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”
It was after midnight when Victor finished their map. While he had been working on that, Sam had gotten one of his legal pads and created a table of contents for Rowena’s book as Alex read the pages. After they had finished, he tore the pages off so Alex could stick them in the front of the book, then they spent the rest of the night reading through the chapter on fairies.
“How you two doing?” asked Victor as he poured the last of the coffee pot into his ‘Sheriff Retreat 2014 – Hibbing, MN’ mug.
“Great!” said Alex as Sam let out a groan.
“We’re two-thirds of the way through Rowena’s chapter on fairies,” Sam said as he rubbed his face. “She has a ton of info, but nothing on how they might blow up everything.”
“I can make the elixir for you to see them, though,” Alex said with a smile.
“Alright, so what ingredients do we need to get?” Victor asked when he saw Sam furiously shaking his head.
“You don’t want to know,” Sam replied. “I know now why Rowena served mine in the strongest whiskey she had.”
“Ok then… why don’t you two bookworms take a break and check out our craft project.”
“What do the colors mean?” Sam asked, examining the map.
“Red pins are for disappearances that happened over a month ago,” explained Victor. “Yellow pins represent those within this month. Blue pins are the most recent, less than a week.”
“More have gone missing in Elwood, Indiana,” noted Sam.
“As well as six other locations,” said Victor.
Sam saw it too. The pins were spread out all over the nation, one or two in a few major metropolitan areas but most of them were clustering around medium sized or smaller towns. The number of people missing was staggering.
And it was increasing as time went on.
“It’s not just America, either,” said Jody. “While Victor was working, I looked online.” She held up a half dozen printouts of alien abduction reports from nations all over the world.
“Increasing the breeding stock,” muttered Sam.
“They’re gonna do it,” noted Donna.
“I’ll… keep reading,” said Alex.
“No,” interrupted Jody. “It’s time to turn in.”
“And if tonight is when they blow it all up?” asked Sam
“We’re exhausted! They could drop an instructional pamphlet on our doorstep and we wouldn’t even be able to read it. We need to sleep.”
“Since I outrank everyone, technically it’s my call,” said Victor. “So I’m ordering everyone to rest. Now.”
“You steppin’ on our jurisdiction, Mr. FBI?” Donna asked with a giggle.
“Oh, I’ll step over—” Victor interrupted himself with a cough. “See you in the morning, ladies.”
With a laugh Jody, Donna and Alex headed to their bedrooms, while Victor unfolded his sleeping bag. Sam switched off the lights, removed his shoes and took off his shirt before stretching out on the couch.
They lay there in the dark, listening to the night’s sounds.
“It’s alright, Sam. Things go sideways sometimes. We all make mistakes.”
“Yeah but this isn’t like losing a serial killer or letting a corrupt CEO get away. This is like—”
“—Like hunting down a guy and his mom who are trying to save the world from the apocalypse?”
Sam chuckled. “Touché. With your help, though, we managed to stop Lilith.”
“And we’ll stop this. Have a little faith, Sam.”
“I haven’t had any faith since… I wonder if they’re right, Vic. Maybe this world deserves to be destroyed.”
“No. Until I hear God Himself say it, I don’t believe that. Remember their names, Sam. Remember those people who are looking to us for help. I talked with Kelly Kline for an hour. Her boy, Jack, deserves a chance to make something of his life. We’ve got to bring them all home, Sam. It’s what’s right.”
“Too bad we can’t call on the army to invade fairyland and rescue them.”
Victor laughed. “Could you imagine the president explaining that military action on the news?”
Sam couldn’t help but laugh. “That would be the most fun I’ve had filling out paperwork ever.”
“Get some rest, Sam. We’ll reexamine the evidence in the morning.”
Sam opened his eyes and sat up. “That’s it.”
“The evidence! Whenever we get stuck on a case, we go over the evidence again: looking at the items, rereading the records… and talking again with the witnesses.”
“Yeah, but you said they took Rowena.”
“Not her, our first witness.”
He could hear Victor turning over to face him. “Who was our first witness?”
He could hear Victor sit up. “No! Absolutely not.”
“He has unique angles and insights. If anyone could help us figure out what the fae are planning…”
“Don’t you dare,” warned Victor as he made a loud display of laying back down with his back to Sam. “You bring that black-smoke son of a bitch around here and I will shoot him.”
Sam sighed as stretched back out on the couch and tried to get some sleep.
“Good morning all, having a lovely day?”
All of them were standing there, Alex munching on a pop-tart, staring at Crowley who had appeared in the middle of the living room. Victor stormed out of the room, slamming the front door as he went outside.
“I should really buy him a cookie bouquet,” said the King of Hell.
“Don’t push it, Crowley,” said Sam. “We barely convinced him not to shoot you.”
“Would you like some ice cream?” asked Donna with a chipper tone. “Since, you know, I hear there’s not much of it in Hell.”
Crowley smiled. “No. Thank you. Did you happen to find my wayward soul?”
“That’s what this is about?” Jody asked, horrified.
Sam gestured for them to wait. “Yes and no, Crowley.”
“What do you mean yes and—”
“—I’m curious if you’re missing any others.”
Crowley eyed Sam with suspicion. “I am. A few due soon. Others not due for a few more years.”
“Do you mind telling us where they were last seen?” Sam asked as he stepped over to the map with a red marker.
Crowley snapped his fingers, and parchment appeared in his hand with a puff of black smoke that smelled of brimstone. Clearing his throat, he began reading the names of cities while Sam marked an ‘X’ on the map at each place that was mentioned.
By the time Crowley was finished reading, Victor came back in, asking, “Well?”
Sam stepped back from the map. “Confirmed.”
In the center of the six largest clusters of pins in the United States, with disappearances going back months, was an X. The four other Xs on the map were in the midst of a few blue pins where disappearances had just begun.
“What is going on, Moose?”
“Your ‘clients’ are kicking off abduction sprees,” answered Sam. “They’re the first to vanish in an area before others are taken.”
“Abducted? By who? It can’t be aliens.”
“By fairies,” Victor answered.
“You know about them?” asked Jody.
“Why didn’t you tell us about them from the start?” demanded Sam.
Crowley shrugged. “Because there’s always been a… ‘non-compete’ agreement between Hell and Fairyland. We don’t bother their humans; they don’t bother ours.”
“Sounds like they’re breaking it and stealing from you,” said Victor with a mocking tone.
“No. They’re declaring war, and I will see that they get it,” growled Crowley.
“Wait!” said Sam, leaning forward with an intense expression. “This is bigger than your prizes. They took our witch who was helping us on this, so we need you to give us more information on them.”
Crowley sighed. “Make it quick.”
“They say they want to blow up the universe,” said Victor.
“The universe? The whole universe?”
Victor and Sam nodded.
“How would they do that?” asked Jody.
Crowley laughed. “Unless they have God on speed-dial, they can’t.”
“They sure seem intent on trying,” said Donna.
“My dears, the most powerful beings that are not God are the two archangels Heaven has on its side. If the two of them fought each other as hard as they could, the most they could destroy is this solar system – maybe the galaxy. It would take so much more power to destroy the universe. Nobody has that power, not even me,” Crowley said as he straightened his tie. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to prepare for war.”
“If you see our witch, bring her back to us, please,” said Sam. “As a favor.”
Crowley sighed. “Fine. What’s her name?”
Crowley straightened up, his face growing serious. “Did she have a last name?”
None we got. She has blood-red hair. Irish accent,” said Sam.
“This is her book,” said Alex, holding up the tome she had been reading.
“You let them take my mother?” shouted Crowley.
Everyone’s jaws dropped.
“You actually had a mother?” asked Victor.
“The way they talked, it sounded like Rowena had been taken by them once before,” said Sam.
“Of course she was!” yelled Crowley. “That’s why I sold my soul! To try to get the power to rescue her.”
“I thought you sold it for male enhancement,” said Victor.
“That’s what you tell the boys in Hell,” replied Crowley, “rather than admit you were trying to save mummy.”
“That’s how…” said Sam. “That’s how Rowena became the first to escape them.”
“She did? All this time I thought it had failed. I become a soul broker just to try and gather more strength to save her.”
“Well, now you get to!” shouted Donna, practically cheering.
“Yes. It’s no longer just business. This is now very personal,” Crowley said, before vanishing.
***** Dean *****
After too many long hours in a car, then a plane, then another car, Anna felt herself being lifted onto a table, and her arms and legs being strapped down before her hood was pulled off. The room was a shade of green that hadn’t been seen since the seventies. It was laid out like an operating theater with surgery tables laden with tools and instruments. There was a young woman dressed in an old-fashioned nurse’s outfit standing near Anna’s feet, and two other young men she recognized as her kidnappers standing at her head and on her left. On Anna’s right, a man with silver hair, dressed in a long white lab coat, stood over her with his arm around the boy she had come to know as Cyrus Styne.
“Cyrus,” the man said with a thick southern accent, “you abandoned the family with no warnin’. Left us no clue as to where you were. Ran off to another state where we had no control. And have been livin’ on your own for over a year now.” He turned the boy to face him. “I’m so proud of you,” he said before giving the kid a hug.
“Uh… what?” asked Cyrus, deeply confused.
“We’ve all done a bit of rebellion in our wild oat years. Your brothers, cousins, even me.”
Cyrus gave a nervous laugh.
“No foolin’! You’ve proven you’ve got the guts to be a Styne, and the ability to survive on your own. Now,” he said as he turned Cyrus to face Anna, “for your introduction, what should we do with this lady here?”
“Maybe we can let her go? Anna, this is my dad, Monroe.”
“Pleased to meet you,” she said, swallowing her sarcasm and putting on her best smile.
“A pleasure to meet you as well,” said Monroe, giving her a slight bow. “Now son, don’t be getting any notions about that girl. She—”
The door flew open and a black-haired woman in a form fitting black dress stormed into the room. “Monroe! Why didn’t you tell me you had returned?”
“My dear, we are in the middle of the something.”
“I thought we were in the middle of—” She looked around Monroe’s shoulder and her gaze connected to Anna’s, causing both of their eyes to widen. “Everyone, out of here. Now!”
The nurse and other men hurried out of the room, but Monroe stood firm and held Cyrus in place. “Darling, I don’t think you’ve met my youngest son yet—”
“Don’t care. Leave.”
Monroe opened his mouth to speak.
“I need you to stop being an idiot. Don’t say another word and leave me with your guest. Right now.”
Monroe and Cyrus Styne left the room, closing the door behind them. The black-haired woman stepped over to the operating table and smiled. “Hello again, Anna.”
“Hello, Eve,” Anna replied, all but spitting the words out.
“I wondered how long it would be until Heaven took interest in our project. Or… is this a favor for your pet human?”
Anna said nothing.
“Clever, I’ll grant you that. Send the angel in to learn our plan then have her flitter away to tattle on us. In fact… a little too clever. More subtle than Heaven’s usual approach.”
Anna squirmed in her restraints.
“Ah ah ah, my little birdie. No flying away while I’m here to clip your wings. So you are still working with that little human. Dean, wasn’t it? Handsome, I’ll admit, but annoying. Did you think I would forget the name of the man who killed me for the second time? I will have to tell dear Monroe to save him for me.”
“You have your own pet human now?” asked Anna.
“Of course. A fool fails to learn from their past mistakes. Tell me how long your precious Dean will wait for you before trying a rescue.”
Eve closed her eyes. “There should be a shapeshifter nearby… I can’t wait to watch through their eyes when—” Eve stared at Anna. Seconds later, her form shifted like water was running over it. Her hair shrank and turned red as her body became shorter. When it was done, it was like Anna was staring into a mirror and the reflection was wearing a black dress. “You’ve become a mother,” Eve said in disbelief. “Did you have a nephilim with that boy? Or did you…” Eve bent close to Anna and sniffed.
“You’re human now!” Eve burst out into laughter. “All this time I worried that my pets were about to be smote by a warrior of God, yet you have no grace!”
A loud thud sounded above them, causing bits of dust to drift down from the ceiling.
“Oh, that sounds like a Dean-style entrance,” laughed Eve. She brushed her finger along Anna’s cheek as she said, “I can’t wait to see the look on his face when his own wife strangles him. Don’t worry, I’ll make sure Monroe doesn’t hurt you. Not before I bring your children here and show you how deeply a mother can suffer.”
Gunshots echoed through the old Louisiana home, but the bullets did nothing to stop the seven-foot tall hulking golem who plowed his way through the halls. Instead of blood, dried clay leaked from his bullet wounds as he grabbed the defenders who were within arms’ reach and tossed them through the walls or out windows. Claire followed right behind him, a Mossberg 500 cruiser shotgun in her hands she used to put down any stragglers who tried to ambush them or survived the giant’s attack. “We should use a golem for hunts more often,” she shouted behind her.
Dean, bringing up the rear with his trusty sawed off 1887 Winchester shotgun and a duffle bag slung over his shoulder, only grunted.
The golem reached a set of stairs and stopped. In a deep voice he asked, “Where to?”
Dean looked around. Stairs went up to the second floor and down into whatever basements the place possessed. The three of them could also press forward to the other wing of the house. “If I was a psychotic family, where would I keep a beautiful, red-headed angel…”
“Dean!” shouted Anna as she stumbled up the stairs, her clothes ripped and tattered.
“Guess that answers that,” He said as he reached out and grabbed her hand, helping her up the final steps. “Are you ok?”
Anna shook her head as she grasped his arm. “I only got away because you distracted them. We’ve got to leave. Now!”
Dean pointed the direction they came. “The car’s that way.”
“Are the kids ok?” she asked as she hobbled away.
He waited until she was four feet away, then raised his shotgun and fired into her back.
“Dean!” shouted Claire as he pulled out his colt M1911A1, and fired three more rounds into the body.
“Loaded it with silver bullets just in case,” he said before tucking the pistol back into his holster. “Now let’s check downstairs and find the real Anna.”
The golem charged down the stairs, ready to strike at any foe, but found itself in an empty hall, doors along the opposite wall to their left and right.
“That’s a lot of rooms to check,” said Claire.
“And it’s a little too quiet,” muttered Dean as he reloaded his shotgun. “Hey big guy, cover our backs and watch the stairs here. Let’s start with the door already open.”
Claire tapped Dean on the back to signal her readiness and they headed to their right, cautiously approaching an open doorway. Leaning against the wall for cover, Dean took a quick glance into the room. He waited a couple of breaths then looked in again. The room was the operating theater, empty save for Anna, strapped down on the table. Dean moved cautiously inside, checking for any nook and cranny in the room that might hide an ambush. “Are you ok?” he asked when he reached the table.
“It’s clear. No one’s here,” she answered.
Dean dropped his bag and gun onto the floor and hurriedly began undoing her straps while Claire stood guard at the door.
As soon as she was free, Anna sat up and wrapped her arms around her husband’s neck as as they pulled each other close.
“What’s the date of our wedding?” he whispered in her ear.
“May 15th, 1861,” Anna whispered back. “The name of our first born?”
Dean’s arms tightened around her for a second before he replied, “Mary.”
“Missed you,” they said simultaneously as they pulled away.
“Hey!” shouted Claire. “Do you two want some time to make out or can we be escaping already?”
“I was making sure we weren’t fooled twice,” said Dean as he picked up the bag and his weapon.
“Ran into my imposter already?” asked Anna.
“She didn’t fool me for a second,” Dean said as he sat the duffle bag onto the table beside Anna and unzipped it.
“I hope you didn’t enjoy shooting her too much,” Anna said with a wry smile while she looked over the bag’s contents.
“No. I would rather do… other things with two of you,” said Dean as he withdrew the M4 Carbine from the bag.
“I’m only letting that slide because you brought my favorite!” she said with a smile as she took the weapon in hand.
“And some extra mags,” said Dean, holding up a bandolier with half a dozen magazines.
“Now that’s a sign of a good man, Claire,” Anna said as she slapped in a magazine, cocked and readied the weapon before heading to the door. “Make sure you find yourself a partner who always brings you the right gun.”
“Is she… happy?” Claire asked, leaning in to whisper to Dean.
“She used to lead angel regiments,” Dean answered as he hefted the supply back onto his shoulder. “Battle… is not something she’s shy about. Hey Golem! Time to head back to the car.”
“There are a dozen foes waiting,” said the golem, standing a few steps up so he could see the top.
“Hm. you take many more hits and I’m afraid you’ll fall apart,” Dean said with concern as he looked over the golem.
“There weren’t that many when we came in,” said Claire.
“I think they planned to let you escape with the imposter,” said Anna.
“But since I shot her—”
“—now they just plan to kill you.”
“Is there a secret exit somewhere?” asked Claire. “Old places like this always have secret exits.”
Dean’s eyes lit up. “I don’t know, but we can make one,” he said as he pulled out two bricks of C4 from his bag.
“You went shopping with Jo,” noted Anna with a smile.
On the east side of the estate, where its wrought-iron fence now had a sizeable hole bent in it, a black ’67 Impala sat waiting in the alleyway. Behind the wheel sat Jo Harvelle, watching the Styne house with a pair of binoculars. In the back seat, Professor Brunswick tried not to fidget nervously but was failing.
“I don’t like how quiet it’s gotten,” said Jo.
“I hope the golem is ok,” muttered Joram half to himself. “Too late I realize that we should have given him a proper name when we made him.”
He was quiet a moment as he thought about it. “Clay? Cl-Clayborn?”
Jo rolled her eyes and shook her head.
“If we all survive this, you can help me pick out a right proper and good name for him,” said the professor.
Part of the mansion’s east wall exploded outward, sending debris all over the grounds.
“That is probably them,” Jo said as she fired up the car.
From the smoke and dust of the explosion, Claire emerged first, climbing through on her hands and knees before getting to her feet and running towards the car. Anna followed behind Claire, stopping to grab the bag of weapons that was thrown to her. Dean emerged next, reaching back to help their large, clay defender maneuver through their escape route. The women were halfway to the car before Dean was able to pull the golem up through the hole they had made, then the two of them joined the exodus towards the car.
“So how was your visit?” Jo asked as Claire and Anna slid into the front seat.
“Not as relaxing as I hoped,” said Anna.
Dean and the golem were almost to the fence when Jo and Joram both saw the figure standing in the second story window. They tried to shout a warning, but their voices were drowned out by the crack of gun fire. Dean stumbled forward, falling face first into the grass. A second loud crack split the air, but that bullet hit the golem’s shoulder as it was bending down to lift Dean. It carried the hunter back to the car even as two more shots hit its back. The Impala creaked and groaned as the golem clambered into the back seat, cradling Dean. Jo put the car in gear and drove as fast as she could away from Styne manor.
“Honey?” asked Anna as she turned around and leaned over the seat.
Dean’s face was growing pale. He tried to speak but began violently coughing instead. Anna reached back and pulled his jacket aside to see a pool of blood all along his left side.
*****To Be Continued*****
Story and Illustration by Nate Winchester
Edited by Nightsky