❝ would you dare to let it go ❞

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How unfair, it's just our luck,
Found something real that's out of touch.
But if you'd searched the whole wide world,
Would you dare to let it go?
'Cause what about,
What about angels?

"Not About Angels" -Birdy

The first thing I realized was that I was still alive.

The second thing I realized was that nothing hurt.

I wasn't the one who was shot. And since Vanessa had been holding the gun, then... "Ashton?"

No reply.

My heart stopped.


A second shot rang out, making me squeeze my eyes shut automatically. My head felt fuzzy, and distantly, I heard a gasp.

A clatter.

Then a thud.

I'm still alive.

My eyes snapped open, and I looked around. My vision was still hazy from the loss of blood, so it was difficult to make out what was happening. Two figures leaned over someone slumped on the ground.

Wait, two?

One of them stood and made their way towards me. As they got closer, I realized it was Ashton. He crouched down in front of me, pulling me into a sitting position. You're okay.

I didn't realize I had said the words out loud until he nodded. "Who...?" I trailed off, unable to finish the question, but I didn't need to. He seemed to understand anyway.

Ashton glanced down at the ground, then at the two figures in the middle of the room. "Nate. He broke free and shot Vanessa." For a second I was confused as to where Nathan could've gotten the gun from, but then I remembered Detective Fallon kicking my -Shawn's- gun across the room.

"Is she...?" Dead?

He shook his head. "Nate shot her in the hand and leg."

I heard Vanessa and Nathan then, talking quietly.

"You promised," Vanessa gasped out. "You promised you'd never-"

"I know," Nathan interrupted. I glanced past Ashton, vision clearing a bit, to see Vanessa lying on Nathan's lap, right hand clutched to her chest. "I'm sorry, Ness."

I looked at Ashton. "We should call for help."

"Already done. Nate did it before..." he trailed off.

"Is Nathan okay?" I asked.

Ashton sighed. "He blames himself for how Vanessa is, of course. Seeing her like this hurt him." Like Ashton had thought it would. He had said Nathan knowing would hurt him, but I had always believed he meant in a more physical aspect, not emotional.

"You betrayed me," Vanessa cried out. Ashton stiffened, muscles tensing like he was getting ready to attack someone or defend himself. But before he could do anything, Vanessa continued. "I should hate you. Why don't I hate you?"

"You know why, Vanessa," Ashton replied quietly when Nathan didn't.

"I'm so tired," she said, her words slurring together a bit. "Nate?"

"Yeah, Ness?"

"Why is the room spinning?" Her voice was quiet enough that I could barely hear her anymore.

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