Rating: PG - Gen
Disclaimers: SPN & characters are owned by their various creators.
Summary: Sam ponders the nature of loss and time. Then go fights a mummy.
There was something quiet and temple like about places like this.
Sam supposed churches had the same qualities as institutions who made it their business to preserve and house relics. Everything carefully cataloged and labeled. Every item restored almost back to as it was from the far ago day it had once sat beside a smoking fire or lay heavy to grace a woman's throat.
The smooth glossy stone floors. The vast unfettered spaces that lead you into one stretch of corridor after another. The high ceilings and faint echo of your footsteps as you made your way under one dim yellow pool of far above lamp light after another. He had never thought about it, but if marble had a cool clean smell, that was what filled the air. He paused at a large and strangely narrow ceramic, its fragile pieces like a jigsaw puzzle painstakingly put back together to reveal the elaborate paint and glaze of some slow and steady artist. It looked as if it had no practical use other than just to be beautiful. The thought was comforting.
"Would you believe this vase is over 1000 years old?" Sam spoke softly as the place seemed to dictate.
"Aren't most rocks laying around on the ground a lot older than that?"
Dean was always a little hard to impress.
Sam moved to the next display case, the gold beaten jewelry of a queen that ruled the fertile crescent laid on strangely plain and uninspired white blocks of plaster. He began to enjoy imagining the woman that had worn the thick bracelets on her slender wrists. A person he would have no privilege to even sit in her presence. But now her most personal and sacred belongings were here for any common man to look at.
The small smile he had faded when he looked down at an ornate set of delicate hair pins. A small bronze mirror. An ivory comb. Things that would have sat on a table in her bedroom. Things she used as she slowly woke up to her day. His pleasure at the sight of the items faded and shifted. Some men had called their own brand of tomb raiding a science. Research. Discovery. Sam wondered just how many years had to pass before a human being no longer became a loss and turned into a curiosity.
"Did you know that the Egyptians invented birth control?" Dean read off a placard.
Sam wasn't sure time could accurately record exactly when man's efforts to have sex without the hassle of the result began, but he knew the Egyptians had been pretty sophisticated about it.
"Listen to this..." Dean said, his interest making his voice lower. "It says here that they'd put a bead on a string and then, wait... they'd push it up into their -- oh man...! Sucks to be an ancient dude."
Sam looked at his watch and took a deep breath.
"It's time to get down to the sarcophagi."
Dean nodded, shaking off the effects of what he had read on the peeled paper that was taped on top of the fertility display case.
"Hey Sam, do you think one day 1000 years from now our stuff will be sitting in some dusty old place with school kids yawning at it?"
Sam took one last look down the long empty hall filled with the glow of one display after another. Hundreds of years and all the people that filled them were less than ghosts laid out for the living to marvel at in brief wonder before moving right along.
He suddenly wanted to make his bored older brother smile.
"Maybe the car?"
Just as he thought, Dean brightened at that notion, the corner of his mouth tugging up into a pleased grin.
"Nah," Dean replied as they walked. "In 1000 years she'll still be runnin'."