Prompt: Once upon a time
Word Count: 1000
Original/Fandom: Chronicles of Narnia/Robin Hood BBC
Pairings (if any):
Warnings (Non-Con/Dub-Con/Underage): crossover
Summary: Susan takes stock of her new adventure.
Once upon a time, a lifetime ago, I was a queen in a magical land where the trees danced and the wind sang and fauns had tea with badgers and beavers. But not centaurs. They preferred their coffee and the wine from the Eastern Forest. And there was Aslan.
Yes, I was a queen as was Lucy, my little sister, and Edmund and Peter were kings over the realm of Narnia. Our rule was the Golden Age, and everything was beautiful. It wasn’t always easy, but it was perfect, I thought.
Then that ended, and we were sent back to reality. I returned once, Lucy and Edmund, my youngest siblings, returned once more, but the magic had long since left me. Or maybe I’m the one who left it. Yes, that’s the more sensible way of it. I couldn’t have it the way I wanted, I couldn’t be a queen, so I snubbed it. Called it a game. I mocked them when they talked about it and insisted that they put away these childish things. That put so much distance between us, I realize. I am so sorry for that.
In any case, they’re all dead now. All of them, even Mother and Father, the professor, even my aunt’s family. I was alone. I’m still alone.
But I am not in London anymore. I went back to the country, to the manor where I spent that fateful summer with my siblings and found the pond we’d play in after we came back. One nap later, and now I’m here, in Locksley. There is talk of the Crusades so it must be the eleven- hundreds. I’m not sure. I confess, I didn’t pay much attention to history classes. If I’d known that I would be sent back some eight hundred years, then I’d not have spent so much time daydreaming about dresses and nylons and Cary Grant.
I hate not knowing things. Peter would say it offends my know-it-all personality. He always teases me about thinking I was smarter than I am.
…Teased, I mean. He always used to tease me. And Edmund would stick up for me, and Lucy would just watch us, with eyes much older than her age.
I don’t know why I’m here. I have yet to hear a beaver tell me of some prophecy about a time-traveling daughter of Eve. In all the legends of a place called Nottingham, a man named Robin Hood and his merry band of men save the day. So again, why am I here? Is he merely messing with me now? I have never known him to be cruel. Perhaps he still cares for me. Perhaps if I do whatever I’m supposed to do here, he’ll let me be with my family.
I actually like it here, a little. It’s almost like Narnia, but without the magic. It’s simple here. And no one knows me or truly expects anything of me. Although I’m sure I’m not here to be lazy. And I have always liked these kinds of dresses better.
There’s also Marian, though I never heard any call her Maid. No, that title goes to me. I am no longer Susan the Gentle – although once a queen… - but Susan the Maid. Lady-in-waiting is too high a title, but that is what I basically am now. I accompany the Lady Marian of Knighton, hold her confidences, keep her secret as the Nightwatchmen secret, and help her juggle Gisborne and Hood’s attention – and doesn’t that remind me of my own Golden Age? At any rate, I like Marian. Her stubbornness and bravery remind me so much of Lucy.
My own issues pale in comparison. That was another thing about Narnia. It had a way of making things in London less…real. The sun wasn’t as warm, the summers weren’t as long, the flowers not as sweet. It’s like that here too. Maybe because there’s less pollution in the air, since there are no cars or factories.
The only really major problem is the sheriff and his man, Guy of Gisborne, and the rest of the nobles. They are taxing everyone to death and treat the people so poorly. It’s disgusting. He reminds me of Rabadash in a way. I would not mind at all if he were suddenly turned into an ass.
But there is already someone to make a fool of the sheriff. Robin Hood, Robin of Locksley, he’s the one. He was a noble and a soldier and now he is an outlaw.
Marian was in love with him. I think she still is. So does he. She pretends that she doesn’t, to protect her heart, I think. I know about that. Pretending things to be otherwise to protect yourself. Pretending magic is a game to stop wanting it so much.
Am I meant to help him then? This Robin Hood is trying to do a wonderful thing for these people. For his king. For Marian.
How is it my place to do these things? They are not my people. It’s not like Narnia. I have no responsibility to them. Yet what else am I to do? The problem in Narnia was obvious: the witch, the war, the winter. The problem here, again, is obvious: the sheriff, the war. Oh, and a missing king, in both cases.
At least in Narnia, the people were willing to fight. Everyone here – almost everyone – is too afraid, too broken. If they fought back, they could take their lives, but that would be a civil war and so many people would die. I hate war and killing. But as much as I hate it, I’ll fight if I have to. I’ve practiced with Marian’s bow. I have never forgotten that, at least.
So I don’t know why I’m here or what I’m supposed to do. I don’t know how things are supposed to end here. I will watch for an opportunity to do…something. I only hope it will end happily ever after for someone.