Creatures of Habit

Fandom: Supernatural

Author: maybe-moey

A/N: So this is my new story, my attempt to do a Supernatural fic other than my drabbles. My apologies to all of my TVD readers... Uh, yeah, so this damn plot bunny came to me about a month and a half ago making it really hard to concentrate on my TVD fics and kept whispering to me to do a Winsister fic. It's not very common, but hey, it said it needed to be done. Anyway, so I'm going to put my other stories on HIATUS and focus on this one. Set around Season 1, and will probably end somewhere in the Season 2 finale area, yada yada. Will include hunts that haven't happened and take out some that I don't think should have. So yeah... Enjoy!

~Moe


Prologue - All Good Things Come To An End


MARCH 23RD, 1979

"Lawrence Auto Repairs, John speaking."

It was the colloquial greeting he used every time his boss was way too lazy to get off of his ass and answer the damn phone himself. John Winchester liked the guy and all, but he was busy, you know, doing his job. He was practically the sole mechanic for all the town. He didn't have the time to be answering phones, that was Jenny's (who was once again away on 'sick leave') job.

"John, it's Mary," came the usually quiet voice of his wife, but today, she seemed all but quiet. He sensed an undertone of a stronger emotion in her voice.

"Hey, honey, what's up?"

"I need to talk to you. Urgently."

"What is it? Is Dean okay?"

He heard Mary sigh on the other end of the line. "No, no. Dean's fine. I was talking about me, John. It's something to do with me."

John made a sort of a grunting noise. "Can't you just tell me over the phone?"

"I would really rather prefer if you came home. I would like to talk to you, face-to-face." Mary's voice rose a little louder with each coming word. Her post-pregnancy/mum hormones made it almost impossible to try and pull one over on her… not that he could before, but she'd always been quick about that sort of stuff. John was pretty sure that she'd be telling him off if he even tried to roll his eyes right now.

He sighed. "Alright, I'll be home in ten, okay?"

"Okay. See you then, honey." John could hear the smile in her voice.

~x~

John stared at the little white stick in shock; the single pink line was more than likely staring right back at him.

"Are you sure?" He asked, breath unshaken.

Mary held up three more pregnancy tests, all of different brands, all depicting that, yes, she was, in fact, pregnant.

"Yes, John, I'm sure. The tests don't lie," she said with a smile, throwing the tests onto the counter. "Aren't you excited, John? I mean we're having a family. Albeit rather fast, but that doesn't matter, does it?"

John wrapped his barely clean arms around his wife's waist. "Of course it doesn't matter."

"Then how come you don't seem so excited? I'm ecstatic."

"Mary, I'm still trying to wrap my head around the idea that I'm going to be a father again so soon."

A few minutes past and it had finally snapped inside of John. "Holy, crow… I'm going to be a father again."

Mary snuggled in closer to her husband's rigid frame. "I know."

NOVEMBER 18TH, 1979

Two days earlier was the birth of John and Mary's second child, a baby girl, who looked exactly like her brother did when he was born ten-and-a-half months earlier.

Now, John and Mary found themselves cooing at the dopey newborn in the backseat of the Impala, wide green eyes tracing patterns on the roof. Mary leaned back and tickled her daughter's teeny foot, causing those jade-coloured orbs to meet her blue ones, and striking up the question they both had been pondering for the last two days.

"What're we gonna call her, John?" She asked, sticking the dummy back into the baby's mouth.

"Honestly? I haven't a clue, honey," he said, eyes meeting hers for a second before putting his attention back to the road.

Mary sighed, exasperated. "Well, do you think that you could get a clue soon?"

John laughed at his wife. "Well, we could name her after your mother."

"Deana? Dean and Deana? John," she looked and semi-glared at her husband, "they'll be teased when they go to school. Besides, if you were her, wouldn't you want to be different to your older brother?"

"If you can call ten months older."

"John!" Mary scolded and slapped his arm gently, careful as to not distract him from driving too much. "Can you please be serious for at least ten minutes? It would be greatly appreciated. Oh, and an honest opinion would be nice, too."

"Mary, try to see where I'm coming from here. I wasn't expecting to have another child so soon—"

"Neither was I, but we had nine months to get used to the idea."

"I realise that, but when did we once talk baby names?" He asked.

Mary thought back over the last nine months, recalling all of the conversations she's had with John about or referring to the baby. They talked about the nursery—was Dean going to sleep in the same room—and about getting an extra car seat. They argued over which of their children will get the room overlooking the yard and whether or not to buy baby clothes before it was born. But none of these arguments or conversations ever involved baby names—for boys or for girls.

"I guess we haven't, have we?" She mused.

By this point, John had already pulled into the drive, gotten out of the car and around to the passenger's side door to help Mary out of the car. Once she was safely standing on her own, he handed her the keys and she went to unlock the front door. Dean was staying at the neighbours place for the afternoon so John could pick up Mary and Baby G (that's what they called her a few times) from the hospital.

As Mary settled into the couch, under firm instructions from her doctor to not stress herself too much for about a week at least, and she watched as her husband hurried in the house with a their dopey—but all too aware—baby girl and placed her in her mother's arms. He smiled down at his two girls, kissed their foreheads and made sure Mary was comfortable before going outside to unpack the Impala.

"And, that is the last of it," he said, bringing Mary's overnight bag and putting on the coffee table in case she needed anything from it.

She glanced up tiredly from her nursing daughter. "Aren't you forgetting something?" She smiled, a worn-out smile gracing her features.

John shook his head, clueless to what—or more, whom—Mary was referring to.

Sighing, she said, "Little boy, about this big—"she held her arms just under two feet apart"—green eyes, looks like our son." John just looked at her. "Oh, come on, John. Dean, where's Dean?"

"Oh! Thanks, I have to get him from Lindsay's place." He kissed her forehead again. "Thanks for reminding me. I'll be back in half an hour," said John who was grabbing his jacket off of the hook near the door.

"Don't drive too fast," she called out after him, knowing how much of a lead foot he was when she wasn't in the car with him. "I love you!"

"Love you too, honey!"

~x~

John sat upright in the middle of the night. He didn't know what in the world prompted it, but he knew the reason why it was important to share with Mary at four in the morning.

"Mary, Mary," he whispered, groggily.

She groaned. "What is it John? It's four in the mornin'," she mumbled without opening her eyes. It freaked John out sometime at how she knew things without even trying, but John just put it down to being a 'Mary thing'.

"I know what we can call her."

"Call who?" Mary was so close to slapping John to just shut up. She just had a baby, she was tired.

"Our daughter, honey."

"Oh."

"'Oh'? Oh? That's it? That's all you're going to ask?" That's all she could say about his epiphany?

"It should be the only thing that I should say at this hour. By the way, John, has any told you how horrible your timing is?"

"Whatever, do you still wanna hear what I would like to call her?"

"Shoot," she drooled.

"Erica."

"Erica?" Mary asked, siting up.

"Yeah, Erica. It was my mother's middle name."

She thought about it as she walked over to the bassinet at the foot of their bed, picking up their daughter who was, once again, tracing patterns on the roof with her eyes. Didn't Erica mean 'eternal ruler' or something generic like that?

Mary sighed. She'd want her daughter to grow up strong and independent, like she did… just not in the same way.

"Erica, huh? How about it, baby girl?" John cooed; the baby gazed at him. "Erica… I like it. It suits her, y'know?"

Mary smiled. "And judging by the little purring noises she's making, and the wide-eyed stare she's giving you, honey, I'll say that she likes it too."

JANUARY 24TH, 1983

Today was Dean's fourth birthday. All morning he had been pestering Mary about when was he going to get his presents? How long until the party starts? Was there going to be any pie? Because, if there was no pie, then his birthday was going to be ruined, and that would suck.

Dean had been going on and on about the pie for the last fifteen minutes and Mary was just about ready to cancel the party if he wouldn't be quiet for just a few seconds. Erica was three, and just old enough to help out in the kitchen, and she knew that there was going to be pie. She helped cut up the apples and roll out the pastry herself.

"Momma, please tell me that there's going to be pie. I haven't had pie in ages and—and my birthday is just going to suck if there's no pie…"

As Dean continued to ramble on, Mary got less and less patient with her eldest. She was heavily pregnant (again) and, due to hormones, was so close to cancelling his party, but she knew she couldn't—she's been planning it for two weeks, now and Dean knew about it every step of the way—and sighed in frustration. Dean could be such high maintenance sometimes.

"Hey, Deanie?" Erica asked, after seeing her mother roll her eyes at Dean's idea for making a pie as big as the kitchen counter, and somehow knowing that she's just had enough. "You wanna come play on the swings with me? Maybe even get Daddy to take us to the park?"

"But, Momma—"

"—Momma will be fine. Come on!" Shrieked the three-year-old as she jumped off of the bench, landing on her feet next to her brother and practically giving her mother a heart attack. She grabbed Dean's hand and tugged him towards the back door. "Let's go!"

Mary huffed out a breath in relief. Finally, a break, she thought. Mary came to the conclusion that her daughter—as young as she was—was extremely intuitive, and seemed to know exactly when things were right or wrong… or when a particular individual or two were getting on Mary's nerves.

"My little angel," she mused with a slight smile on her lip as she watched her two children run amuck in their backyard, thick winter jackets zipped up tight. It never ceased to amaze her how much her kids looked like each other. Both of them had the same shade of dark blonde—almost caramel, in Erica's case—hair and freckled skin. They were so much like twins; it was hard to believe that they were only almost a year apart. She guessed that the main difference between the two (other than the fact that Dean and Erica were obviously from the opposite sex) were their eyes. Both green, she knew that, but Dean's occasionally swayed towards hazel, whereas Erica's became a sort of sea blue.

Mary sighed again as she sat in front of Dean as they slide down the near frozen slide they had in the backyard. She was so glad that she'd been given the chance to start her own family back in '73, ten years ago. Yes, it was sad that when Mary's life truly began, her parents' had ended, but God works in mysterious ways, and Mary truly felt that angels were always watching over them.

She blinked as John stole a picture of her from the doorway that headed towards the living room. Mary turned around and frowned at her husband. Damn, childish man, was one thought that went through her head at his obsessive need to photograph almost everything. It was the third picture he caught her unknowingly in since Christmas. But then again, she compulsively kept diaries, her way of keeping the memories that were eventually going to fade away.

"Is there really any need for that, John?" Berating her husband, Mary leaned away from John and alternatively, the camera he now held. She really didn't like her picture taken, but John did it every year. Like clockwork.

"Lighten up, Mary, will you?" He said, snaking his arms around her waist, distracting her from getting the batter right for her son's cake. One of Dean's ideas throughout the past weeks wasn't so bad—the idea of a birthday pie. It was ingenious, really, and it would really keep him happy, but Mary thought it to be best to make a cake too.

"We won't need it." Dean had said.

"Maybe, but, Dean, not all of your friends like pie, sweetheart."

At this he rolled his eyes. "How can anyone not like pie? That's silly."

Mary sighed. "Well, that's just how it is, Deanie. I'm still going to make that cake, though."

"Fine," he huffed in a totally adorable toddler sort of way. "But I want the rainbow cake."

"You got it."

~x~

The last of Dean's party guests had finally left at around seven-thirty and as John held a supremely sleepy four-year-old in his arms, Dean waved bye to Nick and his mother.

Erica was caught in the middle of a yawn when they came back inside to the warmth of the house. She patted the seat next her and made John put down her older brother. She grasped the blanket that she had had around her, placing it over Dean and then cuddling into his side. This was really a moment for the books, it was, and John dashed off to find the camera that he used to snap pictures of Dean's party.

"In here, John," Mary called from the kitchen, where she had just finished packing up all of the leftovers. "I still don't see your obsession with that stupid camera, John. It's pointless really. I don't know why I even gave it to you two Christmas's ago."

"You'll see why. Look at the kids."

Mary did so and was overcome with the sudden urge to go "Aw". John snapped a picture of his children keeping warm in front of the fire. He was met with two confused sets of green eyes and a whine from his son.

"Dad…" John chuckled.

Erica started to fiddle with the cowboy Woody doll he got from the twins at preschool, Clara and Nessa, and wondered if Dean liked them. If he did, then she'd laugh because Dean was a boy, and boys had cooties, and she had to make sure that Clara and Nessa didn't get cooties either. But instead she asked him if he had a good day.

"I had a great day," Dean yawned, eyes drooping with overexertion, "it was the best day ever, and I never… ever… want it to…" Dean broke off into soft sleepy snores.

"'Nighty, 'night, Deanie. Sweet dreams," said Erica.

"Okay, you two, time for bed. Say goodnight to your mother, Erica." John gently picked up Dean and walked through towards the kitchen to where Mary was washing the dishes, Erica padded along behind him.

"'Night, Momma." She hugged Mary. "I love you."

"I love you too, sweetie." Mary stood up and kissed her firstborn. "Happy birthday, Dean."

MAY 2ND, 1983

Today Erica and Dean had found out that they were gonna have a baby brother and they were going to be big siblings.

"Really?" Asked Dean.

"You're serious?" Inquired Erica. It was funny, she was younger than Dean, but her mannerisms and the way she spoke made her seem older than three. Sorry, three and a half.

Erica and Dean looked at each other and then back to their father. "No way! Were gonna be the bestest big brother and sister ever!" They had said in unison. It was funny how they managed to do that, too. Like they were twins or something.

"What's his name?"

John looked towards his firstborn son. "Samuel."

Erica pulled a face. "Samuel is too long…"

"How about… Sammy?" Said Dean.

"Oh! I like it! Sammy!" Erica shrieked excitedly.

"When do we see him, Daddy?" They asked unanimously… again.

John smiled. He was glad that his kids seemed to have taken to their little brother easily and quick… And they haven't even met him yet.

~x~

Sammy was the best thing ever! Erica thought he was so cute with the little mop of hair on his head, little pointy nose and big green eyes. She imagined the days when he would be old enough to walk on his own and throw and catch a ball and run around and play with her and Dean. She was going to become a rockstar, you know, and the first song she'd sing would be about her brothers, the best things in her world. She was always so happy whenever she was with them.

She started humming a tune whenever she around him.

Dean thought that Sammy was going to be fun to play with, and much like their sister, he couldn't wait until he was older so that they could play and run around with each other. He'd teach Sam how to play catch, show him his collection of Match Box cars and tell him which were the best. He'll read to his little brother and watch cartoons with him on Saturday mornings and play cops and robbers.

He knew that he'd take care of his brother and sister forever, and not because he needed to, but because he wanted to.

AUGUST 25TH, 1983

Dean and Erica asked their mother if she could take them to the park that afternoon. It was almost the end of summer, and Dean and Erica had to go back to preschool next week. Sure, they liked it there, but they also like hanging out with their parents during the day, everyday and not just some days.

They were already outside; Dean and Erica just couldn't wait till Mum was ready with Sammy, not yet. They wanted to play, but they were getting too big for the swing set in the backyard, and the slide, too, so the park seemed like the best place to go.

Dean carried a soccer ball underneath his left arm and held his sister's hand with his right. She wasn't holding anything except for his hand, so when they got to the part of the road where they would have to cross, she would have to press the button to make the man go green.

"But, Dean… It's not safe to cross the road without Momma or Daddy, you know that," she whined, a frown set firmly on her lips.

"We'll be fine, Eri. There's no one driving today, so we can cross the road and still be on the other side before one comes," he reasoned.

Her frown didn't lessen. "I don't care. I'm waiting for Momma."

"Fine, you stand and wait here like a baby," he said, pointing to her, "or, you can come to the park with me."

Both ideas didn't sound appealing and Erica stood there and furthermore refused her brother who tried grabbing her hand again. Waiting for Momma was the best idea; they could all cross the road together. She knew that if Dean and Erica tried to cross the road on their own, something bad was going to happen. This was more of the reason why she didn't believe Dean's reasoning.

She looked over towards the road again and saw that a man was standing by the crosswalk. An idea struck her and she latched onto her bigger brother's (he wasn't even a year older than her, no way was she going to call him big brother) hand and started dragging him towards the man.

"What are you doing, Erica? Dad told us not to talk to strangers," he had said when he finally realised what his sister was thinking.

"Shut up, Dean." Erica knew it wasn't nice language and that Momma and Daddy had told her not to say it, but Dean was starting to annoy her. "You really want to go to the park now, right?"

Dean nodded his head, his hair flying around his face. "Yeah, but not with a stranger—"

"Then let's go!"

She waltzed right up to the man, who she only saw now that he was really, really tall (that could have been because Erica was about three feet tall), and tugged on his jeans' leg twice. He turned and looked to he left and then suddenly looked down upon the eyes of the two toddlers beside him. His expression changed from being confused to one of… Erica couldn't her finger on it, but it wasn't a bad expression. She knew that she could trust this man.

"Excuse me, mister?" She asked. Dean hugged in behind her when she said this and whined, "Erica…" She ignored him.

Tall Man crouched down so that he was only maybe a few inches taller than the three-going-four-year-old. She saw his face and he seemed as if he wasn't trying to smile. His eyes were slightly slanted towards the outside of his face, but were wide and green. They kind of reminded her of her little brother. Sammy.

"Yes," he said, finally smiling sweetly at the two tiny tots in front of him.

"Can you walk us across the road?" Just as she said this, a blue car came speeding down the main road in front of the trio there, not bothering to slow down for the crosswalk. She turned around to her brother and whispered, "I told you, Dean."

Tall Man really tried not to laugh at the situation in front of him. "Sure, I think I can do that." He let out a deep chuckle. Standing up, he offered his hand to Erica and she took it, loving how warm he seemed to be, even for a summer's day. Dean walked hesitantly beside his sister. "Where's your mum?" He asked.

"Oh, she's inside, making sure our brother is ready to go," she replied chattily.

"And how old is he?"

"He's still only a baby," came Dean's voice beside her. "He can't crawl yet, but loves it when we play with him. That's why we're going to the park."

"Yeah!" Erica nodded, excitedly.

~x~

Mary rushed towards the crosswalk, she swore that she told Erica and Dean to wait for her; she was only going to be another five minutes with Sammy.

She crossed the road only narrowly being missed by a speeding red car. Any other day she would have gone off at the driver but today she was worried about the where her two eldest were running off to. She pushed Sam in his pram at running speed.

When Mary had finally reached the park about a block and a half away from their house she saw them running on the grassy patch of Lawrence's sole, lonely soccer field racing to reach the soccer ball John and Mary got Dean for his birthday. Erica was winning.

"Erica… This has to be her idea." Mary sighed. Her daughter was adventurous, that was a given, and often when she found her eldest getting into trouble, the majority of the time it was Erica's idea.

"I'd say it was," came a deep voice behind her. It was male, obviously, and seemed friendly enough. Mary turned around and just looked up.

"Sorry?" She inquired, picking up little Sammy. If he were going to try anything, then she'd make sure she ran with her child.

"Are they your kids?" He asked.

"Yes…" Mary was hesitant; she couldn't really get a read on him, so whomever he was, he was good, trained… or maybe just a career liar. She took in overall appearance: tall, strong build, lean, but had a kind face with honest eyes.

He smiled. "Sorry, I can't believe how rude I've been. I'm Jason." He held out his hand to shake hers. "Yeah, your daughter came up to me, asked me if I could walk them across the road. I thought I'd do the right thing and wait with them until you came."

"Well, thank you, I guess. You didn't have to," She grinned with relief—nice guy—and motioned around her, "it's a small town, people rarely come through here, they were pretty much safe, anyway."

Something darker flashed through Jason's eyes, like what Mary was saying wasn't completely true. He righted it before she could really judge it. "Maybe, but it seemed like the right thing to do, nonetheless."

"Thank you, again."

"It was my pleasure. Your kids remind me of my sister and cousin when we were younger." The way he spoke made Mary think that his words were practiced. They seemed too fluent. "What're their names?"

"Uh, Dean and Erica are my eldest," she said pointing to the soccer field ahead of them, "and my youngest is Sam."

"Sam, huh?"

"Yeah, he's only three months." Mary beamed and presented a doe-eyed baby Sam. His little eyes immediately found Jason's and the man wiggled his finger in front of the babe. Sam gurgled.

"Single mum?" He asked as if he already knew the answer.

"Uh, no. My husband," it didn't go unnoticed by Jason the extra emphasis on the word, "works as the main mechanic in town."

"John?"

"Uh, yes. Do you know him?"

"No, no. He's, uh, repairing my car. I'm only passing through."

"Oh."

An awkward pause encircled them for about a minute longer. Jason stared out at the two toddlers who had switched from kicking the ball around to racing their way through the play equipment like it was a training regime: Down the slide, on the swings, over the see-saw, across the monkey bars, repeat. It was cute really, and Mary couldn't help but notice the small smile of awe over his face.

This must be a one-off for him, she thought, watching my kids like he wishes he has his own.

"Anyway, I should go," Jason said, turned and started walking away with a smile on his face despite slight brooding slump in his shoulders.

A mother knows, they say, and Mary couldn't help but feel some sorrow towards the young man walking away from her, like something underlying from his past prevents him to have the things he may have wanted most once upon a time. Mary could empathise with him there. Not so long ago she had felt the same way, she just hoped that maybe, just maybe, one day Jason could find even just a sliver of the happiness she possessed today.

NOVEMBER 2nd, 1983

Mary spied through the kitchen window at her husband in concern as he leaned precariously off of the right side of the ladder, attempting the yank down the last of the Halloween decorations just as the wind began to pick up again. Her first and second born were shrieking gleefully behind him, jumping into the three-foot piles of golden and scarlet leaves. The weather this last week has been horrible: cold snaps, heatwaves, and electrical storms. These rapid changes in weather were so bad that a couple of farmers just out of town had found some of their cows had split open. It was gruesome, and according to the papers it's not uncommon with weather changes like that. Mary still had her doubts, though.

Mary, absentmindedly, went back to peeling the potatoes in the sink when she heard her daughters worried shout.

"Daddy! Hold on!"

Peeler long forgotten in the sink, she dashed outside just in time to help her two kids steady the ladder John was standing on just another, bigger gust of wind ripped it's way through their backyard.

When the wind finally settled, John climbed down ladder breathing heavy, shocked. Erica flung herself around her father's legs and looked up at him, eyes full of worry.

"Daddy, are you okay?" She asked.

John leant down and lifted her into his arms as Mary did the same with Dean. "I am because of you, darlin'." His eyes met Mary's and then turned back to stare into blue-green orbs. "How did you know that I was going to fall?"

"I don't know, I just did. Dean said he felt cold and I felt that the wind was coming."

"Hmm…" John pondered this as he walked through the threshold, closing the door behind him and set Erica on the kitchen counter. He walked over the sink, washed his hands and continued to peel the potatoes that his wife started minutes earlier. Mary and Dean in watching TV.

"Daddy?" She asked and jumped across the two-foot space between the island bench and the sink, ignoring her father's "don't do that, you'll fall" and sat down again. She started swing her legs.

"Yes?" John continued.

"Are you mad?" Erica sounded rueful for even asking it.

"Mad at what, Erica?"

"Me… for not being able to tell you why." She stopped swinging her legs.

John paused and frowned. Looking at his baby girl he said, "Of course not. I'm grateful for that. Besides, if it weren't for you, I'd have a couple of boo-boos right now." He smiled.

"Dad... I'm not a baby. I know that boo-boos mean that you're hurt." She rolled her eyes.

"You still believe in cooties."

"That's 'cause they're real, Daddy." She watched him peel the potatoes and shook her head. "No, no, no! You're doing it wrong."

"I'm peeling potatoes, darlin', how am I doing that wrong?" John said, flabbergasted.

"You're taking too much off. Don't press too hard. Here," she bossed, reaching around his arms and taking the peeler away and a new potato. Erica lightly pushed onto the skin and ran her hand away from her, doing her best not to squish the vegetable. "See? Better, and let spud-wastage."

"Spud-wastage?"

"Uh-huh. It's a serious matter, Dad. Happens too often all over the world!" Like Dean's obsession for pie, Erica loved her potatoes. God knows why, they weren't even Irish.

"I'm sure, kiddo. Now give that back, you wanna eat right?"

~x~

Mary walked into the nursery, Dean attached at her hip, and flicked on the light. John had just put Erica in bed. She said she wasn't feeling too well after dinner and Mary wouldn't cut it. A big Daddy's Girl she was.

"Come on, let's say goodnight to your brother," she said, putting him down.

Dean leaned over the rails of the crib and kissed his brother's forehead twice, one from him and one from Erica. "Night, Sam," he said. Mary did the same and stroked her youngest's head.

"Goodnight, love…" she cooed, just as John walked in.

"Daddy!" Dean said and leapt at his father.

"So whataya say, Dean? Sammy ready to toss a football yet?"

"No, daddy!"

"No?"

"You got him?" Mary asked, heading towards Erica's room.

"Yeah, I got him," he replied, and turned back to Sam. "Sweet dreams, Sammy." He flicked off the light and went to put Dean in bed.

Walking back down the hall to go watch some TV before bed, John heard the back-end of a short conversation between his daughter and wife. Erica sounded worried as her mother seemed sceptical.

"What do you mean 'be careful', sweetie?"

He heard a sigh as he passed her bedroom door. "Please, Momma? I have a bad feeling…"

"Everything is fine, okay? Angels are watching over us." Mary stood to turn and leave. John almost didn't quite catch what his daughter said next.

"I hope so." If Mary heard it, she ignored it and went to bed herself.

"Night, John." She kissed him on the cheek.

"Night, babe." He continued down the hall.

~x~

Everything seemed to happen in a blur.

John woke up to hear a scream. Standing bolt upright, he rushed up the stairs to where he would have sworn he heard Mary scream, TV long forgotten. The overwhelming instinct to protect whom he loved, welled up in John while he inspected the nursery (he didn't even realise that there was another, smaller person hiding behind the rocking chair). Nothing seemed out of place; all the books on the bookshelf were as they were, mobile was spinning slowly, not even the teddies in the corner seemed to have been touched. Maybe he had been imagining things. Too many horror movies before bed…

His attention was turned to his son and he muttered some useless, calming nonsense to Sam. Something dropped down from the roof landing next to Sammy's head. John leant over to touch what had fallen, only to have several more drops drip onto the back of his hand.

John looked up.

"Mary!"

The roof set ablaze right where his wife seemed to be stuck to the ceiling. John stared in horrified shock as his wife was slowly being burnt. He grabbed Sam and ran out of the room, meeting an extremely confused Dean in the hall.

"Dad—"

"Take your brother and run, Dean, and don't look back! Go, Dean, now!" Dean obeyed and ran downstairs as John returned to the nursery to try and save his wife.

No one thought to ask where Erica was.

~x~

JANUARY 1st, 1984

John was on his second glass of Jack, furiously writing in his journal Missouri gave him about two months ago.

'Today a new year begins. Mary loved this time of year; she loved the idea of a fresh start for everyone. She always made a resolution, one a year, and unlike most people, she kept hers. And every year she tried to talk me into making one, but I could never see the point. I wish I could have seen her diary. Maybe it would help me remember her. Maybe it would clue me in to some over her secrets. Maybe that's the point of a diary. Keep your stories, your life, from dying. So that other people don't forget.'

John poured himself another glass and sipped slowly at it this time. He sighed and tried to hold back a barrage of tears. He wasn't drunk enough to deal with these emotions now.

'God I wish the kids could have known Mary for longer.'

John wouldn't have said it unless it was true. He really did want his children to have known their mother longer. Things like this shouldn't happen. Children shouldn't have their parents taken away from them at such a young age.

John's hands tightened around the pen he was holding. He was going to do everything in his power to make things right. He sighed and put his glass to his lips, throwing his head back and swallowing the last of it in one mouthful, and continued writing in his messy scrawl.

'This year I'm making a resolution. I'm going to find out what happened to my wife.'


A/N: And that concludes the prologue. Thanks to the Super-wiki, I spent all day on it for the hell of it and happened to stumble across 'John's Journal' links. This one link led me to the diary entries from right after Mary died. That's where I got the diary entry at the end there.

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