That is a lot of sky.
That was the first thing that ran through his mind as he came to, his eyes opening to a never ending expanse of blue.
The second thing? Oh crap, because he was currently falling through that seemingly endless sky. The wind rushing past him tore as his hair and clothes and roared in his ears like rushing water. His stomach rolled and his eyes grew wide as full realization dawned. He was falling through the sky without a parachute. The sky was empty above him, no plane in sight.
He had no idea how long he had been falling or how close the ground was. He didn’t want to know. As his panic peaked, the familiar tingle started at the front of his brain and he flashed, the intersect telling him to turn over and into Box Man position but he ignored it. Did slowing down by a few milliseconds matter when you had no hope of surviving the landing anyway? He had absolutely no desire to see the end coming either.
He forced himself to take deep breaths, to try and slow his heart rate, as everything he had to live for flooded his mind. His sister - this was going to hurt her a lot, after she was finished being pissed at him for getting himself into this situation. His niece, who was still so young and just really starting to develop a personality, which he loved, his own daughter who was still too young to even remember him. He’d be gone and she would have nothing but pictures and stories… His wife…
He squeezed his eyes shut. Sarah. She was going to be so mad. He just hoped she didn’t do anything stupid trying to avenge him.
He opened his eyes and looked at the expanse of vibrant blue. It wasn’t a bad view to go out on at least. Endless blue broken up only occasionally by wisps of white cirrus clouds and an odd black dot… Wait, what was that black thing anyway? Not a dot because it was getting bigger.
His eyes widened in surprise as the object speeding toward him began to take on more definition. Sarah, head down, arms and legs pulled in tight, her blonde hair whipping back from her face, came into clear focus only seconds before she collided with him. Her arms and legs wrapped tightly around his torso and they spun through the air, end over end until they eventually slowed back into a steady, flat free-fall.
“Sarah, oh god, oh my god…” his voice was whipped away by the wind before it could even reach her ears but it didn’t stop his bout of relieved rambling. When she pulled back enough for him to see her face he watched her study him for a moment with stone faced seriousness. Then she was fumbling one handed to slip something into his ear. An ear piece. He reached up to help.
“Hey,” she said once he was properly hooked up. “Bet you’re glad to see me.” She smiled then, though he could see it was fragile around the edges.
“So glad, so so so very very glad,” he said, smiling widely. Then his smile slid right off his face. “Please tell me you’re wearing a ‘chute.”
She rolled her eyes and kissed him. “What, you think I’d throw myself out of a plane just so I wouldn’t have to live without you?” she demanded. His mouth quirked up in half a smile and they shared a long knowing look. Finally, Sarah tightened her legs around him, a move that even under these circumstances he found very distracting, and said, “Hold on.” He followed orders, wrapping his arms tightly about her body as she loosed the parachute and they were yanked into a much slower decent.
“Where’s Casey?” Chuck asked suddenly, after a few moments of silent prayers of gratitude. He looked up at the seemingly empty sky above them.
“Flying the plane.”
“Flying the… Casey?” He looked at her with worry. “Are we sure that’s a good idea? Remember what happened last time.”
Sarah shrugged. “I’m sure that was just a fluke.” She looked into his eyes and smirked.
“Suddenly, it’s not us reaching the ground safely that I’m worried about,” he remarked and she laughed.
“Have I told you yet today that I love you?” she asked.
Chuck blinked before allowing himself a quick study of her perfect face. “Yes, you did,” he answered, “But a fella never gets tired of hearing it. I love you too.”
This time when she smiled there was nothing fragile about it.