Airies barely listened to anything that Caspian or Aslan had to say to the Telmarines. She was just so angry, angry with Peter for choosing to leave, angry with Aslan for making him leave, and angry that she would have to be alone again.
Why must this happen to her? She just got Peter back, and just as quickly he was being taken away from her, only this time, he would never return.
Shouting from the crowd disrupted her somber thoughts.
"How do we know he is not leading us to our deaths?" One man shouted.
Reepicheep stepped up. "Sire, if it is of any help, I will take 11 mice through with no delay," he said.
Aslan smiled at the little warrior then looked towards the Pevencies.
Peter glanced at Airies before saying, "We'll go."
Edmund started at him incredulously. They just got back, and now he wanted to leave? "We will?" he questioned.
Peter nodded. "Come on, our time's up," he said before walking over to Caspian and holding out his sword. "Besides, we're not really needed here anymore," he added while handing his most prized possession over to Caspian.
After his chat with Aslan, Peter realized that he had been selfish this whole time, and his eyes had been opened up to a new way of life. A life filled with selfless acts. This was his first one. Leaving Narnia to make room for a new era.
Caspian took the sword and said, "I shall look after it until you return."
Susan stepped up then and said, "That's just it. We're not come back."
Airies couldn't stop the tears from coming now. This was real. This was actually happening. Peter was really being sent away.
"We're not?" Lucy questioned.
Peter walked back to her. "Well, you two are," he said while looking between his two youngest siblings. "At least I think he means you two," he continued.
Lucy turned to Aslan, tears in her own eyes. "But why? Did they do something wrong?" she questioned.
Aslan chuckled. "Quite the opposite, Dear One. Your brother and sister have learnt what they can from this world. Now it's time to live in their own," he explained.
Airies crossed her arms tighter over her heart and looked out over the cliff. The pain that she had felt the last time Peter left was already coming back.
Lucy was almost as upset as Airies was. She and Edmund were allowed to come back, but Peter and Susan were not. This was so unfair, she could hardly stand it.
"What about Airies? Is she coming too?" Lucy questioned, but Aslan shook his head.
"No, Dear One, Airies place is in Narnia, just like Peter and Susan's place are in England. But don't fret over your brother and friend. They will see each other again," Aslan told her, a twinkle in his eye.
And Airies knew that what Aslan said was true. She may not like it, but Aslan never lied. Her place was here, no matter how badly she wanted to be with Peter.
Peter took her Lucy's small hand in his big one. "It's alright, Lu. It's not what I expected, but it's alright. One day you'll see too."
The Pevencies then looked at each other before going to say their goodbyes.
Peter was afraid to speak to Airies just now, so Edmund went to her first.
"Airies?" he said timidly.
"I guess I'll be seeing you soon," she said stiffly.
"Will you be alright?" he questioned.
She just shrugged. "I guess we'll find out," she answered.
They stood looking at each other for a moment before Airies went and kissed him full on the mouth. She pulled away and Edmund hugged her.
"I'm going to miss you all so much, I don't know what I'll do," she whispered.
"Just stay strong. We'll be together again soon. I'm sure Peter will try and find a way back to you," Edmund told her. "Don't forget him. He loves you. But Aslan's word is final."
Airies sighed before kissing his cheek. "Thank you, Ed. I love you, you know. Don't forget Narnia. Come back as soon as you can. You and Lucy both."
"I love you too, AIries, always."
They pulled away from each other and Airies gave him a small smile.
Lucy and Susan came over next and Airies pulled them into a tight hug. No words were exchanged between the girls, they were crying too hard. They kissed each other's cheeks before it was finally Peter's turn.
"Airies, please, please don't be angry with me," he sighed.
Airies said nothing, her arms were crossed again.
Peter put his hands on her arms and went to kiss her, but she turned her head so that he only kissed her cheek. He lingered there before he whispered, "I love you. I will always love you. I promised," he said before going to stand between Lucy and Edmund, where they were watching a strange interaction between Caspian and Susan.
Susan turned to her siblings, before thinking twice and turning back to Caspian. She grabbed his head and kissed him.
Airies looked towards Peter. How could she let him walk away forever without saying goodbye?
Susan finished kissing Caspian and went and stood between Lucy and Peter. Lucy took her hand as they all looked around one last time, savoring their last bits of Narnia. They turned around from the world they loved and started walking back to the world that they belonged in.
They spun around to see Airies running towards them.
She jumped into Peter's arms and kissed him. It was rough and passionate. So many unspoken emotions were running through them.
"I love you so much, Peter," she cried, tears spilling out of her eyes.
"I love you too, that's never, ever going to change," he said, tears falling out of his own eyes.
The Pevencie children and AIries hugged each other once more before Airies backed away from them and nodded.
Caspian moved towards her and took her hand, and together they watched as Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy walked into the tree, and far away from them.
Caspian held Peter's sword out towards Airies.
"I think this belongs to you more than it does to me," he said.
Airies looked at him before taking her own sword off of her hilt. Professor Cornelius stepped up next to her and took her sword while Caspian handed her Peter's. She took the sword and swung the hilt across her chest. She then sank to the ground and rested her head on her knees, crying.
One by one the Telmarines who elected to leave walked into the tree, while the Narnians surrounded Airies, comforting her, and trying to give her strength to carry on. They knew this was tough on her, but they just wanted to see their Highness happy. After all, she was one of the true leaders of Narnia, and though her family was torn away from her, she would always have the Narnians, and they wanted to stay true to her. And that they would.
They would never leave her. They would always be here for their Highness.
Airies sat with her arms wrapped around her knees, feeling the gentle touches from the Narnians, her true family. Their touches made her stronger, and soon she was allowed to straighten up.
She gave the Narnians around her a weak smile before escaping to the grassy courtyard where she had spent her last night with Peter. The blankets and pillows were still set up under the trees, and that's where Airies went now.
She sunk to the ground, wrapping herself in the blanket and burying her face into the pillows. They still smelled of Peter. She breathed in deep, letting the tears and the sorrow take over. She was alone now, she no longer needed to be strong. She could cry and cry and cry as much as she wanted, no one would bother her.
As the sun set over the courtyard, Airies stood up, keeping herself wrapped in the blanket, imagining that they were Peter's arms comforting her, keeping her warm, and she moved over to the middle of the yard, looking straight over the mountains to the setting sun.
"Come back to me, please come back to me," she whispered, letting her words travel through the wind.
"Come back to me, Peter, I love you."
One by one, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy returned back to the train station. They stood frozen in place, grasping each other's hands. The train was here, ready to take them back to school, back to the real world where they were not kings and queens, but just kids once again.
Before the doors slid open, a breeze blew through the station ruffling Peter's hair, who jumped at the feeling.
"Pete, what-?" but Edmund was cut off, because he felt the breeze too.
"Come back to me, please come back to me," they heard.
The two brothers shut their eyes, and listened to the voice in their heads repeating those words. And then all too soon, the comforting breeze stopped blowing, and Edmund followed Susan and Lucy onto the train.
But right before Peter got on, he heard her voice again, the breezing gently brushing his arm.
"Come back to me, Peter, I love you."
Peter closed his eyes again and thought, "I will, Airies, I promise I will. I love you."
With a deep breath, he opened his eyes and stepped onto the train, letting it take him away from Narnia. Lucy slipped her hand into her big brothers, giving him the strength he needed to keep going.
He would find a way back to Airies, he promised he'd be with her forever, and he had no intentions of breaking that promise.
Author's Note: Well, this is it, the final chapter. It's sad to see this story come to a close, but of course it has to. I so badly wanted to make Airies go back with them, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. It wasn't the right thing for this story. And if I did that, I don't think I'd be able to continue with any other Narnia stories in this series, and I want to keep going as long as possible, haha. So, I apologize for that.
Thank you to all who reviewed, and favorited. It means so much to me. You guys keep me going! Thank you again for reading! :)