caranfindel (caranfindel) wrote,

Episode coda 13.19: Cold as a razor blade, tight as a tourniquet, dry as a funeral drum

She holds out her hand and exerts just a tiny push. It should be more than enough, but it's not. The bullet slows but doesn't stop, splintering the bones in her hand, then sinking into her chest. She collapses, more in shock than pain, and Sam kneels beside her, looming over her. "I'm sorry," he says, placing a hand on her shoulder as her last breath gurgles in her throat, and saints preserve her, there are tears in his eyes, as if he means it.


She hears him creep up behind her. The dear boy isn't nearly as stealthy as he thinks. But that's fine; the spider welcomes the fly into her parlor. He grabs her hair and pulls her head back against his chest, exposing her throat to his small silver knife. "Samuel," she laughs, "do you really think a wee little knife like that is a threat to me?" But when he holds it in front of her face, she sees a flash of violet in its depths, and when the blade enters her throat, she feels the familiar power and remembers that Sam Winchester has a bit of the witch in him.


As the sun rises, she watches the smoke seep from the bunker's ventilation ducts with a mixture of relief and sadness. It's a shame she had to take both of them out. Sam had to be dealt with, obviously, but Dean would have made a lovely companion if she'd been able to wipe his memory again. She'd have used more skill and care, of course, and a spell that wouldn't eventually lead to his death. But she wasn't able to lure him out of the bunker; more's the pity. Even worse, though, is the loss of the treasures within; books and potions and countless objects of magic. Perhaps she'll be able to salvage some later, maybe even the Black Grimoire. But the important thing is that Sam is inside, lifeless, lungs full of thick black smoke.

She's not prepared to hear footsteps behind her; not at all prepared to see Sam Winchester himself, in running gear, panting up the hill. He startles at the sight of her, and even more at the sight of the smoke pouring out of his home. "Rowena? What did you do?" He grabs her shoulders and shakes her. "What did you do? What the fuck have you done? Is Dean still in there? Oh, God, is Dean still in there?"

"I'm sorry, Samuel," she stammers, "I didn't, I thought -"

She's cut off by Sam's hands wrapped around her throat.


Her hands lay before her on the hospital-green coverlet, pale and wrinkled, blue-veined and bony. The mystery of them vexes her still. How have her powers failed? Why are the spells that kept her body in stasis for centuries failing her now? How is she so old? It is the cruelest fate possible, kept captive in this body that ages and withers but cannot die.

When someone enters the room, her clouded eyes can't make out his face, but she can clearly see his shape, and he's too tall to be anyone else. He leans close to her ear, and his breath is warm against the fragile crepe skin of her cheek. "Rowena," he says quietly. "I can end this. If you want it."

Her ancient heart leaps with something akin to joy. "Please," she whispers. "Please, Sam. Release me."

He rubs something pungent and oily on her wrists, draws a sigil on her forehead, places a dot of it on her lips. It smells of ambergris and myrrh and ancient dust. He mutters something in a language she doesn't recognize, then brushes her brittle gray hair out of her eyes. "Go to sleep now," he says. "Everything will be okay."

She tries to say thank you, but no sound escapes her withered lips. He puts his hand over hers, and the comfortable weight of it anchors her as she slides into the darkness.


He looks at her through Sam Winchester's eyes, smirks with Sam Winchester's mouth, gently grasps her fingers in Sam Winchester's big hands and kisses them with ice-cold lips. "Did you miss me?" he asks softly, with Sam Winchester's voice. "Because I sure missed you."

Her power flutters uselessly against his. She can't run can't fight can't hide can't escape. "This cannot be," she whispers. "It's not right. You're not Sam."

"Oh, Rowena," he sighs, cupping her cheek with one cold hand. "Sam is me. Always has been, always will be. But if this doesn't work for you, I'm happy to oblige." He shows her his true face and burns her slowly from the toes up, saving her eyes for last.


"Rowena, are you sure you want to do this? We don't even know if it will work."

"It's the only way. Please, Samuel. I can't take this any more." She hikes up her skirt, exposing the faint scar on her thigh. The resurrection charm lies underneath. "Here," she says. "Get it out. Get the damn thing out of me."

Sam pauses in thought, then removes his belt. "You might want to bite down on this," he says apologetically. It's a nasty thing, but she acquiesces. Wouldn't do to embarrass herself; not now, not for this. He spreads his huge hand across her leg, takes out a small knife, gives her another apologetic look, and when he begins to cut she's glad of the belt after all.

"I think I found it," he murmurs after an eternity. "I think it's right... Right... Oh, fuck!" She feels a rush of warmth. Sam clamps his hand down on her leg, hard, but she feels her own blood puddling beneath her. "Fuck, fuck, I'm sorry, the knife slipped and I think I must have cut your femoral artery. Oh, fuck, Rowena, I'm sorry."

His apologies are drowned out by the sound of her own heartbeat pounding in her ears. As she spirals downward, she uses her last bit of strength to spit out the belt. She may be dying, but not with Sam Winchester's belt between her teeth.


Sam lies below her, warm and soft and happy, his usually-furrowed brow smooth in dreamless sleep. He is possibly the most beautiful thing she's ever seen, and she thinks at least I had this; at least I got to have this. He rolls over, reaching for her but touching only sheets still warm from her body. Then the pain hits, the stabbing twist in her belly, and she watches Sam twitch as the first drop of blood strikes his face, and then another. His eyes open and he looks up to the ceiling, crying out in horror as he watches the flames consume her.


Billie puts her wineglass on the bedside table and smacks Gabriel with her pillow. "That wasn't in the book."

"I was just being creative. Some of the ones in the book are kind of boring."

"And it didn't even follow the rules. Sam didn't kill her."

"Oh, come on," he grins. "He was clearly responsible for her death. Because of the the way everyone who does the big W tends to die? So even if he didn't do the deed, he signed her death warrant by banging her? Get it?"

She smacks him again. "You're an idiot."

"Yeah, but I'm your idiot. And you missed me, didn't you?

She smiles and leans in to kiss his cheek. "Yes, I missed you. And this has been fun. But now I need to get back to work."

"Not just yet." He sits up against the headboard and pulls her in close. "Just a couple more?" he murmurs into her hair. "Straight from the book, I promise."

"One more. And then I have to get back to work." She flips through the notebook, turning down pages that catch her eye. "Maybe two more, if you're a good boy."


The title is from Pink Floyd's "One of My Turns." And yes, I am annoyed that I already used "Play it again, Sam" as a title.

If you liked this, or even if you didn't, please go read the even better version by crowroad3
Tags: 13.19 funeralia, episode coda, fic: rowena, fic: sam winchester, my fic, season 13, supernatural
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