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Appointment in Samarra

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They’ve had a long, long life together, full of laughter and joy and growing old one day at a time. But what is it that people say? All good things must come to an end. Or something like that.

 


 

Dean and Cas are sitting on the porch in twin rocking chairs. It’s a cool September afternoon. They’re looking out over the fields; the skating pond that freezes over in the winter; the vegetable garden. The only sound is the rush of wind touseling the dry grass and the quiet flipping of pages from Cas’ book.

Out of the corner of his eye, Dean sees a flash of motion. He turns his head. It’s Billie.

Time has treated Death well. She looks the same as she did when they last saw her, forty years ago.

“Hey, Dean,” she says, “Hey, Castiel.”

“Billie,” Dean says amicably. “I thought typically, people only see Death after dying, not before.”

“Typically,” she agrees. “But when have the Winchesters ever warranted typical?”

“We’ve been doing a pretty good job of it, I’d say,” Dean says, “if you take the past few decades into account.” He glances at Cas, who’s quiet in his rocker, an amused expression on his face, looking at Billie.

She shrugs. “I figured I’d do the job myself. Good bedside manner, as it were.” She approaches the porch, and gestures at the porch swing, creaking opposite Dean and Cas. “May I?”

Cas inclines his head. Billie sits.

“How’ve you been?” Dean says. 

“Oh, you know,” she replies, stretching out on the swing and letting out a sigh. “Same old. Haven’t had much anything of interest since the last apocalypse. Regular number of souls getting reaped, no earth-shattering events to interfere with the balance of things. Seems all’s been right for a while now.”

“I’d hope so,” Cas says. “You reaped God, then?”

She nods slowly, savoring the motion. “His time came. I did the honors.”

Dean bobs his head in appreciation. “Bet that felt good.”

“You have no idea.” 

There’s quiet for a few moments. Then Cas clears his throat and says, “Well?”

“You’re in that much of a hurry to move on, then, are you?” Billie says, teasing. 

“Not at all,” Cas says graciously. “But you’re a busy woman — or rather, entity. We’d hate to keep you from your duties.”

Billie nods at him. “Appreciated.”

“The same system’s in place, then,” Dean says. It’s not really a question. “No Heaven, no Hell, just… the end.”

“Just as your boy intended it,” Billie agrees. At the mention of Jack, Cas turns to Dean.

“He’ll be alright, won’t he.” It’s as much a reassurance to himself as it is to Dean.

Dean squeezes Cas’ hand. “He will. Got his own life now. Sam too.”

“And all the rest.”

“And all the rest,” Dean echoes.

Billie looks around them — at the house, the gardens, the fields stretching out into the distance, the long gravel driveway. “This is a nice place to breathe your last, all things considered,” she remarks. “Guess you won’t get your hero’s death after all, eh, Winchester?”

Dean’s had years to think about it. “Guess not,” he says with an easy smile. “I’m okay with that.”

“Good,” Billie says, and smiles back. 

All’s quiet for a moment more. Then she says, “Okay, boys. It’s time.”

Cas gives Dean’s hand a brief squeeze. The rocking chairs creak in unison. Billie stands up from the swing, takes a few steps towards them.

“Wait,” Dean says, abruptly. “I gotta ask. Why’re you taking us together?”

A slow smile creeps across Billie’s face. “Why do you think? After all this time, after all the temporary deaths and resurrections and tearing the world apart just to find each other — I’d say you deserve it.”

“Thanks, Billie,” Cas says. He’s calm, and grateful, and looking at him Dean can’t resist the urge to reach out brush a lock of white hair out of his face. 

“If that’s all, then...?” Billie says questioningly.

“That’s all,” Dean agrees.

Billie reaches out. The rocking chairs creak, together, one final time, and then are still. 

 


 

The old men at the end of the street are officially found dead the next morning. Heart attacks, according to the newspaper. The neighbors knew them well, think there’s something comforting (if odd) in the fact that they died within moments of each other. 

A funeral is held, attended by hundreds. Eventually, the sweet little two-story house overlooking the skating pond and the vegetable garden is sold.

And life goes on.