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Cars clustered around Bobby Singer's house, newish ones that looked like they’d last more than five miles without collapsing. Tents had been set up between the pick-ups and camping trailers, and campfires burned nearby. Heat wafted from Bobby’s workshop; as Tamara passed she caught a glimpse of something molten and glowing – silver, she assumed. What good silver bullets would do against the devil, Tamara didn’t know. Better them than nothing at all, she supposed.

She walked up Bobby’s steps and paused at his front door – should she knock? The dilemma was solved when the door swung open and Dean Winchester stepped out.

“Hey,” he said vaguely, standing aside to let her pass. She watched recognition dawn. “Hey. Uh, Tamara, right?”

As if anyone could forget her name after that night two years ago and that thing that looked like Isaac bawling it over and over again. “That’s right,” she said.

“Glad you came,” he said, like it was him hosting this party. Near enough, maybe.

“Come to kill the devil, haven’t I?” she asked. “I wouldn’t miss out on that.” She’d startled him; he was still finding his words when she stepped past him into the house.

Inside, it was the same crowded chaos as outside, filled with hunters – as always, mostly men, the odd woman here and there - as well as Bobby’s usual clutter of texts and artifacts, weapons and mechanics’ tools. She found the man himself in his study, leaning over some document laid out on his desk. Rufus Turner was with him. So was Sam Winchester.

“Hello, Bobby,” she said.

Bobby turned around, gave her a hug and a glass of water – holy, of course – and she accepted both dutifully. She nodded at Sam and Rufus, and they nodded back. Sam didn’t seem to have any trouble meeting her eyes. Bastard, she thought – unfairly, given what she now knew from Bobby, but she didn’t take the thought back. “Where’m I crashing, then?”

--

Tamara didn’t care for strategy. For herself, yes, against the bog-standard evil she restricted herself to, but not for directing this unruly fractious mob, and not in the middle of the bloody apocalypse. She left that to the Winchesters and Bobby and Rufus, who seemed to be at the center of things, and to the knots of arguers gathered around the campfires.

Instead she unpacked the guns Bobby had stored for her. She sat in his kitchen, cleaning and oiling them and letting the discussion from his study wash over her.

She found her gaze drawn to Sam despite herself. He was different, she thought. She watched the set of his shoulders and grim tightness of his mouth and decided that this was not the earnest, messy-haired boy she’d met two years ago. It made her a little angry that that boy had disappeared. Hate, deserved or not, was harder to maintain when the object of it was gone.

What remained of him, though – that was interesting. Tamara heard a bubbling undercurrent of rage in his words as he argued one this tactic over that. Unexpectedly, it warmed her to him.

Well. Rather, it made her hot, is what it did. She put that observation aside and kept on listening.

Late in the afternoon Tamara went out to Bobby’s range behind the house and shot a few rounds on each pistol and rifle, for her sake as well as the guns’.

She’d missed this. It’d been a while since her last visit to a range. Firearm laws were tight at home; she’d cobbled together new techniques for hunting ghosts and other nasty things – water pistols full of holy water, she couldn’t imagine how no one had thought of that before – and borrowed ideas from other local hunters, once she met some. The new methods were effective enough, most of the time. Still, they all lacked the violence of a rifle’s recoil against her shoulder, the crack of the shot through her ear muffs. None of the them expressed her feelings half so well.

--

By the time the light began to fail and she headed towards the house, most everyone seemed to have gathered outside. The yard was raucous with adrenaline and whisky. She passed Annie Hawkins, whose bedroll was next to Tamara’s in Bobby’s guest bedroom. Annie winked and promised that Tamara would have the room to herself for the night.

Tamara went inside looking for a bit of peace. What she found in Bobby’s study was Sam, alone and still hunched over the desk. Before Tamara could step back out of the room, he looked up and gave her some thin approximation of a smile. “Hey, Tamara.”

“I was just leaving,” she began.

Sam blinked and pinched at the bridge of his nose. He’d been here a long time, she judged. “You can stay, you won’t bother me.”

That sounded like a challenge. Tamara pulled over a chair and straddled it. “So, still cleaning up your mess, are we?”

He snorted. “Yeah.”

It wasn’t the response she’d expected. “It’s hardly your mess, though, is it? Bobby told me it wasn’t you who opened the devil’s gate after all.”

“That’s true.” Sam lifted his head to look at her. “On the other hand, I did let Lucifer out of his box, so I’d say the mess is definitely mine.”

You set the devil loose.” This was definitely not common knowledge around the camp. There’d have been a firing squad if it were.

“That’d be me.”

“On purpose,” she said, because she couldn’t think what else to say.

“God, no.” There it was, that heroic earnestness she’d hated so fondly. “It was just... It was a long series of really bad decisions, and when I got to the end of them, there he was. Lucifer.”

She didn’t know why he was telling her this. Perhaps he felt some of the blame for Isaac’s death that she’d always laid on him, fairly or not. Perhaps this was penance. She found, abruptly, that she didn’t care. Whatever hand Sam did or didn’t have in bringing this new catastrophe down on them, it was the old catastrophe she cared about, and its damage was long since done.

“So what are you going to do about it?” she asked, for the sake of the old, stale hate.

“Whatever it takes.”

She knew that tone, those words. That was the meter her heart had been beating to for two years now. “God, I’m so sick of exorcising these petty little demons one at a time. For God’s sake, point me at the devil and set me loose.” Sam said nothing. Tamara eyed him as the silence drew out. Finally she said, “That’s you, too, isn’t it? Nothing held back. Go down and take the devil with you.”

Sam ducked his head, and Tamara caught a glimpse of doubt. When he looked back up, though, his gaze was steel. “Probably.”

And there it was again, desire tolling in her like the peal of a church bell. It resonated clear through her, bones and breath and clit. Fuck and be merry, wasn’t it, for tomorrow we die? Tamara thought of Annie and wanted to laugh. “Last night on earth, would you say it is?” she asked.

“Uh, maybe?” Sam said, caught off guard. “Sort of?”

It wasn’t really; whatever plan was eventually settled on, the hunters weren’t moving out until the day after next at the earliest. Close enough. “And what are you going do with it? Burn your eyes out looking over maps you’ve already got memorized?”

Warily, “That was pretty much the plan.”

Tamara lifted an eyebrow. “I’ve got a better one.” She looked him in the eye until he got it, and then kept looking while he considered.

Finally he snorted. “Last night on earth?”

“That’s right.”

He laughed then, a single, cheerless breath of humor. “Why not?” he asked.

“I’ve got a room to myself tonight. Bed’s not large, but the door closes.”

“Good enough.”

--

Door shut, Tamara strode straight into Sam’s space. “Come on, then,” she said, lightly gripping his balls through the denim. Don’t let the boy get any delusions of tenderness. “Show me what you got.”

She saw the spark in his eyes as he got it, as he realized this way this was going to be. She found herself shoved against the wall, not hard enough to bruise but not gently, either. Sam bent down – and it was quite a long way down – and caught her lips with his.

Tamara planted her hands on Sam’s shoulders and pushed. Since she and Isaac had met, no man had kissed her but him. She wasn’t about to put up with it from anyone else now. Inches away, he blinked at her. “I’m not here to be kissed, Sam. I’m here to be fucked.”

“I’ll get right on that,” he huffed, but his fingers were already working her jeans button. He undid her zipper and yanked her trousers down with both hands.

Tamara braced herself, expecting her knickers to go next. When all she felt was a warm pressure on her hip, she pulled back. Sam was staring down at his hand splayed over her thigh, his pale fingers a stark contrast with her bare skin and sensible black cotton pants. “It’s just been a while,” he said. Gently he traced her hip bone, the pad of his thumb just grazing her skin.

Unbidden, unwanted, a bud of sympathy bloomed in her chest. She allowed him a moment to admire her. She could afford him that. “For me, too,” she whispered. Since Isaac, actually, but that wasn’t for Sam to know. She took Sam’s hand by the wrist and steered it lower until his knuckles bumped up against her throbbing clit. “Now, get on with it.”

After that, getting the rest of her clothes off didn’t take long, or his, either. The focus he’d had staring at that old map, he turned on her. Soon enough she was lying dead center in Bobby Singer’s twin guest bed, Sam moving over her.

Just before either of them reached the finale, both sheened in sweat, there came a hitch in Sam’s movements, a hesitation. He had a faraway look that Tamara’d have slapped off his face if they actually meant something to each other. Instead she met his next thrust halfway. Caught off-guard, he stared down at her, only half seeing. She wrapped a hand around his neck and tugged him down. “All in, yeah?” she gasped in his ear.

Later she’d tell herself she didn’t see it: that look of gratitude that washed over his face.

Moments later, he shuddered, gasping hot breath down the side of her neck as he came. She arched against him, losing herself to their joint rhythm, willing herself over the edge.

Then it was over, him barely out and half draped across her, both of them panting. She’d shove him off soon. The bed wouldn’t comfortably sleep him alone, much less the two of them. For now she breathed in the husky sweaty smell of him, tinged with book must and gun oil. For these few moments, his single-minded endgame focus was broken. Hers, too.

Something in her thrilled to it, that certainty, and answered in kind. Get the job done, take the bastards down. The hunger for action, for vengeance had risen to fever pitch when she took Bobby’s call two days ago. This was what she’d come back to America for. This was her chance.

Leave it to her to spend her last night – give or take – getting fond of a man who wouldn’t come out the other side alive.

But then neither would she, she figured. So that was all right.

-end-