life!
((Plus... Ben Barnes is.. --wow-- ahahah)
I was very happy with this first chapter.. but I started working on the second already and was not nearly so pleased. If there is anyone who wishes to take on the job of beta-ing my Narnia work, I would love it! Just let me check out your writing and beta page before I accept you.
Disclaimer: I do not own Narnia. I do, however, own this version of it.
Caspian wandered through the castle, searching for the royal siblings. His eyes scanned the crowds swiftly, sorting through the faces as he searched for familiarity. Finally he emerged into the stone courtyard, jogging down the stairs with a faint clicking noise as his boots hit the steps.
His eyes finally lit on two of the Pevensie siblings as they walked with the Great Lion.
There was Peter, looking tall and royally handsome with his carelessly windswept golden hair and beautifully tailored clothing. Aslan paced regally beside him like the great cat he was.
And then there was Susan.
Caspian couldn't breathe for a moment as his eyes drank in the sight. She was wearing a blue gown with a white dress underneath that made her skin seem to glow.
Feeling slightly abashed for staring, Caspian quickly ducked his head and turned to go.
"Your Majesty?" Aslan's soft voice broke the silence.
Caspian turned back to the trio, his eyes again immediately drawn to the beautiful girl. He filled his eyes with her for a very long moment, aware of Peter's eyes appraising him from behind Aslan. Finally he found his voice again and stammered, "We are ready. Everyone has assembled."
Caspian was aware of a sudden flash of pain in her eyes, and he wondered at it. Eventually he tore his eyes away from her and turned to go back into the castle.
"Narnia belongs to the Narnians, as it does to man. And Telmarines who want to stay and live in peace are welcome to. But for any of you who wish, Aslan will return you to the home of your forefathers." Caspian spoke clearly to the mass of people assembled in front of him, an unexplained heaviness on his heart making his voice grave.
"It's been generations since we left Telmar," a voice called out from the crowd.
"We're not referring to Telmar," Aslan replied. "Your ancestors were sea-faring brigands; pirates run aground on an island. There they found a cave, a rare chasm that brought them from their world. The same world as our kings and queens." Murmurs spread throughout the crowd in ripples and the Pevensies looked at each other in amazement. "It is a good place for any who wish to make a new start."
Caspian stood restlessly, shifting his weight from foot to foot in his soft boots. There was a feeling of uneasiness in the air but he didn't know the cause.
"I'll go. I will accept the offer." A tall man with hard Telmarine features spoke. He squared his shoulders as he met Caspian's gaze.
Caspian half-bowed respectfully to the man to honor his decision. The man inclined his head in return as he made his way to the front of the crowd.
"So will we," a woman said proudly, rocking her child against her hip. Her husband followed close behind her.
Caspian slipped back to allow the focus to remain on the brave people who stood in front of Aslan. As the great lion spoke to them, Caspian found his gaze wandering back to the kings and queens standing silently on the sidelines.
Especially one queen.
"Because you have spoken first, your future in that world shall be good."
A great crackling noise and the surprised murmurings of the people tore his gaze back to the center of the platform. The great tree in the center of everything was splitting, arching, groaning, responding to Aslan's command.
The two men and the woman holding the child stepped fearlessly to the opening created in the center of the tree. Caspian jerked in surprise as he looked and found all four of them gone. He turned back to the shouting crowd with some slight anxiety. A man shouted what they were all thinking, questioning how they knew that the people were safe.
"Sire, if my example can be of any service, I will take eleven mice through with no delay."
Caspian felt a faint flicker of amusement at the small mouse's offer, remembering how he had doubted the Narnian soldier's bravery. That doubt was long gone.
Suddenly he saw Peter exchange a meaningful glance with Susan, and he felt as if his heart had dropped into his stomach.
Aslan fixed Peter with a look full of compassion. The High King of Narnia stepped forward proudly, a hand on his sword hilt.
No, no, no… Caspian thought his heart must have stopped in denial of the pain that he was about to go through. His gaze flashed wildly from face to face, hoping for a contradiction.
He received none.
"We will?" Edmund asked in surprise, obviously not expecting the announcement. Peter looked at his younger brother with an expression of almost adult resignation. "Come on. Our time's up."
Caspian couldn't force his gaze away from Susan's face. Her expression was smooth but her eyes were tight and held a fathom of pain.
"After all," Peter continued quietly, coming to stand before Caspian, "we're not really needed here anymore." He carefully unfastened his scabbard from his belt, and held out the legendary weapon to Caspian.
He wanted to refuse to accept it; to shove it back into Peter's hands and plead for them to stay with him. His hand's disobeyed him, clasping the sword tightly. "I will look after it until you return," he said firmly. You must return.
"I'm afraid that's just it," Susan's soft voice broke in. Caspian's gaze flew from Peter's stern eyes to her anxiously. Her eyes fixed on his, pleading with him to understand. "We're not coming back."
Caspian felt as if his whole world had been shattered. If not the world, at least my heart, he thought absently as the pain that had been tugging in his chest blossomed. As his eyes filled with emotion Susan tore her gaze away from him, unable to see him in so much pain.
"We're not?" Lucy asked softly, a childlike distress on her face.
"You two are," Peter said to Edmund and Lucy. "At least, I think he means you two." He shot a glance at Aslan.
"But why?" Lucy asked, "Did they do something wrong?"
Impossible, Caspian thought with a sharp pang, looking at the royal siblings. Well, almost, he chuckled humorlessly to himself, remembering his and Peter's rivalry before the battle.
"Quite the opposite, dear one," Aslan reassured her. "But all things have their time. Your brother and sister have learned what they can from this world. Now it's time for them to live in their own."
Peter murmured reassuringly to his youngest sister. Caspian was standing where Peter had left him, unable to do any more than watch while his heart was ripped in half.
Peter took Lucy's hand and led her to the Narnians to say goodbye.
Caspian felt his insides melt and his features soften as he saw Lucy tearfully clasp Trumpkin in a tight hug. How can they leave us now? He looked out at the people looking trustingly back at him. They need a king. He snorted to himself with dry amusement, feeling the weight of the garb of the Telmarine royalty on his shoulders. I don't feel much like a king right now.
He focused in front of him again as he saw Susan step almost shyly before him. "I'm glad I came back," she said quietly to him, her head bent slightly. Caspian couldn't look away from her though sadness was consuming him.
"I wish we had more time together," he replied in a low tone, his voice husky from repressed emotions. The words had slipped out before he could stop them, but she just smiled softly at him. Then she shrugged slightly. "We'd never had worked anyway."
He felt foolishly hurt at her statement. "Why not?"
"I am thirteen hundred years older than you," she teased with smile at him. Caspian couldn't understand how she could joke at a time like this, but smiled back faintly anyway. He couldn't take his eyes off of her. He felt his throat closing up and swallowed painfully. I want to sweep her into my arms and hug her so tightly that she can never leave me, he realized. He kept his arms firmly at his sides as she went to leave him, his eyes fixed on the area where she had just stood.
And then she spun around, skirts swirling, caught his neck, and pulled his lips to hers.
Caspian felt explosions go off throughout his body and tears welled up behind his closed eyelids as he kissed her softly.
When she pulled back again, he gave in to the urge and gathered her into his arms, burying his face into her warm neck.
"Don't leave me," he pleaded brokenly into her soft skin for her ears alone, the words tumbling from his lips before he could stop them. She trembled slightly in his arms. "I don't want to," she whispered back, her voice matching his in agony.
Then she pulled back from him.
Something inside of Caspian snapped.
He reached out and clasped her hand as she turned to walk away from him. Again.
"No," he said desperately, suddenly taken by a wild hope. "No. You can't leave."
Susan looked at him in confusion, but he squeezed her hand once then let it go and turned to Aslan.
"You said that there was nothing else that they could learn in this world," he spoke quickly. It still taxed his strength to talk to Aslan, though it was becoming easier.
"Yes," Aslan agreed, though there was an undercurrent of something in his voice. Caspian scrutinized him carefully, but all he could see was a faint gleam of amusement.
"Well… I disagree." He finally rushed out. Peter was looking at him appraisingly as if measuring him, Lucy and Edmund looked confused, and Susan was behind him. He could feel her eyes on him. "And we do have need of the kings and queens here." He rushed on. "I… I need them here." He was sure that everyone could hear the unspoken meaning of that statement. I need her here. He wet his lips nervously as he continued.
"There is much that they can learn here still," he finished, almost holding his breath as he waited for Aslan to respond to him.
Those dark, gentle eyes seemed to look straight through Caspian. If a lion was ever said to smile, Aslan did.
"You have passed the test, King of Narnia."
Caspian felt the first flutters of real hope in his heart.
"You have proven that the kings and queens of old are needed and wanted here in Narnia. They have spent almost one full lifetime here in Narnia previously, so it would not do them lasting damage to have another." Aslan's voice held a hint of laughter.
All of the breath in Caspian's body escaped in a rush of air. Hardly able to believe his ears, Caspian turned around to face Susan.
"Will you stay, Queen Susan?" He asked her formally, his dark eyes practically begging her.
Susan smiled brilliantly at him. "If you wish it, my Lord," She teased.
Caspian gently took her hand again. He swept her an elegant, kingly bow and pressed his warm lips to her hand.
Peter walked over to Caspian and his sister, shaking his head. "Well, looks like you're stuck with us for a while." He clapped him on the shoulder, giving him a gentle smile that made the corners of his eyes crinkle. "Welcome to the family, King."
Peter, Edmund, Lucy, and Trumpkin stood casually on a balcony of the castle, looking down at the garden. They could see Caspian's dark head bent close to Susan's as they walked together, murmuring quietly.
"I still don't understand it." Lucy shook her head. She shot a glance out of the corner of her eye at Peter. He was watching his sister and the king with a funny expression in his eye. His face was soft, and his lips curved into a gentle smile as he watched them. As Lucy watched, he raised his glass to his lips and took a drink, still smiling.
"I don't know," Edmund mused to himself, "When he grabbed her wrist and pulled her back, I thought he was going to go down onto one knee and propose right then and there."
Peter choked violently on his water.
Ahaha - I just had to put in that last line. Couldn't resist giving old Peter a bit of a shock. :D
Tell me how I did!! Review, please.