Summary: In which two souls collide. Karen x Skye. TVS: Ghosts.
Title courtesy of Paramore.
Skye had always been invincible. Until he wasn't. He dies shortly before proposing to Claire on a starless night and he knows somehow it was a sign.
He opens his eyes to hair spun in gold and emerald eyes that don't fit quite as nicely with his as sapphire ones. The girl tosses him a lazy smile and answers the question bubbling on his lips.
"It was a wild dog, it savaged you." Her voice ricochets around the eternity of white surrounding them.
"I must be in heaven then, seeing as I don't think hell would let someone as gorgeous as you through their gates."
By some trick of the lighting he assumes, she shimmers away into the canvas of ivory or whatever the hell this is. He lets himself be petty for a moment as it strikes him that he always looked better in black.
When he sees her next, his face contorts into a mish-mash of confused and where the hell am I's that he knows only she can answer.
"We're in some sort of purgatory, I think. From what I've seen Phantom Thief, I don't think either of us are worthy of heaven."
"And here I was thinking you were an angel. How'd you end up here then?" He asks all velvet and charm because some things stay the same whether dead or alive.
"Drank to much, partied to hard and karma decided to bite my ass off." With tears clinging to her eye lashes and a shaky laugh she disappears off the edge of the whiteness and into some sort of secret.
The secret being Mineral Town and he learns how to visit Earth just by watching her and soon enough they're entering worlds that aren't really theirs and living in borrowed realities that some days, minutes, moments is enough.
"What's the worst part?" They're splayed on the sand of the Valleys beach yet there's no sea salt scented air for their lungs and the sunlight is just so empty and ohmy Skye can't help but marvel at how not-belonging they are.
He answers Karen's question easily, "Being here but not being here at all."
He learns things about the honey haired fire cracker because, well, what else is there to do in eternity? She watches out of date nineties movies and quotes Clueless like the bible and has a tattoo of a butterfly on her inner thigh that's kinda, sorta, very sexy.
He also realizes she's spun in a thousand different layers of complicated and it could take him an eternity just to understand how she can be such a flawless clash of every contradiction known to man.
They're sitting on the edge of the pier, all endless legs and never ending horizons.
It's raining yet they can't feel it (surprise, surprise) and Skye thinks it's semi-okay because he's always hated on every shade of rain and that's when he knows he's making progress.
"I always wished I'd be kissed in the rain, like in The Notebook. Have you seen it?" She chimes with a sigh and a longing lilt.
"No, but you're welcome to show me how the scene goes if it'd make you feel better." They've slotted into this rhythm of leg swinging that's in time with the waves and it strikes Karen how far they've come despite masquerading in a world of pretending.
"Your lack of movie knowledge never fails to disappoint me. One of these days we should just find a cinema and I can introduce you to the amazing world of films."
"Oh my, are you asking me out on a date and to the movies no less? I'll call the 2000's and let them know they left someone behind."
"It's not that old fashioned Skye and besides, what else is there to do here?" She juts her lip out all pouty and fake annoyed and Skye just cocks an eyebrow in amusement.
"Each other, why should we let such beauty go to waste?" His voice graces her ear like silk.
"Tempting but is that even possible?"
"Lets find out."
She giggles softly and it's the kind of wind chime laugh lyricists write ballads about.
Yet, Skye still goes off to watch Claire every night through a lens of regret and Karen never fails to stand with Rick outside the Supermarket even if he can't see her because some habits die hard (she almost smiles at the irony) and deep down they both know they're delusional to think that they're going anywhere fast.
They notice the small things. Like how Claire no longer stays up until midnight with red tainted eyes and how Rick can drink wine without being reminded of everything it made him lose, and because they're both just a little cowardly they stop visiting as much because no ones wants to be reminded that the Earth keeps spinning even if you're not there.
"Why us?" Karen muses as they watch the sun paint the sky orange. "I mean, why is it just you and me? There must be a thousand lost souls like us." Her pink stained lips quirk up in a smile before continuing, "Misguided ghosts. We think that by skimming on the edges of Earth we're human. We'd rather pretend. Don't you think that's a little sad, Skye?"
"Maybe destiny has more in store for us than we originally planned." He laments, trying to trust the one thing that let him down the most.
And then there's the big things. Rick moves away from Mineral Town to find his father and there's those tell tale lines cropping up on his face and Karen decides not to follow him. Claire gets engaged to Kai because he's sunlight and warmth and happiness and everything she needs.
Skye sits in the back pew of their wedding and his throat closes up and his eyes burn with something that may or may not be tears.
And then Claire says I do and he has the meltdown that's been bubbling for god knows how long, "God damn it Claire, I'm here." He shouts, shouts, shouts and it echoes, echoes, echoes. "I'm right here, open your eyes."
He sweeps through the church like a tornado and wonders why the hell Claire's all red cheeks and pearly smiles and eyes like fairy lights when last time he checked it should be him, not Kai, being joined in holy matrimony.
At the reception Claire glides over to the microphone box and flashes a cherry glossed smile to the town, "I'd like to thank you all for coming today." Her voice trembles a little and she swallows before continuing, "A few years ago a man named Skye died. I loved Skye and I know he loved me too. In his pocket, I found a blue feather." Another deep breath and a gulp later, "I know he was going to propose to me the night he died and I thought for a long time I would be standing here marrying him. Today, I want to honor his memory before starting a new chapter of my life."
He leaves because it's perfect and encompasses all the wonderful that is Claire and he can't stand to watch Kai steal his happily ever after anymore.
Karen finds him and he doesn't question how.
"That should be me on that altar. You asked me before if this was my forever and well it's not, she is." He yells and his voice strikes the silence like a whip.
"Open your eyes Skye! You're dead. Dead and for gods sake you're not ever going to be alive again." After the verbal slap in the face came the actual slap in the face. It stains his cheek purple and it's a neon light that bellows wake the hell up and somehow, with reasons Skye cannot fathom, it does.
They watch the seasons meld it into one another and soon it's just this blur of never ending yet somehow this doesn't bother Skye as much as it once would.
He lets his mind toy with the idea of Karen and how she walks like sunshine and he realizes that emerald eyes fit just as nicely with his as sapphires.
It's spring, and they're meandering through the flowery crevices of the Valley and watching the leaves play ballerina on the trees.
"I suppose I owe the Harvest Goddess an apology." Skye comments, his mouth curving upwards in his trademark half smirk, half grin.
"Oh and why's that?"
"Because I think I've damned her to hell about a million times when all she did was grant me my heaven."
And then Skye slams his lips onto hers and threads his fingers through her glimmer laced tresses and they both feel this electricity and he hopes like hell that this is what forever feels like.