Alright everyone last chapter of this portion. I want to develop the relationship between the two in the three year gap so I'm going to make six one shots of important events that brings these two closer together. After that I will write the Dawn Treader set, but I do have another story I need to pick up so don't be surprised if it takes a while. Glad you enjoyed the story and I will update as soon as possible!
I'm sitting in my room watching people walking in the courtyard beneath my window. I had asked the maids to bring breakfast to my room because I cannot bring myself to face the outside world yet. I feel better after sleeping on such a major decision last night especially since I was allowed to sleep in today. Technically Caspian let me sleep in so I will have to thank him the next time I see him. At the moment I'm wearing a white shift that acts as my night dress, but the maids in another part of my room are preparing my daily attire for me. I'm not used to it, but I know that the maids are just trying to do their job so I do my best to grin and bear it. Amongst their flurries I notice a corset being added and I cringe a little before sipping on my hot chocolate. If I'm not too careful all of this hot chocolate they are slipping me is going to make me fat. Much like yesterday the sun is shining, but I can feel that the hurriedness of coronation has left and in its place is a calmness that reminds me of home when I was on leave. It makes me sad thinking that this calm is only temporary.
Something bright passes in the courtyard below and causes me to lean closer to the window to investigate. Through the glass I see Peter and Susan talking with Aslan. It was Aslan fur in the morning light that caught my attention. I can't imagine what they are talking about, but I can't focus on it for very long. There is a knock at the door that rips me out of my curious gaze. A maid hurries over with a robe and wraps it around my body to hide my "underwear."
"Come in," I say once the maid finishes.
Caspian enters the room, his eyes look around the room until they land on me. He strides forward, not really seeing the maids in the corner of the room who are bowing to him. He is smiling at me again.
"Good morning," he says.
"Good morning," I return. "Thank you for letting me sleep in I really needed it."
"I'm glad you are feeling better," he replies. "After your sudden departure last night I was rather worried."
"I'm fine. I just needed some air last night," I said.
"You never returned to the ball," he egged on, "Lucy had been looking for you most of the night and for a while Edmund joined her in the search."
"I'm sorry. After I went out for some air I got really sleepy and went to bed," I lie. I don't want to lie to Caspian, but I'm not ready to open that can of worms yet.
"I told you before that if you needed rest you don't have to push yourself," he says with concern. "I would have been happy to escort you to your room last night."
"It's your party; I didn't want to ruin it. I promise that from now on though, I will keep it in mind," I smile.
"If you need more rest now I can leave," he says hesitantly.
"No, I'm alright now," I say.
There is a moment of silence before Caspian remembers why he came here in the first place. "I came here to let you know that Aslan has summoned all persons within the city to attend a gathering at the tree along the cliff side," he explains rapidly. "This will be within half the hour."
"Alright," I say as though I have been given an order. "I will be ready soon."
I move toward my clothes on the bed that had been laid out for me, but Caspian's hand wraps around my wrist, stopping me. I turn and look him in the eyes to find that even he is a little surprised by his actions.
"I know that you are always pushing yourself for others, but for my sake, please don't push yourself," he asks gently.
What is with this guy? He's treating me like something super rare and special that might break like a China Doll or something. Maybe it's because I'm a girl… Oh! Of course! Caspian has been trained to take care of women and be careful with them. While I do appreciate his chivalry and gentlemanly mannerisms, I have to teach him that I'm in a whole other league. I'll have to break it to him slowly, but at least now I understand.
"It's okay, Caspian. I'm just so used to doing everything on my own," I say.
His hand reaches my cheek and his thumb strokes it gently. "You are not alone anymore," he says.
I feel my face heating up from the closeness. My skin, now hypersensitive, can feel the calluses of his fingers; I imagine the come from years of practicing sword play. My eyes widen and my breathing hitches a little. My hand twitches slightly trying to decide whether to knock his hand away or-
"My King?" a guard asks upon entering the room. "I have found High King Peter and High Queen Susan. They are in the courtyard with Aslan."
Caspian begrudgingly pulls his hand away and turns to face the guard. "Very well. I will see them momentarily," he says. I detected a hint of anger in his tone, but he was probably just annoyed. The guard leaves and Caspian turns back to me, but he seems to be floundering for words.
"I'll see you soon. Ok, Caspian?" I say cheerfully.
"How dare you speak to the King in such a manner?!" asks one of my maids.
Here we go again. I don't know how I'm supposed to speak to a king so the next best thing I can do is talk to him like he's my friend because he is my friend. Clearly this lady didn't get the memo saying I'm not from here. As if my red hair and pasty white ass wasn't enough of a hint. She needs to loosen up. If she want to offer me etiquette lessons I'm game, but please stop yelling at me about shit I don't know.
"She is my friend," says Caspian sternly, "She is also unaware of our customs so for the time being she may speak to me as she likes."
The maids bow their heads in acknowledgement and return to being silent. I'm glad that Caspian defended me, but somehow I feel that this isn't going to be the last time. I need to wise up and fast.
"I will see you soon, Alexandra," he says with another large smile before he kisses my hand. He leaves the room and suddenly I can breathe again…When did I start holding my breath?
"Time to get dressed. We mustn't keep the King waiting," says the maid who spoke out earlier. It is clear to me that she is grumpy that I get special treatment. I swallow the sigh in my throat and let the maids undress me. I can't help it and I wish they would get off my case. I will learn as soon as I can; I bet Glenstorm will help me. Now that I think about it the Narnians are the only ones who haven't scolded me for this; it makes me appreciate them more. As the maids begin to slip on today's dress I can't help noticing that my cheek where Caspian touched is still warm, almost like his hand was still there.
Everyone had gathered around the large tree that had grown up from the cliff and is now perched on the right side of the stone platform. If I were to look over my shoulder I could easily see the beach I had been on last night. I gaze over the crowd of Telmarines that had centered around the small area and I find myself slightly surprised that so many people could fit into such a small town. I have no idea what would be here on a regular basis, but for today it is our stage.
I stand beside Glenstorm and Trufflehunter farther back from Aslan and the Kings and Queens. The Kings and Queens were lined up on display near Aslan while he made his announcement. As he speaks the anxiety on the people's face is very plain and evident. Aslan's commanding voice drowns out what hushed whispers were there as he continues to speak.
"A thousand years ago a pirate ship landed in Narnia…" Aslan begins.
I zone out a little bit laughing inside my own mind. This place has pirates too? All we need are some vampire and witches and it would be complete. I can only imagine what other creatures lurked in the darker parts of Narnia. By the time I was done snickering inside my own mind, a woman with a baby and a man stepped forward. I recognize the man as one of Miraz's generals. The woman looks sadly at Caspian. I know that look all too well; the look that you were betrayed and someone was hurt because you couldn't stop it. I have seen in the face of others and I know that one point I wore that look too. I guess it's his aunt. It's obvious that Caspian isn't the only Miraz betrayed.
"Because you are the first to come forward you will be given a prosperous life in this new world," says Aslan.
So they decided to leave Narnia behind them; the decision I couldn't make. I couldn't leave anything behind, not even Narnia for what little I know about it. I don't know if I should consider them weak or brave; maybe the answer is both. Before everyone the tree started unwinding at the sound of Aslan's roar, until the base formed an arch. The crowd gasps and ogles at the spectacle, but I'm pretty sure any Telmarine soldiers are having rough flashbacks to the battle. Who says you can't get your ass kicked by a tree? The nervous couple huddle together as they approach the tree and with each step they took the crowd grew equally anxious. Finally they took that final step in which they disappeared. It is weird the way they disappeared, kind of like something moving out of the corner of your eye; it explains why a small panic broke out in the crowd. One woman even screamed and fearful questions bubbled up from the crowd.
"Where did they go?" asks one man.
"Did you kill them?" demands another.
This fear is unintentional, but also completely understandable. For anyone else in the crowd who was considering this deal they had the right to know what they were about to get themselves into. Luckily others were thinking that exact same thing.
"My troop and I can venture forth at your command, my liege," says Reepicheep as he bows to Aslan.
"No. We will go," says Peter unexpectedly.
My neck snaps straight at the surprise and I give the Pevensies my full attention. All, but Susan look surprised at this statement. They aren't staying in Narnia? Why? Similar questions pass through the eyes of the younger Pevensies faces. Why didn't they speak with Edmund or Lucy about this? Is this what Aslan was discussing with them earlier?
"We are leaving?" asks Lucy incredulously. I can hear the hurt in tone and it pulls at my heartstrings.
"We aren't needed in Narnia anymore," says Peter. Of all the things he could have said this isn't what I expected. This isn't the same boy I fought with at the Howe. This is someone else…
"You mean we are never coming back?" asks Edmund sadly.
"You two will," Peter starts.
"But our time is over," says Susan.
So this is it; Peter and Susan will never return to Narnia. A dull throb in my heart makes itself known and starts to ache. As if the wounds I have worked so hard to heal have suddenly reopened. My first day of my new life in Narnia and I lose four of my friends, two of which are permanent. My fists tight as I try to keep the same emotional pain from last night at bay. One by one the Pevensies hug Caspian like some sort of twist funeral procession. Peter gives Caspian his sword and thanks him; again this isn't the same boy I first met. Susan is very quick and official about her goodbyes, but I have the sinking suspicion that she is trying hard not to cry. Edmund's goodbyes are also quick, but when it comes time for my hug he holds me a little tighter.
"We'll do those lessons next time. I promise," I whisper.
"I'll hold you to it," he whispers back.
Lastly there is Lucy. All of her embraces are longer and more emotional than the rest of her siblings. When she stops in front of me I can already see the tear stains on her cheeks. I feel my throat close when I lean in to hug her. I cannot cry in front of her because it would only make things worse. As we separate I try to wipe away her tears as best I can.
"This isn't the end," I promise. I feel like I'm trying to comfort her, but I would be lying if I said it was only for her. She looks up at me with a cute smile, but her eyes still tell me she's sad. The four of them line up, ready to go home. There is a momentary stillness holding in breath and abated tears, before Peter tries to take the first step forward, but he is stopped by Lucy's voice.
"Alexandra, do you want to come with us? I know we'll end up in different places, but it would be easier than going alone," she says as cheerfully as she can.
I cannot bring myself to answer her it's almost as if my lips were glued shut. I can feel the eyes watching me so my hands start drifting towards my back.
"If you really want to do it by yourself, just tell us. We don't mind," offers Susan.
I still cannot bring myself to speak and my hands are now fully clamped behind my back. Now my head begins to hang and I can't make eye contact with anyone; some sort of overwhelming guilt prevents me from saying anything or looking at anyone.
"Though it is a kind offer, children. I'm afraid Alexandra can never leave Narnia," says Aslan.
"Never?" asks Susan incredulously.
"Before I brought her to Narnia she had been shot through the heart on the battlefield while defending a comrade. She died in your world," he explains solemnly.
I still don't know exactly what is holding me back, but I can't look anyone in the face. I know they are look at me, but I just can't look. I know what they are feeling though; sadness, surprise, pity, and a few others. I can't bring myself to face them.
"She will never see her mother, her sister, or her brother ever again. She cannot return home," Aslan finishes.
Despite last night's conclusion and the understanding I had come to develop, the wounds were still too fresh. It's like someone poked at my wounds, they didn't bleed, but they really do sting. Before I realize it Lucy is hugging me again. I had been staring at the ground, but now her shiny red hair filled my field of view.
"Is this true?" asks Susan.
It takes me a moment before I can utter the word, "Yes."
"Why didn't you say anything?" asks Caspian, hurt.
"To be fair we were in the middle of a fight," I chuckle. "Not exactly the best time for swapping stories."
"I'm so sorry," says Edmund kindly.
His older brother and sister say the same, but Lucy continues to hold me tighter. Even though I can't see him, Caspian remains silent.
"Do you want us to say something to your family?" asks Peter. "I know that traveling is difficult with the war, but if we were to go to America we could…"
He drifts off, but I understand what he's saying. I feel a smile split across my face. I hadn't even thought of that. Even if I can't go home, Peter and the others could deliver some last words to my parents. They wouldn't be left with nothing and I can have some form of closure.
"Would you? It would mean the world to me if you could," I answer.
"Of course," says Susan, "We would be more than happy to."
I am overwhelmed with joy now. I am going to get whiplash from everything I have been feeling lately. I just can't help it this time. My family is not completely out of reach. I will have to do this through the Pevensies, but something is still better than nothing. However, the moment was short lived.
"I am afraid that this is impossible young ones," says Aslan sadly.
You know for a magical, glowing, talking lion this guy is a downer. Frustrated I turn to him with a little bit of a pout in my lips. I am not the only one because the Pevensies are just as disappointed as me.
"Why not?" asks Edmund.
"The man that Alexandra saved was Peter's great-grandson," says Aslan smoothly.
Now I'm in shock. I turn to look over the Pevensies a little herder. They did seem more dignified than a group of kids from my time, but I thought that it was because they were kings and queens of Narnia's past. They have to be…WWI or WWII kids?
"My great-grandson?" asks Peter incredulously.
"Even if you were to try and find her family," says Aslan solemnly, "Her parents have not been born yet."
'So fucking close,' I thought before a knot started forming in my stomach. I try to remember the blockhead I had saved. I can't remember his name, or rank, or the stories he had told on the trip, but I can clearly see his face in my mind. Even then, at first glance you wouldn't think they were related, but when you focus in on the eyes you knew. His eyes and Peters were identical.
"That means that…" Edmund starts.
Apparently they were just as shocked as I am. They look amongst themselves for a moment before staring at me. Peter lifts his head to Aslan hoping for an answer.
"Alexandra comes from a different century then you do," says Aslan calmly. "She is part of your future."
Now everything seems awkward. We don't know exactly what to say to one another, and I'm sure they all have questions. I can't tell them anything though, don't want to mess with the time stream or anything like that. We end up staring at each other, unsure of what to say. Eventually though, Peter finds his words:
"Thank you…in advance," he says sarcastically.
With a smile I reply, "Sure."
With sad smiles they once again approach he tree. Lucy looks back, on the verge of tears, and waves at us one last more time. I give her a light smile and wave back. As I watch them walk up to the tree and disappear, I can feel an arm wrap around my shoulders. I look up to see Caspian looking at me so sincerely. I place a hand on his back to reassure him that I'm fine. I stare after where our friends once were, missing them already.
"Even though you can't reach your family, I will always be here for you," Caspian mumbles into my ear.
"Thank you," I murmur, as I wrap him into a hug. Once I release him though, I can't help adding: "But don't worry too much this is my home now."
He smiles warmly at me and he never did remove his arm from my shoulders, but that's okay; I need the comfort. He's my friend and this, Narnia, is my new home. I'm surrounded by people who care and I have a chance to make a life here. So begins my new life in Narnia.