What if Mary could talk to Sam - finally had a connection to him? To let him know what really happened that night in 1983? What else would she tell him?
Hi, again! Yes, here I am, writing another NEW story, instead of finishing my other stuff. I'm sorry. This has been eating at me and I had to write it. It was a one-shot, but well, um, it's not...
I've been thinking a lot about what John told Dean regarding Sam and the children like him. We know it's eating Dean alive, and killing Sam thinking he'll never know the truth - until it's too late.
After Children Shouldn't... I thought about the visit to Mary's grave and Sam giving her the dog tags. Then the Evil Plot Bunnies decided to take over. What happened before Mary died? Why did things come out the way they did? This is my theory on how Sam came to be one of 'the children.'
My constant, undying gratitude to Geminigrl11 for betaing this story, but also to my pal Lemmypie who helped me flesh some of it out. Also to MaddieM for being a great sounding board and supporter. Finally, to my pals over at limp - sam dot com. We've had some really fun, amazing conversations there - from 'what's up with Sam's bangs?' to 'what are the Demon's plans for the boys?' If you want a little Sammy love, it's a nice, safe place to discuss the tall one.
So, here's my take on what happened during CSPWDT, and beyond. Let me know what you think of this crazy theory.
I do not own anything Supernatural, but I'd sure like to! I mean, really? Who wouldn't! Even the Impala? I'd take that, right?
It was just the right thing to do. Sam knew it in his bones.
Although they had never visited their mother's grave, erected by an uncle they knew nothing about, it seemed important for Mary Winchester to have John's dog tags - that there was something tangible finally connecting them after 22 years of separation. Dean fought Sam on the idea, not wanting to stir up old memories and open healing wounds, but in the end, it was easier to just go with Sam's need for closure. At least with their mother. With Dad, Sam was starting to think there might never be closure. Not for him. Not for Dean.
Sam ambled to the gravesite as his forlorn sibling stayed behind, unable to make the journey by his brother's side. He'd never been there before, but instinct seemed to guide him to the right place. He didn't question it.
Sam kneeled at his mother's headstone and dug with his Swiss Army knife until a good chunk of dirt was unearthed. Sam reached in his pocket and pulled out the silver- plated tags. The last tangible thing he held of his father's memory. His connection to the past. Sam fingered them slightly, caressing them with his digits, saying his last goodbye.
"I think Dad would have wanted you to have these."
He gave them one last squeeze - a goodbye of sorts - and then released them into the ground and buried them with their rightful owner. A tear ran down his face, splashing to the gravesite as he hoped that his parents could once again be happy together.
It didn't take long. Dean had found another gig; right near their mother's headstone.
A young girl had died in a car crash, leaving a strange, perfect circle of 'dead' around her grave. Dean had called the cemetery groundskeeper, who confirmed the oddity of the situation. There was no explanation.
A hunt was born.
Sam suspected it was a distraction from dealing with the issue at hand; the recent death of their father, and the tragic death of their mother. Reluctantly, he agreed to go along with Dean's investigation. He had dragged Dean out here; it was only fair he humored his brother. At least for the moment.
They ran into town and spoke with the girl's father, trying to gather any information that might be of use. The man was certainly grieving but Dean was still convinced that there was something amiss with Angela Mason.
The brothers returned to the hotel room, Dean still hot on the trail of whatever the monster of the week was. He was convinced the unholy ground was just a stepping stone to the bigger picture. He was like a dog with a bone, and there was no way he was letting this go.
Try as he might, Sam was not getting through to his big brother. He could see Dean was hurting from the whole scenario. A pang of guilt rocked his torso as he realized just how badly this visit had messed with Dean. This was something that Sam had wanted – not Dean.
His own personal catharsis of his parent's deaths; trying to unite them once again in the afterlife.
He knew now that he should have insisted that Dean stay at the Roadhouse, throw back some beers, shoot some pool. Get to know Jo. But the protector instincts of the older hunter kicked in, as always, and he would not allow Sam to be on his own; especially after what happened with Gordon.
And now his hurting brother stood before him, trying to make something out of nothing. Dean kept scouring over the details, looking for something, anything to make this a hunt.
To make the pain go away.
Finally, Sam knew he had to say something. He had to try and make Dean see the reality of the situation, no matter how painful.
"I think I know what's going on here," ventured Sam, knowing he was pushing. He shifted his weight from side to side. "It's the only reason I went along with you this far."
A quizzical look crossed Dean's face as he watched his brother click into Mother Hen Mode. "What are you talking about?"
"This is about Mom's grave," Sam said, with deep concern in his gravely voice.
Dean let out an exhale at the continued accusation that he knew was coming, turning his face from Sam. "It's got nothing to do with it."
"You wouldn't step within a hundred yards of it." Sam shook his head, feeling the conflicted emotions exuding from his brother. Dean refused to look at him as he continued to unveil his revelation. "Look, maybe you're imagining a hunt where there isn't one so you don't have to think about Mom. Or Dad." Sam knew he had crossed a line, but at this point, he just wanted to show his brother he was there, no matter what.
That they would make it through together.
But Dean wasn't having any of it. He looked at Sam with untold anger in his eyes as he tossed the book to the table and stared Sam down.
Sam sensed the change in posture and knew he hit a nerve. He looked around the floor, letting out a controlled sigh, offering an alternative to the building tension. Resigned. "You wanna take another swing? Go ahead, if it'll make you feel better."
Dean's gut clenched at the thought of the punch he'd laid on his brother the last time they fought about Dean's pent up emotions. "I don't need this crap." He grabbed his coat, brushing past Sam toward the door, snaking his keys along the way.
"Dean, where're you going?" Sam asked with empathy drenching his voice.
The hunter turned around slowly, deliberately, and faced his brother. "I'm gonna go get a drink. Alone."
It was final. No room for debate.
Sam watched his brother go, wanting to follow, but knowing if he valued his life, he would stay in the room and await his return. The door clicked shut.
Dean was hurting, and there was nothing Sam could say to make it better. He wasn't dealing with their father's death. Hell, he wasn't dealing with their mother's death. It was like Dean had erected walls of steel where Sam was concerned, with no hope for entry.
Why is he shutting me out?
Sam paced the room, looking for answers. The guilt ate away at his stomach as he hoped for his brother's quick return. He was worried Dean would do something stupid – get into a bar fight, pick up the wrong girl. There was nothing he could do but wait.
The night wore on, and there was no sign of Dean. Sam looked out the window, hoping to hear the familiar sounds of the guttural motor, but none came. It was nearing bar time, so he expected to see his brother stumble into the room.
Finally around 3 a.m. Sam gave up and went to bed, phone tucked safely near his head in case his brother needed him. Hoped his brother needed him. Thoughts swirled in his head until sleep finally took him, and he fell into a restless sleep.
She was as beautiful as he remembered.
Mary Winchester stood a slight distance from her son, not dressed in the haunting white nightgown she wore the evening of her death, but in simple clothes – jeans and a blouse. There was a comfort and peace that enveloped her; her face radiant, her hair flowing in that natural way he remembered from the photos. And the night in Lawrence.
Around her neck were the dog tags Sam had buried earlier in the day.
Sam couldn't suppress a smile as he looked upon his mother's face, knowing he had done the right thing by coming to her grave earlier that day. She looked happy, truly happy, and it warmed Sam to no end. He looked around, hoping that his father would show as well.
Sam was suddenly overcome by the beauty of the scenery around him. They were near a lake, next to a path filled with tall trees and shrubbery. It felt like fall as the trees were shedding their summer best; dressed in deep reds and yellows. There was a warm breeze coming from the lake that focused him once again to his mother as it blew in her direction.
"Sam," Mary said with such love that it stopped Sam's heart. She walked to him, finally able to touch him, hold him, like she was never able to do. She caressed his cheek and felt the warm liquid spill down from his cavernous, brown eyes. Sam towered over her small frame, shadowing her, but it didn't dim any of the light that seemed to emanate from her. They stood for a moment, taking each other in; savoring the moment. Then she dove into his chest and wrapped her arms around his mid section.
She's here. Really here.
Sam's eyes continued to spill tears as the realization hit him. After all this time of wondering what she was like, he felt her. Knew her. This was a visit – a vision – from his mother. Somehow she had made it to him and he absorbed every nuance of the moment with his being.
They held each other for several minutes; no words were spoken. The energy Sam felt was so soothing; so pure. She made all the pain go away with the simple embrace. He felt all the things she'd wanted to say after all these years with just her touch.
But there was something else.
Sam pulled back and looked at his mother. Streams of tears were upon her face as her happiness turned to worry.
"Sam," she began, blinking away her tears, looking to her feet. Her voice was filled with a strained plea. "It's Dean. He's in so much pain."
Mary's youngest stroked the blonde hair from her face, placing it behind her ear and feeling the wetness of the tears on the strands. He cupped her face with his hand.
"I know. But I don't know what to do. What to say. He won't talk to me. I can't…" Sam stopped and looked away as his breath hitched at his failure to help his brother.
"He has so much…. John put so much on him, it wasn't fair," Mary grabbed Sam's hand from her face and squeezed with both of hers. She could feel the confusion in his energy as Sam looked into her eyes. "He never knew. Neither of you did."
Mary turned and walked to a nearby bench along the lake. Sam followed her lead and cocked his head at the change in her voice. "What did Dad do, Mom? What don't we know?" Sam curved around and sat next to his mother on the bench, his heart pounding faster as the conversation continued.
"The truth. About you, Sam. And the others like you," Mary began as the sadness dripped from her voice. She absented fingered the new jewelry around her neck, feeling the embossed letters of her husband's name. "Your father found out, a few months ago, he told Dean. Right before he died."
Sam felt his stomach clench, looking to her incredulously. "Mom, what are you saying? You know about the demon?" Dad knew? He lied to me? Dean lied to me?
Mary could do nothing but nod her head as if it were the heaviest thing in the world. "At least, I know how it all started." She realized the truth about Sam's past, his genesis, must be told. Not only for his protection, but for that of his brother.
"Your brother was sick," Mary began, her breath hitching, tears falling freely as she began the tale. Sealing her youngest to his fate. "All those years ago. We didn't know what was wrong with him. I didn't know…"
Sam wrapped his arm around his mother and pulled her close on the bench. He knew his mother was remorseful; terrified. So was he. Sam could feel the sobs coming from her. He had no idea where this going. When was Dean sick?
"We raced your brother to the hospital. He was having a hard time breathing. Dean was so fragile, so precious…" Mary lost herself in the memory, smiling at the innocence of her child. She was silent for a moment as she gathered herself to continue. Then the reality came crashing back and she shivered, trying to get herself together.
Taking advantage of the moment of silence, Sam interjected his thoughts, keeping them simple and non accusatory. "Mom, when was this? How old was Dean?"
Mary wiped her face, and took a deep breath. She pulled back and angled herself on the bench so she could tell her son – face to face – what she had done. "Three and a half. He was such a little runt, so full of life." She laughed at the thought of her baby and his spunk. The smile on her face grew. "He used to get into so much trouble, and your father? Well, he used to encourage it to no end. But Dean always listened when things went too far. That military bravado of your father's was certainly instilled on your brother at a young age."
Sam couldn't help but smile at the thought of little Dean running all over the place. Happy. Before…
"What was wrong with him?" Sam pressed, more than a little anxious to hear what he'd been searching for for over a year, yet trying to be sympathetic to his mother's needs.
Mary looked to her youngest; feelings of guilt consuming her. She shook her head. "They never did figure out what it was. The tests they ran came up inconclusive, some kind of tumor near his lung, maybe, but they never knew for sure," she paused to catch her own breath, empathizing with how Dean must have felt. She looked out to the lake, pulling the chain at her neck. "They tried everything to get rid of it they could think of. Said surgery was too risky on a child so young. They…" Mary closed her eyes to stop the tears from starting again. "They gave him a few weeks at best… The doctors said my baby was going to die."
Sam grabbed her and held her, knowing that whatever she had done was purely out of love and desperation. Love for Dean.
Mary sobbed openly into Sam, letting all her guilt, confusion and love flow with each heave and tear.
Sam never realized how much he had needed this his entire life until he felt her in his arms. To be able to comfort his mother, to talk with her and share their lives. How he had wished that she would have been there to watch him grow, teach him right from wrong, encourage his studies. Dean had known her. Not for very long, but he had known her. But then she was violently taken away. Sam smiled inwardly, knowing that Dean at least had that, and hugged her even tighter.
"I was in the chapel one evening. Your father refused to go," Mary began again, calming herself; needing to get the story out. "He believed that a God who would take a child was not worth acknowledging. So, I went by myself and prayed. I prayed so hard to cure Dean; to find a way. To figure out what the hell was happening to him." She stopped and looked at Sam with a grief that was unbearable. "And then he walked in the door."
Sam's heart beat faster as he realized he was a step closer to the truth. The truth that his mother took to the grave with her. The truth that his father, and now his brother, knew about him. Sam could feel Mary's anguish and confusion. They fed into his own worries about the situation. But he certainly knew who 'he' was.
She nodded. "But I didn't know. How could I? I was in a chapel. If I would have known…"
You think something like that works on something like me?
Sam brushed her face, quelling her fears. "You couldn't have known, Mom. You can't blame yourself."
"He asked me if I believed in miracles. He said he could help me." Mary seemed to go into a sort of trance as she recanted what happened with the Demon. Sam didn't want to interrupt as she continued. His heart beating so loud, he swore it would pop from his chest. "I told him I'd do anything; believe in anything to make Dean better. And he smiled at me," she stopped, overcome by her decision all those years ago. Realizing the gravity of the choice now, with her second son sitting next to her. "I should have known…"
Suddenly feeling cramped, Mary rose from the bench and walked toward the lake. She watched the waves hit the shore as she remembered the visit in the chapel. Sam followed suit and walked next to her, allowing her her moment, but wanting to be there when she was ready to talk again.
"I didn't really believe it, you know? How could he help?" Mary called to the lake, as if it would reply. "Miracles don't happen." She grabbed Sam's hand instinctively, motherly, squeezing it, as he placed it gently on her shoulder. "And then…
"Your brother made improvements; slight at first, but certainly going in the right direction. We couldn't believe it. His blood count was better, he was more coherent. Two weeks passed and there was marked change, but I started to feel ill." Mary took Sam's hand and placed it next to her cheek, rubbing him with affection.
"You were pregnant," Sam answered for her. She nodded her reply and took a shaky breath.
"It never even occurred to me that the two would be connected. We were just so happy. Everything seemed to be going our way."
Sam shuddered involuntarily at this revelation. He was stunned by the confession of his mother, not really sure what to think. The only thing he could do was listen, and try to figure out what the hell had really happened.
Mary nodded at Sam's interjection. "Dean was getting better, and you were on the way. It seemed my miracle had happened. Two miracles." She laughed at the irony. "I had forgotten about the man in the chapel, and never thought to mention it to John at the time. I never thought anything would come of it.
"Months went by, you and I continued to grow," she stopped to squeeze his hand, "and Dean got healthier by the minute. The tumor was disappearing on its own, little by little, until one day – six months into the pregnancy – it fully vanished. Not a trace."
"Six months?" Sam turned to look at her, swallowing hard. Why is everything based on six months? "Mom, what are you saying? That I cured Dean? From the womb?"
Mary sighed and kissed Sam's hand before letting it go, nodding ever so slightly. "When the tumor was officially listed as 'cured,' I saw him. He didn't say anything to me – just looked at me across the room, raised his head to get my attention and left. You kicked and punched something awful as soon as he looked at me. You knew something was wrong," her voice held a quiver as she rushed out her thoughts, trying to explain, justify, to Sam. "Then everything came back to me and I started to panic. I asked for an ultrasound right then to make sure everything was alright.
"I suddenly began to worry about your lungs, thinking you had taken on Dean's mysterious illness, and that you were in danger. As we looked at the ultrasound, there was an irregularity, but only for a moment. Then it was gone. The doctor thought it was a glitch in the system, but I knew better. I saw the shadow outside the door, and knew. It was him. He did something. Something to make you healthy again. I was terrified, Sam. I knew I'd made a terrible mistake."
Sam stood, unable to say anything. It all made sense, but it didn't make it any easier to stomach. The demon had chosen Mary; preyed on her. Knew she had just conceived and could manipulate her – get to her child. Maybe he made Dean sick in the first place – to bargain. It was a brilliant plan, really. How many of the other 'chosen' had the same tale attached to their fate?
Mary knew that Sam was at a loss. The fear for her son's life – his fate and future – was due to her choice to save Dean. "I tried to tell your father what happened in the chapel. That the man said he could offer a miracle. But John just brushed it off. Said I was hysterical and my hormones were out of whack," she laughed cruelly at the memory, realizing what a huge mistake she had made by not pushing him to believe her.
"After you were born, you were so perfect," she smiled at the beautiful memory, cutting into the worry lines forming on Sam's face. "I was happy. We were all happy. And Dean? Once you were born, he was so fiercely protective of you. He wouldn't let anything near you. Like you were connected from the start. Somehow…he just knew."
A tear trickled down Sam's face. Dean knows that my life was arranged for his. My fate was predetermined. Even before he knew, he knew. "And Dad told Dean about this, right before he died? Dean has been carrying around this additional guilt since then?" Sam shook his head. Suddenly it all became so clear why he wouldn't talk to Sam. Dean was too overwhelmed with information and grief of his own.
"Sam, I'm so sorry. I didn't…"
Mary's sobs became unbearable as Sam's heart broke. She buried herself into his shoulder and he wrapped his arms around her. He couldn't be angry at her; she only did what she thought was the right thing. She never would have willingly given Sam over.
Remembering that he didn't have all the information, he pressed his mother for more details. "Mom, what did he say to you? What happened that night?" He lifted her face from his shoulder and looked into her eyes. Mary's anguish was spilling from her and Sam did his best to try and comfort her.
"He came for you. The night you were six months old," Mary choked, remembering the night of her death. "You were fussing, so I came to check on you. At first, I thought it was your father hovering over your crib. Then I realized that he was sleeping downstairs." Her face became vacant again as she put the final moments of her existence out for Sam. She wanted to remember every detail. He deserved that, after all. "I ran back upstairs and realized it was him. I told him to get away from you. He, It, looked at me and smiled, glaring at me with yellow eyes from hell."
"Mary, so nice to see you again. I trust you've been well?"
"What do you want," she answered through gritted teeth.
"I've come for my payment. Remember, in the chapel? When you said that you'd do anything? Anything for poor, young Dean?"
"What. Do. You. Want?"
The Demon looked down at the cooing infant before him and back to Mary.
"Sammy," he stated, "he's mine."
"No! You can't have him. I never agreed…"
"Oh, dear woman, but you did! You said you'd do anything."
"No," she gasped, "I never meant one for the other…"
"Well, those details were never worked out, were they?" The Demon chuckled at his game. "I held up my end of the bargain. It's time for you to pay." He looked down to the child, and smiled. "With Sammy."
The young infant looked up at the man before him; no fear in his eyes. A familiarity.
"See? He knows me? But why wouldn't he? We were acquainted when you were six months pregnant. You remember the day, don't you, Mary? How Sam reacted to me then? I knew I had made the right choice seeking you out. Strong genes. A strong child." He reached into the crib to pick up Sammy. "My child."
Mary lunged for the man before he was able to touch her son, scratching the side of his face. Enraged, he threw Mary to the wall, knocking the wind from her. To her horror, her body was raised up the wall and over her child's crib. Helpless to watch the scene unfold below her.
The demon smiled as he watched the ritual take place. The sacrifice. As the woman was directly overhead, a slash was made into her stomach as she forced out a bloodcurdling cry, trying to warn John. Stunned, the Demon knew his plan would be interrupted and vanished, leaving the crib and its contents behind.
"I watched as your father raced into the room, unable to speak. He went to your side. I was so relieved that you were alright. And then…"
Sam sank to the ground, uncontrolled sobs now coming from him. He buried his head in his hands, digging through his long locks, trying to get a handle on the information he just heard. They had been told the story of what they thought happened, but to hear it first-hand, to confirm the horror of the evening, was beyond overwhelming. She tried to protect him - to save him - and ended up getting herself killed.
My first victim. Is this to be my life? An unending string of violence and death? Letting people die around me? Killing them? Is that what the Demon has planned for me?
As if in answer, Mary joined Sam on the ground and fisted her son's jacket, pulling him to her face. She shook him from his reverie, her voice filled with tears. "Don't you think any of this is your fault Sam Winchester! I made the mistake. Me." She pulled him to her, then wrapped her arms around him as though he were still the infant she had left so long ago. Absorbing his pain, his tears, the way he had absorbed hers only minutes before."
Sam's mind was swirling with all the information it was receiving. "But…Dad. What does he know about this? Why didn't he tell me?" Anger suddenly swelled in his gut at the secrets and lies of his father.
"Honestly, I don't know, son," Mary said, looking at the grief-stricken gaze of her youngest. "Your father went to Missouri for help, and they started to put some pieces together. I could watch what he was doing, but I was never able to get close enough to hear. I know he talked with a lot of people, did research. Traveled. But there was something that kept me from him, and you boys. Probably something the Demon did to further drive a wedge in our family." Mary pulled herself from the ground slowly, staring down at Sam. "Not until Lawrence was I able to make the connection to you. I think it was the house. It's the only thing that makes sense." She clutched at the dog tags once again.
"What I do know is that he figured out that the demon wanted you – had plans for you. To what end, I'm not sure." Sam rose to meet her, brushing himself off from his cascade to the ground. His figure blocked the sunlight from her face as she suddenly looked tired and worn. She continued on, knowing this would be the last time she saw her son. "But you were chosen. The Demon knew about you well before I did. I don't know whether he made Dean sick to get to you, or whether he just happened along. What I do know, is that this is my fault," Mary proclaimed with tears in her eyes, staring up at her mass of a child, "and whatever plans this thing has for you, you have to fight it. You fight, no matter what. You and your brother can defeat it. Together."
They had unconsciously made their way back to the bench and Sam sank into it like a hundred-year-old man. "How? I don't know what its plans are? We don't know how to kill it," Sam's eyes begged his mother for answers as the tears fell. "Mom, I don't know what to do. Can Dad help? Where is he?"
Mary's gaze fell to the leaf-scattered grass around her, sitting next to Sam. She grabbed his hand and squeezed. "You'll know what to do, when the time is right. Follow your instincts."
Mary paused, drinking in all that was her son, and rose once more, cupping her son's cheek. She started to walk down the path.
"Mom? Where are you going?" Sam jumped up to follow, but she raised her hand to stop him.
"I have to go. I've already been here too long. But I needed you to know the information that I had. To help. To try and make things right. I owe you that. And so much more."
"But Dad?" Sam said desperately. "Did he tell you what was going on? After all this time, he's keeping secrets from you too?" He knew John Winchester, secret-keeper extraordinaire, would be able to answer the remaining questions.
"Your father…he's not here, Sam, I'm… not exactly sure where he is." Mary looked sadly at Sam, trying to convey the information. "I feel him sometimes, but…"
"But the dog tags?" Sam interrupted, "I thought that was your connection to him? To be with him? You looked so happy when I first saw you."
Mary smiled weakly and brushed the hair from her eyes in a habit familiar to Sam. "The dog tags became my connection to you. They were filled with your energy. That's how I could finally come to you. Through your, gifts," she grasped them tightly around her neck. "And now I have something of John's that will help him find his way to me. That's more than I've had in a long time, Sammy. Thank you."
She turned again down the path, away from her youngest. Sam tried to follow but found himself unable to move. His heart cried out as it broke into a million pieces.
"Mom! Please, don't go. Mom!" Tears streamed down Sam's face as he lost his mother for the third time.
With a final glance back, she spoke to Sam with love radiating from her. "I love you, Sammy. And I believe in you. You and your brother, you'll defeat him. I know you will. Together. And you'll find John." Mary stopped at the mention of her husband, hoping that her children could give him peace. "You tell your brother I love him with all my heart."
And she faded from Sam's view.