Title: More Things in Heaven
Feedback address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date in Calendar: 18 December 211
Word Count: 1000
Summary: Mary's heaven.
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Author's Disclaimer: All Eric's and Sera's.
Mary's last words are 'watch out for Sammy'. Both meanings. Keep him safe; be wary of him.
She closes her eyes when John's finally safely out of the room; she doesn't want to watch herself die.
She opens her eyes and she's in Nebraska on her first hunt.
That makes a hell of a lot of no sense whatsoever.
Mary waits and watches, like her mother taught her to do. Her mother is there, of course, it being Mary's first hunt, and she moves and speaks exactly as she does in Mary's memory. Even to the point of responding to things Mary remembers saying but doesn't say.
Something very odd is going on here.
The hunt will finish itself without Mary's presence, as long as Deanna's there—it was Mary's first hunt, not her first kill—so Mary grabs everything weaponlike she can find and takes off along the road.
She finds herself naked, literally and figuratively, in bed with John. From what he's saying, it's their wedding night.
Mary throws on some clothes and runs.
A high school football game where Mary was cheering. Dean's first steps. Sammy's first smile.
The inside of a bar Mary's fairly certain she's never seen before, and a woman behind the bar Mary knows she's never met.
"You look familiar," says the woman.
"I'll just be going now," Mary says, even though this is a hopeful sign, the first person in—however long—who's not a memory.
"Stay for a shot of whiskey?" the woman asks. "I haven't seen a real person in—a long time. My name's Ellen."
"Mary," says Mary.
"Winchester?" Ellen asks.
Mary hesitates, then nods.
Ellen grins. "I know your boys. They grew into fine men. Best hunters I know."
Oh God, her sons are hunters.
"Better hunters than dead, right?" Ellen asks, pouring two shots. "I know how you feel—I have a daughter."
"What's her name?" Mary asks, sitting on a bar stool and taking one of the shot glasses.
"Jo," Ellen says. "I was fool enough to marry a hunter, and my baby decided she'd rather take after her daddy. I hate to admit it but she's good at the job."
"Tell me about Dean and Sammy," Mary says. A stranger's daughter doesn't interest her much.
"First of all, he can't stand being called Sammy by anyone but Dean," Ellen says. From there the stories wander from the day Ellen met the boys to the day Ellen and Jo died, with detours to explain the whole apocalypse, as much of it as Ellen knows.
"Every one of those children Jo and I could find, there was some stroke of luck hit one of the parents, ten years to the day before the kid was born," Ellen says at one point. By this time she's come around the bar to sit on the stool next to Mary.
"So it's my fault," Mary says.
"Oh, honey," Ellen says. "No. You were caught between a hell of a rock and a hell of a hard place, and you took the only way out you could. And to hear those boys talk about it, you didn't have a choice to begin with."
Mary's ten shots in and not feeling a drop of it, which is not nearly drunk enough for this next sentence. "I sold my son," she says, "to keep John, and I'm not sure I even love John anymore..."
"Oh, honey," Ellen says, and takes Mary in a hug while Mary cries.
The story of the time Mary kicked John out for three days comes pouring out. So does the story of the time John came home drunk and stinking of someone else's perfume. Unfortunately for Mary, these are not the same story.
Ellen murmurs soothing nonsense and kisses the top of Mary's head. Mary just cries harder, remembering Sarah, another cheerleader and close high school friend who fell victim to a car crash of all things shortly after John's family moved to town. Ellen reminds Mary of Sarah: no-nonsense.
Ellen reminds Mary of Sarah in other ways, too. Fair skin, brown hair, brown eyes. Curves that do things to Mary that she thought she'd forgotten, or left behind with John.
Mary tilts her head up and kisses Ellen.
Ellen pulls back. "You don't want to do this," she says.
"You don't know that," Mary answers.
"He's dead, isn't he?" Mary says. "So's your husband. So are you. So am I. The rules don't matter anymore. If you don't want this, I'll stop." She leans in closer.
"I'm going to regret this in the morning," Ellen says, then kisses Mary.
Morning, or what passes for it in the afterlife, comes and goes, and Ellen shows no signs of regret. Mary feels none. John was, literally, another life.
"We should try to get out of here," Mary says one 'day'.
"And do what?" Ellen asks. "Haunt where we died until someone burns our bones?"
"Neither of us has bones," Mary points out. Ellen died in an explosion, so her bones are in little fragments spread over a largish area, and Mary already burned. "No, I was thinking find my boys. See if we can help with the apocalypse."
"We'll be ghosts," Ellen repeats. "What do you think we could possibly do to help?"
Mary shrugs. "We'll figure something out."
About then is when Ash finally finds them. He expresses astonishment that Mary found Ellen, babbling something about string theory, then takes them back to his Harvelle's Roadhouse, where a large group is already gathered, women and men acquainted with the Winchester boys. (John is absent. Mary is, and she is disappointed with herself about this, glad.) Jo. A psychic named Pamela. An ex-angel named Anna and an ex-demon named Bee; that latter answers when Ellen calls for Ruby, and avoids Ellen's wrath only because Mary points out that Ruby had as little choice about what she did to Sam as Mary herself did, and Ellen's already absolved Mary.
But that's another story.