Post-Changes: Harry wakes up in the hospital and comes face to face with Mad Mab.

Disclaimer: I do not own The Dresden Files.

The steady beep of the heart monitor was the first thing I heard when I awoke. Something must have been capping my magic, or else the monitor would have shorted out.

My eyelids were heavy, and my entire body buzzed pleasantly.

Ah, painkillers.

Despite my better judgment I opened my eyes, and took in the sites of the hospital room. The room was darkish, back lit by dim lights, so if need be emergency wouldn't need to be addressed in the dark. Besides my bed Murphy was slumped into an unconformable looking chair deep asleep.

There where bags under her eyes, and her clothes were rumpled, since they weren't what she'd ware to work I assumed that she had been here a while.

Also I could see her breath, and my heart monitor had stopped beeping.

My eyes snapped to the foot of my bed, Mab stood there, as still as a marble statue, her face a mask of impartiality, but her otherworldly eyes had a hint of irritation.

"I finally get you under my thumb and yet you find a way to escape me." Her voice was strangled with quite, cold rage.

'Wha_" I half crocked, my throat was dry and scratchy, and it was painful to speak. "What are you talking about?"

"Do not play coy," Mab snapped, "You know very well that your death voids the deal we made at the stone table."

The painkillers made my thoughts wonky, and it took a moment to catch up to Mab's accusation.

"You think-you think that I had myself shot on purpose?" I asked incuriously, "To get out of being the Winter Knight?"

"Indeed, you abused the terms of our contract. You were to be my Knight until your death, the short span of time between our deal, and your temporary death is too convenient to be anything but a plan to cheat me."

I began to laugh, but it dissolved into painful bout of coughing. After a moment I regained my voice, "Lady, I hate to break this to you, but I am not 'smart' enough to arrange my own death, on the off chance that I could be revived so that I could screw you out of my side of the deal. I wish I could claim that I'm that 'smart', but I'm just not."

"You know very well that the Archangel would not invest the power of Creation on you to be killed before you serve the White God's purpose." Mab replied, her voice was on the level now, but her eyes still conveyed her rage. "You will agree to be my Knight once again."

I put on my best annoying smile, "And what's in it for me? Wait don't answer that, go shove your Knighthood up your ass Mab. I lived up to my end of the deal, and I didn't cheat either. I was your Knight until my death. Now go trick some other poor sap into the job."

In the blink of an eye Mab was hovering above me, eye to eye, "You will be my Knight again… In time. You will need my power again, and then I will make sure you can not cheat your way out of my grasp again."

I blinked, and she was gone.

I closed my eyes, and I heard a nurse rushing into the room to investigate why the heart monitor was no longer working. Murphy groaned and made stretching noises.

I'd cheated death (again) and the Winter Queen of the Fay on the same day, not too shabby.


A/N: Just my thought on the end of Changes and why it happened, feel free to comment.