A/N: Sorry about the wait on this one. But it's here now, I've finished the last three or so paragraphs to my liking, and, I hope, to yours. I hope you understand the idea of the footsteps, and how comforting they are. Please, enjoy Peter at his bravest and his best.
Disclaimer: I do not own Narnia or the Pevensies. Not even their footsteps.
Four-year-old Peter woke in the middle of the night. He could hear a faint sniffling from down the hall. Worried, he slipped out of bed and wrestled his father's big silver torch off the table next to his bed. His father always left the torch in Peter's room when he was away from home, because then Peter was the man of the house, and he was the one doing the protecting.
Peter heaved the torch onto his shoulder and flicked the switch. The bright yellow light spilled across the room and Peter stood up straighter, watching the shadows retreat.
"That's right," Peter whispered to the dark. "You run away."
He padded into the hallway and gently pushed open the door to the nursery. His three-year-old sister Susan had moved out of the nursery into her own room only a week ago, but their one-year-old brother Edmund still slept in his crib in the pale yellow room. Susan's crib stood empty in the opposite corner, waiting for the new baby that was due to arrive any day now.
Peter peered around the doorframe and shone his light into the quiet room. Edmund gurgled in his sleep as Peter crept closer, his footsteps quiet but distinct in the night. As he leaned over the railing, Edmund rolled over, clutching his teddy tighter while sucking on the other thumb. Peter smiled, careful to keep the light from shining directly into his brother's closed eyes, afraid to wake him up.
"You're safe," Peter said, and padded back to the door, closing it behind him.
Edmund tapped one little foot in time to the calm, reassuring beat of Peter's footsteps—footsteps that watched over him, protecting his little brother.
Peter continued down the hall to the freshly painted pink room that had once been his father's study and was now Susan's room. The door wasn't closed all the way, because Susan was afraid of the dark, and if the curtains over the window in the hall were not closed and her door was open just so—the moonlight filtered through quite nicely. But now, it was Peter's torchlight that shone through the crack.
Susan smiled in her sleep when Peter's footsteps approached her new big-girl-bed. She slept curled on her side, her knees tucked up under her chin, gripping her teddy and her blanket closely. Peter's light made her dark hair shine, and he gently stroked a strand away from her face.
"You're safe," Peter said, and slipped out of the room, leaving the door open so the moonlight could get in.
Susan drummed one small finger in time to the calm, reassuring beat of Peter's footsteps—footsteps that watched over her, protecting his little sister.
The last door in the hallway was his parents' room. Peter nudged open the door, and stood in the hall, unsure whether to go in or not. The torch was getting heavy in his hand, and he thought of returning to his room, without checking on his mother. But the snuffling was quite distinct and Peter knew he had to go in.
"Mother?" he whispered, stepping over the threshold. "Are you all right?"
"Yes, dear," she whispered. "Go back to sleep." In the yellow torchlight, Peter could see his mother wiping tears from her eyes hastily.
"What's wrong?" he asked, creeping closer. He switched the torch off and set it next to the bed before climbing up onto the covers next to her. He knelt before her as their eyes readjusted to the dark.
"I miss your father, Peter," his mother told him quietly. "These business trips of his leave me… lonely."
"But you've got us," Peter said earnestly. "Me 'n Su 'n Ed." His mother just smiled faintly and dabbed her eyes with her tissue.
"Yes," she said finally. "I suppose when it comes down to it, I do have you. And I love you very much."
"I love you, too, Mother," Peter said and she leaned forward to kiss his forehead.
"Do you know, I hear you check up on us every night," she said, holding her eldest son as close to her as her pregnant belly would allow. "Every night I hear your little footsteps in the dark, going from door to door, watching over Edmund and Susan and me. I see the little yellow light under the door, and I know I'm safe, because my Peter is watching over me."
She smiled as he looked at her with large, disbelieving eyes. He hugged her fiercely and promised, "I'll always protect you. An' Ed 'n Su. An' this one." He gently placed a hand over the swell of her stomach and smiled. His mother saw a light in his blue eyes, so much like his father's, a little spark of determination and strength and love. Those blue eyes would always be watching, she knew, would never cease protecting. She smiled proudly at her son and told him it was time to go back to bed.
He climbed back down from the bed and hefted the torch onto his shoulder. His gaze swept the room once more in the yellow light, and he smiled.
"You're safe," Peter said, and padded out of the room, closing the door behind him.
Inside their mother, the new baby kicked one tiny foot in time to the calm, reassuring beat of Peter's footsteps—footsteps that watched over her, protecting his little sister.
A/N: I've been listening to my older sister's footsteps since before I can remember, and they bring me immeasurable amounts of comfort and a feeling of safety. I wanted Peter's footsteps to bring those same feelings to his little siblings, from before they were born to the time they die, and beyond that. I hope you believe they deserve it, just as I do. Thanks.
P.S. For once, I'm not going to promise you the next Narnia story I'm working on, because I know from experience it won't be up when I say it will. Wish me luck. :D And keep a lookout. :D Thanks.