A/N: I don't know where this came from... well, I do, but that's beside the point. It's NaNo (nanowrimo dot org), so of course I've suddenly been struck with inspiration for other things. As a matter of fact, besides this drivel (which I have christened Anti!Fluff), I have the plans for a rather large DP story in the works. The first chapter is written, but I have to think some things through before I really get started writing. I'm far too busy right now, anyways.
Consider this a little "Hey, yeah! I'm alive!" update, and I apologize that it's a little trite and has been done before. Better days are soon to come.
Dani hung in the air outside of a familiar window, seemingly held aloft by the scruff of her neck. Her head was hung against the rain and against the weight of the Ghost Zone on her shoulders. Water battered her and flowed down her in rivers, dripping uncomfortably off of her, but she couldn't bring herself to care. She was far too focused on her feet.
Both of her shoes had been lost ages ago, and the bare feet underneath were covered in a week's worth of dirt and grunge and cuts that the rain simply couldn't wash off. There was even a rather offensive burn marring her left ankle down to her heel. Ectoplasm burns stung the worst, and this one was still fresh.
For some reason, her feet captured her attention, some combination of avoidance of the real issues and a disbelief at the shape they were in. It was almost fitting, she thought. After all, beautiful are the feet of those that bring good news.
Finally, she phased through the window with a heavy sigh. Decorum might have dictated that she use the door, and it probably would have bought her more stalling time to not have to choose her words yet, but she had never been much for decorum. She didn't think she could face the big oak door, anyways, big and formal and judgmental. Moreover, the words weren't going to come to her any more easily no matter how long she stalled.
Some of the water and all of the dirt followed her inside, even though she easily could have left it outside. Maybe she was a bit over-dramatic, but she felt that she should be heralded by nothing less than a loud, muffling squelch on the freshly wet carpet as she simply gave up on floating. Her watery, filthy footsteps made their way to the hallway and then down to the living room where Sam was inevitably waiting in the old rocker, a book on her lap that her eyes had thumbed through enough to know it by heart were the rest of her paying it any mind at all.
She looked up, and their eyes met. "Dani! You're okay!"
Her voice was relieved, but her eyes held nothing but a question. The all-important question. The only one that mattered. The one that Dani desperately wanted to escape. Unable to erase her burden, she merely unloaded part of it off on Sam, answering the poor girl's question.
"He didn't make it."
There was silence, like the moment where even thought disappears immediately after the story leaves off, and then Sam slowly stood up. Her feet crossed the room to where Dani stood, soaking, filthy, exhausted in every possible way, covered in battle scars, and with a trail of swamp behind her through the nice, clean house. Seamlessly, she collapsed on top of the younger woman, finding a pair of strong, almost-familiar arms hugging her tightly back. It was Sam's turn to cry, as Dani had already cried herself out of good, clean tears, but as reality sunk closer and closer to her bones, just starting to niggle at the edges of parts of her brain that couldn't feel foggy and dreamlike about it all, the dirty ones found a way out.
"I loved him," Sam said at last, crouched in the doorway with her weight still supported by Dani's tiny, folded form. They were no longer sobbing hysterically, but Sam's voice was rife with all of the emotion that should have been spread out over the rest of her life with her fiance, conflicting passions falling all over each other and generally making her voice a cracked mess.
Dani's own tears had become silent and strong, retreating into herself as much as she could while still comforting her sister-in-law-in-spirit. "There was a lot to love."
"What do we do now?" Her soul seemed to be trying to tug itself out through her eyes, racking her body in a convulsion something like a sob.
"I don't know, Sam," Dani replied gravely, giving the hysterical girl a squeeze. "It looks like it's mostly you and me left. Other than that, I really don't know."