Welcome Back to my vision of the end of Sam and Dean’s fight to save the world! “With or Without You” is a multi-part, complex tale that brings the Supernatural saga to a close in a way that’s quite different than the “Unity”/”Despair”/”Inherit the Earth” finale that was presented in season 15. Yes, there’s mystery, danger, old friends and familiar enemies, but the ending – well, that just might surprise you. Begin with part 1, or drop into the story in whatever chapter you may have missed by using the links on our Fan Fiction tag. 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”
***** Sam *****
By afternoon, the day had turned sunny and unseasonably warm. Outside Jody’s off-white house, Sam and Donna leaned against the tailgate of Donna’s Dodge Ram pickup. Both of them held a halfway eaten cone of softserve ice cream.
“You do look like a g-man in those sunglasses,” Donna said.
“I doubt those cammo colored wrap-arounds you’re wearing would suit me,” he replied.
“Did she say when she would arrive?”
“Nope. Just that it would be today.”
Donna took a couple bites of her ice cream. “How do you think she’ll get here? Fly in on a broom? I hope it’s a broom.”
“It looks like an Uber,” said Sam as an ordinary, beige Toyota Corolla stopped in front of the driveway. A woman with blood-red hair wearing an elegant black dress stepped out and began walking towards them.
“Hello, Samuel,” she said. “I was beginning to wonder if you’d ever call. And is this your strumpet?”
Donna straightened up but before she could respond Sam said, “No, Rowena, she’s just a coworker – in both law and hunting.”
“That’s right so watch it – or I’ll bust your arse in two different ways,” snapped Donna.
Rowena removed her large, expensive sunglasses and put them into her oversized tote bag. “Good. Because if what Sam told me is true, this is not a task for weaklings. The fae are not to be trifled with.”
“They may be scary, but they’ve never had to handle a Minnesotan,” Donna said with her customary charm.
Rowena smiled and shoved her bag into Sam’s arms. “That’s the spirit. Now you said you had a leprechaun.”
Donna pulled out a small black remote and hit the button, causing the garage door to start to open.
“He told us that they’re trying to destroy the world,” Sam said as the three of them walked towards the garage.
“Then they probably are. You will all have to remember that fairies love to tell you the truth, but only a part of it.”
The garage door was nearly two-thirds open now. Most of the leprechaun was visible, sitting there in the middle of the garage. The door rose and rose, revealing his usual grin. Then he saw Rowena.
“Oh bollocks,” she said.
They first heard the echo of metal on concrete. Sam followed the noise to see that one of the locks holding their prisoner had fallen off. Then a second and a third lock fell.
“Rowena,” said the leprechaun, “I was looking forward to seeing you again.”
The rest of the locks hit the floor as Sam threw the bag aside. He and Donna were both reaching for their guns when the chains all fell off the leprechaun at once.
“He’s not a leprechaun!” shouted Rowena as the prisoner stood. “He’s Puck!”
With a snap of his fingers, Puck summoned an Irish shillelagh to his hand. As Donna and Sam took aim, he slammed its point onto the ground.
A blast of power radiated from him, knocking the three humans off their feet. Donna slammed into the front of her truck, Sam was knocked into the yard and Rowena was tossed down the driveway.
“Don’t feel too bad, Sam,” said Puck, leaning over the human. “You aren’t the first to chain me, so, long ago, I bartered with Houdini to learn his tricks. I would have escaped your trunk on the ride here, but I when I heard you mention Rowena’s name…” He smiled. “Well, we are quite invested in bringing our fugitives back home. Now this?” he said, raising his staff, “is for shooting me.”
He swung the heavy bronze handle down onto Sam’s head, knocking the hunter out.
It was dusk when Jody and Victor returned to the house. Jody opened the front door for Victor, who was carrying a box with poster board sticking out of it. When they walked in, they found Sam sitting on the couch, and Donna sitting at the table. Both of them were sulking with bags of ice pressed against their heads.
“What’d we miss?” Jody asked as Victor tossed the box onto the dining room table and went straight to Donna to see how she was doing.
“I figured out that our informant, Rowena, had left her number on the card she left behind,” explained Sam. “So we gave her a call, she showed up, and that’s when we learned our ‘leprechaun’ was actually Robin Goodfellow himself, Mr. Puck.”
“I don’t know the name but that sounds bad,” said Victor.
“He escaped, and took Rowena,” said Donna.
“And my mom’s journal,” said Sam.
“How in the world could he—your mom’s journal? Really?” asked Victor.
“What would he want with her journal?” asked Jody.
“Apparently they are planning to blow up the universe,” sighed Sam.
There was a long, awkward silence.
“Your mother knew how to do that?” Victor finally asked.
Sam shook his head. “I’ve read that journal backwards and forward. Never saw anything in there about that.”
“There must be somethin’ in there they need,” said Donna.
Sam threw his bag of ice onto the coffee table hard enough to make the whole thing rattle. “He played us, Victor. From the very start, he was playing us.” Sam looked like he was about to say something else, but instead he stormed out of the house, slamming the door behind him. Jody started after him.
“Let him go,” said Victor. “He needs to cool off.”
Outside, the western horizon was a purple haze while stars had begun to appear in the east. Sam walked over to his car and kicked the tire hard enough to stub his toe through his shoe. The pain made him angrier, so he slammed his fist onto the hood, causing more pain. He really wanted to hurt something. He told himself it was Puck he wanted to hurt most, but the ache in his hand told him he was really angry at himself.
All the signs had been there. Looking back, it was so obvious. How could he not see it coming? Now someone he had promised to keep safe was in danger. He had failed her, and turned her over to those she feared the most. Sam looked up at the sky as it began to fill with stars and thought about all the paths his life had taken. The years he had spent on the road with his mom. The struggles to get into college and excel. The night his mom got in trouble and Sam had to return to that life. The numerous times Henriksen had tried to arrest him, then when they ended up recruiting each other into their professions. Their defeat of Lilith and preventing the apocalypse. Sam’s return to law school. All of that was going to be wiped away by some damn fairies.
Sam pulled out his cell phone. He looked through his contacts, feeling a pang of loss whenever he saw a name still in his contacts that was now dead. Especially Bobby’s. Right now he really wished he could talk to the old hunter. He stopped on the contact listed as “J.” His finger hovered over the call button. All these years, and he still couldn’t forget her. “What the hell, world’s about to end anyway,” he mumbled to himself as he pressed the call button.
“Hello?” asked a female voice after a couple of rings.
Sam took a deep breath. “Hey! Hey, Jessica. It’s a… it’s Sam.”
“Sam? What time is it?”
“Oh! Right. Sorry. I’m in.” Sam tried to take another breath, but it felt like his chest was tightening. “I’m in another time zone. I just… wanted to make sure you were ok.”
“What the hell is going on? Are you drunk?”
Sam held the phone against his forehead as if it could pick up his thoughts and send them, sparing him the agony of trying to put things into words. Putting the phone back to his ear he said, “Yeah. Yeah I’m pretty hammered. So… are you ok?”
“Yeah. Things are… things are good.”
“That’s good.” Sam tried to swallow the lump in his throat, but it wouldn’t budge. “Jess… I’m…” He took another deep breath. “I’m sorry. About… everything.”
He couldn’t hear anything on the other end of the line. Sam checked his phone, to confirm that the call was still connected. Her voice was colder than the night air as she said, “Ok.”
Sam sighed. What had he expected? “Yeah. Sorry. Just… need to tell you that. Goodbye.”
He hung up before he could hear any reply. He waited, staring at the phone to see if she would call him back or text something. When a minute passed in silence, he went to ‘J’ in his contacts and pressed the ‘delete’ command. The words on the screen, ‘Are you sure?’ felt almost accusatory. Sam selected ‘YES’ and put his phone away.
And old car pulled into the driveway, and Sam hurriedly wiped his cheeks. Alex smiled and waved as she climbed out. “Hey, Sam. How was your day?”
“Pretty bad. How are things at the hospital?”
Alex shrugged. “The usual. Sick people and all that. Everyone else home?”
“Yeah, I was just getting some fresh air,” he said, heading back inside with her.
“What’s that noise?” asked Alex.
“I don’t hear anything.”
“It’s coming… from those bushes,” Alex said as she went over to the bushes Jody was growing in front of her house. She began moving the plants aside.
Sam switched on his phone light and tried to shine it where Alex was looking.
“Here it is!” she said, grabbing onto something with both hands and wrenching it free.
In her hands was Rowena’s black and red oversized tote bag. In all the confusion, Sam had forgotten where he had thrown it.
Inside the house, Jody, Victor and Donna had unfolded the poster board and glued a map of the continental United States to it. Jody and Donna were sitting at the dining table, each with a stack of paper, while Victor stood at the board and stuck a pin of different colors in each city they read on the pages.
Sam burst in with a triumphant shout.
“What’s turned around your mood?” asked Victor.
“Look what Alex found,” Sam said as he stepped aside.
“Is that Rowena’s bag?” asked Donna.
“She found it,” said Sam.
“How come nobody else did?” asked Alex. “Can none of you hear that humming sound?”
“Alex, is the bag making that sound, or something inside it?” asked Sam.
The young woman took the bag over to the kitchen counter and began digging through it while everyone else watched and waited. One by one, she withdrew an item from the bag, held it to her ear, shook her head and set the item aside on the counter. First was a black tube of lipstick, followed by a metal nail file. Next was an ornate silver hand mirror that seemed to captivate Alex for a moment before she set it aside as well. The hex bag she withdrew made Sam and Victor both tense up, and they all wondered if the travel-size bottle of hand sanitizer was accurately labeled or a disguise for a potion. Alex set aside a package of breath mints, then nodded in triumph. “Found it,” she said as she pulled out a large, thick black book and handed it to Sam.
Its covers and spine were bound leather, with metal plates stamped onto the corners of the cover. A thick piece of leather held the book closed with a diamond shaped clasp on the front cover, but no lock was visible on it.
“Is that a real spell book?” asked Donna.
“I think so,” Sam said as he looked it over. “I think you at least need a spell to open—”
As Sam ran his hand over the clasp, it fell off, allowing the book to be opened.
“Our boy’s got the touch,” laughed Victor.
“But I don’t have the power,” said Sam. He turned the book around so everybody could see the front page. “Written in another language. Probably Gaelic or something.”
“No, it’s not,” said Alex.
Everyone turned to her.
“It’s all written in English.”
Sam placed the book in front of her. “Really? Read the first page for us, please.”
Alex took a deep breath and said, “To you who read this, know to which you belong and read this tome with trepidation.’ And then there’s a numbered list here. ‘1. Borrowing your power from another, by deal or bargain. 2. Learning from a mentor our ways. 3. A natural born of gifts.’”
Sam smiled. “A journal. We found ourselves a witch’s journal.”
*****To Be Continued*****
Story and Illustration by Nate Winchester
Edited by Nightsky