Title: Backfire

Summary: On November 2, 1983, a fire burst to life in the Winchester nursery. A life was lost and hunters were born. Except, in a twist of fate, Mary Winchester was the one to survive.

"When I die choose a star
and name it after me
that you may know
I have not abandoned
or forgotten you."
"For my Daughter" by David Ignatow

"Backfire"

"Prologue: Forgotten"

When John Winchester was little, he remembered his father possessing a bruised and battered soul. He had been in the Army, had traveled to Germany in World War II. He had come back wounded and beaten. This soul and heart had been so abused that he wallowed in grief and alcohol for the rest of his miserable life. His mom had to work two jobs just to keep the family afloat. John despised his father. How could a man let down his family in such a way?

John decided to skip the college scene. Wearing a suit and living his days in a cubicle were yawn worthy. John liked cars, loved them actually. He wanted to own his own repair shop one day. Except, with little family money and no real savings, John did not know how he would scrap the cash together. So, instead, he joined the Marines and marched into war. If there were two things that could be said about the Winchester family, it was that they lived and breathed war and cars.

Arriving home from Vietnam, John understood his father more fully. The sights and sounds of war were haunting. They could mess a person up for life. In fact, it had taken John years to overcome the horrors of war. Although, he told himself he was over it, he was only lying to himself. Unfortunately, by the time he understood all of that, his father was buried six feet under.

The only connection he had to his father was watching documentaries on war. His father would watch them late into the night until he fell asleep in that dingy old recliner. When John was feeling particularly upset about something, he would plant himself in front of the television and watch war documentaries.

On November 2, 1983, he was feeling particularly upset that night. Him and Mary had been fighting about money. It was a fight they had all too often. With Christmas coming up, money was even slimmer. Mary loved the holidays. She always wanted to splurge on gifts and decorations. With a new baby, it was seemingly impossible to carry out the lavish traditions.

John and Mary had a habit of screaming in each other's faces when they fought. They lashed out and spewed nasty, snide comments. When they were out of insults, they played the silent treatment. They avoided each other for all costs until the next day. Then, they put the sour feelings behind one other. They would apologize for the hurtful comments, push the issue at hand on the backburner. They would pretend like nothing had ever happened.

It was late at night, a little pass two in the morning when he woke up. John didn't know what had startled him awake, but he groaned in protest. His back was killing him from the old chair. Standing up, his back cracked loudly and he shut off the television. Slowly, he made his way upstairs.

The light at the top of the landing flickered. Reaching out a hand, he flicked the glass twice. The light grew solid. The door to his right was ajar slightly. Pushing it in slowly, he noted the sleeping form of his eldest son. Dean was curled onto his left side, a large teddy bear grasped in his arms. John had won him the bear at the Kansas State Fair the following summer by shooting milk bottles.

Satisfied that Dean was safe, he closed the door but let a crack of light seep into the room. He crossed the hall and peeked into Sam's room. His heart stopped beating and his breath hitched in his throat. A man was standing over Sam's crib. As though sensing John's presence, he turned around. Bright, yellow eyes shone through the dark room. They stood in silence, just staring at each other.

A bed creaked in the distance and the floorboards of the master bedroom squeaked. The stranger smirked and with a lazy wave of his hand, John flew across the nursery. He tried to keep quiet as his body smacked against the plaster. He did not want to catch Mary's attention. The man would kill her. Slowly, his body crept up the wall and then the ceiling. He kept going until he was directly over Sammy's crib.

Sam just stared up at him in mild interest. The door to the master bedroom squeaked open and John held his breath. Not Mary. Not Mary. No Mary. A white, searing pain ran across his abdomen. His eyes squeezed shut as he bit his tongue to keep from crying out.

Down the hallway, Mary sleepily wandered out of the master bedroom. Sammy's baby monitor had crackled and woken her from her slumber. Turning the corner, she walked into Sam's nursery. Her son was awake, his hands reaching towards the ceiling with a smile playing on his face. Mary took a step closer.

Sam let out a gurgling giggle as his hands waved at something above him. Mary twirled the mobile above his bed, but Sammy looked beyond it. Chuckling softly to herself, she bent over the crib and kissed the baby's forehead. Something dripped onto her head. Pulling back, she looked up as though half expecting the ceiling to be leaking. That would just be their luck – a leaky ceiling that would take hundreds if not thousands of dollars to repair.

Instead, Mary saw her husband's body pinned to the ceiling. His face was ghostly white and his USMC shirt saturated in crimson. She looked away, tears burning her eyes. Another drop of blood dripped down, hitting Sammy square in the forehead. Frantically, she looked around the room.

"Who's here?" Mary shouted, her knuckles gripping the crib. "Leave my family alone! I'm not a hunter anymore! Just stop!"

There was a whoosh of air. The room instantly became unbearably hot. Looking up, Mary watched as her husband burst into flames. The fire licked the ceiling, engulfing it completely. Sam started to cry. Reaching out, Mary grabbed her son from the crib and ran for the door.

Dean met her in the hallway, his eyes wide with fear and body shaking like a leaf. His gaze fell into his brother's room. The heat was radiating out in unbearable surges. Mary knelt down and planted Sam in his brother's arms.

"Dean, take Sammy and get outside as fast as you can!"

With a quick nod, Dean ran as fast as his little legs would carry him. Mary turned around and took a step into the nursery. There was no way she could save her husband, no way he could survive the fire. With tears pouring down her face, she bolted. Taking the stairs two at a time, she was out of the house in a flash.

Dean was standing outside, his arms tightly holding his brother and his eyes watching his childhood home burn to the ground. Mary screamed for Dean to run. As though electrocuted, the boy jumped into action and ran further away from the house.

Suddenly, the house burst into flames. Mary dove to the ground, her arms covering her head from flying debris. Peeking up, she noted Dean and Sammy were on the ground as well. Dean's body was covering his baby brother.

Crawling on her hands and knees, Mary stopped right next to her sons. Dean looked up at his mother, tears raining down his cheeks. A large, red gash graced his temple. Reaching out, she pulled Dean into her arms. Situating him to one side, she scooped up Sammy in her arms. She sat on the dewy grass, her boys in her arms, and wished for her father to be alive and hunt down the sonofabitch who killed John and put her boys in harms way.

Author's Notes – I hope you enjoyed the prologue. Please, leave a review and let me know if I should continue.