Title: Seemingly Unreal, but Still…
| What Lies Behind Closed Doors | S.U.B.S. |
Pairing: Sam/Brooke. Eventually.
Distribution: Want. Take. Have. Just let me know where I can find it.
Disclaimers: I don’t own the characters of “Popular” and frankly I haven’t a clue as to who does. Neither do I own Narnia, the concept, the names or the characters. They are all copyrighted to C. S. Lewis, except for a few created by me. No infringement was intended.
Feedback: Yes please. Feed the bard cuz’ she doesn’t like starving.
Author’s Notes: Another one of my random ideas. I got this one off of a poster I bought yesterday. I was just looking at it, and then suddenly it hit me. Why not try a Narnia/Popular crossover? Sure to be an interesting ride, don’t you think? ;)
What Lies Behind Closed Doors
Samantha McPherson stomped into her room, still seething with rage after yet another heated argument with her blonde housemate, Brooke McQueen. So what if Brooke thought that she had been a tad bit too rough on the cheerleading squad in her latest exposé? The angry would be-reporter had tried to tell the story from her own point of view, but the equally ill-tempered blonde would hear nothing of it. In the end, the argument had ended in a full-blown verbal sparring match, each of the contestants hurling one vicious barb after the other at her opponent.
The brunette closed her eyes and took first one deep breath, then another in order to calm herself. She could never understand why, or better yet how the tall blonde managed to push all of her buttons. Sighing heavily, Sam decided to leave that thought for one of her more broody moods and found one of her favorite books. She settled with her back against the headboard of her bed and promptly lost herself in the wonderful world of imaginative literature.
The blonde huffed indignantly as she let herself flop onto the living room couch. Her gaze wandered aimlessly across the ceiling tiles while one hand tugged absently at a loose thread in the carpeting. Why did she always fight with Sam? Truth be told, she actually liked the girl, more so now after Mac’s birth than ever before. Since their baby sister had made her somewhat untimely arrival, Brooke had gotten to see a new side of the brunette, a side she was pretty sure no one had ever seen before. Yes, she, Brooke McQueen, had actually seen Samantha McPherson’s maternal side.
Despite her current state of mind, Brooke couldn’t help but smile as the image of Sam playing with Mackenzie entered her thoughts. The two brunettes had been slightly wary of each other at first, but bit-by-bit they had overcome their fears. Sam had realized that Mac was not made of porcelain, and Mac had apparently accepted the fact that the brunette was not going to leave anytime soon, so she might as well get used to her. Things had been that way for less than two weeks before Mac and Sam were playing several times a day.
Brooke sighed and rolled onto her side. Now facing the back of the couch, she let her hand glide across the smooth fabric. Would the two of them ever stop fighting? She smirked at the thought. Probably not, that would just be unnatural. Than again, the blonde mused, maybe all she and Sam needed was some other way of venting.
With a gentle sigh Sam closed the book in her lap after having read another five chapters. She looked at the cover picture; it never seized to amaze her how the covers of this particular series could intrigue her as much as they did.
C. S. Lewis. The brunette smiled as she read the name in silver printing at the bottom of the cover. One could only dream of writing as well as he did. Sam was fascinated with how he managed to capture emotions so well, and yet in words so simple that even young children understood him.
The brunette raised her head and turned her face towards the door. Half expecting to see her mother standing there, the teenager's brow furrowed in confusion when she realized that she was still alone in the room. With a smirk and a light shake of her head, Sam once again returned her attention to the book. Hearing things much, McPherson?
This time she was sure she had heard it, a deep alto voice calling her name. The voice had been strong, comforting, but also gentle and demanding at the same time. It seemed to the brunette as if the voice was coming from outside the house.
Sam picked up her ears, straining to hear the voice if it called again. She wasn’t disappointed.
“Come, Samantha. It is time.”
Piqued with curiosity, Sam rose from her bed and quickly, albeit hesitantly made her way down the steps.
Brooke was still lying on the couch. Almost asleep, the blonde felt a warm, sweet scented breath caress the side of her face. She quickly opened her eyes and saw… Nothing. Everything looked perfectly normal. No one was sitting beside her on the floor. No windows were open to let in the warm spring breeze.
“Must’ve been a dream.” She mumbled as her eyelids fell once more.
“Come, child. You must go now.”
Brooke immediately jerked into a sitting position. Ok, now this was getting just a wee bit freaky. First she was being breathed on by some invisible persona, and now she was apparently being spoken to as well? This just didn’t make any sense. Brooke shook her head in disbelief, trying to shake the clutters of sleep from her mind.
Brooke turned her face towards the front door of the Palace. There was no doubt in the blonde’s mind that who ever that voice belonged to, he was right on the other side of that door. Slowly, the girl rose from the couch and walked the short distance.
Just as Brooke reached to open the door, Sam walked up and stood beside her. The blonde was about to retract her hand in embarrassment when she noticed that Sam and herself both had the same look in their eyes. Curiosity, slight trepidation and the glazed over look one would usually see on a daydreamer. Only this was not a dream.
Sam looked into the hazel pools of her housemate as she too noted the familiar expression on the blonde’s face. As they stood like that, gazes locked for what seemed like a lifetime, they both knew that the other was thinking the same thing. To open or not to open? Brooke answered that question for the both of them when she reached a trembling hand forward and pulled the door open.
A strong white light engulfed both girls, making them shield their eyes while trying to see anything through the startling brightness. The was a tiny hole at the center of the light, and it appeared to both girls that they could see a small, golden figure standing in the middle of the hole.
“Come, children.” The deep voice demanded gently. “It is your time.”
Insecure brown met confused hazel as the two girls silently debated whether to go or not. Both were understandably intrigued by the recent line of events, but also a little timid. What would happen if they did take that step, and would they really want to miss it?
As if acting on instinct, the two of them took hold of each other’s hands and stepped forward.
The two teenagers blinked as the white light disappeared just as abruptly as it had arrived. Looking around, they saw that they were standing at the edge of a meadow, just a few feet away from a cliff. Looking over the edge, the girls noted that it was a very long way down indeed, and cautiously took a few steps back.
Brooke took a deep breath and smiled at the variety of sweet, flowery scents lingering in the early evening air. Meanwhile, Sam looked at the position of the sun and realized that dark would be upon them very shortly. They needed to find shelter for the night.
“Welcome.” The alto voice sounded in both their ears. Turning their heads, the two of them saw a mighty lion walk calmly towards them. Brooke gave a small yelp in fear and hid quickly behind Sam. The brunette merely stood frozen in place, mouth agape and eyes bulging.
“A…Aslan?” Sam asked in disbelief, her voice barely above a whisper.
“Yes, Samantha.” The lion replied. “I am real, and yes, you are in Narnia.” The golden eyes rested warmly upon the young brunette, as she stood there stupefied. “Come now.” He continued. “We need to reach our destination before dark falls.”
“I… You… We…” Sam stuttered. “Destination?” She managed, heaving a heavy sigh and rubbing her temples. This was almost too much.
“Correct.” Aslan said. “We are going to Cair Paravel.”
That was more than the brunette could take at one time, and Sam fainted.
(Ok, when was my room re-designed? And when did it become `most likely to have a dungeon'?) Sam wondered as she opened her eyes once more. A thoughtful frown pulled her eyebrows together as she looked at the high ceiling made up by huge stones, and wooden joists darkened with age. (Nope, this is definitely not my room as I remember it.)
Sitting up straight, the brunette's eyes widened as she took in the bed she was currently occupying. Easily king-sized, the large piece of furniture held plenty of space for its only occupant. The mahogany wood was polished to a beautiful shine, and richly decorated with hundreds of ivory carvings on the headboard, footboard and each of the four posts. The over-sized comforter was covered in linen of smooth, white silk, and soft pillows in all shapes, colors and sizes surrounded the young brunette. (Now, where am I again? The White House? Nah, looks a bit too medieval here. Come on McPherson, think! Ok, a voice, the front door, blinding white light, Aslan…Oh yeah, Narnia. Huh, you'd think I'd be a bit more astounded by this, wouldn't you?)
Having brought itself somewhat up to date on the latest events, Sam's mind took on another direction. (I'm here... As far as I can tell anyway. But where's... Oh, there she is.)
The blonde was standing in front of a mirror, admiring the way she looked in her new clothes. Sam, although she would never admit it to anyone, was also appreciating the way the full-length, ocean-blue dress hugged the cheerleader's upper body while hanging loosely around her legs.
"What's with the new style?" The brunette mumbled groggily, stretching her arms over her head as far as they would go.
"Not sure." The blonde responded, turning around to face Sam. "I found them lying at the foot of my bed after I had taken a bath this morning."
"Morning?" Sam frowned in confusion. "Brooke, how long was I out for?"
"Around 15 hours." Brooke sat down on the far side of Sam's bed, making sure not to invade her housemate's personal space. "Why DID you faint, Sam? I mean, it's understandable with the talking lion and all, but that didn't seem to be what surprised you. How did you know his name?"
Sam, who had been propped up on her elbow for the longer part of this conversation, now flopped back onto her pillows with a heavy sigh. "I've read the books." She responded, pinching the bridge of her nose. "It's as simple, and as complicated, as that."
"Books?" Brooke asked.
"Yeah, the Narnia series by C. S. Lewis. Never thought this place actually existed though."
"You mean..." The blonde paused as she tried to gather her thoughts. "You mean that we somehow entered some sort of imaginary world?"
"Looks like it." Sam sighed. "And please don't ask me how that happened, I haven't a clue."
"Well, how did people get here before? In the books I mean."
The brunette's brow furrowed in thought as she replied. "Well, in the first book, they came here through a closet, but some other kids got here through a painting. Others again used some sort of magical ring."
"Did they hear Aslan's voice?" Brooke asked.
"I don't think so." Sam said. "They just found their way here on their own. Out of curiosity I guess. I don't think Aslan usually summons people unless something really bad is about to happen."
Brooke's face paled slightly. "You mean that..."
"I mean that Aslan must have called us here for a reason. I think Narnia's in trouble, Brooke. And Aslan apparently believes that we are the only ones who can help."
"But how?" The blonde exclaimed. "We have no fighting skills, no experiences, nothing! How can he expect us to do anything?"
"I don't know." Sam admitted. "But he's never made a wrong choice in any of the books. We'll just have to trust him and see where we're heading on this one. Who knows?" The brunette smirked. "Maybe we have unknown qualities just waiting to come out."
"And I suppose they're going to come running out of that thing too?" Brooke snorted, gesturing to a large closet standing by the far wall.
Sam quirked an eyebrow at the blonde. Brooke realized the double entendre of her words a little too late, and blushed several lovely shades of scarlet while Sam doubled over with laughter.
Hissing softly, Sam lowered herself into the warm water in the large, marble bathtub. As the water flowed over her body, the brunette's eyes drifted shut, and she relaxed in to the comfort of the tempered liquid.
(Why would Aslan want Brooke and me to come here? The reporter wondered. It's not like either one of us is Tonya Harding. Now SHE could probably do some serious damage.) Sam reached for the loafer and ran it lazily across her abdomen. (Damn, Brooke sure looked nice in that dress. Hugged her in all the right places. Chest, hips, ass… Hold on now, what was that?)
In order to subdue her avidly wandering mind for the time being, Sam began taking in her surroundings a little more closely. The bathroom was done all in snowy white marble. The tiles were decorated with gold prints, picturing events that had taken place some time in the history of Narnia. It soon became apparent to the young brunette that not everything was told in the books, as she could only recognize a few out of the hundreds of prints placed on the wall-, ceiling-, and floor-tiles. There was a print of when Aslan was killed on the Stone Table, one of Reepicheep, the brave mouse, sailing towards the land beyond the Eastern Sea, and even one picturing the second Kings and Queens of Narnia. King Peter, Queen Lucy, King Edmund and Queen Susan all sat on their thrones at Cair Paravel, looking noble, sophisticated, serious and playful at the same time. The first rulers had been, according to Sam's memory, King Frank, a London cab driver, and Queen Nell, who was Frank's wife, Helen. After a little more searching, Sam also saw a print of the young Prince Rilian sitting on that cursed Silver Chair in the underground planes, known as the Shallow Lands.
As the brunette continued to study the various prints, she couldn't help but wonder if the adventurer she and Brooke were about to undertake would be as exiting and as dangerous as the ones she remembered from the books. And if it were, would the two of them succeed?
"You know what really puzzles me?" Sam asked as she re-entered the bedroom, wrapped in a large, white towel she had found lying by the bathtub.
"The fact that this place has lasted for as long as it has without, electricity, computers or cars?" Brooke replied without looking at the brunette. She was standing in front of one of the large windows, her brows furrowed in thought as she gazed at the rippling waters of the Eastern Sea.
"No." Sam sighed, surveying her bad before making it and putting the pillows in what looked to her as their rightful places. "What puzzles me," She said, walking over and stopping next to Brooke," is the fact that we're both 17 years old." She crossed her arms over her chest and chewed one her bottom lips slightly.
"Huh?" Brooke looked at her housemate with round eyes. "Wha…Sam, why does that surprise you? We were born 17 years ago."
"I know that." Sam smirked. "That's not what I meant." The brunette turned her back on the window and leaned against the stone wall next to it as she regarded her companion seriously. "What I meant was that as far as I can gather from the books, the previous humans here, except for the fist King and Queen of Narnia, were children. They couldn't have been older than 14 or 15 when they left here for the last time, never to return." She stuck her tongue into her cheek, chewing on it pensively. "Why bring the two of us there? We're obviously over the usual age limit."
"Well." Brooke turned her back on the windowsill and placed her hands on it, pushing herself up so that she could sit there. "Maybe Aslan wanted someone more mature than they were." She offered.
"Maybe." Sam agreed. "But I think the whole point of bringing children here is that they ARE children." The brunette frowned. "They still have the unlimited imaginations and the pure hearts. You tend to lose some of that when you grow up."
"Mm." Brooke nodded and fingered the soft fabric of her gown. "Perhaps our inner children are more intact then." She said. "Or," Brooke looked at Sam, a grin slowly spreading on her face, "maybe our parents forgot to tell us something and we're really 12 year old geniuses trapped in High School for another year."
Sam leaned her head back against the wall and chuckled. "Yeah, and maybe pigs will grow hands and learn how to use a laptop." She added wryly.
"That could happen." Brooke shrugged. "Remember where we are."
"Mm." Sam nodded and closed her eyes, letting her body relax against the solid stone behind her. "Aren't stone walls usually kinda cold?" She asked without opening her eyes.
"Well, yes. Icy as far as I know." Brooke replied. "Why do you ask?"
"Just making sure I've got my facts straight." Sam said, taking a deep breath. "Just too bad I didn't remember it until now. YEOW!" The brunette practically shot away from the wall, barely managing to keep her towel in place as she scurried across the room to her bed.
Brooke looked at the panicked brunette for a long moment before shaking her head and giggling. "Just goes to show ya," she told the other girl, " no serious thinking when leaning against cold surfaces."
"It's not funny!" Sam grumbled when she saw the blonde's shoulders shake with laughter. "That was really cold."
"Well, duh." Brooke grinned. "It's ancient stone, you doof. They don't have surface heating in this place, y'know."
"Oo, aren't you funny." Sam stuck out her tongue at the blonde and turned to the bed. Her eyebrows almost lifted clean off of her forehead as she looked at the white covers and found one single distortion.
"How'd that get there?" Brooke's voice came beside Sam's ear, making the brunette jump in surprise.
"Sweet mother of Mary, Jesus and Joseph!" Sam yelped. "Don't sneak up on people like that!"
"Sorry." Brooke said, continuing to peek over Sam's shoulder as the nicely folded bundle of green cloth lying on the bed. "Pick it up." She coaxed. "Let's see what it is."
Sam lifted the cloth with both hands, her eyes widening slightly as the fist piece of fabric unfolded and turned out to be a beautiful green shirt with silver linings around the neck and cuffs. Aslan's coat of arms, a gold shield with a red lion, was embroided in silk threads on the chest.
"Nice." Brooke commented.
The next piece of fabric was a pair of pants in the same green cloth as the shirt. They were obviously made by skilled hands, Sam decided; you could hardly see the hems. The girls also found a long, brown cape and a pair of brown leather boots to go with the outfit.
"Cool getup." Brooke grinned. "Add a green hat with a red feather in it and you can be Robin Hood."
"Who are you then?" Sam asked wryly. "Maid Marian?"
"Nah." Brooke shook her head, dismissing the idea. "She was a redhead, and I doubt I can find any Henna or Clairol around here."
"Funny." Sam remarked. "Well, Aslan seems to have done his homework. At least they know that I don't like wearing dresses."
"That's an understatement." Brooke snorted. "Sam, you outright HATE wearing dresses."
"Yeah yeah, I know." Sam replied. "Um, could you turn around for a minute?"
"Why?" Brooke smirked and cocked her head to one side.
"Because I'd like to get dressed?" Sam said, mirroring the blonde's moves.
"We're both girls." Brooke grinned. "You've got nothing I haven't seen before, Sam."
"Brooke." Sam's voice deepened an octave, taking on a warning tone. "Turn. Around."
"You're no fun." Brooke pouted. "Fine, I'll go over to the window and look at the ocean some more, happy?"
"Ecstatic." Sam drawled
Sam looked at her reflection; satisfied with the way her new clothes fit her. They were comfortable, she decided. The shirt, pants and boots fit her perfectly, clinging to her body tightly enough so that she wouldn't get tangled in anything. The cape still lay on the bed, not necessary inside the sheltered halls of Cair Paravel.
Sam turned around, her eyes resting on the blonde standing by the window. The brunette took her time in admiring the shiny blue cloth that made up most of Brooke's dress, along with the carefully embroided threads of red, green and gold that made out dozens of tiny roses and gold bands all over the skirt. Brooke outfit was obviously more decorated than Sam's own, but it suited the cheerleader.
"You know," Sam said, placing her hands on her hips as she regarded the other girl's appearance, "I wouldn't be caught dead in one of those things, but on you it looks nice. Really nice." She nodded approvingly.
Brooke turned around to face her housemate, her cheeks turning a faint shade of pink at the compliment. "Thanks." She replied. "You look really good too."
"Thanks." Sam smiled. The girls held the eye contact for long moments, before Brooke cleared her throat and looked away.
"So." She said, clapping her hands together to hide the nervousness gnawing in the pit of her stomach. "What do we do now?"
"I don't know." Sam shrugged and flopped down on her bed, staring pensively at the stone ceiling. "I suppose we could go out and explore a little, maybe find some breakfast. What do you think?"
Brooke's stomach growled loudly at the suggestion. "Well," the blonde replied, grinning sheepishly, "since my body seems to like the idea, I guess we'd better go with it. You think we're allowed to leave the room?"
"I'm pretty sure of it, yeah." Sam nodded as she got to her feet once again. "Aslan brought us here, so my guess is that we can pretty much go where we please as long as we don't leave the grounds of the castle or start a war." She smiled wryly at the blonde and picked up her cape. "Better bring yours along too." She said, indicating the light-blue cloth lying on Brooke's bed. "Might come in handy if we go outside."
"Ok then." Brooke gestured to the door. "Lead the way, Lord Locksley."
Sam turned and squinted her eyes at the other girl. "I am NOT Robin Hood!"