He died on a cold day. He’s not quite sure why he felt so cold. Perhaps it was the snow that dusted the windowsill like icing on a cake. Perhaps it was his old body’s fault; too frail to heat itself. Or perhaps it was the absence of his family around him.
Dean had died three years earlier, a year older than Sam was when he died. Cas had left the second Dean flat lined: one second he was gripping Dean’s age spotted hand with its paper skin, the next he was gone, all that remained of him was a solitary black feather.
Sam understood. Dean and Cas had always shared a more “profound bond”. It didn’t make burning Dean’s ashes any easier. There was beer, of course, even ex-hunters deserved a traditional send off. But there was no one to share the beer with.
In fact, there was no one to share beer with ever again.
Sam wasn’t bitter. He had resigned himself to being alone long ago. Even when he and Dean quit the job, Sam never gave himself the right to fall for someone. They may have left the ghosts and monsters behind, but Sam could never outrun his demons.
The three years alone were… Well, lonely. Sam lived in his memories, watching Dr Sexy MD on the television in the bunker, reading up on obscure monsters with no intention of ever hunting any of them. He would hold his friends in his heart as he slept, the comfort of meeting them again soon making his isolation easier to bear.
He banished all thoughts of where he would go when he died. Refused to even entertain the possibility that he would go to hell. He focused on the good he had done during his life; prayed every night to whoever was listening to please, please, please accept him into heaven. There were so many people he missed…
Sam knew, about a week before, that he was going to die. So he admitted himself into an old person’s home. He refused to have his corpse rotting in the bunker, and he left specific instructions in his will to have all his possessions left to charity, and his body to be cremated.
It was peaceful at the end. Of course, his lungs rattled and weezed, his heart struggled to pump his blood around his body. And it was cold, so very, very cold. He wasn’t struggling enough to draw attention from the nurses, however, and so he left this world alone.
He died quietly, slipped of the face of the earth with a soft sigh. He left, not with a bang, barely even a whimper. The next (day/week/month/year?) however long was blurry, and confusing, to say the least. A lot of bright light and white and things that hurt your head to think about.
Eventually it ends, and he’s alone in a green meadow. Of course. Even in the afterlife he is alone. He huffs out a laugh. It’s ironic, he muses. His whole life he waits to be reunited with all those he lost, and when he finally gets to heaven (if this place is, in fact, heaven) he is all alone.
And a field! How is he going to spend an eternity alone in a field? Surely he will go insane. Maybe that’s for the best. Perhaps if he goes crazy he’ll begin to hallucinate, the people he loves can become tangible in his head.
He is lying in the grass, staring at the clouds in the blue sky when they flop down beside him. He is almost afraid to turn his head to the side, afraid to see who, or what, it is. Afraid to find out he has already gone mad, and there is no one there: it was all a figment of his imagination.
An index finger enters his field of vision, pointing up at the sky. A soft voice interrupts the silence. A voice he hasn’t heard in 55 years. A voice he’d recognize anywhere.
“That one looks like an engagement ring. Y’know, the thing you never gave me?” Her voice is teasing, Sam can hear the smile in it.
He turns his head, grinning. His hand reaches out to touch the spun gold spilling from her head. His eyes drink her in. She is, if possible, more radiant than the last time he saw her, and he can tell from what he can see of his hand in her hair that he is once more in the body of 22 year old himself.
“I missed you.”
They whisper it simultaneously, and for the first time in a very long time, and despite the impossibility of it all, he feels alive.