Disclaimer: I do not own any rights to Indiana Jones. This is just an idea that popped into my head and it will not leave me alone.
Title: Through the Looking Glass
Summary: Oxley had always been there, from the moment Abner Ravenwood discovered his daughter's relationship with his favorite student to the wedding that came twenty years too late, and the years of broken hearts in between. These are his thoughts.
Author's Note: Okay, sorry for the long delay between the second and final chapter. I take full blame. I was gone for five weeks on a scholarship program, and when I returned, I could not find the will to return to write this fic. However, after rewatching the Indy series, my muse returned to me. Hopefully, you readers have returned, as well.
Chapter Three: Peru, 1956
Through the Looking Glass
After all that had passed, Oxley knew he should be celebrating the return of and his sanity and his newfound knowledge of the famed and alien Crystal Skulls; but his escapade as a mad man— a seeming blessing and a curse of the Skulls—had taught him a few a things. An odd sense of fulfillment had long since settled over Oxley's old body when he had discovered the truth of the Skulls, and now he was left to modest introspection.
Oxley should have know, should have figured it out. However, he was too self-aware not to admit he was more often than not oblivious to the obvious and oftentimes was far too trusting — even if it was his 'family' he was trusting. And, the fact that he had been blind as a bat to for the past—nineteen years was it? — was far too obvious and he trusted Marion far too much for him to actually realize the writing on the wall.
He supposed he should have deduced the truth of young Henry's true parentage when he discovered that his name was Henry Walton, but Colin's grandfather had the name Henry and Marion once admitted that she was quite fond of the name Walton, so in Oxley's mind, it wasn't too far of a stretch to assume that Marion had picked the name not thinking of Jones. Right? Oxley also should have discovered the truth if he had bothered to do the math correctly and realized that young Henry had been born roughly nine months after his father had left Marion at the altar.
However, maybe, just maybe, he just didn't want to know that young Henry Williams was the son of Henry Jones, Jr. Well, in all honesty, there weren't any maybes about it — Oxley didn't want to know. Despite his anger toward the elder Henry, Oxley knew he couldn't quite accept that his former...friend?... would completely abandon his family — not after his own problems with his father. It was the reason why Oxley ignored the fact that young Henry seemed to bear a slight resemblance to his father, and disregarded the fact that the boy took on a horrid nickname —why couldn't people keep their given names? — the name of his dog, 'Mutt'. The old adage, 'like father, like son' had never seemed more fitting.
Oxley hadn't even known Marion was pregnant at the time. Three months after Henry had left Marion, Oxley had been propositioned by the museum to go on a six month long expedition in the East Indies. Marion had pushed him to go. "You worry about me too much, go. I know you want to," was what she had told him. He had protested, at first. Marion was still in a fragile state, no matter how much she denied it and she had begun to grow ill quite often — in hindsight, he knew it was a sign of her pregnancy, but how was he to know? Eventually, however, he gave in. Colin Williams, a friend of theirs had offered to keep an eye on her, and Oxley trusted the man. But as luck — or bad luck — would have it, Oxley had the misfortune to contract scarlet fever three days before leaving the Indies and his return was delayed another two months. When he arrived back in the States, he was surprised to find that Marion had moved to London, married Colin Williams, and had a son, young Henry.
Oxley had been hurt, initially. Marion, who he considered family, had off and married and he didn't even know. But Colin had explained to him that since she was with child, they had to marry quickly, for her and the child's honor more than anything. And to think Oxley believed him. He pondered which was the larger emotional blow: Marion not telling him of her pregnancy and eloping with Colin Williams or him being the last one to know of young Henry's true parentage. He knew it was the latter rather than the former.
How Henry, the older Henry, had come upon the truth that he had fathered a son was still somewhat of a mystery. Obviously, Marion told Henry about their child, because young Henry had been raised think Colin was his father, and Oxley highly doubted that Henry had figured it out on his own, because frankly, Henry was quite dim at times, especially concerning these matters. All that Oxley was sure of was the fact that once he regained his sanity and discovered the true meaning behind the Crystal Skulls, young Henry had called old Henry — why must every man in the Jones line carry the name Henry? — his father.
Oxley wondered how the elder Jones had done over the past twenty —that long? — years. They hadn't spoken to one another, not since the night at the bar. Occasionally, Oxley would read in the newspapers and archaeological magazines about the exploits of said Henry Jones, Jr., and he had even made young Henry read his book, but he didn't know how much the man had changed, how much he regretted his past decisions. The only sign of regret Oxley had witnessed was a letter written to Marion, sent a year after he left her. It told of his reunion with his father, the journey to find the Holy Grail, and was signed with 'Missing You, Indy'.
That was years ago, nearly two decades to be exact. Nineteen years ago Oxley had been left with the broken pieces of the relationship that two of his friends had shared. Oxley thought that everything Henry and Marion had shared had been washed away, shattered like a piece of broken glass. Now, nineteen years after their lives went to hell, he was faced with once again seeing Henry Jones, Jr. and Marion in his arms, now with their son by their side.
Oh, how things seem to change. In such a short span of time he had lost all sanity and semblance of time. He had discovered the truth of the Crystal Skulls, and watched as they were pulled away in oblivion. And just as fast as his discovery and his loss, things seemed to fall into order with the Joneses. It was so strange, but after what he had seen, how was he to judge?
Oxley hoped deep within his heart that Henry had truly changed, but how was he to know? He and Marion had both been fooled twice…however, wasn't there also a saying that the third time was a charm? Maybe in those nineteen years, Henry had actually grown up. Maybe—oh, who was he kidding? Henry couldn't be believed and Oxley was a fool to think otherwise. He couldn't allow himself to fall into Henry's traps again, and he certainly wouldn't doom Marion to another terrible fate like she had so long ago; especially when she had her son to think of. Yes, Henry was young Henry's father, but he couldn't allow either of them to be hurt. No matter how much the two of them wanted to trust in Jones.
It was then when Oxley decided he must do what he had neglected to do in the years past: interfere in Henry and Marion's love-life. He couldn't let her be hurt anymore, couldn't bear to see her go through that pain again. So, when the fire light dimmed, and Marion and young Henry had drifted off top sleep, Oxley prepared to speak his mind to the elder Jones. He hadn't expected that Henry would speak to him first.
"I…I really screwed up last time, didn't I." Henry's words weren't a question, but a mere statement of a fact. Of course you bungled everything up, Oxley wanted to yell, you did more than that! However, Henry didn't give him a chance to speak, but continued. "I got scared, Ox. I ran away. I should have stayed. Talked to her. Would've saved a lot of time, huh? I could have…and Mutt…I would have been able to…God, I was an idiot."
The raw emotion on Henry's face was reason for Oxley to pause on his tirade. Henry looked hurt, and for a brief moment, Oxley could have sworn he saw Henry's eyes brim with tears. However, he shook the thought away. If there was one thing he knew about Henry Jones, Jr. — did he actually really know anything? — was that the man never did cry.
"I'm going to fix it, Ox. I'm not going to run away anymore. I'm going to ask her to marry me, and stay this time. Should have stayed the first time…"
Oxley's mind was screaming for him to give the telling off to Henry like he had planned. His mind was telling him not to trust Henry, that'd he'd too many second chances. But wasn't following the head what got Henry into his mess? If he had stayed, and not listened to his fears, would the situation have been different. Oxley was confused, more confused than he had been in a long time. Suddenly, he wished for the knowledge the Crystal Skulls had given him to return, so he could have clarity on the whole situation. But, that was gone, and he was faced with something new entirely. What would he do? What could he say? What would be best for Marion and young Henry? Oxley wasn't an Oracle, and only time would tell what would occur between Henry and Marion. He made the mistake of looking in Henry's eyes, and seeing the raw honesty, there. And as he looked into his old friend's eyes, his mouth began to form the words of finality:
"You have my blessing, Henry."
Thank you all for reading this fic and sticking it through with me!