Look, the trees
their own bodies
"Well, that was fascinating," Edmund says dryly, inspecting the greenish goo that is covering his hands. "I'm pretty sure I'm never going to look at bushes the same way again."
"Edmund Pevensie? You were marvelous,” the Doctor says solemnly, and then says, “You should come get that dried off in my ship!" He is practically bouncing with glee and Edmund blinks at him slowly.
"Why do I get the feeling I'm being abducted?" he asks, and the Doctor tries to look innocent, and fails.
"Well, it's been a while since somebody traveled with me," he says hopefully, and Edmund laughs.
"Sorry," he says, pulling out a handkerchief and wiping his hands off, "I've got a family to get back to, and… well, I've got places waiting for me." He smiles and nods, and then turns and strolls away, unconcerned with the Doctor yelling at him.
"But it travels in space! And time," the Doctor sulks behind him, and Edmund smiles because he has Narnia, he doesn’t need space and time.
against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.
Susan stands straight and tall at the foot of the graves, leaning only to place a flower at the head of each. She is proud of her composure, even though there is no one there to witness it. This is the one relic from Narnia she is always aware of, and she treasures it.
When she turns around, there is a man standing there, tall and skinny in a long brown coat and pin stripe suit, wearing strange shoes.
"Did you need directions?" she asks, and he shakes his head, his eyes sad.
"No, I found them," he says, and then he stands up straighter, towering over her.
"May I walk you to wherever you're going?" he asks, polite and a little distant.
"Certainly," she says. "My car is in the parking lot, it isn't far."
"I'm John Smith," he says, and strolls beside her with his hands in his pockets.
"I'm Susan," she begins, and he just nods.
"I know who you are," he says, and when she shoots him a startled look he blinks and continues, "I knew your brother. Edmund. Not for long, but he was quite intelligent for his age."
"Yes," Susan says a little stiffly, and then they are at her car and he nods says, "Goodbye, Susan Pevensie," and stands there on the sidewalk as she drives off. He is in her rear view mirror for as long as she looks back, but then she turns left and he is gone.
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
"You're remarkably calm about this," the Doctor observes, ten minutes into running madly through the woods, and Susan shrugs elegantly while still running, grateful that she's wearing sensible pumps without heels and that she's been keeping fit.
"So what do we do now?" she says, as he comes to a stop beside a police box that really shouldn't be out here in the woods. She almost thinks just some schoolboys pulling a joke, but then blinks and stares at the box more sharply, feeling it try to slide away beneath her gaze.
"Go inside the box!" the Doctor says, grinning madly, and she tears her gaze away from where she is sternly watching the side of the telephone box to see him opening up the door and running inside. Raising her eyebrows, she steps inside after him, and then stops and looks around her, breathing in. The air in the telephone box feels just a little bit like Narnia.
"Aren't you going to say it's bigger on the inside?" the Doctor asks. "Because it is!"
"Well, I once ruled an entire land in a wardrobe," Susan says in a rush of relief and sudden ecstasy. "I guess you could say I'm used to such things by now."
"Oh," the Doctor says, a little disappointed. The fact that he doesn’t even question her statement is half worrying and half thrilling, and then he brightens up. "This is the TARDIS!" he announces. "Time and Relative Dimensions In Space. She's my time machine spaceship." He pats the TARDIS' equivalent of a dashboard fondly.
"And she's trying to get inside my head," Susan says, as calmly as she can manage. She firmly believes she has a right to be paranoid about such things.
"You can feel her?" the Doctor says. "Oh, I'm glad I met you! You're going to be fabulous, Susan. Hang on tight!" And he pulls levers, catapulting them, if he can be believed, across time and space.
"I do believe you're kidnapping me," Susan says calmly, and he looks as innocent as he can, which is very close to innocent but just off enough to worry anyone.
"Not really!" he says. "Why does everyone say that? I mean, if you want to stay that would be fabulous, but I'm just hopping sideways, there's something we need to pick up. Did I mention it travels in time?" he adds, looking at her hopefully, and Susan can't help but smile at him.
"I do believe I'll be staying," Susan says, and he doesn't say anything but his smile lights up the whole room.
the long tapers
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders
"It's beautiful," Susan says, staring out over the prairie, stretching as far as she can see. "Where are we?"
"I've no idea," the Doctor says cheerfully, and starts walking, hands in the pockets of his coat. Susan follows, perfectly fine with having nothing to do but walk in a prairie stretching towards nowhere. The silence must be wearing the Doctor thin, though. "So, have any family?" he says brightly.
"No," Susan answers. "My siblings and parents died in a train crash around three years ago."
"I'm sorry," he says, going quiet and still.
"What about you?" Susan asks.
"Gone," he says, hunching over. "I'm the last Time Lord."
"I'm sorry," Susan says softly, and he nods and they keep walking.
of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is
She is finding it easier these days to simply follow someone, let go of the details and the need to know what is going on and just run with the Doctor. Nevertheless, at the same time she finds herself slipping more and more back into the skin of Queen Susan, who can read the politics of a room like others read a thermometer, who knows treaties and kingdoms and politicians well.
She is discussing the method of government in Raxacoricofallapatorius with a small blue blob one day when she catches the Doctor staring at her in undisguised surprise. She lifts one eyebrow at him and returns to her conversation, polite and interested.
"He says they have burgundy seas in Raxicoricofallapatorius," she says to the Doctor later, sipping a glass of bright neon pink liquid that the Doctor is eyeing worriedly.
"Well, yes, I suppose," the Doctor says, and then blurts out, "How are you not spitting that out? It hits all the wrong taste buds for humans!" She looks at him in surprise.
"When in foreign lands, you eat their food and drink their drinks, whether or not you like them," she says, a little severely. "It's only polite." He blinks twice and then shakes his head as a waiter offers him a glass of it, Susan looking at him sharply. "And that is rude," she hisses at him.
As it turns out, that didn't matter, because fifteen minutes later they were running for an entirely different reason, one that seems to have something to do with wanting to sacrifice the Doctor.
"Again?" he'd complained, and Susan had wisely decided to just not ask.
I have ever learned
"You know," the Doctor says more than once, "the TARDIS can go anywhere." And Susan just nods brightly and asks him where they're off to next. She never once requests a destination, until one day he stops hinting at it and just asks her where she would like to go.
"Oh," she says, and her eyes look distant for a moment. "It doesn't really matter."
"What about to when your family was alive?" the Doctor says, because he has never had someone travel with him who didn't want to meet dead people.
"I rather think that would be a bad idea," Susan says firmly. "What about King Arthur's court?" she asks. "All myths have to start somewhere, right?" And he brightens up immediately, throwing the TARDIS into the time vortex again.
"It's nothing like the stories, of course!" he yells behind him as he bounces out of the TARDIS moments later, "but it's still quite fabulous!"
Later, when they are coming back into the TARDIS, Susan is very quiet.
"Not quite up to snuff, I guess?" the Doctor says. "I do wonder what I did to make him so angry? Although it could just be that all English monarchs feel obligated to hate me. That might be a good working theory, maybe they got infected sometime with something... no."
"He shouldn't have trusted his advisor so closely," Susan says quietly. "Any good ruler would know that. You only give the trust you have to, and even then with reservation."
"Really?" the Doctor says. "I wouldn't know, I've never really considered ruling. Well. There was that one time that I was President. But that wasn't long at all. You know. And Arthur turns out fabulously, anyway, all those stories and things. He just needed a hand."
"Good thing we were there," Susan says with a smile, and then heads down the hallways to the kitchen.
in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side
They step out into the wintry landscape and Susan freezes for a moment, eyes widening, and then keeps walking as if nothing had happened.
"What, you don't like forests?" the Doctor says cheerfully. "Or snow, though that is a bit odd, I could have sworn that I'd landed in this planet's summer type season. Must have gone a bit off course. Weeeell. Not much, I guess."
"You know," Susan begins, doing her best to keep her voice steady, and then trails off because she can hear sleigh bells in the snow and she swore, she swore she would never go through this again.
"Oh," the Doctor says suddenly. "Fascinating!" And he takes off, clearly expecting her to follow. She remains in place for another long moment, and then she does run after him, because if there is one thing left in the world that she would let keep her from Narnia, it is the Doctor.
She had sworn never again, but maybe he is worth it. Later, after too many close calls as they trapped the Carrionites turning this world into ice, they walk back to the TARDIS. Around them, the woods are losing their coverings of snow, and Susan finds herself smiling in joy.
"Once I went through a wardrobe with my siblings," she begins again, and this time she keeps going, "And beyond the wardrobe there was a forest, covered in snow."
And at the end of the story the Doctor nods at her, smiling warmly, and he says "Good for you, Susan Pevensie. Good for you," and something opens up in her heart.
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world
"This regeneration business sounds dodgy," Susan remarks, swinging her legs off of the cell bench. "Who's to say you'd actually come back you? What if something went wrong and you lost all your memories?"
"I'm a Time Lord," the Doctor says. "We're really good at this. And it’s hardly my first time!"
"Ah," Susan says diplomatically. "Might I ask, if you're so wonderful at everything, why we're going to be executed in about, oh, fifteen minutes?"
"And I thought you using sarcasm was a good thing," he mutters. "Oh, look, she does have a sense of humor! But you use it all on me."
"Don't sulk," Susan says, and then she turns and kisses him before she actually thinks about it because this is probably a really horrible idea.
Except for how it isn't quite so much, because he's kissing her back, his hands cupping her face gently, and when they finally pull apart she looks at him for a long moment, feeling more alive and free than she has in years.
"If you die now," she says softly, "God help me, I will never forgive you." And he laughs, confident and happy, more relaxed than she has ever seen him, still holding her face in his hands.
"Neither of us will," he promises, and gets them both past the guards and into what appears to be an armory. Susan feels at home here, familiar with every weapon she sees, and automatically she picks up a recurve bow, stringing it with ease and selecting a quiver to go with it, testing the draw. The Doctor watches behind her, no longer surprised when she knows things she shouldn't. "Don't use it unless you have to," he says, and she knows that once he would have told her never to use a gun, or a bow, or anything deadly.
"Of course," she answers, and doesn't shoot once, because she has made her choice and she is staying with him. Back in the TARDIS, she doesn't know what to say, but he pulls her close to him and buries his face in her hair and she holds on fiercely, listening to his double heartbeat.
"You were marvelous," he says.
"Thank you," Susan says, and then he kisses her again and she doesn’t say anything more.
you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it
The next months could best be described as giddy. Susan had thought, after losing Narnia and her siblings, that she would never fall in love so completely again, but the Doctor changes things. It’s practically his profession. She loves him for it.
They run and run, and she sees pleasure moons and the earth three hundred thousand years in the future and Clom and they drop by the Lost Moon of Poosh.
“Why is it lost?” Susan asks, and the Doctor looks a little grim.
“Because some madman stole it, about 2008 earth time,” he says, and Susan doesn’t press any further. She knows secrets and the keeping of them.
“What will you do when I die?” she asks calmly one day, and the Doctor turns to her, eyes wide.
“Don’t say that,” he says, “don’t ever say that, you can’t.” She shakes her head at him.
“I’m human,” she says. “You know it won’t last forever. It’s not for myself that I mind, it’s just that I’m worried about you.” But the Doctor doesn’t answer.
Later, when she is practicing archery, he comes up and watches her, watches the arrows land in the center time after time. Some skills you should just keep up, she believes.
“Keep going,” he says finally. “It’s what I always do.” She nods.
“Good for you, Doctor,” she says, turning to smile at him as she places the bow down. “Good for you.”