Author: Holly Lukeman PM
Mary made a deal to save the one person she could not live without.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Angst/Family - Mary W. & John W. - Words: 1,569 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 1 - Published: 03-05-09 - Status: Complete - id: 4904997
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Local authorities are looking into the deaths of twins Anna and Charlotte Hogan, who were found dead this morning in their dorm room. Police are puzzled as to how the girls died, having found a startling but nonlethal number of small cuts all over their bodies. Autopsies revealed nothing substantial, and the investigation is ongoin—"
The kitchen door shut with a quiet click, cutting the sound of the reporter's voice down to a low, unintelligible murmur. Pressing her back to the solid panels of the door, Mary took several quick, shallow breathes, feeling cold hands twist her insides into knots of guilt and fear. She knew, even without more information, she knew what had killed those girls. And she knew the police would never find anything.
Usually she could convince herself that there was nothing to be done. Usually she could deafen her ears and blind her eyes to the evil living all around her. Usually the pretence of ignorance was enough to shield her from the duty she had left behind. But every once in a while, realization would hit her hard, and she would see just what she was costing other people.
Her eyes slid unbidden to the phone. It sat there, waiting to be lifted and put to good use stopping a killer that no ordinary officer would ever even believe existed. But still she hesitated, her desperate need for safety and a lifetime of habit both clawing viciously at her heart – she should call someone to take care of the thing. She knew people who could help. But…that would without a doubt pull her back into the world upon which she had turned her back. Experience told her that to go anywhere near the world of the supernatural was to invite it into her home – into her life with John. And that was something she could never do.
She had sworn she would never hunt again. Not after everything it had taken from her. Mom, Dad, John… Oh, god, John.
Mary's eye slid closed, pain jabbing sharply into her chest. Sometimes she could still feel him lying in her arms, his body cooling, no strong heartbeat pounding beneath her arms. She would never talk to him again, never hold him, never be able to tell him how he meant more to her than anything she had ever known. She'd had to do it; she'd had to make that deal. No matter what it cost her – her life, her soul – she couldn't lose John. Ten years, the demon said; ten years and it would come to collect. Fine; she would be ready.
Maybe it made her a bad person, and she knew it made her a selfish one, but to Mary, it was all worth it. Every time she passed up a hunt, she knew her family was worth it. She would give up her father's fight in order to keep her family safe. Whatever the cost, she would pay it.
A slender hand slid to her belly, palm gently pressed against her slightly protruding abdomen. A small smile touched her mouth and a peace covered her and smothered the fear burning through her body. She had another reason to denounce hunting. Wrapping her arm around her middle, Mary began to hum tunelessly, vaguely aware that it was some Metallica song that John liked. Sometimes he would sing it to her when she couldn't sleep, and somehow it always calmed her down. She would have to learn it so she could sing it to their baby.
Strong waves of fierce love and protectiveness washed over her at the thought of her husband and their child who was on the way. Even now, six years after the night she lost everything she loved, Mary still kept a bag of salt and a .45 with consecrated rounds hidden under a false bottom in her sock drawer. She may not hunt anymore, but neither would she let anything come into her home and hurt what was most important to her. And she would not jeopardize them by getting involved in more hunts.
No. She was done. Nothing would make her return to a life that she knew would claim her husband, claim their baby. She would protect her child from that life, from everything it represented and every threat it could make. Her children would grow up safe and happy and knowing a world full of peace and troubles no more serious than skinned knees or snarky coworkers. Her children would be protected. John would be protected.
"It's okay, Baby. It's alright, little one. I'm here," she murmured, head still resting against the door. A thrill of terror and excitement tickled Mary's skin as a thought finally sunk it. I'm going to be a mom. She chuckled lightly. "Your momma's losing her mind, Baby," she said, craning her neck down to look at her stomach. "But I won't ever let anything bad hurt you. Not while I'm around."
Movement in the living room drew Mary's attention away from her baby. John was calling her. Gathering her courage, she turned and opened the kitchen door, relieved to find that he had turned off the news. The darkened screen of the TV stared somberly at her, its mournful message having been silenced. And that was the way she wanted it.
"Hey babe, you ready for bed?" John asked, walking up to her, his smile threatening to blow out her knees.
"Yeah, I'm ready. I just, uh, want a glass of water. Be there in a second." She reached for him, wrapping an arm around his neck as she kissed him, her heart doing flips as she felt his answering beat against her collarbone. Alive, it said to her, alive.
John peered down at her when she pulled away, his smile fading a bit. "You okay?"
"I'm fine. Just a little tired." Immediately Mary knew that was the wrong thing to say. John slipped into protective husband and father mode without even a twitch, his eyes taking all of her in, searching for any sign of injury or illness. He'd always watched her to make sure she was okay, but after finding out they were going to have a baby, John had been impossibly more attentive. "I'm fine, John," she repeated, "Go up to bed and I'll see you in a minute."
Still not looking completely convinced, John nodded and leaned down to give her another kiss. Lightning licked at Mary's body when his hands gently held her shoulders, warm against her body. Vaguely, she wondered if this feeling would ever fade or if it would continue to get stronger. God, she loved him.
She watched him as he ascended the stairs, his eyes on her until he was out of sight. Knowing she only had a minute before he came back down to check on her, Mary quickly got a glass of water and gulped it down, making sure to keep her eyes away from the phone and away from temptation.
Setting the glass gently on the counter, Mary breathed steadily and closed her eyes. She murmured a quiet prayer, unsure tonight if she deserved God's attention – she had passed up a chance to help other people. But she had to believe that He would understand her motivation – her family came before anything and everything. Surely God wouldn't hold that against her.
She prayed for John, she prayed for the baby Winchester growing safely inside of her, and she prayed that her parents were somewhere better. Mary prayed that God would watch over her little family and keep them from the harm that had almost consumed her life. Lifting a hand to finger the silver pendent around her neck, Mary traced the little ridges of the angel's shape and pressed the metal closer to her heart. It had been her mother's jewelry.
Looking down at her belly, she laid a hand over it and smiled. "Angels are watching over you, little one. And so am I."
"Mary?" called John's voice.
Slightly amused by the way her husband was trying not to sound worried, Mary called back to him that she was on her way, knowing he would be waiting until he could see for himself that she was okay. Mary took a moment to look around her home. This was the place she wanted to stay until the day she died; it was where she wanted to watch her children grow, and where she wanted to grow old with John.
She moved toward the door and reached out with her hand. The lights died when she hit the switch, plunging the house into black. She knew what was in the darkness, and finally she was not afraid.
Author: Holly Lukeman
Beta: AquarianNightSky. Thanks! You're awesome!
Title: What It's Worth (or) Family First
Disclaimer: Supernatural isn't mine and I'm making no money off of it. Also, any mistakes are mine - I went and fiddled with the story a bit after AquarianNightSky gave it back to me.
And thanks to Amyblair for recommending taking my story to AquarianNightSky.
Note: I meant to post this like a day ago, but something went wrong and it got deleted. Oops. My bad.