[identity profile] iamshunpike.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] terrapinshell

Title: Small Bird of a hand
Fandom: Narnia RPF
Characters/Pairings: implied past Ben Barnes/Georgie Henley. Laura Henley [Georgie's sister] and Jack Barnes [Ben's brother] are in this too.
Rating: T
Warnings: If I gave the obvious warning then I'd spoil the whole ending...let's just say this: bring your handkerchiefs.
Summary: Georgie recovers when life hits hard, and keeps fighting until she can believe again. An unexpected old friend seeks her out.
A/N: If this story doesn't make you cry [or at least feel sad], then either A) I have failed as a writer, or B) you have no soul.

We don't actually know what Jack [Ben's brother] looks like, as far as I know. In my mind/braincanon/fanon, he looks like Robert Sheehan. [And I'm not even a fan, really. WTF?] SO THAT IS WHOM I PICTURED WHEN I WROTE THIS. YOU MAY WANT TO DO THE SAME. JUST SO YOU KNOW. [IDK, I think he looks quite like Ben, upon comparison.]

Oh wait, holy shit. I just found out through wikipedia that, um, in Killing Bono, Ben and Robert play brothers. I actually, honestly didn't know this while I was writing the fic. I guess I just think similarly to Killing Bono's casting agents? Seriously, I am not lying/joking.

It's another case of Narnia psychic-ness.




July 2013

You toss and turn and you set your hair on fire [after cutting it off; the scissors you stole from the front drawer in the kitchen and God only knows why you did it —] and now you have a half-headed haircut. And now you can't make any auditions anymore. And now some of the Narnia money is being put toward a wig and some hats.

[ "You kind of look like that Robyn girl, from the side," whispers Laura in your bed that night, trying to be nice. "You know, the Swedish one. C U next Tuesday, u iz a punk?" She mimics a song that she likes, trendy and three years old, one that you don't remember at all. ]

You write long sprawling letters to Ben in the nighttime, and they're really only overwrought diary entries: they're crooked in their letters and they're scraped and scribbled, and their biggest sections are scratched out brutally in hard blue pen.

Sometimes you take the pen to your face.

[ NOV. 2013
How dar you
— you go back to add the "e" — How darE you DATE that PENELOPE girl that CuNtTT — At this point, you are aware that the multiple "T"s make you look dumb. — like she is even worth your time, like you are even Worth MY TIME, my precious time — You cannot use the past tense yet. —

oh you are so precious
so precious AND SO FOUL
fuck you ben motherfuckingbarnes how DAre you break my heart,

how dare you break it by just by existing?

You hear footsteps in the hall and don't even bother to flick off your light. Your desk light, that is. Let them see you. Let them hear you. Let them eat cake, you think.

It is Monday, June 25th, 2014, and You are sitting at a table eating porridge you don't like. You want it, though; it is comforting, though; you mean it, though — you do, you know. Or at least that's what the song on the radio is playing.

"Hey, hon, how're you holding up?" your Mum asks you as she walks in the door.

"I don't," you say. She understands [does she?].

The Narnia magnet just stares at you from the fridge, you melt. Melt down, melt like that one painting by Salvador Dalí with all the clocks falling down down down and there is no Ben in the picture — you have to remind yourself. No Ben and no cotton candy and no brokenness. Since when did memories die?

"Want some waffles, dear?" she asks you. You say nothing, but perhaps you twitch your head, maybe it moves of its own accord, either way, there are waffles and chipolatas on your plate in four or more minutes.

"I love you," she says to you. She looks up at you from the counter, where her head is lowered beneath your face. You look down at her and you actually smile, and that's when you remember that your hair is growing.

Long, long pretty hair like Mum's, you think, feeling five years old and loving it.

"I love you, too, Mum." She smiles. It has not yet been a year.

It is 2015. Jack arrives one sweaty summer day at your home. He talks to both your parents at once, and from the sofa you see him. His face to you seems greedy. You don't want to talk to him.

Jealous, jealous of your brother's fame, you fucking mongrel, you think: you have no reservations in hating him anymore, not after —

"Jesus Christ." His voice is shot-through with awe, a little sarcasm and disrespect mixed in, and some juvenility that may never scrub off totally.

"Don't you remember me?" he says in response to your blank, dead-eyed stare. "Ben's brother?" Incredulity, now. It is a disrespect to you, to your memory, to Ben — to Ben! Ben!

And it breaks you a little, a little in the places where you healed, before, before, before all this morning nonsense. You don't need this. You are healing and your family is here and you don't need this.

Laura looks a little concerned from where she sits in the armchair. Years-old Gordon Brown footage yaps from the telly as part of a political comparison, when no one cares or notices. You have not moved since before he came into the house. You stare and you are, until this moment, silent. The noise comes only from your movement.

You lurch up off the sofa, you are standing, your teeth hurt from clenching in the tears. [ You don't realize until the pain breaks through, and how!, that you were biting the crying in so you wouldn't cry in front of Jack. Not in front of Jack. His brother, not him — ]

Your hand shakes as you raise it, pointing a solemn, horror-movie finger at his chest.

"Leave, Jack. Leave now." Your voice is shaking from the crying you cannot do.

"What?" He sounds disbelieving. No one talks, none but him; he is looking around for their support. He shall not get it. "Are you — is this for real?" His head turns back to you, jitteringly.

You just stare.

Your finger points still. You jerk it toward the door, to your right, his left. You glare now. Your lips tighten, your eyes fiercen. You are no longer shaking.

He doesn't understand, not at all. He looks around, frightened, like a deer in the headlights. Leave? Why now? Why me? everything of him seems to ask. Why am I not welcome? Why won't anyone stop her? He looks to your parents for guidance, then to your sister. Finally he looks at you.

The breath goes out of him. His shoulders collapse into a defeated little shrug as he looks into your eyes, helpless.

Out of respect for you, he goes. Up, up up the little steps to the hall [for of course your sitting room is sunken lower than most] and then to the door. He collects his coat. The door opens and then slams shut, falling back into the frame after being pulled inward.

You crack and you can feel your family looking at you, they are intimidated, but you do not look back. You only stare at the spot where Jack Barnes stood and begin to regret what you've done.

You can fix this now! your brain tells you. You can run after him! Your brain is hard-wired for fast action from years of thinking Narnian [you will always think Narnian, after all].

So you go and do.

"Wait!" you yell after him. Jack's slow walk has taken him only to the end of your front walk. "Wait up!"

Hesitantly Jack turns back. He says nothing.

You run and hug him. The pavement burns and you are barefoot but it honest-to-God doesn't fucking matter right now.

Jack buries his face in your shoulder and you do the same.

"I'm sorry," you whisper, a barely-heard murmur.

Jack shakes his head against you, saying "No, no don't be. I would've done the same thing." And then, quieter —

"Even to you I would. But I didn't and be glad." His breath in your ear [in your heart] is a brother. A brother with gingerbread that's spiked with cannabis and you ate it that Christmas, and you never, never forgot. Never forgot Ben's spike-inflicted Punk boots by your leg on the floor of the basement as you all rolled around, laughing and unknowingly high and By God! What are you kids doing down here? sincerely barked Mr. Thomas Barnes.

You breathe something sororal in his ear, too. Ben, Ben, Bigga Than Bigga Than Ben. Oh, Jack. Oh, brother. [Rolled eyes.] Oh, Ben.

You breathe in. You are holding hands with Jack, your small bird of a hand clasped tightly in his larger and calloused one. It is July and you are at Ben's grave.

In Loving Memory

Benjamin Thomas Barnes

20 AUGUST 1981
16 JULY 2013

Narnian first, English second

Mine third,
you add in your head. Jack's hand lifts and holds your shoulder tightly. You are nestled into his side, his underarm, chest, body. Lungs work slowly but surely. You have breaths.

"He's there, you know," whispers Jack. This is the first time you've seen him since before Ben died. First thing, you pushed him away, and now you are pulling him closer against you [and it is not even sunset yet]. "He's there now, right now."

You're quiet. You burrow deeper into Jack's side, he into yours.

"In Aslan's country. In the Real Narnia."

"I know," you say in earnest, and for the first time, you really do know.

Jack holds you closer.

the end.


PSA: I am so sorry for killing him, you guys. I am so fucking sorry.
After seeing this picture [source] and watching Georgie's AMAZING acting performance in THESE two audition videos she made for a film called The Expatriate...I don't know, man. I just absorbed the content of all that and it rolled into this plot, I think.

1. The way that Georgie and Ben continue to look like a couple in the photo, +
2. The candid, family-photos look of the picture, +
3. Georgie's open tears in the second audition video (you almost can't tell it's acting!)

combined to make this plot. Established Ben/Georgie, old-looking photos, and then a reason for Georgie to be crying? Of course I wrote this fic.

Huzzah. :3

P.S. If you're not crying yet, then know that the song "You Have Been Loved" by Sia is the soundtrack to this fic. Go listen to it. Then I will cry with you in the comments holy shit.
Yes I am an evil imp.
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