What Could I Say

The door was thrown open, light shoving its way into the dank room. "I called in some favors, found some people who know some people…" Aurora said, propping the door with her foot, struggling into the darkness with arms full of ancient tomes. Dropping the books onto the nearest table, she strode into the room, shaking an unresponsive Sam's arm. "C'mon babe, you said the day before was the crucial day, the day we could actually do something. Where's Dean?"

As her eyes adjusted, Aurora took in the room, the shattered drained bottles of whiskey on the floor, the broken chairs and torn sheets, and the broken capillaries in Sam's glazed eyes. "Where's Dean?" she asked again, voice trembling, hand reaching out to grasp the table for support, sending the books tumbling to the floor.

The crash seemed to jolt Sam awake. He stumbled forward and Aurora caught him, fingers gripping his biceps hard enough to raise bruises. "He's gone," Sam choked out, and retched, head falling forward onto Aurora's chest.

"He would think he had to face this on his own." Aurora forced a laugh from her closed throat. "We've just got to catch up to him, then we can help him-"

"He's dead." Those words, saying those words, seemed to rip Sam apart from the inside. He retched again, doubling over, sobs adding to the drops of whiskey and blood on the floor.

"You fucking bastards!" Aurora screamed. "You stupid fucking assholes!" Her arms cinched around her body and her chest heaved, and she crumbled, knees crashing into the floor with a crack she never noticed. Sam crawled over to her, but as soon as his fingers neared her shoulder, she screamed "Don't fucking touch me!" and shoved her hands into his chest. Already weakened and unbalanced, Sam tumbled back, straight into a patch of blood underneath a table that had been wrenched in half.

Raising his bloodied hands to eye level, Sam froze, staring at the red curling around his lifelines until his breath shot out of his chest in frantic hyperventilating gasps. Arms encircled his broad chest and Aurora's trembling voice in his ear whispered, "Sssh, breathe baby, breathe, deep breaths." Her hands grabbed his, and he heard her breath catch in his throat, as she helped him rise.

He scrubbed his hands until they bled his own blood, Aurora rubbing soap into his hands until his breathing slowed enough to ease her terror. "He didn't want you to have to see it, see him like that," Sam whispered, head hanging low over the rusting sink. "If I hadn't already known, he would have kept it from me too. But I knew, and I saw, and…and Oh god, Ror, it was…oh god…" Sam buried his head in the basin, and felt Aurora's cheek pressed against his sweat-soaked back as he heaved, her head rising and falling with his.

He felt chipped plastic press against his torn lips, and cold water poured gently down his throat. It washed the next heaving cry down with it, and he shuddered, guiltily sucking the rest of the water down his parched throat. Shaking hands latched onto his and pulled him towards the bed. They tumbled down together, sheets pulled tightly to bind them in.

"I'm here," Aurora whispered, every syllable thick with sobs, and Sam turned and burrowed his face in her neck.

"I'm so sorry," he said frantically, over and over into her shaking skin.

"I know, I know," she said back, just as frantically, fingers locking into his hair and raising his eyes to meet her. "I love you. I love you, you asshole, and I…" Her hands balled into fists in his shirt and he wrapped his arms around her, trying to still their shared shaking. "I love Dean too, that stupid fucking bastard. And he's gone, and I never got to say goodbye. I would have told him I love him, I would have been there, as his best friend, I would have been there, I would have-"

"He knew," Sam said, nodding into her embrace. "He had to, I have to believe that, because I never said it too, never. I was there, and I didn't even say it then."

"Because you couldn't even breathe," Aurora whispered, and the nodding grew more violent. "And he knew." Her arms reached around his neck and touched Dean's necklace, and a sob slipped past her lips.

"I was so caught up in trying to save him I didn't even notice he had taken this off," Sam said, hand curling around Aurora's. "He left it in an envelope, along with a knife for Bobby and…" Reaching into an envelope, Sam extracted a small silver ring band. "He left this for you. The note said I could-" Sam broke off, and Aurora touched his cheek, watching the way he fought for control over his own body, trying not to cry again, trying to be the warrior hunter, but the demons had won. And so Sam sobbed again, clutching the ring so tightly in his seizing palms he bled.

"He said I could use it to ask you to marry me, that way he'd…he'd be at the wedding, be the best man, in spirit." Aurora's breath caught in her throat. "I love you, I want to marry you, but I…I just can't see this ring on anyone else's finger right now."

"Me either." Aurora pulled the down comforter over their heads, closing her eyes as she buried her face in Sam's chest. "When we get Dean back, he'll want it back anyway."

"We'll get him back," Sam echoed, his breath finally slowing as he brushed a tender kiss across Aurora's lips before shutting his eyes.