A/N: Andie belongs to the amazing littletonpace, Cassidy to her and FrostHobbit.
Sam was jolted awake by the shrill ringing of his cell phone. The motel room clock glowed 3:37 A.M. as Sam let out a groan, picking up the phone and flipping it open.
"Hello?" he mumbled.
"Is this Mr. Sam Winchester?" an unfamiliar voice inquired.
"Yes it is," Sam replied, sitting up straight, hand gripping the phone. "Who is this?" Andie and Dean stirred on their bed, and Cassidy flipped over on her cot.
"This is Nurse Jackson, from Cook General Hospital. You're listed as an emergency contact for a Ms. Aurora Sinclair."
"What happened to Aurora? Is she ok?" Sam's voice was frantic as he leapt out of bed, pulling on his jeans. Dean was instantly up too, moving to Sam's side, pressing his own ear to the phone alongside Sam's. Andie and Cassidy were right behind them.
"She was shot," the nurse's voice intoned. "She's stable, but being kept in ICU for observation."
"Oh god…" Sam breathed out, snatching up his duffel bag and slinging it over his shoulder. "Where was she shot? Is she going to be ok? Is she awake? Is she in pain?"
"Shot?" The word flew panic-stricken out of Dean's mouth. "Son of a bitch!" Spinning suddenly, Dean punched the nearest wall, hard enough to create a hole. Andie grabbed his hand, running gentle fingers over his already-bruising knuckles. Cassidy hurried around the room, throwing everything she could find into the nearest available bag.
"I'm sorry sir," the nurse said. "That's all the information I've been given at this moment."
"Tell her we'll be right there," Sam said, slamming the phone down and running for the door.
"Aurora Sinclair," Sam gasped out, sprinting up to the nurse's station.
"Are you family?" the nurse asked calmly, glancing up from her computer.
"You just called us, of course we're fuc-" Andie began, advancing forward, Sam looking like he might cry, Dean's fists clenching tightly at his side. Cassidy quickly moved forward, stepping in front of the group, grabbing Andie's wrist and pinching it quickly. "Ow!" Andie exclaimed, glaring, but Cassidy ignored her.
"We're Aurora's family," Cassidy said softly, dabbing at her eyes with a Kleenex from the nurse's desk. "I'm her cousin, this is her brother, his wife, and Aurora's fiancée. May we go see her please?" The nurse tapped her nails on the plastic desktop, continuing to look at Cassidy skeptically, until Cassidy relented, sighing deeply. "Fine, Sam is her almost-fiancée, they were practically engaged until he started drinking de-until he started drinking. And Dean's her best friend, she considers him her brother, which would make his wife Andie her sister-in-law. And I don't know her that well yet, but I really like her, and she pretty much helped save my life, so I'm her honorary cousin. Can we go in now please?"
The nurse, clearly fighting back a smile, looked at the group for a minute. "Room 308, up in ICU," the nurse said, pointedly looking at her computer. The boys took off running, Andie right behind them, Cassidy pausing for a second to whisper "Thank you".
Sam reached the doorway of Aurora's room and froze. Aurora was pale, her auburn hair spread across the standard hospital issue pillow, a few strands caught in the gauze wrapped tight around her head. There were multiple monitors, and an IV snaking out of Aurora's bruised arm. Dean bumped into him from behind, then froze himself, his breath catching in his throat.
Aurora's eyes slowly fluttered open, and her gaze fell on the boys in the doorway. "Sam? Dean?" she said, voice sluggish as she moved her head slightly, the ghost of a smile across her pained face.
"Hey, yeah its us," Sam said softly, tears in his eyes as he crossed the distance, gently taking Aurora's hand in his, bending down to kiss her cheek. "We came as soon as we got the call. How are you feeling?"
"I hurt," Aurora admitted, voice hoarse as Dean stepped to her other side, grabbing her other hand. "But I'm ok." She spied Andie and Cassidy, who had just entered the room. "Andie, Cass, hey."
"Hey," Andie said, stepping closer and pulling up a chair next to the bed, Cassidy mimicking her movements. "What happened?"
"Bust gone wrong," Aurora sighed, closing her eyes. "They had backup we hadn't gotten any intel about, and they all had guns."
"I'm just going to check your wound, Miss Sinclair," a nurse said, bustling in and untying the back of Aurora's gown, pulling it down gently over her right shoulder, revealing layers of gauze and bandages, slightly tinted red. "The bleeding seems to have stopped completely, that's good. You just need some rest." She bent close to Aurora's ear, and stage-whispered, "Are these people supposed to be here?"
"We can hear you," Andie said, rolling her eyes and crossing her arms over her chest.
"We're her family," Dean said firmly.
"Your mother said you didn't have any other family," the nurse said, louder this time, turning a suspicious glare on the already exhausted group.
"You called my mother? I told you not to call her!" Aurora's eyes were wide, hands shaking as she shot upright, immediately collapsing back down on the bed with a sharp, loud cry of pain.
"Ssh baby, it's ok," Sam whispered, gently brushing her hair back from her sweat-soaked face.
"What's the deal with her mom?" Cassidy whispered, but Andie was already on the move.
"Sam, Dean, you go find out what's going on," Andie said, taking a stance by Aurora's bed. She raised a hand to still their protests. "We might need some muscle. I'll stay here with Aurora. Cass will be here too."
"We'll make this all ok," Sam promised, leaning down to kiss Aurora's forehead. Before he could, she grabbed his face, tilting it slightly so his mouth met her mouth instead. He knelt down next to her, keeping their lips connected, wrapping his arms around her shaking frame. "We're going to make this ok," he repeated, as he kissed her again, softly, before moving towards the door.
As the door closed behind them, Andie drew a chair up next to the bed, Cassidy following her lead. Aurora reached a hand out and Andie took it, holding it between her own.
"I know you understand this," Aurora said softly, and Andie nodded, keeping her eyes on Aurora's face. "My mother…she doesn't think very highly of me." Aurora let out a bitter laugh, trying to blink back tears. "She wanted me to wear long white evening gowns, and drink sparkling cider with rich men's sons. So I wore tight black tank tops and leather miniskirts and drank cheap vodka with the handyman. I tried so hard to humiliate her I lost myself."
Taking a deep breath, Aurora heard Cassidy shift her chair, felt Cassidy take her other hand in hers. "I've finally found myself," Aurora continued, closing her eyes, a tear sliding down her cheek. "And I know she hates who I've become…not that she ever really loved who I ever was anyway. And I know if she walks in here, she's going to be cold, and distant, and tear me apart in hopes that I'll never be able to put the pieces back together again. In hopes that I'll just let her bind me in a white evening gown and take me back to her latest cocktail party."
"You're too strong to let that happen," Andie said, voice sure, and Aurora opened her eyes, met her gaze. "Now listen carefully, because I'm not one who gets all sappy." Cassidy laughed, earning a "Stuff it, Cass," from Andie and a genuine laugh from Aurora. "But take this from someone who gets it. Who you are, she can't take that away from you. Who she is doesn't define you, not one bit. What you do, what you choose, that's what matters."
"Plus, I'm sure you'd look cute in a white evening gown hon, but it would be really hard to fight demons in," Cassidy chimed in, eyes twinkling. "Your legs would get tangled, and it'd be really hard to get to your holster, and pretty much impossible to get the bloodstains out."
"Lovely contribution there," Andie said, rolling her eyes, but fighting back a smile. Aurora laughed, using the sheet to wipe her eyes.
"I'll just tell that to my mother, I'm sure she'll get it then," Aurora said with a genuine grin. Just then Sam and Dean came hurrying back into the room.
"She's at the front desk, finding out your room number," Sam said hurriedly.
"Pass me my bag," Aurora said quickly, hands shaking again, but just slightly this time. She swung her legs over the side of the bed, wobbling a little.
"Are you sure that's a good idea?" Sam said softly, hurrying to her side, sliding his hands under her arms to support her.
"It's not like you guys haven't taken care of bullet wounds before," Aurora said, attempting to banter, but her voice shook, her tone growing serious. "I just…I'm choosing not to deal with her. I'm choosing to keep her out of my life." Her eyes met Andie's, and Andie nodded, a smile playing across her lips as she grabbed Aurora's bag and brought it to her.
"You heard the lady," Andie said, perching on the edge of the bed, and tossing Aurora clothes from the bag. "Let's bust her out of here."
Turning her back, Aurora peeled off the hospital gown, grabbing the pair of skinny jeans Andie handed her and quickly pulling them over her hips.
"Still taking your clothes off in front of strangers, Aurora Grace." The voice floated in from the doorway, freezing Aurora where she stood. "Still, I suppose you're still more fully clothed than normal."
Sam's eyes grew dark, Dean growling "Son of a bitch," Andie spitting out "Stupid fucking bitch" and Cassidy's fists clenching. "Let it go," Aurora whispered.
Still keeping her back to her mother, Aurora put on her bra, hooking it closed before pulling on the tight black t-shirt and slipping on a pair of silver high heels. Before turning around, Aurora met Sam's gaze. He took her outstretched hands and held them close, maneuvering so that when she did turn, her back was against his chest, his arms reassuringly around her waist, his hands holding hers.
"We were just leaving," Aurora said, hands shaking instead of her voice. Sam wrapped his larger hands around hers tighter, hiding the shaking from the woman in front of them. "I'm afraid you came all the way out here for nothing."
"Dear, really?," her mother said, settling into the nearest chair, pantyhosed legs crossing at the knees. "You're going to trust your health, after a gunshot wound, to the boy of the week and whoever these other…people…are?"
" I've been with Sam for a year now," Aurora answered, voice stronger, hands steadier. "And these 'people' are my family. And we're leaving." Grabbing her duffel bag with one hand, keeping a firm grip on Sam's hand with the other, Aurora walked past her mother without stopping, the others following.
When they reached the elevator, Cassidy pushed the button for the bottom floor, saying excitedly, "That was amazing! Aurora, you were kick-ass!"
"Thanks," Aurora said weakly. "But she's always going to come back. She's like a fucking zombie."
"Well, we're good at taking care of those things," Dean assured her, patting her arm and offering her a reassuring smile.
"That's a sweet offer Dean, but you can't kill my mother," Aurora said with a wry laugh.
"No, but we can protect you against her," Dean said, and Sam nodded.
"Thanks guys," Aurora said gratefully, then sagged, passing out in Sam's arms.
"Ow," Aurora mumbled, coming to as Dean finished rebandaging the wound in her shoulder.
"That's what happens when you get all badass on us Ror, and storm past your mother when you should be laying down and sleeping," Dean said, smiling down at her as he gently ran a hand over her forehead. "You were really kickass though."
"Learned from the best," she said, blinking rapidly. Looking up, she saw Sam's face looming over her. Rolling slightly, she realized her head was in his lap.
"Sorry," Sam said quickly, easing her back onto the bed.
"Why are you sorry?" Aurora asked softly, reaching her hand out for his. Dean whistled loudly as he made his way into the bathroom.
"Subtle," Sam said with a laugh, his eyes still sad.
"Sam, I…" Aurora sighed, wincing slightly at the pain in her head. "I…" She eased herself up slightly, Sam supporting her. "Will you get off the demon blood?" She finished bluntly, looking down at her hands.
"I can't do it alone," Sam admitted, his eyes on his own hands. "But I want to get it off it. I will get off it," he finished definitively.
"Then I'll be there," Aurora answered, tears sliding down her cheeks as she moved forward gingerly and buried her face in Sam's shoulder. He wrapped his arms around her, holding her close. She tilted her head up and he kissed her gently.
"I don't deserve you," he whispered, hands cupping her face.
"Probably true," Andie's voice said from the door as she and Cassidy entered, carrying bags of fast food. "But then again Dean doesn't deserve me either."
"Hey!" came Dean's outraged voice from the bathroom.
"Brought you cheeseburgers, hugs and kisses, love you," Andie yelled back, rolling her eyes. She settled on the end of the bed by Aurora's feet, holding a tray out to Aurora. "And brought you two extra-thick milkshakes. Figured you should probably hold off on the complete solids til your stomach settles from the morphine.
"Thanks," Aurora said with a smile, taking the tray. "For everything," she finished, reaching a hand out and squeezing Andie's.
"Hey, what are friends for?" Andie said, patting her hand with a smile before digging into her bag and extracting a handful of fries. "Mmm…"
"Just watch out," Cassidy said conspiratorially to Aurora, pulling a chair over and propping her feet up on the bed. "Next she'll be handing you a bottle of vodka and suggesting you see how fast you can hotwire a car. That's what she does with her friends."
"Stuff it," Andie said to Cassidy, smacking her on the back of the head.
"That too! She does that too!" Cassidy squeaked, pushing the chair back and out of Andie's range.
"10.1 seconds," Aurora said casually. Andie and Cassidy's mouths dropped open. "I'll teach you if you want," she added with a grin.
"Now I kind of want to be a C.I.A. agent," Cassidy said, stealing a fry from Andie, earning her a smack on the hand. Dean exited the bathroom and sat on the floor, leaning his head back onto Andie's lap. Grabbing the remote, he turned on a black and white horror film before snatching a cheeseburger from the bag at his feet.
Aurora leaned back into Sam's arms. He kissed her gently. "I love you," he whispered in her ear.
"I love you too," she whispered, kissing him back.
"Well thank god, since he's been moping around, staring at pictures of you," Andie sighed, snatching another handful of fries. "Now maybe we'll get some mope-free peace around here. Especially if you sex him up."
"Andie!" Sam protested, blushing deeply. Dean and Cassidy only laughed.
"That can be arranged," Aurora said with a grin, planting a kiss on his neck.
"After the movie!" Dean yelled, covering his eyes. "Oh god, my virgin eyes!"
"Yeah, no part of you is a virgin," Andie said, smacking his hands away. "We'll get another hotel room, Aurora, no worries. Those of us brave, or stupid enough, to be with Winchester men, we have to have each other's backs."
"So are you going to sex me up?" Dean asked Andie with a smirk. She rolled her eyes, but her fingers reached out, rubbing down his shoulders.
Aurora laughed deeply, settling back into Sam's warm welcoming arms, and took a sip of her milkshake.