This is really a set of 5 separate scenes, each existing in a different possible future. They are presented "chronologically," by which I mean that each one considers a potential scenario for Mary getting her good luck charm back at a certain point in her life, and these points will move progressively further from the end of season 2. They vary in terms of sweetness and sadness.

Hope you enjoy.


1. The Coming Storm

Mary can sense the storm clouds gathering in the distance. The air feels different around her, charged and silent, waiting for a signal from above. It presses on her skull and surrounds her thoughts. It is getting worse.

"Mary?" A gentle voice reaches her ears, breaking the spell. She is surprised to realize that the sun is shining and the sky is clear.

"Hello, Matthew," she replies, trying out a smile, which he matches with a tentative one of his own.

"I thought I might find you here," he says, and gestures at the spot next to her on the bench. "May I join you?"

"Aren't you supposed to be at work?"

Matthew takes this to mean yes and sits down. He is looking straight ahead, but his body is angled slightly toward hers. "I only had one appointment this afternoon, and I...thought it would be best if I came back early."

"You've seen it, then," she nods, looking at her lap. She fidgets with her necklace.

"Mary," he starts, then pauses, considering the best way to proceed. He tries again. "Mary, we knew this might happen, especially after we announced—when we made it official."

"Oh yes, I'm hardly surprised. Still, knowing something could happen, as opposed to actually seeing it in black and white, right in one's hands, is not quite...it's still a shock."

"I hope you aren't regretting taking my advice to stay and brave it." He looks at her now, and she looks at him, and the uncertainty in his face surprises her. "With me," he adds, and his voice cracks slightly.

"Oh, Matthew, of course not. You mustn't think that, no matter what happens in the coming weeks," she says quickly. He looks so relieved that she falls a little more in love with him, if that is even possible. "It's just that I'm so...sorry...about it all. About what it's going to mean for everyone, how the family will suffer, all of it."

"I have something for you," he says, and he is smiling again. "I thought it might help." He reaches into his coat pocket and produces her little toy dog, her good luck charm, and places it carefully in her lap. "You did say you wanted it returned to you."

Mary closes one hand around the toy and rewards him with her most genuine smile, the one bestowed upon her from infancy, not learned through years of careful training. "After getting you through a war, I suppose he thinks a newspaper scandal will be decidedly less taxing on his good luck reserves. Unless you suppose we have already used up all his luck?"

"No, he still feels rather lucky to me." Matthew places a hand on top of hers, so they are holding the dog together.

"Thank you," she says, and they both know she is thinking of more than the return of her good luck charm.

She kisses him, and the air around her feels charged once again, but it is no longer menacing.