Author's note: I do not own Indiana Jones...despite my wishes.
1937, New York City
Marion Ravenwood gazed out of her apartment window, eyes narrowed, jaw clenched. This was supposed to be a happy moment, her moment. But it was lost.
They had planned for a winter wedding. Nothing extravagant, just a trip down to City Hall with Marcus as a witness, and then a honeymoon in Egypt, where Sallah's family could provide a place to stay—they could visit the lighthouse at Alexandria and take a cruise down the Nile. Their wedding was set for December 17th, the following Saturday.
Snow began to swirl silently against the grey skyline, sticking to the window and melting into a million snowflakes in an instant. There was a couple walking in the snow, oblivious to its chill. Their laughter seemed to echo, even over the roar of traffic. Marion smiled bitterly.
"That could've been us, Jones," she whispered, her voice trembling. "Goddamit, we were so close to happiness, and then you left. You just left. Just like you did ten years ago, just like my father did every time he was searching for his pieces of history, just like my...just like everyone else in my damn life."
She clenched her fists so tightly that her nails began to dig into her palms. She would not let herself cry; what was the use? She had always been strong, but now she needed to be stronger than she ever had been before.
I'm leaving the country, Marion, the note he left had read. There's an important dig that needs my attention. Maybe it's for the better—we both know things would've never worked between us. Married life wouldn't have suited either of us. Keep in touch.
There had been no warnings, no good-byes. She had happened to be at the doctor's office this morning, the morning he decided to leave. Now that she thought about it, he had probably planned it out that way, anyhow. The bastard had certainly fooled her.
"I don't care about a diagnosis, Doc," she remembered saying a few hours earlier, when the doctor returned from examining her blood work.
"The nerves are messing with my head. I just want some drugs to calm my stomach before I tie the knot, you know? I've been under a lot of stress the past year—traveling all over the world. Hell, I haven't even set foot in the U.S. for ten years! So I guess it's all catching up with me, right?"
The doctor gave her an amused smile as he flipped through the paperwork.
"Miss Ravenwood, I would get married as soon as you possibly can."
Marian chuckled, expecting a punch line to his joke.
"Because you're going to be a mother. Congratulations."
Although silence engulfed the room, a thousand thoughts erupted like fireworks in Marion's mind; crashing, colliding, conflicting thoughts. She was pregnant. Pregnant! Even the thought of motherhood made her balk and laugh at the same time, picturing herself as a mother was frightening and comical. Honestly, did she look the motherly type? She used to own a tavern, for Christ's sake! She could out-drink anyone, had a filthier mouth than a sailor, smoked pack a day, and didn't give a damn.
Some part of her had always assumed that she would never have kids; most likely because, deep down, she did not want to turn into her own mother. Deborah Ravenwood had abandoned her family when Marion was only five years old. She could remember waking up and finding Abner alone in the kitchen, his head in his hands. After the initial shock and sadness, Abner grew angry. He bought two tickets and he and Marion took a train across the country from Chicago to Los Angeles. He confronted Deborah, a moment which was permanently engraved in Marion's mind.
"It's not fair, Deb," he shouted loudly against a shut door.
Deborah had locked herself into her hotel room when she had seen them and refused to acknowledge either of them.
"She's your daughter!" Abner continued, furious. "I don't care if you hate me or if you want to leave me. But you can't leave her, Deborah. You can't abandon your own child."
Marion began to cry, grasping her father's hand, finally realizing that her mother was never coming home at all. After a few more minutes of Abner's yelling, Deborah threw open the door.
"Damn it, stop the racket, Abner," she hissed. "I left you a note, didn't you read it? I was never meant to be anyone's wife. I should've never married you. I never wanted a goddamn kid. I just want to be alone, got it? Both of you, leave me the hell alone!"
Marion cringed as she was brought back to the present moment. That memory was one she never cared to visit. But now…she had no choice. Would she become like Deborah one day? A woman who holds her own priorities over those of a child?
She had left the doctor's office, still unclear…her mind jumbled. Was there really a baby inside her? Hers and Indy's? It seemed unbelievable. That couldn't possibly be happening to her. She passed their apartment and walked for more and more blocks, not even feeling the cold sting of the winter wind against her face. She sat on a park bench, watching the heavily bundled children run to and from their parents, playing on the swings. They all looked so happy.
"I don't have to be like my mother," she reasoned, finally. "I don't have to be her."
She glanced down at her hands, pushing away the painful feeling that came with the association of the word "mother", a word she had hated to say aloud for twenty-two years. Instead, she thought of Indy's face—his smile that melted her heart. She thought of his warm hands in hers, and pictured those same hands holding a tiny, beautiful baby. Something that inspired so much love couldn't be completely bad, could it? So, she would give up drinking and smoking for a while. She would try to find a decent job, something her kid could be proud of. But wouldn't that be worth a happy family? Her, Indiana, and a perfect little child.
"God," she breathed, cautiously curling her arms around her middle, "this is crazy! And…and wonderful!"
A huge, mischievous grin spread across her face as she stood quickly.
"What'll Dr. Jones have to say about this?" she laughed.
Full of newfound enthusiasm and exhilaration, she bounded out of the park and down the sidewalk, ignoring the stares of other New Yorkers, bundled against the chill. She knew she looked ridiculous—her long, dark hair streaming behind her, her coat unbuttoned and flapping in the wind, her dress billowing, her feet struggling to run in heels—but she didn't care. She, Marion Ravenwood, was going to marry the love of her life, and she was going to be the mother of their child.
"INDY!" she yelled at the top of her lungs as she flung open the door to their Manhattan apartment. "I've got one hell of a surprise for you!"
She laughed as she wandered around their tiny home. She searched every room, only to find them empty. That's strange, she thought, he said he'd be waiting for me to come home…
"Jones?" she asked, afraid now.
Having had her share of adventures with Indiana, she knew there always was a possibility of danger where their lives were concerned.
Walking by the kitchen counter caused a piece of paper to flutter to the ground and, immediately, Marion bent to retrieve it. She read the note he left, and suddenly she was that little girl again, abandoned by her mother.
Marion turned away from the window, from the melting snowflakes, and the laughter of the happy couple. He had left her, but she didn't need him.
She was alone, but she was going to be a mother. A goddamn good mother, too. And, suddenly, Marion didn't feel quite as alone as the thought of the baby inside her seemed to remind her that, now, she could never be alone. She had a baby. It was her baby now. Just hers. And she needed to be strong.
They didn't need Indiana Jones. She would never depend on him, on anyone, anymore.
Crumpling the note in her fist, Marion moved to her desk. Sure, Jones was gone now, but what if he came back again, like last time? What if he showed up, ten years from now, on some other goddamn quest and found her with a ten year old child? There would be too many questions, the child would be confused. No…if Indy ever came back to New York City, she wouldn't be here for him to find. She had to move to the only other place in the United States that she knew, a place she thought she'd never return to—back to where it all began: Chicago.
A/N I know this chapter was a little angst-y, but it gets better, I promise! Review!