We were drawn from the weeds
We were brave like soldiers
Falling down under the pale moonlight
You were holding to me
Like someone broken
And I couldn't tell you, but I'm telling you now
Just let me hold you while you're falling apart
Just let me hold you and we'll both fall down
Fall on me
Tell me everything you want me to be
Forever with you, forever in me
Ever the same
Ever The Same
Train Station. 1949
"Hey Scrubb…. Do you think…. Our folks will ever get into Narnia?"
Eustace Clarence Scrubb looked up from his book to find the deep, wonder filled eyes of Jill Pole blinking expectantly back at him. Eustace shrugged his shoulders, before setting his book down on the seat beside him.
"Gosh Pole," he lamented after a moment. "I- I really don't know. I've tried talking to Alberta- I mean… my mum and dad about it countless times about they always say-"
"Fancy you are, someone as old as you believing in fairy tales?" Jill imitated her own mother's high pitched voice, a trace of laughter in her voice. Eustace nodded.
"By jove.. you do sound like her at that pitch…"
"Go stuff yourself, Scrubb."
"Bloody girls…. Always nagging at you."
Jill laughed, but it only went as far as her voice carried it. In her eyes, Eustace noted, there was a tremor of fear and it sent a prickle of fear down his spine.
"I- I worry… my brother Josh…. He's become… so detached… so cold… since the war ended. He was so loving- he really was- why- he took me to the park all the time, and carried me on his shoulders, and would sneak cookies from the kitchen…"
Her face scrunched up, and Eustace leaned closer, to her quivering voice barely above the hairs breath of a whisper.
"Then that awful war came…. You remember the bombings don't you? Josh was already signed up and fighting somewhere with the Americans. Oh- all those lonely nights in the cellar with mum and dad…."
"I remember those days. Dark days they were." Eustace said, reaching for his handkerchief, and wiping the tears drizzling down Jill's face. "Beastly war… but its over now…."
"Yes… but at what cost? So many men and women from all over the world returned different from they were before…. The bombings in London, what happened to those poor Americans over at Pearl Harbor….." Jill looked out the window, watching the countryside flee by.
"With such death and destruction in the world…. Will we ever come out of the dark and into the light?"
"Aslan…." Eustace breathed softly, his eyes burning with a fiery determination.
"Wait, what? I wasn't listening." Jill apologized.
"Aslan. Narnia. He's the light we seek. He's always been the light we've sought after. When I became a dragon, and Edmund told me I was only, merely an ass. The time that Aslan got you to drink- we've found it, Pole!"
"Aslan… Narnia… yes…. of course." Jill murmured contentedly, almost in afterthought.
"I began… to write… my mum and dad a letter…" Eustace said, fumbling with a some paper, the stub of a pencil laying on the seat. "I just felt like, it was important somehow…"
"Really? Oh, Eustace I've felt that need too!"
Jill reached into her purse, revealing a thin white envelope already stamped. "Lucy was so kind to give me the stamps so I wouldn't have to buy them at the post office in London. Peter's agreed to take it and mail it for me, after we get the rings. In fact, I've felt sort of queer ever since a week ago."
"Aye, when that strange Narnian hailed as at suppertime. Gosh, I'm glad the High King was able to take control of the situation. I was shocked speechless."
"I know. Poor Professor Kirke knocked over his wine on my new skirt. I was so frightened, I hardly noticed. Anyways, a mere dress stain is nothing when Narnia's livelihood is concerned."
"I'm glad, you're with me… Jill." Eustace felt his face reddened. "I mean, you're jolly good company to have around and I-"
"I feel the same way… safe I mean…. You know…. After what happened, last time…"
Now, both Jill and Eustace looked quite silly, and red in the face, and stammered on about everything and nothing as most youngsters do, and then they're chatting about meaningless things and everything else until they had chatted so much they had originally forgotten what they had wanted to say all along.
"Fast…." Eustace said, a hint of worry in his voice.
"Oh, what are you talking about now, Eustace?"
"The railways… we're going too fast… I think… our stop should be next, but….Oh, I don't know, bother all…"
Jill opened her mouth to reassure him, when suddenly there was a horrible screech, the grating sound of metal on metal, and a horrendous boom. Jill was sent flying from her seat, into Eustace's arms. He leapt forward, catching her and holding her tightly. Shielding her with his body, he pressed her face against his chest, feeling his heart hammering erratically against his ribs.
"P- Pole, hang on tight to me!" he shouted, and sounded very regal and Narnian about it. Jill squeezed her eyes shut, and squashed up against his chest. The thunderous roaring grew louder until it nearly deafened her. There was another loud bang, and a pop, and she screamed loudly, and then everything went black.
What felt like hours or days had been merely moments at best. Jill's eyes snapped open to reveal nothing but dark, and the smell of smoke, and fire. She was laying on her back, limbs akimbo in the wrecked, overturned carriage. The sound of water dripping faintly reached her eyes, as she tried to clear her ringing head. Slowly, Jill managed to get to her knees, feeling something wet on her stomach.
"Must be.. .water, I'm laying in water…" she mumbled, feeling oh so tired, and suddenly chilly all at once.
" S- Scurbb…. E- Eustace?"
The air was thick with smoke, and Jill feebly managed to lift a corner of her shirt over her mouth, and was able to breathe partially better.
"Oh, Scrubb! Eustace!"
" Oy! Here… I'm over here…"
"Here where Scrubb? Bother all, its so dark!"
A hacking cough. The rustle of clothing and then another cough.
"T- to your left….. I'm… I think… I'm where… the window… was… I can… almost.. .see… the sun…"
On her hands and knees, Jill felt her way across the overturned car, sighing in relief when she felt his trouser leg. Fresh tears running down her face, she collapsed happily atop his body. She too, felt the strange, sticky wetness on his back, and knew that his clothes were drenched in this also.
"Oh must have hit a water line…. Or oil…." Jill commented weakly, burying her face against him, hugging him tightly.
Eustace reached up weakly, touching her face.
"Yeah, that's it. Merely oil…."
"Eustace…. I'm cold…." Jill commented softly.
"Blast… I have no idea where my coat went…" Eustace said, gritting his teeth as pain rocketed up his leg. It felt broken.
"Scrubb… hold me… please."
Eustace forced himself to turn, so he was on his back, despite the agony of his mangled leg and damaged back. He felt Jill's weight leave him, as he worked himself into a new position, and then swallowed quietly.
"Do you…. Know where I am, Pole?" he asked weakly.
"I always… know where you are."
Eustace felt Jill's shivering body, and wrapped his arms tighter around her. There was silence in the car, except for the trickle of water splattering outside. The hazy smoke filtered through the cracks, and the thin beams of encroaching sunlight, they could barely see each other's faces. Low, leveled breathing prevailed as the only sound.
Jill's cold lips left a feathery kiss on his cheek. Eustace hugged her tighter, kissing her playfully atop the forehead.
"Why did you kiss me?" he wondered.
"To thank you for saving my life. Why did you kiss me?" Jill giggled back.
Why did he kiss her? He felt his mind draw a blank, and his mouth turn as dry as a beach. He stammered an answer, Jill's airy laughter filling the void of silence.
"Narnia… Aslan… we'll be there shortly. I cannot wait…. To help out again." Jill's voice sounded weak, and distance. "Plus, I'll have my knight…."
"Really…? Whose that?" Eustace said, feeling a cold numbness spreading through his body.
"Oh Scrubb…. Boys." Jill giggled. He felt her turn, wiggling closer, gathering the last of him as she sighed contentedly.
"I just hope… no more… trips.. underground…. I love you, Eustace. I'll wait for you."
Eustace felt hot tears prick his smoke filled eyes.
"I know you will. I won't be long either."
"See you.. soon, Pole."
Her tense breathing gradually faded, and soon she felt like a lifeless doll in his arms. Eustace smiled, wiping his eyes with the back of his hand. He gently laid her out, folding her hands delicately across her chest. In the distance a lion's roar.
"I'm coming Jill… try not to have gone too… far.. in my.. absence…"
Tenderly, Eustace laid down beside her, gazing at her face that he could not see and closed his eyes, his breath released in one solemn word
Sir Eustace Clarence Scrubb rose from his kneeling position as High King Peter officially made him a nobleman and knight of Narnia. He was humbled, meeting Aslan's gaze for a brief moment, then stood to face the throngs of people and talking animals alike that welcomed him into True Narnia.
Of the lot, Jill, now a Lady of Narnia stood proudly with King Caspain X, Prince Rillian, Queen Lucy, amongst others of Narnian heroes.
" I guess you found out who my knight is." Jill teased, going to his side. Eustace puffed out his chest proudly.
"I'm your knight. Now and forever."
Jill reached up, kissing him on the cheek.
"I wouldn't want it any other way."
Neither would he.
A/N: Merry Christmas! I have no idea why I wrote this. The muse bug bite me. I may whip up another Narnian Christmas fic…. So here's hoping the muse hits again! Oh, and a review would be most lovely!