Member No.: 21,931
Joined: 18-June 07
Dean and Sam broke through the crowd just as Uriel appeared by two bare feet hanging over the edge of the tuck of a black Lexus. Sam called Aidan’s name but it was obvious they were too late.
Dean charged the angel, hell-bent on extracting his vengeance before he could flit away again. Uriel turned to face him with a condescending smirk but something made him turn his back to him a moment later.
He raised the dagger like a quarterback readies a football and lunged at the angel’s back. Honor no longer made a difference; he would take the angel’s death whether it came from the front or behind. His arm arched to plunge the tip into Uriel’s back but just before he could do so, the angel dropped to the ground. Dean’s forward momentum kept him moving forward and he locked eyes with Aidan just before he plunged the dagger into her chest.
“Seriously?” The word echoed through Dean’s mind as he watched, frozen as Aidan dropped to her knees.
“No, no, no, no, no, no,” he whispered to himself before kneeling in front of her and holding her upright. In that moment it wasn’t Aidan he was holding, but Nadia and it was his fault she was dying. It took a few times before he could swallow properly and his fingers wrapped around the hilt but he was too afraid to remove it. Vaguely he heard someone mention a doctor and retreating footsteps.
She met his eyes. “Do it,” she breathed. She gasped and rolled ungracefully onto her back. Sam had rushed to her side and he pressed his palms hard against the wound when the dagger was withdrawn. She closed her eyes and Dean panicked, “Nadia!” Sam looked at his brother but dropped his eyes, unable to bring himself to correct Dean’s mistake.
Aidan opened her eyes and stared at Dean with a mixture of sorrow and regret. She didn’t correct him either. Even at the end, she didn’t exist. Even now all he saw was her. She let him have the goodbye he never got with Nadia; even as she wished for just a second that she was more than just a demon.
After a few seconds she blinked and became more alert. She turned to look at Sam but didn’t say anything, knowing that he would stop her from going through with what she was about to do.
She squeezed her eyes closed again and tried to ignore the tenderness with which Dean brushed her hair back from her face. It took all the strength she could muster but eventually the crowd around them started dropping, one by one.
Sam looked around him, responding to the sounds of falling bodies, with wide eyes. A woman close to his feet hit the ground hard, cracking her head on the asphalt but not making the slightest sound in reaction; her blue eyes stared unseeing up at the sky. His blood ran cold and he looked down at Aidan. “What are you doing?”
“I promised,” she whispered but kept her eyes closed.
He shook his head, “No, stop. Stop!”
Dean blinked out of the shock that was trying to devour him, “What is it?”
Sam nodded to the dead people around them, “She’s trying to finish the deal.”
“N—” he stopped and corrected himself, Nadia would never do such a thing, “Aidan, stop.” She kept reaching out further and further; she felt the doctor who was going to try to save her, the nurses that ran a couple steps behind him, a woman holding hands with her five year old daughter…
The doctor and the nurses collapsed, the momentum of their forward motion causing them to land on their faces. “Aidan stop!” Dean grabbed her upper arms and shook her. She reluctantly opened her eyes and pulled back to herself before she reached the mother and child. She looked at him but could feel whatever life was in her draining away.
Breathing was growing harder and harder. She just wanted to close her eyes and stop fighting. It felt like she was always fighting. Fighting to make herself known, fighting to control a shared body, to get approval, to be seen, to no longer be an object of loathing. Opening her mouth to say something, she was overcome with a need to cough. She felt like she was drowning. Blood flew from between her lips and spattered Dean’s cheek. His grip tightened in response and his own blood drained from his face. She reached out to wipe his cheek but couldn’t do much more than make one good swipe before her muscles ran out of energy, smearing her blood like war paint.
The blood tasted strong and metallic but she swallowed so that he would be able to hear her. “I’m sorry… If I hadn’t,” she coughed again but turned her head so that he wouldn’t be sprayed again, “if I hadn’t gone after you… She’d still…be here.”
His face softened and he wrapped his hand around hers. Her eyes flicked to their hands in surprise. He couldn’t wrap his head around the fact that a demon’s dying words were an apology for taking away from him someone he loved. He cleared his throat, “I baited you. Neither of us could have known.”
Her smile was more of a grimace. She could feel herself slipping away and felt panicked; there was so much she wanted to say to both of them but didn’t know how. She moved her eyes to Sam and laid her hand over his which he was still pressing into her chest to try to stop the bleeding. He could see it in her eyes; she was telling him it was useless. He leaned back and sat on his heels, his bloody hands hovering over his knees, unsure what to do with them.
“You’re kind of whiny…but you’re alright,” she smirked. A laughed bubbled up out of Dean and she returned her focus to him and he sobered. She wanted to say something heartfelt and warm but she just couldn’t bring herself to do it; even in death, she was still a self-respecting demon. So instead she said the only thing she could that wouldn’t make either on of them feel awkward, “Save you a seat.” She closed her eyes and barely felt Dean kiss her cheek before her body finally gave out.
“Gas leak,” Sam sighed as he dropped heavily on to the edge of his hotel bed.
Dean blinked but kept staring at the wall. “What?” he mumbled.
Sam rubbed the back of his neck. “That’s what they’re saying killed all those people. A gas leak.” Dean didn’t saying anything in reply. Sam’s chest ached, this was the first moment he’d had to really come to terms with the death of another friend. He glanced up at Dean and felt like he should say something but he knew he wouldn’t hear it; just like he didn’t hear anything anyone said after Jess died. He’d turned into his dad—revenge the only thing on his mind. He’d gotten it and it helped…a little. It was the least he could do for his brother. It might take a while but Uriel wouldn’t get away again.
“I just don’t get it.” Sam looked at his brother, curious to hear what he was thinking. He didn’t ask what it was that Dean didn’t get; he just waited until he was ready to continue. “She was a demon. How…why would she care?”
Sam licked his lips and shrugged slightly. “She saw you through Nadia’s eyes for a long time. That must have stuck with her. They were two halves of the same person. One couldn’t exist completely separate from the other. Nadia had to have rubbed off on Aidan and Aidan on Nadia.”
“That’s just it.” He paused for a long time, struggling with something he didn’t like. “The confidence, the sarcasm, the strength, the…goodness… That’s what I fell in love with. But now…” he looked around him with a mixture of amazement and horror, “I’m not sure which one I fell in love with. I was so sure it was Nadia because a demon could never show any goodness; but Aidan just showed me I was wrong. She was a demon. And she could be kind and good at times.”
Sam watched his brother’s eyes bounce back and forth frantically. He blinked in understanding, “It’s okay to miss them both—to grieve for them both.”
Dean looked at Sam, his eyes shining. He looked away, clenched his jaw and blinked away the tears—he was the big brother, he’s supposed to be stronger, braver; he’s not supposed to be weak. After a few minutes he took a deep breath and stood, grabbing the Impala keys off the table. “Well, let’s get back to it,” his voice was still a little tight even though he tried to make it strong.
Sam looked up at him with concern, “Dean, we can take some time to—”
Dean shook his head. “They didn’t die so that I could lie in bed all day like a heartbroken prom queen. It’s time to get back to the family business. Saving people—”
“Hunting things,” Sam finished with a small, wry smile. He’d been with Dean long enough to know that when things hit him, when he grieved, wasn’t when it was customary or convenient; but when he was alone and surrounded by breakable things.
Dean grabbed his bag and walked out to the Impala with a new mission always in the back of his mind. Uriel. He could bide his time, he could wait, but eventually he would watch the light flash beneath Uriel’s skin as he burst out of existence. No one would grieve him, no one would remember him. That was something that would never happen to Nadia or Aidan.
Sam followed Dean out after flicking off the lights and pulling the door shut. As he looked down at the door handle a wave of grief washed over him and left him breathless. When his lungs shuttered back into motion he whispered, “Goodbye Nadia. Goodbye Aidan.”