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you were icarus and she was the sun

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you swear you didn’t mean to. fall so hard, so fast, for this girl with a blinding smile and eyes that shone like the sun.

you swear, to her, that you didn’t mean to, but you know you’d do it again, a thousand times over, just to see her look at you and smile.

you love her; you know that, and you hope to heaven and hell that she knows it too, because you never told her what was threatening to burst out of your chest if you got caught in those eyes one more time.

you never wanted to have to say goodbye, either, but this was just the end of a long series of unexpected events, and although this is by far the one you’re least excited about, you’re glad the rest of it happened first.

she holds you, cradles your head in her arms as the world fades away to a dark black void, and you can see her, hear her, feel her, just barely, and she’s what you cling to as you’re falling asleep one last time.

 

you know how it started; everybody does, by now, although they didn’t see the quiet nights and soft smiles and the way she looked at you like you were the only person in the world that mattered.

you know that the world revolves around her, and you just happened to be lucky enough to fly past her orbit.

 

you’re fading, now, and you close your eyes tight and try to hold on, try to do as she begs you one last time.

she’s crying. you never wanted to be the reason for her tears. you want to reach up and hold her and promise it will be okay, but your arms won’t obey your commands, and it is all you can do to stay with her.

there are other voices, now, and you file them away just in case, so you’ll never forget what your new family sounds like, acts like, feels like.

she’s sobbing, pressing on the pain in your chest, and the others are rushing over while all they can do is watch.

you cling to memories as they surface, a rewinding of all the things you hold most dear.

 

her smile. always, her smile. you’ve clung to the memory of her smile before and you try again, scenes drifting by down a lazy river.

the first time you saw her – driving through the country with her windows down, hair blowing back into her face, and an expression of euphoria etched in your memory forever.

the first time you talked – a flustered grin, shy eyes, and the image of her clutching her wet shirt to her chest.

the first time you kissed – her pushing you down onto the couch, you scare her, the nervous little quirk of her mouth, and the feeling of warmth as you kiss her back for the first time.

the first time you went on a date – knowing glances, a sly smirk as she watched you blush all the way to the roots of your hair, and the fullness of your heart as she clutched your hand like it was a lifeline all the way back home.

the last time you went on a date – her laugh echoing through the channels of your mind, ice cream and the city and dancing in the rain, and the thought that you want to spend the rest of your life with her.

the last time you kissed – a quick peck to your cheek, a small reassuring grin, and a promise that you’d see each other again.

the last time you talked – a shout, her furrowed brow, a warning, and the feeling of something hurling you into the ground.

the last time you saw her – her hair framing her face as she kneels above you, wide eyes full of tears, and the knowledge that at least you got to spend the rest of your life with her.

 

you can feel her tears splashing down on your throat, her hands clutching your hair, your arms, your face, as others frantically try to slow the bleeding. anything to keep you with them. with her.

she always burnt brighter than the sun, even when she hid it behind clouds and boy-men and a small-town bartender job. you worry she’ll burn herself out, now, that she’ll blaze and blaze like the brightest star until she implodes under her own guilt.

they’re fading, now, and you clutch your memories tight, just a little longer.

 

her twirling in the middle of your living room, dancing to music only the two of you can hear.

her smiling at you from over the counter at the station, countless things shining in her eyes.

the two of you, eating tacos in a half-dark parking lot in the city, laughing and laughing and laughing.

your first valentine’s day.

 

you heard from the first day that she was trouble, her and her whole family. it never really stopped you, though, and you’re so glad that you got to know her, to love her, before you left.

you always knew something could go wrong. part of the job, part of being her girlfriend, part of living in this town. you are sure that it wasn’t her fault, or her family’s, that you would’ve done it all anyway, and you desperately want to tell her but your throat won’t work right.

 

your first valentine’s day, and you had taken the afternoon off work. she had come over to your place for dinner, and you were determined that it would be perfect.

you were successful; it had been, and she told you a million times.

dinner, sautéed fish and fried tofu and sweet and sour soup (you even took out a jar of peanut butter).

a movie (or two, or three), the sound of music, and she has the sweetest voice you’ve ever heard. imagine me and you, and she braids daisies into your hair. wall-e, and as she’s falling asleep in your arms you think just maybe you hear a quiet i love you.

you whisper it back, pressing your face into her hair until the two of you fall asleep, curled up on the couch with animated movies playing quietly in the background.

 

and you know she thinks that you were icarus and she was the sun, but all you can think is that god, she’s wonderful and that nothing was ever her fault and that you don’t want to leave her and you’re sorry and

you force your eyes open one last time, and she’s there, those warm eyes gazing down at you with what you hope is love, and you’re falling, falling, falling.