AN: Well readers, this is my last chapter. *sniffles* Enjoy!
Edmund and I would have probably kissed for the remainder of our lives if we hadn't been interrupted by the beautiful reunion between Rhince, Gael, and Helaine, Gael's mother. After catching sight of her, along with the other people in dozens of boats, the two of them jumped into the water and swam to her.
Edmund, Lucy, and I all had our arms around each other as we watched the family reunite. The three of us smiled at each other. I'd never felt so part of a family before this. I couldn't help but think that this was how it was supposed to be, all of us together.
Caspian called for the crew to help all of the people on board before making his way to the three of us. He playfully tugged a lock of my dark hair before patting Lucy on the shoulder.
"We did it," Lucy said beaming. "I knew we would."
"I never doubted us for a second," I said, grinning at the raised eyebrows. "Well . . . maybe once or twice."
"It wasn't just us though," Edmund pointed out. I nodded in agreement.
"You mean . . .?" Caspian began.
As if on cue, a familiar voice rang out.
"Hey! Hey I'm down here, Lucy!"
We all looked at each other in bewilderment.
"Over here! Hey, Lucy! I'm in the water! Lucy!"
"Is that who I think it is?" I asked as we ran to the other side of the boat. Sure enough, in the water waving his arms around frantically was Eustace. And, that's right folks, he was no longer a dragon.
"Eusatce!" Lucy and I exclaimed at the same time.
"I'm a boy again!" he said excitedly. "I'm a boy!"
"He's a real boy!" I announced joyfully. As expected, no one understood my Pinocchio reference.
Out of nowhere, Reep popped up. "Eustace! I see your wings have been clipped." Laughing at himself, he jumped into the water and began singing.
"Where the sky and water meet,
Where the waves grow ever sweet-"
He cut himself off as he took a lick of water off his hands. "It is sweet. It's sweet!"
I raised my eyebrows. "Is he still delirious from the mist?"
"Look!" Reep called. "Look!"
We all peered off into the distance. It looked as if the ocean was covered with something white, like snow.
"Aslan's country," Caspian said. "We must be close."
"Well," Edmund said. "We've come this far."
I felt my heart tighten. If we saw Aslan, would he send us back home? I took Edmund's hand tightly and he smiled at me encouragingly. I smiled back, but unlike before my heart wasn't in it.
"I'll get a rowboat ready," Caspian said, walking away.
"I'll get Eustace on board," Edmund offered, heading a different direction.
"Let's get into dry clothes," I told Lucy. "It would really suck if we saved the world and then caught a cold."
She giggled and we went to our cabin and changed into loose, comfortable clothes.
When she began pulling her hair back, I stopped her. "Leave your hair down." I took a brush and combed through it. It looked silky and gorgeous.
"You're absolutely stunning, little missy," I said smiling. "Remember that."
"I will," she said, smiling brightly. "Thanks, Rose."
Too soon, Caspian, Edmund, Lucy, Eustace, Reep, and I were in a rowboat heading towards Aslan's Country.
"They're lilies," I murmured as we began to row through them.
"It's so beautiful," Lucy agreed, the two of us staring at the water.
We were all silent, enchanted by the thousands of lilies on the water.
Edmund spoke up, breaking the silent. "What was it like when Aslan changed you back?"
I looked at Eustace curiously. It was weird, ever since he'd changed into a dragon I almost enjoyed his company. Now hearing him talk didn't make me want to slap things. I'd told him he would change, I just didn't realize how much.
"No matter how hard I tried," Eustace said. "I just couldn't do it myself. Then he came towards me. It sort of hurt, but it was a good pain."
"Like sucking poison out of a wound?" I asked.
He nodded. "Exactly. Or like when you pull a thorn from your foot." he gave a sort of chuckle. "Being a dragon wasn't all bad. I mean, I think I was a better dragon than I was a boy, really." He glanced back at Lucy and I for a moment. "I'm so sorry for being such a sop."
"I told you I had faith in you," I said softly, reaching forward to pat his shoulder.
"It's okay Eustace," Edmund said, grinning. "You were a pretty good dragon."
"My friends," Reep said from the front of the boat, "we have arrived."
We all looked too see a small island shore and behind it, one big, breathtaking wave. But it never fell down or crashed. It just stayed suspended there.
We pulled up on the shore and climbed out of the rowboat.
I went to Edmund and took his hand. "Together?"
He let go of my hand and drew me in close. "Together."
We walked up to the wave, all of us together.
"Aslan," Eustace said. We all turned and I had to supress a shriek.
Looking more majestic than words could ever describe, Aslan the Lion walked towards us. I stared at him in awe.
"Welcome, children," he spoke in a deep, powerful voice. "You have down well. Very well indeed."
He walked around so that he was standing in front of us. "You have come far, and now your journey is at its end."
I was afraid he'd say that.
"Is this your country?" Lucy asked.
"No, my country lies beyond." he turned to face the wave.
"Is my father in your country?" Caspian asked him.
"You can only find that out for yourself, my son," Aslan told him gently. "But you should know that if you continue, there is no return."
Caspian stared at the wave, deep in thought before walking forward to the wave.
Our small group exchanged confused glances. Was he going to leave without saying goodbye?
Caspian touched the wave with his hand, for only a moment before turning around.
"You're not going?" Edmund asked.
"I can't imagine my father would be very proud that I gave up what he died for. I spent too long wanting what was taken from me and not what was given. I was given a kingdom. A people."
He walked back to Aslan. "I promise to be a better king."
"You already are," Aslan said.
I spoke up tentatively. "Sir?" I let go of Edmund's hand and stepped forward. "What about me? I mean, why did I come here?"
"You needed Narnia," Aslan said gently. "As much as Narnia needed you."
"Do I have to leave?" I asked.
"That is entirely up to you," he answered, to my surprise.
I didn't answer right away. I thought about my life back home and my life here.
Finally, I spoke. "For a long time, I felt alone. I was being torn down by my inner demons, letting life pass me by. Being here has made me feel alive, like I'd never been before." I looked around at everyone. "If I leave, I would never forgive myself for it."
I took a deep breath and turned back to Aslan. "I don't know where I'll go or what I'll do, but I'm staying here in Narnia."
Caspian came forward and put a hand on my shoulder. "There will always be room for you in my castle, Rose."
I couldn't help but laugh. "Could you really put up with me as a roommate?"
Caspian smiled back. "You're a good friend, Rose and you've more than proved your worth. I'd be honored."
"Hold on just a minute," Edmund said, coming forward and taking my hands. "If anyone is going to have to put up with you as a roommate, it's going to be me."
"Edmund?" I asked in disbelief, trying to ignore the strong feeling of hope that was surging up inside me. "What about your home? Your family?"
"They'll be just fine," he assured me. "I told you I was staying and I stand by it."
"So am I," Lucy said, coming forward to wrap her arms around me. "Narnia is my home."
I seriously thought I was going to cry.
Reep cleared his throat to make himself known and scampered forward to Aslan.
He bowed deeply, removing his feather. "Your Eminence, ever since I can remember I have dreamt of seeing your country. I've had many great adventures in this world, but nothing has dampened that yearning. I know I am hardly worthy, but with your permission I would lay down my sword for the joy of seeing your country with my own eyes."
"My country was made for noble hearts, such as yours, no matter how small that bearers be."
Reep bowed once again. "Your Majesty."
"No one could be more deserving," Caspain said.
"It's true," Edmund broke in, bowing to Reep who bowed back.
"Reep you have the most brave, wonderful heart of anyone," I told him, trying to keep from crying. I had grown so attached to the furry little guy.
Together, Lucy and I walked forward and knelt down in front of him.
"May we?" Lucy asked him, trying to smile through her tears.
"Well, I suppose. Just this once-"
We cut him off by throwing our arms around him, though being careful not to crush him. At first, he didn't seem to know what to do so he simply said, "Good-bye, Lucy. Good-bye, Rose."
I glanced back at Eustace and my heart broke. He looked so alone.
Lucy and I let go of Reep and walked back to Edmund, who put an arm around me. Eustace walked up to Reep and knelt down.
Wanting to give them privacy, especially when Eustace began to cry, I tugged on Edmund's shirt for his attention. "Are you sure you won't regret staying?"
All he responded with was, "I love you, Rose."
We looked to see Eustace backing up to us again and Reep running off to the wave. When he got close, he pulled out his sword and stuck it into the sand, saying, "I won't be needing this."
He began pushing what looked like a miniature rowboat towards the wave and jumped on it. Where the hell did that come from?!
With a little paddle, he rowed himself to the wave and instead of going through it, he rode up it, going over to the other side and disappearing.
I pulled away from Edmund and went to Eustace, who was trying to regain control of his tears.
"You've come a long way, Eustace," I said gently.
"So have you," he said with a nonchalant shrug. "You didn't call me 'kid'."
I grinned. "You'll always be my little 'kid', no matter where you are or what kind of good you suddenly start doing." Unable to help myself, I wrapped my arms around him, nearly killing him from the shock of the hug.
"Stay golden," I told him before releasing him from my death grip.
"Was that supposed to be funny?" he asked me, glancing down at his arm where the gold cuff had hurt him as a dragon.
"A little," I admitted, giggling.
His lips twitched and a funny little snort came out.
"I did it!" I cried joyfully. "I made you laugh!"
"You have your amusing moments," he admitted. "Don't let it go to your head though."
I winked. "I would never."
I walked back to Edmund and put my arms around him. He gazed back at me with so much love I thought I'd explode from the intensity.
"After all," I said softly. "I might be queen someday."
Aslan protect us all.
AN: Thank you to all of my reviewers and followers! Writing this story has been so amazing for me. I hope I did the last chapter justice and I'm sorry it took so long. My computer has been terrible and it's been so hard to write with it. I've been asked about a sequel and as of right now I don't have any plans to make one. I won't say I'll never make one, because hey, who knows. It would probably be a one-shot or a two-shot though. I have a lot of other story ideas I want to do. So review, tell me I'm a great writer or a terrible one, etc. I love you all!