Author's Note: Another Tumnus/Older!Lucy fic. My inspiration this time around was heartbreak, the news that The Voyage of the Dawn Treader the film has now been completed, and the song "Come on Get Higher" by Matthew Nathanson. So, if you should feel the urge, play the song in the background. :)
Oh, and this made me cry to write it. So... first, promise that you don't kill me after you read it. And second, get a tissue.
"I miss the still of the silence as you breathe out and I breathe in…" – Matt Nathanson
Lucy ran her fingers along the sleek railing of Caspian's Dawn Treader. The tips of her fingers found a rope, and she looked up to admire the bright sails and the web of fibers that she knew each crewman knew how to nimbly navigate.
No matter, she said to herself. In a week's time, I'll be able to climb to the crow's nest in the blink of an eye.
"Miss Lucy!" It irks her when he called her that, but more when he calls her "Queen." Miss Lucy rang back to days of informality.
Lucy gasped for a breath. The Splendor Hyaline was simply a memory now, the Golden Age of Narnia long since past. Lucy let herself drown in the memory.
"Oh, Tumnus! Sailing for the Lone Islands tomorrow! I can just smell the Calormen spice in the market air!"
"Terebinthia first, and then the Lone Islands," he corrects her. "Is your inspection of the Splendor Hyaline to your expectations, your Majesty?" the faun shuffles about nervously on the shining deck.
"Last minute inspections are not to be devalued, good faun!"
With a satisfying ripping sound in some region of her many skirts, Queen Lucy the Valiant swings herself up into the rigging.
"Queen Lucy, get down!" cries the horrified faun.
"Should I not inspect her completely?" the Queen protests.
Poor Mister Tumnus, he hated when she did this to him. There's his duty as a Narnian servant to keep the Queen safe at all times. And then, as the Queen's servant and friend, to do assist her in whatever she pleases. And then there's a worry as a poor, friendly old faun that the Queen will fall and break her pretty neck…!
Lucy's satin-and-leather shoes had fallen to the deck, her bare feet singing with freedom and flexibility.
"Tumnus!" she giggles and squeals. "My shoes!"
The faun was losing patience now, his nerves getting the better of him. "Yes, Lucy, and?"
"Bring them to me, please?"
Oh, the damned choice – this was not a Queenly order, but a friend's request. He was allowed to say no, but her blue, teasing eyes pulled him to muster his courage and fasten the shoes to his vest and – up, swing – pull himself onto the precarious railing where his little cloven hooves tappity-tapped on the sound wood.
Holding fast with both hands to the rigging, he leans just a bit to the water. His heart sinks as his eyes follow the emerald and sapphire shadows of the blue deep.
"Come on, get higher!" cried Lucy.
He questions why she demanded her shoes so vehemently, and yet he smiles when he looks up at the swinging monkey-Queen of Narnia. Not having proper feet for climbing rope, he heaves himself up using only his arms.
Hold on for dear life, Tumnus, you stupid creature.
Finally a sufficient distance from the relative safety of the Splendor Hyaline's wooden deck, he huffs, "Now, it's your turn. Please come down a little further and meet me in the middle." He settles his furry rump in a less straining and more comfortable position among the swinging ropes.
Like a trapeze artist she had seen in what's-that-other-world, must have been a dream, Lucy fell back and hung by her knees to reach down to Tumnus.
"Miss Lucy!" wails the faun. "I'm tired of this scare-the-faun sport. Take your cursed slippers and I'll be gone, thank you very much. Please be at the castle before dark!"
But she's not paying heed to his manic. "The sun is falling out of the sea," Lucy sighs. "Clinging to it, before she drops to high noon again, pulling herself up so slowly…"
Tumnus turned to face the west. "Yes, she is beautiful." And he turned to face his queen, his best and most mischievous friend. Yes, she is beautiful. Her face is pink in the setting sun, and pinker because of the blood rushing to her head. Her distant eyes are now violet in the sun's setting rays.
His heart calms. Too many times in too many different ways, she makes his heart beat faster than the hooves of a galloping horse. He hears the wash of the water, and feels the rocking of the ship as in the relative silence, she breathes out and he breathes in.
And then she's looking directly at him, almost cross-eyed because of their proximity. The faun can't help but smile a little.
"My dear friend," she reaches out to touch his face, her hands wander his coarse, curly hair, and her fingers dance on the tip of his horns. She smiles, too. "Thank you for your brave and dangerous quest to bring me my slippers. You shall be duly rewarded by the Queen of Narnia."
"And what kind of reward merits this favor, my dear friend? What honor does the Queen of Narnia feel fit to bestow a lowly but brave faun?"
She grips his shoulder gently, and pulls herself towards him. "This," she whispers as she kisses his brow. They linger there in the ropes in breaths that last eons.
He dares not move again. Behind his closed eyelids, to kiss her like a man, a son of Adam or maybe even a worthy prince of Calormen could. To grasp her in his arms, to cling to her as tightly as earthly possible, never letting go. A treasure of a friend for so long. To breathe in the blend of nymph-mixed perfume and her own warmth. For her to cling to him in return, to hear her sigh happily in his arms. To fully love her, and to be in love with her. He'd risk more than his life for her shoes. For her anything for that matter. She's his world, his dearest friend.
"My thanks," he whispers back.
"My queen," a deep, mannish voice wakes Lucy. Captain Drinian stands behind her. "Have you been to the Lone Isles?"
She smiled diplomatically. "Oh, yes! But many years ago for you, my Lord Drinian." Not so long ago for me.
The feelings Lucy had as a woman in Narnia faded out of her memory as a girl again in England. But being almost a woman again, and in Narnia again, the memories stung like the pain of walking into sunlight after sitting in complete darkness.
"My very dear friend and I, he joined me on voyages on our Splendor Hyaline, a beautiful swan as your Dawn Treader is a mighty dragon. We picnicked on the grassy, sea embraced hills."
"He must have been a very, very dear friend," stated the captain, "to make you cry such pretty tears."
She wiped her face in a very un-Queenlike manner, wrestling with the over-large sleeves of Caspian's borrowed clothing. I can't wait to be gone from this place, everyone I love has gone.
Arresting her old talent for queenly airs so as not to upset the captain's masculinity too much, Lucy replied with a tear stained smile, "Yes, you're right captain. But these are happy memories that make me cry. Happy memories of days long past that I will keep forever in my heart."
I miss the sound of your voice. I miss the rush of your skin. I love you, my dear, dear friend.
She sighed again, "And I think I'm still not fully rested from almost drowning yesterday. Good night to you, captain. Don't work too hard as not to enjoy the sunset painted for us today."
"Is that the order or request of the Queen of Narnia?" the captain teased good-naturedly.
Lucy smiled, "An absolute order which you should pass on to the rest of the men!"