A/N: We're back in rotation! I'm sorry it's taken so long to get back to this story, but here we are! Enjoy.
Chapter 13: A Walk In The Park
Once Mary and Abraham had tidied up and Abe had decided against opening the shop for the day, he and Mary took to the streets and soon found themselves in the Chelsea Market district.
"So much has changed," Mary sighed as they walked along the parkway where the body had been found.
Once drowned in daylight, it was again full of life and excitement, the traffic down below loud and bustling. Above them people strolled along at a more leisurely pace. Musicians played all along the route, birds sang as they filled the trees and shrubbery, and wild flowers grew all along the old train line. It was peaceful among the chaos of the city for Mary, a comfort in the anonymity shared with a friend.
"I remember the trains and the factories when I was a little girl. Now look at it, reclaimed by nature but still baring the scars of modernity," she said as the tracks that remained became visible and then disappeared again in the gardens.
"They wanted to tear it down from what I understand, the city that is, but the people reclaimed it and made it into a park. It's very popular these days. It did take a hit after the hurricane, Sandy, but things are back to right again. The art along the buildings is beautiful, and the trees up this high are thriving, even at this time of year," Abraham said as they walked.
"Progress, most of what I remember is gone now. I'm glad to see the change here is a good one," Mary commented.
"Have you been back to Laurence since you returned?" Abe asked.
"I visited the old house. The boys stay close to Kansas and go back to Lebanon mostly, they have a cave like hanger there, but Kansas is hard for me. It was a place where I thought I could start over, be something other than a hunter. I was normal in Kansas. I wanted to have a family and be normal. But the life caught up to me, I suppose it always will. You push it so far from your mind that it sneaks up on you, but I always knew it would catch up with me. Sam was six months old when it did, Dean was four and remembers bits and pieces of our normal life, but that's all that is, a memory now, and I'm assuming there is a lot of resentment there that they aren't showing. John got pulled into the life by my death and dragged the boys along with him. I never wanted this for them! But; they are very good at it, and as Dean mentioned, it really wasn't a choice they were given. It turns out they were always destined for this life and everything that has happened within it goes right back to me. Dean is like his father in so many ways, but he's my baby, and I like to think he holds onto that and the four years we had together. He was my protector then, like he thought he could help me at four when life got tough and his parents fought." She sighed, then continued. "Sam never knew me. He was too young and yet I feel like between the two of them he's the most like me, somehow, without any of my influence. He tried to get out of the life, went to college, had dreams of normalcy. But Dean and John, and I suppose destiny, had other plans for him; they all pulled him right back in." This last bit of her speech was said with resentment and not a small amount of frustration.
"I'm sure you would have fought it tooth and nail when you were alive," Abe said as he dropped some change into a buskers case as they passed by.
"Damn right! I am now! I mean, I'm hunting again because I don't know anything else, but I hate what it has done to my babies. I hate reading about John's transition from normal life to the people he met and places he went. The things he's seen and done, and me never actually telling him the truth. I should have. He kept a journal, and as I read it, I recognize names from my father's days hunting. These people knew me, knew I wanted out but they let him keep chasing the demon that killed me, they dragged my sons into the life. Nowhere does it say if they told him or not, and I think that's the part that makes me the most angry. I wonder how he would have taken that. But I guess that was the plan the whole time. I had no say in the matter and I sometimes wish that all the issues that John and I had, all the ups and downs, would have had him get over me and move on but, trauma is a strange thing I guess."
"Trauma is always hard to deal with; something that comes out of left field. When Henry lost Abigail it changed him. He'd been married before, keeping his curse a secret as long as he could. He mourned their deaths, or dealt with them finding out about his situation, and that led to a whole other kettle of fish most of the time, but Henry dealt with it in stride. But Abigail accepted him and their love, like for once in his life love really was stronger than this strange thing that happened. Henry opened himself to the idea of a soul mate, I think he even believed that either she would live or he would die. Knowing this kind of love, he had hope, so to speak, that this would be the last great love of his life, but as time passed he could see what her aging was doing to him, and she saw it too. There was a time where he was frantic to find a way to die after she left, so much so that he became reckless. That's how we ended up in Laurence. He'd died so many times, done all the experiments on himself and been arrested so many times for indecency that I had to get him out of here. My ex-wife hated how devoted I was to such a reckless man but she never knew what Henry was, is, to me. He let me stretch my wings as a young man and encouraged my life but after I surpassed him in aging, not in age, but aging, and Abigail disappeared I realized that the affliction really was a curse. No sane person could live the way he lives and remain sane. So I think I decided to reverse our roles. I got him out of this city and into a private practice for his own good, and to get him busy again. One doc for most of Laurence, he was busy all the time. It was what he needed."
"I'd never thought of it that way. From son to father, how has it affected you Abraham, and Abigail's death?" Mary asked.
"I was a son mourning my mother but I age and I will pass on. My life time is linear and normal. I think I did my mourning in a healthy way because I know that I will die. It was tough, as any death is and the circumstances surrounding her disappearance weren't solved until recently, so the unknown was hardest. But I can take comfort in knowing that one day I'll join her. Henry doesn't have a linear time line, he wont have the luxury of joining his beloved. His life is circular. Stuck on repeat. I feel terrible for him because of that," Abraham explained. "I worry about him now that I'm into my downward turn. I know there is nothing I can do about it, but I worry about how he'll take it if and when I pass. I'm afraid he might lose his mind, and really that's all Henry has to keep him company in this world. I can understand why Adam has reached out to him but, at the same time, the wrongs that he's done to get close to Henry are the workings of a mad man. I don't want Henry to become mad. It's bad enough that he continues to be obsessed with death."
"I've known witches, yes literal witches, who have used magic to prolong death and restore youth. Now I don't condone witch craft but it might be something to look into Abraham," Mary offered sympathetically.
"Really, I could stay with him?" Abe asked.
"I believe it's a lot of work," Mary commented as they came to the place where the body, the first one, had been found. "And maybe that is what has happened to Henry. Maybe he really is cursed and just doesn't know it. I don't pretend to know all the nuances of the magic, but I'm sure, if you ask, the boys can help you find out."
"I'm sure Henry and I could figure it out but I wont do it without talking to him first," Abe said as they walked to the railing. "There is the subway station right over there," he added and pointed to the street level structure.
"Reach out to Sam and Dean with whatever you decide, they have far more knowledge and access to the research then I ever did. I'm sure they will either help you to find the spell work or they'll try to talk you out of it, or it may help to focus your research into Henry's affliction," Mary said and leaned on the railing. "It would buy you time," she said and her mind wandered away from the Djinn problem to her own. "Time, it is all that Henry has and he wants it to run out when the rest of the world just can't get enough of it."
"What would you do?" He asked as he stood next to her.
"I don't think anyone should live that long, lonely," Mary said. "Knowing what I know, I'd be desperate to find God but if he's as uninvolved as the boys say and history has shown, I wouldn't hold my breath for a divine intervention. I'd probably turn to the witchcraft at least until I could find a way to break Henry's curse; just to not be alone in it."
"I see. Well before this conversation I believed there was nothing I could do but you've given me hope. At least now I have options where as I didn't before, you've given me a gift; I thank you for it," Abe said and smiled. "Care to take a subway ride with me?"
"Don't thank me yet," she said sadly, "magic always has its price, just as everything else that we do in this linear life does," she added sighing. Then she shook her head, and with it the sorrow from her mind. "Should you get any closer to this case? What would your father say?" She asked in her most motherly of tones. "Henry wouldn't like you getting involved."
"I have always been a rebellious child and I have a hunter to protect me! It's just a subway ride, I do it every day," Abe answered slyly.
"Very well, let's see what we can get into down there," she said and together they moved down the stairs and onto the street.