rynne: (four pevensies)
[personal profile] rynne
This remix was probably the easiest challenge fic I've ever written--I had it done less than a day after I got the assignment. Something about that part of the original story just spoke to me, and I knew what I was going to write, and then I just wrote it. I rather like it, too. :D

Title: Stages of Age and Youth (The I Dreamt a Dream Remix)
Author: Rynne
Summary: Growing hurts. Lucy/Caspian
Rating: PG
Fandom: Chronicles of Narnia
Spoilers: Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Title, Author and URL of original story: The Wastelands by [livejournal.com profile] chaos_pockets.
Notes: This is based off of part four of the original fic. The title comes from part four of T.S. Eliot's poem "The Waste Land"; the subtitle comes from William Blake's poem "The Angel" in Songs of Experience. Thank you to my lovely betas, [livejournal.com profile] magic_at_mungos and [livejournal.com profile] thistlerose. Thank you, too, to [livejournal.com profile] chaos_pockets for writing such a lovely fic in the first place. It was a joy to remix.



The stars danced above them.

--

The Dawn Treader was not the Splendour Hyaline, but Lucy didn't mind. The smaller size meant that there were fewer people on board, which meant that one saw the same people whenever one turned around.

Susan wouldn’t have liked it, Lucy thought. Susan liked variety. While Lucy could spend an entire evening with one person at the balls they'd had both a short and a long time ago when they were Queens in a Golden Age, Susan had danced with everyone available, whirling and laughing, her hair streaming behind her.

Caspian smiled at her from across the deck.

--

She had grown up before, with a woman's mind in a woman's body. After going back to England that first time, she'd gradually gotten used to the sense of her woman's mind stuffed into a child-sized shell that was too small to hold it properly.

She was growing up again, now. There were flashes of things she remembered, and of things she hadn't quite discovered before she was torn away.

Her eyes met Caspian's by chance, and her borrowed tunic felt too small for her.

--

Edmund was such an older brother, really. Sulking and angry over something that he couldn't change, shouldn't change. She glared at him whenever he glared at Caspian, and Caspian just looked confused.

This was no Golden Age. This was growing pains.

--

"Lucy," Edmund said. "You shouldn't."

"Should has nothing to do with it," she replied.

"You know what will happen."

"Yes," she said.

"You know we always leave, and that we don't always come back."

"Yes," she said again. She knew. The knowledge thundered in her veins, that she could not stay forever, that she should not do this.

Should had nothing to do with it, and Caspian had kissed her doubts away, as if they'd been tears falling from her face.

"I don't want you to be hurt, Lucy." Edmund reached out and stroked her cheek, and she closed her eyes and felt the softness of his love.

"Growing hurts," she whispered.

--

She danced with Caspian one night on the deck, when the stars looked down at them and smiled.

There were others on the deck, keeping watch, moving about on business of their own, but they kept to themselves and did not intrude on their king and one who had once been a queen and who might someday be theirs.

Her skirt didn't twirl properly around her legs, but it wasn't a skirt, just a long tunic. Her knees were bare. Queen Lucy the Valiant of a thousand years ago would have been outwardly scandalized and inwardly laughing, but this Lucy shed the scandal like Eustace's dragon-skin and kept the laughter.

She had grown up before, but that didn't stop her from growing up differently when given a new chance.

--

Edmund watched them as they smiled at each other foolishly, with all the wonderful awkwardness of first love. Lucy felt his gaze on her back, and though she knew there would be no tears in his eyes, she felt his sorrow.

She knew that he thought this was dangerous. But he had done dangerous things, too, and this was not as different from Edmund's snapping of the Witch's wand as one might think. There was much to lose, but much to gain as well.

Life was risk, and Lucy lived.

--

The cabin was once again Caspian's, just as much as it was Lucy's. They were there, together, both crammed in the same bunk, but closer than close.

Lucy felt gloriously adult, aglow in the light of a discovery made for the first time, something that Queen Lucy had not known first, too aware of her position and the sacrifices she had to make for it.

But Lucy now made sacrifices, too.

This could not last forever.

--

"I've never wanted to leave, you know."

"I know."

"Both times I had to, but I wanted to stay."

"I know."

She took one of his hands in both of hers and raised it, lips brushing across the knuckles in the tiniest of kisses. She barely had time enough to taste his skin, salty and human and Caspian, before she moved her mouth away.

"But things are different now," he murmured, when she didn't let go of his hand. "Perhaps you can stay..."

Things were different, she agreed. The difference fluttered in her chest, a captive bird whose talons sank into her heart, striking deeper with every moment that Caspian still looked at her.

"Not that different," she said.

--

She felt the older of the two of them, though she knew it was both true and not.

How old am I? she wondered for a moment, before dismissing it as unimportant. She was old, and young, and both at once. Time sprouted and bloomed within her.

His head was pillowed on her breast as he slept, and she watched him, and wanted to watch him until the ending of the world and beyond.

She felt herself still growing inside her skin, new aspects of her seeming to burst with every breath she took, and had to close her eyes at the pain of it. Her skin felt too small for everything she was becoming.

--

Caspian always seemed to love what he should not have.

"Should has nothing to do with it," he said, throwing her own words back in her face. But she took them in and did not flinch, because she knew he was hurting, too.

"Reach for the stars, Caspian," she told him. "They'll reach back."

"She isn't you."

"No," Lucy said gently. "She isn't. But I am not good for you, and she could be, if you let her."

"You are good for me," he said, and ran his fingers along the underside of her arm. It tickled, but she refused to laugh. "Lucy."

"I was good for you," she said. "But we've grown too much, Caspian. Both of us."

He didn't disagree.

--

He followed her to the end of the world, and then he turned away.

"Lucy," Edmund murmured, his gaze turned upwards to Aslan's door in the sky.

"Yes," she replied, her eyes dry. "We’re not coming back."

She took in a deep breath, and Narnia along with it. Then she breathed out.

Date: 2006-04-04 02:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] krisomniac.livejournal.com
Oh, Rynne! This is beautiful and nostalgic and mysterious and not a little sad. Much like growing up.

Time sprouted and bloomed within her.

Love that image. Love your interpretation of the events in the Chronicles.

Date: 2006-04-05 07:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rynne.livejournal.com
Thank you! :D

Date: 2006-06-07 02:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kala-phoenix.livejournal.com
Oh, I love this. This is exactly what it's like, growing up and having to let things go. Your description is so wonderful:
She felt herself still growing inside her skin, new aspects of her seeming to burst with every breath she took, and had to close her eyes at the pain of it. Her skin felt too small for everything she was becoming.
And of course, I always was a Lucy/Caspian shipper.

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