Aki- This story is heavily influenced, particularly format wise, from the short story "Happy Endings" by Margaret Atwood. I suggest you all read it. See, she used the names John and Mary in it and this is what happened in my mind. Sigh. Anyway, it is, again, mostly the form I am stealing and the opening lines. However, the goals we are trying to reach in the stories are quit, quit different, so I really do not feel like that much of a rip off.
Also, this may look like a "choose your own story" deal, but it is not. It is meant to be read straight through. Thank you.
John and Mary meet.
What happens next?
If you want a happy ending, try A.
John and Mary fall in love and get married. After a few years of hard work and penny pinching, John buys his own mechanic shop with his friend and coworker Mike. John and Mary have two sons, who, despite the ups and downs every family has, turn out alright: the younger, Sam, goes onto to law school, the older, Dean, follows in his father's footsteps and becomes a car mechanic. Mary is a stay at home wife and mother, and she loves it, because it is normal and it is safe, if not ambitious, but it was all she ever wanted, so she is happy. Eventually John retires and turns over his half of the business to Dean just like he had turned over his beloved Impala years before. John takes up softball, Mary takes up scrapbooking. Mary goes to all of John's games, John helps Mary go through boxes of photographs in the evening after dinner. They have multiple grandchildren. They grow old together and eventually die. This is how the story ends.
John and Mary cannot stand one another. It is just the first incidental meeting that sets them off each other for good. Mary has just come back from a bad hunt that her parents had forced her to join. She doesn't want to remember much, but she can't get that image of a kid dying out of her head, so she's in a horrible mood. It happens to be John's birthday, and he has gotten drunk with a couple of his buddies. And when John is drunk he didn't only loose his balance but a bit of the good manners his mama had drilled into him. These two forces meet walking down the sidewalk in opposite directions, and it starts accidently enough with him bumping into her, but she is already tense and scared, and he is sloppy and unapologetic, and Mary shoves John away a little too hard and some insults are thrown and that is that. John can't clearly remember all of it the next day, and only knows that Mary glares at him the next time she sees him when they are drinking coffee at different ends of the bar at the diner. Eventually dislike turns into indifference and later on in life they would both mostly forget this insignificant encounter.
The orders came down from Heaven that John and Mary needed their hearts marked for each other, and they came on Valentine's Day with a rush order added at that. Valentine's Day was always the busiest day of the year for Cupid, and he wasn't the best at record keeping, and John and Mary are such common names. But the mistaken John and Mary have a happy life together, and everything continues as in A, except change "mechanic shop" to "restaurant", "two sons" to "twin girls", and "softball and scrapbooking" to "golf and knitting"
John and Mary fall in love and get married. After a few years of hard work and penny pinching, John buys his own mechanic shop with his friend and coworker Mike. John and Mary have two sons. Then one night Mary wakes up hearing Sammy crying over the baby monitor, but John is already missing from bed, so she figures he is on baby duty, and she rolls over and goes back to sleep. That is until she hears the screaming. Everything after that blurs together: John on the ceiling, the fire, grabbing Sammy out of the crib, snatching up Dean who had already come to investigate with her free arm, tripping out of the house.
Mary realizes that night how stupid she was to think that running away from hunting would make her safe. It was stupid, and John's death was her fault. She knew what was out there, and she didn't do a thing to prevent the supernatural from hurting her family. And she knows what did it, remembering that yellow-eyed sonuvabitch she had made a deal with ten years prior. So it's all about revenge, because she failed to protect her sweet, naive John, so he deserves this much from her.
She will not let it happen again, so she teaches her sons about salt lines and exorcisms and everything that goes bump in the night. Because the only way to be safe is to know what is out there and know how to stop it. This is her justification. She gets an apartment in downtown Lawrence where she raises her children, and takes long weekend trips to do jobs during the school year and vacations over breaks for stuff farther away. She takes Dean and Sam with her because she can't leave them alone, not with nightmares of fires and slashed abdomens haunting the back of her eyelids. Then Dean, fourteen, asks to come with her, to help her out, and she sees the worry in his eyes because last time she came back from a struggle with a poltergeist pretty banged up, but she also sees a sort of anticipation. She doesn't want her sons to be hunters, but they knew the basics, for their own good. Plus, he wants to do it, and wouldn't stopping him be the same as her parents forcing her to do it? Later on, Sammy, because as a mother she can always call him that despite protests, comes along too, wanting to show he can do everything his big brother can do, but Mary can tell his heart is not in it.
The years pass and then Sam is going to California to college, and he and Dean are arguing, loudly, out in the living room. Mary understands it, is proud of her younger boy, though she doesn't say it aloud, but Dean didn't share the sentiment. He says things like how can you turn your back on Dad? and Sammy says things like If it weren't for pictures, I wouldn't even know what Dad looked like. And then there are some slammed doors.
Dean and Sam stop talking. Sammy goes to Stanford without saying goodbye to his brother. Mary tells Dean she thinks he should take a break from hunting— because she remembers that original promise to herself not to raise her children in this lifestyle and wonders when Dean became so invested in her crusade. Another fight ensues. She says my house, my rules. Dean moves out. He doesn't say goodbye. Last she heard he did pretty well taking down a vampire nest in Austin.
Mary catches wind of some demonic omens up north, and it is probably not The Demon she wants, but she will follow up on it anyway. But she is used to having backup and she has gotten sloppy. She didn't know that a second one is there, damn it, and it sneaks up on her when she is performing an exorcism. At least these demons weren't the most sadistic she has ever met, because they don't torture her, just leave her with a broken leg in an abandoned warehouse down by the docks to bleed out. Mary dies alone. This is how her story ends.
They go on five dates and John thinks he is starting to fall for her. He also thinks the reasons are obvious. He asks her out for a sixth. She says she is going to be out of town— a weekend road trip with her folks and that she will be back late Sunday.
The Campbell family never returns. The local police contact the state police and a big investigation goes on, but no one knew where the family was planning on going. Everything was still in their house, nothing suspicious but some creepy occult books and a few unregistered guns, but even those harbor no answers. No one in Lawrence ever found out what happened, John never found out what happened, and the story got twisted and distorted into a ghost tale of sorts.
John is in grief. Maybe no one could fall in love after five dates, but he sure felt like it. He takes a road trip. He meets a woman studying to be a nurse. He sleeps with her. She gets pregnant. They get married. They have a little son they name Adam. John trades in the Impala to get a mini-van and reads the instructions on the baby car seat five times to make sure he buckles it in correctly. John likes being a father. A few years pass. He gets divorced. John doesn't regret it too much, they weren't meant to be, he figures, but he thought he was being honorable and responsible, going with her after knocking her up. And his ex-wife isn't bitter; she is on the same ground as he is. They were never in love, but they will never regret the resulting child of their one night stand.
He has a pretty nice life. A good, steady job at a garage down the street. Adam stays with him every other week, and they go fishing and to baseball games and all that other father-son bonding son stuff. He dates occasionally, but no girl really sticks.
John never goes back to Lawrence, but sometimes when he is alone in his home at night on the weeks Adam is at his mom's, he dreams about it, and sunshine-haired Mary and the unsolved mystery surrounding her disappearance. Because he thinks it is the only time he's been in love, and he liked that feeling. He wonders what life would have been like if he had spent it with her. He wonders about this until he is fifty-three years old and he has the stroke that kills him in his sleep. This is how his story ends.
John and Mary fall in love. Then John goes to Vietnam. He doesn't come back. Mary is reminded that the supernatural isn't the only evil in the world. She misses John, but she is not going to give up on her dream of normalcy.
Three years pass and Mary falls in love again with a guy named Harold who works at a used car dealership. Everything continues as is A except with a different name and no children. Mary runs a daycare out of her house to make up for this, but everyone but Harold can see the longing in her eyes at what is in front of her, but is not hers.
This is how the real story ends.
John and Mary both live long enough to meet, fall in love, get married, and have two children. Cupid didn't screw up his rounds. Mary never meets Harold. John does meet the nurse, but that isn't for a while yet. Little do they know they are being manipulated by both angels and demons.
Mary dies. John is miserable for the rest of his life. The rest of John's life is made up of revenge, monsters, bullets, and neglecting the two people he had left in this world. John sells his soul for Dean, Dean sells his soul for Sam, Sam fails to sell his soul for Dean despite his best efforts, but Mary had already traded Sam for John, unknowingly, before the former even existed, so it comes out as a cycle.
John and Mary were playing pieces in the hands of Destiny in some sort of cosmic plan, but not main playing pieces either, just ones used so the higher powers could get to the real pieces: their sons. But it doesn't make their love any less real or heartbreaking. And then there is all kind of bullcrap about special children, the Apocalypse, Michael and Lucifer, but that turns out okay-ish in the end.
Sam and Dean die and die for good, because everyone dies eventually.
This is how the true story ends: everyone dies, everyone dies, Sam and Dean die, John and Mary die.
This is how it always has to go. But that's not the part that matters.
As you see, I set out to play with different pieces of SPN cannon. I am not sure how I feel about the Cupid setting them up thing as told in My Bloody Valentine, but I figured, why the hell not play with it. Also, Adam (poor, poor Adam). And this ended up more depressing than anticipated. Yup.
Also, this was fun. I like experimenting with form. Feedback?