A/N: This was written in a spurt of late-night/early-morning inspiration, so I apologize for any mistakes. Also, I understand if this pairing isn't your thing; that said, constructive criticism is always welcome, but flames are not. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I own nothing and am making no profit from this story.
"Love is friendship set on fire." – Jeremy Taylor
Lucy and Peter had always been best friends. Susan was the motherly one; she loved Lucy, but not in a play-pretend kind of way. And Edmund was scornful of his younger sister, trying to prove himself worthy to his older siblings.
But Peter, big, strong, older-brother Peter, always had a spare moment for his youngest sister. He would take Lucy on his lap, and read to her and tell her stories, and tickle her and make her laugh. He would play pretend and dress-up and all the little girl games no one else would play with her. He even danced with her, around and around the room for hours. He was unendingly patient and kind and Lucy loved him more than anyone else in the entire world.
As she grew, Lucy and Peter's relationship changed, but they always retained a close friendship for each other. In times of trouble Peter's first look was to Lucy, always making sure she was alright. And she never stopped looking up to him, the big older brother who could do anything.
When they were sent away from London, during the war, Lucy was unsure, but she was never afraid. She knew Peter would always be there for her, to shield her from all harm, just like a big brother was supposed to do. She loved her other siblings, but there was just something special about Peter.
Then, everything changed. Lucy discovered the wardrobe. And the Pevensies went to Narnia for the first time.
Even when Aslan died, Lucy was never afraid. She was angry and upset and thirsty for revenge, but she was never afraid. Because Peter was there, and as long as Peter was there, she could never be afraid.
After the White Witch had been defeated and the four of them had been crowned Kings and Queens of Narnia, everything settled down. The Pevensies ruled justly, and rightly, and they adjusted to their new roles in life just as they should have. But Lucy began to worry.
In the time they had been in Narnia, Peter seemed to have grown up a great deal all at once. Perhaps it was because he had had to take over for Aslan during the battle against the White Witch, perhaps it was because he now had the responsibility of a kingdom on his shoulders. Whatever the reason, Peter was different.
The smiles he gave Lucy were no longer the special ones they shared, a sign of a bond that went deeper than brother and sister, the ones she had treasured throughout her childhood. There was no more of that smile, no more of that look. His smiles now were the same as the ones he gave Susan and Edmund; the look in his eyes when he saw her the same as when he saw everyone else.
Lucy and Peter no longer laughed and played together outside in the grass, as they had when they were children. They no longer shared secrets, jokes, glances that were theirs alone. Everything that had made their relationship special, a true friendship, not just siblings, was lost, and she didn't know how to get it back.
And Lucy mourned, for what reasons she didn't know.
She tried to talk to Susan about it. Her sister smiled gently and said that they weren't children anymore, and they had a kingdom to worry about now, and Lucy had to let go of the past and embrace the present.
She tried to talk to Edmund about it. He put a friendly hand on her shoulder and said that they were all grown up now, and he and Peter had too much to do to worry about anything but the business of running Narnia. She though he was joking, but she wasn't sure. You never could tell with Edmund.
Lucy couldn't quite bring up the courage to talk to Peter about it.
Lucy felt as though she were being left in the dust, behind her siblings. They were all grown up now, and she was still a little girl. And try as she might, she could not figure out what was wrong. A few years passed.
Without noticing it, Lucy grew up. Like her sister, she went through the awkward teen years early, and quickly grew into a beautiful young woman. But she didn't know it, which was one reason that she was so beautiful. Compared with Susan, Lucy thought, she was just the younger sister that she had always been.
It was at a grand dance, held in the throne room for those of all lands, that everything changed.
Lucy was dancing with a young man from a country across the sea. He was nice enough, but Lucy didn't think he was anything special.
They got into an argument about something of no real importance, but he refused to let the matter go. Lucy tried to pull away from him. He refused to let her go, tightening his grip so that it was painful. There was something in his eyes that she didn't like. Lucy was suddenly afraid.
And then, all of a sudden, Peter was there, pushing the prince to a guard, who escorted him from the hall. And for the first time in a long time, Lucy cried into Peter's shoulder.
They danced for hours that night, just as they had when they were little, but the dance seemed bigger than themselves now. Lucy never wanted to stop, because she saw that look in Peter's eyes again, the same look from long ago. The look that said she was the one he loved the most. The smile that told her that she was his best friend, the only thing he needed.
Susan and Edmund were relieved beyond belief that whatever had happened to mess up the relationship with Lucy and Peter was over. They were back to the way they had been before they had come to Narnia, and their siblings were very grateful.
Except that it was different. Not in a bad way, just different. Lucy couldn't put her finger on it. They were best friends, but it was deeper than that now. Their time apart had somehow pulled them closer together. Both were older, and could share more things than they had been able to when they were younger.
They laughed, fought, rode, dined, talked, did everything together that one might expect siblings to do. But every night, they danced for much longer than anyone expected the High King of Narnia to dance with his youngest Queen and sister. And Lucy saw something in his eyes that made her shiver. What she didn't know was that look was in her eyes as well.
For Lucy, it was heaven. She had almost given up all hope of getting her brother back, and now that she had him, she was sure she would never give him up for anything. Their friendship continued for a few years in the same way, their bond strengthening deeper than she had thought possible.
Then Lucy learned that there were suitors coming from overseas to meet with the two oldest Pevensies.
Lucy didn't understand why her chest tightened when she heard the news. But she knew somehow that this was the end of her and Peter's strange friendship. And even though she knew that he would still be her brother, that she would still get to do all the things that they had done before, she knew that there would be no more dancing. And she would never see that look in his eyes again.
But it still wasn't until she saw him dancing around and around and around the throne room with the blue-eyes, golden-haired beauty from across the sea that she understood.
Sweet, gentle Lucy, who had never wished another harm in her entire life, felt the flames of hatred in her chest as she watched them dance. She knew that he was looking at her with that look and smiling at her with that smile. And that knowledge made her want to chase the golden-haired girl out of Narnia and never let her come back. Because that look should be for her, and her alone. Because Lucy was in love with Peter. And when she turned to look at Peter, the flames of hatred changed to a fire that ran all through her body, a hot river of love.
She couldn't watch anymore. Lucy ran from the hall, across the dance floor, and out the door. She ran until she couldn't run anymore. Then she collapsed, and let herself cry.
Lucy didn't know how long he had been there, but when she finally stood to return to the throne room, he was kneeling beside her. He didn't say a word, he simply looked at her and waited.
Lucy burst into tears all over again, and even though she knew she shouldn't, let herself slump into Peter's embrace. He held her, rubbing her back, and began to revolve slowly to the distant music from the throne room.
Then they were dancing in the moonlight, Lucy with leaves in her hair and grass stains on her dress, and Peter with her tears on his clothing. And they both had that look in their eyes, meant only for each other. And then Peter leaned forward and kissed her, and Lucy knew he knew.
She thought of all the reasons this shouldn't be happening, and tried to pull away. But Peter refused, drawing her closer and kissing her harder. Lucy shook her head hard, and Peter released her just enough so they could see each other.
The fire is still raging through her body, all heat and flames that make it hard to think straight, and she knows he feels it too, and they are both in danger of being consumed by a friendship set on fire. But he's smiling that smile, the one that she had never been able to resist, the one that said best friend and little sister and that now says my love, and that look is stronger in his eyes than it has ever been before, and she gives up and gives in and kisses him back.
She thought it would be awful in the morning, but he laughs and shakes his head and kisses Lucy's doubts away. She doesn't know what's they're going to do, but she cannot be afraid, because Peter is there and he loves her. He is her best friend and her only lover and Lucy finally knows what that smile and that look from all those years ago mean. I love you.
Reviews are, as always, adored. Thanks!