Lucy sleeps, and she dreams of the sea, and one day--it's night, in London, but it's bright and beautiful to the point it aches here--she dreams of the beach, of Cair Paravel behind her and the Eastern Sea glistening like a jewel in front.
When she sees him walking along, at a distance, she feels awkard, and it's not fair to have to feel that at the same moment your heart is starting to feel hope again, and it's truly not fair to have that and know you'll have to wake up soon.
His face brightens to see her, and she doesn't know when this is, or if it's really Narnia, doesn't know if it's a dream or not, doesn't know if Narnians by this time even wear wedding rings, and doesn't, horrible as it may be, spend the time it would take to glance down for one.
This is her dream, and Lucy walks quickly and firmly over and pulls his face to hers, and oh.
Oh, this is how it's supposed to feel.
She's crying, and he's brushing her tears away with his thumbs and begging her not to, and it's not fair.
"I'm sorry," she sobs, and she doesn't know who she's apologizing to, or for what, and then she can't because he almost glares at her for that, almost looks angry, and pulls her close for another kiss that's not so soft, that's almost harsh, and he's still glaring as he pulls away, enough to look at her, cradling her face.
"You are never allowed to apologize for that. Not ever. I won't have it."
The kiss that follows is softer and it's enough to make her tears stop.
She pulls away, a little--enough--and his hands don't drop.
He's still stern, in a way, and she's hesitant to say anything. Still. "I wish I were here," she manages, softly, and he presses a kiss to her forehead and tugs her down to sit next to him, arms cradling her close.
They talk, and they kiss, and she cries, and she laughs, and the wonderful horrible thing is when he does both as well.
And all that and everything else that happens that night, Lucy holds tight in her heart when she wakes up.
And then it ends.
The thing that would seem horrible if she were alive, instead of here, where nothing is horrible--it's that for all she'd mourn, had she had time to, there would have been relief, too.
The first moment she sees him is when she sees everyone, and there are hugs and kisses and hullos all around. His wife is at his side, and it doesn't hurt, because it can't.
But she does notice, because she is new here, that his wife isn't holding his hand, and she does notice that Caspian's eyes aren't moving from her, and here--maybe the blessing of being here is you don't have to worry. Even with things like that.
She goes through everyone, and she hugs, and she laughs, and when it's over she looks for him again and it's easy to find anything you look for here. He's gone off to a quiet corner of the garden, and Lucy follows, hands clasped neatly behind her back, and says nothing for a moment as they stand together.
"I'm sorry," she says, finally, and he looks at her with almost shock, before Lucy's arms go around his neck and she looks at him.
"Now stop me from apologizing again, Caspian."
There's nothing harsh at all about the way he obeys.