Note: I was finally able to overcome my writers' block and come up with another story (albeit an incredibly weird, random one) and this is cause for celebration. Party party. Reviews are appreciated :)
There isn't a white light. There isn't anything.
It's not like he'd been expecting Heaven. He's not an idiot. But Hell had seemed to be a pretty likely possibility.
But Cassidy doesn't go anywhere. No, he gets to hang around Neptune and watch the people he left behind fall apart. On second thought, this is hell.
At least he isn't alone. Neptune has never exactly been a stranger to death. Everywhere he goes, he sees souls, some familiar, some not—young and old, black and white, the only qualities they share a faintly glowing aura and a look of desperate longing as they watch their loved ones.
One day Cassidy catches a glimpse of Meg Manning, listlessly meandering through the streets, and he feels a twinge of guilt. He hadn't known she was pregnant when he blew up that bus. He has left a child without a mother, and he knows all too well what it's like to be without family. Part of him wants to go and talk to Meg, but he's more cowardly side prevails; he manages to talk himself out of it. One of the downsides of being dead is you don't get to grow up. He fears he's doomed to forever exist as a scared little boy. So he avoids her, as well as everyone else who was on the bus.
Cassidy first meets the notorious Lilly Kane in Logan's room at the Neptune Grand. He, of course, is watching over Dick—his drinking has gotten heavier, and Cassidy's brotherly impulses keep him coming back to keep an eye on Dick. The elder Casablancas is on his fourth beer when he sees her float in quietly through the walls.
She doesn't notice him until he speaks. "Logan's not here. He left about an hour ago," he tells her.
"Oh. Cassidy. I was wondering if I would run into you," Lilly says coolly, her eyes narrowing slightly.
"You know my name?" he asks, surprised. He might has well have been invisible when he was alive.
She flips her hair. "Duh. You're famous around here." He's not sure how he feels about that. "I know what you did to my best friend, you little asshole."
Cassidy is more than a little taken aback. He wonders whether she's referring to what happened at Shelley Pomroy's party, or the Neptune Grand incident. Probably both. He decides it's better not to ask.
They both sit quietly for a while, watching Dick watch television and get wasted. Cassidy is about to leave when he hears the door open, as Logan enters. Lily stares at him intently as he sits down next to Dick on the couch.
"I feel guilty for missing him," she declares abruptly, half to herself.
"I treated him like shit. I cheated on him with his dad and now I'm dead because of it. Serves me right, huh?" She punctuates her last statement with a bitter laugh. "I don't deserve to miss him. He's better off without me."
"You aren't how I would've expected. You're a lot less…sparkly."
"Yeah, death can do that to people."
Cassidy and Lilly start to hang out. Their only common ground is the soap opera-esque tragedy that surrounds them, but that's just enough to bring them together. She's gives up her original coldness pretty quickly; she claims she doesn't have the energy to hold a grudge. They still bicker often, but he supposes it's better than being alone.
He keeps her company when she spies on her family, and she comes along when he lurks around Hearst. It's a good system. He doesn't think he could have handled seeing his Mac kiss another guy without Lilly's hand gripped tight around his. When she passes by Aaron Echolls for the first time since his death, even as she sticks up her middle finger Cassidy can see fear mixed with the anger in her eyes. When Cassidy jumped off that roof, he had thought it would make the pain stop. He is now discovering just how wrong he had been.
"So, it was Aaron? That, you know, killed you?" he asks her later that day, while they lie on the beach, lazily watching the surfers wipe out.
"I can't really pass judgment on him though. I did a lot worse than he did."
"That's different. You were—are—a kid."
"That doesn't justify it."
"God," Lilly scoffs. "You weren't this remorseful up there." She gestures up towards the Neptune Grand.
"So you were there?"
"Yep. I must say, you really have the creepy villain thing down. Christ, that fall must have been a bitch."
"It was actually kind of anticlimactic to tell you the truth. It went by pretty quickly after I jumped."
"A pretty dramatic way to go out, huh? You sure know how to make an exit."
Sheriff Lamb does a triple-take when he sees them.
"Oh, now that is just fucked up."
"You'll get used to it," Lilly promises, giving him a pseudo-sympathetic pat on the shoulder. "Nice job on my investigation, by the way."
"So is this Hell or something?" Lamb asks.
"In a way. Just with less flames," she explains.
"Fewer," Cassidy corrects her. "There are fewer flames."
"Shut up," Lily replies, rolling her eyes.
Half out of curiosity and half out of pure boredom, they decide to follow Lamb. He leads them to Mars Investigations, where Veronica sits behind a desk, studying a file.
Lamb stops and watches her.
He looks over at Lilly and Cassidy, confusion evident on both their faces.
"She's a pain in the ass, but I still feel like I'm supposed to look after her."
Later that night, Cassidy and Lilly find themselves back in the hotel, in Logan's living room. Dick and Logan are both on the sofa, watching a movie and eating Doritos.
"Are we going to spend the rest of forever like this?" Cassidy wonders aloud.
He sighs. It's going to be a long eternity.
Our hell is the good life.