Hey guys! So this is it! Wow, I can't believe it! I have been working on this story for over two years now and it is finally finished. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it for you.
Okay, I'll rant more later. Go on and read it, already!
The days following Susan's death were solemn for not only for the remaining members of the Fellowship but also for the rest of Middle Earth. Their Great Defender, Peter's beautiful sister had departed from this world and left an entire world grieving for her. It was only fitting for a queen such as Susan.
But Peter did not see it this way.
No, he was angry at this world; the world that had ripped his family completely apart. No longer was he with Edmund and Lucy, no longer was Susan alive because of this place. It was all he could do to tolerate the thought of Rohan, let alone rule it. Eomer had gone back to Rohan and taken control of the country until Peter returned from Aragorn's coronation, which was supposed to take place later that day. But Peter was not sure he would want to return to Rohan. After all, it would only bring him anger and awful memories.
So, now, to keep the memories at bay, Peter spent much of his time in the practice field, swinging his sword at the mass amount of dummies provided. He would imagine them to be the creature who killed his sister and slice them open, over and over again, until sweat ran down into his eyes, stinging them, and his arms grew so tired and weak he could not even lift his sword anymore.
He dropped the sword to the ground and took his fists to the dummies instead, punching them over and over until blood ran down their faces. Of course, this blood was his instead of his opponents but it felt good for Peter to just make something, anything, hurt.
"Easy there, lad." A voice, Gimli's, said from behind him.
Peter threw one more punch before turning around to see not only the dwarf but also Aragorn and Legolas. Both of the men looked tired and worn just like Peter did.
Peter took several deep breaths as he glared at the three companions before him. "What do you want?"
"We are checking in. No one has seen you since yesterday morning." Aragorn said.
Peter shook his head, feeling angry again, before turning back and starting to punch the dummy again. "Been here. I am fine. You do not need to check in on me…I am not a child."
"Then stop acting like one." Aragorn answered with a slight hiss in his voice.
Peter relinquished his attack on the dummy and turned on Aragorn. He ran up to the man, grabbed the collar of his tunic, and pinned him against the target behind him. "I lost my sister and my best friend all in one day. I am in pain and I will act however the bloody hell I want to." The Pevensie snarled at the man in his grasp. "Remember, Aragorn, that I am a king and you still are not…you will mind the way you talk to me." Peter shoved Aragorn away from him before turning, grabbing his sword, and start to leave the field.
"You think that you are the only one who is hurting!" Legolas shouted at his retreating back.
Peter paused. If it had been Aragorn he would have kept walking but since the elf, shouting in rage, showed more emotion that Peter had ever heard from him then he felt he must turn to look at him. "I'm sorry?"
Legolas's usually pale face held a red tint of anger and his fists were clenched at his sides. "Do you think you are the only one who is feeling this lose, Peter? Do you honestly think you are the only one who cared for Susan? Everyone loved Susan…who could not? We have accepted the pain and embraced the grief that has come with her passing." He paused, shaking his head. "But you are a fool. You hide your grief with your anger and that is not reasonable."
Peter chuckled humorlessly before stomping back over to the elf and leaning in close. "You think that I am hiding my grief, my sadness? Let me tell you something: I am not sad. I am furious! She was not supposed to die! That was not in the prophecy! She was supposed to become Queen of Gondor and she never was! You, all of you, are liars. You lied to get us to help you and now because of your damn world she is dead!"
"Peter, she was a Queen of Gondor." Aragorn cut in. "She might not have worn the crown but she was the queen to these people…she loved them and they loved her in return…the people of Gondor are grieving over the lose of their queen, not over the lose of their Great Defender."
"How noble of them." Peter spit at Aragorn before turning back to Legolas. "And you, you are the greatest liar of them all, are you not? You who says that you have accepted my sister's fate yet I have seen you at her grave every night since we put her in that sarcophagus. You who says that you feel grief but no anger." Peter paused, getting closer in Legolas's face. "You feel angry, do you not? You professed to love her yet all you feel is sadness? Do your people even know how to love? Because, if you did, you would be angry. She was taken from you, not once but twice. Once when she was to be married to Aragorn and again when you lost her forever. So, elf, tell me did you love my sister? Or was that just another lie that helped bring about her downfall?"
The next second, before Peter even knew what happened, Legolas reached up and punched the king straight across the face hard enough for him to be swept off his feet. Peter's hand went instinctively to his jaw, testing it to see if it was still connected, as Legolas crotched down to glare into his eyes. "Do not ever insinuate that I did not love Susan, my king."
Legolas stood back up and stormed off before Peter could even regain his footing.
The king stood up and took a fuming breath.
"That was cruel, lad." Gimli spoke up, causing Peter to spin back and see that Aragorn and the dwarf were still there. "He loved that girl more than you will ever know…he gave up his immortality for her." The dwarf shook his head once before walking past Peter to follow his friend.
This now just left Aragorn to answer Peter's question. "What did he mean by that? That he gave up his immortality for her?"
Aragorn looked down, trying to find the words to explain. "Do you remember when Susan was dying, the words that Legolas was speaking? About letting whatever grace he possessed pass to her?"
Peter thought for a moment before remembering the elf holding his sister's hand and whispering, then nodded.
"He was trying to transfer his immortality—his magic- to her, Peter, so that she would live. But it was too late…she was already too far gone. But still he had given up his immortality to save her…because he loved her, Peter." Aragorn paused, coming over to place a hand on a baffled Peter's shoulder. "Legolas is hurting, Peter, but not because he lost his immortality…he is angry with himself because he could not save her." Aragorn sighed. "Legolas is working through it though, moving on to the Undying Lands, because it is what he must do. You, too, must move on with your life, Peter. Susan would not want you to dwell on what happened to her. In fact, I think she would be quite angry with you for the way you are acting."
Peter chuckled. "Peter, honestly, do not worry about me. I can take care of myself whether I am alive or not." He said the words to mimic Susan, earning a smile from Aragorn.
"She would want you happy."
The Pevensie took a deep breath, knowing that Aragorn was right. "You said that Legolas was moving on to the Undying Lands? What are those?"
Aragorn shrugged. "No one really knows…but it will be good for him, that I am sure of."
Peter nodded slightly again. "You know, she would want you happy, too, Aragorn." Aragorn's face fell at Peter's words but he continued. "Marry Arwen. That is what you want."
Aragorn shook his head. "I could not, after what happened it would not be right."
"So you will be alone, against Susan's wishes, to honor her memory? That is foolish, Aragorn, and you know it." He paused as he watched Aragorn thinking it over in his head. Now, it was Peter's turn to shake Aragorn's shoulders. "Be in love! Do it for Susan if not for yourself…Susan always loved weddings…"
Aragorn smiled slightly and nodded. "Alright."
Peter nodded too. "Good."
In that moment, Peter felt almost human for the first time since loosing his sister. Yes, he was grief-stricken. Yes, he was angry, but now it all seemed bearable. He needed a good shake and punch in the face to prove to him that just because Susan was dead it did not mean that he had also died.
Peter was human.
Peter was a king.
Peter was a Great Defender.
And now, Peter was going to be all right.
It was late that night, after the coronation and the ball had concluded. Aragorn was officially king of Gondor and the people of the White City finally felt able to find sleep and relaxation with that knowledge to comfort them. All was quiet while Peter walked through the streets of the city, heading to his sister's grave. Normally the people were buried in the cemetery outside of the city walls but not Susan; she was given a queen's burial. She was given a queen's burial in the crypt at the highest level of the city.
Peter's mind was quiet, still, for the first time since his sister left him and he felt that it meant he was at a turning point and coming to a new chapter in his story. But this time his story would not include his siblings; it would be a story all his own.
Peter arrived at the crypt and walked in slowly, knowing he would see the man who had been there every night since Susan's death. Sure enough, the king rounded the corner to see Legolas standing next to the sarcophagus, not praying or speaking, not even showing much emotion, as usual. But Peter had a nagging feeling that it was not that Legolas did not feel the emotions, more that he felt numb and unable to fully embrace what had happened no matter how much he said that he had.
"I am sorry, my friend. Please forgive me for the way I acted earlier today." Peter said as he came to rest next to the elf, staring down at his sister's resting place.
"There is nothing to forgive, my king." Legolas told him. A small silence pasted between the men before the elf spoke again. "I am sorry that I could not save her in time."
Peter turned away from his sister's sarcophagus to look at the elf standing next to him. "What are you talking about? How could you have saved her?"
The elf did not look at Peter but continued still to stare. "I tried to give her my immortality…it would have been able to save her but I was not fast enough. It was too late and I was not fast enough." Legolas looked at the King beside him with sad blue eyes. "I am sorry."
Peter was not sure how to react to hearing these words come out of the elf's mouth. He had given up his eternal life for his sister's; Legolas was willing to risk his destiny for that of Susan's. The eldest Pevensie could not have been more grateful to the man standing next to him. Yes, the two had never been friends. Yes, Peter never trusted the man who held his sister's heart. Yes, he despised the fact that Susan would risk her heart again for him. Yes, they would never be more than companions, first for the Fellowship and now for grief over Susan.
But Peter was grateful to Legolas. He respected him. And right now, right this instant, he would forget everything that happened and become understanding and sympathetic. Just as Susan would have wanted it.
"Her life was not yours to save, Legolas. It was mine. She was my baby sister and I was supposed to protect her…but I could not." Peter took a deep breath and ran both of his hands over his face. "I feel guilt over her death, same as you do…we cannot dwell on it for the rest of our lives, though, for it will tear us to shreds from the inside."
Peter patted Susan's coffin and nodded. "I thank you for trying to save her, Legolas." The boy paused, thinking back to when he and Susan were leaving Narnia the last time, when Aslan told them they would never be returning. "It was not how I thought this whole journey would end, either. But, alas, it is the ending of the Fellowship's story and we must move forward to start our own, individual tales…if we stop moving forward we stop our destinies."
"And you are destined to do much more good, your majesty, I am sure of it." Legolas said with a small shadow of a smile. The elf turned to the king and clasped his forearm in the traditional elfish handshake. "I am leaving for the Undying Lands in the morning so I believe this will be goodbye. We will not see each other again."
Peter nodded to the elf before him. "Good luck in your new life, Legolas. Though I never showed it, I am afraid, I felt honored to fight along side of you."
"The honor was all mine, Great Defender." Legolas nodded before letting go of Peter's arm, turning, and walking out of tomb.
Peter sighed, running his hands through his hair, before going over to sit against a nearby marble pillar. The man was still wide-awake and he feared that sleep would never find him again.
The man stared at Susan's coffin for what felt like days, not thinking, not feeling, just looking. It felt good, he thought, to not feel anger or sadness but instead nothing. It was not ideal and he realized that this lack of feeling would not last long but it was something that was easier to cope with. He was not sure when, but he felt his eyes begin to drift closed, now too tired to even stand, and fell asleep against the column on which he was leaning.
Peter was not sure how long he had been asleep before something, a thunderous, noise woke him with a jolt. The king stood instantly, drawing his sword at the same time, and gazing around the tomb for the sound's source.
When he realized nothing was there, Peter took several deep breaths before replacing his sword in its hold on his hip. The man chuckled humorously at himself, feeling foolish that he must have only dreamed of the noise and it still scared him so awfully. Peter shook his head, turning back around to the interior of the tomb toward his sister's coffin.
His face fell at what he saw.
His heart paused completely at the sight in front of him.
Cautiously, Peter took several steps towards Susan's sarcophagus and peered into the cracked marble lid. He was not sure what he expected to see but when he saw that the coffin was completely empty, lacking Susan's body, the king felt unbelieving.
Susan had been dead.
Susan had been buried.
Just as Aslan's table had cracked with the Great Lion's resurrection so had Susan's eternal resting place when she had been brought back from death.
Peter smiled at the knowledge that his sister was alive. Perhaps not in this world—in fact, he was sure she was not here—but somewhere she was living and breathing. His unbelieving wonder was then replaced with pure, ecstatic joy.
"Thank you, Aslan." He whispered the words into the air. "Thank you."
The man ran out of the tomb then, in search of Aragorn and Legolas. It was early morning and the White City was just beginning to stir with the slow rising of the sun. Peter found Aragorn quickly enough, dressing in his chamber and getting ready for the day.
The king shared the news with Aragorn, who was as astonished, if not, more so, than Peter was. Both of the men ran back to the tomb and sure enough the coffin was still cracked and empty; he had not imagined it and Susan was still alive.
"I will never cease to be amazed by the magic of universe." Aragorn said as he ran his hand over the crumbling lid.
"Where is Legolas? He must know!" Peter asked, readying himself to run and find him also.
Aragorn took a deep breath and shook his head slowly. "He has already sailed with the tide…it is too late. He shall never know what has occurred here."
"There has to be a way." Peter said, feeling his stomach drop at the thought that Legolas would be living out his life thinking that Susan had died when really she lived. It did not seem fair that they should be allowed to know of this discovery but the elf should not.
Aragorn shook his head again. "I am afraid there is not. Legolas is beyond our world now, gone somewhere where we cannot follow."
"So he will live out his life ignorant of this?" It was Peter's turn to shake his head.
Peter waited for an answer but when he did not hear one he turned back to Aragorn to see that the man was staring blankly into space, lost in his own thoughts. "Aragorn? What is it?"
Aragorn blinked a couple of times before looking at the king. "I was just thinking that Legolas is mortal now."
"Yes, I realize that he will not need to live without knowing that Susan is alive for an eternity but he will still-"
"No, that is not what I mean." Aragorn said slowly, still figuring out what he, himself, was thinking. "The Undying Lands are meant for immortals…where they will live out the rest of eternity together."
"And?" Peter questioned, still not sure what the man was thinking about.
"And Legolas is not an immortal anymore."
Peter was silent as he processed the information just given to him. The Undying Lands were for those who did not die. Legolas was now mortal…bound to die in time. "So what you are saying is that he will not be allowed into the Undying Lands…" Aragorn nodded slowly. "So, if he will not live out his life in the Undying Lands then where will he be sent?"
Aragorn was quiet for a second before he looked up at the King of Rohan with a large smile across his face. "I think I have an idea."
It then clicked in Peter's mind, as well. Legolas will not be sent to the Undying Lands with the immortals. He will go somewhere else—to the land ruled by those who are mortal. A land that Peter knew very, very well.
The kings smiled at each other then, before starting to laugh out loud.
"Talk about a change of destiny." Peter said through a fit of hysterical, joyful laughter.
Aragorn shook his head again, still smiling. "No, Peter, I think this is how it was supposed to be all along." He paused as they began walking out of the tomb and watched as the sun finally rose fully over the horizon, signaling a brand new day. "These are the destinies we were all supposed to have, my friend, and I think it is only now that we have become fully aware of them." Aragorn looked over at Peter. "It is a new era, King Peter, are you ready to help shape it?"
Peter nodded to his comrade, to his friend. "Yes, I think I am; after all, it cannot be harder than the era we just brought an end to, now could it?"
Both men laughed again as they started walking back to the Great Hall, ready to greet the day and the new challenges that they would face.
The eldest Pevensie, High King Peter of Narnia, and now King Peter of Rohan smiled to himself as they walked.
Everything finally was as it should be.
When Susan died, she felt her spirit soar. High above the ground it flew over rivers, mountains, valleys, and oceans. She was not sure when she would come down, if ever, but sure enough she found herself back on land…well, not exactly.
Susan felt herself shoved back into her body. The queen waited as her eyes began to focus and her legs got used to carrying her weight again. She was not sure where she was just yet, all she knew is that she was leaning against a railing, feeling slightly off balance. Several seconds later her sight came back to her and Susan found herself looking out over a wide, expansive ocean before her. She looked behind her to see the large passenger ship, The Sea Queen that she remembered vaguely from what seemed a lifetime ago. Susan then remembered exactly when and where she was.
She was Susan Pevensie the girl, not the queen, dressed in a skirt and jumper.
She was aboard The Sea Queen with her parents.
She was traveling on the Atlantic, making way to America.
She was exactly where she had left off before leaving for Middle Earth.
Had no time at all truly passed since her time with the Fellowship? She had been in Middle Earth for over a year and yet The Sea Queen was still making her voyage. But, then again, she had spent twenty years in Narnia only to return seconds later in England. It was the way of the world, she supposed.
Another thought came to Susan's mind as she realized what had happened that brought her back to her time and place…the queen had died.
But how had she managed to die in one world only to survive in another? Was it Aslan who saved her or was it someone else? And if she was here then did that mean that Peter was back also? Or since he survived the war, did that mean he would be rewarded by being able to stay in Middle Earth and rule Rohan as his destiny called for? Where were Edmund and Lucy? Were they back from Narnia yet or were they still traveling the high seas with Caspian?
The thoughts and ideas only made her head spin and Susan had to grip the railing hard with one hand while the other went to her head. It was all too much and she was thinking too quickly. The girl had to silently tell her mind to slow down and take one question at a time. In a minute, though, because her head still continued to spin and she was not yet fully in tune with her body again. She turned back to the sea and gripped the railing with both hands again, closing her eyes and taking deep, calming breaths.
"Are you all right, miss?" A voice questioned from behind her.
The girl's eyes flew open, not wanting this person behind her to think anything was wrong. She did not turn back, however, because she knew she must look quite a mess with the dizzy sickness. "Yes, I am. Thank you."
"Are you quite sure?"
The voice was male and British, she decided, and quite unyielding. Susan bit her bottom lip, feeling annoyed that this person would not leave. She wanted peace to think freely. "I am. Thank you."
"Alright, then, miss. If you believe so..."
Susan spun around to see a man in his mid-forties with light brown hair and hazel eyes looking at her with concern, like a father might. The girl nodded again and put on a small smile. "I am. I appreciate your concern but I am fine. Truly."
The man nodded before tipping his hat at her. "Take care yourself, miss."
With those words the man left her, and she spun back around to the ocean before her. The queen took another deep breath.
"I am surprised that you kept your composure for if that were Peter he would have gotten a far worse scolding than that."
Susan froze as she heard that voice, that voice that had become so familiar to her. She wanted to turn around but she was too scared. What if he was not real, just a figment of her imagination?
Susan felt her heart thump against her chest as she decided what to do. "When I turn around," she said, "please still be there." The next instantly the girl spun to see a vaguely familiar man standing ten feet away from her on the deck. He was dressed in khaki pants and a light blue oxford, standing as tall as ever. His hair was much shorter, curling around his ears, and brown instead of long and blonde.
The only things that had not changed were his shocking blue eyes, bright as ever in the light of the setting sun.
Susan took a calculating step forward, still not entirely convinced that this was he, the man she thought he was. The girl tilted her head to the man as she studying him further. He did not speak as she slowly made her way over to him; he just watched her watch him. Finally, Susan came to stand in front of him, only six inches separating the pair. Slowly, ever so slowly, she reached her hand up to his face. Right before she made contact, she stopped.
"Is this a dream?" She whispered.
The man before her smiled slightly and shook his head. "No, it is not."
Susan's attention shifted back to her hand and slowly brushed her fingertips against his cheek. The girl gasped slightly before looking back into his eyes. "Legolas?" She questioned, needing even more conformation than this.
The man reached up and took her hand off his check and held it firmly in his own. He played with her fingers while he talked. "My name is actually Lief here…it was the closet we could get to my real name without having me stand out too much."
"But how?" Susan asked, still bewildered.
Legolas looked back up at her with a small grin. "I finally met the Great Lion," he told her. "He did this…for us."
Susan tilted her head to him, her eyes now wide. "You are staying? Here? On Earth?"
The man nodded. "I plan on it…that is, if you will have me."
Susan looked from Legolas's blue eyes to their entwined hands and then back again. A smile spread wide across her face. "Yes. Yes. A thousand times, yes."
For the first time since they had met Susan saw Legolas—or, she supposed, Lief—allow himself to smile wide without holding back whatsoever. He looked genuinely happy as he leaned down and kissed Susan. He laughed as he swept her off her feet and twirled her around, making her laugh for first time since she can remember. He continued to smile as he placed Susan on her feet and kept one arm tightly wound around her waist.
No sadness resided in his eyes as he stared down at her like she had saved him somehow, like she was the reason he was allowing himself to feel so deeply. So, in that sense, Susan supposed that she had saved him, just as he had saved her.
They were both drowning before.
She felt too much and he felt too little.
But it would not be like that anymore, Susan knew.
All they would be feeling was utter happiness from now on.
It all started with a prophecy.
The Fellowship of the Ring destroyed Sauron, bringing about a new age in the history of Middle Earth—the Age of Men. The Ring of Power was destroyed, never allowed to spread its evil throughout the lands again.
With its destruction, two great kings from the race of Men took their rightful thrones and ruled Middle Earth during its most peaceful age since the beginning of time. With just and incorruptible virtues, they ruled the people and in turn they were loved and remembered for all the good they had accomplished. King Aragorn, The Ranger from the North and King Peter, the Great Defender turned Great King, became legends.
And Queen Susan the Gentle, the Great Defender and most beloved member of the Fellowship, became a beacon of good and peace throughout Middle Earth from the rest of time. Every year on the anniversary of her death, the people would assemble in the Great White City to watch as all the best archers in the world gathered with the leaders of each nation to take part in releasing one red feather-tipped arrow into the sky in memory of their departed queen.
Though she was no longer there physically, Queen Susan never left truly left Middle Earth behind her.
It all started with a prophecy.
And this is what became of it.
I hope you enjoyed the final chapter and the story as a whole. You guys have been amazing readers and I truly appreciate you sticking with the story. Thank you so much for reading! I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to work on next (I know I am doing a sequel to my Narnia AU called The World as We Knew It) but I usually like to work on two stories so I have options…if you have any ideas let me know! Anyway, please tell me what you thought of the final chapter! Once again, you guys have been amazing and thank you so much for reading!
p.s the whole story kind of came to me after hearing the song "The Poison" by The All-American Rejects. you should check it out! lol