This is my take on a different ending for Season 14 Episode 20 of
Supernatural. Full spoilers ahead. I’m not recapping the episode, so if you
haven’t seen it, it might not make sense, because I’m starting mid scene.
The first bits of dialogue are taken straight from the show.
Disclaimer: I don’t own any of these characters, and I’m not making any money from this story.
Warning: Consensual spanking of a nephilim.
While Sam and Chuck were talking in the bunker, and Dean was driving to the graveyard with the special gun God had given him, Castiel was finally getting the chance to have a conversation with Jack.
“Mary was a mistake,” Jack said, “but ever since then I’ve tried to do the right thing. Except for Dumah. She…” he trailed off, not knowing how to explain what she’d done. She’d talked him into killing people, and made him believe it was the right thing to do.
“She led you astray,” Castiel said.
Jack nodded in agreement. “And then I tried on my own, but every time I try, it never goes right. It never…” He sighed. “All I ever wanted was to be good. But now I’m just… empty. Even this. I know you’re here because you love me, and I want to love you back. It’s just… I can’t.”
“You can’t yet,” Castiel corrected. “We just need time to fix this. We need to go somewhere safe. Somewhere where no one can find us.” He was about to add more, but then Jack’s eyes focused on something to the left of them.
Castiel followed Jack’s line of sight and saw Dean standing there with a gun. Dean and Jack faced off, keeping their eyes on each other, almost as if Castiel wasn’t even with them, so the angel stepped between them.
“Step aside, Cas,” Dean said without looking at the angel.
“Dean,” Castiel replied, trying to reason with him.
“Step aside!” Dean yelled.
Knowing there was no reasoning with Dean in this state, Castiel said, “Jack go.” When the young man just stood there, Castiel said, “Run.”
“I can‘t,” Jack said.
“You have to,” Castiel said, adamantly.
“I won’t run anymore.” Jack waved his hand in the air, and his eyes turned orange as he used his powers to toss the angel across the graveyard.
Jack and Dean stared at each other for a few moments.
“You’re not going to lock me up again are you?” Jack asked.
“No.” Dean raised the gun to aim at Jack’s head.
Jack looked Dean in the eyes, and then to Dean’s shock, Jack knelt down in the grass in front of him. Dean’s eyebrows creased in confusion, and his trigger finger stilled. Dean heard tires screeching in the distance, and then Sam’s voice calling his name, but he kept his focus on the young man he’d come to think of as a son over the past couple of years.
“I understand,” Jack said. “I know what I’ve done.”
“No, no, no, Dean!” Sam’s voice was much closer now.
“Stay back Sam,” Dean said, knowing his brother would listen to him.
“You were right, all along,” Jack admitted.
Sam turned to his side and saw Chuck suddenly standing there with them, and scowled thinking about what the deity had said earlier. Chuck was always watching them, because they were his favorite show. This was obviously a climax that he didn’t want to miss.
“I am a monster,” Jack said without anger or sorrow, just sincerity.
“Do something,” Sam said to Chuck, but the deity simply kept staring at Dean with a small smile on his face. “Wait… you’re enjoying this,” Sam said with shock, only to have God shush him.
Dean cocked the gun, and tried to shoot the boy. He really did. But in the end, he simply couldn’t. The same way he could never kill Sam, even when he knew it was the right thing to do for the world. The kid knew what he’d done was wrong, and he knew his actions had been monstrous. If he knew that, then there was still hope.
Dean uncocked the special gun God had made specifically to kill Jack, and tossed it into the grass.
“No!” Chuck said. “Pick it up!”
Castiel walked towards them as Chuck went to stand by Dean. “Pick it up!”
“What the hell, Chuck?” Dean asked.
“This isn’t how the story is supposed to end.”
“The story?” Castiel asked.
Jack got up off his knees while listening to his grandfather.
“Look…” Chuck said animatedly, gesturing with his arms as he spoke. “The gathering storm. The gun. The father killing his own son. This is Abraham and Isaac. This is epic!”
“Wait. What are you saying?” Dean asked.
“He’s saying he’s been playing us,” Sam responded, stepping closer.
Chuck scoffed and shook his head. “Come on, guys.”
“This whole time,” Sam said, clearly getting angry. “Our entire lives. Mom. Dad. Everything. This is all you. Because you wrote it all. Right?”
An expression of deep betrayal crossed Dean’s face and stuck there as he stared at Chuck.
“Because what?” Sam asked, on a roll now that he was pissed. “Because we’re part of your show? Because we’re your favorite story?”
“Sam!” Castiel said, pleading with his eyes for his friend to stop talking. “I’m the one who prayed to get my father here, and I have something to say to him.”
“It’s Chuck,” God said with a sigh.
“Right. Chuck,” Castiel addressed his maker. He gestured to Dean and Jack and said, “If this is Abraham and Isaac, why are we doing it again. I mean it’s not exactly plagiarism if you’re taking from your own previous work, but is it truly epic if it’s a remake?”
“Careful, Castiel,” Chuck warned, all humor gone from his face.
Dean caught on immediately, and said, “Remakes are never as good as the originals. Dean Winchester is as original as they come. My story should be, too.”
“Everyone’s a critic,” Chuck muttered. “I’m telling you guys, this is the story. Pick up the gun, and pull the trigger, or things are going to get bad. Apocalyptic type bad.”
“Aren’t the most epic stories, the ones about redemption?” Sam asked, realizing what his brother and Castiel were doing.
“Redemption?” Chuck asked incredulously. He flung a finger at Jack and said, “He killed your mother! There’s no redemption.”
“Can he not ask for forgiveness for his sins?” Castiel said. “If Dean, Sam, and I can forgive him, then certainly the All Father… I mean Chuck… can as well.”
“Yes,” Jack said, “I would like to be forgiven.”
Chuck was looking more and more irritated by the second.
“No,” Dean said. “Jack can’t just ask for forgiveness and get it. It has to be earned. He has to suffer and repent before he can be forgiven. Then and only then will there be redemption, but he can’t suffer or repent without a soul.”
Everyone turned to Chuck, who seemed to be mulling that idea over. He glared at Dean. “There would have to be a lot of suffering. Not just emotional angsty type suffering either. Serious physical suffering.”
Dean nodded. “Sam and I have both been to hell. We know how to make someone suffer.”
“No,” Sam said. “That kind of blanket suffering won’t bring redemption. Physical suffering has to be mixed with purposeful emotional suffering.”
“Purposeful emotional suffering?” Dean asked.
“What would Dad have done if you’d hurt mom, even if it was an accident?” Sam asked.
“Oh,” Dean nodded, liking the idea more and more as he thought about it. “Perfect. A belting for every person Jack killed. Every major mistake he made.”
“Belting?” Jack asked, confused and concerned.
“Hitting your bottom repeatedly with a belt,” Castiel explained.
Jack considered that for a moment and then shrugged. “Okay. If that will make me good again, then that’s what we should do.”
“But it won’t matter without a soul,” Castiel reminded them.
Everyone focused on Chuck again.
He sighed. “Fine. Have it your way, but don’t come crying to me when your redemption story turns into a horror story.” He snapped his fingers, and both Dean and Jack dropped to the ground screaming in agony. While they were screaming, Chuck muttered, “Why did I think free will was a good idea?”
Castiel knelt between Dean and Jack, and looked on helplessly as they writhed in pain.
“What did you do to them?!” Sam yelled.
Chuck scoffed, “I’m not going to waste my energy on recreating Jack’s soul for this story. He and Dean will have to share.”
“Share?” Sam asked.
Both Dean and Jack stopped screaming as suddenly as they’d started, and lay on the ground breathing hard.
Chuck waved a dismissive hand in their direction, and said, “Dean’s got a big soul. Plenty to spare. And since he rejected my story, he deserves a bit of suffering.”
“Suffering?” Castiel asked.
Chuck gave them all a little smirk. “Dean and Jack are soul linked. He’s going to feel it when Jack gets hurt, and vice versa.”
“But that means…” Sam trailed off.
“When you belt Jack, Dean will feel it, too?” Chuck asked. “Yeah, he will. Maybe not quite to the same extent, but he’ll feel it. And I still expect you to make Jack suffer,” he warned.
“This is unjust,” Castiel said.
“Unjust?” Chuck asked, shaking his head. He glared at them all dangerously and said, “Rewriting my story is unjust. You tell Dean that this is what free will looks like.”
“But…” Before Sam could put up any real protest, God was gone.
“Sammy?” Dean asked weakly from the ground.
“Dean,” Sam rushed over and put a hand on his brother’s arm. “You okay?”
“Feel like I got hit by a truck.”
A loud groan came from Jack, and Castiel put a gentle hand on his shoulder. “Jack?”
The boy opened his eyes, and they immediately filled with tears. “Cas, I… I killed Felix… and… all those people,” he whispered, and the tears started to fall. He sat up, hugged the angel, and started to weep against Castiel’s shoulder.
“What happened?” Dean asked as Sam helped him to stand.
“We’ll meet you at home,” Castiel said. Jack was still weeping, so the angel picked him up, and carried him to his truck.
“Sam?” Dean asked, “What happened? I feel… different.”
Sam put a hand on Dean’s shoulder to break the news. “Chuck split your soul in half. You get half, and…”
“Jack gets half?” Dean finished the sentence for him. When Sam nodded, Dean slowly grinned. “That’s perfect. Why didn’t we think of that?”
“Because we didn’t know it was possible.” Sam said, “And I’m not sure anyone other than God could have done it anyway.”
“This is great. It’s the solution we’ve been looking for this whole time.” Dean cocked his head to the side while scrutinizing Sam’s unhappy face. “What’s the catch?” Dean asked, less enthusiastic than he’d been seconds ago.
“Chuck said that you and Jack are soul linked now. That means when one of you gets hurt… the other one is going to feel it.”
Dean’s brow creased in thought for a few moments.
“And Chuck still expects us to make Jack suffer,” Sam added.
Dean’s forehead smoothed out, and he nodded. “Okay.”
“It’s not okay!” Sam disagreed. “None of it is okay! Chuck said to tell you that this is what free will looks like.”
“You think this is funny?!”
Dean shrugged. “Kind of. For all his talk, Chuck is still a vengeful God. But you know what, that’s fine.”
“It’s not fine!” Sam yelled, tossing his hands in the air in frustration.
“Hey,” Dean put a hand on Sam’s shoulder, looked him in the eyes and said, “It’s fine, Sammy. I came out here to shoot Jack in the head. You think I’m not chalk full of guilt for that? You think I wouldn’t already be suffering every time I had to take a belt to the kid if we weren’t linked? Trust me, I only beat your ass three times while we were growing up, and every freaking time it took me months to get over it. So yeah, it’s fine . In fact, it’s perfect.”
Sam shook his head, not understanding his brother at all.
“Come on,” Dean said, slapping Sam’s shoulder. “Let’s go home.”
# # #
Dean was the last to arrive, and when he pulled into the bunker’s parking garage, he found Castiel and Sam standing next to Castiel’s truck talking animatedly. Dean parked Baby, and went over to them. He was about to ask where Jack was, but then saw the young man asleep in the passenger seat of the truck. Jerking a thumb in the kid’s direction Dean asked, “He okay?”
Castiel nodded. “He cried himself to sleep.”
Sam and Castiel shared a look.
“What?” Dean asked.
“This arrangement is far from fine, Dean, and it certainly isn’t perfect,” Castiel said.
Dean rolled his eyes. “You guys are looking at this the wrong way. We’ve been searching for a way to save Jack for months, and we finally figured it out. This is a win. Parents make sacrifices for their kids all the time, and I know for a fact that both of you would have made the same deal in a heartbeat if it meant saving Jack.”
Neither of the other men could disagree.
“We’re not telling Jack,” Dean said firmly.
“No one is telling Jack that I can feel it when he gets hurt.”
“You’re a hunter, Dean. He’s gonna figure it out,” Sam said.
Dean shook his head. “Not for a while he’s not. No hunts for me or him for a couple of weeks. I want all of his suffering out of the way before he finds out.”
“But…” Sam started to protest.
“No,” Dean said firmly. “Jack needs to focus on what he did wrong without bringing concern for my wellbeing into that truckload of guilt. So both of you need to keep your traps shut.”
Sam pursed his lips and glared at the wall to avoid looking at his brother, but tipped his head in a curt nod to show acceptance, even though he clearly didn’t approve.
“Very well,” Castiel agreed quietly.
“Great,” Dean said with a grin. “Glad we’re all on the same page. I’m thinking one belting a day until we’ve covered all his sins. Mornings would be best, so he can keep his body from healing itself until he goes to sleep for the night.”
“So you’re signing yourself up for even more suffering than necessary?” Sam asked with a scowl. “That’s messed up, Dean.”
Glaring at his little brother, he said, “Careful, Sammy. I don’t have to suffer if I decide you need a belting, too.”
Huffing, Sam rolled his eyes, crossed his arms, and muttered, “I’d like to see you try.”
Dean nodded, knowing that Sam’s somewhat defeated response meant that his brother would stop arguing. Clapping his hands together, Dean said, “Let’s get this show on the road. Wake up the kid, and bring him to the conference table. I’ll belt him for Mom, and then we’ll rotate. Sam can do it tomorrow, and Cas the day after.”
Sam shook his head. “You don’t have to. Cas and I can take turns while you hide out in your room or something.”
“The kid will know something is off if I don’t do it. Hell, I should probably do them all, because out of all of us I’m the most likely to be the disciplinarian when he’s out of line, but… It would be great if I didn’t have to do them all.”
“Wouldn’t it be prudent to have one of us do the first one since we don’t know how much you’re going to be affected?” Castiel asked.
Dean shook his head. “Since this is his first time, it will be better for me to do it, because he doesn’t know what to expect. If my reactions are off, he won’t know the difference.”
Castiel reached for the truck’s door handle, but Sam put a hand out to stop him. “Wait a minute.” Sam turned to Dean and said, “We should all agree on how much suffering is enough before you start. How many are you going to give him?”
“Forty?” Dean asked.
“No,” Sam said. “Dad never would have given either of us forty, even if he’d been drinking.”
Dean opened his mouth to disagree, but Flagstaff was a one off, and Dean had lost count anyway. It might have been less than forty.
“That would be excessive,” Castiel agreed with Sam. “Especially when he’s facing multiple punishments.
“Thirty?” Dean suggested.
“Twenty-five for Mom,” Sam countered. “But twenty for strangers.”
“And fifteen for other mistakes like killing Felix, and making everyone tell the truth,” Castiel said.
“You think Chuck will consider that enough suffering?” Dean asked doubtfully.
Sam smirked, “Are you forgetting all the hours we spent doing military punishments? Cleaning toilets, KP, cleaning weapons, endless pushups, running laps, and weapons practice. It’s not like every offence meant an ass beating. Jack will suffer plenty.”
Dean nodded. “Great. You’re in charge of that, Sammy.”
“Why do I have to be the bad guy?”
“I’m already doing more than my share,” Dean said.
With a guilty expression, Sam nodded. “Yeah, okay.”
“I’ll help you, Sam,” Castiel offered. “We can be the bad guy together.”
“Alright,” Dean said, “you two take care of all that touchy feely stuff you guys are good at, and get the kid in the right mindset for what I’m gonna do.”
“Where are you going?” Sam asked.
“Mentally preparing myself.” Dean said as he walked away, and then muttered to himself, “With a stiff drink.”
# # #
Fifteen minutes later when Dean walked into the conference room, Jack was there waiting for him with tears on his face, and so much guilt in his expression that Dean found it painful to look at the kid. Sam and Castiel were sitting at one end of the conference table, with Jack on the other.
“Hey, kiddo,” Dean said. “Did they fill you in?”
Jack nodded. “I’m sorry that my grandfather split your soul and gave me half without even asking.”
“I’m not. I mean sure, it might have been nice to be asked, but all of us,” Dean gestured to Sam and Castiel, “would have said yes if he’d asked. Because you’re family.”
Jack shook his head. “How can you say that after everything I’ve done? A… after Mary?” More tears streamed down his face.
“No one in this room is free from sin, Jack,” Castiel said. “We have all made choices that were wrong, and we have all made grievous mistakes that we regret.”
“And we’ve paid for those mistakes,” Dean said as he took off his belt. “Which is why we’re here.”
Nodding, Jack stood, moved the chair to the side, and leaned over the table.
Raising a surprised eyebrow, Dean said, “Did they tell you to…”
“Keep my body human? Yes. And I will,” Jack said softly.
Dean put a hand in the middle of Jack’s back and said, “This one’s for Mom. She loved you, accepted you as family, and tried to help you every step of the way.” Dean could feel the young man’s back shake with tears. “We all understand that it was a mistake, Jack. You didn’t intend to kill her. And that’s the only reason you can earn forgiveness at all.”
The belt whistled through the air, and snapped down on its target. A little whimper came out of Jack, but he stayed in place. Dean closed his eyes, muttered, “Son of a bitch,” and clenched his jaw before delivering another blow.
By the time the tenth stripe had landed, Jack was yelping pitifully with each one, and Dean was breathing hard in an effort not to make noise. By the twentieth slap, Jack was full on crying, and Dean had tears on his face. And by the time it was over, Jack was apologizing through his tears, and begging forgiveness, while Dean was shaking and sweating like he’d run a marathon.
Dean tossed the belt on the floor, and wiped the tears off his face. Then he put a hand on Jack’s arm to help him stand, and pulled the kid into a hug, unsure who needed it more, him or Jack.
“I’m sorry!” Jack said for the umpteenth time; clinging to Dean.
Unlike all the previous times, Dean finally said, “I know you are, kiddo, and now that you’ve paid for it, I forgive you.”
That brought on a new bout of weeping from Jack. Dean held him tighter and waited it out. Before Jack was done crying, Sam and Castiel were standing next to them, Sam with a comforting hand on Dean’s shoulder, and Castiel with a hand on Jack’s back. With all three of his father figures close, and the punishment over, Jack was soon down to sniffles.
“Okay, Dean, we’ve got it from here. Go lie down for a little bit,” Sam said in his newfound ‘leader’ voice that brooked no arguments. Or at least his voice brooked no arguments from people who weren’t his older brother.
“I’m fine, Sammy.”
Sam and Cas shared a look, and then Sam pulled Dean in one direction, while Cas pulled Jack in the other.
“What the hell, Sammy?” Dean asked with a scowl as his younger brother dragged him towards the hallway.
“You’re not fine, and you’re going to go lie down,” Sam said with finality, and Dean was too tired and sore to put up any real argument.
“This is ridiculous,” Dean muttered, but let Sam drag him to his room without further comment.
“Dean?” Jack asked, as he watched Sam leading him away.
Castiel put an arm around Jack’s shoulders and said, “Dean needs a moment.”
“Why?” Jack asked. “What’s wrong with him?”
“Have you heard the phrase ‘this hurts me, more than it hurts you’?”
“It implies that it’s emotionally painful to bring physical pain to someone you love,” Castiel said. “Tomorrow after Sam belts you, he’s going to need a moment, too. As will I the following day.”
“Oh.” Slowly nodding, Jack said, “I understand.”
“Come,” Castiel said, patting Jack’s shoulder before letting him go. “It’s my turn to be the bad guy. I’m going to oversee you cleaning all the bathrooms in the bunker.”
“Gross,” Jack said, following the angel.
“Indeed,” Castiel acknowledged with a smile.
The EndEmail Author