The silence after the flat line beep shut off thundered around the room. Dean and Sam stared at the bed, not seeing the medical personnel flitting around the bed, only seeing the still figure on the bed.
"I'm sorry." The doctor stopped in front of them. "It seems his heart just stopped. We did everything we could."
Sam nodded vaguely; Dean wanted to deck him.
"C'mon Sam." He moved forward and Sam went with him, keeping him steady and upright, to the bed.
"If it's any comfort, he doesn't appear to have suffered." The doctor went on.
"Save it." Dean snapped. "You're not helping. Now - can we have some time with our dead father?"
Dad was dead. Dad was gone. Dad was supposed to live forever.
"Sammy?" Dean tried to get his attention as the doctor left the room. He wasn't sure Sam was even breathing. "Can you bring a chair over for me? I don't think I can stand very long."
"Yeah. Uh - yeah." Keeping one hand on Dean, Sam reached over to pull a hard vinyl chair close to the bed and helped Dean sit down. Then he stood behind Dean like he always did, like he was waiting for Dean to absorb the shock of it all before letting it filter back to him.
The bed railing was down and Dean put a hand out to touch Dad's arm. He was still warm.
Dean almost shushed him, like Dad would wake up or something. If only.
"I have to tell Dad I'm sorry."
Sorry for what? For that last argument? All the arguments? Wasn't it a little late for that?
"It's gonna be okay Sam."
"I don't know. Okay?"
"Yeah. Yeah okay."
Dean sighed. He didn't want to yell at Sam; he wanted to yell at every other person in the hospital.
"Hey..." He turned to Sam, looking back over his shoulder at him, but Sam was staring down at the floor. "Sammy..." Dean reached his hand back. Sam looked up and after a hesitation, he put his hand in Dean's. "It's gonna be okay Sam." Dean put Sam's hand on his shoulder and patted it, wanting Sam to keep his hand there. "It's gonna be okay."
It was hard not to expect Dad to wake up. Dean had rarely seen Dad sleep, and even less times had he seen him hurt. He kept expecting Dad to open his eyes, sit up, and start spouting orders.
Save Sam. Kill Sam.
"D'you think he suffered?" Sam asked.
"No. No I don't." Actually Dean had no idea, but he knew that was what Sam needed to hear.
"D'you think - d'you think - can I touch him?"
"Yeah. Sure. C'mon."
Dean tugged on Sam's hand a little, leading him toward the bed and Dad. Sam kept hold of Dean's shoulder and took a few steps to reach one long arm toward Dad. He stopped just short of touching him though.
"It's okay Sammy. It's okay." But he wasn't sure if he was telling Sam that it was okay to touch Dad, or okay if he didn't touch him.
Whichever, Sam pulled his hand back and retreated behind Dean again. He didn't take his other hand off of Dean's shoulder.
"What -." Sam started and Dean wondered if he was going to ask again what they were going to do. He better not ask that, Dean wasn't in the mood. But Sammy changed his mind apparently and asked instead, "How - how - how long do you think they'll let us stay here with him?"
"As long as we want, if they know what's good for 'em."
"D'you think -."
"Do I think what?" Dean asked when Sam didn't finish the question.
"Nothing. Never mind."
"How're we gonna get him out of here?" Sam's voice cracked. "Even if they release his - his - him - to us, the car's a wreck. Pastor Jim is dead. Caleb is dead. How're we gonna - how're we gonna...?"
Normally, as if that word could ever be applied to their lives, normally at a moment like this, Dean would be calling Pastor Jim. Or Caleb. But they were dead. Dad was dead. Right now it felt like everybody in their world was dead. Bobby was still alive but they seemed too much like strangers right now to ask any more of him than they already were.
"Bobby'll help us. He's towing the car anyway, right? He'll help us."
"Yeah. Yeah, he's been - yeah. I'll call him. I'll let him know."
"Okay." Dean patted Sam's hand. "We're gonna be okay."
Dean reached out to touch Dad again, he wasn't as warm anymore. He wasn't moving and Dean wanted him to move. He couldn't be gone. He couldn't not be anymore.
"Can I - d'you think - Dean - would Dad -."
Dean could hear it, Sam was starting to cry. Three days of emotional overload, physical trauma, too much stress, not enough food, and absolutely no sleep, and Sam was about due for a collapse.
"Sammy, c'mon. You need to sit." Dean pushed up to his feet and tried to maneuver Sam into the chair, but he wouldn't go.
"Can I touch him? Dean? Would that - would Dad - Dean? I wanted - I haven't – I didn't -."
Dean put his arm around Sam's back, half to urge him forward, half to keep himself upright.
"Dad would want you to Sammy. C'mon. It's okay. C'mon."
It was only a matter of inches to the bed, but it felt like miles to get close enough to Dad. Sam put his hand out and pulled it back, and Dean put his hand around Sam's hand and put it over Dad's.
"See? See - it's okay. It's okay Sam."
Sam nodded and his fingers curled around Dad's.
"I'm sorry Dad. I didn't mean it."
'Didn't mean what?' Dean wondered. The arguments? The car accident? One minute Dad was telling Dean he had to save Sam, the next minute Sam was shouting for help and Dean was wondering if whatever Dad was talking about had happened that fast. 'Sammy, what'd you do?'
"I'm sorry I spilled your coffee..."
Just when Dean was going to snap at Sam for being a wiseass, he got a look at his face. Heartbroken. Barely hanging on. He meant it.
"I dropped it when – when – when I walked by and Dad was on the floor."
Forget the visions, the telekinesis, shooting Dad and not killing the demon, ten years of arguments, three years of silence, one final year of desperation. The last thing Dad ever asked Sam to do for him, and Sam felt he'd failed and that's what was ripping him apart now.
Then he cried and Dean hugged him and held him up when it felt like he would sink down to the floor and Sam clung to him and sobbed into his shoulder.
"It's gonna be okay Sammy..." Dean lied. "It's gonna be okay."