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'Long Past Death Do Us Part' [PG] John/Mary

Title: Long Past Death Do Us Part
Pairing: John/Mary
Rating: PG
Length: 360 words
Author's Notes: 2nd place winner in the spnland 'Devotion' writing challenge.
Summary: John's vows didn't include a loophole.
Disclaimer: These characters belong to Kripke and the CW.

John still wears his wedding ring. It clicks loud against the grip of a shotgun the way it never did against any engine part, but he never takes it off.

John remembers Mary’s birthday and their wedding anniversary. Their first date, first kiss, the first time they made love in the back seat of the Impala, the day she agreed to marry him, the day Mary told him she was pregnant. He doesn’t mark a calendar. The dates just jump up and bite him. When it's too much he hits the bottle. And he remembers how she died. Every damn night.

When Mary’s parents died, the hellcat played housecat as if 'Betty Crocker' recipes and 'Leave it to Beaver' smiles would keep them safe. When Mary dies, John tries the same in reverse. The mechanic turns killer. He’d done it before, during the war. Apparently there was always a war. He’d just been too stupid to notice.

Mary loved their boys, and so does John. He keeps them close, keeps them safe. Even when money gets tight. Even when Jim Murphy offers to look after them. Even when Dean sings his brother a lullaby so familiar that John has to take off, take a long drive and a few drinks to stop his hands from shaking. Later John keeps away to keep them safe, even when the boys leave voice mails begging for his help. He never deletes the messages.

When it comes down to it, John can’t let their son die in that hospital bed.

Hell is Hell, but at least Mary isn’t there. John hadn’t been 100% sure, even after all his research. He claws his way out, gets in a few good hits on the demon before Dean takes it out, and ends up in Heaven. But Mary isn’t there. John thinks she is, at first. He re-lives that first date, first kiss, the day Mary told him she was pregnant; all the same memories, worn and tired round the edges. It’s not really her.

So John decides to stage a break-out, go find his wife. Some angels decide to stop him. And that? That’s when things get interesting.

Comments

( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
akamine_chan
Jul. 17th, 2010 05:59 am (UTC)
Oh, I liked that, Keerawa.

He doesn’t mark a calendar. The dates just jump up and bite him.

That's a very apt way to describe grief.
keerawa
Jul. 17th, 2010 06:17 am (UTC)
Thank you, aka!
tifaching
Jul. 17th, 2010 10:14 am (UTC)
Oh, John. No, he wouldn't fall for the falseness of the time-loop heaven. And he would decide to break out. And yes, the angels trying to stop him would make things VERY interesting.
keerawa
Jul. 17th, 2010 10:21 am (UTC)
He'll move Heaven and Earth to find her! Thanks, tifaching!
whitereflection
Jul. 17th, 2010 01:41 pm (UTC)
THIS. So was one of my votes, because oh my *god*. So has such an emotional punch, and then that yeeeehah, someone's gonna kick ass feel of the ending. \o/ ♥ But seriously, you get John just 100% spot on, and this is so freaking good.
keerawa
Jul. 17th, 2010 08:27 pm (UTC)
*beams* Thank you! I find John a bit tricky to write, so I'm pleased he felt right to you. The John we see in canon ... its like he doesn't make sense until you perceive the lacuna left by Mary's absence. And I had FUN with that ending.
angelus2hot
Jul. 18th, 2010 02:08 pm (UTC)
Poor John *pets him*

So very sad, touching and Beautifully written!
keerawa
Jul. 18th, 2010 07:48 pm (UTC)
Thank you, angelus2hot!
vanillafluffy
Jul. 18th, 2010 04:11 pm (UTC)
VERY interesting.
keerawa
Jul. 18th, 2010 07:48 pm (UTC)
Thanks, vaniliiafluffy, I'm glad you think so!
embroiderama
Jul. 18th, 2010 04:15 pm (UTC)
Oh, John. This is awesome, and I especially love this line:

Apparently there was always a war. He’d just been too stupid to notice.

If anybody would break out of heaven, it would be John Winchester.
keerawa
Jul. 18th, 2010 07:51 pm (UTC)
Of course he would! (And so would his boys, come to think of it.) Thanks, embroiderama!
candycanerica
Jul. 18th, 2010 04:45 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I loved this description:

When Mary’s parents died, the hellcat played housecat as if 'Betty Crocker' recipes and 'Leave it to Beaver' smiles would keep them safe. When Mary dies, John tries the same in reverse. The mechanic turns killer. He’d done it before, during the war. Apparently there was always a war. He’d just been too stupid to notice.

Very good, I hope there's more!
keerawa
Jul. 18th, 2010 07:53 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I spent quite a bit of time trying to get that paragraph right; that sense of reversal, of opposite strategies with the same goal.
maraceles
Jul. 18th, 2010 11:57 pm (UTC)
I really hope SPN tackles that last bit--because yeah, I want to know where they are now.

God, John really is such a tragedy. I kind-of/sort-of see him like Sam or Dean with each other, except without their luck, as poor as it sometimes can be. For all that Sam and Dean go through a lot of shit, Castiel brought Dean back, and God (or someone) brought back Sam. They've only had to deal with a few months (in the real world, at least) without one another. John was never so lucky.

Apparently there was always a war. He’d just been too stupid to notice.

Aw, poor John. I have to wonder what his reaction would be finding out that Mary was a hunter after she'd already died, after he'd already raised Sam and Dean. (Unlike the brief glimpse we saw in young!John in season 5.)
keerawa
Jul. 19th, 2010 07:17 pm (UTC)
*holds up a 'Where are Mary and John Wincester?'s sign*
John's not entirely sane after losing his Mary, but terrifyingly functional. I can certainly see the parallels with Sam&Dean.

It would be interesting to see his reaction there, agreed!

dragonlit
Jul. 19th, 2010 02:42 am (UTC)
Love papa John and this was a fanastic exploration of his character, his motivation. It all came down to the love of his life.

He doesn’t mark a calendar. The dates just jump up and bite him. When it's too much he hits the bottle. And he remembers how she died. Every damn night.

This summarized it so well.

The search through Heaven, the reliving of John's memories reflect what we saw in Dean and Sam's brief stay. It wasn't real and that really was what motivated Dean to reject Pamela's pleas.

Great story!
keerawa
Jul. 19th, 2010 07:20 pm (UTC)
John's a fascinating character. Not very likeable, and what little we know about him is from his son's POV - not necessarily the most neutral observers. It gives a lot of room to explore in fanfiction. *nods* None of the Winchesters can be satisfied for long with something that isn't real. Thanks, dragonlit!
(Deleted comment)
keerawa
Jul. 19th, 2010 07:21 pm (UTC)
Wouldn't that be great? But, hey, even if canon doesn't go there, doesn't mean we can't! Thanks, ninjamidget!
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )