Well, here's the finale of this epic story! It's the longest I've ever written, and it's been a great experience! Thanks for all the reviews and all the worries and all the love! :) You all rock! :D
Suggested listening: "Farewell" from Pocahontas, "Drink Up Me Hearties" from POTC: AWE, and "Time to Go Home" from Narnia: VDT. Though the playlist is longer than the actual chapter...
Disclaimer: I DON'T OWN IT! GET OFF MY CASE!
Thanks for everything! I love you! :)
Chapter XX – Time to Go Home
Rapunzel and Eugene stood on the balcony of their—formerly just Rapunzel's—room, holding hands as they stared out at the Eastern Sea. "I'm going to miss it," the Queen of Corona said somberly. They had been back at Cair Paravel for a week. The Telmarines had fled to their ships and back to Telmar. High King Peter decided not to chase them, for that would take a great deal of effort, and he didn't want to put any more Narnians in danger by fighting the Telmarines.
"Miss what?" her husband asked. He was going to be crowned King of Corona upon their arrival in Corona. Queen Julia would have crowned him as soon as she first met him, but Eugene insisted on waiting until they had reached the land. He realized that the Coronans would probably want to know that the lost princess had been found before knowing that their King had passed away in battle and their Queen abdicated, giving them two new rulers. The former thief didn't tell anyone this, but he also felt like waiting on becoming King of Corona. It was a strange thought that he was going to rule a country. He was so used to never having anybody to depend on for anything and being the very bottom of the metaphorical food chain, and now he would have an entire family and be the ruler of a country with hundreds, if not thousands of people looking up to him for leadership and guidance. Eugene didn't know if he was ready, despite Rapunzel and Julia's confidence in him.
"Oh, everything," the brunette said. "The Eastern Sea, Cair Paravel, Narnia…and all the people, especially the Pevensies, Tumnus, and all the other friends we made. I'm going to miss the smell of the Eastern Sea, and the sight of the trees, and the sounds of the Narnians. It's all so different than Corona."
"We can come back to visit. And they can come visit us. If you want, once we get home, they can come visit us as soon as we arrive. You'll only be apart from them for a few weeks."
"I suppose," Rapunzel said softly. "It's just so different…I've lived here for months. And the only other home I've known was my tower. I don't know how to find home."
"I've never had a home, either," Eugene said to her. "I think our home will just have to be wherever we're together."
"Alright," Rapunzel said, turning to her husband and hugging him. She let go, and looked back out to the Eastern Sea. "We should probably get going, before I completely change my mind."
Eugene laughed and said, "Yes, your majesty."
The couple left their balcony with a final glance over their shoulders. They left their room and walked through Cair Paravel to the entrance hall. The two stepped outside and saw the four Pevensies waiting for them, as well as Rapunzel's mother. Queen Julia had stayed in her hiding place in Cair Paravel, sneaking out through the secret passageway to send the crown and note to the Narnians in hopes that Peter would crown Rapunzel as Queen. She had then returned to her hiding place until the Narnians had won the battle and returned to the Cair.
"It's time to go home," Julia said. "I'll go make sure the horses are ready." The former Queen walked off, knowing that the six young adults would need time alone to say goodbye.
Rapunzel hugged Peter and Lucy, but she started crying when she hugged Susan. "Why are you crying?" the Gentle Queen asked.
"I'm only going to get to see you a few times a year, Susan," the Queen of Corona said, laughing as she wiped her tears away. "It's going to be like this every time we part. I'm going to miss you!"
"And I'm going to miss you," Susan replied, pulling her best friend into a tight embrace.
After a long moment, Rapunzel pulled away and embraced Edmund. "I'm going to miss you, Rapunzel," he murmured against her short, brown hair.
"It's not forever," she said, closing her eyes. He whispered something in her ear, and she smiled sentimentally, whispering something back. Finally, she released the Just King and said, "Goodbye, Edmund."
"Goodbye, Rapunzel," the Just King replied. He smiled at her, feeling a sense of finality in his words. Strange. He watched as the Queen walked to her husband and standing by him.
"We'll see you in a few weeks," Susan said. "We've already decided that the four of us are going to come visit you. Or at least Ed and I will come visit you. Lucy and Peter are going to try to come, but if something comes up, they might not be able to."
"We understand," Rapunzel said, slipping her hand into her husband's and giving it a squeeze. "But I hope you all will be able to come."
"I guess it's time for us to go now," Eugene said, slowly starting to walk toward the party that was to accompany the Queen of Corona and her husband. The army had gone home a few days prior, but a few stayed behind to make sure that Rapunzel and Eugene got home safely.
"Goodbye!" Rapunzel cried, tears coming to her eyes once more.
"Goodbye!" the Kings and Queens of Narnia called.
Rapunzel mounted Maximus and the party started to trot off. Rapunzel turned in her saddle and waved to her friends until they were so far in the woods that she couldn't see them anymore. The Queen turned to her husband and asked, "Do you think that we'll be a good Queen and King of Corona?" She didn't want to hurt the people or allow anyone to invade them. All Rapunzel wanted was for there to be peace and kindness and love everywhere.
"Of course," he said. "What with your brains and my dashing good looks, we'll be the most popular royals ever." Rapunzel laughed and rolled her eyes. "I'm just kidding."
"I know," she said, feeling truly happy for once. "Let's go home." Eugene and Rapunzel rode through the woods toward Corona, both knowing in their hearts that things would be better now.
Queen Susan and King Edmund quietly pulled Prince Caspian aside once they reached Aslan's How. "What do you know of the kingdom of Corona?" Susan asked the Telmarine.
Caspian was surprised at Queen Susan's question. "Only the basics because not much information is known about them. I was not to learn about Narnia, but Doctor Cornelius taught me a few things about the Old Narnia and Corona. It was unheard of until they contacted the Kings and Queens of Old. The lost princess, Rapunzel, and her husband, Eugene, ruled kindly and justly for many years."
"What happened after we disappeared?" Edmund pressed.
"I'm not exactly sure, but the King, Eugene, died in battle with the Calormenes shortly after their second child was born. Queen Rapunzel was heartbroken and died shortly thereafter, forcing their five-year old daughter, Susan, to take the throne. The baby's name was Edmund." The Pevensies exchanged a sentimental look. "When the Telmarines took over Narnia, Caspian I offered peace to the country, but they didn't accept for some unknown reason. It is rumored that the Coronans didn't accept the peace offering because Queen Rapunzel and King Eugene had fought the Telmarines nearly a thousand years before. Corona was destroyed within the year."
A tear slid down Susan's cheek. Edmund looked solemnly into the distance.
"There are…rumors that Queen Rapunzel and King Eugene were close to the Kings and Queens of Old."
"We were close," Susan said. "Rapunzel was my best friend. No one knew her like Ed and I, except for Eugene, of course. And Eugene saved Lucy's life. And Edmund…"
"There are also rumors that Queen Rapunzel was in love with one of the Kings of Old."
"I loved her," Edmund said quietly. "I always did." He laughed bitterly. "I still do. It's only been a year since I've seen her."
Susan placed her hand on Edmund's shoulder in a comforting gesture. "We all loved her. We all would've died without her and Eugene. The two of them were a gift from Aslan. At least they're in Aslan's Country now…"
Caspian felt awkward by staying with the mourning siblings, but he didn't know what else to do.
"We were on our way home from visiting them," Susan explained. "We took a long way through Narnia because we heard that the White Stag was in the Lantern Waste. We came across a strange tree that we all felt as if we'd seen before. And then Lucy led us off into the thick of the forest. Suddenly, we tumbled out of the Wardrobe as if no time had passed during out time in Narnia. We couldn't find a way back."
"I can't believe they're gone," Edmund said. "Do you remember that Rapunzel was pregnant with their first child when we left them that time?" Susan nodded. "I can't believe they're gone…"
"We'll see them again," Susan said confidently. "It won't be forever."
"We'll see them again," Edmund confirmed.
And as the Pevensies watched the sunset from Aslan's How, they knew that Rapunzel and Eugene would be watching over them as the first adventure concluded and the next began.