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second chances are better homemade

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Susan Pevensie cared more about her life in England, the one that moved linearly through time, the one she could spend her whole life in and not have it torn away by chance, and for that, well, she was punished. Wanting to be grown up, in Narnian books, was somehow such a crime that she couldn't go back. They didn't ask her about it. 

"Oh, Susan!" said Jill, apparently. "She's interested in nothing nowadays except nylons and lipstick and invitations. She always was a jolly sight too keen on being grown-up."

Susan heard about it, of course, in the way that things spread, and wondered if nylons and lipstick and invitations really were so bad. She was liked, now, and she had friends, and if she wasn't risking her life fighting battles in Narnia, and if Peter had outgrown it and they weren't needling him about it, what was the crime? Later, she will look back on this, and wonder if she stopped believing there and then. For now, at least, she takes her hurt feelings to her friend Min, who listens to her and says matter-of-factly, "There's nothing wrong with being grown up."

"Thanks, Min," says Susan with a smile. "If they can't see it, at least we can."


 When she heard about the accident, she mutters a curse under her breath. Of course, of bloody goddamn course it was Aslan. To have them taken away at one fell goddamned swoop- it was almost worse, knowing that it wasn't an accident.

She cries, when her mind finally lets her, sitting on a bench in the very deepest corner of an empty little park and sobbing into her hands. It helps a little, but it still doesn't take away the ice-bright spot in her heart that chants You could have been with them. If only you'd believed. If only you hadn't cared so much about nylons and lipsticks and invitations. You wouldn't have to be the only one alone, alive, a lost cause.

Susan doesn't know exactly when her grief crystallizes into rage, but it does. She wakes up in the morning, remembers they're gone, thinks God, I miss them, and then thinks, instead of It's my fault, something she's thought daily since the accident, Damn you, Aslan. 

She feels noticeably better.


Susan writes them letters sometimes. She knows it doesn't do anything, she knows, oh god, how she knows. She doesn't care. 

She doesn't stop hating Aslan. All the pain and rage filling her melt into something sharp and deadly. She believes in him now. She has to, but if she ever sees his smarmy God-like avatar of a lion face again she will roll up her sleeves and punch it. No bows, no swords, no weapons Narnian or otherwise. Just a bastard lion and her fist, colliding at some point far off and sharp in the sky. After that, she'll hunt down her younger self, if she can force Narnian time to her will, tell her to-

She feels a familiar press of tears behind her eyelids.

 

Susan Pevensie doesn't know how to feel.

When she closes her eyes, she can almost pretend that Lucy's about to call her name, that they're all playing hide-and-seek in Professor Kirke's empty old house (she's crawled underneath a desk, bumping her head a bit when she sits up to get more comfortable) and they're in that comfortable moment just before everything went wrong (or right, depending on your interpretation). For once in years, she wants to be a kid again. She wants to find Aslan. She believes with a vengeance now.

 Professor Kirke had said not to expect to go back to Narnia through the same portal they went in. Well, she's about to try.