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"
Outside of Rivergrove, Oregon, on the winding mountain pass that leads into town, a ’67 black Impala approached the city limits, with a black pickup truck sporting a front license plate reading ‘D-Train’ following close behind. It was overcast with a slight mist dampening the air. Sam drove cautiously, keeping an eye out for anything suspicious. Jody sat beside him spinning the dial on the police radio he had mounted to his dash, checking the frequencies for any chatter. In the back seat, Alex hugged Rowena's journal against her chest while she kept watch for anything Sam might have missed.
When Jody reached the end of the frequencies, she sighed and turned back to channel three. “Anything?” the radio squawked.
“Nothing,” Jody said into the mic. “If there’s a riot going on, nobody’s talking about it.”
“I don’t like this, none,” they heard Donna say.
“Heads up,” said Sam. “I think I see something ahead.”
He stopped the Impala and got out with Jody while Donna turned her Dodge truck to block the road.
Victor, who was riding shotgun with Donna, rolled down his window and leaned out, shouting, "What is it?"
"A body!" Jody answered once they had gotten close enough to see.
“How are they doing?”
Sam knelt down and checked. “He's dead,” he replied.
“Is it human?”
Grabbing the body's shoulder, Sam rolled it onto its back. “I think it’s that red cap we interrogated in Elwood!”
“Any idea what killed him?” asked Victor.
Sam noticed a yellow powder on the body's jacket. He brought a pinch of it to his nose and sniffed. “There’s sulfur on him,” he said.
“Demons!” Jody shouted to the others.
Donna moved her truck to lead the way while Sam and Jody returned to the Impala and resumed driving. They soon reached the edge of Rivergrove proper and found their way blocked.
All over the street, sidewalks, and yards were bodies.
“Yo! Anybody alive?” shouted Victor as he exited the truck.
Only the echo of his voice replied.
“I don’t like this,” said Alex, clutching Rowena’s book to her chest even as she climbed out of the car.
“Put that away for now,” said Jody, offering a revolver. Sighing, Alex tucked the book into her satchel and took the gun.
“You shouldn’t like this,” Sam said as he slung a black duffle bag emblazoned with ‘FBI’ onto his shoulder. He grabbed his trusty Ithaca 37 sawed-off shotgun and slammed the trunk closed. “But we’ve got work to do.”
The five of them moved in tandem through the town. Periodically, they would stop to check a body but none had been spared. Jody spotted the police station, and they all headed to it. It was locked, but in thirty seconds Sam had picked it open.
“I have to admit, I’m having a strong sense of déjà vu,” said Sam as he opened the station.
“Have you been here befor—whoa!” Victor had to hop aside to keep from stepping on the body of a deputy lying face down on the other side of the entrance. The back of the deputy’s shirt had been torn open by a shotgun blast.
“That’s the first gun wound we’ve seen so far,” noted Jody as the rest of them stepped around the body.
Victor touched a white substance scattered around the edge of the blast. “Salt,” he noted.
“Want to bet he's a demon's former victim?” asked Sam.
“And the better question: Was he trying to lock the door, or open it?” wondered Victor.
They went to work. Alex was posted to lookout while Donna searched for the weapons locker. Victor gathered what clues he could from the body before moving it outside. Jody checked the equipment for records of what happened and Sam headed to the back of the station to check the jail cells.
He heard the ratchet of a gun while his back was to one of the cells. “I don’t intend to hurt you,” Sam said as he slowly raised his hands.
Sam did as he was told, slowly. In the cell was a woman, pressing herself into the corner. She had a shotgun trained on Sam with a box of shells sitting open beside her. She also had two handguns on the bench next to her, as well as the keys to the cell door.
“How long have you been in here?” he asked.
“I don’t know,” she replied.
“My name is Sam,” he said as he slowly reached for his ID. “I’m with the FBI. We’re here to help.”
“You can’t help me,” she said.
“Maybe,” he said. He slowly reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a homemade salt shell. “Or maybe I can.”
The woman walked over and took the shell from him to examine it up close. “You’re a hunter?” she asked once she was satisfied with studying it.
She breathed a sigh of relief. “It’s been crazy in this town.”
Sam realized the woman’s voice was unusual. Tapping his ear he mouthed, ‘Are you deaf?’
She nodded as she handed him the keys. “A banshee scream when I was a baby.”
“Is that why you were here?” he asked as he unlocked the cell for her.
“I tracked it to a retirement home here,” she answered while Sam helped her gather the supplies she had stashed in there. “I killed it and was getting ready to leave, when the whole town started fighting itself.”
Sam led the way back to the front room, shouting, “Hey everyone! I found some backup. A hunter was already in town. This is...”
“Eileen Leahy,” she said.
“She’s deaf so make sure you face her when talking to her.”
Everyone introduced themselves, gathered around her, and listened as Eileen told them about people becoming possessed and attacking others who seemed to appear out of thin air. Sam explained that the apparitions must have been fairies, who appeared human enough at first glance as they were forced into public view by the demons. Eileen then told them how the town descended into chaos as demons hopped from one body to the next while strangers appeared and vanished. Sometimes one of the strangers would grab a demon’s black smoke form out of the air and ‘twist’ it in a way that caused howls of pain even Eileen could hear in her bones. Her anti-possession necklace protected her as she retreated to the police station to call for help, but all communication was down. She tried to help law enforcement rally to protect the town, but the strangers appeared inside the station. The walls offered no shelter from them as they began slaughtering the officers. Eileen figured out that iron seemed to be the only defense against the attackers so she sought refuge inside one of the old jail cells to wait out the chaos.
"Guess that confirms it," muttered Victor once Eileen's story was done. "The fae folk and Hell are at war."
"We'll have to call this in," Sam said. "Get the feds to clean it up."
"How we putting that on the paperwork, Sam? Jets vs Sharks get out of hand?"
"Should we figure that out here?"
"I ain't stayin' another minute in this town," said Donna. "You boys want to camp out at creeptown? You'll be on your own."
"Fine. I guess we'll drive to the next town over, notify the authorities there," said Victor.
Gathering what they could carry, the group headed back to their vehicles.
The shortest route back was through the town park's main playground. As they cut across it, a tall, lanky man stepped out from under the swinging bridge that joined the largest playset structure.
“Mr. Puck says nobody leaves,” the man growled, his voice lower than any human’s should have been. As he stepped towards them, his arms, ears, and nose grew longer. His lower jaw jutted out and two of his teeth stretched up into tusks.
“Don’t suppose we can pay you a toll, can we?” asked Donna.
“Only toll is your bones!” the creature bellowed. Now over ten feet tall, it raised its massive arms and smashed them onto the ground where the group had just been standing.
“Is that a goddamn troll?” asked Victor as he began firing his service pistol.
“Yes!” shouted Alex as she ducked under the creature's wide swing. “Its weaknesses are—”
“Never mind that! Just run!” interrupted Sam. From his pocket he pulled out a small packet of salt from a restaurant. “Hey ugly!” When the troll turned to him, Sam tore the packet open and poured its contents onto the playground's rubber turf.
The troll roared at him before succumbing to the fae's inborn compulsion to count each grain. “One,” it growled.
Sam chuckled as he circled around the creature. Jody, Donna, and Alex were almost to the vehicles.
Victor and Eileen, their weapons still in hand, had stopped halfway to the cars to check on Sam. He raced towards them.
As soon as the troll said "three," it grabbed Sam's ankle and lifted him into the air, causing him to drop the bags he had been carrying. The hunter now found himself dangling upside down, face to face with the troll’s scowling visage.
“I thought you had to count the grains!” said Sam.
“Can’t count past three,” growled the troll.
The troll tightened its grip, crushing Sam's foot, before it swung the hunter around to slam his body into the ground.
Sam was unable to cry out in pain as his breath was knocked out of him. He felt the troll tighten its grip in preparation to swing him again when the crack of gunfire echoed through the hills.
"Over here, ugly!" shouted Victor as he and Eileen fired on the troll with their pistols. The giant creature let go of Sam and stumbled back a moment. The bullets seemed to cause no permanent damage but instead enraged it even more. It roared angrily at its two assailants.
As Victor frantically reloaded, he heard a blaring car horn behind him. Looking back, he saw Donna's pickup truck barrel over the curb and through a light post towards their battle. Grabbing Eileen, Victor lunged out of the way just as the truck zoomed past them. It plowed into the troll at full speed, sending the beast flying.
“Alex, what the sam-hill are you doing?” asked Donna as she came running up to her truck and yanked the door open.
“The book said trolls dislike sunlight, bells, goats or rams," Alex explained.
"So you just hop in the truck and take off without either of us?" asked Jody, who had been jogging right behind Donna.
Alex hopped down to the ground as she replied, "Sam was in trouble! I didn't have time to explain." Still clutching the book to her chest, Alex gestured at the truck. “Besides, I wasn't sure if this would technically count or not.”
Victor took aim and fired a single shot at the troll's felled body. The giant creature twitched where the bullet hit it but otherwise did not move from where it had landed. "I guess it did," he said. "Good job, Alex."
“Sam!” shouted Eileen
Eileen's alarm jarred everyone's attention from the imminent danger they had just faced to the aftermath of its attack.
“Help him! He can’t breathe!” she gasped.
The group raced over to join Eileen, who was kneeling beside Sam's spasming body.
“Oh God, it looks like most of his bones are broken,” observed Victor.
“His lungs are compressed at this angle,” Jodie yelled as she tore off Sam’s shirt.
“We can’t move him!” ordered Donna. “His spine could be damaged.”
“Stay with me, kid,” pleaded Victor. “It’s not even that bad—”
“It’s not even that bad, alright? Sammy?” He was hearing someone scream his name. The person was hugging him as the most intense pain he had ever experienced pierced his back. “Hey listen to me. We’re gonna patch you up, ok? You’ll be good as new. Huh? I’m gonna take care of you...”
Sam reached forward, trying to grab the person in his vision. No, it wasn't like a vision. This was a scene he had lived before - a memory. He felt someone grab his hand, but they were too blurry to see who it was. Their hand felt so warm though...
***** Castiel *****
The sound of metal clanging against metal echoed through the bunker. In a training room designed for the Men of Letters to spar and practice wielding weapons, Castiel slashed with his angelic blade.
Jack swung a handheld black scythe in his hand and parried the attack. He countered with a wide swipe, but Castiel hopped out of the weapon’s range. The angel lunged, thrusting his blade at Jack’s chest, forcing the kid to retreat as he waved the scythe around. Castiel pressed the attack, thrusting again and again. Jack finally was able to hook the black scythe on Castiel’s weapon and looked up with a goofy grin.
Castiel shoved the bind aside and slammed his shoulder into Jack’s chest, knocking the boy to the ground.
“Again,” said the angel.
Jack held up his hand.
“You cannot expect mercy from—”
Cas stopped. Jack’s eyes were glowing yellow. When they returned to normal, Jack put his hand down and said, “They’re in danger.”
“They’re always in danger,” Castiel replied. “You must believe in them. Have faith in Sam and Dean. Now get up, we’re running out of time.”
Jack grabbed his weapon and got back on his feet into a fighting stance.
“Don’t swing so wide. Speed is of the essence,” said Castiel. “Now attack me, again!”
*****To Be Continued*****
Find out what happens to Sam, Dean, Castiel, Jack and friends in the thrilling last few chapters on "With or Without You", which will be published during the first Walker hiatus. 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