Did you ever envision a different ending for Supernatural? A different fate for Sam and Dean? Well, I did – quite literally. One night, during the mid-season 15 hellatus, I had a dream. Like a lightning bolt sent straight by a muse, an episode played before my eyes. I could see it all: The camera angles, the actors’ performances, their wardrobe, the sets, everything! When morning came, I hurriedly began to jot down the vision I had been granted.
That’s what I present to you now. This is how I wanted season 15 to conclude. Instead of “Unity”/”Despair”/”Inherit the Earth” finale, I present to you a multi-part, complex tale that brings the Supernatural saga to a close. There’s mystery, danger, old friends and familiar enemies, but the ending – well, that just might surprise you. Begin at the beginning with part 1, then over the next several weeks, return with us to the Supernatural universe to again immerse yourselves in the lives of Sam and Dean Winchester!
“With or Without You”
The growl of a classic engine drew Special Agent Victor Henriksen’s attention to the jet black ‘67 Impala pulling up behind the dark blue Jeep that had already parked at the end of the gravel driveway. There was a familiar creak as the door opened and Sam Winchester climbed out, asking, “Want to give me a hand?”
Victor took off his coat and rolled up his sleeves as Sam popped the trunk, revealing the black body bag inside. Working together, they dumped it out onto the gravel and unzipped it. Victor grabbed the corpse’s feet while Sam grabbed the arms. Together, they carried it to the roaring fire pit and tossed it in on the count of three.
Both of them retreated from the roaring blaze back to their cars. Sam hopped up on the Impala’s hood while Victor fetched a six-pack of beer he had been keeping cold in a green cooler Sam had loaned him. “Nice work today, Sam,” said Victor as he tossed a can.
Sam caught it, opened it, and took a swig before replying, “It pissed off Jeremy Edlund, though. He’s threatening to get me transferred.”
“Nature of the Bureau, Sam,” Victor said before taking a drink himself as he leaned against the Impala. “The only thing worse than monsters is the politics. Besides, I think New York has calmed down. The Midwest needs some attention now.”
“Really? That why you’ve spent so much time in Minnesota lately, Agent Henriksen?”
“What can I say? I go where I’m needed.”
“Donna been needing you a lot, lately?” Sam asked as he took a drink to hide his smirk.
Victor coughed as he nearly spit out his drink. “Are you inventing rumors again, Agent Winchester?”
“Then you’re a worse agent than I thought, Vic. Everyone can see her smile gets brighter when you’re around. ‘Who seeks and will not take, when once ‘tis offer’d, shall never find it more.’”
“I hope she doesn’t, ‘For I am falser than vows made in wine.’ This isn’t a job for families, Sammy. We don’t get happy endings. Ask your parents.”
The two of them watched the fire as the sky grew darker with the sunset.
“Mom would talk about it sometimes,” said Sam. “I would be sitting there, patching her up with a first aid kit after a hunt and she would start to talk about the years she had with Dad and Dean – before the house fire took them.”
Sam finished his can, crushed it in his hand and grabbed another one. “One of the first hunts I helped her on, she was captured by a djinn. The illusion it had her under was so strong I spent nearly a day trying to snap her out of it.” He took a long draught of beer. “It was a week before she was finally able to tell me about the world she had seen. And it was just… all of us, together as a family, eating dinner together.” He paused for another drink. “She never regretted her choices, Vic.”
“You regret Jessica, Sam?”
“I regret letting her go. Maybe… we could have–”
An instrumental version of Ball of Confusion sounded from Victor’s back pocket. He pulled out his cell phone and answered it with, “This is Special Agent Henriksen. Yes. I promise, no matter how crazy.” He listened a moment, then gestured Sam to come closer. As Sam leaned over, Victor switched the phone to speaker mode and said, “Can you say that one more time, ma’am?”
“Aliens have taken my son!”
There was a familiar creak as the side entrance close to the office of Harvelle’s Roadhouse opened. Jo Harvelle, who was going over the receipts from the night before reflexively reached for the gun in her desk drawer. “The bar is closed!” she shouted as she stood up. “And the flophouse is being remodeled!”
A familiar voice shouted back, “What every pregnant woman hates to hear…”
Jo ran out of her office, towards the red-headed arrival.
“…’there’s no room at the inn’.”
“Anna!” Jo shouted as she embraced her adopted sister-in-law with a big smile. “Of course, there’s always room for you here!” Jo and Dean may not have been siblings by birth, but they spent so much time together growing up around the Roadhouse after Dean’s mom was killed, they eventually adopted each other.
“Auntie Jo!” shouted a blur as he wrapped his arms around her legs.
“Hey you!” she replied with a laugh, lifting the tyke up in her arms to return the hug. “You all need a place to crash for a few days?”
“Just until the baby comes,” Dean answered as he entered, his arms full of several pieces of luggage.
“Anna and John can stay in the large guest room. You’ll have to sleep in the car,” said Jo with only the barest hint of sarcasm as she led them all to the Roadhouse’s main bar.
“Fine by me. Baby and I haven’t had much quality time lately.”
Jo rolled her eyes as she turned to Anna and asked, “Ever feel like the third wheel in your own marriage?”
“Every day,” Anna said with an exaggerated sigh as she hauled herself onto a bar stool.
“Come on, sport. You said you wanted to carry your own bag,” said Dean.
“No! I’m not ready to let him go,” protested Jo as she tickled the kid, causing him to giggle. The tickle fight was brief, then Jo released him in exchange for a hug and kiss on the cheek. He then ran over to Dean, grabbed the kid-sized backpack and suitcase with pictures of Batman on them, and proceeded to struggle up the stairs in a manner that was too adorable.
“Get you something to drink?” asked Jo as she stepped behind the bar.
“Just some water,” said Anna.
Jo set a bottle of Anna’s favorite brand on the countertop.
“Tap water’s fine,” she protested.
“Maybe for you, but not that little guy,” Jo said, pointing at Anna’s stomach. “How you been?”
“Well. You know we angels… we would sometimes get jealous that you humans could participate in creation on a level we never could. It’s humbling to feel a new soul growing within me.”
“I warned you about my brother,” said Jo with a smile. “I warned you he would do something like that to you, and now you’ve gone soft.”
Anna giggled as she said, “I did kind of ask for it. When I tackled him and handcuffed him to–”
“Whoa! That’s enough! I don’t need to know any more!”
“Do I even want to know what I missed?” asked Dean, coming down the stairs.
“No,” Jo said as she opened a bottle of Dean’s favorite beer and handed it to him as he sat down beside his wife. As Dean took a drink, she asked, “So is John getting a brother?”
“A sister,” said Anna.
“So you two have been to a doctor?”
Dean shook his head. “She just knows. Like she did with John.”
“Being an angel… you learn ‘insights’ about the world,” said Anna.
“Have you picked out a name?”
The two of them had a brief, silent debate over who would say. Dean said, “Samantha Joellen Winchester.”
Jo’s eyes grew a bit watery. “A beau—a nice name.”
Dean smiled and gave her a quick toast with his beer. “So. Have you found anyone, yet?”
Jo rolled her eyes. “How is that any of your business.”
“He is your big brother. I’m just here for the gossip,” said Anna.
“Exactly. It’s my job to make sure he’s treating you well,” said Dean.
“Who said it was a he?” asked Jo.
Dean arched an eyebrow. “Are you serious?”
“Does it matter?”
“They are at least human, right? We don’t need a repeat of senior prom,” said Dean.
Jo groaned loudly. “I’m a grown woman now! How long do we have to keep bringing that up?”
“Which one was senior prom again?” asked Anna.
“The shapeshifter,” said Dean.
“This is why I don’t introduce you any more – you’ll just embarrass me.”
“I know it is serious when you’ll risk me doing just that,” said Dean. “If they hold your past against you, they don’t really love you.”
“Well, we’ve only gone out a few times. We’re not nearly that serious yet.”
“Fair enough,” Dean said before finishing off the contents of his bottle. “So is ‘he’ a hunter?”
Jo shook her head. “Charlie works with computers.”
“Does… ‘she’ know about the family business?”
Jo shook her head. “We’re taking it slow, Dean. We’ll get there when we get there. If you want to worry about anyone, worry about Claire.”
Dean and Anna both sat up straighter and their expressions turned serious. “What happened?” they both asked in unison.
“She went a hunting trip, and she hasn’t been back in a few days.”
Sam would admit that there were plenty of things to hate about working with the FBI, but one feature which made all the hassles nearly worthwhile was that he could stay at much nicer hotels than he ever had growing up. He never went for the lavish suite – Victor had warned him not to make his expense reports too suspicious – but it was nice to have a room with an actual kitchen in it now and then. Though Elwood, Indiana wasn’t exactly a town that offered any lavish suites anyway. Even the best place in the area was barely an improvement over the worst Sam had ever slept in. “Wish you could see me now, Mom,” he muttered to himself.
“Moose feeling a bit lonely?”
Sam whirled around with his Taurus-Judge revolver and unloaded a 410 salt shell into Crowley’s chest.
Crowley looked down at his suit. “That really stings you know. Plus it ruins the fabric.”
Sam cocked the hammer on his gun.
Crowley held up his hands in mock surrender. “Maybe if you treated your friends better, you wouldn’t be so lonely.”
“We’re not friends, Crowley. I helped you with Abaddon, so we’re even.”
“You’re here about the missing people, right?”
Sam uncocked his gun. “What about them?”
Crowley reached into his jacket and withdrew an old looking parchment. “One of our contracts – quite standard as you’re familiar with.” He unrolled it revealing a picture at the top of the document with arcane scribblings underneath it. Crowley took the picture between his thumb and finger, and pulled a copy of the picture free from the document. He stepped forward and handed it to Sam as he said, “His time is up tomorrow. Three weeks ago, he vanished.”
Sam holstered his gun before taking the picture. “Good for him.”
“No, moose, you dense– You think a person can really escape one of these contracts by moving? I’ve collected astronauts. Once the hellhounds have your scent, there’s nowhere you can go in this universe, Heaven or Hell, that they won’t find you. Maybe even Purgatory but I’ve never tried.”
Sam looked at the picture again. “So wherever he is, it’s not a where we’re familiar with.”
Crowley nodded. “Now you got it.”
“What else is out there besides the universe and afterlives?” asked Sam, but Crowley had already vanished.
With a sigh, Sam changed into his civilian attire – jeans, boots, black undershirt, blue-button up flannel, and an old army green jacket – and headed back out. Victor was going to check in with the agencies in the area for unusual reports while Sam would canvas the civilians for information. Sam had insisted on not asking around as the FBI because he couldn’t bear to hear another X-Files joke – which he heard often enough when aliens weren’t involved.
They had heard there was a gathering out in a field where a few crop circles had been found so Sam decided he’d start there. When he arrived, he was surprised to see nearly half a dozen vehicles and campers spread out on the field. With a practiced eye, he surveyed the layout and the people, looking for any sign that one of them wasn’t who they seemed.
“Hey cutie! Are you ready?” asked a woman who suddenly approached him. She had reddish-auburn hair, a hand knitted burgundy coat, and numerous handmade necklaces of the hippy variety.
Sam put on his best smile. “Ready?”
“It’s all happening, you know? I mean, these entities have come to help push humanity to the next stage.”
He had to suppress a laugh. How many times now had he confronted things whose next stage for humanity was a butcher shop, or worse. If aliens were real, Sam doubted they were going to be generous. “That’s what I came to check out. Learn all about it.”
“Yeah yeah! I get that. So, like ask around. And my name’s Sparrow. Let me know if I can help in any way.”
Sam smiled and promised her he would. Watching her walk away towards a brightly painted bus with aliens on the windows, he thought a moment about how long it had been since he had allowed himself to have any company. He shook the thought out of his head.
A young sobbing girl drew his attention next. Her name was Kim, a blonde hair, blue-eyed prom queen type. Her boyfriend, Patrick, a member of the football team, had been the latest person to have gone missing after an appearance of a mysterious light. Sam jotted down everything she told him about the abduction then offered what words of comfort he could, assuring her he’d try to find Patrick.
Next to an RV was a table set up displaying a map and a stack of papers. The side of the RV was festooned with drawings of little grey men and newspaper clippings. Sitting beside the table, reading a book and drinking coffee was a balding man dressed in a manner that was almost a mirror to Sam’s style. Sam approached the table and introduced himself.
“My name is Wayne Whitaker, Jr,” said the man, shaking Sam’s hand.
“What brings you out to this place?” asked Sam.
“I’m here because I believe that Elwood, Indiana has become a center of extraterrestrial activity,” Wayne said as he handed Sam a dozen pages stapled together with UFO Phenomena written on the cover.
“Been doing this awhile, Wayne?” Sam asked while he leafed through the literature.
“Over thirty years,” he answered. “I have personally recorded dozens of eyewitness accounts, strange lights in the sky, and mysterious presences attempting contact.”
Sam looked at the map. It was of the continental United States with several places circled in red. “How many people have been abducted around here?
“I believe Patrick last night makes five. Don’t worry my friend, the truth is out there.”
Sam smiled. “I intend to find it,” he said as he walked away. There didn’t seem to be much else of interest going on in the camp so Sam started to head back to the Impala. Then he saw the woman standing at the edge of the camp. She was hugging herself and wiping at her eyes. It was a body language Sam was all too familiar with – an exhaustion from a grief that won’t go away.
“Ma’am, can I help you?”
She looked up with red, puffy eyes and shook her head. “They took my son.”
Sam recognized the voice. “You called the FBI about it, didn’t you?”
Sam took out a business card and handed it to her. “My name is Sam Winchester. I’m working undercover with Special Agent Henriksen. We’re going to do everything we can to get him back, ma’am.”
She looked at his card then back at him, a faint dawn of hope lighting up her eyes. “My name… is Kelly Kline.”
She held up her phone to show him a picture of a young man around sixteen to eighteen years old. “My son’s name is Jack.”
*****To Be Continued*****
Story and Illustration by Nate Winchester
Edited by Nightsky