I know that this is far from canon, expect I started it before the whole Campbell storyline came out (which I didn't like that much to begin with). About the only thing that is still canon is the fact that Mary's family were hunters. So, instead of throwing it away and never posting it like I originally planned, I decided to finish it and post it. This follows "The Dark Horse" series storyline. If you've read those stories, you will recognize Ben Seraph. This is the story of how he became the damaged hunter you see in the "The Dark Horse" the story. Don't worry; there is a lot of Mary, John, and, of course, Dean and Sammy. Enjoy!

Title - Dystopia

Summary - There was a nightmare filled with misery, squalor, and monsters. It was a nightmare that Benjamin Seraph couldn't wake up from - a nightmare that his kid sister Mary ran away from with a man named Winchester. It wouldn't be long until the nightmare caught up with her.

Part of "The Dark Horse" series

"Dystopia"

"Chapter One: The Nightmare"

May 5, 1955 (Ben is six, Mary is six months)

It was ten days before Ben's birthday when the nightmare started. He lived on excitement ever since the first of May appeared on the calendar. He counted down the days every night, marking a big red X before he went to bed. The presents were locked up in the closet in Mom and Dad's room. They wouldn't allow him to peek at the bags, gifts, wrapping paper. It was all a surprise.

When the big yellow bus stopped in front of the cheery blue house, Ben ran into the front parlor to hear his mother on the phone with Uncle Doug. He vaguely caught several words - 'cake', 'Sunday', 'don't forget'. He knew his birthday would fall on a Sunday that year, knew that there was going to be a party. Skipping into the living room, he leaned into the playpen to kiss his little sister on top of her tuff of blonde hair.

At first, he hated being a big brother, hated that Mary was the baby and got all the attention. When she was first born, he called her names such as 'it', 'baby', 'her'. He never called her Mary until the first of May because Mom and Dad were talking about his birthday and him all the time to prepare for his big day. He was no longer second to Mary, so he could accept her into the fold of his life.

Except, that night, when he kissed Mary goodnight, his dad ruffled his hair, and his mom tucked him into bed with a story, he knew something wasn't right. His mom was tense, nervous, upset. He didn't understand why. When he asked, she said it was nothing with a fake smile. He told her not to be sad because he was turning seven in ten days, told her he would still be her baby boy. She laughed, kissed him on the forehead, and wished him sweet dreams.

He didn't know exactly what woke him up that night, but he woke up and kicked off the thin covers. That's when he heard a scream that sounded eerily like his mother. He jumped out of bed and ran out of his room. His legs guided him to the nursery across the hall because there was a dark figure in the room. The figure turned around and peered at him with vibrant yellow eyes. The figure brought a finger to his lips, made a shushing noise before turning back his attention to little Mary-Mary-Quite-Contrary - the pet name Ben's mom always called his little sister.

That's when Ben's father rounded the corner and practically pushed his son to the floor. Barreling into the room, he searched frantically around the nursery. Ben stood up and walked inside the room after his father - the man was gone. He saw the blood before his father did. A blotch of it shone brightly next to Mary's pale skin and hair. His dad must have seen it too, because he looked up and screamed louder than Ben thought was possible. Ben wished he never looked up, wished he never saw his mother pinned to the ceiling looking like something out of a nightmare.

Ben sort of thought he was dreaming - knew he must have been because there was no way that this could have been real. Except, a tiny bundle of pink and blonde was shoved into his arms and knocked him out of whatever dreamland he was in.

"Ben, take your sister outside as fast as you can! Now, go!"

Never in his life had Ben run so fast. His legs wobbled underneath him, guiding him to the front door unconsciously. He took the steps slowly so he wouldn't drop Mary because Mommy and Daddy would be mad at him and perhaps cancel his birthday party. The weight in his arms was becoming heavy as he reached the parlor. The door swung open magically and the dewy grass tickled his bare feet.

And he stood there in the middle of the lawn looking up at his house. He waited for Mom and Dad to come out of the house, waited for them to tell him it was time to wake up. But there was an explosion instead of his parents smiling faces. The explosion knocked Ben backwards, his arms tightening around Mary, as he fell onto his bum.

The fire engulfed the house, and Ben knew that he was dreaming. Mary squirmed in his arms, her wails made Ben's ears hurt. Then there were neighbors everywhere screaming. Old, little Mrs. Devonshire bent down next to him and whispered words that Ben didn't really comprehend. All Ben could think about was how much he wanted to wake up.

Wrapped up in a warm blanket and situated at Mrs. Devonshire's kitchen table with some milk and cookies, Ben closed his eyes tightly and tried to wake up. He couldn't understand why he couldn't snap out of his dream. There was a knock at the front door, and Ben panicked. He ran into the living room where Mary was curled up and lying on a big, comfy chair sleeping. He grabbed her and held her close to his chest as a strange man bent down so they were eye-to-eye.

The strange man was dressed like a fireman with soot and ash painted across his bleak face. The man introduced himself as Charlie and asked for his grandparent's number. He told him that he didn't have any grandparents. Charlie then asked for an aunt or an uncle's phone number. Ben said he didn't know Uncle Doug's number. When asked for Uncle Doug's last name, Ben shrugged because he was just Uncle Doug - just like Mom was Mom and Dad was Dad.

Ben didn't know when he fell asleep, but he could tell when he woke up. It was a little past seven in the morning because the big hand was on the seven and the little hand was almost at the one. Except, Ben didn't understand why he was next door and not in his bedroom. He had finally woken up from the nightmare and Mommy and Daddy were waiting for him next door. It didn't make any sense until Uncle Doug came when the big hand was on the nine.

Uncle Doug held Ben in one arm and Mary in the other. They left the house much to Mrs. Devonshire's protests. When the warm May air brushed against Ben's face, he smiled until he saw his house was black and in shambles. Ben decided that he hadn't woken up from the nightmare yet.

Ben didn't wake up from the nightmare in the next two days either. Uncle Doug was planning Mom and Dad's funeral, and Ben didn't go to school. He just sat with Mary all day and all night and tried to recall the rhyme that Mom always sung to Mary - all he could remember was "Mary, Mary, quite, contrary". Therefore, Ben sung the only rhyme he knew backwards and forwards - his rhyme.

"Hickory Bickory Big Ben, the mouse ran up the clock. The clock struck one, the mouse ran down. Hickory Bickory Big Ben."

Then one day, Ben was dressed in a crisp black suit. He stood next to Uncle Doug when empty caskets were lowered into the earth. It was raining that day, and the rain trickled down Uncle Doug's face. It had to have been rain because Uncle Doug never cried since he was a big boy and big boys don't cry. Ben wasn't a big boy that day.

Ben dreamed of the man with yellow eyes for days, dreamed of his mother pinned to the ceiling, dreamed of the blood spot next to Mary's head. He would wake up screaming, and he hoped that one day he would wake up from the nightmare. It never happened.

One day, it was Ben's birthday. His uncle bought a cake from the corner store and gave him a toy truck. Ben didn't want the cake or the truck. He wanted his mommy and daddy. So, when he blew out the birthday candles on the store bought cake, he wished to wake up from his nightmare. When he woke up the next morning to find himself still in Uncle Doug's apartment, that's when he decided to tell his uncle what happened that night. Maybe Uncle Doug could wake him up.

He went into a detailed story about the man with yellow eyes who shushed him, told him about Mommy on the ceiling, told him about the blood, told him how Daddy gave him Mary, told him how the front door opened by magic, how the explosion knocked him backwards but he held Mary close like the good big brother he was.

"Fuck," was the only response out of Uncle Doug's mouth.

August 17, 1955 (Ben is seven, Mary is eight months)

Uncle Doug sat Ben down one day. He said that monsters and ghosts were real and something supernatural killed Mom and Dad. That day, Ben slipped so far into his nightmare that he knew he'd never wake up. All of the new things that Uncle Doug bought for him and Mary were stuffed in suitcases. The suitcases were then squished in the back of his father's pick-up truck with Mary stashed away in a car seat to keep the things company. Ben sat in the passenger's seat, and Uncle Doug told him to say goodbye to Tulsa forever.

January 15, 1956 (Ben is seven, Mary is one)

Ben could remember the first time his uncle left the house to go hunting. There was a blizzard outside and Mary had just begun walking clumsily days before. Uncle Doug sat Ben down on the bed of the rundown apartment and gave him instructions to keep safe.

"Don't answer the door. Don't answer the phone. Don't let anyone know you and Mary are here by yourselves. Take care of your sister. Take care of yourself. I'll be back in a few days. There's enough food to tide you over until then. Be good, Ben."

Then he just left. Ben had never been so scared in his life. What if the man with the yellow eyes came back? What if he couldn't protect Mary? What if something happened? Pushing the thoughts to the back of his mind, Ben went into the living room and watched as Mary wobbled from the chair to the couch.

May 15, 1956 (Ben is eight, Mary is one)

When Ben realizes his parents had been dead for a whole year, he felt like it had been decades and not merely a year. Uncle Doug had been training Ben to shoot a gun, wield a knife, speak Latin, and to barricade openings of the cheap motel rooms with salt. Ben was home schooled which was just fine with him. He practically begged his uncle not to send him to school. He hated school now, hated people, hated everything. All that mattered was protecting Mary from the figure with the yellow eyes.

Mary was walking and babbling and finding trouble within the year. She called her brother 'Enny and their uncle Ooog. She drooled a lot and put everything in her mouth. It was sort of disgusting, but Ben loved her anyways because she was all he had left basically. Sure, there was Uncle Doug, but he hadn't been that involved in their lives before the fire. He was the sort of uncle who came on holidays and birthdays with gifts and magic tricks. The Uncle Doug from before the fire had died too, since his uncle now was serious with no deep belly chuckles and goofy grins. Uncle Doug had never been serious before but rather jolly and smiley all the time.

Ben went up to his uncle and told him he didn't want a birthday cake or any presents that year. Uncle Doug just nodded and said, "All right" because that's what he always said nowadays. When the fifteenth of May rolled around, there was no cake. There was a small present wrapped in newspaper at the foot of his bed though. Ben pulled the paper off to find a new, shiny gun. The piece was heavy in his hands just like all the other ones, but he loved this one most of all because it had B. Seraph engraved in the silver. The gun was his and no man with yellow eyes or fire was going to take it from him.

That night, with the gun tucked under his pillow and Mary's blonde curls sprawled across his chest, Ben vowed that he would protect his little sister from the nightmare.

December 5, 1957 (Ben is nine, Mary is three)

Mary was a bouncing, loud ball of energy and light. She never stopped smiling, never stopped talking, never stopped moving. Ben had to chase his sister around rundown motel rooms or crappy apartments every night at nine just to give her a bath and put her to bed. She hated bath time and bedtime. She would rather just run around crazy until she passed out from exhaustion and would expect her big brother to carry her off to bed. Most nights, that's what Ben allowed her to do. Except when Uncle Ben was home, he followed the usual schedule to the letter.

On Mary's birthday, she was five times worse. She pouted, stubbornly standing her ground by saying she was three and could do what she wanted. It had gotten so bad that Uncle Doug just snapped. He grabbed Mary by the shoulders and shook her, his face mere inches from hers, and yelled. Ben just stood there and watched the tears roll down Mary's red face.

Then, when he was done yelling at Mary, Uncle Doug stood up straight and grabbed his beer bottle from the shabby coffee table. He sunk down into the broken and stained couch. Propping his feet up, he grabbed his journal and began to scratch his pen against the paper in deep concentration.

Mary sniffed loudly and held her hand out to her big brother. Ben took the sticky hand into his instantly and quietly led her into the bathroom. He drew her bath, making sure the water wasn't too hot or too cold before helping her out of her ratty dress. Usually, Ben sat with his back against the bathroom door and watched her play, made sure she didn't drown. That day, however, Ben grabbed a rubber ducky and attempted to get his sister to engage in some sort of game. Mary didn't want to play, didn't acknowledge what little bath toys they had.

Once she was dry and in too small pajamas, Ben carried his sister into the bedroom they were sharing. Her arms were wrapped tightly around his neck, her ankles locked together around his waist. Baby shampoo invaded Ben's senses as Mary's curly locks of blonde brushed against his face.

They were situated on the queen-sized bed buried under covers. Mary's head lay peacefully on Ben's chest, her hand clenching her brother's too big t-shirt. Mary was still and quiet. Ben thought she had drifted off to sleep until he felt wetness through his shirt. Reaching out a hand, he brushed his sister's hair away from her face.

"Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow? With silver bells and cockle shells, and pretty maids all in a row," Ben whispered into the quiet room.

Earlier that year, Ben had been enrolled into school for the first time since his parents died. That September, on the first day of classes, he asked his teacher how the nursery rhyme went and memorized it. Whenever Mary was upset, he would recite the rhyme his mother had said so many times in the past.

"Benny?" her voice squeaked.

"Yeah, Mere?"

"Love you," she squeaked again as she wrapped her arms around her big brother in an awkward hug.

"You're such a dork, Mary," Ben replied affectionately with a smile dancing on her face.

The little girl jerked her head up, a frown etched in her lips and eyebrows. Nobody could pout like Mary could, and Ben just chuckled. He brushed a stray tear off his sister's face with his thump before patting her curly head.

"Me too, Dorky McDorkison."

"Meanie," she huffed.

Ben rolled his eyes. Grabbing his sister by the arm, he lightly tugged her down onto the mattress next to him. His arm snaked under her small frame and pulled her close to his chest. Her head rested lazily on his shoulder.

"Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was white as snow; and everywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go…"

February 24, 1958 (Ben is ten, Mary is four)

It started out like any other day when Ben and Mary were alone. Ben would make his sister and him their meals of the day, play with his sister, double check the salt lines and such. Except, that night when he put Mary to bed, the unthinkable happened. The thing that Ben was dreading most came alive.

There was a noise from the living room, almost a banging sound. Ben was sure he did the salt lines without any spaces visible. Maybe he had missed a window. Maybe… it was something that could step over salt.

Ben sat up in bed, Mary's head lolling off his chest and onto the mattress. Reaching underneath his pillow, he pulled out his gun with his name engraved in the handle. Quietly, he got out of bed and made his way out of the bedroom with the gun pointed in front of him.

Rounding the corner into the living room, his breath hitched in his throat. Crouching on the dinning room table was a creature eating the leftover dinner that Ben did not throw away. The creature was hairy and devouring the scraps. Then, it stopped. It lifted its head and sniffed the air around it. It turned its head and looked right at Ben.

It looked half human with piercing yellow eyes and bared teeth. Ben wanted to scream. Yellow eyes. Yellow eyes. Mary. The monster leapt off the dinning room table and directly at Ben. All Ben could do was fire his gun until the whole round was plummeted into the creature. The shots all landed in the creature's chest. It fell to the ground around the eighth or ninth round. Ben inched forward and looked down at the creature. Except, it wasn't a creature. It was a human man. The eyes weren't yellow and there were no baring teeth. Ben felt sick to his stomach.

Mary ran out of the bedroom, tears running down her face and shaking like a leaf. She was screaming bloody murder looking between the dead body and her big brother. It wasn't before long that the cops showed up. They sat the Seraph children on the ratty, old couch and started asking questions.

"I-I heard a noise and I grabbed my uncle's gun and just started shooting," Ben whispered as he watched another policeman looking at the body. "I didn't know what to do!"

"You live with your uncle?" Ben nodded as he pulled Mary closer to his chest. "Where is he?"

Ben didn't know what to say. He couldn't tell the police that their uncle was off hunting something supernatural. They would take him and Mary away from their uncle, place them in separate foster homes and he'd never see his little sister again. Instead of saying anything, Ben just started to cry. He couldn't think of what else to do.

As though on cue, Uncle Doug came barreling into the living room. He scanned the scene and then rushed to his niece and nephew and pulled them into a bear hug.

"Are you okay? What happened?"

"Excuse me, can you tell me where you've been?" the police officer asked.

"I put them to bed and then went out to get some groceries. I never thought…" Uncle Doug let go of Ben and Mary. "What happened?"

"Looks like someone broke in. Your nephew grabbed your gun and started shooting."

"If there's no further questions, I think I am going to get the kids outta here. Take them to the nearest motel and get some rest."

The officer looked at the children and then up at Uncle Doug. He nodded his head but asked which motel they were going to and not to leave town. They were all going to talk about what happened in the morning.

Instead of going to the next motel, Uncle Doug skipped town. In fact, they crossed state lines by the morning.

"The man had yellow eyes," Ben said the next morning as Mary slept next to him.

"It was a werewolf."

"A werewolf killed my parents?"

"No," Uncle Doug sighed, "a werewolf did not kill your parents. There are more things out there with yellow eyes than just werewolves."

"What do you think it was that killed my parents then?"

"I don't know."

Ben didn't ask any more questions.

May 5, 1964 (Ben is fifteen, Mary is ten)

Uncle Doug had been gone for nearly two weeks and Ben was reaching his breaking point. He had to pick up some crap job at the local mini-mart just to buy food for him and Mary. When he wasn't at his shitty job, he was trying to find all the pool halls in the area so that he could hustle for money. One night, a tough biker-boy he'd ripped off two nights previous found him and beat him to a bloody pulp. It was unfair considering his three buddies held Ben against the dingy wall of the bar while the guy's fist pounded all over his body. Ben barely made it back to the shithole apartment before collapsing at the kitchen table with alcohol. The alcohol burned his throat as he chugged down the small collection his uncle had left.

Mary wandered into the kitchen in one of Ben's old t-shirts and holey socks. Her bottom lip was secure between her teeth and her long, curly hair was pulled back in a tomboy ponytail. Worry was set in her huge green eyes as she took a tentative step towards her brother.

"Benny? What happened?"

If Ben had been the least bit sober, he would have pulled the kid into a hug and told her everything was fine before throwing her over his shoulder and carrying her back to bed with her squealing in delight. If Ben hadn't been two freakin' sheets to the wind, he would never have said any of the shit he said to Mary. He wouldn't have made his baby sister cry or made her think he hated her guts.

"You, Mary, you're what happened!" he slurred.

"Benny?"

"You fuckin' killed 'em, Mere. It's your fault we're here with Doug and not Mom and Dad. He was after you and not them!"

Mary took a tentative step backwards, tears brimmed her eyes. Her head shook, her curly ponytail bouncing from side to side. She was trying so hard not to cry, to cast off the words of drunken slurs. Except, it was her big brother Benny in front of her telling her these painful words. Ben would regret that night for the rest of his life.

"He came to your room that night, you know?" Ben snapped as he stood up with the bottle of vodka dangling loosely from his fingers at his side. "Mom went in to protect you and it only got her killed. You just kill everyone, don't you, Mere?"

"Benny…" she whined as she backed up into the nearest wall. "Benny…"

"Mom and Dad wouldn't have died if it weren't for you. I wouldn't have to get shit jobs and get fuckin' messed up at pool halls if it weren't for you."

That's when Mary dashed out of the room, slammed shut the door to their bedroom, and bolted the lock. Ben drowned himself in alcohol until he passed out on the floor. He remembered getting cold and clammy. He remembered his breathing slowing. He didn't know exactly what happened after that, but he assumed Mary heard the ruckus he created when he lost consciousness. The next thing he knew, Ben woke up to the sound of beeping and the stale sterile smell of a hospital.

"You're lucky," Doug's voice drawled.

Turning his head to the right, Ben saw his uncle sitting in an uncomfortable hospital chair next to his bed. All he could think about was Mary and where she was. The haunting words that he said to her in a harsh, clip tone vibrated in his fuzzy mind.

"Is Mary okay?"

"I dunno, Ben, you tell me," snapped Doug. "I come home to find her sobbing over her brother's unconscious body and now she doesn't even want to see you."

Ben kept his mouth shut because he really had nothing to say. How could he tell his uncle that he had hurt his little sister so badly just because he was drunk?

"I trusted you. I trusted you to watch my back on a hunt. I trusted you to keep an eye on your sister. I trusted you to be responsible. What do I get for trusting you, Benjamin? A drunken fifteen-year-old nephew who got in one hell of a fight and hurt his kid sister. What the fuck is the matter with you?"

The words I'm sorry were on the tip of Ben's tongue, but he couldn't get them out. It seemed pointless. The damage was done, and Ben had to live with it.

"Good thing Mary knew CPR and called 911 because you would have been dead if she hadn't." Doug cleared his throat. "How can I ever trust you again? I'm out there risking my life fighting off things that are made in nightmares and you're off partying and fighting. What about Mary? You really think your parents would want you to care for her like this?"

"We didn't have any money left. I haven't been in school in a week because I've been pulling double shifts at some crap mini mart just so I can buy food for Mary!" said Ben in desperation. "I went to the pool halls to get some quick cash, and I got jumped by this guy and his biker buddies because I hustled them! I… what do you want me to say, Uncle Doug? I already feel like a jackass for hurting Mary, but you should have been there!"

That night, when visiting hours were long over with, Doug smuggled Ben out of the hospital. The truck was parked in the ambulance lane. Doug climbed into the driver's seat and started the engine while Ben climbed in the passenger's seat. Looking down, he saw Mary sitting in the middle of the bench seat looking anywhere but at her big brother. Reaching out a hand, he rested it carefully on Mary's shoulder.

"I'm sorry," he whispered as they pulled out of the hospital and onto the open road. "I love you, Mary, and I didn't mean anything I said. I was drunk."

Tears spilled down Mary's pale face. Her whole body tensed as she tried to push back the sobs that were building up in her throat. When she didn't move or say anything, Ben snaked his arm around her shoulders and pulled his kid sister close to his chest. She shrunk next to him, her tears soaking Ben's thin t-shirt.

"Where we off to now?" questioned Ben to bring some sort of normalcy back to their dysfunctional family.

Doug just shook his head without looking at his nephew or niece. Instead of answering the question, Doug reached down to turn on the radio to full blast so that the folk music would drown out everything. Ben couldn't complain because he was glad that the tune drowned out Mary's soft sobs.

May 15, 1964 (Ben is sixteen, Mary is ten)

Ever since the alcohol incident, Mary hadn't talked much. She'd lock herself up in her room and stay there all day. Ben let her do that. He slept on the couch and spent his time researching in order to gain Doug's trust again. He pretty much healed up all right after his fight. The black eye was nearly gone, the bruises fading into an ugly yellow color, and the cuts on his face were scabbed over.

"Hey, Birthday Boy, why don't you get your lazy ass off the sofa for a day, huh?"

Ben looked up from his mountain of newspapers to see his uncle standing several feet away. A bottle of beer dangled from his fingertips and a pack of cigarettes peeked out from his flannel shirt. Man, could Ben kill for a cigarette right now. Doug never knew of his habit and the guy hadn't left the sight of his relatives since the alcohol incident.

"I've been researching," replied Ben.

"More like wasting space."

The words stung a bit, but Ben pushed them to the back of his mind. What was Ben supposed to do besides research? Usually, he'd take Mary out to have some fun at the local mall or to get ice cream or something. Except, his kid sister wasn't talking to him and his uncle thought he was an abomination.

"That's great, Uncle Doug," muttered Ben.

"Excuse me?"

"I said, 'That's great.' Meaning the way you treat your nephew and niece."

"Oh, that's rich coming from you, Ben. How about the way you treat your own sister?"

"Well, I guess I learned my alcoholism from you," he bit back bitterly.

Doug was in front of him in a matter of seconds. He grabbed his nephew by the front of his shirt and lifted him up from the couch. He swung him around with all his might and rammed him into the nearest wall. Ben grunted and clawed feebly at his uncle's hands.

"Lemme go!"

"You listen to me, you ungrateful piece of shit, I have had it up to here with your teenage defiant, rebellion act. Get your act together and stop being such an ungrateful little asshole. You're a hunter. You have a responsibility. Start acting like you have responsibilities!"

Doug pushed him against the wall one last time for good measure before letting go. Ben gulped down a lump in his throat. His eyes wandered from his uncle to his kid sister standing in the doorway. Her eyes were as wide as saucers and her lip quivered. Ben looked away from her. He couldn't stand to see her look at him so sadly. Instead he looked up at his uncle and nodded. He had responsibilities.

September 1, 1965 (Ben is seventeen, Mary is eleven)

It was the first day back to school in some new district in Minnesota. Ben decided he had enough education and he wasn't going back. While Mary was at school, he'd get a part time job and do research for his uncle. It was the responsible thing to do.

The past year had been rough. Ben had straightened out his act. He stopped drinking and stopped sneaking into bars to hustle pool. He didn't give up smoking, however, because the nicotine would ease some of the tension in his shoulders. Doug had failed to lay a hand on him again. In fact, they pretended that little incident never happened. Doug was just stressed and had been drinking. He didn't mean to take it out on Ben. As for Mary… well, things were getting better between them slowly. They weren't close like they used to be but she would tell him about her day and they would hang out. She seemed to have forgiven him for the most part.

Doug was a few towns over hunting a poltergeist while Ben did some research on a vampire nest an hour drive from their crummy apartment. He made charts and mapped out the attacks. He went to the library and researched the area. He cut out the newspaper articles and put them in a little scrapbook and doodled down his notes next to the pictures.

When Doug came home two days later, Ben showed his uncle his work. For the first time that Ben could remember, his uncle actually looked proud of him. He ruffled his nephew's hair and said, "Good work." Then, he asked if he wanted to join in on the hunt.

Ben had been hunting before but mostly just pesky salt and burns, some low level stuff. Never had he went on a vampire hunt before. For the first time in his life, Ben felt like a real hunter.

November 21, 1970 (Ben is twenty-two, Mary is sixteen)

Doug wanted a new car. He had been driving around his brother-in-law's old 1950's cherry Chevy truck. He was ready for an upgrade so that he could add an upgraded weapon's cache and have a more reliable vehicle. He offered the Chevy to Ben first. He turned it down. He didn't want his father's truck, because, frankly, the old hunk of junk brought back bittersweet memories. He hated that truck. It reminded him of when things were good in his life, when he was happy with his mom, dad, and baby sister.

"Can I have it?" asked Mary with a smile.

"Sure," Doug said while he tossed her the keys. "Want to take me to a car dealership?"

Mary squealed in delight, the biggest smile planted on her face. If she continued to smile so widely, Ben was sure it'd fall off. She ran into her bedroom and grabbed her purse. Then, she zoomed outside and waited in the truck for her uncle.

Doug chuckled as he heard the horn beep for him to hurry up. Ben laughed. He was glad to see Mary so happy. Little did he know, giving her that truck was the worst thing Doug ever did.

May 1, 1973 (Ben is twenty-four, Mary is eighteen)

Ben was worried. Mary was supposed to meet Doug and him in Topeka two days ago. She was a no show. She had stayed behind in the last town so she could get her high school diploma. She arranged to take her finals early. He never understood why a damn piece of paper meant so much to her. Therefore, Doug and Ben went to the next hunt and Mary was supposed to meet up with them on April 29. She was a no show.

Sitting in the motel room going over the case file, the phone to the room rang. Ben picked it up. It was the front desk saying that they were going to wire a call to his room. Ben's heart pounded in his chest. Maybe Mary was hurt? Maybe she was dead.

"Benny?"

"Thank God, Mary, where the hell have you been?"

"My truck broke down in Lawrence, Kansas. I am getting it fixed."

"You couldn't have called sooner, huh?"

"I'm sorry. Remember the lake creature in Valparaiso, Indiana about a year ago? Well, I met this guy at a bar where I was gonna hustle some pool. He was so charming and so sweet. We connected instantly. He was leaving the next day to open his own auto repair shop and we were leaving town to start the shifter case a few counties over while Uncle Doug finished the lake creature. Remember?"

"Yeah, Mere, I remember. What does this have to do with Lawrence?"

Ben did not have a good feeling about what she was going to saw next. He knew she met up with the guy again. He feared for the worst.

"Well, so I break down on the highway right next to the Lawrence exit. So, I walk to the nearest repair shop to get a tow truck. Who do I see? The guy from Valparaiso! It was fate, Ben!"

"Yeah, sounds like fate, Mere."

"So, I was thinking, who am I to tempt fate? I went out on a date with him, and I've actually been staying at his place."

"You're staying at his place? Who the hell is this guy?"

"His name is John. John Winchester. Ben, I think he's the one. It was like love at first sight. It was creepy and weird. I never believed in that crap before but… I wanna get to know him. I wanna stay in Lawrence and date him to see if anything comes of it."

"Are you shitting me? Mary, you're a hunter! Doug and I are waiting for you!"

"Go on without me. I'm gonna hang out in Lawrence."

"Mary, this is ridiculous. You don't even know this guy! This is the stupidest thing you've ever done!"

"Look, Ben, I'm eighteen. I'm gonna be nineteen at the end of the year. I don't want to be a hunter. I want to get married, have kids, have a house! I want a job that pays decent. I can't do that as a hunter. If things don't work out with John, I'll come back and hunt with you until I find a new guy to try to have that happily ever after with."

Ben felt a lump form in his throat. He was losing Mary to some asshole named Winchester. How could she do this to him? To Doug?

"Benny, please, understand. I love you. You're my big brother. You should want a better life for me than hunting."

Ben couldn't hear anymore. He slammed the phone down on the receiver. Tears burned his eyes but he refused to let them fall. Doug looked up from his place at the desk.

"Mary's in Lawrence. She met a guy. She's staying."

"It won't last. She's a hunter. She'll come back. There's only so much domestic bliss someone like us can put up with."

Ben nodded but he didn't believe it. Mary was gone. She never was like Ben or Doug. She was all about school and hated hunting. She was all about romance and not monsters. Ben was just afraid that she would die without him watching over her.

Author's Notes: Here's the first chapter of the story! Please, leave a review and let me know if you want me to continue! Thanks!