Disclaimer: I do not own Narnia or anything pertaining thereunto.
"We have to let Susan come back to Aslan in her own time. She just…"
"She doesn't want to know she can't ever go back."
"If you don't mind the question, what makes her different, your majesty? Your other siblings have grown closer together and to Aslan, while she pulls away."
A sigh. "I don't know, Alana. She just never loved Aslan as we did, I suppose. But I'm certain that she will come to Him, someday."
"I pray she will, your majesty."
"You needn't call me 'your majesty,' you know. 'Lucy' is fine."
Standing in the doorway of the small church, Alana scanned the crowd for Susan. She remembered seeing her before they went through Aslan's Door, so she would know her on sight.
Suddenly, she saw her—bent over the memorial table, sobbing silently. Quietly, Alana wound through the groups of people until she reached the Queen.
"I'm sorry, your majesty," she said, knowing it would be enough.
Susan's head jerked upwards and she saw the young woman at her side. A small flicker of confusion filled her eyes, and Alana held out her hand.
"My name is Alana Linscoll," she said.
Susan's eyes softened. "Ah," she said. "You are the girl he told me so much about."
"I suppose, your majesty."
Susan coughed and turned away. "I'm not a queen here, Alana. I'm not worthy."
"Once a king or queen of Narnia, always a king or queen, your majesty."
"Bear it well, sons of Adam! Bear it well, daughters of Eve! You all forget that part."
"No, your majesty. But forgetting to bear it well does not make you any less a queen."
Susan extended a gloved hand at the pictures on the table. "They did not forget, Alana, but they died in his service!"
"He died in yours, your majesty."
Susan bit her lip. "I'd rather not talk about this, if you don't mind."
"Do you remember the sunsets, Su? When the mermaids danced in the water?"
"Don't be silly, Lucy. Mermaids are myths."
"Don't you remember, Su? He told us that we would find him here."
"How can we find him here if he never really existed, Edmund?"
"You can't possibly have forgotten it all, Su!"
"There was never anything to forget, Peter."
"Can you see anything, Susan?"
"No, of course I can't, because there isn't anything to see. She's been dreaming. Do lie down and go to sleep, Lucy."
Susan whirled around and caught Alana by the sleeve. "Please," she said, a little hurried. "Do you really think they were right?"
Alana regarded her a minute. "Yes," she said finally. "Let me tell you why."