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I felt that I never really got this chapter the way I wanted so I made a few changes. Don't worry the parts I have taken out will be re written and added into the sequel!
Liliandil led the crew and lost citizens of Narnia through the arch of trees towards Aslan's table. The royals and Aslan turned to them as they bowed before them.
"Once a King or Queen in Narnia. Always a King or Queen. The King's and Queen's of Old shall remain in Narnia, where they shall live out the rest of their lives, standing united with King Caspian." Aslan said majestically.
The people cheered and applauded excitedly as Eustace and the five royals smiled at each other.
"Come rest, eat for you must be tired and weary from your travels. Know that you shall rest easy at the table of Aslan." Liliandil said kindly.
They celebrated by eating a great feast from Aslan's table. Susan sat opposite Caspian with Lucy and Eustace at either side of her, whilst Peter and Edmund sat on either side of Caspian. Susan slowly pealed an apple in one long curly strip as Caspian watched her intently. He lightly touched his lips, remembering the taste of hers as she bit her own in concentration. She glanced up at him, catching his smouldering gaze.
"What do you think Susan?" Eustace as he reached for a goblet of water. "Cousin?"
Lucy glanced over at Susan to see her and Caspian lost in each other's eyes. She elbowed her gently causing her to break eye contact with him.
Eustace turned to Susan to see why she wasn't answering. "Cousin Susan?"
Susan turned to him a little dazed as she rubbed her arm where Lucy had elbowed her. "Huh? I'm sorry Eustace. What were you saying?"
"Perhaps I could learn some of Narnia's history on the journey back." Eustace said completely clueless to the longing vibe between them both.
"I think that's a great idea." Susan said and bit into her apple.
"I have many of the history books in my cabin. They will teach you everything you need to know in time for the council meetings." Caspian said.
"Council meetings?" Eustace asked puzzled.
"Of course, you are cousin to the King's and Queen's of Old. You shall be dubbed a Lord. By right that earns you a place on the council, should you wish it?" Caspian said in a gentlemanly manner.
"I do. Thank you." Eustace said gratefully. "It will be nice to have some part in it all."
"A very important part." Lucy said placing a supportive hand on top of Eustace's.
"Don't worry Eustace, Narnia will feel like home to you in no time." Peter said with a bright smile.
Eustace smiled at them all gratefully. "It all ready does." He said tenderly.
Peter walked up to Aslan as he sat watching everyone around the small campfires scattered around near the long table. They both watched several of the citizens approach Caspian and thank him for everything he had done for them.
"He's become a great King." Peter said observantly.
"Yes he has, though he would never have become the man we see today if you had remained in Narnia, the last time you were here." Aslan said knowingly. Peter looked at him a little confused. "He would have lived under the shadow of the great King's of Old, instead of striving to become the King he was destined to be."
Peter nodded thoughtfully and turned to watch Caspian. "I guess this was how it was supposed to be."
"The deep magic works in mysterious ways. As one journey ends, another begins. Not all of them are easy." Aslan said wisely.
"They never are." Peter said with a smirk making Aslan chuckle. He grew thoughtful as a look of sadness flickered in his eyes. "Aslan-"
"I know what you are going to say Peter." Peter swallowed nervously as Aslan turned to face him. "You believe that I am disappointed with you."
"No, Peter. It saddens me that you were so hurt by leaving Narnia you felt you had no room to trust, but you overcame it. What you felt was merely human. Your intentions have always been for the good of Narnia and you have fought and protected it endlessly and for that, I could never be disappointed with you."
Peter smiled at him warmly and nodded to him. He felt an enormous wave of warmth and peace flood through him as he looked around the camp.
Susan was standing under a tree smiling gently at the scene around her. She reached up behind her head and unpinned her hair, allowing it to fall down to her waist in tousled waves. Ah, she felt so light and free, it was wonderful to finally relax and fully enjoy being back in a magical world. She heard the most heart warming and contagious sound coming from the table. She looked over and saw Caspian laughing with the most playful look on his face as he spoke with Edmund and Eustace. She couldn't stop the grin from spreading across her face from the sound of his laughter.
Caspian glanced over to Susan as Liliandil approached her.
"Queen Susan, may I introduce you to my father? I have told him of your love for astrology." Liliandil said enthusiastically.
"I would love to meet him." She said kindly.
Liliandil smiled and lead her over to her father. Susan glanced to the side of her and noticed Caspian's utterly besotted gaze as he watched her. She smiled at him coyly as her heart skipped a beat.
Ramandu brought her back into focus as Liliandil introduced them. He was an old man with long white hair, longer than Susan's, and a long white beard that reached his stomach. He wore dark blue robe with silver embroidered stars upon it. Though he did not shine as Liliandil did for he had retired from the skies.
Drinian approached Caspian from behind and followed his gaze. "It is strange to see that a Daughter of Eve would outshine even the beauty of a star."
"And yet she outshine's everything around her." Caspian said completely mesmerised.
Drinian smiled to himself. He knew the Narnian's and the lords of the council would be more that overjoyed at the return of the Kings and Queens of Old. In particular the only woman their King has ever wanted to marry.
"The Lord's have decided to live out the rest of their lives out in peace here. Ramandu has promised to take good care of them." Caspian told him. "We shall mend the ship and replenish our supplies here, ready for sail. Then we can return the people to their home."
"Very good Sire." Drinian said. He bowed his head and left to give the orders.
Caspian slowly walked through the crowd as he watched Susan across the way. Her eyes sparkled with intellect, wit and enthusiasm as Ramandu pointed to the heavens. He leaned casually against the tree, watching those around him laugh merrily and talk around the campfires. Lucy was speaking with Gale and her mother whilst Peter and Edmund told Eustace tales of their adventures as they sat at Aslan's table.
He glanced over to Susan as she left Liliandil and her father alone. Caspian swallowed thickly as her hair gently blew in the wind. His fingers ached as he longed to feel and drink in the scent of her dark silky tresses. She locked eyes with Caspian, the corners of her luscious lips curved into a soft coy smile.
He could no longer contain the urge within him, one that he had fought for too long. Within moments Caspian was striding towards her as everything seemed to move in slow motion. Susan remained rooted to the spot, watching him wide eyed as her heart rate increasing with every step he took towards her. The determined, passionate, loving look in his eyes made her knees weaken and butterflies fly wildly around her stomach. Her breath hitched in her throat and her lips parted slightly as he reached out to her, swiftly cupped her cheek and brought her lips to his. He wrapped his other arm around her waist and brought her closer to him as she fisted his shirt and eagerly returned his love bound kiss.
Everyone awed and whispered amongst themselves as they watched the two lovers. Lucy raised her eyebrows and smiled widely as she giggled and glanced at her brothers, they were smirking with slight shock written on their faces as Eustace watched with his mouth gaping open.
They slowly pulled apart and Susan looked up into his eyes dreamily, completely breathless.
"Walk with me?" Caspian requested breathily.
"Okay." Susan replied a little dazed.
Caspian smiled as he took her hand and lead her through a stone archway and down a stairway made of stone.
"Where are going?"
Caspian turned suddenly on the step below her with a cheeky grin on his face. Her heart bolted at the closeness of their faces."To the stars."
He quickly turned and almost ran down the steps with her as she chuckled. He led her towards the centre of an ancient ruin gazebo with small white blooming flowers growing up it and was placed between four ancient trees that lingered over. Behind was a small waterfall and large stream where fireflies hovered above it.
"It's so peaceful here." Susan said softly.
They both turned to look in the direction of the camp; some of the people cheered in praise as a hauntingly beautiful Narnian melody began.
"Will you dance with me?" Susan asked sweetly.
Caspian turned to her and smiled. He reached out his hand for hers and she took it without hesitation as she melted into his dark chocolate orbs. He pulled her towards him and wrapped his other arm around her waist as he held her hand over his heart. The entire world seemed to fade as they slowly swayed to the hauntingly beautiful melody.
Susan nuzzled her face into his cheek and breathed in his scent as Caspian closed his eyes and breathed in the alluring scent of her hair. She pulled back slightly to look up into his eyes. All of her feelings for him were bubbling inside of her uncontrollably. For once her head was silent; she was free of her greatest fear. Nothing was holding her back. So she followed her heart...
"I love you Caspian." She confessed in the most beautiful voice he had ever heard.
Caspian became rooted to the spot as he stared into her warm sparkling eyes. He had to admit he was surprised yet very relieved she had said it first; she was willingly opening her heart to him.
"I love you Susan." He said in an almost whisper as his eyes bore so lovingly into hers.
She let out a small sigh of relief as Caspian leaned in to kiss her. The touch of their lips was like a balm to their hearts. Soft, slow, loving and sweet. Nothing was keeping them apart; they knew they were meant to be together.
"I never stopped loving you for a moment." Caspian whispered against her lips as he weaved his fingers into her silky, long hair.
Susan smiled breathlessly and quickly claimed his lips once more, pouring all her love and longing into it. She sighed blissfully into the kiss as his other hand roamed her back, sending shivers up her spine as he held her tight against him. As the kiss grew deeper, Susan slowly weakened in his arms, drowning in his passion for her. They finally broke apart breathing heavily as they looked at each other through lidded eyes.
They smiled at each other lovingly and Susan nuzzled her nose against his.
"You really came back." Caspian whispered as he caressed her cheek.
Susan leaned her forehead against his and closed her eyes. "I'll always come back to you." She promised in an angelic whisper.
It slowly became much quieter throughout the camp as exhaustion hit the heroes of Narnia.
Peter had been glancing over to the stone archway, where Caspian had led Susan, for the past ten minutes. As the time passed he became more fidgety in his seat around the small campfire, where he sat with his siblings as they reminisced on their old adventures.
Peter sighed impatiently as began to get up. "Maybe I should go-"
"Peter Pevensie don't you dare." Lucy warned him immediately. Peter dropped back down as he and Edmund raised their eyebrows at her. She sounded just like Susan. "They have left things unsaid for far too long. Leave them be."
Edmund smirked at Peter as he reluctantly nodded and got comfortable once more.
"Fine, but if they are not back in five minutes I'm going looking for them." Peter said a little grumpily. He always hated it when his sisters got away with bossing him around.
Edmund and Lucy exchanged an amused glance as they caught Peter looking over to the archway once again.
"What do you think it will be like when we get back home?" Edmund asked thoughtfully as he tried to distract Peter.
"It won't be like it was before." Lucy said.
"You know after the voyage you will be at the top of the chain of command again." Edmund said a little awkwardly.
Peter nodded stiffly. "It will be difficult. As High King my word is final, but the people are loyal to Caspian. They know him, have fought alongside him. He's lead them into a new Narnia."
"But that doesn't mean that they don't respect you too Peter. You are still High King and you have earned their loyalty." Lucy said comfortingly. She hated the thought Peter felt he was no longer worthy of the title.
Edmund could practically hear the clockwork in Peter's head. "What are you thinking?"
"My times up. Caspian has earned it, he has ruled alone for this long and look what he has accomplished. He's used to being at the top of the chain of command. I think to take that away from him would cause more damage that good."
Edmund nodded in agreement. "You've given this a lot of thought."
"We all know Caspian and I cannot both be High King. I've had my time, perhaps I should step aside." Peter said calmly.
"But we would still rule together?" Lucy asked.
Peter smiled and put his hand over hers. "Of course we will. Only Caspian would continue to be at the top of the chain of command like he has been on this voyage. I wanted to speak with you about it first Ed. I value your opinion."
Edmund felt a wave of pride rush through him. "I think your right. It's the only way I see us able to stand united. We struggled in the Golden Age and there were four of us. I don't know how he did it alone these past few years, but at least now he won't have to."
"Plus he'll have Susan." Lucy stated with a grin on her face.
Peter and Edmund tried to suppress their uncooperative smirks.
Lucy's grin turned into a sweet, proud smile. "I think it's very magnificent and just of you both."
Peter and Edmund smiled at her tenderly.
Eustace joined them in sitting around the fire. "Well cousins, what do you suppose of the match?" He asked, gesturing towards Susan and Caspian as they returned to camp hand in hand.
Lucy smiled at them brightly as they sat further away from the crowds, still wanting to be left in each other's company. They looked so sweet and happy.
"I think they are perfect for each other." She said dreamily.
"I knew something was going on between them." Eustace said smugly.
"Sussed it out did you?" Edmund teased.
"So what happened between the two of them?" Eustace asked nosily.
Lucy smiled enthusiastically, she always loved telling stories. "We had been gone from Narnia, a year in our world. Not long after we had accidentally left, the Telmarine's invaded Narnia, they destroyed our home, Cair Paravel and sent the Narnian's fleeing deep into the forest.
1300 years had passed. Caspian's Uncle Miraz murdered his father when he was a young boy. Once Caspian had turned eighteen Miraz was given a son of his own. He ordered Caspian's death that same night; however Caspian's Professor saved him. Professor Cornelius had secretly taught Caspian of the forbidden tales of Narnian legend and he gave him Susan's horn, to use only in a time of great need. He escaped the Telmarine Castle and fled into the woods.
The soldiers chased him deep into the forest where Caspian stumbled upon Narnian's. He blew the horn and it brought us back to Narnia. Together we fought the Telmarine's, won the Narnian's back their freedom and reclaimed Caspian's rightful place as King of Narnia."
"Wow. That's some story." Eustace said. He was rather impressed and taken aback as he tried to digest all of the information. "So where does Susan and Caspian come into it?" He added, getting back onto his original subject.
"They fell in love somewhere along the way." Edmund said warmly.
"The moment they first laid eyes on each other." Peter said thoughtfully. They all looked at him rather surprised that he of all people would know that. "I'll never forget the way he looked at her; I wanted to hit him again so badly." Peter explained.
Edmund sniggered though his nose.
"The day after Caspian's coronation, Aslan created a porthole to our world, for all Telmarine's who wanted a new start, could begin in our world. We were sent through to prove they could trust that they weren't being lead to their deaths." Lucy continued.
"Susan and I were told we had to live out the rest of our lives in our world. Of course we naturally assumed that meant we were never to return." Peter said, feeling pained at the memory.
"Susan ran back to Caspian and kissed him goodbye in front of all the Telmarine's and Narnian's." Lucy said in a romantic, dreamy voice, tainted by sadness.
"Well that explains it." Eustace said thoughtfully.
"What?" Edmund asked.
"Your mother wrote to mine about America. She wrote that Susan had many suitors yet she never showed any interest in any of them. Your mother had to convince her to accept the invitation of some handsome naval officer, to some party." Eustace explained.
George." Peter smirked at the memory of Susan punching him.
Lucy looked down thoughtfully. "She never told us... she never told us how she really felt all this time." Lucy said sadly. "She never let us in after we left."
Edmund and Peter shared a small glance of regret. They should have been there for her, at the time Lucy was too young to realise the depth of the emotion, but they weren't.
"That's why Caspian is good for her, why she needs him. He challenges her, makes her want to follow her heart, instead of listening to her head. He opens her heart." Edmund said wisely. He had clearly been thinking of this as he quietly observed them throughout the voyage. "She'll willingly open up to us again Lu. It just takes some time."
Lucy nodded gave a small sigh as she lay on her side, propped up by her elbow. "I'm just happy we are going home and we are going to be a real family again."
Peter smiled at her warmly and then glanced over to Susan and Caspian.
Caspian was sitting against a tree with his arms around Susan as she curled up next to him, with the most blissful smile on her face.
He quickly stood up and brushed off his pants. "I'll be right back." He said quickly, before Lucy could stop him again.
Susan rested her head on Caspian's shoulder as she idly traced the embroidery of his coat. She could feel his warm lips pressed against her hair as he inhaled its scent.
"You're so warm." Susan said in a blissful, sleepy voice.
She loved being in his arms, she felt enveloped in his intoxicating scent and radiating heat. She could feel his strong muscles, which she was much appreciative of; also giving her a safe feeling, knowing Caspian would protect her against anything. She smiled as she felt his strong chest resonate as he hummed deeply and stroked her hair, making her give way to her tiredness.
He lifted his hand and lightly caressed beneath her slightly cut and bruised cheekbone. "Does it hurt?"
She shifted her head a little so she could look at him. "Not really."
Caspian smiled slightly and leaned down to kiss her wound. Susan felt a shiver run up her spine at the feather light touch of his lips. He was so tender and loving and caring...
As Caspian leaned back against the tree, Susan smiled at him lovingly and snuggled into him as she closed her eyes.
"It's getting quiet." She said sleepily.
Caspian looked around the camp observing almost everyone was sleeping peacefully. "You should sleep." He said gently as he felt her fight her tiredness.
Susan fought her eyes to stay open. She wanted to stay in this moment with him. "No." Susan protested cutely though her small yawn contradicted her words.
Caspian smiled lovingly as she snuggled further into him. "You haven't slept well since you returned."
Susan felt a painful lump rise into her throat. "I was afraid to wake to find all this a dream." She said in a soft voice, tainted with sadness.
Caspian felt his heart ache heavily at her words. He kissed her temple and held her tighter to him. "This isn't a dream my love." He whispered soothingly into her ear.
Susan sat up and smiled beautifully. Her eyes sparkled intensely as she gazed lovingly into his melting, dreamy eyes. "Say it again." She requested sweetly.
Caspian broke out into a dashing grin. "My love." He repeated passionately.
Susan bit her bottom lip as her smile grew wider. She could feel her heart swell with such love; it was like her chest could barely contain it. "I don't think I'll ever tire of hearing you say that." She said huskily as she leaned in for a kiss.
Mid way through the kiss they were interrupted by Peter clearing his throat. They turned to see him with his arms folded across his chest.
"Caspian, I'd like to have a word." Peter said in a tone neither of them could decipher.
"Certainly." Caspian said confidently.
Susan felt a pang of worry and inwardly groaned.
Caspian felt her tense up with unease. He kissed her cheek softly. "Try sleep." He said gently in an almost whisper.
Susan nodded to him and watched nervously as he and Peter walked away. She didn't like that she couldn't read Peter's face, he was usually so easy to read. Peter glanced over his shoulder and winked at her as the corners of his lips tugged into a smile. She relaxed completely and grinned at him. Now she knew what he was up too...ah, big brothers.
Caspian turned to Peter calmly, though he was unsure of what to expect. "Before you do or say anything, I want you to know, I'm in love with her. I've always been in love with Susan. And there is nothing I wouldn't do for her." He said in an assertive, passionate voice.
"I know." Peter said evenly. "Many men have claimed to love her." Caspian tensed his jaw and nodded, he knew all too well of the never ending flock of suitors towards Susan. "You're the first she has ever returned that love. I respect you Caspian; you have proved your worth as a King and as a part of our family. So I give you my blessing."
Caspian smiled crookedly. That went rather well.
"Though as her brother, it is my duty to warn you. If you ever hurt her I will have you hung, drawn and quartered, only to have the remains of your body eaten by the Great Giants of the North. Whether you are King or not." Peter said casually yet in a very affective threatening way.
Caspian nodded. "I would rather die than hurt her."
"Good answer." Peter said lightly as he smiled at him. "Shall we head back to camp?"
Caspian chuckled at the sudden lightness in the conversation. "So fed to the Great Giants of the North... how long have you had that threat planned out?" He asked playfully.
"I've wanted to use it for far too long." Peter said humorously. "So don't think I wouldn't follow through with it."
"I wouldn't dream of it." Caspian said teasingly.
Peter chuckled and punched his arm playfully as they both walked over to the others. Eustace was snoring heavily by the fire and Edmund was leaning on his arm dozing lightly. Lucy smiled at them.
"Look who's finally asleep." She whispered as she gestured to Susan across the fireplace.
Caspian felt his heart melt. She looked so peaceful and delicate, curled up tight into a ball. He quietly walked around the fire and draped his coat over her as a blanket. He gently brushed her hair out of her face, in a feather light touch, her soft skin making his fingertips tingle.
Peter smiled warmly as he watched Caspian. Yes, he knew Susan couldn't be in better hands.