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The Tangled-Inspired one-shot I mentioned yesterday.
It seems that writing angst after the last chapter is required.
From the moment Natsu touched down at the guild to the horror unfolding in front of her, Lucy had known something was wrong. He was too quiet, too distant.
And his eyes.
Oh, his eyes.
They were shattered things, and for once those wild flecks of color–mostly greens and golds–in his irises seemed to be broken glass instead of a beautiful mosaic. She wanted, desperately, to sit him down, patch his wounds and ask what was wrong. She had to know what had put that awful look in his eyes. What had made Happy a crying ball of fur, inconsolable by anyone. She wanted the world to go away, for Zeref’s army to simply fade so she could just have five uninterrupted minutes.
As it was, she didn’t get five seconds. With Wendy on her to support Lamia Scale and Mermaid Heel, Porlyusica took over healing duties. She shoved the remaining guild members aside, dumped Happy into Lucy’s arms and barked out orders to give the boy some space.
That didn’t stop anyone from peppering Natsu with questions, but nothing made Natsu even flinch. His eyes were fixed to the ground, and it was like he couldn’t hear anyone. THe questions slowly tapered off, until a thick, uncomfortable silence settled over them. Dread chilled bones, and fear caused limbs to shake and sweat to bead.
It Ain't the falling in love that will kill me (it's the sudden stop)
I know I’m supposed to be working on all those TVD drabbles for the upcoming weeks, but this wouldn’t leave me alone, so I wrote it. Title comes from Falling by the Eli Young Band (great song, great band).
The problem is that she kind of understands why he did it.
And she hates that she understands it. She doesn’t want to be that person, the one who can identify with the bad guy. He betrayed them, and there should be no but after that. He betrayed them, stop. It seems so easy for Simmons, sitting next to Fitz’s too pale form. Ward put him there. That means Ward is the bad guy.
But Skye has never been so black and white. She’s never been good at it, at compartmentalizing the world into good and bad, and Ward is the bad guy, but she can kind of understand why he did it.
He disgusts her so much she wants to vomit, but she knows what it’s like, to want a home so badly you’d do anything to get it.
She wonders, if it had been A.C. who was HYDRA, would she have been the same as Ward? Would she have been so desperate for the approval of the first person to show any sort of belief in her, that she would have betrayed everyone else in her name?
Yes. There is a part of her, the part that is brutally honest, no matter the scenario, which admits that she would have.
But Skye’s understanding doesn’t absolve Ward of his guilt, and it doesn’t stop her from being so damn mad at him. Mad, not because he betrayed the team (she would have too – she hates that she would have, but it’s true), but mad because he betrayed her. Because she had been close – so close – to taking that final step, to letting herself fall in love with him, and he had turned around and revealed that it had all been an act.
My feelings for you were real.
The words had been so earnest, and maybe they were even true, but so what if they were? It hadn’t been enough, not in the end. He had still stood loyally at Garrett’s side, he had still sent Fitz and Simmons into the ocean.
He had still broken Skye’s heart.
“How are you holding up?”
Coulson steps up next to her, watches Simmons as she holds Fitz’s hand and speaks to the unconscious engineer. She’s in her own world – a world that begins and ends with the man in the bed, and Skye knows better than to try and intrude. Instead she watches from outside the glass. Coulson lays a hand on her shoulder, and Skye almost shrugs it off. It’s not that she’s mad at him, or doesn’t want his comfort, but instead because her realizations about how far she would go for him are still too fresh.
He is her Garrett, and thank God Coulson isn’t HYDRA, would never be HYDRA… but it’s still there, and it still means she can identify so easily with the man who tore her heart to shreds. The man she’s still so damn mad at.
But it’s not fair to take that out on Coulson, so she lets him give her comfort with that hand on her shoulder and manages to muster a weak smile.
“Same as before, A.C. Stable, but still unconscious. They think he’ll come back, though. If he’ll be the same… we won’t know. Not until he wakes up.”
They stand in silence and watch the pair in the room, and though Skye understands Ward, she can muster up some anger at him, that he put them in that situation – Fitz in a bed, possibly to never be the same again, and Simmons at his side, holding his hand and hoping that he will come back to her.
That he will come back to her… Ward will never come back to Skye. It won’t be possible, because he made his choices and there’s no coming back from the path he took. The people he killed. Coulson is SHIELD now, and Coulson won’t trust Ward again. Not when he will never understand why Ward did it.
“He’ll pay for this,” Coulson says, as though he heard Skye’s thoughts and wants to back them up. “For betraying all of us.”
“He was trying to save the man he viewed as his family.” The words are out of Skye’s mouth before she can stop them, and she wishes she could reach out and grab them, take them back, because now Coulson is looking at her with shock and possibly a little disappointment.
“I know the two of you were… close,” Coulson says after a long pause, his words slow, carefully chosen. “But… I’m surprised you’d defend him. You were so angry before, when we got off the bus. What changed?”
“We won,” Skye replied simply, staring at her comrades and refusing to look at Coulson. “We won, and Garrett died, and now he has to figure out who he is without him, when all he has ever been is what Garrett made him. And I kind of understand that.”
“Who you are is who you made yourself, Sk-”
“Who I am is who I made myself because you gave me the chance, A.C.,” Skye replies, meeting his gaze for the first time since everything ended and they finally had the chance to breathe, and think, again. “And if it had been the other way around? If it had been you in Garrett’s shoes and me in Ward’s? I would have done it, in a heartbeat. After less than a year. How many years did Garrett have Ward?” she turned back to the window with an uneasy shrug that removed Coulson’s hand from her shoulder. “I’m not saying it’s right, or that he shouldn’t have to face the consequences… I’m just saying that I can’t hate him anymore. Not like I thought I could. Not for the reasons I thought I would.”
Coulson is silent at that, watching her with those solemn A.C. eyes, and neither of them say anything more. Skye has nothing else to say, and Coulson doesn’t know how to respond to her revelation, doesn’t know how to react to that level of loyalty – loyalty not to SHIELD, but to him. Finally, he just rests his hand on her shoulder again, long enough to give a brief squeeze, before he leaves once more, gone to wherever it is that he spends his days while trying to rebuild the agency he so loved. Alone again, Skye is left to watch Fitz and Simmons and think about Ward.
She rubs her hand over her heart, because she’d never understood the term broken hearted, not really. She thought she had, when she’d been shuffled from family to family in the system and longed for home. But now she knows the truth, that the term was coined because you truly do feel pain, as though your heart is actually shattered.
Ward did that to her, and that’s why she’s mad at him, but it’s still not why she can almost – almost – bring herself to hate him.
No, the reason she can do that is because despite his betrayal, despite her anger, despite everything… she is still standing on that edge, that edge that could send her falling so easily into love.