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"
“Welcome home,” said Dean as he opened the door from the garage into the bunker proper. Claire gaped in awe as she entered.
“We got a kitchen, and a shoot room, and a library, and a room with a big table,” said John as he grabbed Claire’s hand and began dragging her down the hall. “Let me show you my room! It’s across the hall from Mommy’s and Daddy’s.”
Dean placed some luggage near the door, then turned to Anna, “Need any help?”
Anna laughed and shook her head as she adjusted the baby cradled in her arms. “I’m fine. We got our first child past this part.”
Dean made sure she made it up the steps, then grabbed as many bags as he could carry. “You just had her yesterday. If you’re feeling weak or--”
Anna interrupted him with a kiss on the cheek. “I’ve led angel armies against hordes of demons, honey. I can handle our daughter.” She resumed walking down the hall. “Though a bath would feel great right about now.”
Dean dropped the bags he was carrying and ran as fast as he could to where he had heard Claire’s alarm. Rounding the corner, he saw her standing in the entrance to the library, her gun drawn while John hid behind her legs. Looking into the library, Dean saw a square-jawed man in an expensive suit standing there with his hands raised.
“Who are you?” shouted Dean as he pointed his own pistol at the stranger.
“My name is, Ketch. Arthur Ketch,” he said in a thick accent.
“Why are you here?”
His expression made it seem like Dean had asked the stupidest question in the world. “I’m with the British Men of Letters. I'm hoping to speak with our American branch.”
Dean halfway lowered his weapon. “That’s... mostly us. What do you need?”
Ketch lowered his arms. “We’re under attack. The Thule society has declared war. And the Stynes are helping them.”
***** Sam *****
Sam Winchester walked the evening streets of Elwood, Indiana at a brisk pace, keeping his eyes down as the wind whipped his long hair about his face. A few steps behind him followed a shorter man with a bright red beanie, yet nobody showed any sign of noticing him. He had a cell phone pressed to his ear and talked loudly on it as he practically jogged to keep up with the hunter’s longer stride.
“He’s turning up north 10th Street!” said the man in the red beanie, practically shouting to be heard over the wind as Sam turned off the main street. “Yes, the extra tall idiot! Nah, he doesn’t suspect a thing! Ok. Ok! Only following, no mischief. I’ll call you back when he gets to wherever he’s going – though, I think he’s lost!”
The man in the red cap turned down the alley Sam had just entered, and walked into Sam’s outstretched left hand. The hunter’s fingers tightened around the shorter man’s neck.
“H-h-hello,” said the man in the red beanie as his cell phone was taken away. “I don’t suppose you heard all that talk about you being an idi—urk!”
Sam squeezed until the fairy stopped talking. Looking down at his right hand, Sam saw that the ‘cell phone’ the redcap had been using was now nothing more than a leaf and an acorn. Sam slapped them to the ground and smashed them beneath his heel. The redcap began squirming and vibrating, so Sam pulled back his sleeve to reveal the hand-woven bracelet on his wrist made from natural materials. When the fairy saw it, his struggles ceased.
“Listen carefully,” said Sam. “My partner and I have a few questions.” On his cue, Victor Henriksen emerged out of a darkened doorway behind Sam, dangling an iron chain from his hands. “And someone is going to answer them. Now it can be you. Or it can be your boss.”
The alien-faithful campsite was winding down for the evening, with many falling asleep or having gone home for the evening. Wayne Whittaker was packing up his display table as two men approached him. When he noticed them, Wayne smiled and said, “Now that is some great men-in-black cosplay. Way to get into the spirit of things, guys.”
Simultaneously, both of them reached into their coats and pulled out their IDs. The man on Wayne’s right said, “I’m Special Agent Henriksen. This is Agent Winchester. We need you to come with us, Mr. Whittaker.”
“Don’t you both think you’re over doing it?” laughed Wayne as he reached for his stack of printouts.
Sam grabbed Wayne’s forearm with his left hand. “My partner wasn’t asking,” said Sam. He laid a pair of old-fashioned iron hand cuffs from the 1800s in front of Wayne. “He was being polite, leprechaun.”
Wayne glared at both of them, then with a sigh, stuck out his hands. While Victor put on the cuffs, Sam held tight to the fairy’s arm. The two of them escorted their prisoner to the black ‘67 Impala waiting on the edge of camp. Sam, keeping his left hand on Wayne, handed the keys to Victor who opened the trunk and withdrew an iron chain. The two of them wrapped it around Wayne’s torso, then Sam secured both ends together with a master padlock.
“Get in,” said Sam.
Wayne looked up at him. “You could be more polite about it.”
“Please,” said Victor in a very murderous tone.
With a sigh and roll of his eyes, Wayne bent down into the trunk of the car. When he was halfway there, the two agents grabbed his legs and shoved the leprechaun the rest of the way in. Sam slammed the trunk of the car closed.
The two agents simultaneously let out a breath.
“That went far better than I thought it would,” said Sam.
“Now what do we do with him?” asked Victor.
"I hadn't thought that far ahead. Let's ask Rowena if she has any ideas," said Sam as pulled out his cell phone and dialed a number. “Hey, this is Sam. Call me back as soon as you can.”
“She bail on us?” Victor asked as Sam hung up.
Sam shrugged as he checked his phone for any messages. "She knew this was going down tonight. Why would she run away after helping us prepare all this?"
Victor held out the keys, "Maybe she had no choice."
Sam snatched the keys out of Victor’s hand and the two of them jumped into the car. They raced back to town as fast as they could, only to find the fortune teller's shop was completely dark. Sam parked the Impala in front of the shop's entrance.
“Something seems off,” Victor said as he and Sam switched on their flashlights and climbed out to investigate.
Sam tapped the door with the butt of his flashlight. Ominously, the door swung inward. The two of them entered, the beams of their lights illuminating bare walls. The room itself was completely empty save for the table in the middle of it. In the center of the table, Sam’s flashlight lit a single tarot card.
“This is definitely spooky,” said Victor as he moved to check the back of the building.
Sam picked up the card and turned it over to see that it was the eight of cups.
“Whole place looks empty,” Victor said as he returned to the front room. “I found some stairs leading to the upper floors that I didn’t check thoroughly, but it’s pretty dark up there.”
Sam held up the card. “She ran.”
Victor cocked an eyebrow. “Ran? From us?”
Sam tucked the card into his jacket pocket as he moved to the window and looked out at the street. “We made her nervous, but she wasn’t scared. The fairies… You didn’t see how heavily this place was warded, Vic. The fae folk scared her.”
Victor moved to another window and checked outside as well as he said, “We could probably use this place for a few days.”
Sam looked at the bracelet that Rowena had made for him. “This building? In the middle of a town overrun with fairies, whose boss we just kidnapped?”
“Alright, Winchester. We've arrested a foreign national on spurious kidnapping charges that we can't lock up in a normal holding facility.”
Sam thought a moment. “Safehouse?”
Victor shook his head. “We’re on thin ice as it is. If someone walked in on this operation…”
He didn’t finish that thought – he didn’t have to.
“We need somewhere with supplies and allies,” said Sam.
The two of them stood there as they considered options, watching the street to see if anybody approached their car.
“South Dakota,” they said in unison.
“You’ve had a long day, Sam. Want me to drive?” asked Victor as they left the shop and got back into the car.
Sam held up the keys then put them in the ignition. “I told you, nobody drives this car but me. You call Jody while we're on the road.”
“We could at least listen to some of your mother’s classic tapes,” Victor said as he buckled in and pulled out a box stashed in the glove compartment. He picked an oldie and held it up for Sam as he said, “Oooo ‘Best of Motown.’”
Sam grabbed the tape out of Victor’s hand and tossed it back in the box. “Driver—”
“Driver picks the music; shotgun shuts his cakehole.” It felt like a memory, but one Sam had never experienced. He was sitting where Victor was, holding the same box. There was a guy Sam had never seen before in the driver’s seat saying those words. He was so annoying Sam wanted to slap him, but Sam also felt a bit of peace in this man’s presence. Things would be alright… someone… someone was always watching out for him…
“Yo, Sam! You ok?” asked Victor, giving Sam a perplexed look.
Sam shook his head. “Yeah I just...”
“Don’t you dare say you had a vision.”
“No! It was different. More like... a weird memory.” Sam shook his mind clear as he connected his iPhone to the cassette adaptor and placed it in the holder he had rigged on the dashboard. “Now as I was saying: Driver picks the music; shotgun shuts his piehole.”
Sam hit play on his phone and let the tunes of Taylor Swift drown out Henriksen’s groans as they drove out towards the interstate.
***** Dean *****
Anna's voice echoed through the bunker, “John Castiel Winchester! You come here right now, young man!”
The boy dropped his crayon, which rolled off the table and onto the floor. With a panicked look, he turned to his father.
Dean shrugged. “You do the crime, you do the time, buddy. You best run to her now because she’ll only get madder if she has to find you.”
John slid out of his chair and started sulking away like a whipped dog - until his name was shouted again. Then he started running.
On the opposite side of the table from where John had been sitting, Claire cradled baby Sam, talking softly as she fed her a bottle of formula. At the other end of the library table was an open box surrounded by files that Arthur Ketch was poring over. Beside him sat Dean, flipping through a thick binder.
“This is everything you had on the Stynes?” asked Dean.
“What I could get during the attack,” answered Ketch. “We had more on our servers.”
Dean flipped through the pages. “Got to say, I respect your thoroughness, but a lot of this looks like just a shady business. I’ve always... let the feds handle this stuff. Why do we care?”
Ketch leaned over and flipped a handful of pages.
“Oh,” said Dean when he scanned the pages Ketch had identified. Dean read through a few more pages and his face grew paler. “Claire? Know how we have a rule about trying to not kill humans?”
“Yeah,” Claire replied.
“We’ll be having a discussion later about possible exceptions to that.”
“I found the other box!” shouted Anna a moment before she entered the library, carrying a box of files identical in appearance to the first but with different writing on the outside. She sat it on the floor beside Ketch’s chair.
“Are you sure that’s everything?” asked Ketch.
“I’ve had little to do the last few months but clean and organize this bunker – when my son isn’t making a mess of it...” Anna closed her eyes and took a couple of deep breaths. “Trust me, that’s everything and anything related to World War 2. And this is all I could find on the Stynes,” she said as she handed a slim folder to Ketch. “Honey, you remember Doc Benton?”
Dean thought about it. “That was a guy Dad and I fought. Stitched together. Immortal.”
Anna nodded. “He’s mentioned in there. He studied with them for a time.”
“This is most of their history,” said Ketch, as he looked through the file. “So much we were missing. They go all the way back to the 1800's.”
“What’s all this?” asked Anna as Dean handed her the binder.
“Their doings and efforts for about the last decade,” answered Dean.
“We’ve been monitoring the Stynes for quite a while,” said Ketch. He held up the folder he was reading and said, “Looks like they were a concern of the American branch first. An old money family moving through societies, amassing wealth and influence. Our branch took an interest when we noticed them making moves in Europe recently. We noticed whenever there was disease or disaster, they were around to profit from it.”
“Dean and I were talking about this last night,” said Anna. “Are any of them politicians?”
Ketch shook his head. “None we noticed. Their method seems to be helping a politician in dire health with their exceptional medicine. Then that politician belongs to them by favor or blackmail.”
“Then that makes our plan easier,” said Anna.
Ketch looked back and forth between them. “Plan?”
“We send in a spy,” said Dean.
Ketch laughed. “You? No offense Dean, but those posh arseholes will sniff you out in no time.”
Dean rolled his eyes then pointed at the other side of the table.
Ketch looked at Anna. “You?”
Anna glared at the Brit. “I have lied to the face of the archangel Michael. I have fooled the scribe of God himself, Metatron. A bunch of rich brats will be easy.”
Ketch looked at Dean with a questioning expression.
“She’s not exaggerating,” said Dean.
“And I’ve found our in,” she said, setting the binder on the table. The page she was on listed confirmed members of the family with photographs besides them. She pointed to the bottom of the page, the youngest looking picture on there, and explained, “Cyrus Styne. Looks like he’s the baby of the family. Just graduated high school a few years ago.”
“So?” asked Ketch while Dean opened his laptop and began working.
“He’s probably in college,” said Anna. “And college provides a lot of ins and a lot of cover.”
“It’s short for ‘a way in,’” answered Dean without looking up from his laptop. “She wants to connect with him without making it obvious that’s her goal. And if the Stynes are half as paranoid as they should be, we have to make sure there’s plenty of cover for her effort. We can’t let them have any suspicion Anna isn’t exactly who she’s pretending to be.”
“You two do sound like you’ve done this before,” said Ketch.
“Bad news, babe,” Dean said as he turned the laptop around. “Cyrus is gone.”
“He’s dead?” asked Ketch.
Anna squinted at the screen. “No, looks like he just vanished. Social media accounts, other records, they all seem to have stopped after he graduated from high school.”
“He probably ran away from home,” said Dean.
Anna nodded. “That’s the smart bet.”
“So, we look for another angle?” asked Ketch.
“No, now we just find him,” said Anna. “We couldn’t ask for a better target than someone estranged from their family.”
“He’ll be looking for a friend, and eager to vent about his frustrations. This whole effort could take five minutes,” said Dean as he pulled out his cell phone.
“So how do we locate the kid?” Ketch asked.
Dean held up his finger, signaling for them to wait a minute. “Jo? You said your new friend Charlie was good with computers. How good?"
*****To Be Continued*****
Find out what happens next in Part 5 of "With or Without You"! Also enjoy WFB's other Supernatural fan fiction, found at the Fan Fiction tag on the bottom of every page!
Story and Illustration by Nate Winchester
Edited by Nightsky