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Supernatural: The Devil You Know...

our_innocence in mausolea_fics

FIC: Mary, When You're Free , 1/1

FIC: Mary, When You're Free
Genre: Genfic
Rating: Teen for an fbomb or two.
Summary: His concerns are simple; that the Devil gets his due, and that his two most precious things in this world of horrors are safe. John Winchester thinks.
Word Count: 1,498
A/N: Un beta'd. Taken from jecelli's quote: Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see. I sort of wandered off the reservation, though. Title is from The Fields of Athenry. Also I have no fucking idea when Sam's birthday is so if it's wrong... cry more.




Perhaps he's been doing the job for far too long, but sometimes, he wonders how people don't see it.


What does it take, he wonders, for people to realise that things are not as they should be? A woman is founded, burnt, her charred face twisted in a silent scream of disbelief. Her stomach is split open.


And it's an 'electrical malfunction'?


John Winchester sits in a cold, dank motel room, rubbing off the serial number on his newly acquired Remington and staring at the empty television screen.

Almost twenty two years, Mary, he murmurs. He rarely cries; he just works on the metal with his file until his torn skin weeps blood in the absence of any normal tears.


Sometimes, when the weather is right and the night is quiet, he can close his eyes and the dirty light of the cheap motel lamp becomes the low, warm glow of Mary's favourite lamp on their bedside. Dollar sandwiches from the local gas station can be her pot roast, washed down with cold milk that was tap water but a moment ago. When he lies down, the scratchy bed cover is a thick, warm quilt and the flickering sounds of the television let him hear how once upon a time, Dean was trying to teach his infant brother all the words John said when he thought they weren't listening.

But he can't feel Mary, feel warm, welcoming skin or thin arms holding him after a long, tiring day at work. And so tonight, he just files at his rifle. Sometimes he can lie to himself. But tonight, on Sam's birthday, he just can't.


He hopes that Sam is doing well, and there's a part of him that believes that maybe Sam can run away from this sort of world, forget that the things that go bump in the night are less frightening than eyes that glow like black oil. He hopes he can still see the best of what humanity has to offer, in the way that he- and Dean- can't.

But still, he wonders, how people can't see.

Perhaps the world has forgotten the old Gods, the devils and witches, angels, imps and sprites, in a hope that a more rational, logical existence would free them from chance.

Sometimes he thinks that hunters are cursed to protect a society that aren't capable of protecting themselves.

It's odd, he muses, how much belief matters in the world- and how little. Is it so much easier to believe in a faceless, wise bearded God who never talks to you than it is to picture a yellow eyed monstrosity that walks into your house and kills your wife? He wonders why that is.


Sam would probably know. Dean would probably guess. John's old enough to know he has no fucking clue, and quite frankly, he doesn't care.


With steady hands, he puts the rifle down, carefully wiping it down with an oil laden cloth. Without a sound, he picks up his other new weapon- a stake made of holly, shot through with threads of silver, and cleans it, taking care to smooth it down.


His mind wanders.



He tries not to get too involved with matters of the waking world, as he sees it. His concerns are simple; that the Devil gets his due, and that his two most precious things in this world of horrors are safe.

He tries not to think about how he might have failed. Or in what manner he has failed them.


Sam... Sam is never as adjusted as he thinks he is. He can pretend- in some ways, he's a better liar than Dean- but John knows his son like he knows Mary, and he knows that Sam is afraid of himself, that he'll look in the mirror one day and see something he thought he'd left behind a long time ago.

And John doesn't know what he's afraid to see. Mostly, John imagines that it'll be the thing that killed his mother, or a vampire.


Or maybe Sam will see his father.



Dean is more like mother than anyone will ever know, and more than John will ever admit. Smart, sharp, funny, not afraid to take a risk when the situation calls for it. And Dean, he loves his family more openly than John or Sam ever can. He's not ashamed of anyone he loves, though he can't resist picking on Sam's intellect. John wonders where Dean is, driving in his car, wearing his jacket, listening to his old eight tracks.

He wishes he could be more for his sons, the only living reasons he has left to wander this earth.

A small noise catches his attention; a bearing slips from his bag, rolling in haphazard circles on the wooden floor. He picks it up and rolls it between his fingers; a clue from last night, the one thing that led him to the machinery complex and one hell of a pissed off ghost come to take revenge.

He had fought, without pity, without mercy, against the angry spirit that dwelled there. And in the end, he managed to send it away to what he fervently prayed was a better place.

'Is there any message you'd like me to take?' the spirit asked maliciously. John nodded, and said what he told every departing soul.

'Please tell Mary I said I loved her.'


John Winchester sits in a dark, dank room, looking at nothing. This is the worst part.

Being alone.


Dean is gone God Knows Where; it was time to cut him loose, to send his oldest son off to protect the world while John is selfish as hell and goes after the thing that killed his wife. Sam is probably in bed, curled up with the pretty blonde girl he'd seen Sam with, Jess or Jessie. A nice girl, with a warm smile and open eyes.

Oh, Mary.

He gets up, brushing grubby hands on oft-patched pants. Three long strides gets him to the table that holds his dinner; cold tacos, a bowl of Mexican rice, half a can of flat soda. He chugs it without tasting, eating his food quickly, wiping his face and fingers with a coarse brown napkin.

On any other night, he might watch some television. A while ago, he would have called Dean, but he hasn't talked to Dean in weeks, maybe months- who's counting?- and he hasn't spoken to Sam in even longer. Bobby's working a case, Rufus is probably knee deep in the Appalachians chasing that damn ghoul, and Ellen... is off limits, now.

So he goes back to his bed and sits, hands clasped together, shoulders hunched forward the same way Sam's do, when he's thinking hard. Tonight, he's thinking about his baby boy, the little child who clutched his finger and waved it around wildly, giggling at John's face all the while. He thinks about how Mary felt, all soft and hot and his. He thinks about Dean, four years old with blonde hair and big eyes, freckles stretched across his face when he smiled at his father and promised to be the best big brother ever.

Which, he is.

But mostly, he thinks about the woman he saved tonight, and the ones before her, and the ones that will come after. Unknowing, unthinking, unable to understand what it means when an entire garden of flowers withers and dies overnight, or what the strange, unpleasant smell that keeps coming from the closet is. How he was that person.


How much he misses being that person.

But he can't ever be that John again, concerned with his mortgage and college funds for his kids. Now he's the widower John Winchester, and he's coming to exact revenge.

With a sigh and a grunt, he works his boots off. He's tired, now, he'll shower in the morning. A yawn escapes his lips as he lowers himself onto his bed, head buried in the thin pillows.

He doesn't know that at this moment, Dean is at the Pennsylvania border, racing towards California to find his little brother. He doesn't know that Bobby is battling for his life, fighting with iron knife and sheer will against a demon possessing a former Golden Gloves champion. He doesn't know that Sam is dreaming of failing his big test, or that Ellen is staring at her phone, wondering whether to call him or not.

The people he hasn't saved yet, and the ones he'll never save, go to sleep, their lives made so much easier for their ignorance at what brews in the corners behind them. All the safety of their world is false, all their grand knowledge will do nothing to keep them safe.

But he doesn't know them, and he doesn't care.

His eyes close, and the only thing he knows is how much he misses his Mary, his Dean, his Sammy.

And of all things, he knows it to be true.

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