What if Dean bought a cassette player for Cas? What if he drew a little tiny heart on it? What if while in heaven Cas listen to the cassette and smiled? What if the other angels knew why he was smiling without him even saying anything? What if Dean recorded himself explaining each song before they played? What if as they played Cas could hear Dean breathing? What if that noise was the most soothing noise for him?
Because I’ve been pretty dead absent these days, there’s a liberal side dose of Linstead in here too. Hopefully this one fulfills expectations.
One more after this and it’s almost done!
Erin is only completely disgruntled to get a piercing phone call from Hank just past five in the morning on Saturday. Jay grumbles, his arm around her waist tightening to keep her from rolling away from him until Erin swats him on the chest. Cool air causes her skin to prickle as she picks up the demanding device and ignores her lover following her across the bed to nuzzle at her shoulder. “Get rolling, kid, I’m doing a courier run for the chief and you’re coming too.” Hank’s voice is too awake for the hour and it’s a struggle to tamp down the curse on the tip of her tongue. “Now?” Erin rasps, kneading the bridge of her nose. “I’ll be there in ten minutes to get you.” Then he hangs up and Erin slumps back against Jay who presses a drowsy line of kisses along her neck. “I’ve gotta get up,” she mumbles, feeling a headache forming already and pushes herself upright. The mass of bruises along her side and hip protest the motion, the price of a hard ending to a takedown yesterday and Erin just sits for a moment, trying to get her bearings. Jay crawls past her to get out of bed and leans down to kiss her briefly. His eyes are scarce open but he murmurs about starting coffee and wanders out of the room. By the time Hank pulls up outside the apartment building, Erin is standing on the curb, dressed with her go-bag and a hot cup of coffee in her hand. Not that either fact means she’s awake yet.
To his credit, Hank takes one look at her and points her to the back seat, a fact that Erin doesn’t protest. She curls up under her coat with Hank’s aged music thrumming in the background and falls asleep again, hoping that her body will not hurt quite so much when she’s roused next. It’s the dead of winter in the dead of winter in the Midwest and they’ve had close to records’ worth of snowfall, so their progress is slow. Erin wakes up nearing ten o’clock and squeezes through the seats to get to the passenger seat. Hank glances at her with question, which Erin waves off. “Me and Jay had a pretty rough takedown. He was a big guy, threw us around.” It’s easier to remember that she actually likes Hank now that she feels like a human being again. Mostly. The coffee—now stone cold, but still caffeine—is helping with the rest of that. Years of learning each other makes them the perfect duo to road trip long distances. Hank drives until he’s starting to get weary then turns over the wheel so that Erin can drive and he can rest. They drive through the night when the roads stay passable and reach the sister police department they’ve been sent to deliver the sensitive packet before lunch the next day. Once they settle into the lull of the road and the travel, Erin finds herself enjoying the time away from the rush of Chicago. It’s been a while since she and Hank spent one-on-one time and they make up for it in the hours inside the car.
Hank is at the wheel again and it’s after dark, snow swirling down to smatter against the windshield, but it’s not heavy enough yet to get them off the road. Erin jockeys the radio, feeling an unfounded tightness in her gut as she watches the road as well. They’re at an interim in the conversation—the last subject being Justin and his family—and now she can feel the impending questions about her and Jay, a topic that hasn’t been touched upon yet at all. Trees blur through the darkness and snow as the light from the dashboard illuminates Hank’s craggy features—“I know you don’t want me to ask.” Erin blows a laugh through her nose, looking away. “Not really, but I know you’re going to anyways.” The sergeant pauses to gather his thoughts as they traverse a switchback that she really wishes they weren’t driving on in these conditions. “It’s been two and a half years. I just want to know he’s committed to you.” Erin has her reply on the tip of her tongue—it’s not him, it’s me—when the deer appears out of nothing. The brakes squeal, the back wheels lose traction, and all Erin can think is that she’s glad they’d reached the bottom of the hill before they careen off the narrow highway into the darkness below. Hank shouts for her, a tree stops their descent, hard, her head smashes into the window, and everything goes black in an instant.
Hank comes to first, having been on the far side of the vehicle to the point of impact, and has to lie still for frustrating moments while his head spins before he can lift it from the steering wheel. Cold has seeped into the car, numbing the pain enough that he can reach out to find Erin—his girl, his daughter, the only one still here—where she’s slumped against the car door still. Tremors in his hands make Voight unsteady but he has to find a pulse, fingers groping around until they’re pressed against the side of her neck which is slickened by blood. A ragged breath of relief escapes him to find evidence of her heartbeat throbbing against his touch. The desire to curse rushes through him—we should’ve stopped; I shouldn’t have insisted on pushing farther—but there’s no point now in looking back. Hank releases his seatbelt and fumbles for his cellphone next, searching for where it’s fallen on the floor, hoping against hopes that they’ll have coverage here. The key is still turned in the ignition tells him the engine is dead for whatever reason, so it’s just going to get colder from here, and he can already see his breath in the poor light. His cellphone, at least, lights up as Hank presses the power button and squints at it when the pain in his head spikes. There—one bar. The tension in his shoulders loosens but when he tries to call 911, to get someone out here to help them, the call fails. Clenching his teeth against the cold spike of fear, Hank leans over to try and wake Erin without jarring her. He has to get to the top of the hill they’d slid down to try and get the call through but doesn’t want to leave her here to wake up alone. But when Erin’s doesn’t react to his efforts, Hank firms his jaw to prepare for the blowing snow and wind outside. “Hang in there, kid.”
Erin starts rousing when violent shivers rack her frame, crediting the pounding pain in her head to yesterday’s bounce off of pavement, and mumbles, “Jay… ’m cold, share the blanket.” But her questing hand’s sluggish search finds the cup holders, then the main dashboard of the car and memory comes in a moment of clarity. Adrenaline pours into her as Erin jerks upright, immediately regretting it as everything in her protests the motion. Gritting her teeth together, she forces her eyes to focus as she looks for Hank and realizes that he’s gone. The gravity of her situation clicks into place quickly after that—her knee won’t move, pinned between her seat, the crushed front right portion of the car, and her door, she can’t twist her neck without pain and fears whiplash, and whatever head trauma she’s sustained is making her thinking sluggish. Erin doesn’t know how long she’s trapped in the car, just present enough to try and keep warm, working to slowly free her knee so she can get herself to safety. There’s no telling how long Hank’s been gone and she’s worried that he’s collapsed out in the snow somewhere, but her rapidly escaping energy doesn’t leave much space for it. Erin wishes she were stronger in her weakness, that tears didn’t well in her eyes because she wants Hank’s steady presence or Jay’s hand tight around hers, reminding her that they’ll make it out alive. It’s a lifetime later that the driver’s door is jerked open and a stranger leans in with a flashlight that burns her retinas. “Detective Lindsay?” She croaks an affirmative and just asks, “Voight?” The man climbs into the car to start assessing her situation and confirms, “He’s alright. We’ve got an ambulance and rescue vehicles at the top of the hill. We’ll have you out of here in no time.”
Alvin and Jay both fly out to Denver where Erin’s been admitted to the hospital until they sort out the situation with her knee and her head—Hank got away with some mild frostbite and a concussion. Erin grips Hank’s fingers tight when Al calls after they’ve landed, because she wants to see Jay, because she can’t leave the words thrumming in her chest go unsaid. She’d told Hank, late last night, what she hadn’t said before the crash—I’m the reason we haven’t gotten serious. I told him I needed more time. But she doesn’t want more time now. There’s nothing like the forced realization of one’s own mortality to reevaluate what you want to do with your life. And Erin knows she wants to be with Jay. For better or for worse. So when he enters her hospital room on the heels of Alvin’s unhurried steps, Erin struggles to sit up with Hank’s help and she quirks him a wavering smile before turning her attention on her partner, reaching out for him with the arm that isn’t restrained by a sling. Jay is all over her, like he always is after she’s been in danger, wanting to know how bad it is, how she’s feeling, but Erin grips his chin with her useable hand to get him to focus on her. “Ask me again, Jay.” It takes a moment for her words to sink in but then Jay smiles, uneven but elated, and, uncaring of their audience, leans his forehead against hers to whisper, “Will you marry me, Erin Lindsay?” Erin bites her lip, unable to see anything else besides the light in his eyes. This is what she wants. “Yes.”
A/N: I’m guessing this is for steroline. Hope you like it!
“Hello?” She doesn’t bother looking at the caller iD, it’s either Elena or Tyler, no one else really calls her these days. There really isn’t anyone left to call her.
“Caroline.” It’s been too long since she’s heard his voice. She thinks she might’ve actually let out a gasp but her minds a bit preoccupied at the moment.
“Stefan.” She sets down her mug, moving to sit on the bed. The room is so much emptier without Bonnie, and Elena’s barely ever around. Still, somehow she misses him most of all. She’s gotten pretty close to pinpointing exactly why that is but she’s just not ready yet. Not ready for it to be a possibility. “Hey.”
“Hi.” He sounds nervous, it’s definitely a first. He draws in a deep breath. “I just… I just needed… I’m not sure what I needed.”
She sighs. “Portland?”
“There was no coven.” Another deep breath.
“It’s okay.” Her eyes are starting to sting even as she says it. “We’re not giving up. We’re going to get them back, Stefan.” The line’s gone completely silent. She checks to see if he’s hung up. He hasn’t.
“What if it doesn’t work?” He sounds hurt, and she wants to cry. His voice is dry and raspy, lower than she’s ever heard it. “I don’t know how much hope I have left in me. At some point we need-”
“No.” She interrupts, wipes away the warm tears on her cheek, takes a deep breath. “You’re going to find a way. You’re going to get them back, okay. I know you, Stefan. If anyone can do this it’s you. You’re going to bring him back, Stefan.”
“And if I can’t?” Her chest heaves at the pain in his voice. It burns. “Damon and Bonnie were both… they were finally happy, I-”
“None of this is your fault.” She can hear the hesitation still. “We’re going to get them back. I promise, but none of this is your fault, Stefan.”
She thinks she hears his breath hitch. “I miss you.” She says before she can change her mind. She doesn’t. It’s the truth and tragically so. “Come home. We can work on following new leads together.” A breath. “I need you, Stefan… We need each other.”
She thinks she hears a whimper, it makes her want to fall apart. She’s too tired to dry her face now. “At least think about it, okay?”
“Yeah, I… I will.” In hindsight, she thinks she knew that moment. Knew he’d never call back. Knew he didn’t want to. Knew she wasn’t sure if she would ever actually see him again and it made than un-pinpointed feeling pop up again.
You see, death doesn’t happen to you. It happens to everyone around you - to all the people left standing at your funeral trying to figure out how they’re gonna live the rest of their lives… without you in it. (x)