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"
“Good job, dear Eldon,” said Eve, patting the young man’s cheek as she watched Dean Winchester fall to the ground from the second story of Styne Manor. She had returned to the form of the black-haired girl whose body had been sacrificed to summon her.
“I couldn’t finish him off,” Eldon said after checking through the rifle’s scope.
Eve headed back down to the basement. “A wound like that? He will die – slowly. Our enemies will be occupied and suffering in the meantime. I will inform your father that you did quite well indeed.”
At the far end of the lower level, opposite from where Dean and the golem had broken out of the house, was the main operating theater. As Eve entered, Jacob Styne, the eldest son, was lying on the table. A pretty young woman in an old-fashioned nurse’s outfit stood near Jacob’s feet with tools ready on the surgeon table. Hunched over his left arm, Cyrus was applying a stitch with shaking hands while Monroe watched.
“Easy… easy,” said Monroe. “Make sure the stitch is straight. The thread must be respected, or the spell is lost.”
Cyrus swallowed his nervousness and nodded. Eve thought it was novel to be around someone more afraid of a mere human than of her. Yet all of the sons had refused a request or two of hers, but they never refused Monroe. The Thule who would sometimes visit the manor showed her the proper respect. She wondered if they could behold her true power, or if it was because she had killed one of them for attempting a spell on her. It was delightful when he came back to life twelve hours later. She spent the next two days killing him over and over again in creative ways. When she finally grew bored, she let him leave with a stern warning.
“Done!” Cyrus sighed in relief as he stepped back.
Jacob sat up on the table and admired his new left arm. The stitch had been applied just below the elbow so that now his forearm and hand looked like they were covered in blue henna tattoos.
“How does it feel?” asked Eve.
Jacob flexed his fingers and said, “Feels good. Better than new, in fact.”
Eve grabbed the back of the nurse and shoved her closer to Jacob. “Do give it a try.”
Jacob stretched out his arm and the tattoos on it began to glow. Blue light erupted from his palm and surrounded his hand before he placed it on the nurse’s forehead. She struggled for a second, then her eyes flashed blue a moment before they rolled back, and she collapsed on the floor.
“I’d call that a success,” said Eve.
“I’ll find some volunteers worthy of the djinn’s remaining parts,” said Monroe before picking up a clipboard and making notes on it. “Might take the right arm myself. It would be helpful to have anesthetic ready at hand.”
“Eldon has pleased me, Monroe dear. He should get something… special.”
Monroe looked up from the clipboard. “Really? What did you have in mind?”
“You have no idea the things I will bring you,” said Eve as her eyes became unfocused. “There is a kitsune nearby who has been… too considerate of man. His claws will look good on Eldon.”
Elsewhere in Shreveport, Louisiana, a black, ’67 Chevy Impala roared down the highway.
“I think you can slow down! They’re not following us,” said Claire.
Jo glanced at the rearview mirror. “Are you sure? That actually makes me more nervous.”
Anna was leaning over the seat, coaching the golem on holding her jacket against Dean’s bullet wound while Professor Brunswick shed any extra clothing he had to convert into bandages. “I need my kit – where’s my kit?” she asked.
“We need to get him to a hospital,” said Jo.
“In a town controlled by the Stynes?" asked Anna. “Why don’t we just drive back to the manor and ask them for a band-aid?”
"I doubt we can fix it in a motel room!” snapped Jo.
"Claire! Give me the knife in the glove box," Anna ordered.
Claire opened the glovebox, grabbed the pocketknife stashed in there, and handed it to Anna.
"Keep her steady!" Anna said as she used the knife to cut open Dean’s shirt. Drawing the blade across her left palm, Anna used the fingers on her right hand to draw a sigil on Dean’s chest using her blood.
“Isn’t he bleeding enough for the both of you?” asked Joram.
“That sigil staves off reapers, unless you draw it with the blood of the dead or dying,” Anna explained as she used the knife to cut off the hem of her shirt, to use as a bandage for her cut, “then it does the opposite. How far are we from the motel?"
"We're here,” said Jo as she pulled the car into the parking lot.
“What’s the plan?” asked Claire.
“Everybody out,” ordered Anna. “Leave the keys and my husband.”
Jo tightened her grip around the keys. “Don’t you dare make a deal for him. He’ll never forgive you.”
“After we closed up Hell, any demons left topside won’t come near us,” Anna replied. "Now give me the keys."
“Can’t you like, heal him yourself? Or ask another angel?” asked Claire as she exited the vehicle along with Professor Brunswick and the golem.
Jo stared intently at Anna for a moment, then got out of the car without another word, leaving the keys in the ignition and the engine still running.
“I don’t have any grace,” said Anna as she slid herself behind the wheel, “and we locked up Heaven too – the angels are even less willing to talk to us. Professor Brunswick, thank you for the help. You’re free to do whatever. Claire, get the kids and go straight back to the bunker. Wait for us there. Jo, you and Charlie are free as well, though I’d appreciate it if you gave my children a ride home.”
“He’s my brother,” said Jo in an icy tone of voice.
“Anna, I thought… together,” said Claire.
Anna sighed. “I’m sorry, but this is something I must do alone and I don't have time to explain. Please, if you want to prove you’re family, get our son and daughter to safety.” With that, Anna closed the Impala's door, and threw the car in reverse. The rest of them watched as the car turned around and pealed out of the parking lot, the golem waving goodbye.
***** Sam *****
Rowena sat in a dark room, a single pixie floating over her head providing the only light. She was tied to the desk and chair with the gossamer chains of fairyland. Near her right hand, a multi-hued quill plucked from a bird of paradise sat in a well of kraken ink. She had to be careful, it was calling to her. In the moments where she would drift off, Rowena would awaken to find her hand closer to the quill.
Puck emerged from the darkness, carrying an open cardboard box. “Well, Rowena, have you an answer for us today?”
“Go to Hell,” she said through gritted teeth.
“Soon, my lovely. Soon,” Puck said as he picked up a sheet of parchment and looked it over. “Oh, this is promising.”
Rowena looked down and screamed. The desk was blanketed with papers, each sheet covered in her handwriting. There were even sheets that had fallen to the floor, but when she had written any of it, she could not remember.
“Oberon commanded us to take so many because he hoped we might find someone with a tenth of your talent, Rowena. How pleased he was to find you returned to us.”
“What’s in the box?” Rowena asked, curious now what new torture would be delivered.
“Don’t worry, this is for your roommate,” Puck said with that smile of his that sent shivers down her spine. “You just keep working on how to blow everything up.” With that, he continued to the other side of the room. Rowena saw the brief outline of a door in the pixie light as Puck opened it, then he vanished.
She looked back down at the desk. It was empty save for the quill and ink. She fought to avoid thinking about what he said. How could one blow up the universe? Could it be done? Magic could do anything. Couldn’t it? The harder she tried not to think about it, the less she noticed the feeling of the quill in her hand.
The room beside Rowena was lit by a single lightbulb dangling from a wire. Below it, a man sat tied to a chair in the middle of a circle with an ornate seven-pointed star inside that had been drawn on the floor. Behind the chair, outside the circle, was a plain wooden table. When Puck came into the room, the man looked up, his eyes solid red and demanded, “Release me!”
“Release you? After all the trouble we went through to catch you?” Puck laughed as he placed the box he was carrying onto the table.
“You don’t know what you’re messing with.”
“I hoped I was messing with a demon. A human soul that had once been condemned to Hell,” said Puck as he took a compact boom box out of the cardboard container and set it on the table. “A crossroads dealer to be precise.”
“Then if you want something from me, you’ll have to make a deal.”
“Unfortunately I have no soul to offer. That’s one of the reasons we take humans, you know? We cannot invent things like they can,” Puck said as he held up a CD to the light. A shimmer passed over his fingers and washed over the disc. “We can perfect what they’ve made, though. Improve them,” he said as he opened the lid on the boom box and placed the CD inside. “Make them better.” He closed the lid and held his hand over the electronic device. It rattled and shook on the table until Puck stepped away. He took a folding chair that was leaning against a wall and sat down in it in front of the demon, just outside the circle.
“No deal? No talk,” said the demon.
“You will tell me what I need to know.”
The demon leaned forward and smiled. “You can’t do worse than Alastair.”
Puck pulled out of his jacket a journal with a green cover and flipped it open. “Yes, according to this, demons are made when a soul literally has its humanity tortured out of it.” He smiled and said, “So we’ll have to use something… less traditional.”
Puck snapped his fingers.
Behind the demon, the boom box activated, and began to play the opening chords to Baby Shark. The crossroads demon strained against his bonds.
“All you have to do to make the music stop,” said Puck, “is tell me where I can find a gate to Hell.”
“Gals? Sam is turning blue!” yelled Victor.
“They didn’t go over this in first aid,” said Donna.
“We’re miles from the nearest hospital,” noted Jody.
“The book!” exclaimed Alex. She opened it to the table of contents she and Sam had scribbled on a piece of notebook paper. She found the chapter she wanted and flipped to one of the many colored tabs she and Sam had put in to make the book easier to navigate. Everyone waited with bated breath as she frantically flipped through the pages. “Here!” she exclaimed, holding the book up. “A healing spell!”
“What do you need for it?”
Alex looked over the instructions. “I can make do with what we have on hand.” Her face grew pale.
“What is it?” asked Jody.
“The spell works by moving the injury onto someone else. One of us would give our healthy bones to Sam while taking his broken ones – metaphorically.”
“No!” Sam probably would have shouted but it took all of his effort to gasp the word out in a whisper.
“I’ll do it,” said Alex.
“No,” protested Jody. “We need you to read the book.”
“I can,” volunteered Eileen.
“What if we all did?” asked Victor.
Everybody looked at him with confusion.
“If someone else takes his injuries, we’re just trading one life for another, which I do not accept. But what if we spread it out between the five of us instead? One fifth of Sam’s injuries shouldn’t kill anybody.”
“Can you do that?” asked Jody.
Alex looked again at the spell. “Maybe? I don’t see why not.”
Under Alex’s instructions the group worked quickly to gather what she needed. Once it was all gathered and lying beside her, Alex took a pocket knife, covered it with reagents and muttered the words as best she could figure out their pronunciations. A brief blue glow passed over the knife blade which Alex took to be a good sign.
“He’s unconscious,” said Victor. “We have seconds before he’s going to start suffering irreparable brain damage.”
“Going as fast as I can,” said Alex as she lifted up Sam’s arm. With the enchanted knife, she cut his palm and let his blood flow into a red solo cup they had found. “Bandage that,” she said once she thought they had enough. Eileen took Sam’s hand and began wrapping it while Alex added the next components to the cup. Alex waved her hand over it three times, speaking the magical words as she did so, then took a sip. “Everyone drink,” she ordered.
Eileen, kneeling to Alex’s right, took the cup and sipped from it as she had seen Alex. It went around in this manner, with Victor being the last to drink from it. As soon as he did, Alex held her hands over Sam’s body and shouted the final part of the spell as loud as she could.
A blue light washed over Sam Winchester. His twisted arm and shattered legs straightened as the light passed over them. It then exploded from his body and struck the others kneeling beside him, knocking them all back as they all cried out in pain.
Sam opened his eyes and sat upright, gasping mouthfuls of air like a drowning man.
“Even one fifth of your pain hurts like hell,” groaned Victor, clutching his side.
Sam looked around at the abandoned town then his friends who had just saved his life. “I have an idea.”
***** Castiel *****
Jack Kline was meditating with his legs crossed on the library table in the Men of Letters bunker. They had cleaned the table off, moving the lamp, returning the books and throwing out the leftover beer bottles so that Jack could sit in the center of his home. Not that the library was the center of the bunker, but it was the center of Jack’s memories.
It wasn’t going well. No matter how hard he tried, all he could think about was the impending battle, the approaching conflict, the final showdown between him and—
“I give up, Jack.”
Jack opened his eyes. Standing there in the bunker war room facing him, was Chuck – his left eye pure darkness, his right eye pure light.
“Where did you hide them?” asked Chuck as his eyes returned to their usual blue.
Jack looked down at the table. He ran his fingers over the initials that had been carved there: SW, DW, and MW.
“Congratulations are in order,” said Chuck, walking forward. “It’s not easy to win hide-and-seek against the all-seeing. So where did you hide them? Where are Sam and Dean Winchester?”
“They are where you can’t hurt them,” said Castiel as he stepped into Chuck’s path from behind the pillar where he had been hiding.
“Ah Castiel! My favorite complication. All the problems you’ve caused my stories, and yet I could never bring myself to be rid of you. You’re just… too much fun.”
The angel blade dropped from Castiel’s coat sleeve into his waiting hand. He swung a quick, straight blow into Chuck’s chest. The blade shattered as it struck Chuck’s t-shirt, failing to even cut the ratty cloth.
“Defiant unto the end,” Chuck said with a smile. “Don’t you know, Castiel, that neither of them will ever love you as much as you love them?” He reached up and touched Castiel’s cheek. “The angel taught free will by man. Only to learn the most painful lesson of it: rejection.”
“The feelings don’t matter, I cannot abandon them,” said the angel. “But you? You don’t have to do this, Chuck.”
“Oh, Castiel,” Chuck said with an ironic smile as he clasped Cas’ shoulder, “every story is only as good as its villain.”
*****To Be Continued*****
Find out what happens next Sam, Dean, Castiel, Jack and friends in Part 11 of "With or Without You"! Until then, 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