"Chapter Two: Itsy Bitsy Spider"
February 23, 1983 (Ben is 35, Mary is 29)
He didn't know what possessed him to stand outside of Mary's white-picket fence, apple pie life of a house. Doug was out hunting a shifter several counties over, and Ben was supposed to be hustling for a weapons upgrade. They'd been hunting for a legendary tale of a gun made by Samuel Colt back when fighting at the Alamo was big. Doug knew of a demon that liked fire, started tracking the damn thing through electrical storms and shit like that. If Ben was being honest with himself, he'd admit that he wanted to find that fire-starting demon more than anything else in the world. Instead, he tried to deny it so that he didn't set himself up for disappointment. A demon couldn't be killed which was bullshit.
Before Ben could leave the front porch, Mary yanked the door open with a small boy perched on her hip. A whale of a belly stretched the knit fabric of her shirt. Her wild blonde hair was twisted back in a messy bun, and her face was practically glowing with domestic bliss. The little boy attached to her side was a cute kid with an array of freckles splattered across his cheeks and nose. Wide green orbs stared up at him and his little pout of a mouth was twisting up in a laugh.
"Benny?" breathed Mary.
The little monster in his kid sister's arms squirmed and twisted until he was comfortable with his blonde head resting on her shoulder. Brand new trainers clad his feet as they lightly tapped against Mary's protruding belly. The smile still danced on his face, his fair hair plastered against his forehead as though he just finished running amuck in the house.
"Knocked up again, Sis?" was all Ben could manage to say with a smirk.
It was the last thing he wanted to say to his sister. He wished to hell he could blame her for all the shit that had been happening lately, blame her for the pissy mood that Doug had been in since she left. Except, Ben didn't have it in him to berate his sister because she went out and made a life for herself. He knew the four-letter sentence would be seen as a jeer, a jab at her life.
"What do you want?" her voice lowered and a frown etched itself in her eyebrows.
"I came lookin' for a beer, but I bet you don't have any with a little rugrat running around. I'm sure he's already a stud with the ladies though. He does have Seraph blood in him."
Mary wasn't amused, and Ben could tell he was just digging a hole too deep to get out of. He hadn't seen his sister in years; and the last time he did, he tried to beat her husband to a bloody pulp. Who knew the guy knew how to fight back? He was a pretty boy through and through.
"What do you want, Ben?"
"World peace and a pony," he answered with the same shit-eating grin before he could stop himself.
The door slowly started to shut, but Ben jammed his foot in the space to stop it from closing all the way. He hadn't come to Lawrence to fuck around with Mary. He didn't know exactly why he came. Perhaps he just missed his kid sister, missed her laugh and jokes. It was so serious with Doug with no joking or bickering. They just hunted, drank, and pulled cons.
"You really gonna throw me out of your house?"
Opening the door again, Mary stepped aside to let her brother inside. The house wasn't what he really expected to see. There were pictures, rugs, knick-knacks, nice furniture, and toys everywhere. The kid slid out of his mother's arms, and he went straight for the collection of matchbox cars. Vroom noises escaped his lips as he crawled around with a black car in hand. Mary smiled knowingly as she motioned for Ben to follow her in the other room.
The kitchen looked as though it were merely for show. It was spotless and seemed as though nobody had cooked in it before. That wasn't surprising seeing as Mary couldn't boil water without burning it. He figured that Winchester guy didn't seem like he was into cooking either. He seemed more of a football and TV sort of guy. Although, he had only met the guy on one occasion before. Once, was enough though. He was all macho talking and had an ugly smirk.
"Nice house," commented Ben as they sat down at the kitchen table. "Very… homey."
"Beats living in crappy motel rooms and rat-infested apartments," Mary replied dryly.
The place reeked of domesticated bliss, looked like something out of a Pottery Barn catalogue, and sounded like something out of those cheesy 1950's perfect family shows such as 'Father Knows Best'. The distant noises of Dean carried into the kitchen as he made a loud BOOM! sound to indicate his cars have most likely crashed.
"Where's Uncle Doug?"
"He's out in Emporia taking care of a shifter. Sonofabitch is one twisted fellow on a killin' spree."
"Why aren't you with him then?"
"I'm thirty-five, Mere, I don't need Doug to hold my hand anymore."
Mary sighed as her hand found its way to the back of her neck. Massaging the muscles briefly, silence fell between the two siblings. Dean had grown quiet in the other room. He was shifting through cars as the plastic clanked together.
"It just seems like you never go anywhere without him."
"I do too," Ben snapped. "I go on hunts by myself, you know. I even have my own car - had since I was twenty-seven. Oh, but wait, you wouldn't know that since you were long gone by then with Winchester."
"He's my husband, Ben, and I won't have you talking ill of him here."
"Well, excuse me, Mother Theresa, for having my own opinion."
"I think it's best if you just leave."
Ben cleared his throat, the real reason he visited his sister was on the tip of his tongue. She'd hate him for bringing up hunting, hate him if he told her about his and Doug's suspicions. He had to though, had to make sure she was prepared for what may or may not happen.
"It was a demon," he blurted out. "A demon killed Mom and Dad."
Mary looked like she'd swallowed a lemon. There was that look on her face, the guilty look when she had done something that Ben told her specifically not to do when they were younger. That scared Ben more than he was willing to admit.
"Benny," she said with a sad smile, "you don't think… have you ever seen a demon with yellow eyes before?"
"What the fuck are you talking about, Mere?"
"I've been… something happened to me several years back. Now, I'm having these dreams about a man with yellow eyes telling me to do things… awful things, Ben."
"So you didn't think about picking up a phone and callin'?"
It felt like Ben had been stabbed in the gut with a rusty knife. For years, he always thought that Mary was smart and protecting herself. He always assumed she was on the lookout, putting up protection, the whole shebang. Then, he found out that she had been experiencing something supernatural and hadn't come to him or Doug?
"So you wanted me to just, what? Call random motel rooms until I found you?"
Fuck, she was right. He hated to admit it because his blood was boiling with fury that this demon might attack his sister, but he couldn't expect Mary to keep in contact with them. They should have kept in contact with her beyond stupid postcards. It was Ben's fault. He was pissed off at John Winchester for taking away his baby sister, bitter at his uncle for not stopping her from leaving.
"Mary… tell me what you know."
And she told him. She told him everything until Ben was too numb to even move and too shocked to say anything intelligent. He wanted to grab Mary and his nephew so that they could head for the hills and hide. The need to protect his kid sister had never been so intense since he had carried her out of their burning house when he was six and she just a baby. Mary was his responsibility.
"Pack a bag, grab the kid, and let's get the hell out of dodge."
Hideouts, backwoods cabins, churches all flooded through his head. Where would be the best place to take her and Dean? They could stock up on munitions and try to shoot the demons down by blowing off its legs or something. He didn't know and it really didn't matter. He just knew he had to save his sister, her unborn child, and his nephew.
"We gotta go!" shouted Ben harsher than he wanted to.
"Wh-what about John?"
"Fuck John, Mary!"
As soon as the words escaped his lips, he knew that he had stepped on the wrong nerve. Her green eyes blazed with fury. She stood up so fast that her chair she was sitting in collided with the polished floor with a loud clank!
"Get out, Ben! I can take care of my family and myself! I'm not just going to haul ass out of Lawrence without my husband because you think that some demon is gonna come after me! So you can-"
Mary's eyes weren't blazing anymore. Her gaze was focused on something beyond Ben. Turning around slowly, Ben spotted his small nephew looking up at the two fighting adults with tears in his eyes and the smallest dog imaginable cradled in his arms.
"Dean, Sweetie, why don't you take Snowball and go play?" urged Mary in a sweet tone.
"Mommy?" Dean questioned with his feet rooted into the tiled floor.
"It's alright. Mommy and… her friend are just having a nice conversation, okay, Sweetheart?" Mary said soothingly as she walked over towards her toddler. "Everything is alright. Come here, Baby."
Mary cradled the boy and the damn mutt close to her protruding belly and chest. She whispered comforting words that Ben couldn't make out into his ear. It was surreal to see his little sister not so little anymore. She was this mother who knew how to calm kids down and had some cute dog. She had everything that she had always wanted growing up. The yearning for a normal life, to own a house, to stay in one place for longer than a couple months… it was all hers now and Ben was trying to pry her away from the American Dream.
"Ben, please, just go," whispered Mary. "You're scaring Dean."
He looked at the small boy in his sister's arms. The kid had tear tracks down his freckled cheeks and soft sobs escaped his lips. Ben wanted to just hold the kid, give him a hug and say that everything was all right because all he wanted in the world was to protect Dean and Mary. He wanted to tell Dean that he was his uncle who loved him so much that it hurt.
"Be careful, Mary. Do whatever you have to do, you got that, Kiddo?"
Mary nodded briefly before planting a kiss onto Dean's golden locks. Turning her head to look at her big brother, Mary rested her cheek on her son's head. They both looked at Ben with wide green eyes and innocent faces. Ben didn't know what to do, so he left. He left his sister in the perfect apple pie lifestyle when he knew with every fiber of his being that he shouldn't leave. Climbing into his old truck, Ben twisted the key in the ignition and drove away from his family.
November 11, 1983 (Ben is 36)
When Ben heard the news, he felt like he was trapped in a nightmare. He was in Des Moines, Iowa at The Saltbox. It was a bar that Ben and Doug always stopped by whenever they were in town. The owner was a hunter and had a knack for gathering information. After the whole fiasco at Mary's, Doug asked hunters to keep an eye out on Lawrence. When they walked into the bar late at night in November, Burke Draper had pulled the uncle and nephew into the back room. Draper gave them a newspaper from Lawrence, and that's when the world as Ben knew it died.
They immediately hopped into Ben's truck and didn't stop driving until they reached Lawrence. Ben drove straight to Mary's house. The second story was destroyed, the white paint was covered in ash and soot, the perfect home was gone. The biggest kick in the gut was Mary. She had been so stubborn, so certain that she could protect her family, and she was dead. She'd burned up in her fancy new home just like their parents had once upon a time thirty years before.
"I know where they are," whispered Doug.
Ben turned towards his uncle. He was barely visible through tears of anguish and grief. Everything seemed like one huge blur. His uncle had somehow managed to get him in the passenger's seat and they were off driving down the quaint roads of Lawrence until they were parked outside a picture perfect blue home.
His uncle was in the house for what seemed like hours. Time dragged on and Ben was slowly going mad. His baby sister, the ray of sunshine in their dark and twisted world, was most likely murdered by the same thing that killed Richard and Molly Seraph. Looking up at the house, in the front window, sat a familiar little boy with a frown etched onto his freckled face. Ben watched at his nephew who just stared back at his uncle. When he looked at that little boy, Ben couldn't help but see himself. Dean's childish innocence had burned away and was replaced with a nightmare that he'd never be able to wake up from.
Suddenly, Dean broke his gaze from the car. His neck turned around to look at something within the room before his entire body disappeared from the window. That's when Ben heard it, an argument loud and clear coming from inside the house. He could hear his uncle's gruff voice as clear as a bell. The other voice matched in pitch and had to have been John Winchester. Wails of an infant then sounded in the relatively quiet neighborhood. Doug stormed out of the house, slamming the door on his way out.
"He says that something murdered Mary," Doug said in clipped tones as he pulled out of the driveway. "Says he saw her pinned the ceiling and her body just burst into flames."
Ben closed his eyes tightly as images of his mother pinned to the ceiling of Mary's nursery clouded his mind. For thirty years, Ben had done nothing but escape the horrifying memory of his parents' deaths. It was a nightmare that he had ran from, had tried to wake up from. Except, the roof had fallen in again and the nightmare was back in full force. This time, however, Ben knew he'd never be able to outrun it.
"It's what happened to Mom," whispered Ben. "Mom and Mary…"
"I know, Ben. I know."
"Don't worry. We'll find the sonofabitch who did this and bury him."
November 20, 1983 (Ben is 36)
Ben sat in a motel room on stained bed sheets. He lazily flipped through his journal. At the end of the journal was a whole section on just demons. On the last page was a drawing he did of a man with yellow eyes and a trench coat. He hoped by looking through the material he would figure out how to find the sonofabitch.
"Ben?" called Doug from across the room.
He looked up at his uncle. He didn't really feel much like talking the past week. In fact, he'd be happy to never have to talk again. Losing his parents was hard enough. To lose Mary… it was the most painful thing Ben could imagine.
"I never told you or your sister but… your mom and I grew up hunters. Your grandmother died the same way your mom did. Molly… she wanted a better life. She met some guy and married him. She had you and then Mary. She was so happy. She hated hunting just like your sister. God, Mary reminded me so much of Molly. I, uh, kept hunting. On holidays, I stayed with you and your family. It was like a home and a vacation away from everything evil. When you told me what happened that night, I spent months trying to piece together who that yellowed eyed freak was. It was one dead-end after another."
"It doesn't matter, Doug, we don't know how to kill a demon. So we find the bastard… then what? Spend him packing to hell? Have him crawl out five, ten, twenty years later and murder again?" Ben closed his journal. "I just want Mary back."
"You can't have her back. She's dead."
"I can make a deal… my life for hers."
"What's dead should stay dead. You bring her back, and I will kill her myself. You won't be bringing back Mary. You'd be bringing back a shell of herself. You'd be bringing back something evil. She stays dead, and you get your goddamn head in the game."
Ben didn't say anything. He felt like his parents had died all over again. He felt like he was trapped in some nightmare and couldn't wake up from the darkness. Through the haze, Mary had been a ray of light. With her gone, Ben had nobody. He had nothing. He just had hunting and a hardened uncle.
Author's Notes – I hope you enjoyed the second chapter. Please, leave a review if you like it. :)