Nobody ever suspects the butterfly

I mean nobody!

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Wing and a Tail (fanfic)
Spoiler warning for the end of Carry On. I can't help it. I love this book. I had a shit case of insomnia earlier this week and wrote this while I was trying to fall asleep. All errors can be blamed on exhaustion.

Title: Wings and a Tail
Fandom: Carry On (Rainbow Rowell); fictional Simon Snow series
Pairing: Simon/Baz
Rating: T
Summary: After he loses his magic, Simon is stuck with those ridiculous wings and tail. He goes to the States to get them surgically removed.
Word Count: approx 2100

When he thought about it, Baz wasn’t quite sure how they’d ended up in a small rural Ohio town in the United States of all places. When he thought too hard about it though, he wasn’t sure how he’d ended up with Simon Snow, of all people, so sometimes it was better to just not think about it.

Between Dr. Wellbelove and Simon’s American Magickal Psychiatrist, they’d managed to locate another physician who worked with Magick. He worked, as he put it, “a little under the radar.” Which probably meant that he had no proven credentials either magickally or Normally. Still, Dr. Wellbelove wasn’t a surgeon, and who else could they turn to to get Simon’s ridiculous tail and wings removed?

For a full year, Baz or Penelope had been spelling them invisible every morning and evening. But still, Simon had to sit uncomfortably and wear weird-fitting clothes. And while he may have been accustomed to ill-fitting clothes from years in an orphanage, wearing the Watford uniform had gotten him used to clothes that actually fit.

Through connections that both Simon and Baz assumed were shady as fuck, Dr. Wellbelove announced to Simon one day a few months ago that he’d found someone to help with his wings and tail. It was all very hush, hush. Even though it made Simon nervous, and it made him feel terrible that Agatha’s parents insisted on footing the bill, they flew across the pond to spend a month in Athens, Ohio for Simon to get his extra body parts removed.

He’d been sullen and cranky the entire day prior to the surgery. Baz tried everything. He tried being his usual snarky and sarcastic self, but when that didn’t work, he finally tried brutal honesty. “You’re acting like a tit,” he said to Simon. “Why?”

Simon glared at his boyfriend, “You wouldn’t understand.”

“Boo-hoo. Save it for your therapist.”

“I am.”

Simon was lying on the hotel bed, watching the telly (it was bad when he wasn’t turning off the God-damned Kardashians) and moping. Baz sat next to him and nudged Simon’s leg with his own. “Nervous about tomorrow?” he guessed. Simon didn’t make guessing his moods very easy sometimes.

Simon shrugged, “A little. I don’t think Agatha’s dad would send me to someone dangerous. And Doctor Stone seems fine.”

Dr. Stone was not what Simon expected. He had a Normal physicians office in a small shopping center that was mostly empty in an area well outside the town proper that was poor even by the standards of this struggling area of the country. He mostly saw only poor patients who paid what they could afford, and his practice looked like it.

The back of his office had been magickally expanded, and that’s where he worked on his combo of Magickal and Normal medicine. Dr. Wellbelove, who’d accompanied Simon on his first visit for X-rays and a discussion with Dr. Stone, had stayed in the doctor’s office late into the night comparing notes. He’d given Simon and Baz keys to his rental car and they’d taken it to go to dinner, the only thing being open at that time was a Burger King staffed by several bored looking teenagers. They’d also pulled over onto the side of a gravel road and had sex in the back seat. Simon was sure Dr. Wellbelove could sense it the next day, but he didn’t say anything.

“You’re going to think I’m stupid,” Simon admitted after a few moments silence.

“No surprise,” Baz said dryly.

Simon kicked Baz’s foot lightly. “These stupid wings and tail are my last physical connection to magic.”

Baz stuck his lower lip out in confusion. Crowley, after more than a year together Simon still loved to see that pouty lower lip. “What?” he asked.

Simon shrugged. “I magicked these on to myself. It was one of my last magickal acts.”

“Saving the fucking world was your very last magickal act,” Baz corrected him. “A sacrificial act at that. It’s so noble I can barely stand it.”

Simon stood up and went to the window. He looked out onto the mostly empty parking lot. It was summer and students from the nearby Ohio University were out of town, leaving the town feeling a little like a ghost town. There were only a few other guests staying at the hotel at the moment. When they’d arrived in Athens ten days ago, the hotel was packed with parents staying for graduation and to help their little darlings move home for the summer. Baz had had to use a Home is Where the Heart is on an unsuspecting family to get them to change their minds about staying an extra night so that he and Simon could even get a room in the hotel.

“I knew you wouldn’t understand,” Simon said.

“Do you not want the wings off? Simon, I can keep spelling them every day if that’s what you want.”

“Of course that’s not what I want,” Simon answered. “I just-” he broke off.

Baz was frustrated, but trying so hard not to fall immediately into sarcasm. Bunce had told him that it was an ugly defense mechanism, and Agatha had told him it was common. Simon told him he liked it, but Simon was a stupid twit like that sometimes.

“Spill it, Snow,” Baz said.

“I’m starting to come to grips with not having any magic ever again.”

“This isn’t news to you.”

“I know. But once I got past the whole trauma thing-”

“You got past that?” Baz interrupted.

Simon ignored him. “-And decided to go to uni and be a normal Normal, it just made my lack of magic so real. What happened last year sucked. And The Mage is dead and Ebb is dead and I’ve dealt with that. Poorly sometimes, but I’ve done what I could for myself. But this? My whole life ahead of me and no magic? I don’t know if I can face it.” He grabbed his tail and wound it around his wrist and rolled his shoulders a little so his wings spread just a bit. “So this is my last physical connection to my magic.”

“Dummy,” Baz said quietly. “What about me?”

“What about you?” Simon turned back from the window to face Baz.

“I’m a physical connection to the magical world.”

Simon paused, and Baz noticed a small uptick at the corners of his mouth. Baz pushed on, “We have a very physical connection.


The following day, Dr. Wellbelove drove Simon and Baz (and Penelope, who’d flown in specifically to keep Baz company during the several hour surgery) to the office of Dr. Stone. Surgery was going to be that evening because Dr. Stone had a full day of people to treat. (Poor people, Baz kept calling them, until Simon pointed out that they were just people.)

But there was a lot of hustle in the secret magickal back room, which had been magicked into a surgery. Dr. Stone had serious (and questionable) magickal connections, and other physician as well as a team of nurses and a magickal anesthetist had been called in from all over the world to help Simon de-wing his back and de-tail his ass.

It had been over a year since Simon had been such a big deal in the Magickal world. It would probably be the last time.

Simon had seen the tray of surgical instruments. The scalpel, the clamps, the terrifying bone saw. And a tray of wands. It was bizarre, but he knew he was getting a combination of Magickal and Normal medicine.

Simon got undressed and lay on the surgical table. He didn’t realize that he’d be put into Magickal sleep until the anesthetist held his wand to Simon’s temple and used a Sleep like a Log to put him out.

Everything went black.

Back in the waiting room, Baz and Penelope were quietly playing cards.

“I can’t believe Agatha didn’t come,” Penelope said.

Baz snorted. “You don’t know her that well then. Agatha doesn’t do well with discomfort.”

Penelope looked at Baz curiously. “What part would made her uncomfortable?”

Baz ticked off the list on his fingers, “Her gay ex-boyfriend, her gay ex-boyfriend’s gay boyfriend, her dad trying to get her to return to Britain and telling her how much her mum misses her, her being an outsider in our group, you being an all around better person than she is, all the poor people in this area, and” Baz pointed to the door separating them from the surgery, “the weird mixture of magic and medicine going on in there. It’s un-fucking-precedented and Agatha doesn’t deal well with new weird things.”

Penelope smirked, “You think I’m a better person than Agatha.”

Baz sniffed, “I have very little regard for Agatha Wellbelove.”

“So you have some regard for me.”

Baz shrugged. “Some. But I’d rather not talk about it.”

They played a few more hands quietly. “Let’s go get dinner,” Baz said, hoping they wouldn’t have to talk about his admitted regard for Penelope Bunce. “There’s a place in town that Simon loves called Casa Nueva. He practically drinks their salsa.”

“Do you need to hunt?”

Baz looked out the window. “I’ll run out when we get back. The woods in this area are overflowing with squirrels and raccoons and deer.”


The surgery lasted until well past midnight. Penelope had spelled a bed right in the waiting room and she and Baz had crawled into it and fallen asleep holding hands. They’d had dinner, Baz had gone hunting, and they’d spent the whole night talking. And Penny had managed to get Baz to talk about his feelings. About how scared he was of this surgery, and how Simon felt like he was letting his last physical connection to the magickal world go.

Penny was, unsurprisingly, kind and sympathetic and soothed all of Baz’s fears. So when she conjured one big bed instead of two smaller ones, he didn’t argue and climbed right in with her. He was stressed, but still managed to fall asleep quickly.

“Baz. Penny.” Dr. Wellbelove was hovering over them, shaking their shoulders. He was wearing doctor’s scrubs and holding his wand.

“Hmm?” Penny asked, but Baz sat straight up as if he hadn’t just been dreaming.

“What? How’s Simon?”

“He’s fine,” Dr. Wellbelove answered. “Surgery went without a hitch.”

Penny sat up slowly, “He’s alive? The wings and tail are gone?”

“Completely gone,” Dr. Wellbelove smiled. “We were afraid there might be a bony stump, but he was able to get it smooth.”

“When can I see him?” Baz asked.

“Tomorrow morning. He’s just now coming out of anesthesia, but he’s going to be really out of it. Dr. Stone’s office is closed tomorrow, so you guys can keep sleeping here. I’ll let Dr. Stone know.”

Dr. Wellbelove left and Penelope burst into tears. Baz started to make a sarcastic comment about it, but found that he couldn’t get any words out around the lump in his own throat. He didn’t realize how worried he’d been until he was able to let go of it.

And why, for Crowley’s sake, did it take something like this to make Baz feel a renewed sense of love for Simon?


A few weeks later Simon and Baz were flying back to London. They were richer. Dr. Stone had paid Simon absurdly well for the “surgical specimens.” (The wings and the tail. A bidding war had erupted among magickal medical scholars to study them. Simon, not wanting to get involved in what would surely be a political fight over his old wings and tail, had agreed to let Dr. Stone keep them. For a ridiculous sum of money. He didn’t know where Dr. Stone got the money, but he assumed a man treating the poor for no money must have another source of income somewhere.)

Simon and Baz weren’t just richer, they were happier. Simon felt lighter than he had in over a year. He had no magic anymore. The wings and the tail had been the last of the physical reminders of his magic. But he didn’t mind getting rid of them, because it wasn’t until they were gone that he’d realized how painful the reminders were.

And Baz had been wrong; He wasn’t a physical reminder of Simon’s magic. Because what they had was beyond the mere physical. Simon laid his head on his boyfriend’s shoulder and quickly fell asleep.


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