A/N: Thank you again to Koohii Kappu for the help. Sorry I confused you XD
Drip. Drip. Drip.
Sirens screaming from far away.
As Shawn slowly comes to, the smell of gasoline is the first thing to register in his foggy mind.
Through all of the sounds fighting for his attention, there's one that sticks out. Breathing… Labored breathing. But it's not his own.
Shawn's eyes shoot open, light blinding him and intensifying his headache.
"Ju….les. Jules!" he cries out. He tried to move to find his wife but pain coursed through him, pinning him in place.
Someone near him yells something about medics.
"Jules. Emma," he whispers, a single tear rolling down his cheek. Whether it was from the pain or her lack of response, Shawn would never be able to tell.
The sirens get louder as an ambulance arrives on the scene. Shawn desperately listens for a cry from his daughter, but could not hear a single noise coming from the back.
"Help!" he calls out weakly. "Help them!"
The fog took over again as Shawn's vision turned black.
Beep. Beep. Beep.
People talking softly.
Wheels from a cart squeak somewhere down the hall.
Shawn wakes up slowly, letting his senses come back to him one at a time.
He could smell disinfectant and hear a heart monitor not far from him. Soon after, pain radiated through his body, bringing him into full consciousness.
The hospital? Shawn thought, confused. Wasn't I just here?
Shawn's eyes shot open as the memories flooded back to him in a rush, his moment of calmness taken away. His own pain took a backseat as he remembered the accident.
"Jules! Emma!" he cried out, thrashing in his bed, trying to get up. He looked around the moment his eyes adjusted to the bright lights, searching for any signs of his wife and child.
Instead, he's met with the somber face of Henry.
His dad runs over to calm him down. "Shawn, stop! You're going to hurt yourself! They're not in here!"
Shawn calms down enough to study his dad for the first time. His eyes were puffy and his cheeks stained. He's been crying, Shawn observes. His shoulders were hunched over and he was tired.
"Dad... Where's Jules and Emma?" Shawn asked weakly, hoping they were somewhere else in the hospital.
Shawn didn't know if was Henry's lack of response or the look on his face that broke his heart more. He had seen that look from Juliet whenever she used to break the news to victim's families. He had seen it given to others numerous times but never to himself before.
"No..." he whispered.
"I'm so, so, sorry Shawn." Henry whispered. "They didn't make it."
Shawn's mind shatters, unable to process the grief that hits him like a brick to the head. Tears start rolling down his face before he can even register them. All stages of grief seem to course through him at the same time.
"That can't be!" Shawn yells. "NO! I-I should be the one, not them. I was the one driving!"
"You... You died too, Shawn... Twice, actually…" Henry choked. "They were able to resuscitate you but the damage to the girls was too severe."
Shawn sat in silence, a million things rushing through his mind.
"I can't even imagine how you feel right now, son. I-"
"Dad," Shawn interrupts. "Can I have some alone time?"
Henry looked down at his son hooked up to all of the machines, several casts and bandages lacing his body. He had never seen so much despair on his face before.
"Yeah, of course," he said, slightly hurt but understanding, leaving the room.
Gus stood outside of the I.C.U. doors for the longest time. He didn't even know how to approach his best friend. He wanted to be there for him... But how? Never had he had any problem being near his friend... except maybe when he was mad at him... But this was a whole new situation. The only other real time he had had to comfort his friend was when his Shawn's mom had left.
He sucked in a deep breath. It was now or never. He pushed his way through the doors and made his way over to Room C, where Henry had told him Shawn would be. He slowly approached the windows, afraid to see what kind of shape his friend was in. Right after the accident, Shawn had been wheeled straight to surgery and it had been a waiting game to find out his outcome. At the time they hadn't known anything about the condition of the other passengers.
Gus was hurting too, but he knew he had to do his best to not let it show. He needed to be strong for Shawn. Juliet had been his close friend as well and while he had only met his goddaughter twice, he had already accepted her as family. He had been grieving since he heard the news and worried about his best friend. The hospital had said only blood relatives were approved to see him the first 24 hours, so he hadn't been allowed to visit yet.
He stepped forward, sliding the glass door open, juggling the plant with a cheesy balloon sticking out of it that his mom had made him bring.
Shawn was the only one in the room, laying motionless in his bed. Gus thought maybe he was asleep at first, until he turned slightly, glancing to see who his visitor was.
Gus gave a small smile as he placed the plant next to a couple other items people had sent in. "Hey, buddy."
"Hi," Shawn said flatly, turning his head back to the window.
Gus examined his friend, piecing together what the doctor had reported with what he could see. Broken left leg, broken right wrist, two broken ribs, internal bleeding, multiple deep cuts and lacerations requiring stitches, nasty bruising. He had been through the wringer, but Gus guessed it was his emotional state that had taken the biggest hit.
Crap, what do I even say? He thought. He didn't want to seen uncaring but at the same time the usual "How are you doing?" and "How do you feel?" felt inappropriate and wrong. He was pretty sure he already knew the answers anyway.
Shawn laid unmoving, the mix of emotions on his face too indiscernible. Gus could tell he had been crying not long before he was there.
"Uhm…" Gus said. "I just want to let you know that I'm here for you Shawn. You know you can always talk to me."
Shawn flicked his eyes at Gus just long enough to make eye contact. "Thanks."
Gus frowned at his short responses. He knew he had to be pained because even in tough times Shawn usually deflected with jokes and drawn-out sentences. But this time was completely different.
"Okay, well... you just rest up buddy. I'll see you later."
Shawn stayed in his position as Gus turned and left the room.
"Bye, Gus," he whispered as the door closed, squeezing his eyes shut to try and prevent the tears that were welling up in his eyes again.
A/N: I'm kind of struggling with this little thing called tense. If anything sticks out weirdly to you, please let me know. My brain can't seem to make up its mind.