Mary felt numb as John helped her up off the ground, maneuvering her away from her father's body. He kept giving her fleeting, nervous glances as he raced the Impala to the Lawrence police station. All the while her mind raced, never settling on a single train of thought.
"Mary?" John asked gently.
She jerked, pulled from her own mind. She somehow was in the station, John was sitting beside her and a few uniformed officers were there with them.
"What happened tonight?" The older officer asked, directed mostly at John.
The young woman looked up sharply, the training her father and mother had forced upon her taking over. She had been trained to lie, to protect their lives with deceit and vague details. "I…" she started, balking as all eyes trained onto her. "My dad… he…"
John held her hand and continued, "We had been by the river. Mister Campbell found us and was trying to bring Mary home. He had been… hurting Mary. When I tried to pull him away from her…" John faltered and Mary watched as he tried to sort out what happened, the confusion evident on his face.
How would she explain what happened? It wasn't as though she could say how the demon had killed John and her mother. Mary panicked as John's tale slowed to an uneasy stop. One officer gave her a piercing glance. John was fine, but around his neck Mary could see the traces of ugly yellow and purple bruises beginning to form. "He… John… after John collapsed my dad came after me. He pulled out his knife and…"
"You were defending yourself," a female officer said, "It's okay Mary, you did the right thing."
"He said he killed my mom!" Mary shouted, tears running down the side of her face. She trembled and John wrapped his arm around her shoulder.
"I'm taking Mary home," John said calmly, holding her hand.
"We'll have a patrol sent out to the Campbell's residence. We'll call if we need to speak to you further."
"John I…" Mary said weakly.
He shushed her, kissing her forehead.
The Winchesters lived in one part of small two family home, barely enough to hold the family of three. John was looking for an apartment since returning from Vietnam but so far he didn't have the money for it.
Mary immediately went to John's room after he pulled into the driveway – John was downstairs with his parents. When he finally came upstairs he held her when she cried until there were no more tears to cry. He moved himself into a more comfortable position and as Mary's whimpering slowed he dozed off.
Nestled in John's arms Mary tried to sleep as well, but found only haunting questions in every corner of her mind. She lightly tapped her delicate fingers over his heart, a distracting and nervous tick she had to keep the nightmares at bay, the warmth of his chest against her body.
She stopped fidgeting for a moment, to take in his heartbeat, reassurance with each beat – but when she couldn't feel it, in the small lapses of time that it wasn't there it was as if her own heart stopped. Fearfully, she moved her head slightly to look at her fiancé, and she jumped at what she saw.
John tried to pry Samuel away from her, "Hey! Take it easy!" Ever the gentleman, ever her knight in shining armor. She watched in horror as her father took John by the chin in one hand, and the gripped the back of the young man's neck with the other. A sickening crack sounded and John crumpled to the ground.
Mary felt the hot sting of tears gathering in her eyes, the voice in her head repeating, No, no, this isn't happening… John… over and over again. His head rested in her lap, so still… Her father kicked John's body indifferently, Mary completely aware that John hadn't responded. It was as though the world, her world, was simultaneously crystal clear, everything around her in surprising definition but it was all muddy at the same time, with the exception of John lying in his arms so still. Too still.
He wasn't moving. Where did his smile go? He was supposed to take her away from all this and instead she brought the hunt to him and he was… Mary blinked, and looked up at him, with his cowardly yellow eyes. "You killed him," she choked…
She knew John had always been a heavy sleeper, so Mary's sudden movement didn't stir him. Instead he continued to slumber, his head lolled to the side. She tensed, and his position reminded her too much of what had happened. "John," she prodded anxiously, holding his hand and shaking him slightly, "John wake up…" Her voice grew unusually shrill, but his eyes were closed, he was unresponsive, his head was too much like… "Johnny…" she said, choking back a sob.
"What is it Mary?" John as groggily, reaching up to rub his eyes.
She knew she was crying, but she didn't care. He's awake… he's alive… she leaned forward and embraced him tightly. Her hand brushed the back of his neck, and she shuddered at the memory and pulled herself away from him abruptly.
"Mary?" He asked tentatively, touching her knee. The young man obviously didn't know what to do, and he was amazed at how well Mary was doing in context. In some way, he felt guilty, that perhaps what had happened was his fault. "Mary, I'm…"
She trembled and looked at him fearfully.
"Mary, I don't…" he paused, unsure of what to say, or how to say it. "I'm sorry…" he said tenderly, moving so his back was to the backboard and he pulled Mary against his chest. She breathed in sync with him and he massaged her shoulders. Carefully he continued, "Mary… what I talked about before. I love you and if you…"
"I love you too," she whispered, interrupting him.
He smiled briefly, and continued, "I know, but what I'm trying to say is that if you… if you're uncomfortable with me or… what I asked you earlier tonight I'd understand if you wanted to wait."
She froze, horrified at what he was stumbling through. Is he…? "No John, it's… no. I want to marry you. There's nothing I want more."
John held her closer, his chin resting at the nape of her neck, allowing her blonde hair to brush his face and tickle his ears. "I'm sorry I couldn't protect you," he confessed.
Mary felt small, and a mix of regret and guilt washed over her. I couldn't protect you John. I should have told you who I was, what my family did. If I had then maybe you wouldn't have been killed and I wouldn't owe anything to that demon. She debated telling him what had happened, not that bullshit the cops had fabricated, but the truth. Her whole body shook, but his chest rose and fell in unity with hers, calming her and making them one. Together… they were together, he was alive and her soul was intact.
She tried to convince herself that it was safer for them both, but after tonight… it was more selfishness than anything else. If John knew… then he wouldn't be what she wanted. He'd still be the warm chest that held her, but it would be different, he wouldn't be innocent anymore.
They both fell asleep like that, John unwittingly and suddenly a player in something much greater than himself and Mary taking a step out of that world, and into the light.
Disclaimer: Supernatural isn't owned by me, sadly… I still cry at night because of that one.
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