Disclaimer: Tim Burton owns Betelgeuse and Lydia. That lucky bastard.
Their Time Comes
If she could see him right now, Betelgeuse bet Lydia Deetz would throw every curse she knew at him. He was watching her from the corner of her bedroom with a grin on his face, a grin that she would have gladly slapped off – if she could see him.
The thing with kids these days was they grew up too damn fast and lost track of what they believed in too easily. Lydia turned out to be no different. As she grew older, she paid less and less attention to the specters around her and focused more and more on her schooling, her job, her life. It was when her life became more important than death that Betelgeuse knew he'd lost his second chance with her, for the time.
That was the thing about life that no one seemed to realize anymore. It was short, horribly so. And now Lydia Deetz's short time of eighty-three years was coming to an end. Her black hair was snow white now, thinned and held messily together in a loose bun. Her dark brown eyes had lost their color and their intensity, they were nothing more than dull amber now. Her smooth skin was wrinkled and ruined beyond mortal repair. And he was grinning like a fool at her because he had given her the chance to die and leave a young and beautiful body behind, and she threw it away out of fear.
"Stupid girl," he chuckled as he walked over to her bedside slowly, arms crossed over his chest as he stared down at her with a that smug grin on his lips. "Now you're gonna go out an old wrinkled bitty, ya know that, right?" He reached out and brushed a stray lock of her wiry hair out of her face. She shuddered under his touch, which caused him to snicker.
He would have liked to imagine she shuddered because she was repulsed by his touch, but he knew it was the drop in temperature that made her insides tremble so violently. Seventy years ago, he would have gladly touched her in other ways to make her quake – but that was then and this was now.
And now, he had something to take care of.
He reached out and idly fingered the ring she wore on a chain around her neck. He supposed the ring must have been knocked out of his hand before the Sandworm swallowed him. For whatever reason, she had kept his ring and he knew she had never taken it off since she closed the clasp of the chain. He had been watching her all these years, after all.
She shuddered again, gasping a little this time as his ragged nail was dragged across her flesh. "How's that old sayin' go, babes?" He asked as he drew his hand back, standing slowly. Betelgeuse reached down and placed a hand on hers. "For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health," he murmured and gave her hand a tiny squeeze. She began to shiver and her eyes started to close for the last time.
"...until death do we part."
And the temperature in the room became frigid as the life was taken from the room.
Betelgeuse stepped back and pulled Lydia with him, but not the old and withered woman laying between black satin sheets. No, this was his Lydia. His forever, this time.
"You," she whispered and pulled her hand away from his only to place it to her head. "I know you," she mumbled, staring at him with those beautiful dark eyes, and he could see her memories slowly coming back. Remembering what happened before your death was always a pain, but the horrified look it left on her face once it all settled in was priceless.
"You!" She gasped as she took a step back.
"In the ectoplasm, babe," Betelgeuse said and spread his arms gloriously.
"What – " Lydia looked around the room, then fell silent as her eyes locked onto her body. She put a hand to the base of her neck in that old fashioned way, glancing at him once from the corner of her eye. "Is that...? Am I really...?"
"Yup. That's you and you're dead. It's a shame you left such a hideous corpse behind, though."
And his cheek stung, chalk white skin flushing under the layers of dust that accumulated over the centuries just a little after she pulled her hand back, glowering at him. Grinning at her, he licked his lips. Oh yes, he loved that feisty spirit of hers.
"Just because I'm dead doesn't mean I suddenly don't hate you," she said in a haughty tone, crossing her arms over her chest. She cocked an eyebrow, for the first time noticing her attire; a long black dress with a crimson shawl thrown over her shoulders.
He slung an arm around her while she was distracted with her clothes. "And now I got forever to change your mind, Lydia," he said with a wink. "Like the dress, by the way?"
She choked on her words, unable to form a coherent thought at the moment. In the last ten minutes, she had died and now a ghost that was more than likely insane was trying to court her – again.
And something about all of it just didn't add up.
"Why are you doing this?" She asked, ignoring his question.
"Doin' what?" He asked, waving his hand and opening a small portal that led to the afterlife.
"This. I could have found my own way, without a fancy dress, without you." She stopped walking and put a hand to his chest to still him. "I'm dead now, Betel–"
He put a hand to her mouth. "Don't say the B-word, babe."
Lydia slapped his hand away and wiped at her mouth. She continued, "I'm of no use to you anymore."
"I know," he grinned and side-stepped her, inching his way to the gateway.
"There's no way you're doing this just to be nice. Redemption isn't your style."
The grin became wider. "After waitin' around for you for seventy years, I think you owe me."
She would have snapped at him had he not said he had been waiting for her for seventy years.
"You waited that long for me?"
"Why?" She was fearing his answer.
"Because you were waiting for me, too," he said flippantly and eyed the ring on the chain around her neck.
Suddenly, Lydia felt this time things were different. Very different.
He canted his head to the side and held out his arm to her. "Shall we?"
This time, the gesture didn't seem so threatening, especially since she could move on her own accord.
Lydia stepped forward and wrapped her arm around his with little to no hesitation.