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21 March 2005 @ 07:45 am
Fic | Narnia | Between Sunset and Sunrise  
Title: Between Sunset and Sunrise
Author: K. M. Petravich | Fire and a Rose | Mirkat or Eliana (bold = names I use now)
Fandom: Narnia
Rating: PG
Summary: Once Lucy saved Edmund with a cordial, but some wounds even magic can’t touch.  That doesn’t mean she’s stopped trying to help him heal, though.
Pairing: None.  Just Lucy-Edmund.  And if you think you see a slash, don’t tell me.  I don’t want to even THINK about them being paired.  Thank you.
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters.  I make no money.  Etc.
Note:  It's for madbonnycaptain.

Read here. or behind the cut.

The thing of the matter is that, really, Edmund is the only one she can talk to, these days.

Peter is Peter and keeps to himself. In part because he is the eldest, and in part because of things left over—memories that aren’t quite complete—from when he was a High King over all others, and kept his own counsel out of necessity.

And Susan, well, Lucy loves her, as she loves Peter, too, but she doesn’t like Susan very much at times, now. None of them are the children they once were—some mornings, when he’s home, Peter smells of alcohol, and Edmund has come in more than once, late, after Mother and Father have gone to bed, with his clothes not quite right, blushing only a bit when he sees Lucy, waiting up for him—but Susan revels in throwing off all traces of who she once was. Perhaps that’s the way she deals with not being There any longer, but Lucy finds she has no patience for it.

Edmund, though... He does come in late, and he does do things that leave him sometimes smelling of women’s perfume, and with clothes rumpled, but he still teases her, gently, like he used to. And he’s a bit more of the grave king she remembers, but that, too, is familiar in its own way. Edmund is the one who was there in Narnia each time with her, who sailed to Aslan’s country with her and believed her when she said she saw a lion, and shifted under her hands when she healed him from the Witch. Edmund’s the one who would smile for her, even when he’d become the serious King Edmund the Just, if she asked him, or teased him enough. And, yes, he is the one who said they were just playing make-believe, too, that Lucy told silly stories, and she doesn’t forget that or even pretend that she does, like the others do. Forgives, but doesn’t forget, and she thinks he knows and...and appreciates that fact, because he knows he won’t ever forget it himself, and knowing that she remembers also means that he knows that she still forgives.

“If Judas had had a sister to hold him after Jesus had died, Lu, things would have been different for the bastard.” And it’s one of the few times she’s heard him swear, but he’s having one of Those Nights, that he’s always had—had even before they came back—that Susan doesn’t know about and Peter doesn’t know how to handle. One of those nights where he doesn’t even come in, just sits on the back steps with a bottle he nicked from their father’s room, and she sits with him, robe around her, feet bare, and holds him again.

And Lucy, well, Lucy’s not innocent herself anymore, really. She’s not Susan, not by far, but she goes with a boy, too. One who’s probably too old for her, but then, she remembers her 25th birthday, so perhaps she’s also too old for him. And she remembers touches that weren’t quite appropriate but were loving and lovely and made her sigh, touches she doesn’t let this boy try, now, though she thinks she might someday. And if no one else knows about him except for Edmund—because, really, she doesn’t want to keep secrets from him, even knowing he’ll disapprove of some things she might tell him—even if Mother and Father don’t know, Lucy’s content to do some things for herself.

But she’s still Lucy, even for all that, and he is the one that she talks to. The one who may not so much mean the most as be the closest. So it’s not surprising, really, not even to Edmund, that she’s up every night, sitting on the couch and reading, or listening to the radio, or both, when he slips in. Sometimes he’s more sober than others.

Tonight he’s somewhere in between. Enough there that his eyes aren’t quite focused and his face is a bit flushed, enough not that his walk is stable, more or less, and he doesn’t curse when she flips the other lamp on. “Hello, Lu.” The look she gets is almost sheepish. “It’s late. Shouldn’t you be in bed?”

“Rather. As should you.” Rising and leading him into the kitchen, where she has the tea waiting, and pours him a cup before refilling her own. “Your shirt’s buttoned crookedly.”

“Oh?” Looks down and blushes, fixing it before taking the drink from her. “Thanks.”

“You’re welcome.” It’s not, really, often that he goes out, but it’s more frequently than it once was. Not enough that she worries, exactly, but enough that she—they, really—have developed a routine. Lucy sits next to him on the sofa, when they return to the living room, sipping from her mug. “Have a good night?”

“I suppose.” He doesn’t really talk much about what he does when he’s out. Edmund may be only a year her senior, but he’s still Lucy’s older brother, and he, like everyone, shelters her, in some things.

She accepts this. Once it annoyed her. Now it’s a comfort, to know that they all, even Susan, care enough to do that. And, as for Edmund, he shares more with her than with anyone else, except for Aslan. She doesn’t need, any longer, to know everything, and she thinks that might be a sign that she’s grown up again.

It’s a nice sort of silence, as they sit there, and Lucy looks out the window at the night sky. She can just barely see part of a constellation, between the leaves—on the edges of the town, the lights are dark enough to allow that—and if she squints, she can pretend it’s the Leopard.

“Why do you do this?” It’s not exactly sudden, when he asks, though it does break the quiet. She looks back at him, at the not exactly perplexed, but honestly wondering, look on his face, and something in her breaks a bit to realize that he doesn’t know why she’d bother. That part of him still thinks he isn’t worth even this..

She doesn’t answer him for a moment, just looking at him, and then, slowly, “Do you remember, when we were first there, and I couldn’t sleep during the night because I missed Mother?”

His face clouds for a moment—Edmund doesn’t remember as much as Lucy, about the first time they were there, but then, no one remembers as much about those fifteen years as she does, and that is, she thinks, her blessing, and that is her curse—before he nods.

“Do you remember how you would come crawl into my bed with me and hold me, until I stopped crying, and when we woke up you would go and sneak us in sweets, even though Susan said being royalty was no excuse for eating in bed?”

He hadn’t. But he does, now that she’s reminded him, blushing a bit as he nods again.

“Why did you do that?”

“Well...oh, hell, Lu, I’m too drunk for this,” as he rubs his face with one hand, trying to answer, pulling up memories he’d not thought of in years. But this, he finds, he knows the answer to easily. “Because you needed me.”

“Because I was—am—your sister. And your friend,” she finishes for him.

“Well. Yes.”

“Then there’s your answer, silly man.” Almost says boy, but he’s not, really, any more than she’s a girl, and the thought’s a bit of a sad one, if an accepted one.

“But...” And maybe it’s a bit of one of Those Nights, too, because she can see it in his eyes. But I’m me.

“It doesn’t matter.” Simply. “It never has. You’re Edmund. And yes, you’re the one who helped the Witch,” and he flinches, but she says it anyway. And he’s grateful, a bit, in a way that’s perhaps masochistic and perhaps just raw, still, that she does. Aslan forgave him long ago, but forgiving himself? He’s not sure that will ever happen.

“And you are the one who held me,” she continues, reaching out and taking his hand, “and practiced dancing with me, when the dryads taught us, and helped me with my French last year, and wanted so very badly to have a duel, of all things, when that beastly man from Galma who was visiting made the remark about me.” Faint smile. “And you’re my brother. Isn’t that enough?”

His hand tightens around hers a bit. “Sometimes I feel like nothing will ever be enough.”

“I know. But for me, it always will be.” It’s very simple for her, that way. For Lucy, it’s always been simple. There’s good, and there’s evil. There’s right, and there’s wrong. There’s the Lion, and there’s the Witch. And there’s her brothers and sister, and she will cling to them—even Edmund, even, though it’s a bother, at times, Susan—and protect them and comfort them, as long as she can.

Peter is the Eldest. Susan is the Beauty. Edmund is...well, Edmund is many things, really, some he’d like to forget. The Traitor and the Penitent and the Wise, in his own way that he’s only starting to learn to be comfortable in again.

Lucy is, she thinks, just Lucy. Once she was the Valiant, and maybe she still is, but very few people in this world will ever know that. And she is the Baby, yes, but she’s not a baby any longer, which she knows Edmund, at least, sees, as he casts worried looks at her on the nights she goes out, and is waiting for her when she returns. Not as late as he ever is, but enough that he’ll scowl out the door at Joseph before pulling her in.

Lucy thinks, as Edmund curls up a bit against her, his face very young and the hint of tears in his eyes, that she might be the Comforter. To Peter, when he’s worn himself out with studying and she begins to ramble about dragons, making his lips quirk, or how brilliant he’ll be when he takes the exam, as if it’s just another adventure. To Susan, on the moments when she can’t make herself forget, trying to remember the land that’s the reason she was once happy and the reason now she isn’t, Lucy reminding her of the Fauns and the Naiads and picnics on the beach.

And to Edmund, now, as she brushes at his hair and holds him close, kissing his temple as he drifts off to sleep, simply telling him that it’s alright and he’s loved. That he’s forgiven, and worthy.

She thinks, perhaps, that one day she might even get him to believe it.

For now, Lucy simply holds her brother, eventually falling asleep herself, head resting on his, as the sun comes up outside.

Tags: ,
mesurexit on March 21st, 2005 12:55 pm (UTC)
Mmmmm. Like I say, love this.
mesurexit on March 21st, 2005 12:55 pm (UTC)
Reccing at ceanshinythings.
the blue rose who kept her thorns: The start of a friendshipfire_and_a_rose on March 21st, 2005 12:56 pm (UTC)
Aww, thanks. And thanks for the beta. :D
illmantrim on March 21st, 2005 01:12 pm (UTC)

sweet and wow and yay!
the blue rose who kept her thorns: Jillfire_and_a_rose on March 21st, 2005 02:37 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :D
high and mighty mansplaining robot: Edmund - The Justrimestock on March 21st, 2005 01:26 pm (UTC)

It's beautiful.

And, y'know, I'm saving it. And stuff. Because I will want to reread this many many times.

*gives you and Lu hugs*
the blue rose who kept her thornsfire_and_a_rose on March 21st, 2005 02:37 pm (UTC)
*snugs* Glad you like.
high and mighty mansplaining robotrimestock on March 22nd, 2005 07:46 am (UTC)
How could I not?
Death Has Never Looked So Goodkoshkaphoenix on March 21st, 2005 02:18 pm (UTC)
Oh wow, hun. I really like that.
the blue rose who kept her thorns: I read in the tubfire_and_a_rose on March 21st, 2005 02:19 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :D

*wants caps of the BBC series to make a Lucy-Edmund icon*
penknife: joypenknife on March 21st, 2005 03:35 pm (UTC)
That's lovely. So sweet.
the blue rose who kept her thornsfire_and_a_rose on March 21st, 2005 03:45 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :) *has a thing for the Pevensies after they've left Narnia and have to grow up again*
Unanon: love hurtsunanon on March 21st, 2005 03:46 pm (UTC)
Oh...so delicious. Bits of this just cracked my heart. *loves*

the blue rose who kept her thornsfire_and_a_rose on March 21st, 2005 04:07 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you enjoyed it. :D
Valentine Wiggin-Skywalker: Smileempath_wiggin on March 21st, 2005 04:09 pm (UTC)
Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.

On an interesting note, Val saw a lot of similarities between that and her relationship with Ender. Just had to note.

Love to the Mir!
the blue rose who kept her thorns: for you are stupid and easily destroyedfire_and_a_rose on March 21st, 2005 04:11 pm (UTC)
Hee, yes, this is what I do instead of sleeping.
Valentine Wiggin-Skywalker: Mara/Val. WTF.empath_wiggin on March 21st, 2005 04:18 pm (UTC)
Mir, my lovely, you should -sleep-. Seriously. Well, ok, not that I'm really one to talk... but still. *hugs you so much* I'll hopefully be around later. AIM is being a royal pain at the moment, so I am saying screw it and going to see a movie. Either Incredibles or Snicket, whichever I feel like when I get there. Beel better, my dear.

I use this icon because I care. Really.
Under Luciusunderlucius on March 21st, 2005 05:55 pm (UTC)
oh wow. This blew me away. This is exactly how I see them, and yes, I read more into their friendship than you wanted and no - i don't want them paired any more than you do, but it is impossible to seperate the damaged threads of Lucy and Edmund.

Edmund is perfect, the lost, the penitent the brother, and Lucy is so strong, inspite of being The Baby.

Just wonderful, thank you for letting us see this. *off to read more of yours*
the blue rose who kept her thornsfire_and_a_rose on March 21st, 2005 05:58 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you liked it. :D

The thing is that they are more than just siblings or friends, really. And if they weren't siblings, that something more might be romantic--might even easily be romantic--but they are, so it's something that I can't quite name. Very much taking care of each other, because they're the younger ones, in part, and they've just done more together.
mr five dollar foot long's sweet caboosesnacky on March 21st, 2005 09:41 pm (UTC)
Here by way of unanon. This is really good! I love stories about the Pevensies having to grow up again - it was always something in my head when I read the books. "But how did they go back to being kids?"

Anyway, lovely. Thanks for sharing.
the blue rose who kept her thornsfire_and_a_rose on March 22nd, 2005 01:46 pm (UTC)
You're welcome. And thank you. :D
The Muse, Amused: metamorphosis and discoverypenmage on March 22nd, 2005 01:41 am (UTC)
I really love this. And by extension, you. This fic is lovely and bittersweet and so totally Lucy, and so totally Edmund, and I love it and thank you.
the blue rose who kept her thornsfire_and_a_rose on March 22nd, 2005 12:55 pm (UTC)
Aww. Thank you, and you're welcome.
The real Joon: holy crapinnerbrat on March 22nd, 2005 12:18 pm (UTC)
This is fantatic! I love it!
Gericyan_blue on December 11th, 2005 11:51 am (UTC)
tarkheena lizzeeenliminalliz on December 11th, 2005 04:41 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed this!
(Anonymous) on January 26th, 2006 06:55 pm (UTC)
I love this story, it's beautiful and heartbreaking. I never really thought about the effect of Narnia on the children after they came back. It's sad really - that they all grew up. But I guess that happens to the best of us, right?

Anways, great story.
sapphica puella musa doctior: ed credit tinuviel428ame1ie on February 18th, 2006 12:43 am (UTC)
Oh, I'm in love with this! I never give Lucy credit for being anything more than a cute, insistent little kid, so thanks for forcing me to remember that she grows up. And your Edmund.... I want to never stop hugging your Edmund.
seven minute dance party: narniavoleuse on September 14th, 2006 05:35 pm (UTC)
This is beautiful. I love the exploration of who they are, and who they were.
the blue rose who kept her thornsfire_and_a_rose on September 15th, 2006 03:51 am (UTC)
Thankya muchly. :)
ineptshieldmaidineptshieldmaid on November 15th, 2008 02:39 pm (UTC)
oh, that is *lovely*.

Thank you :) Just what I needed.