A Terrible Twist: 5
AN: All I gotta say is... Nothin'! Okay fine - how about "I had to the bunny made me do it"?
They walked beside Aslan, and Peter tried not to think of how lovely Susan looked, in silvery-blue that brought out every shade of both colours from her eyes, and made her cheeks glow.
"You have learned all that you can learn here," Alsan rumbled.
He'd been warned that Susan wouldn't remember dying or their conversation, but that the essence would remain, as well as the memories of how he had treated her for many years - those couldn't be erased. But every word, every touch, each kiss he'd gained there burned him, giving Peter a strength that he had forgotten he'd ever lost until it was returned to him. Despite that he knew he wouldn't undo what he'd done. On his chest and back he bore scars from where a blade had pierced his flesh, his body would always ache as though it was still lanced with steel. This was his penance, taking all of Susan's hurt into himself that he could. And while the wound was healed, it would never feel as though it were. For it was not just his penance it was his reminder to be careful and cherish all that he loved and protected.
Stay with Caspian my love, Peter willed it, though it hurt to a point where he wished he would just hurry up and die already. It was what she needed, even if it wasn't what he wanted.
Sadness hung in the air around Susan, a choice before her she wouldn't be able to have all the necessary information to make an informed decision. Aslan nudged Peter with His velvety nose, offering His love and forgiveness. Grateful even as the Lion left him with Susan, Peter watched as her eyes swept the courtyard.
Taking her hand, "Su."
She didn't look at him, just stared down at his boots, "Yes Peter?"
"Could you love me?"
Susan made a little huff as she thought, then looked up at him, "I do love you."
"But not like I love you," rubbing her fingers with his. Before she could deny it, "I know you don't. I always knew, even though you tried so hard."
"I'm sorry," one fat teardrop fell from her eye, and Peter caught it on the tip of his forefinger.
"Stay Susan. Stay in Narnia," making a careful check that no one would see, he leaned down pressing his mouth to hers with loving tenderness. "If you won't do it for yourself, do it for Caspian - he can't stand alone."
"Neither can you," her lips moved as he pulled back, granting him the barest of kisses in return.
Thinking on their time together in the place Between, he knew he'd never be alone. Smiling through his own pain, he did the right thing, the thing that was good for Susan, and what she ultimately needed, "Stay in Narnia. They need you, and we'll be fine. All of us. It's the right thing Susan, you know it. Deep down you do."
Susan felt as though she were being torn asunder with each step she took towards Aslan's Tree. All I can do is bring Caspian pain, I'm not fit. And there's something wrong with Peter - I have to fix it! I have to... it's all I know how to do... Add to that the worry for Lucy and Edmund, Susan had no choice. Who will make their lunches? Do the laundry? Who will take care of them if not me? That was the crux of the problem. Caspian would find himself a queen and move on. He'd be alright. Just a brief pain now, just a tiny one - it will all work out. It has to.
Aslan was watching her sadly, understanding her reasons, His gaze heavy on her back. Not as heavy as Caspian's. One last kiss... just one.. I need it... Give me strength Aslan for what I must do...
Turning she ran back to Caspian, pulling him into a kiss, feeling him curl over her one last time, his scent enveloping her. And then she saw Peter smiling, gritting his teeth through pain. Susan couldn't hurt him more - hadn't she hurt him enough? So taking a deep breath she smiled and walked through the Tree and into England. Pausing she looked at the dreary tube station, a piece of her dying inside.
Peter was there, his hand on her elbow unobtrusively as he whispered, "You should have stayed Su. It would have been alright."
Lucy and Edmund boarded, with she and Peter following closely, "But you need me."
The ride home was long, with Peter sitting next to her, Lucy and Edmund talking animatedly, Susan just trying to breathe. Movement flickered out of the corner of her eye, as Peter rubbed at a spot on his chest, a pained frown drawing his brows down. Taking his hand in hers, she gave it a soft squeeze trying to make him smile. This was her decision, and she would stick to it. Vowing to love him however she could, to fufill his needs and the needs of her family, Susan settled back.
Caspian stared at Aslan's Tree the great Lion standing next to him.
"She left," still not sure how it had happened. How his heart had given a terrible twist when he realized what was going on, hearing her voice tell him she was sorry whispering in his ear. Then she walked away from him, and all he knew was brought low by Aslan's voice when He said that it was done.
Aslan sighed, "You belive she picked him over you?"
Glancing over, "No - she picked what was familiar."
"Sometimes that is less frightening My son than facing that which is wonderful, because then you must fear loosing it," Aslan rumbled.
Hugging himself, "I am patient, and she will know my love eventually. She will."
Curiosity sparking in His eyes, "Is that so?"
Caspian laughed the sound mirthless, "Aye Aslan, it is. I have vowed it, and nothing will shake me from that course." Turning towards Him, "I know something happened. I know not what, but I still know. This... this is not the end. I will not let it be. Sometimes, you have to make a great sacrifice to get what you need Aslan, and I will make that choice every time. For I need her, and I will be able to share myself with her eventually... Eventually..."
"Tell Me, do you know the story of the Pheonix?"
"Aye, that I do. But some say the Pheonix was no bird of fire Sir, but a man with an implaccable will who refused to die."
"Everything dies Caspian."
Cocking his head, "Even You?"
"Yes, even Me."
"Then I suppose Sir, we are two of a kind, for You were reborn, and if it takes me a thousand lifetimes - I will be with her and share a good life with her."
"Hmmm... Twenty-two..." was all the Lion would say with an enigmatic chuckle, as though Caspian had said something of great amusement.
Turning his back on the Tree, Caspian walked away and forward despite the pain that broke him. He was strong, and he would not falter.
If Caspian was aware of his prior rebirths it was not clear, even to Aslan. But it must be said that he was not, he was merely sure of the love he bore and of it's rightness. And that he would never let it go. For every man has a dark seed to them, every man has a possessive streak that can drive him, and Caspian had his, though it had been burnt away by many lives, still that kernel of need was there and would reach fruition. But - let it also be said that it's fruit would not be dark, but full and lovely, for Aslan willed it. Ultmately, Aslan was a romantic, for He was love, and He wished to reward this man who kept fighting to give the one person who fit his soul - in all it's incarnations - all of him. That is for another time... Another world...
Peter watched as Susan did the dishes. Lucy and Edmund were abed, still tired from their trip to Narnia. Why did you come back?
"Are you just going to stand there Peter, or did you want something?" with that soft voice of hers only reserved for when she was in need of comfort.
Joining her at the sink, taking a towel he started to dry the dishes that she placed on the counter, "I only want you."
Susan's head was down, so he couldn't quite see her face fully - he was sure tears were falling - "Well I'm here. I have to finish cleaning up though before I can join you upstairs."
"Su -" starting to ask, but Peter cut himself off, he didn't want to know. Instead he changed his question to something more mundane, "Su, would you like to take a walk instead tonight? Or... be left alone?"
He really did love her, so he tried.
Susan gave him a wan smile, "Whatever you like."
The minutes passed quietly as Peter helped her clean up, even made the lunches for the next day, the two moving around eachother with practiced ease. When had he stopped helping her care for Lucy and Edmund? A long time ago. He'd do better this time, and if Susan decided to come to his bed, he'd be gentle like he always should have been. Finishing up, Peter watched as Susan stretched looking tired.
Placing his hands on her waist, "If you're tired, go ahead, go to bed. If not - I'd love to take a walk with you."
"I don't think I can be alone tonight," while her voice quivered just the faintest amount, Peter understood.
Even if you think I'll give you cold comfort, you still need something... I'm glad you came back, but.. I'm sorry... So sorry... I'll spend my life making it up to you. I swear it.
He only smiled, not saying anything about such weighty matters, "Okay."
With that he watched as Susan walked up the stairs to change for bed, and Peter rubbed at his chest once more trying to ease the agony there. Going to the liquor cabinet he poured himself a drink - with their father still at war, and mother never home, there was no one to say he shouldn't be knocking back the glass of whisky in his hand. It burnt as it went down, a familiar taste of woody smoke that warmed his belly. Staring at the glass Peter debated having another. Shaking off that desire - it'd do no good - Peter closed up the cabinet, locking it.
Making his way up to his room, he saw only the small bedside table lamp was flicked on, the light low, with Susan under the covers. Undressing, he kept his back to her as he folded his clothes, putting them in their places. Wondering silently if he should pull on a pair of pajamas, he glanced over at Susan, a bare shoulder peeking from the sheet. His loins stirred as they always did, and his decision was made for him.
Slipping in beside her, the sheets cool against his skin but for the warmth Susan radiated, Peter drapped an arm over her middle. With soft touches, as tender as he once was with her, Peter had her roll over.
"I love you Susan," and it was alright that she didn't say it. He just wanted her to know it.
Lips pressed to his, as she mumbled, "I love you too."
His heart soared, even though he knew it wasn't the same love it was still love. Peter was merely grateful to hear it. Coasting his hands over her curves, he scooted beneath the covers, kissing a trail down her abdomen. How many years had it been since he'd done this for her? Nuzzling at the patch of curls between her thighs, smiling a small smile at her tiny gasp or surprise, Peter kissed all over the pale skin.
Hands went down to cup his head, "Peter?" sounding so uncertain.
"Mmm?" tracing her cleft with his tongue.
"Um... don't you want... why?"
Gliding up her body, feeling every silken inch, Peter kissed the corner of her trembling mouth, "You don't want me to?"
She blinked rapidly, confused, "I don't know. I thought.."
"I love you," as though it should answer all her questions. And it did, whether she knew it or not.
Touching Susan's stomach and sides, "Do you want the light out?" offering what he could. He remembered being frozen at the sight of she and Caspian, their gentle explorations having angered and disgusted him. To a degree the memory still made him angry, but more hurt than anything - coupled with fury at himself. And if... if her being able to close her eyes, to not see him would help her...
"No," she shook her head, almost as though she could read his thoughts.
Taking what he could get - and beyond thankful for what she was giving him - Peter nodded and went back to her sex. Lapping at her folds his tongue slid inside of her as he kissed deeply at her womanhood. Sighing came from over head as Susan's legs spread allowing him greater acess. Groaning at her aqueisence, rolling the wet muscle at her entrance, snaking it over every crevice, tasting all of her essence. It warmed him in a way the whisky couldn't, pushing aside the pain in his chest from where Aslan had trasnferered both Susan and Caspian's wounds, each quiet murmur coming from Susan easing the tight coils in his soul. Re-exploring her, Peter payed close attention to what made her writhe, or bite her fist to stay quiet. Closing his lips over the little peak at the top of her cleft, sucking and flicking his tongue over it expirementally. He was rewarded with a buck of her hips, and a hand tangling in his hair. Why didn't I ever take the time to truly explore her...? Shaking it off, Peter's world narrowed down to tasting her, until her muscles twitched and quaked, while she pressed a pillow to her face to muffle her cries.
Licking his lips when she was finished, Peter kissed his way back up, settling his weight between her legs, pulling the pillow away, "Susan?"
She was flushed, tiny beads of sweat formed in the valley of her breasts, and on her upper lip, as she panted trying to catch her breath, "Yes?"
"I love you," kissing her once more. He'd spend his lifetime kissing her if he could, if she let him.
Fingers ran through his hair, her body cradling his and he could feel how wet she was for him - well... from his ministrations at least. Reaching between them, Peter positioned himself, then took her leg, pulling it around his waist as he drilled into her body slowly. Focusing on pleasing her, on showing Susan this wasn't just him taking from her anymore, Peter kissed her endlessly. Containing his moans was difficult, how he wished he didn't have to muffle his sounds, or Susan's, but it wouldn't do for Lucy and Edmund to know. They wouldn't understand. Taking his time, he made love to her, so that when she shattered around him, Susan's arms wrapped like bands about his chest, holding him tight. Almost wishing despite the fact that there'd be no explaining it, he came close to desiring that Aslan hadn't stilled his seed. But it was to the good that it had been, and Peter quickened his pace, seeking his own release finally. When it came he bit his lip until it bled, which Susan wiped away tenderly as he shook, face pressed into the side of her neck.
Staying tangled with her, Peter stroked her back, holding her as he fell asleep, a last 'I love you' falling from his lips.
Susan lay awake in Peter's arms. The bedside lamp was still on, and she couldn't turn it off without waking Peter. Shifting slowly to find a more comfortable position, she noticed something. On his chest were angry scars, as though he'd been pierced by some blade. Tracing them with a frown Susan tried to figure out what could have left them there. Only in Narnia would he have recieved anything that could leave such marks. But - the wounds wouldn't have stayed through the transition - would they? Maybe it was something Aslan had left him with, for a reason. He was acting strange. Never had he been so thourough, so focused on making her satisfied. It was as though he were thanking her for staying with him.
Whispering, "I do love you Peter. I do."
She completed the thought silently though, But not as much as I love him. I'm sorry... I will try to be what you need. I will. I pray I do not fail.
Then she too fell to sleep - the first easy rest she'd gained in his arms in years.
"So, Caspian, we meet again," Aslan rumbled.
Caspian was in a vaugely familiar place. For some reason though he was not perturbed by his appearance this time. Cocking his head, This time? Hmm...
Eyeing Aslan, "Hello again then my friend."
"Oh so familiar," He sat on His haunches gazing at him.
"I am dead then I surmise," not bothering to look at the flickering images.
"Yes, you are dead."
"So - what now then?"
"We have had this conversation many many times Caspian," amusement filled the Lion's visage.
"Then explain it to me once more dear friend," Caspian made himself comfortable, leaning against the Lion's side.
"You have lived many times, and learned many things."
Caspian chuckled, "I surmised that."
"Did you now?"
"Yes, just as I have surmised that You have always given me some choice in the matter," Caspian listened to the huge resounding drumbeat of Aslan's heart.
The Lion shifted, laying down, looking at him, "That I have. Do you know why?"
"No, but... it does not matter I think. All that matters is that You have done so, and that you most likely will do so again - so long as it amuses You."
"Hmm... You think that odd? That I should wish to find humour in the life of someone?"
Caspian rested a once more young hand atop his bent knee, "No. But - is it just curiosity that causes You to give me this choice?"
"No, it is not. You are My friend, this is true. But you are also a great part of Me as well - for love has driven you to rise again and again, even though you do not remember who it is that you loved," a steady purring started as though He were content.
"I have the distinct feeling that this is the first time You have mentioned my motovations, if not the memory," Caspian wiggled his fingers side to side, marveling at how free of pain they were.
"True. So - have you made your choice?"
Caspian smiled, "Of course. I will rise again. And I will find her, be with her. Wherever she is."
"That is good My friend, now as for your request...?"
Caspian thought a moment. What sort of boon should he ask? Shrugging, "That I find her, that we have a good life together. That I bring her peace and happiness such as she's always deserved."
And then the Lion laughed, and it was full of love, "Now you have truly learned your lesson My friend. Go - and remember that sometimes we must ask something selfish to be selfless. Your last lives - you have given all you had to others, and now you shall get what you want."
And it was so.
He met her in England, she was a nurse caring for wounded soldiers in a veteran's hospital after the war, repenting for some sin that was known only to her. Something in her eyes made the fact that he had no memory seem not so bad at all. Her name was Susan. And she was gentle.
They had named him after a legendary bird - for his papers had been lost in some strange fire- Pheonix. And if she looked at him and called him husband and lover, that was all that mattered to him. So, he became Pheonix Pevensie - for he had no last name. Part of his soul - his memories to be exact - resided in a land beyond magic and time, just waiting for him to bring the one that had driven him endlessly through an almost eternity back to the land that was their true home. For now though, he smiled, happy with Susan as he never thought he would be. Surely no man was ever more at peace as he when he held her at night. She told him of her family - a family that had been lost to a freak train wreck - and he told her of how he was glad to have found her. When they died together of old age - it was well.
Because they awoke where they belonged, and he was Caspian again, the one who had healed her, not the others who had lived to learn lessons to pass onto him, and she was Queen Susan the Gentle. And even Peter was at peace, glad to have had the little time he had to make up his wrongs against Susan, to love her with all he had. As well as more glad that she was truly whole, truly healed from everything. Friendship blossomed between the one time rivals, and Aslan watched from afar the only one who knew the whole story.
It was something only He would understand, not you or I. If questioned He would only smile and say that He was love, and that all good love is part of Him. Then He would walk away.
AN: Okay - totally wasn't planning the last two parts on this. Like.. not at all... Hope it worked okay. If not - feel free to shoot me. Preferably in the foot - I'd survive that. If this wasn't the ending you were looking for - go to part 4 and disregard this one if you wanted Suspian. Part of me is debating doing a really fluffy version of this one though. Where Susan stays with Caspian and then goes back to England when she dies of old age in Narnia... But I'm truly not certain of it. Hopefully either ending will have made you happy. This one was a bit more...existential than I thought it would be. That and I had way too much fun with the whole "Caspian/Pheonix" thing.
And if you want to know why Aslan kept letting Caspian be reborn - I'll tell you. "All things die." So that means that even God/Aslan will as well. But what is He to be replaced with? Love. And if love can last for eternity, then so can Aslan. The minute love dies... truly dies... then Aslan dies as well. It's more of a link up sorta dealie, not that Caspian is Aslan, or is Love itself, but more with how much he has fought for it, struggled for it, no matter what, and has wound up a tool for Love itself. An avatar of it to a degree. Okay totally ghey but oh well.. I get weird like that sometimes.