Summary: Susan and Peter share a late-night talk during the first thunderstorm in Narnia in a hundred years.
Author's Notes: Just a little bit of fluff I wrote back in October and never got around to posting.
Disclaimer: Last I checked, I didn't own Narnia. Shame, isn't it? Suppose I'll just have to stick to being an engineer then....
It was the first storm of the first summer in a hundred years, and it seemed to come with a vengeance. The skies had been gray and steely all day, warning of what was to come, and the Dryads had all taken refuge, preparing for the inclement weather. The inhabitants of Cair Paravel were looking forward to the storm with a childish glee, because it meant things were the way they were supposed to be.
Storms had never bothered Susan before. Usually, she would comfort Lucy, or even Edmund, as lightning crackled across the sky and thunder rolled its way through the air. But that had been before, in Finchley, when they had just been four children instead of four monarchs of the most wonderful kingdom in the universe.
But the first peal of thunder had woken Susan tonight, her heart racing madly. She had been halfway dressed before the reality sank in--she was in her room in the castle; there was nothing to fear. But fear still clutched at her, and she couldn't sleep, so she had made her way silently through the halls, nodding to the guards on duty as she passed.
There was a small room in the southeast corner of the palace, cosy and filled with couches and tables and chairs and feeling entirely out of place in such a grand palace as Cair Paravel. But she loved that little room, with its windows looking towards the sea, simply because it was so small. For a girl who had grown up sharing a room with her younger sister, used to living in a small house with six people and the constant noise and closeness offered by such an environment, the palace was terribly large and empty feeling, sometimes. But they had only called this home for a few weeks, and she knew in time she would learn to feel comfortable with it.
There was a thick woven blanket on one of the chairs, and she wrapped it around herself, sitting in the window seat to look out at the raging storm. Waves crashed on the shore, and lightning arced down to meet the water. To the south, she could see the trees in the forest waving in the wind. It was beautiful, in its own way, but the thunder made her jump and shiver.
"All right there, Su?" The voice startled her, and she turned to see her older brother.
"You should be sleeping," she responded, brushing off his concern. She appreciated it, but she wasn't much in the mood to talk right now.
"So should you," he replied. "Heck of a storm, isn't it?" he asked casually, moving to stand next to her, peering out into the rain.
"The thunder woke me," she finally said. She sensed Peter nodding.
"Me too," he confessed. "It seems like forever since I've heard thunder." She recognized something in his voice, and turned to look at him again.
"I was halfway dressed before I realized it was thunder," she admitted softly. "I thought it was..."
"An air raid, I know," Peter finished for her. "I was trying to figure out why the sirens hadn't gone off before it struck me." He smiled sheepishly. "I was about to wake Edmund."
"I'm surprised the thunder didn't wake him. Nor Lucy," she said, turning to look out again. The storm was winding down, the thunder more distant, long, slow rumbles that couldn't be mistaken as bombs dropping nearby.
"I'm glad it didn't. Of course, Ed always could sleep through anything, and you know Lu. Nothing can upset her for very long, and she just as soon forgets the bad things," Peter replied. "They're young."
"We are too, Peter. We're not grown-ups! We're just children, playing at being kings and queens in a make-believe world, when there's a real world out there, somewhere, and a war going on. What of mother? What of father? What if they die and we never know, Peter?" Susan asked, sounding more desperate than she had intended. Peter was silent for a long moment.
"I don't know, Su. When I heard that thunder, all I could think of was getting us all out to the shelter. But even if we weren't here in Narnia, we would be at the professor's house, and we still wouldn't know about mum, still wouldn't know about dad. At least here..." He trailed off.
"At least here we can pretend?" she finished for him. He shifted uncomfortably.
"We're here, Su. Narnia needs us, and we can make a difference here. And at least here Ed and Lucy can sleep well at night, not worry about bombs and wars and Nazis and all those other terrible things from England. They can be happy," Peter said.
"What do you think will happen to England?" she asked, leaning her head against his chest as he rested a hand on her shoulder in comfort. The thunder had passed, and now it was simply raining.
"I don't know. I don't know what Professor Kirke will tell mum about us disappearing. I don't know how she'll deal with that, how she'll let dad know. I don't know what she'd do if she lost him, too. I don't know if they're going to win that war, and I don't know if we'll ever get back there. By Aslan's will, this is our home now, Susan, and I hope the day comes when you and I can sleep through a thunderstorm too and not think of air raids," Peter told her. His voice was steady and firm, and held the authority of the High King, and more importantly, of her older brother.
"The storm's passed now," Susan noted. "Time for the all-clear," she joked. "Thank you, Peter. It's good to know at least we have each other."
"Let's get some sleep. You know Lucy will be up bright and early," Peter said, pulling his sister up. Susan smiled, and brother and sister headed back for their rooms, reassured by the knowledge that at least for now they had one another, and that they were all safe here in their kingdom by the sea.