Title: Where There's No Snow
Pairing: No explicit pairing, implied Susan/Edmund
Warning: Implied Pevensecst.
Summary: After losing their siblings, Susan and Edmund take to traveling, finding there are more wonders in the world than just gateways to worlds beyond. AU for Last Battle.
Notes: Narnia makes me write strange things. Also, it's very nerve-wracking, writing for a new fandom.
Written for be_themoon at comment_fic, off the prompt Susan/Edmund, Edmund doesn't die in the train crash and he and Susan travel the world.
The accident in general leaves more survivors than victims, but for their family there are more dead than living, and when Edmund is finally well enough to be let out of hospital, he and Susan use the railroad's settlement money to travel the world, what little they had binding them to England vanished now.
Along the way, they remember some things, and forget others, and find there are more wonders in the world than just gateways to worlds beyond.
Sometimes Susan feels that half the buildings in Western Europe have sculpted lions on guard; she tells Edmund she thinks their eyes watch the pair of them as they pass, hands clasped, and they argue over whether their gaze is understanding or disappointed, settling in the end on stern, because that is the living look they both remember best.
At first, when they introduce themselves as Edmund and Susan Pevensie and people believe them to be young newlyweds, they correct the assumption; somewhere in France they stop bothering.
In Greece there are ruins everywhere. They sit among ancient chunks of marble and smoke, talking of philosophy and history until one day Edmund says, “Thousands of years...to think, we were once as legendary as Alexander or Achillies,” and Susan knows it's time to move on.
Lying on the bright sands of an Italian beach turns them both a painful red; applying aloe to his shoulders, Susan laughs ruefully. “Oh Ed, we just weren't meant for the sun.”
Though the world's population seems innumerable, they never find anyone else who could understand, and they cling to each other ever more, outsiders in every land on Earth and beyond.
When autumn comes to Europe, they travel south, and avoid the snow.
“Maybe he didn't want me back,” Edmund says, staring at a carving of a lion in Alexandria.
Susan turns from the lion, looking across the temple to representations of the Ptolemies, kings and queens who were siblings and spouses alike. “Maybe I wanted to keep you too much.”
In Australia she finds him out on the balcony, bleached to black and white by the moonlight, staring at a sky that's once again new. “The stars were different in Calormen too,” he says, and he doesn't have to ask do you remember, because they both know there are things that cannot be forgotten.
“I refuse to learn yet another set of constellations,” she says, and leads him back inside.
“We're traitors, Su, the both of us,” he whispers one night in Hawaii, the tropical air heavy and hot and black around them, and maybe they are, but she doesn't care, not anymore.
She never thinks of it as running from their past, merely as searching for a new future.
Everything is new and shiny and frightfully hurried in America; Susan doesn't mind, having seen it before, but it bothers Edmund, and they find peace on the quieter shores of Eastern Canada, where the accents are a strange blend of the new and old worlds, but at least there's decent tea to be had.
“Do you think they're happy?” he asks, staring at the sea.
She answers, “Yes,” because she knows they are, because she's doubted many things in her life, but this she needs to be certain of. “Do you think they wonder if we are?”
“Yes,” he says, stooping to pull a shell from the sand, brushing it clean. “But I hope they don't. I hope they never think of us. How could any of us be truly happy apart?” He hands her the shell, white and pearly and perfect, and she remembers a beach with a gentler sun, finer sands, bluer water; a place where so many things weren't wrong.
“Maybe that's why we're not apart,” she says, taking his hand. “We were left in pairs so that none of us would be alone, in the end.”
He takes one long, deep breath before he looks at her and smiles, just slightly. “Then maybe we should be happy,” he says firmly, just before he drags her shrieking into the ocean.
The memories hit them both with the waves, but for once, they are warm.
They manage to avoid rails the whole world round, and never once set foot on a train.
Oh, Susan. Oh, Edmund. My heart breaks for them and yet not at the same time. I like that Susan isn't alone in this world, but it must be heartwrenching for both of them to go on without the others.
I do see them as travelers here. It seems to fit Su and Ed very well. Why remain in England where their past would haunt them... why not travel the world and see new things? I also love that this Susan doesn't deny Narnia... at least not any longer.
They are so tragic, really. But so noble and persevering and oh, Pevensies, basically.
I also love that this Susan doesn't deny Narnia... at least not any longer.
Yes, the idea here is that traveling and seeing all these new things really brings Narnia back to mind for her. And if she accepts it at that point, it means there was at least a purpose behind her family's deaths, though whether that makes it better or worse is likely a matter of some debate.
Thanks for your comments!