Disclaimer: I do not own any of CS Lewis' books or characters or actors that play the characters.
The sun shone on her hair and reflected back a soft, warm brown, like the color of walnut. Her scarf was a faded blue, and it was wrapped twice around that elegant neck. The ends trailed onto her lap where idle hands twisted the fraying cloth.
The former general watched the former queen as she sat on the front steps of her house, face turned slightly upwards to catch the warmth of the sun. Shifting a bit, he adjusted the burden of several wooden planks, a box of tools, and a pail of pitch in his arms.
It was a pleasant day, and there were many people out in the street. There were women carrying baskets of vegetables to the market, their tanned arms straining against the weight of cucumbers and eggplants. The soil had been fertile in the new land, and all manner of strange new crop flourished there.
Those passing by did not stop to respectfully bow to Prunaprismia, as they would have done in Narnia. It was only a few of them that gave a polite nod to their once-queen, and Glozelle mused that this lack of attention had done her much good. Without the constant pressure of being watched, the paranoia and spite that had once poisoned her heart had slowly seeped away. She was calmer now, and her skin had taken on a healthier hue. Her cheeks seemed rosier and plumper.
He cleared his throat gently, catching her attention so he wouldn't startle her. She turned and saw him, smiling a bit. She raised an arm that still trembled a bit with nervousness, and waved.
Smiling warmly in return, he walked towards her, tools and lumber clacking together noisily.
"Shall I fix your roof today, madam?"
The door to the royal bedchamber burst open as Peter and Caspian came in, laughing and embracing. The page boy, who had been napping on the rug near the fireplace, jumped up with a start. He gave a shaky bow, turning beet-red as he realized he was supposed to have been tending the fire, but the two kings didn't seem to notice him as they tumbled heavily onto the canopied bed. Seeing as there wouldn't likely be a reprimand or a box on the ears, the page boy quickly scurried out.
"I can't believe she got married!" Peter giggled drunkenly atop Caspian.
"Oof, you're heavy," replied Caspian, pushing at Peter playfully.
The wine on both their breaths was from repeated toasts to the happy couple at the wedding feast. Rather abruptly, Susan and Rynelf had declared themselves betrothed and within two months of her coronation, Susan donned her silks again for a royal marriage.
She had been rosy-cheeked and seemingly happy enough at the wedding, though a bit stiff. Glenstorm had performed the ceremony, reciting the same words he had done for Caspian and Peter. There had been a feast afterwards, and dancing after that, then a well-choreographed pageant. Susan had slipped out early, before the dancing was even done.
With a grunt, Peter rolled off of Caspian, the cloth of gold robe tangling between both their legs. "I can't believe I'm a brother-in-law," he said, sighing happily. "I think Susan'n Rynelf are very compatrible, don't you?"
Caspian's brow furrowed. "Sure." He ran a hand up Peter's thigh, and Peter giggled, wriggling a bit.
"It was a lovely wedding, too," Peter said, beaming up at the ceiling. "Susan was exquixiful, don't you think?"
"Erm, certainly," murmured Caspian, nuzzling and nibbling at Peter's neck.
"Oh, I do hope they'll be happy together. Especially Susan. Rynelf's my friend, but… she's my sister. It may be wrong of me, but I'm more concerned about her happiness than his, really. And she's not like most girls, you know. She's had a terrible time growing up, with the war and everything, and it's made her quite difficult, but not in the way you'd think girls usually are. I just hope he can make her happy. Caspian? Are you listening to me?"
Caspian stopped undressing his tipsy, rambling husband for the moment, hearing the concern in Peter's voice.
"Of course," he replied hurriedly. "Look, I know the marriage was all rather sudden, but I'm sure they care about each other very deeply. After all, they fought in the war together, didn't they?"
"But so did we... oh." Blue eyes blinked adorably.
Caspian chuckled. "I've known Rynelf for many years, and he is a good and loyal man, while Susan is a most passionate woman. I am sure they will make each other happy."
Peter sighed contentedly for a moment, seemingly reassured by Caspian's words. Then, in a flash, he grabbed his husband by the front of his clothes and pulled Caspian tumbling down on top of him.
"Right now, I want you to make me happy," Peter said huskily and kissed Caspian deeply. Caspian responded by moaning very happily indeed and soon, the moonlit air was filled with the sound of rustling bedclothes, soft moans, and moist kisses.
"I love you," was whispered more than once.
Rynelf anxiously smoothed down the front of his dressing gown. His palms were sweaty. He shifted his feet and stared at the closed doors to Susan's bedchamber, feeling the quickening pulse in his wrists.
"M-my Lady," he tested his voice, then cleared his throat. "No, no, that won't do. Your Majesty? My Queen?"
He licked his lips, wishing he hadn't had as much to drink at the banquet, as the wine was making him hot. Or was it just nerves?
He took a deep breath and closed his eyes. His mind easily conjured up his fair-skinned bride, beautiful in layers of white silk. He had heard whispered appraisals of the new queen, how she wasn't half as lovely, witty, and sophisticated as the rest of the lady courtiers, but to Rynelf, Susan was the most desirable woman in Narnia. The lack of gaudy jewels at her throat or curls in her hair made her all the more regal and serene.
Rynelf felt his cheeks grow warm as he thought of her beyond those doors, perhaps lounging on her sofa, or sitting quietly by a table and illuminated by soft candlelight, or leaning back on her pillows in bed, pretty hands clasped in her lap, waiting for him.
He had known her once before, in a frenzied, lustful encounter in the woods. He could still smell the warm earth on her limbs, hear her breathing, see the rising of her bosom while she stared at up him with those blue, blue eyes.
"Susan," he whispered, his voice echoing in her empty apartments. "My love." He smiled, grasped the gold-plated doorknobs, and pushed open the doors.
He took no more than a few steps in before he stopped, confused and embarrassed.
Susan was sitting at the edge of her canopied bed, still in her silks and obviously not yet ready for bed. Her Narnian handmaiden (Dora was her name) was attending to the queen's hair with a tortoiseshell comb. Edmund stood nearby, still in his velvets and gold chains, leaning against a table and sipping from a goblet of the queen's warm cider. The dark-haired boy was way more relaxed than any man had the right to be when in a lady's private chambers, Rynelf thought.
The moment Rynelf entered, Edmund had been smiling gently at Susan, his lips parted as if in the middle of a sentence. The boy turned to look at Susan's new husband, eyes coolly appraising Rynelf from head to slipper-clad feet. Rynelf flushed and his carefully-practiced greeting died in his throat.
Edmund's lip quirked slightly, his nose turning upwards a subtle inch or two, as if to say, "Prince Consort now, are you? Well, I was prince before you. Married to her now, are you? Well, I made it to her bedchamber before you did."
"I-I didn't know… I thought you'd be alone," Rynelf stammered, turning to Susan. She had barely reacted to him coming in, sitting calmly as ever under the handmaiden's ministrations.
She looked at him a moment with those impassive blue eyes, before turning to her handmaiden with a quiet, "That'll do, dear."
Dora laid the comb down onto the bedspread, stood, bobbed a curtsy, then left for the dressing room. Edmund stayed where he was, and now they were both looking at him, as if he had intruded somehow. Rynelf had never felt more uncomfortable.
He started a little when she spoke, though she spoke softly.
"You have not knocked and I have not given you permission to enter. These are my private chambers, and to enter without permission is disrespectful to me. In the future, you shall do well to remember."
Rynelf was sure his face was on fire, and he had to bite down on his lip from saying something indignant.
"You may be my husband, but I am still the queen. There are rules between us. There will alwaysbe rules between us. Do not forget, not even for a moment, what this arrangement is actually for."
His eyes followed her hand as it strayed to her belly, saw her caress the flesh there.
"Yes, Your Majesty," he said, his throat dry. The room was plunged into a heavy, awkward silence that was broken when Dora returned carrying several pots on a wooden tray. The girl set the tray down and knelt on Susan's right. She took one of the queen's hands and started applying various creams and ointments to the skin, taking dollops from the pots with a tiny wooden spoon.
Susan said no more to Rynelf, and he took this as a rather snubbing dismissal.
"I bid your majesties a very good night," Rynelf said finally, bowing curtly and turning to go. At the threshold, just as he was turning to close the doors again, he saw Edmund move to sit on Susan's other side, picking up the discarded comb and starting to work on her hair where Dora left off.
Notes: So there it is! It's now officially done! Many thanks to everyone who read this story!! *hugs and kisses* I hope you all stay interested for the sequel I'm planning. As always, plz plz feedback and lemme know what you think!