A/N: This story came out of a desire to rework the ending of Season 14 of Supernatural. When Mary died, it was very sad. However, I felt it could be worse if Dean also had a daughter. So, you're welcome. This is a very bittersweet fanfiction. A lot of the dialogue comes from Season 14, Episodes 17-19. I hope you enjoy it. (Cover image is "Firework" by ToxicWeb and is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).
Disclaimer: I don't own anything here except maybe Cwen.
Sitting in the bunker, Cwen watched with amusement as her father stared at the game Mousetrap with intense concentration. He turned the handle on the game and watched a green boot missed kicking the bucket. "Oh come on!" he yelled.
Cwen smirked at him, "If you just-"
Dean cut her off with a glare, "I know how to set it up!" He cursed as it again failed to kick the bucket.
"Here let me," Cwen smiled as she adjusted the boot and then spun the handle making it work perfectly.
Dean glared, "I hate you!" Cwen just smirked.
Seeing his mom and Jack come in, Dean announced, "Winchester game night is a go. Soon as Sammy gets back here with the two double pepperoni meat blasters and a pineapple." Dean scrunched his face in disgust at the thought of a pineapple pizza.
"I like it," Jack said with a smile.
"Yeah, but you also think that tofu tastes good," Cwen smirked at the boy.
"It's like a crime against humanity," Dean argued.
Mary just smiled at her son and granddaughter. "You missed a call," she handed him his phone. Dean took the phone, his face losing all joviality when he heard the person on the line.
"Dad, what's wrong?" Cwen questioned, "Is it Sam?" Dean just held up his hand as he continued to listen to the call. He stood up and held the phone out, letting it play on speaker phone.
"Dean. It's me. It's Donatello. I need help. You and Sam. Help me, please!" The voice message continued to play what sounded like Hebrew to Cwen.
When it ended, Dean turned and immediately called Sam, but he didn't pick up. "Sam's not answering his phone. This whole damn town's a dead zone. All right. We got to go."
"What do we do, Dad?" Cwen asked. Dean looked between his daughter and Jack, "Stay here. When Sam gets back, play him that voicemail and have him call me on my spare. Got it?"
Jack nodded, "Got it."
Cwen sped over to her dad and gave him a tight hug, "Stay safe, okay Dad?"
Dean hugged his daughter back and smiled lightly, "Aren't I always?"
Cwen scoffed, "No, and that's why I'm telling you and Mary to stay safe. Don't do anything stupid."
Dean let go of his daughter and ruffled her hair, "Don't worry, we'll be back before you know it."
Cwen glared as she tried to flatten her hair, but ultimately smiled, "Yeah, okay. Love you."
Dean smiled at his kid, "Love you, too." He walked out, closely followed by Mary after she too had been hugged by her granddaughter.
There was a beat of awkward silence between Jack and Cwen before he asked, "So… what do we do now?"
Cwen frowned slightly as she looked at her dad's phone, "Let's try and see if we can try and figure out what Donatello was saying."
"I should be there with you," Sam told Dean through the phone.
"It's fine," Dean responded.
"No, its not," Sam argued.
Changing the topic before they could devolve into pointless bickering, Dean asked, "You heard Donny's message right?"
"Yeah, I did. Cwen played it to me as soon as I got back," Sam explained.
"He sounds like he's speaking in tongues- like he's possessed again."
Frustrated Sam replied, "No, that's not- It's not Enochian. Cwen thinks that it's Ancient Hebrew."
Dean laughed slightly, "Of course Cwen would figure it out."
"What's he saying then?" Mary asked.
"We're not sure yet. We're still working on it," Sam explained.
"I think I've got something," Dean heard come from the background.
"Cwen?" he asked.
"Yeah," Sam smirked, "Cwen."
"You know, sometimes I think she's smarter than you," Dean laughed.
"She most likely is," Sam laughed as well.
"All right, well, work fast," Dean said, ending the conversation.
"Watch your back," Sam cautioned.
"That's the plan," Dean replied before hanging up.
Dean put the phone down as he said, "Ancient Hebrew! What the hell?" He shook his head, "Sammy sounds stressed."
Mary looked out the window, "It's not just Sam. It's Jack… it's Cwen… it's you. I just wish there was something that I cou-"
Dean cut her off, "Hey. You're here, okay? You're here." He smiled at her.
Mary continued, "But I should've been here more. But I know how I am. I can be closed off… and hard."
Dean glanced at his mom, "Yeah, well, that's where I get it from."
Mary shook her head, "Except it isn't. You're so good with Cwen. That goodbye back there?" She paused for a moment, "Listen. I just need you to know… I'm grateful. For every day I get to spend with you, and Sam, and Cwen."
Back in the bunker, Cwen played the recording again. "Listen, Uncle Sam. Really listen." The Hebrew words resounded throughout the room, deep and hissing.
"It's Peter 5:8, from the Bible," Cwen pointed to a book in front of her, "Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the Devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour."
Realizing what they had just read, both looked at each other with wide eyes, "It's a trap!" When they finally managed to call Dean and Mary, they heard that they had found Nick alone with a recording of Donatello pleading for help and so had decided to bring him in for questioning.
Mary and Dean walked down the halls of the bunker, Dean's arm tightly holding Nick's. Sam and Jack came walking down the same hall in the opposite direction.
Sam's face contorted with anger as he grabbed Nick from Dean and slammed him into the wall. Dean tried to pull Sam off of Nick, "Whoa! Hey. Hey! Not now. Okay? Not yet." Sam looked at Mary, Dean, and Jack before turning and storming off. Dean continued down the hall, dragging Nick into the Bunker's dungeon and tying him up. "Stay here and keep quiet, or else, next time, I won't stop Sam." Nick just smirked as Dean turned and left, locking the door behind him.
In the library of the Bunker, Cwen sat, hunched over a book, intently reading. Sam stormed into the room and started angrily pacing up and down the room. "What's got you all riled up?" Cwen asked after a moment.
"Nick's here!" Sam yelled, "They brought Nick back here. I'm going to kill him." Sam turned to walk out of the room again, looking intent on following through with his threat.
Slowly standing up, Cwen grabbed Sam's arm as he walked past. "No, you're not."
"What'd you mean no?" Sam hissed, trying to tug his arm away from his much shorter niece.
"I mean no. Dad and Mary brought him so that we can question him for information. Once we get that, feel free to beat him up as much as your oversized heart desires." Cwen smiled a little weakly as she tried to move her uncle off of a war path.
Sam shook his head, "Donatello's in this because of me. A police officer is dead because of me. I'm the one who let Nick go, I'm the one who… What was I thinking?"
Cwen smiled sadly at her uncle, "You were doing what you always do: giving people a chance. Does it always work out? No. Point in case, Nick. But if you hadn't given me a chance, I never would have been a part of this family and you wouldn't have an awesome niece. If you hadn't given Mary a chance, she likely never would have been as close to you and Dad as she is. If you hadn't given Jack a chance, he never would have become like a brother to me. You're a good person, Uncle Sam, and just because one time it doesn't work out, because someone takes advantage of your kind heart, doesn't mean that it's your fault. You gave him a chance, and he wasted that. Now we can ruin whatever it is he's doing now, but only if you let him live long enough for us to get the information we need."
Sam looked deeply into his niece's eyes before he sighed and pulled her into a hug. Cwen circled her arms around her uncle and buried her face into his chest. "When did you get so wise?" Sam asked with a sigh, calming slightly.
"With you and Dad as my parental figures? I kinda had to or else nothing of any sense would ever happen," Cwen laughed a little. Sam cracked a small smile, but it was dashed as a severe looking Dean and Mary came into the room. Sam stepped away from Cwen and she frowned slightly before she saw her Dad and Mary.
Her face brightened, "Daddy!" She jumped at her dad and hugged him tightly.
Dean wrapped his arms around his daughter and breathed in her scent, his anxiety easing slightly. "Hey Sweetness. I heard that it was you who figured out Donatello's gibberish."
Cwen laughed slightly, "It's Ancient Hebrew, Dad, not gibberish." Dean smirked before he saw his brother's face.
"So Nick?" Sam scowled.
"Yeah, he was just waiting for us. We got in and found Nick with a recording of Donatello's voice," Mary explained.
"But he was- He was just sitting there waiting for you? That doesn't make any sense. What kind of game is he playing here?"
Dean released his daughter as he shook his head, "I don't know. If you ask me, that psycho's seen way too many '90s serial-killer movies."
"Nick doesn't even know Donatello," Sam stated.
"Lucifer did," Dean responded with a pointed stare.
Mary jumped in, "It doesn't make any sense to me, either, but Donatello- we're- we're running out of time."
Cwen nodded in agreement, "The poison - thallium you said? - we can handle. The antidote to that is Prussian Blue. We have some of that here. The live feed, maybe Uncle Sam can hack that? I'm still working on my hacking skills."
Dean nodded, "Good. Great."
Sam also shook his head, conceding, "It's gonna take time. Maybe more than we have."
"All right, well Nick said he wanted to talk," Dean suggested, "So let's talk."
Sam started to follow Dean as he walked out, "Yeah, let's talk."
Cwen grabbed Sam's sleeve, "No, no, no. You're staying here."
"Why?" Sam asked, angry again.
"You need to stay here," Cwen implored.
"Why?" Sam repeated.
"The way you are right now- if Nick looks at you wrong, you're gonna waste him. That can't happen!" Dean butted in.
Sam huffed a breath, looking briefly back at Cwen before nodding, "All right. Yeah. Sure. Not yet."
"Right." Dean looked pointedly at him before leaving to go and interrogate Nick.
Sam angrily turned to look at his niece and mother. His mom reached for him, but he just shook his head and left.
Mary made to follow, but Cwen stopped her, "I already talked with him about it. He just needs some time to cool off."
Mary eyed her granddaughter. A few seconds passed until Cwen almost couldn't take the scrutiny anymore, "When did you get so grown up?"
Cwen shrugged, "I guess I've just always been this mature." She snorted, "Someone had to be when I had Dad and Sam as parental figures."
"You're a good kid, Cwen," Mary patted her on the arm.
"Thanks Mary," Cwen smiled at her grandmother, "I'm glad that you came to us when you did. I know it hasn't always been perfect, but I'm so glad that you're here. Dad and Uncle Sam… well, with Amara and everything, they just needed that break. They needed their mom. I'm grateful that you were here to do the things that I couldn't do." Cwen looked deep into her grandmother's eyes, "I'm glad to have a grandmother."
Mary choked up a little, "I'm grateful for all my time with you, Cwen. You're a beautiful, kind soul." Cwen and Mary gazed at each other for a moment, leaving the words unsaid, but hanging in the air between them in mutual understanding.
Cwen laughed a little when the silence became too much, "Well that became all a little maudlin. Let's go and see how Dean's doing with that son of a bitch." Mary laughed as well and the two Winchester women turned and walked down the hall.
Dean punched Nick in the face. "Where's Donatello?" he asked.
"You having fun?" Nick asked, smiling.
"Oh, yeah. Having a riot," Dean responded sarcastically as he started to circle Nick.
"I get you, Dean. You and me, we're almost like brothers, you know. Michael, you, Lucifer me- we both know what it's like to be hog-tied to a nuclear warhead, man."
Dean grunted in acknowledgement before he turned and punched Nick in the face again. "Cut the crap. Where is he?"
Ignoring him, Nick continued, "You're never the same after something like that, are ya? Being one with one of them. It changes you. Makes you more than human. Come on, Dean, admit it. With Michael, you were a prince. Now you're just a broken Hunter. You're too stupid to know you've been beat." Nick started laughing, a little crazed.
"Beat? What are you beating me at? Hmm? Come on, Nick. What's this all about?" Dean questioned.
Nick suddenly became very serious as he looked directly at Dean, "I want to see my son."
In the library, Dean, Mary, Jack, Cwen, and Sam stood discussing their options.
"His son? He said that?" Mary asked, confused.
"He says he wants to talk to Jack," Dean explained, "alone."
"No!" Cwen jumped in immediately, "He's not talking to the sick monster."
"I'm not afraid of him," Jack glared at Cwen.
"Nick's cracked. He's friggin' Cocoa Puffs, okay?" Dean elaborated.
"Sam?" Jack implored.
Sam sighed, "I mean-"
"'I mean'? What do you mean, you mean?" Dean cut in.
Sam sighed again, "I-I mean… Look, finding Donatello is going slowly, Dean, and Nick is locked down in our bunker. How's he even a threat?"
Cwen glared at her uncle, "He is always a threat!"
"Donatello helped me," Jack cut in before an argument could break out, "and now he needs my help. He's my friend."
"And I don't think we have another choice," Sam added.
Dean glared at both before throwing his hands in the air, "Fine! Fine! Jack goes and talks to the Joker downstairs and we'll try to figure out if there are any other ways to find Donatello." Mary and Sam both sighed, but nodded in agreement.
"No!" Cwen yelled, "I will not have my brother go down there and talk to some fucked up maniac!"
Sam looked at his niece, "Cwen, it's like what you said earlier. Nick is the only way we're going to find Donatello, and as much as I hate to say it, we need him."
Cwen glared at her father and uncle before taking a deep sigh. "Fine."
Cwen was in the room next to the dungeon, ear pressed against the wall, listening to Jack and Nick talk. She wasn't just going to let her brother in all but blood talk to the ex-meat sack of his dead father without any backup.
"Hey, sonny boy," Nick greeted.
"Where's Donatello?" Jack asked, getting straight to the point.
"Wow," Nick said, "You're so tough. That's your pop, you realize."
"My father was a monster."
"Everybody's a monster. Even your three dads- how many innocent people you think they've killed?" Nick taunted. "Even that so-called sister of your's, Cwen… man, I bet she's done some pretty bad things. Winchesters tend to, afterall." Cwen felt a wave of dread fill her.
"Answer the question!" Jack yelled.
"He loved you. You know that? He did. I felt it. He loved you so much… and you broke his heart. Of course, I'm talking about the old you. You with the soul. Yeah. Kermit the Prophet told me all about your sitch. What's that like, not having a soul? Must be relaxing." Cwen couldn't hold the gasp from coming out of her mouth, but she quickly put her hand over her mouth.
"I have a soul," Jack declared.
"I don't know. I don't- I don't see it. I'm looking right at you, and I see nothing," Nick observed, taunting Jack. Cwen had to remind herself that Lucifer, or Nick, or whoever it was now, always lied. Jack would have told them if he didn't have a soul. Yeah, they knew he had been having problems recently, but he had a soul. He had to.
"I have a soul!" Jack yelled, and Cwen heard a loud thud as two things hit each other. Cwen broke out of the room and into the hall, ready to go into the dungeon to help Jack. She was stopped however by seeing Mary, Sam, and Dean waiting anxiously outside.
"Oh… uh… hi," she said awkwardly, "I was just… looking at some… books?"
"In the pantry?" Sam asked skeptically.
Cwen smiled weakly, but was saved from being asked more questions by the door being opened. Jack stepped out and Mary immediately asked, "How'd it go? Did he…?"
"Nick. He'll show us where to find Donatello," Jack announced.
Sam, Dean, and Mary had driven out with Nick in the Impala to go and get Donatello, leaving Cwen and Jack back at the bunker. "You hear from Sam and Dean?" Jack asked as he watched Cwen sort through the things that Dean and Mary had found at Donatello's house.
"No, not yet," Cwen shook her head.
"What's all this?" he asked.
"Just some junk that Dad and Mary brought back from Donatello's. I thought that if I had a looksies it might help in some way. So far, nothing." Cwen made to put down the syringe she was holding that had been used to stab Donatello.
"This… this was grace," Jack exclaimed, pointing at the syringe, "Can't you feel it?" Jack picked up the syringe and his eyes glowed gold, "This was filled with angelic grace."
The two looked warily at one another for a moment before Cwen realized, "It's a trap!" The two raced to find a phone, turning over books and throwing pages across the room.
"A phone- dammit how hard is it to find a goddamned phone?" Cwen cursed.
"Found one!" Jack exclaimed, tossing it over to Cwen.
Cwen grabbed the phone and called the first number she found: Sam. It rang several times before he picked up, "Hello. This is Sam speaking."
"Sam! Sam! Sam!" Cwen gasped into the phone, "It's a trap! It's a trap! Jack… he-he felt the syringe and it held angel grace. There never was any thallium, its angel grace. It's a trap!"
"You sure?" Sam asked hurriedly.
"Yes! It's a freaking trap!" Cwen cried.
"Damn it!" Sam hung up as he turned to the car that he had exited to get some quiet to take the call. With Mary and Dean having gone to go and get Donatello, he was the only one left with Nick.
"Out of the car! Get out of the car!" he yelled as he wrenched open the door, pointing his gun at the man.
"All right, all right, all right. Whoa. Whoa!" he exclaimed as he leaned against the car with Sam's gun in his face. "Was that baby Winchester?"
"There was never any poison. You injected Donatello with angel grace. Why?" Sam yelled.
"Wow, she figured it out. That's good. Always knew she was the smart one," Nick remarked.
Sam held the gun closer to Nick, "Talk!"
Nick shrugged, "Prophets are sort of like old CB radios. You boost their power or you mess with their frequency…"
"CB radio? Y-you trying to communicate with someone? Who?" Sam asked, slightly fearful of the answer.
"Search your feelings, Sam," Nick smirked.
"No. No," Sam denied, "Lucifer's dead. He's in the Empty."
"Yeah, and he's awake… and with the help of your little prophet friend, I was able to have a convo with him," Nick paused for a second, "and he told me how to bring him back."
Nick smiled, "Come on, Sam. Nobody stays dead anymore. You know that. All you need is a little elbow grease, some new friends. Where you think I got that angel grace? Who do you think hid me after I carved up that cop? Demons. Yeah. They want Lucifer back almost as much as me. So, thanks." Panicked, Sam shouted for Dean.
Suddenly, Nick dropped his handcuffs and punched Sam in the face. The two started brawling, punching and pushing each other around outside the car. Sam got Nick in a choke hold and started to strangle him until he seemed to pass out. Sam huffed a breath, but was knocked off when Nick hit him in the head with a rock. Nick threw the stunned Sam into the car, "Lucifer's perfect vessel. Not so perfect now, are ya?" Nick slammed the rock into Sam's face again. He dropped the rock and began to strangle Sam. Sam punched Nick, knocking him away, before Sam pushed himself into the Impala and locked the doors. "Come on Sam. Hit play, baby. Come on, Sam! Come on!" Nick yelled hitting the car window. Sam hit the car horn, trying to alert Dean or Mary to the danger he was in. Nick looked around panicked before taking off down the road. When he was out of sight, Sam pulled himself out of the car and called for his brother.
"Sam? Hey, hey, hey. Sammy," Dean came running, followed closely by Mary. He looked over his brother, who was covered in blood, trying to figure out what to do.
He quickly pulled out his phone and called Cwen. "Nick! He's trying to resurrect Lucifer!" he said when she picked up.
"How?" she panicked, her and Jack making eye contact over the phone that was on speaker mode.
"I don't know! I don't know. He played us." Dean yelled.
"We have to stop him," Jack said.
"Yeah, well, we don't even know where he is, okay? And he hurt Sam. He got him in the head. I don't even want to move him. We called an ambulance, but they said twenty minutes. It's not good, Cwen. It's really bad."
Cwen and Jack made eye contact before she said, "We're on our way, Dad. Just… hold in there." She hung up and she and Jack ran out of the library. As they were gathering their things, Jack suddenly doubled over in pain. "Jack!"
Cwen ran over to the nephilim, "What is it? Are you okay?"
"I feel- It feels like my blood's burning. He has it." Jack groaned.
"Who? Who has-" Cwen stopped, "Lucifer. This was about you, Jack! All of it. He needed your blood!"
"I can feel it," Jack grunted, "I can feel him."
"Where? Where is he?" Cwen asked, impatiently.
"I think I know- I think I-I can get us to him. But I need to use my powers," Jack groaned.
Cwen stared at him for just a moment, weighing the options, before she nodded, "Do it."
Nick watched as Lucifer reached for him from the inky depths of the tear into the Empty that he had made. Nick, using Jack's blood, had brought back the fallen prince. "Lucifer," he said reverently, "I'm here. I'm ready. Your vessel. Your perfect vessel. Make me strong again. Make me you."
Cwen and Jack suddenly burst into the room and Jack held his hand up. Eyes glowing, and yelled, "No!" He threw his arm to the side and Lucifer was plunged back into the Empty and the portal closed.
"No! No, wait! Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait! What did you do?" Nick yelled at the nephilim looking toward where Lucifer had disappeared. He glanced at Jack and watched warily as the boy observed him.
"Wait, wait, wait, wait!" Nick held his hand up and Jack started to advance on him. The fingers on Nick's hand snapped.
"Jack!" Cwen yelled, reaching toward the nephilim. "Jack! You need to stop!" He clenched his fists and burn marks seemed to appear on Nick's forehead.
"Jack! What are you doing?" Cwen yelled. Nick screamed in pain. "Jack! You need to stop! Stop it! Stop it!" She grabbed Jack's arm just as he released his hold on Nick, who fell to the floor in a dead mass of smoking skin.
"Jack…" Cwen held the nephilim tightly to her, "What did you do?"
"I had to," Jack looked down at Cwen, "I had to stop him."
Cwen stepped back from the boy and looked at the pile of still smoking flesh, "But this Jack?"
"I had to. He was bad."
Cwen just kept staring at the body on the ground. "Uncle Sam… he's hurt. You need to go and help him. Please." Jack looked at Cwen for a second longer before leaving in a flurry of wings.
Dean leaned over his brother who was struggling to breath. Mary was next to him holding Sam's hand tightly as her eyes glistened with tears. "Hey. Hey. Come on. Stay with me now. We're just gonna play a little game. We're gonna count, okay. We're gonna count. Count with me. One… two…" Dean tried to keep his brother conscious as his mom hovered nervously nearby.
"Come on Sam, count with your brother," Mary encouraged.
"Two," Sam wheezed out.
"Yeah, there you go. Come on, Sam, three…"
Sam's glazed eyes stared up at Dean, "You- You always put- You always put me first. Me- and mom and-" He coughed, "Cwen."
Dean stared down at his brother, "No, no. Shh, shh. Come on. Come on, man."
"Your whole life…" Sam wheezed. Mary had tears in her eyes as she watched her younger son struggle to live.
"Come on Sam. Come on," Mary tried to encourage again.
"Okay. All right. All right. Come on. Come on. Just count with me." Dean said, pulling Sam close. Sam was unresponsive. "Sammy! Hey! Sam!" Dean yelled as Sam's eyes closed. Mary was squeezing Sam's hand so tightly it was turning a lighter color.
Suddenly, Jack appeared with the sound of fluttering wings. Seeing Sam on the ground, Jack rushed over, "Dean? Mary? Sam?" He knelt over them and put his hand on Sam's head. His eyes glowed and the wound slowly healed. Sam shot up with a gasp of air.
"Nick. Where's Nick?" Sam asked, panicked.
"I stopped him. It's over." Jack replied.
"What about Cwen?" Sam asked after looking around and not seeing his niece.
"She's fine. Everything's gonna be fine." Jack smiled.
Cwen put her jacket over Nick's body, staring at it with a mixture of relief, sadness, and horror. "You were a sick bastard," she said, "But no one deserves to go that way." She finally turned away and walked out of the cabin where Jack had zapped them. She ran her hands through her hair and sighed. What was she going to do?
A noise behind her led her to turn around. Jack stood before her with a smile. "I healed Sam. Everything's gonna be okay."
Cwen looked at Jack for a moment before glancing off into the distance, "Good. That's good."
"Cwen… Nick… he was a bad person, a killer. I had to stop him," Jack defended himself.
Cwen put her arms around herself and nodded slowly, "I know. But… no one deserves a death like that."
"He deserved it." Jack declared.
Cwen shook her head, "Jack…" She sighed and looked away, "Just take me home."
"Okay… okay," he moved to grab Cwen's arm, but she reflexively flinched back.
"Cwen?" Jack asked, confused.
"Just… just give me a moment," she said quietly, still not looking at Jack. All she could see in her mind's eye was Nick's body burning to a crisp.
"Cwen? Cwen, look at me," Jack pushed. She shook her head, she wanted to look at him, but all she could think of was Nick dying. "Cwen, look at me." Again she shook her head. "Cwen, just look at me, please?" Jack asked. She shook her head and Jack's temper flared, "Look at me!" His eyes flashed gold and Cwen felt her whole head shoot up with a painful tug by an invisible force. Now all she could do was focus on Jack's eyes. She couldn't move or close her eyes, all she could do was take panicked shallow breaths and stare into Jack's golden eyes.
"Cwen, tell me that what I did was okay." Jack ordered.
"Jack… Jack you're hurting me. Please, let me go!" she cried, her eyes never being able to move from his. A painful ache began to fill her chest as it felt like something was squeezing her ribs.
"I will, just let me know that it's okay," Jack ordered again.
Cwen wanted to shake her head, but couldn't, "No, Jack, please, just let me go." The ache began to intensify and it became significantly harder to breath
"Tell me it's okay," he said.
"Please, let me go. Let me go, please, Jack," Cwen begged, her voice a mere rasp now. Jack seemed to suddenly realize what he was doing as his eyes abruptly stopped glowing and she was released to the ground, panting loudly as she tried to gulp as much air as possible.
"Cwen? Cwen, are you- are you okay?" Jack asked, kneeling down by the fallen girl. She took in a shaky breath before nodding slowly. "I'm sorry, Cwen. I'm so sorry."
"I'm fine," she said, shakily, "I'm fine."
"I'm sorry, Cwen, I just wanted you to tell me it was okay, that it was all okay…" Jack trailed off.
Cwen shook her head, "It's not okay, Jack. It's… not your fault, Jack. But it's not okay… You're not okay…"
Jack shook his head, "No, I'm okay. Everything's okay. Everything's fine."
"But it's not Jack! Don't you see? I never would have done what you did to Nick! He was a monster, but no monster ever deserves to be burned from the inside out!" Cwen exclaimed, forgetting some of her fear.
"He deserved it. Sam and Dean and Mary, you know, they were grateful," Jack argued.
"If Dad, Uncle Sam, and Mary had seen what you did, they'd be just as concerned as I am! Jack, that wasn't normal! That wasn't normal even by nephilim standards!" she cried.
Suddenly, Jack seemed to freeze. "Are you gonna tell them?"
"Jack, they need to know. They need to know so we can get you the help you need."
"You can't tell them!" Jack snapped.
"Jack, you need help. We're your family, you need help," Cwen tried to sooth Jack's rising panic. "We'll help you. I'll help you. You're my brother, we'll fix this."
"Nothing needs to be fixed," Jack declared.
"Everything is fine!"
"No, everything is not fine. Come on Jack, we need to go and find Dad and Uncle Sam and fix whatever is going on," Cwen argued.
"No, everything is okay. Sam and Dean don't need to know anything," Jack stated.
"Jack, I heard what Nick said. About you not having a soul? Is that true, Jack?" Cwen asked, trying to take a different approach.
"I'm fine, everything is fine!" Jack repeated.
"Jack, you need to calm down," Cwen tried to soothe him.
"I am calm!" Jack yelled.
"Jack… Jack, listen to me. You need help and we'll get you help. But you need to calm down," Cwen insisted. "Jack, calm down."
"No! Everything is fine! Everything is okay! I am calm! I am calm and you just need to shut up! You just need to shut up and go away!" His eyes flashed gold on the last two words and suddenly the field was empty.
Dean, Sam, and Mary came walking down the stairs into the bunker calling for Cwen and Jack. When they found nothing, Dean just smiled and popped open a beer, "They probably just stopped for a coffee on the way back. You know how Cwen is with coffee. Everytime you go out with her, she always wants to get coffee."
"Yeah. True that," Sam replied as he sat down across from his brother, grabbing a beer for himself. Mary smiled at her sons before announcing that she was going to go and take a shower.
"Well, hey, here's to another miraculous Sam Winchester survival." Dean declared, clinking his bottle against Sam's after their mom left. "Got to say, man, if Jack hadn't healed you…" Dean trailed off. Sam grunted in agreement.
"You know, lately, it feels like we'd be up the creek without that kid. I mean, first, he takes care of Michael and then Nick." Dean admitted.
"Kind of sounds like you're bummed about it," Sam teased.
"No. "Get out of jail free" card? I'll take that." Dean said as he pulled out his phone.
"You gonna try Cwen?" Sam asked.
"Yeah, see what's taking her and Jack so long," Dean answered before dialing his daughter's number. Both boys turned as they heard a phone ring at the end of the table.
"Looks like they left in a hurry," Dean commented, slightly concerned now as Cwen almost never left without her phone.
"Try Jack," Sam suggested.
Several hours later, all three Winchesters were busy on their phones. "Yeah. Thanks. Okay. All right, thanks." Dean hung up.
"What did Jody say?" Sam asked, glancing at his mom who was still on the phone in the corner.
"She hasn't heard anything," Dean replied, "You?"
"Nada. Left voicemails for Donna, Charlie, Bobby."
"Rowena?" Dean asked.
"She says she has a spell that might track them down," Mary cut in, "I just got off the phone with her."
"Okay, well, that's good," Dean responded before his phone rang. He answered, "Hey Cass."
"I got your message. Nick was trying to raise Lucifer?" Castiel asked over the phone.
"Yeah," Dean responded.
"Where is he now?" Castiel asked.
"I don't, uh- Jack said he took care of him. So, right now, we're just trying to find Jack and Cwen."
"Are they together?" Castiel asked.
"Yeah," Dean replied.
"Alone?" Castiel asked, trepidation in his voice.
"Yeah. W-Why do you - Yes, Cas, they were together, alone," Dean explained, confused.
"What's he saying?" Mary asked, hearing her son's confusion.
"I don't- Cass?" Dean started before turning back to talk to the angel on the phone.
Castiel sighed deeply, "I- um-"
"If you have something to tell us, now's the time," Dean urged.
"I saw Jack. He- He- He did something when I got home with Sam. I went to check on him, and Felix was sick."
"Felix? You mean the snake?" Dean asked, confused.
"Yes. Jack used his powers," Castiel paused trying to figure out how to describe what he had seen, "I think Jack considered it a mercy. I-I was gonna tell you-"
"But you just wanted to wait until we were already freaked out," Dean finished.
"I'm sorry. I don't think Jack is well, Dean," Castiel explained. "Dean?" he asked when he got no response. Dean hung up on him.
"What?" Sam asked.
"He said that Jack went all Kevorkian on his snake."
"Why?" Mary questioned, her face scrunching with confusion.
"I don't know. Who cares. It's a snake. Right now, we've got to find Cwen," Dean declared.
"And Jack," Mary added.
"Yeah, sure." Dean shrugged, choosing to focus on his daughter, who was now potentially in the presence of a dangerous enemy.
"I think I have an idea," Sam held a visible light-bulb moment. He got up and quickly got his tablet. He opened up the app to track Jack's phone.
"This will work?" Dean asked and he and Mary hovered over Sam's shoulders.
"As long as Jack's battery's running, probably," Sam answered. The screen focussed on a place just above India, "There we go. Look."
"Wait. Is that?" Dean asked incredulously.
"Nepal?" Sam finished for him, "Wait a second." The screen started to reload, "Where'd he go?" Sam asked.
"There," Mary pointed at the new place, "Lima, Peru."
"Jack's flying," Sam stated, "See, now it's Paris, France."
"What the hell is he doing?" Dean asked, his voice deep with suspicion.
Jack suddenly landed back at the cabin where he had killed Nick. He started to get flashbacks to times he'd had with Cwen.
"You've got extraordinary power," Cwen smiled at Jack.
"I don't know how to control it," Jack admitted, "I'll hurt someone."
She just smiled as she grabbed his hand, "We'll figure it out… together."
"Stop!" Jack cried.
"You're my brother," Cwen smiled at him, "and if that means that I have to dance the Daddy-Daughter dance at prom with the Devil, well then I'll just make sure to step on his feet as much as possible."
"Stop!" Jack yelled again.
"Jack, calm down," Cwen insisted.
"Go away!" Jack yelled.
Jack stared off into the distance before feeling a presence behind him, "Nick?"
"Mm, guess again," the man smirked. His eyes flashed red, "Hello, son."
"No. That's not possible. You're-" Jack shook his head.
"Dead?" Lucifer moved towards his son, "All right. You got me. I'm not Nick; I'm not Lucifer. I'm you."
"Yeah. I'm your, you know, subconscious or whatever. You whipped me up to help you figure this out."
There was a moment of extended silence before Jack responded, "Whatever you are, I don't want your help."
"Actually, you do," Lucifer insisted, "So I'm gonna give you a little piece of advice, bug, how you can wiggle out of this little pickle you're in." He nodded at his son, "You don't. You won't. You can't. All right?" Jack looked at his father with suspicion. "Buddy, you killed Cwen Winchester. You cannot come back from that, and you know it." Jack shook his head, but Lucifer continued, "You've been flapping your wings all around, trying to run away from what you did, and where'd you wind up? Right here, right back to the scene of the crime."
"No," Jack denied.
"Yeah. Yeah, because somewhere inside, you realize that the sooner you accept it, the easier it'll be," Lucifer commented.
"No, it's-" Jack tried to explain as Lucifer smirked at him, "It was an accident."
Lucifer shrugged, "Okay. Tell Sam and Dean that. I'm sure they'll understand. It's not like family isn't everything to them."
"Shut up." Jack replied, walking away.
"No, I'm serious. Pull out your cell phone right now and call them," Lucifer pressed.
"Shut up!" Jack yelled as he sent a blast of power at Lucifer, making him disappear.
Dean and Sam sat in the Impala driving to the sport where Jack's cell signal had finally settled. "All right. Cas is gonna meet us there," Sam said, getting off the phone. Dean didn't respond.
"You know, maybe Jack was wrong, you know? I mean, maybe Nick pulled it off, maybe Lucifer's back and he took them both. And- and Jack- I mean he must have thought he was helping, you know, being kind," Sam postulated.
"What?" Dean exclaimed.
"With Felix," Sam clarified.
"Wait. Really? With the snake?" Dean asked, incredulous.
"I'm just saying, Dean. I'm trying to understand Jack without a soul," Sam explained.
"We don't know that he doesn't have a soul!" Dean cut in suddenly, "Okay, I don't want to- Let's- Let's just not talk about it, all right? Let's just find Cwen. We'll find Jack. We'll figure it all out."
Sam sighed deeply, "All right." The tablet beeped and Sam picked it up, "Uh oh."
"What?" Dean asked, glancing at his brother. Sam showed Dean that the signal was lost from Jack's phone.
They decided to drive to Jack's last location and soon pulled up to an old cabin. "You look inside. I'll take a look around out back," Dean instructed. Sam nodded before heading into the cabin. Sam continued to look around, shining his flashlight. He first caught a glimpse of a salt circle where Nick had obviously done his ritual earlier. Then something caught his eye. He moved his flashlight to the left and came upon a dead body covered by some sort of jacket. He walked slowly toward the figure before grabbing the jacket quickly. There on the ground was the burnt remains of Nick. Sam felt like he was going to be sick. He turned to examine the jacket and noticed that written on the label on the inside was the name: Cwen Winchester. "Dean!" Sam called for his brother. He turned and walked out of the house, still holding the jacket. "Dean!"
"Dean!" he yelled walking over to where his brother was knelt on the ground, "In the cabin, it's- it's." Sam couldn't finish as he saw the ground before him was marred by a giant circle of black ash.
Castiel sat in his car, staring off into space as he got lost in a memory of him and Cwen.
"And then your dad told me to call him in a few hours and I was left standing on the sidewalk for four hours straight!" Castiel finished the story. Cwen was laughing so hard that she snorted her coffee out her nose.
"Ow! Ow! Hot coffee! Hot coffee!" she yelped as she wildly waved her hands at her face as if it would cool the coffee down.
Castiel laughed at the sight before handing her a tissue. "Thanks," she smiled at him as she patted her face and the wet patch on her shirt.
"Oh my god, that was one of the most hilarious stories ever," she chuckled again.
"Funny to you maybe, I was the one left standing on the street corner for four hours!" Castiel exclaimed, but smiled just the same.
Cwen took a few deep breaths before focussing on the angel again. "Uncle Cass, I know that my dad and uncle probably don't say this enough, but we're- I'm grateful that you've been there for them for so long." She reached over and hugged the angel, "Thank you for all you do. And… I love you, Uncle Cass."
Castiel just managed to swallow the lump in his throat before he hugged the girl back, "I… I love you too, Cwen."
Castiel got out of the car and headed toward the cabin. At that moment in the cabin, Sam laid a new blanket over the body as Dean grasped Cwen's jacket. "Dean… if Jack did that-" Sam trailed off.
"Hey, we don't know what happened, okay?" Dean cut in, "I mean, we don't know what Nick did. He probably deserved it."
"Dean, look. No one wanted Nick dead more than I did, but- I mean, that-" Sam was again cut off as Castiel entered the cabin. Dean turned away as Castiel entered, refusing to look at him.
"Is that Nick?" Castiel asked.
"Yeah. We looked around. No sign of Jack or Cwen." Sam replied.
"Where's Mary?" Castiel inquired.
"She stayed at the Bunker to keep making calls and search the news to see if anything comes up." Same explained, "Also, there's a, uh, blast site behind the house. It looks angelic, just bigger."
"Might have been Lucifer," Dean said, speaking for the first time since Castiel had entered, "Nick was trying to bring him back."
"Yeah, but Jack said-" Sam tried to argue.
"Who cares what Jack said? We don't know what happened!" Dean yelled, before turning his sights on Castiel, "But I swear, if he did sometime to her, if she is- Then you're dead to me."
"Dean," Sam tried to pacify his brother.
"No, he knew," Dean accused, "He knew something was wrong with the kid. He knew it, and he didn't tell us! He didn't even tell us!"
Castiel tried to explain his actions, "I was scared. I believed in Jack for so long. I… I believed that he was- he was good. I-I knew that he would be good for the world. And he was good for us. My faith in him, it- it never wavered, and then I- I saw what he did. It wasn't malice. It wasn't evil. It was like Jack saw a problem, and in his mind, he just solved it with that snake."
"The snake?" Dean sneered angrily.
Castiel continued, "What he did wasn't bad. It was the absence of good. And I saw that in him. But we were a family, and I didn't want to lose that, so I thought I could fix it on my own. Felt like it was my responsibility. So I left. And I didn't tell you. If I could go back and just- just talk to him right then and there, I would. But I can't, Dean. I failed you. And I failed Jack. And I failed-"
"No, no. Don't even say it. Don't even say her name!" Dean yelled, cutting the angel off.
Sam stepped between the two, pausing Dean with a hand on his arm. Suddenly, Sam's phone called. "Who is it?" Dean asked.
"Hey," Sam answered the phone.
"Hello, Samuel. I did what you asked. I used scrying magic on the boy, tried to find him. But his energy, it's too unstable. It was like looking at the sun," Rowena expounded.
"And Cwen?" Sam asked.
There was a long moment of silence. "Say it!" Dean yelled.
Rowena was silent for a moment more before she continued hesitantly, "I don't know what happened or where she is but I can tell you with certainty Cwen Winchester is no longer on this Earth." Dean breathed deeply through his nose.
There was a pervasive silence after Rowena hung up. Dean almost seemed to cave into himself. He slumped over the nearest chair. Sam tried to hold back tears as he thought of his little niece. Abruptly, Dean grabbed the chair and shattered it against the far wall. All three men stood in silence, each trying to hold back the tears.
"So, what do we do?" Sam asked.
"What do we always do when we lose one of our own? We fight. We fight to bring them back." Dean responded, sounding empty.
"How? Billie?" Sam asked.
"Rowena," Dean corrected, "She's got the Book of the Damned. She's resurrected herself more times than we can count."
"How? We don't even know where your daughter is," Castiel questioned.
"Then go to Heaven and find her!" he yelled at the angel. "Tell Rowena we're on our way," he instructed Sam as he left the building.
Rowena sat in her apartment staring at the Book of the Damned and trying to ignore the fact that the littlest Winchester may be dead.
"You're very pretty," Cwen told Rowena, "You've got lovely hair. Much nicer than Crowley's was, but then again, he wasn't in his original body was he."
The witch looked up and down at the littlest Winchester, "That's a very nice thing of you to say."
The girl shrugged, "Crowley used to tell me that you were very proud of your hair. 'Burned like fire,' he said. I thought you'd like to know that he did talk of you fondly sometimes. Seeing as he's dead now."
The witch didn't really know how to respond. "I'm glad you're good now," Cwen, "Because now I can ask you all the questions about witchcraft that Daddy would never let me learn."
"A Winchester wants to learn witchcraft?" Rowena asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Well, my Dad can't know, obviously. But yeah," Cwen shrugged, "It sounds interesting." Cwen's face scrunched up, "No demon deals though, please. I'd rather like to live more than ten years."
"I can hardly see your father being okay with-" Rowena cautioned.
"Didn't you listen, that's why he won't know," Cwen smiled. "So, what'd you say? Will you teach me some magic?" Despite herself, the witch laughed.
She again focussed on the words in front of her, "Magice Nercromantiorum…" A heavy knocking on the door disturbed her peace once more. As she opened the door, she came face to face with Jack.
"Hello Rowena." Jack greeted as he walked into the room.
"Are you- are you well?" she asked Jack, "Sam and Dean are looking for you. I- I could call them."
"No!" Jack instantly stopped her, "I need help. I need magic!"
"Why?" she asked, trying to sound soothing.
The nephilim looked at her brokenly, "I killed Cwen. I-It was an accident. I didn't mean to. I just- I just wanted her to be quiet. She wouldn't stop talking and I wanted her gone - Just for a second! - and I thought it and… I need to undo it. You need to help me undo it!"
The witch looked at the boy for a second before glancing away, "I, uh- The magic I used on myself, my - my little subdermal sachets - they only work as fail-safes. They have to be prepared in advance, Jack."
The boy stared at her brokenly before he glanced down and saw the Book of the Damned. "What about the Book?"
"The Book," Rowena acknowledged, "Yes. Yes. The- The Book. I mean, there- there is a spell. Agnes, the witch who created the Book, was a prisoner for years. She was obsessed with breaking curses. What is death but the ultimate curse? In captivity, her friends, her only companions starved and perished, so she developed a spell the bring them back - the 'Magice Necromantiorum.'"
"Okay. What will we need?" Jack asked.
"Oh, well, um the Necromantiorum requires enormous power. The ingredients are relatively simple. Um, nothing you wouldn't have handy in the bunker."
Suddenly there was a knocking at the door and Dean's voice called through, "Rowena? Open up!"
Jack stood up suddenly, "You've been stalling me… Tricking me!"
"Just talk to them, Jack, they're your kin," Rowena implored.
"Come on! Open up!" Dean's voice called again through the door. Suddenly, it was forced open and Dean and Sam came racing into the room, only to find it completely empty.
Jack and Rowena appeared in the bunker in a flutter of the sound of wings. "Jack!" the witch exclaimed.
Jack just ignored her and motioned her to follow him, "Come on." As they passed some scuff marks on the ground, Jack was pulled back into a memory.
Cwen was kneeling beside a table in the library rubbing something on the floor.. "What are you doing?" Jack asked as he approached her.
"Scrubbing the floor with steel wool," she smiled at him before dragging the harsh material against the floor again leaving scratch marks on the linoleum.
"Why?" Jack questioned, confused.
Cwen's smile turned positively evil, "'Cause Dad told to scrub the floors. He was sulking because Sam put anti-porn software on his computer, and so he decided to spread his misery by telling me to go and scrub the floors of the Bunker." Cwen smirked, "But I wouldn't be my father's daughter if I actually listened to authority figures, so instead of doing what he expected me to - scrub the floors with soap and water - I'm using steel wool. It'll completely scratch up the floors. I would use it on the Impala, but Dad would literally kill me if I did that, so the floors of his precious Bunker will have to do."
Jack stared a little blankly at her, still confused. "So you're trying to make Dean angry?"
"Got it in one!" the girl smirked, "Anything to piss him off, plus I don't plan on getting caught."
"How're you going to do that?" Jack asked.
Cwen just smiled, "Watch." Just then, Sam came into the library focusing on the tablet in his hand. "Hey, Uncle Sam! Can you come here for a moment?" she yelled at him.
Sam grunted the affirmative as he walked over to them, still staring at his tablet intently. "Uncle Sam, can you hold your hand out for me?" The giant was still not paying attention as he nodded and held the hand not holding the tablet out. Cwen shot a grin at Jack as she put the steel wool into her uncle's hand. Sam continued to hold his hand out with the steel wool just as Dean came into the room.
Cwen winked at Jack before gasping loudly, "Uncle Sam! What are you doing to Dad's lovely floors! How could you think it was a good idea to use steel wool? And I thought you were supposed to be the smart one!"
Sam looked up from the tablet, suddenly realizing that he was holding steel wool and standing over a horrible amount of scuff marks on the floor. "Sam!" Dean yelled, "What the hell did you do? Why'd you use that stuff on the floors? Look at the state of them!"
Sam, bewildered, looked between the floor and his hand, "I didn't- I mean- I was- It wasn't me!"
"Really? 'Cause you're the one holding the murder weapon," Cwen smirked.
"You did this!" Sam accused.
"No, I think you'll find that it was Uncle Sam in the library with the steel wool." Cwen smiled.
"Dean, I'm telling you, it wasn't me!" Sam denied. Dean just glared, looking ready to blow.
Cwen exchanged a glance with Jack as she inched over to him, "And this is where we run!" She grabbed his hand quickly and sprinted out of the room, laughing her head off as she heard her dad tear into Sam.
Mary came into the room and saw her two sons bickering. Sam was holding steel wool and Dean was gesturing wildly between it and the floors.
"Whoa! What's going on here?" she asked.
"Sam used steel wool on the floors!" Dean accused.
"I did not! It was Cwen, she planted the evidence on me! Why the hell would I scrub the floors with steel wool?" Sam argued back.
Before it could escalate any further, Mary stepped between the two. "Okay, everyone just take a deep breath and tell me what happened from the beginning."
Sam sighed before explaining, "I was on my tablet, searching for a new case when Cwen called me over. She said she needed me to hold my hand out for something. I wasn't really paying attention because I had found a promising article for a vampire nest. Next thing I know, Cwen's accusing me of using steel wool to scrub the floors and Dean's yelling at me for it."
Dean scoffed, "Cwen would never do something like that. She's an angel, whereas you, Sammy, are a douchebag."
Mary glanced between the two before sighing, "Dean, didn't you tell Cwen to scrub the floors earlier?"
Dean blinked slowly before conceding, "Yes…"
"And would it be within the bounds of possibility that she would work around your order and play a prank rather than listen to you?" Mary continued.
Dean sighed, "Yeah."
"See!" Sam exclaimed, "I told you I was set up!"
"Bitch," Dean sneered at him.
"Jerk," Sam snidely responded.
"Honestly," Mary laughed, "You two are hopeless." Just then, Cwen wandered back into the room, obviously thinking that she was in the clear.
"Oh, I'm going to get you!" Sam yelled as he turned and started running at Cwen. Her eyes widened comically before she turned and sprinted in the opposite direction, her uncle chasing her out of the room.
Dean sighed, "Is parenting always so confusing?"
Mary smiled at her son, "You want to think the world of your children, but they're not always perfect. But she's a good kid. She takes after you, you know. When you were little, you were a lot like that. Always pranking your dad."
Dean laughed, "Yeah, she does, doesn't she?" The smile on Dean's face at that moment could have ended wars. "She looks a lot like her mom, y'know," Dean said, "But inside? She's all Winchester."
"Brave, kind, smart. Yeah, she's a Winchester," Mary smiled. "You've done a good job, raising her I mean."
Dean looked away, "I haven't always been great. No kid should have to have gone through half of what she has. But… even though I got her when she was thirteen, I've loved every minute of the past six years. She's my baby."
Mary placed her hand on her son's shoulder, "She thinks the world of you, Dean. You may not have always been perfect, but no parents are. To her, however, you hung the moon and stars. You two have such a great relationship and its a beautiful thing to see. I'm just glad I'm here for it. I'm glad I have a granddaughter like her, even if it does make me feel very old."
Dean turned to his mom, "You're not that old."
Mary laughed, "Thanks son, thanks."
Back at Rowena's apartment, Dean paced as Sam sat on the couch. Both were trying to suppress their emotions in regards to Cwen, while also trying to figure out how to track down Jack.
"Well, how the hell are we supposed to keep up with Jack when he's got wings, huh? And now he's got Rowena? He's got the Book of the Damned? I don't know what to do. I don't even know where to go! Cass should have told us. As soon as he saw Jack go all Dahmer on his stupid freakin' snake, he should have told us." Dean ranted, pacing up and down the apartment.
Sam shook his head, scoffing a little, "Dean, it wasn't just Cass. It wasn't." He sighed, "We knew Jack was dangerous. We always knew. Long before he killed Michael. You more than anyone. I mean, from the very beginning, you knew. But, you know, we fell for him 'cause he had a good heart and a good soul and Cwen was ready to adopt within the first five minutes of meeting him. And then he lost his soul and now Cwen is… Cwen is…." He couldn't bring himself to finish the sentence, "And the soul thing? That's on me, too, by the way. I mean, I'm the one who made the call to bring him back. He didn't ask for that. I decided for him. And you warned me."
"No, you didn't know, okay?" Dean defended his brother.
Sam shook his head, "We didn't know. Exactly. We didn't know. But- he had become our family." Sam paused for a moment, taking a shallow breath, "You know, after Maggie and the other Hunters died, I just left. Just dumped Jack on Cass and left. I knew. I mean, I knew something was gonna-" Again, he couldn't finish his sentence. "I just… I just didn't know it'd be this."
Dean tried to swallow past the lump in his throat, "I did it, too. When I talked to Donatello about Jack, he said he was good as far as he could tell. But then he talked about how powerful Jack was and that he could never really be sure. And it was a warning. I just couldn't see it."
Sam looked away briefly as the feelings completely overwhelmed him, "I just- I miss her so much already." He thought back to the many memories that they had had together.
Sam walked into the kitchen of the bunker having heard singing. "Carry on my wayward son. For there'll be peace when you are done. Lay your weary head to rest. Don't you cry no more." In front of him, Cwen was dancing around the kitchen, holding a spatula as a microphone as she sang the lyrics to "Carry on Wayward Son" by Kansas. Sam couldn't help but see the similarities between his niece and his brother in the moment - both loved to sing their hearts out to old rock songs.
Abruptly the singing stopped, and Cwen let out a small, "Oh," when she saw her uncle standing in front of her. "I was- I was just making some pie," the girl tried to explain, suddenly very nervous. "You know, for Dad. It's his birthday tomorrow and I wanted to surprise him…"
Sam chuckled, "Yeah, Dean really loves his pie." He eyed his niece and flashed a smile, "I didn't know you could sing."
"I really can't," the girl denied, "I'm terrible at remembering lyrics."
"You sounded pretty good to me," Sam laughed at the blush that spread across Cwen's cheeks.
"Thanks," she looked away, embarrassed.
"So… what type of pie are you making?" Sam asked, trying to fill the silence.
"Apple," Cwen responded, "It's a classic."
Sam laughed, before he glanced around the kitchen. It looked like a warzone. There was flour everywhere and multiple broken egg shells. He smirked, "Would you like some help?"
The girl let out a deep sigh of relief, "Oh, thank god! Yes, please! I'm terrible at cooking."
Sam shook his head and laughed again before he reached for an apron, "Let's do this then."
Dean shook his head, "We're gonna get her back, we have to."
"But, what if-"
"No!" Dean cut Sam off immediately, "We will get her back."
"Are you done yet?" Jack asked impatiently as Rowena gathered some ingredients from the shelf in the Bunker.
"I said they were simple ingredients, but there are also a lot of them, and they need to be compounded precisely," Rowena explained as she walked over to the table where there was a bowl full of the ingredients she had already added. As she began to break pieces off of one of the components for the spell, she calmly said, "You know, I could have fought you back at my flat. I'm not saying I would have won, but I could have tried. I didn't because you want the same things the boys want," she paused for a second as she thought about the littlest Winchester, "that I want."
Jack looked at her intensely for a second before turning as he heard a voice behind him. "No offense, buddy, but this is just so sad," Lucifer said, leaning against the wall.
"Jack?" Rowena asked, confused as she couldn't see what Jack was staring at.
"Bringing the witch bitch into your desperate little plan? Why? So you can 'make things right' with the Winchesters?" the hallucination of Lucifer taunted.
"You stop it," Jack told Lucifer.
"Excuse me?" Rowena asked, thinking he was talking to her.
Jack focussed on the redhead in front of him, "It's- It's fine."
"What do you want? Forgiveness? You want gratitude for bringing Dean's darling baby girl back? Why? So you can call this dump home again? So you can ease your guilt? But you don't have guilt anymore, do you, Jack? Admit it. You don't feel anything anymore." Lucifer continued to taunt.
"Shut up," Jack snapped at his subconscious creation as he put his head in his hands.
"Are you okay?" Rowena asked, concerned.
"Keep working!" Jack ordered and Rowena turned back hurriedly.
"You know this torment that you're feeling right now? It's just a reflex. It's just a habit, man. It's- It's an echo from when you actually could feel something, when it mattered. But you know what? The sooner you give up this little fantasy, the sooner this phantom pain can go away." Lucifer kept talking even as Jack walked away from him.
"No. Shut up," Jack repeated.
Lucifer shook his head, "Not gonna. And you know what, Jack?" Lucifer smirked, "It's not gonna work. You know it's not gonna work. You know it."
"Shut up, shut up, shut up!" Jack yelled as he lunged at Lucifer waving his arms. The specter vanished.
"Are you done yet? Are you done?" Jack asked hurriedly as Rowena put the finishing touches on the spell. She jerked a little when he put his hand on her shoulder, her fear evident.
"Yes," she replied with exasperation, "We have everything we need." She paused for a brief moment, "All but the last thing."
Jack looked around confusedly before he asked, "The last thing?"
Rowena sighed, "Her body." Rowena looked just past Jack's shoulder and saw a glimpse of blonde hair hiding around the corner.
Pitching her voice just a bit louder, Rowena asked, "Where's the body, Jack?"
"There was no- At the cabin. That's where- where she died. You can do it there," Jack said, a little brokenly.
"The cabin? What cabin?" Rowena questioned.
"The cabin- I'll take us there." Rowena had just enough time to grab the bowl and discretely nod at the blonde mother hidden in the hallway before Jack grabbed her and teleported them away.
Mary sat in the kitchen of the Bunker, ending yet another phone call. She called every person she could think of and then called them all again.
There were a surprising number of people who asked what they could do to help and said that they would make their own calls. It seemed like Cwen has made quite the impact on a large number of people.
Mary gulped down the remains of the whisky that sat next to her. Her granddaughter had been one of the biggest surprises when she had first come back four years ago. But she has also been the best surprise. Cwen had reminded Mary of John when they were first together - happy and a tad mischievous. It had been a balm at a time when she needed it most. However, Mary remembered with a chuckle, the first meeting between John and Cwen had not gone well.
John stood in the Bunker after having been created using the wishing pearl, watching as a short teenager who was supposedly his granddaughter walked up to him. "This is John Winchester?" she asked Dean who stood next to John. Dean nodded, a little weary.
Cwen smiled, a slash of teeth that didn't meet her eyes, "It's a pleasure to meet you, grandpa." She moved closer as if to hug the man and he opened his arms to accommodate the short girl.
Before anyone could react, Cwen had pulled back her arm and punched John straight in the gut. The man doubled over in pain, arms wrapping around his probably now bruised stomach. As his head came close to the young girl, she sharply knocked her head into his, headbutting him. His nose spurted blood as it cracked loudly and his head tilted back. His hands now raised to his face, Cwen took advantage and kneed him in the groin. John's legs snapped together and the man collapsed on the ground, groaning in pain. She smiled down at him, "That's for my dad and uncle, bastard."
After about a minute of shocked silence, she sighed deeply and held her hand out. John, from his prone position on the floor, eyed it distrustfully, "Oh for goodness sake, I'm done now. No need to worry."
John hesitantly grabbed her hand, and with more strength than should be possible in her body, the girl pulled him up. She patted his shoulder, genuinely smiled at him and said, "Hello, my name is Cwen Winchester. It is a pleasure to meet you, sir." With that she waltzed over to her father, kissed him on the cheek, and skipped out of the room.
Dean, Mary, and Sam didn't know how to react until John, himself, started to laugh, "She's a Winchester, all right?"
Mary smiled a little forlornly at the memory before she moved to call the next person. Suddenly, she heard voices coming down the hall. She moved to see who it was, but when she glimpsed Jack, she quickly hid. Jack and who Mary now identified as Rowena passed by the room. Mary followed intent on seeing what they were up to. When she finally caught up to them, she heard Rowena talking about doing a spell to bring Cwen back. The spell required a body and Jack was insisting that they would go to a cabin. They disappeared in a flurry of wings just as Mary got a discreet nod from Rowena. Mary had a call to make.
Castiel stood in the playground, next to the sandbox gateway to Heaven. He had been there for several hours calling for Naoimi and listening to angel radio for any information.
"Naomi," he called to the sky, "I'm still here, and I'm not going anywhere, not until I have a word with you."
The sandbox suddenly lit up and smoke swirled as a person appeared. "Dumah?" Castiel greeted, confused.
"Castiel," the angel nodded.
"Where's Naomi?" he asked.
"Well, I'd tell you it's none of your business, but you already know it's none of your business. Why are you here?" Dumah responded.
"I'm looking for someone," Castiel explained.
"Cwen Winchester?" Dumah asked, knowing full well that she was right, "If that's why you're here, then you should leave now."
"Why?" Castiel asked harshly, "There may be a way to bring her back."
"Why would you want to do that?" Dumah asked.
"Because she's gone," Castiel yelled, getting angry, "She died too young. She deserves to live a full life!"
"She is at peace!" the other angel stressed, "You know, she died painlessly. Instantly. Completely. She's in Heaven, a special Heaven. Cwen Winchester is complete." Castiel was shaking his head in denial. Dumah sighed, but continued, "You and the Winchesters may not be. But she is."
"Jack?" Rowena asked as she and Jack appeared at a cabin surrounded by woods on all sides.
"I brought you to the right place. We have the right ingredients," Jack explained, his voice quickening with panic.
"Where's the body, Jack?" Rowena asked.
"We can do this," he seemed to assure himself.
"Thats-" Rowena began.
"You will make it work!" Jack cut her off.
She shook her head, "It won't. I can't."
Jack marched up to her and grabbed the bowl of ingredients from her, "Then I'll do it myself."
Rowena sighed, "You're in no condition. Jack, a cardinal rule of magic: disposition affects execution and you are spinning!" Rowena crouched down next to the distressed boy "Whatever you bring back, it won't be her!" she cautioned.
"Then help me!" he pleaded.
"I won't," she denied, shaking her head. There was a moment of silence before she was teleported from the cabin and went slamming into a table in her apartment.
Rowena pushed herself up groaning before she stomped over to her phone and called Sam, "Rowena, hey. We just left your place. Our mom called saying she saw you and Jack at the Bunker?"
"Yes, well I'm back at my home now. Listen. Jack is using magic to try and bring your niece back."
"Can he do that?" Dean asked, hearing the conversation as the phone was on speaker mode.
"There's no body," Rowena expounded, "And your boy, he snapped. He's desperate. Confused, angry. You have to try to stop him."
"Why?" Dean asked.
"Necromancy is a delicate art. It's unpredictable under ideal circumstances. In his state, oh, I fear your boy will bring back something terrible," Rowena warned.
Jack leaned over the large black circle where he had killed Cwen and picked up some of the ashes. He poured it into the large dish that held the other ingredients and set it aflame. He began to chant and walk around the dish, "Id quod mortuum, nunc oriatur. Hoc quod cecidit, nunc revertatur. Id quod mortuum, nunc oriatur. Hoc quod cecidit, nunc revertatur. Hoc quod cecidit, nunc revertatur. Orimini. Ori mini." It began to glow and a dark cloud began to coalesce above him. The Impala pulled up on the bank next to where Jack was. With a flash of his eyes, the car stalled as the engine quit.
In the car, Dean cursed, "What the hell?"
"What are you doing?" Sam asked.
"The engine just stopped," Dean exclaimed as the car rolled to a stop.
"Ori mini!" Jack continued to chant as purple light flashed from the cloud swirling above him.
"Jack!" Dean realized as he and Sam pushed open the car doors. They both ran towards Jack just as bright lighting shot from the cloud and hit the ground. It dispersed as quickly as it had formed, leaving a deceptively blue sky. Jack got up and ran over to where the lightning had struck.
"Jack?" Sam asked as he and Dean finally reached the devastated nephilim.
"It didn't work," he said, voice thick with tears. The air rustled as Jack disappeared with a flurry of wings.
"No, no, no," Dean muttered as he ran to the body that was now laying on the ground. Dean pulled the body of the teenage girl against him, "Cwen? Cwen? No, Cwen!" Sam collapsed on his knees next to the lifeless body of his niece. Tears streamed from both boys' eyes. "My little girl. My little queen," Dean cried as he rocked, holding the body of his only child.
"Dean- I mean Dad," a young Cwen asked as she walked over to the father she had found only a few months before.
"Yes?" the older Winchester asked, a little annoyed at being disrupted.
"Can I ask you something?" she asked.
"Didn't you just?" he teased a little as he turned to the young girl.
"I mean something else…" Cwen asked, her voice rather small with obvious anxiety.
"Sure, sweetheart," Dean finally conceded, patting the space next to him. Cwen plopped down next to the older man and snuggled into his side.
"What's bothering you?" Dean asked.
The young girl was quiet for a moment before she spoke, "Dad, I know I've only known you for a few months, but I just wanted to say… well… that…" She hesitated for just a second as she took a deep breath and whispered, "I love you."
"What was that?" Dean asked, "I couldn't hear you."
The girl huffed, but repeated louder, "I love you. And I know you're all about no chick-flick moments, but I just wanted to let you know. I don't expect you to say anything ba-"
She was cut off by Dean pulling her into a tight hug as he responded, his voice thick with what he would later say was a held back cough due to allergies (a poor excuse as Dean didn't actually have any allergies), "I love you too, my little queen." They held each other like that for a while, just breathing in the moment of being father and daughter. And in that moment, everything was perfect.
In an abandoned factory, Jack sat, curled up. "Well, I warned you," Lucifer said as he sat down next to Jack, "It's worse - trying and failing. There's no going back. You realize that now. Cass, Sam, Dean, Mary. They're never gonna trust you again. And you know what that means?"
"What?" Jack asked.
"You can never trust them."
Sam and Mary sat side by side in the kitchen of the Bunker looking at some old photos of them, Dean, and Cwen. Sam held up one where both Dean and Cwen were standing with their arms wrapped tightly around each other, smiling at the camera.
Castiel walked into the room quietly and as they looked up, Sam greeted the angel, "Cass."
He walked over, his shoulders slumped with sorrow, "She's in Heaven." Sam exhaled sharply as Castiel continued, "And she's at peace."
Mary exhaled sharply, "Naomi told you?"
From the doorway, Dean asked gruffly, "So what? Are you just gonna take her word for it?"
Castiel turned to look at his old friend, "No. No, she let me in." Castiel sighed, "I saw your daughter's Heaven, and she is happy. There's no guilt, no pain, just joy. Her soul was so bright that its powered an entire quadrant of heaven. She said that she was happy and loved you all. And she said that she'll be waiting for you, but doesn't want to see you too soon," Castiel was lost in thought for a moment as he remembered his visit to heaven.
Castiel approached the door that was marked: Cwen Mary Winchester (2000-2020). The hallway around it was incredibly bright and the whole place thrummed with energy. Cautiously, Castiel opened the door.
Sitting in a squishy old armchair surrounded by walls and walls of books sat the youngest Winchester. At hearing the door open, she glanced up and smiled when she saw him. "Uncle Castiel!" she smiled, her whole face lighting up and the power thrumming in the room pulsed. "I knew you'd come eventually!"
"What?" Castiel asked, confused.
Cwen's smile turned sad, "Castiel, I know how the Winchester family works. One of us dies, the others do everything they can to bring them back, we ultimately succeed. Rinse and repeat. But I'm afraid that's not going to work with me."
"What?" Castiel asked again, "You just said it yourself, it's the way the Winchester family works."
Cwen shook her head, "Castiel, I can't come back. There is no body for me to return to, no earthly connection that can keep me tied to the mortal realm. When Jack told me to 'go away' he removed every last possibility of me returning."
"But-" Castiel tried again, but was stopped as Cwen raised her hand to silence him.
She walked over and pulled him into a tight hug. "I've known for a while that I was going to die," she didn't elaborate on that statement, "And I've come to terms with it. I'm at peace." She smiled that same sad smile again as she continued, "I'll wait for the day that my Dad and Uncle Sam and Mary finally join me, but I don't want them to come a second sooner than they have to. You all need to grieve, and I get that, take the time to heal. But don't let the pain of grief destroy you."
Tomorrow will hurt, and the day after that will hurt, and maybe the day after that. But as time passes, you'll think about me a little less and the memories will become a little less painful. You'll learn to smile instead of cry. People die every day, Castiel, and the Winchester's have been very lucky in that they haven't had to fully face this reality. We get to come back, we always live to fight another day."
"But not me," tears brimmed Cwen's eyes, but still she smiled, "I lived nearly twenty years. I loved, I lost, and I had the best damn family anyone could ask for. I like to think that I've lived a life worth remembering. Don't sully that by trying to bring me back. I know I'm done and you need to accept that." The energy in the room pulsed again and Cwen seemed to stare off into the distance momentarily, "Our time is up Castiel. I'll see you around I guess, who knows what fate will bring." Cwen shrugged before she released the angel, "I love you, Uncle Castiel. Give my love to my father and Uncle and Mary and tell them that I will be waiting for them, but I don't want to see them too soon." She gasped as if remembering something she nearly forgot, "Also, when you get the chance, tell Jack that I forgive him. I understand that it was a mistake and he's still my brother. Tell him - tell them all that I love them." And with that Castiel felt the room around him shift and before he could even blink he was in the hallway again, staring at the door with Cwen's name and life years written on it.
Sam smiled sadly, Mary buried her face in her hands, and Dean looked away. "I talked to Rowena," Sam said softly, "Um… she said she thinks that what Jack brought back- He just brought back a shell. A body, you know. That it was empty. Just a… a replica. 'Incapable of holding life.'"
A moment of silence passed, "So, what are we supposed to do now?" Sam echoed his question from so many days ago when they first found out that Cwen was dead.
Dean cleared his throat, "What we always do."
Dean, Sam, Castiel, and Mary watched as the body of their daughter, niece, friend, and granddaughter, respectively, burned on top of hunter's pyre. They gazed into the red flames that consumed the child that had died too young.
Castiel, didn't want to think about the burning girl, he wanted to focus on something else, anything else. He moved to comfort Dean, his closest friend, but Mary stopped him with a hand to the chest. She subtly shook her head, and Castiel relented, stepping back.
Sam couldn't wrap his head around the loss. It hit him like a punch to the gut every time he thought about his vivacious, mischievous, clever niece. She hadn't even reached her second decade.
Mary watched the flames burn and hoped her granddaughter was happy in Heaven. She hoped that she and John were getting along and hadn't killed each other yet. She hoped for many things as she watched the fire burn.
Dean stood away from the rest of them, watching the ashes of his little queen be taken away but the afternoon breeze. He thought of every smile and laugh that he had heard over the past six years, and he couldn't stop the tears from slipping down his cheeks.
Standing in front of the crowd, Dean, with Sam, Castiel, and Mary standing behind him, observed all those who had gathered for his daughter's memorial. He cleared his throat, roughly, before he spoke, "We know it wasn't easy for some of you to get here, and we thank you. We, uh- We gave her a Hunter's send-off a couple of days ago." Dean cleared his throat again, trying to keep it steady, "Cwen only came into our lives six years ago, but those six years with her were the damn best six years of my life. Cwen was loud and outspoken and could honestly be a true teenager," a few people chuckled, "but she was also the kindest, most compassionate, most loving person you will ever meet. Her smile could light up a whole room. She could make anyone like her - even the King of Hell himself would have taken a bullet for that girl. They say that a candle that burns twice as bright only burns half as long, and in the case of my daughter, that was sadly true. She died way too young, she didn't even make it to her second decade, but the time we did have with her was always bright. Cwen, you were the most vivacious girl to ever live, and you weren't here nearly long enough. But I wouldn't trade our time together for anything. Goodbye, Cwen." Dean raised his drink in a toast to his daughter.
Sam followed, parroting Dean as he said, "Bye Cwen."
"To Cwen," the people in the room toasted as they all took drinks. Dean mingled for a while before he slipped off and wandered the halls. He soon found himself standing outside the door to his daughter's bedroom.
Dean sighed deeply, weighing his options, before he squared his shoulders and pushed open the door. He walked into the room, noting how the sheets were still rumpled from when Cwen must have last slept and forgotten to make the bed. His eyes continued to dance around the room, taking in the posters taped to the wall and the half open chest of drawers. It was then that his eyes caught on an envelope laying on the desk against the wall. Written on it in curly script were the words: To Dad.
Rubbing his eyes to make sure that he wasn't hallucinating, Dean reached for the letter. He picked up the paper, which felt course against his hands. He flipped it over, checking for any signs that this was a fake. Except… it was her hand writing. Not really believing what was happening, Dean delicately peeled open the envelope and pulled out the letter. His eyes scanned the letter, and he could almost swear he heard his daughter's voice reading it to him.
I hate to have the cliche opening, but if you are reading this then that means that I'm dead. I like to think that I'm in Heaven now, finally drinking all those beers that you never let me have and reading all those books that Uncle Sam always said I was too young to read. But who knows where I've gone; for all I know, I could be in the Empty, sipping Craig with Crowley and pigging out on junk food with Gabriel.
If you haven't realized, I'm joking. I know I'm dead, and you are very likely reading this postmortem. I'm sorry, Daddy. I'm so sorry. I didn't want to leave you, but life never fully plays out the way we want it to.
If you're wondering how I knew that I would have to write a letter like this, I would have to say that I've been keeping a secret from you - I knew I was going to die. A few weeks ago Billie came to me in a dream - yeah, I was as freaked out as you are probably reading this - and she took me to Death's Library. She showed me that there was only one book detailing my death. I refused to read it; I didn't want to know how I died. However, Billie seemed to think it was important that I at least had the footnotes version. She told me that one of my family members would kill me soon. You remember that time when I was throwing up all the time and had no appetite and you and Uncle Sam thought I was pregnant? Man, that was an awkward conversation. Best line was still Sam's "And that's how you put a condom on a banana." I wasn't pregnant, I was coming to terms with the fact that someone I knew was going to kill me.
Death is a scary thing, when you have to face it head on. But I realized, I lived a good life. I had a great family, and the best dad on the planet - yes I'm talking about you, don't let your ego get too big - and my life could have been a lot worse. Some people don't get even half of the time I did. So, was I ready to die? No. Had I accepted that I was going to die? Yeah. So whoever it was in the end, I've already forgiven them. There was probably a good reason it happened. But Dad, there was only one book for me. They have books for everyone you know. I guess Death is the only author whose ending you can trust - remember that, it's important.
But back on topic, I'm writing this letter to say goodbye. We didn't get enough time together, Daddy, but it was the best time ever. Do you remember that time that we went kayaking and we somehow ended up tipping over and we both got soaked? Remember how I was sick for a week afterwards with that nasty cold? It was during that week that I first called you Dad and you first called me your little queen. That's one of my best memories.
Don't be too bitter, Daddy. No parent wants to ever outlive their kid, but sometimes these things happen. I died and I'm not coming back. I'm not saying accept it straight away, but remember that I would rather you look back on your memories with me and smile rather than frown.
Pass my love onto Mary, Uncle Sam, Uncle Castiel, and Jack. No matter whose fault it was, I forgive them. Tell them to live brightly. Those sound like good dying words.
Finally, I need to say goodbye to you Daddy. Words cannot describe how much I care about you, Daddy. I'm almost bitter at the English language for being so limited when it comes to telling someone how much you adore them. The plainest way to say it is: Daddy, I love you. You were my rock. I will miss you the most. I will see you again one day, because we both know that wherever I am, that's where you'll be. Just… just don't rush to get here. I can wait, and Uncle Sammy needs you still. That's all I can really think to say. Again, I love you, Daddy.
Dean held the letter close to his chest, trying to hold back the tears as he thought about his daughter. She kept telling him to let her go, but he wasn't ready to. He wanted her with him so badly that it felt like he couldn't breath. But, in this instance Death was final. And he had to learn to accept that. Squaring his shoulders, Dean tucked the letter into his pocket and left his only child's room and he didn't look back.