019; real life

84 11 40

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"Come on," Elijah groans in annoyance, "I wanna get back there before Thea gets tired and goes to sleep!  Fuck off with your fucking stop for Starbucks!  We are not stopping."

"Can you relax?" Kellen asks, rolling his eyes.  "She's still gonna be there when we get there."

"I know that, dumb fuck, but I still wanna get there quick," Elijah fires back, clearly unwilling to relent.

"Alright, calm down," Sam cuts in, "you're getting annoying. Kal, I think they have a Starbucks in the lobby at the hospital.  We can stop there."

"Great, go feed your fuckin' caffeine addiction while I see my best friend," Elijah scoffs dismissively, "at least one of us has our priorities in line."

"My priorities are fine," Kellen argues with a grin, "not like we don't have forever to let her annoy the fuck out of us."

"Okay, true," Elijah concedes with a laugh, "still, glad she's up. I fuckin' missed her."

"We all did."

•••

Not long later, the trio arrive at the hospital with the food they'd left to get.  They head up, all excited to finally see the whole family back together.

None of them have any suspicions as they approach the room, all buzzing with excitement and oblivious to what they're walking into right up until they go into the room. It's silent besides the occasional quiet sniffle. The twins are crying quietly. Awsten has his arms around them and stares blankly at the wall, an odd mix of overwhelmed and numb. He seems empty but he still cries, tears slipping out of his seemingly dead eyes.

The loudest thing in the room is the absence of Thea. She's nowhere to be found. Awsten and the twins are crying and Thea isn't here. The wheelchair Thea has been sitting in in the picture Awsten sent Elijah is still there. It's empty now.

Sam and Kellen stay put, as if trying to piece it all together in their heads. Elijah turns around and storms out, shocking Sam and Kellen out of their momentary daze.

"Wait here," Sam mumbles before hurrying after Elijah. "Wait! Elijah, where the fuck are you going?"

Elijah ignores him, taking off running. He doesn't stop until he gets to Thea's room. The little spot outside the door where the patient's name is pinned is now empty. The room is being cleaned. Thea is nowhere to be found.

"Fuck," Elijah mutters, blinking back tears, "fuck! This can't be happening. This—fuck, no—"

"Elijah, hey, c'mon, lets go back and ask what happened—" Sam starts off only to be interrupted.

"Is not fucking obvious?" Elijah snaps, motioning to the cleaned out room. "She's gone! She's fucking dead! Fuck. This can't be real. She was okay! He sent me a fucking picture of her with the twins twenty minutes before we got here. Twenty minutes. She was still alive twenty minutes ago. How the fuck is she gone? How did she go from being alive and smiling and happy with the twins to being fucking dead twenty minutes later? It's note fair."

"We don't know for she sure that she's gone," Sam reasons hesitantly, "lets go get the full story before we start down the worst road here. Remember how we talked about not always jumping to the worst possible conclusions? This is one of those times you gotta about that. Lets go see what happened."

"You're not stupid," Elijah mumbles to Sam, staring at the unoccupied room, "neither of us are stupid. We both know what happened. We're gonna go back up there and get told what we both already know. I'm not making Awsten say it and neither are you. We both know Thea is dead. Don't you fucking dare go back up there acting like you don't know just to try to make yourself have hope for as long as it takes for him to say it. Don't do that to him. If you're gonna do that, don't go back up there."

"There are a lot of people in the world to protect him from but you know damn well I'm not one of them," Sam fires back before forcing himself to calm down. "Thea can't be...she can't be gone. It's just not possible."

"She's dead," Elijah repeats, as if he needs to say it again, "she's dead...I was...I was driving the fucking car. I was the one driving the fucking car and now she's dead! It...fuck, it shoulda been me—"

"No," Sam cuts in harshly, shaking his head, "no. It shouldn't have been anyone. And it wasn't your fault. You didn't do anything wrong—"

"How can you say that? How can you fucking stand there saying I didn't do anything wrong when...it's not fair. I can't go back up there. I can't...I can't fucking look at him and the twins. I can't. I can't be here."

"Hey, I know it fucking sucks but now is not the time to walk out," Sam points out, "if...if Thea really is gone, Awsten is gonna need you. Don't make either of you go through this alone. Help each other."

"He's gonna hate me," Elijah sounds terrified of the possibility.

"He won't," Sam assures him, "I promise, he won't hate you."

They fall silent after that, staying for a bit before heading back up. Elijah is shaking but he tries to hide it and Sam doesn't think now is really the time to call him out on it. The room is still as tense and silent as it was when the pair left. The twins have nearly cried themselves back to sleep, hugging each other instead of Awsten now.

"Awsten?" Elijah breaks the silence hesitantly. "You wanna...?"

Awsten reacts surprisingly fast, nodding and getting off the bed after telling the twins he would be right back.

"Thea is dead," a Awsten mumbles quietly once they're in private. "She died. Had an infection in her head 'cause the doctors apparently fucked up somewhere along the line...and now she's dead. She started having a seizure and dying it's the twins almost fucking on top of her. They looked so scared. Can't get the look in their faces out of my head."

"I'm so sorry," Elijah can't think of anything else to say.

"She promised she wasn't leaving. She fucking promised me she wasn't going anywhere."

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