Title: An Honor
Author: Winter Ashby (rosweldrmr)
Disclaimer: Narnia © C.S. Lewis
Rating: T (for adult implications)
Summary: "I don't know how to be a nine-year-old when I used to be twenty-three a thousand years ago." (Trumpkin/Lucy) Mentions of past Tumnus/Lucy.
Authors Notes: I tried, I really did, to not make this creepy. But I can't stop thinking the URST/one-sided/borderline inappropriate relationship between Trumpkin and Lucy. She's grown up on the inside, but so young in appearance. That's got to be frustrating and confusing. Hope I didn't cross any lines here. Enjoy~~~~
"How much do you remember?" Trumpkin came up behind Lucy in Aslan's tomb. The firelight of his torch cast long, flickering shadows across her child-face.
"All of it." She looked older than she ought to, standing alone in the dark, her fingers dancing over the etched figure of a faun in a scarf next to lamp post. It was in moments like these, when he caught her alone, and she was quiet and introspective, that it was easy to forget how young she was. She was older in her sorrows, older in her grief, lost in memories he knew nothing about.
"How old were you when you returned to your world?" Trumpkin asked, and what he really meant was did you love him?
"Twenty-three." she answered wistfully and he felt the weight of her answer. She loved the faun, and he'd loved her. And in their time, in the Golden Age of Narnia when all was well and right and good, she'd been happy.
Trumpkin had heard rumors of the affair, her face was painted in the faun's tomb, their warm embrace and smiling faces inked on centuries-old manuscripts that told of battles she'd fought and wars she'd won.
"How old are you now?" He asked as he stood beside her, watching her profile in the firelight.
"Nine." The hollow tone in her voice made him cringe. "I don't know how to be a nine-year-old when I used to be twenty-three a thousand years ago." She turned to look at him, and he almost stumbled backward with alarm. He could have sworn it was a grown woman looking at him, not a child. It was her eyes. They were anything but young.
"Think about it like another chance at being young. Not making the same mistakes twice." He reached out and touched her arm, at once aware of how young she was and how much he wished it wasn't so.
"We didn't make mistakes." She replied sadly and touched the etching with a kind of reverence and love he'd never known. "Why did you call for us, if you didn't believe?"
The question surprised him, and he reeled with loss and fear and jealousy that had no target but answered honestly, without pretense or pause. "I suppose I wanted to believe."
"Do you believe now?" Her voice grew deeper as she laid a hand against his cheek. He gripped his torch tighter and fought to remember that she was still a child in all the ways that counted. Because what Trumpkin didn't say was that though he didn't believe, he'd hoped. His whole life he heard stories of Lucy the Valiant, and he'd hoped to one day meet her, to know her, to see the depth of her passion and feel the power of her faith.
"Yes." He answered in a hushed voice that masked the turmoil her hand on his cheek sparked in him. "Do you think you'll see him again?"
She smiled, sadly and with all the years of war and heartache that only a Queen of Narnia could know. She let her hand drop and looked away from him, back to the wall. "I know I will." And he felt his chest tighten with grief, for knowing she was never his to lose. "The only question is how many lifetimes will I have to live, how many wars must I fight before we are together again?"
"What was he like?" Trumpkin asked, and hated that he was curious, that he wanted to know. What was the secret to unlocking this woman's heart?
"A friend, at first. A protector, a supporter. Later, as I grew, he became a confidant, a co-conspirator for pranks on my siblings, my best friend - someone with whom I shared everything. Every triumph, every defeat. Every bruised feeling and petty fight, every moment of joy and sole believer in my dreams. Then, when spring turned to summer, he became a crush, a desire. And when I was old enough, and ready, he became a lover, my love. My only love." Her confession threw him, he knew all this, or supposed it, but to hear things like love and desire come from the mouth if a babe was nevertheless jarring. "That shocks you?" She asked, noticing his discomfort.
"No, majesty. It's just, you look so young, it's easy to forget you have lived before." He admitted and turned away from the penetrating look she was giving him.
"I can still remember what it was like to be loved, by him." Here, she touched the wall and shed a tear for her love, long since gone from this world. "His words, his eyes, his hands and lips."
Trumpkin blushed and took a step away from her, ashamed by how his body betrayed his mind. He knew she was a child, and still... "Majesty, please."
"I am not a child. Perhaps in appearance, but in all the ways that matter, I am a woman. And to be denied the needs of a woman because of how I appear is not fair." She hit her palm against the wall and Trumpkin jumped. "I am an adult and pretending to be a child is like you trying to be a son of Adam. It's not in your nature, just as it isn't in mine."
"But you are a child." he reminded her and himself, desperately.
"Is that what you see when you look at me?" She took his chin in her hand and forced him to meet her eye. "Is that what you see when you are with me?"
"When you're with your siblings, you act as though you are a child." He answered truthfully.
"We all must. We have learned to, to survive." If Trumpkin had the power, the magic to make her whole again, restore who she was and the life she'd had, he would have. "But when I'm alone? When it's just you and I?" She asked.
"It unnerves me. You are at once a child and a woman. You are grown and wise and tortured in ways that only those who have loved with all they are and lost everything could be but still young and full of faith and innocence that age has a way of stripping." Even at nine, she was taller than he, and pressed him against the carving of her beloved faun in a move that was both upsetting and freeing.
"You're nothing like him." She confessed, and fell to her knees at his feet. "He was always faithful and even tempered, kind and gentle. You are rough and doubtful." His heart was beating almost out of his chest and he wasn't sure what she would do.
He wasn't sure what he would do, either. "I'm sorry, majesty." He whispered, and kept his hands to himself.
"But still, you make me wish I was older." Then she wrapped her arms around his middle, and pressed her cheek to his chest. "I ache for it."
I ache for it.
Her words echoed in his mind as he held her sobbing shoulders and thought of cold rivers and Badgers. "I, too, wish you were not as you are."
"Oh, DLF." She cried, and crushed him in an embrace that was thrilling and terrifying and wrong in all the same ways that made it feel right. He took a long shuttered breath as she withdrew and gathered herself.
"Enough." she cut him off, which was better yet, considering he had no idea what he would have said otherwise. "There's no use in pretending."
"No," He admitted, "but if you live another life time in Narnia, I would make it my mission to be what you need, when you need it." He gulped back the indignant pleas his mind was making to stop being lewd with a child. "It would be an honor to have the Great Queen Lucy recall a life spent with me as one without regrets another thousand years from now."
"It would be an honor." She echoed and leaned down to press the full pout of her lips against the corner of his mouth and cheek and Trumpkin nearly fell apart at the feeling of her soft breath on his face. "An honor, indeed." she whispered as she turned to walk away, leaving him alone with his thoughts and 'if only's.