A/N: I want to give a BIG thanks to dompr4. Your reviews always make my day better. This chapter is dedicated to you! =)
Darkness. As far as the eye could see. Aubrey looked around, but there was nothing. Just quiet, lonely darkness. She felt a shiver roll down her spine. She wasn't cold, nor was she hot now that she thought about it, but she did have an odd feeling about this place. She tired to remember something . . . anything that would help her figure out what this place was and how she got here.
She vaguely remembered something. Whatever it was, it was a dark memory. She could remember pain and sadness but most of all, she could remember fear. She felt another shiver run down her spine. She wrapped her arms tightly around herself and tried to calm down. Maybe if she really focused her mind, she would be able to figure things out.
"You have done well, my child." Startled, Aubrey turned around.
Curious, She thought, when did that mirror get here? For when she turned around, she was looking into a mirror. Staring back at her were her own hazel eyes, they even had the same small specks of gold dancing around in them. She also saw her own strawberry blonde hair, though her mirror version had a shorter cut. The only difference were the clothes, in the mirror she was wearing a white, floor length nightgown. When she looked down at her own outfit, she saw the gold dress that she had put on just before the battle.
Battle? She asked herself. But as quickly as the memory came, it disappeared, and she was once again left to try and figure out her past.
"Do not fear, darling." The woman in front of her held out her hand. Aubrey hesitated slightly before placing her hand in the woman's palm. She felt the hand close around hers and immediately she was engulfed with hope, love and comfort. Like a tornado, the darkness began to swirl around them. Aubrey closed her eyes at the rushing wind. When she opened them again, they were no longer in the darkness, instead they were standing in a field of wild sunflowers.
Aubrey gasped. She remembered this spot. She used to come here all the time as a young girl. Her father had told her that this field had once been a small garden. It had been a gift from himself to Aubrey's mother when he found out she was pregnant, something to keep her busy during those long months. He had told her many stories about this garden, her favorite one was the story of her mothers' rotten luck with keeping the flowers alive, which led to all but the sunflowers dying. So one day her mother dug up all of the old flowers and replaced them with more sunflowers. She worked in her garden all through the spring and summer months, and even well into the fall. But as winter came, she had to stop. After her mother had died while giving birth, her father never had the heart to return to the garden. One day when Aubrey was five, she found the garden. She told her father excitedly about all of the sunflowers, millions of them, she would say. He chuckled and then launched into the sunflowers' history. From then on, Aubrey would return to that field. It always made her feel closer to her mother.
She had to wipe away the tears forming in her eyes. All of the happy memories she had in that field, and in the house located just past that line of trees, and her father. She looked back at the woman. She was standing there, quietly, with her arms folded in front of her. She was staring at Aubrey with a mixture of relief, sadness, happiness and wonder.
"Mum," she asked, her voice heavy with tears. Melinda nodded somberly and opened her arms up to her daughter. Aubrey ran to her and enveloped her in a tight hug. She couldn't believe she was finally meeting her mother. She looked into her face, now she could see what everyone was always raving about. She was the splitting image of her mother. She leaned her head into the crook of her mothers' neck and cried freely. Melinda stroked her daughters' hair and whispered to her. Aubrey looked up at her sadly.
"Am I dead?"
"Yes and no, child."
Aubrey looked at her questioningly. How could she be alive and dead at the same time, it just wasn't logical. Logical . . . Susan! She remembered her brown haired friend and the wise look in her crystal blue eyes, the same crystal blue eyes as her best friend in the entire world, Peter. How could she have forgotten about them!
She pulled out of her mother's embrace, not seeing the shock and hurt that passed across her face.
"Peter! Susan!" She looked at her mother worriedly. Her mother smiled gently back at her.
"They are fine sweetheart. You have done your job well. You protected them."
Aubrey let out a breath she hadn't realized she had been holding.
"Is that why I was sent there? To protect them?"
Her mother nodded. "It was a deep magic most overlooked. But you were sent to make sure the Kings and Queens reached the throne. You have done well, my daughter." Aubrey smiled, at least she had done something right. She looked around, once again, at her surroundings. Now that she looked more closely, she noticed that not one flower look wilted. Everything around her was perfect.
"Where am I?" She looked at her mother for some answers. Nothing made sense. She had vague memories of a war, and a battle and of her friends, but nothing seemed to fit together.
"This is the Entre, the in-between."
"Why am I here?" She couldn't control the anger in her voice. She was so angry and stressed. First, there had been no answers for her in Narnia. Narnia! The fauns and the centaurs! They had been real. And now she was in this strange place. She wanted answers and she wanted them now.
Her mother looked hurt at her tone of voice, but continued answering her questions. "You have a decision to make."
"What kind of decision?"
"One that will not only affect yourself, but your friends as well."
Aubrey stared at her mother, waiting for her to continue.
When it looked like she wasn't going to, she sighed and asked, "Why are you here." She tried to keep the accusation out of her voice. She guessed she succeeded when her mother continued normally.
"To ease your suffering, child."
"What do you know about suffering!" Her anger, pent up for the past couple of weeks, seemed to burst through at that moment. "You sit up there, day after day, on your fluffy white clouds, watching as the people below you suffer. What do you have to suffer for?" Quickly realizing her words, Aubrey clamped a hand over her mouth. She hadn't meant what she said, she was just angry and needed to blow off some steam. Her mother looked down at the ground and Aubrey could see the tears running down her beautiful face. She felt her heart break, clean in two, at the sight.
"I . . . I'm . . . I'm so sorry," She stammered. "I didn't mea-"
"My suffering," Her mother spoke softly, "Is everyday of my eternal life watching the daughter I never knew grow up, and never having the chance to meet her."
Aubrey stood there silently. She felt like the lowest form of scum on the earth.
"I'm sorry." Aubrey looked down in shame. She felt a cool finger slide under her chin. She was forced to look into her mothers' eyes, her eyes. Her mother smiled sadly.
"I have been given this chance to be with you now. Nothing has made or ever will make me happier than I am, now, in this moment." Aubrey looked up at her mother and smiled. Melinda once again pulled her daughter into a tight embrace, anything to spend just a little more time with her.
She let go of Aubrey and sighed sadly. "The time has come, my daughter. You must make your decision."
"How can I make a decision if I don't know what my choices are."
Her mother smiled knowingly at her. Out of nowhere, a door appeared behind her mother. Aubrey gasped in surprise. She inspected the door from where she was standing, it was solid gold and seemed to be glowing. Suddenly, Aubrey realized the decision she had to make. She looked back up to her mother.
"I must decide on whether to return to my friends and my life, or to pass on and be with you and daddy."
Her mother nodded once more, tears sparkling in her eyes. She knew what a hard decision it was going to be for her daughter. She only hoped that her presence would somehow comfort the young girl standing in front of her.
"But how? How can I make such a decision? I'm only 14!" Her mother just stared at her, she wasn't going to sway her daughter either way. This was her decision and hers alone.
"All I can say, sweetheart, is look in your heart."
Aubrey sighed. The choice should have been obvious. She had lived a pretty decent life, there were happy times and there were sad times. But she was being given the choice to finally be with and get to know her mother. All of her life, she had wished for a chance like this. It was so hard to look at any other choice. But then her memories came flooding back to her, her stay with the Pevensies, their games, Narnia, Mr. and Mrs. Beaver, Aslan, the battle, the White Witch. She remembered Lucy's heart warming smile and bubbly laugh, Edmund's jokes and wise cracks, Susan's warm nature and smart decisions, and Peter, his brave heart and gentle nature. They way he was always there for her, no matter what. The way her fought for what he believed in and especially his over-protectiveness. She remembered the pain and sadness in his eyes as he held her on the battlefield, her blood on his hands and clothes. She remembered the tears, tears for her and what had happened. She remembered the love, shinning brightly in his eyes. She knew what decision she had to make.
She looked at her mother and smiled sadly. "I must go back."
Melinda had to bite back tears. She knew he daughter would make this decision. She was so like her father in that aspect, always having to do the right thing, never being able to leave anyone behind, and always trying to make others happy.
"Please don't be sad." She saw the tears in her mothers' eyes. Her mother gave her a watery smile.
"Do not fret, my child. I will be fine."
"Please know, it was a hard decision to make. All my life I have waited for an opportunity to meet you . . . "
"And now you have." Her mother smiled cheekily.
Aubrey smiled. "But I can't just leave my friends like that. They will miss me, and Peter will be heartbroken."
"Ah, yes. Peter." Her mother smiled knowingly. Aubrey looked at her curiously and her mother chuckled. "You will find out in due time, my child. Now is not the time." Aubrey shrugged her shoulders and went over to hug her mother.
"I'll miss you mum."
"Even under the circumstances, I was happy to finally be able to meet you."
"Me too mum, me too."
Aubrey closed her eyes, memorizing her mothers scent. She smelled like sunflowers and a hot summer morning.
"I love you Aubrey, with all of my heart."
She felt the rustle of a summer breeze rush past them. When she opened her eyes, she was lying in a bed in what looked like a medical area. It was nighttime and she was the only one in the room, well at least she thought so until she felt a heavy lump leaning on the edge of her bed. She felt her heart flutter at the sight of the golden blonde head, lit up by the moonlight streaming in through the open window, of Peter.
He was sleeping soundly, a line of drool ran from his mouth to the crisp white sheets of her bed. His hair and clothes were messy, showing that he had been here for a while. She wondered for how long she had been out and if Edmund was okay. Last she saw he had been stabbed by the White Witch. She hoped Lucy had gotten to him in time. She shifted slightly to get more comfortable. Peter shifted also and then opened his eyes. His crystal blue eyes, much like his sister Susan's, locked onto her hazel green ones, hardly daring to believe what he was seeing.
He slowly sat up, expecting any minute to move the wrong way and wake up from his dream. He had many like this one. Two nights ago he dreamt that their whole trip to Narnia had been one of their games and that Aubrey was fine and happy. It had been just another day at the Pevensie house. He knew he was dreaming when Susan announced that she wanted to play and rode around with Lucy on the back of their cat, pretending to shoot arrows and save the animals. He had woken with a start from that dream on the side of Aubrey's bed. He had looked at her, hoping to see her awake, but she lay there, like she had for the past four days, her face drained of color and scratches on every bit of exposed skin.
"Hello Peter." Her voice sounded alien to him, it had been so long since he had heard it. "Is Edmund okay?" He jumped onto her bed and wrapped her tightly in a hug, determined never to let go. He knew now that this wasn't a dream. Only Aubrey, his Aubrey, would wake up from a four day long coma and ask how someone else was doing.
"Ow." He heard her say and he quickly let go. Still holding onto her at arms length, he inspected and analyzed her, making sure he hadn't broken anything. Her cuts seemed to be healing fine, most of the minor ones had already disappeared. There was still the large gash on her cheek, the nurse said she would always have a scar there. He could also still see the cut across her forehead, just above her eyebrow, but with another couple of days and the help of the nurse's herbs, that too would disappear.
Peter still stared at her in shock. Aubrey laughed at the dumbfound look on his face.
"I'm really here Peter." He hugged her again, gently this time. Aubrey could feel his tears falling on her shoulder. She rubbed his back comfortingly, tears of her own in her eyes.
"I was so worried I lost you." He told her sadly.
"I know, I'm so sorry." The two of them stayed there for sometimes, just sitting in each others arms. Aubrey felt that familiar warmness and comfort envelope her. She sighed contentedly.
"I saw my mother." She whispered. Peter pulled back and looked at her, not sure whether or not to believe her.
"She's beautiful Peter. And she's so wonderful." Aubrey smiled at her memory. She didn't tell Peter about the decision she had to make. She didn't want him to worry for no reason, and knowing Peter he would. She also didn't want him to know just how close he really came to loosing her for good. So she just laid back into his arms and fell asleep.
He looked down at his sleeping best friend, lying in his arms. His heart soared with happiness at the thought that she was awake and fine. He gently kissed the top of her head and laid back against her pillows. With her head on his chest and her arms wrapped tight around his neck, he placed his arms around her middle and held her tight. He felt so comfortable, just lying there with her. Soon, he followed her lead and fell asleep.
Neither of them noticed the doors leading into the infirmary quietly shut. Susan crept back down the hallway towards her bedchamber. She didn't have the heart to disturb her brother and best friend, curled up tightly in each other's embrace.
A/N: So another chapter down. This brings me one step closer to finishing this story. It's kind of bittersweet. I really like this story, but I'm just so excited to start the sequel. Lol.
I must say though, this was my favorite chapter to write. I loved doing the moments between Aubrey and her mother. And I must say, I did love writing the bit with Peter in the end. =D
Okay. So please review guys, I really appreciate it! Thanks!