Like many fans, when Supernatural's final season was announced, I was asked how I wanted the show to end. To be truthful, I had no strong opinion on how it should all end. Then one night, during the mid-season 15 hellatus, I had a dream. Like a lightning bolt sent straight by a muse, an episode played before my eyes. I could see it all: The camera angles, the actors' performances, their wardrobe, the sets, everything! When morning came, I hurriedly began to jot down the vision I had been granted.
That's what I present to you now. This is how I wanted season 15 to conclude. Instead of "Unity"/"Despair"/"Inherit the Earth" finale, I present to you a multi-part, complex tale that brings the Supernatural saga to a close. There's mystery, danger, old friends and familiar enemies, but the ending - well, that just might surprise you. So, 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 a groan of relief, Dean hauled his aching body through the bunker door. Every time he came crawling back, the old metal door felt heavier, but it gave him a sense of security as he spun the wheel to lock it. His legs shook as he stumbled down the stairs and plodded to the kitchen, where he heard the sound of running water.
She was standing at the sink with her back to the entrance, in blue sweatpants and a blue tank top, her long red hair pulled into a pony tail. To Dean it was the most beautiful sight in the world.
“Honey. I’m home.”
Anna turned around, her hands and floral print apron stained with chopped vegetables. His own hands and jacket were still stained with the remains of his hunt. Nonetheless, she went to him as fast as her very pregnant belly would allow and he wrapped his arms around her. They had made a simple vow: upon first sight, they would embrace. It was a vow they had kept even during some of their bitterest arguments.
“Welcome back,” she whispered in his ear, her arms wrapped around his neck.
Dean squeezed his wife as if his arms could convey the emotion in his heart. “I missed you both.”
“He’s been asking when you’d get back,” Anna said as she pulled away and went back to her cooking.
“Daddy!” was Dean’s only warning before something slammed into his shin and wrapped around his leg.
“Hey there, John!” said Dean, prying the kid free and lifting him up. “Were you a good boy for Mommy?”
“Yeah! Did you... uh – did you save lots of people?”
“I did. Want to help me clean the guns?” Dean asked as he gave the kid a light tickle.
The boy nodded enthusiastically.
“Don’t get covered in grease! Dinner will be ready in ten minutes,” said Anna.
“We won’t,” said Dean as he hoisted his son onto his shoulders. Together they made car noises as they headed to the bunker’s cleaning room.
The door into the courtroom opened, drawing the attention of both teams of attorneys. A tall man with long hair dressed in a black suit walked towards the prosecution bench, a burlap pouch in his hand.
“A moment, Your Honor,” said the prosecutor, stepping away from the podium and towards the galley. He accepted the bag from the newcomer and turned back to the court while the newcomer seated himself in the row right behind the prosecution team. “Your Honor, I now have with me Exhibit J,” he said, holding up the pouch. “Permission to approach the witness?”
“Mr. Shiban, do you recognize these?” the prosecutor asked as he opened the pouch and deposited four brass rectangular bars onto the witness stand.
The older man sitting in the witness seat leaned forward, adjusting his glasses. “They look like the plates we use to stamp the chocolate bars.”
“Objection, Your Honor,” said the lead defense attorney. “Relevance?”
The judge nodded. “A fair question, Mr. Edlund.”
“A key part of Mr. Shiban’s defense is his claim that he knows his factory so well, he would have immediately noticed any suspicious or substandard parts used,” answered Mr. Edlund. “This is a test of that claim, as to most observers the stamp plates are indistinguishable.”
“Proceed,” said the judge.
Mr. Shiban leaned forward, looking at the bars in front of him for several seconds before carefully picking one up with his index finger and thumb. “Let the record show that the defendant selected Exhibit J, sub-part 2,” said the prosecutor, as he rubbed the blade of a letter opener across the face of the bar. Brass colored paint flaked off onto the courtroom floor. “Which is, in fact, the fake.”
“No further questions,” said Mr. Edlund as he picked up the other 3 bars and returned to his seat, glaring at the tall man who had handed him the mysterious Exhibit J.
The trial proceeded until, hours later, at nearly six in the evening, the jury rendered their verdict. Mr. Shiban was guilty of a few misdemeanors. The sentence? A simple fine. It was some of his employees who would bear the brunt of the felony charges. As soon as the court was dismissed, the lead prosecutor turned to address the tall man in the front row.
“I can’t believe I let you talk me into that damn stunt,” said Mr. Edlund, his voice on edge.
The tall man just hung his head and nodded. “I’m sorry, sir.”
“This is the last time you’ve disappointed me. I don’t know who’s protecting you, but so help me I will see you transferred to Kansas or Alaska before this week is through.” Mr. Edlund then stormed out of the courtroom with the other two members of his legal team following behind.
A door on the side of the courthouse opened as Mr. Shiban walked out into one of the alleys behind the building, talking on his cell phone. “Twenty minutes? Unacceptable. I’m famished and want to treat myself tonight.”
The phone was yanked from his hand. He heard a clang when it hit the dumpster.
“What the hell?” he demanded, spinning around to find himself confronted by the tall man with long hair dressed in a black suit. “You... you were the one who tried that plate trick.” Mr. Shiban looked over at the dumpster now possessing his phone. “Look, I... understand how frustrating losing can be. So why don’t you walk away now, and we’ll let bygones be bygones. I won't press any charges.”
“You don’t get it.” Out of the corner of his eye, Mr. Shiban saw the glint of a knife blade in the tall man’s right hand, just before it was plunged into his chest. “Jail was your chance to live,” he said before twisting the knife and driving it further into his victim’s heart.
Mr. Shiban tried to cry out, but the tall man clamped his hand over Mr. Shiban’s mouth. The CEO’s eyes turned pale with slit pupils like that of a snake as he slumped to the ground and died.
Checking for witnesses, the tall man straightened and withdrew his own cell phone. “Vic? This is Sam. The trial’s over. Yes. The Rakshasa in New York is dead.” He then hung up the phone and retrieved a black body bag from where he had stashed it nearby. Yanking free the brass dagger, Sam Winchester cleaned it on the corpse’s clothes and put it back in the sheath he had strapped to the back of his belt. He then stuffed the body into the black bag and zipped it closed, so that the letters FBI were visible. Hoisting the bag onto his shoulder, he made his way to the black ‘67 Impala waiting for him on the street.
“Time to slice and dice!”
“We killed you! You’re dead!”
“I don’t think John should be watching this movie,” Anna said as she took a handful of popcorn.
“What are you talking about?” asked Dean around the kernels stuffed in his cheeks. “He loves this film.”
John snorted and mumbled something before becoming still, his head resting on his father’s lap while his little legs stretched over his mother’s. Dean used the remote to turn down the TV’s volume.
“It's giving him nightmares. There have been more than a few mornings I’ve found him in the Impala,” said Anna.
“I’ve told him all about the times she’s saved my life,” replied Dean. “He knows it’s safe, that she’ll protect him.”
“If we have a daughter, you want to name her after it?”
“No!” Dean chewed on some more popcorn. “Well...”
Anna reached over and gave his ear a playful pinch as the two of them laughed. She left her hand there and began running her fingers through his hair, lightly touching his forehead and cheek.
Dean gave her a questioning look.
Anna sighed. “Sometimes I wish I still had my grace, and could heal you properly.”
Taking her hand in his, Dean kissed her fingers and asked, “And give up all of this?”
She pulled his hand to her lips and returned the gesture. “Never. I thank Castiel every day for the opportunity he gave us.”
The movie continued, but neither of them were paying any attention to it.
“I just wonder how much time we have left,” said Anna.
“We all do.”
“Dean...” Anna looked away as if she expected the right words to appear out of thin air. “You’re getting older. The things you hunt are not. Every time you walk out that door--”
“I'll never come back? Just like Mom?” Dean took a sip of his beer. Anna could tell he was swallowing his emotions with it.
Anna interlocked her fingers with his and squeezed his hand.
He stared at the TV while he continued, “It haunted Dad, you know? I remember when I found that page in his journal. It was written like a letter, him asking Mom why she had to go on that last hunt. What was so important that she couldn’t tell him? He said the worst was never finding the body, just her wedding ring, a gun, and a few pieces of jewelry – all covered in her blood.” Dean took a longer draught of alcohol. “I think about that every time I go out there.”
“And you think about every family that is going to lose someone if you stay,” she said.
“No. Not the families.”
This time Anna had the questioning look.
“One day... Dad told me that Mom was pregnant when she died. First trimester.” Dean sighed,
She let out a small gasp. “No wonder you’re so protective of Jo.”
Dean shrugged. “I can’t stop, Anna. Every time I start to get comfortable – every time we start to have a happy life and I think, ‘this time – this time I’ll stay here...’ I read one of those stories and I think about that sibling I never got to meet. Sometimes I imagine I can hear him crying out in the woods, all alone because his big brother wasn't there to save him.” He took another sip from his bottle and sighed. “I like to think I would have been a good big brother.”
“You are one, Dean. Jo adores you, despite the show she puts on. But getting yourself killed won’t bring your sibling back.”
“I know. But if it brings back someone else’s...”
Anna took his hand and placed it on her swollen abdomen. “What about us? I – we can’t lose you, Dean. Not again. Once nearly killed me, and Heaven... Heaven isn’t exactly answering my calls.”
Dean looked at his family, and imagined for a moment if he had to go through what his father had. Was it any wonder it had driven John onto the path of revenge? That they had spent so many years making sure every monster bastard paid for every single tear they had caused? But his wife was right. The fights were getting harder.
He really needed another perspective on it, some more advice. “You’re due soon. What if... we took a trip to Harvelle’s and stayed there a few days? You’ll be close to a hospital when the baby comes, and Jo can help you take care of it.”
“What will you be doing?”
For once in his life, Dean had no answer.
*****To Be Continued*****
Find out what happens next in Part 2 of "With or Without You"!
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