Phoebe slowly raised her head off the pavement. Her entire body hurt and the wind had been knocked out of her, making it painful to breathe. Sitting up gently, she looked around her.
The car was destroyed. The windshield was shattered and glass shards were strewn across the ground. Clouds of smoke rose from beneath the hood, and the front of the car was entirely smashed in. She had just opened her mouth to call for Sibella when she heard a slight moan from the other side of the car. Climbing to her feet, she stumbled around the automobile, pieces of glass crunched beneath her shoes.
She paled when she saw Sibella. The blonde lay on the ground near the detached wheel of the car, her face cut up by glass, hands scraped and smeared with dirt. But it was the blood that alarmed Phoebe so. Her pink dress was stained with it, and there was a puddle of it on the pavement beneath her. With every gasping breath she gave, more and more blood seeped out of the gash in her side, making the fabric around her ribs and stomach almost black with it.
Phoebe fell to her knees beside the blonde, her eyes wide and head spinning. Taking one of the other woman's hands in hers, she brushed her fingers against Sibella's cheek, finding her name falling from her lips.
"Sibella," she whispered. "Sibella," she repeated, a little louder.
"Phoebe," murmured the blonde. "Phoebe... it hurts." Tears rose in her green eyes.
"I know, darling, I know. It's going to be alright."
Sibella lifted her head to look down at her blood-soaked side. Gingerly, she brushed her fingers against the wound, but gave a whine of pain as she drew them away, dripping with red. Phoebe immediately pulled the blonde to her, her shoulders against the brunette's legs and her head resting cradled in Phoebe's arm. The brunette began to panic as Sibella's eyes began to roll back in her head and she seemed to swoon.
"Sibella!" cried Phoebe. "Sibella, stay with me, Sibella!"
The blonde struggled to focus on Phoebe's face as she fought her way back to consciousness. Phoebe felt icy fear squeeze her heart as she watched the other woman grow paler and felt her hand become cold.
Phoebe was not sure how long she sat there, murmuring sweet nothings to Sibella in an attempt to comfort them both. Time was a blur, but the moment that the blonde took her last breath stood out with perfect clarity.
The brunette watched in horror as Sibella sunk back towards the pavement and the life disappeared from her eyes. Phoebe did not remember beginning to scream, but the sound pierced the air around her as she gave into the tears that she had tried so to hold back. She held Sibella's body close as she wept hysterically.
Phoebe regained consciousness slowly, the room around her warm. Her nightgown clung to her body with cold sweat and she felt sick to her stomach. She sat up abruptly, shaking off the last vestiges of sleep before bursting into tears. Reaching out to her left, she shook the blonde to wake her.
"Phoebe? Phoebe!" Sibella was instantly awake once she realised that the brunette was upset. "Oh my darling, what's happened?"
But Phoebe could not speak, choked by sobs and bordering on hysterics. She clung to Sibella desperately, trying to touch all of her at once. As one of her hands entwined itself in Sibella's sleep-tousled curls, the other floated from the blonde's face to her shoulder to her waist, and back again. Sibella pulled her close in a firm embrace.
"Shush, shush, it's alright, everything's alright," the blonde murmured, pressing a kiss to the top of Phoebe's head. "I'm here, darling, I'm here."
Sibella held her tight for hours, until the wailing and tears had stopped and Phoebe's breathing had returned to normal. She lay with her head on Sibella's chest to listen to her steady heartbeat, refusing to go back to sleep. Sibella stayed up with her, rubbing calming circles on her back. She talked to Phoebe, speaking softly. She told her stories, recited poetry, rambled in French, sang to her, anything she could think of to remind her lover that they were both safe.