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The Stars Go Waltzing

November 10th, 2008 (04:28 pm)

Title: The Stars Go Waltzing

Summary: Mary has always been a girl who knows what she wants.

A/N: This fic is so random! Mary fic, based on what we learned in ITB so expect references accordingly. Thanks to sendintheclowns who is truly a remarkable person. Not only did she beta this for me, but she puts up with me and my weirdness, which is a feat that very few people can and choose to endure. The result has been many great conversations and a whole host of fic that never would have existed without her, shall we say, encouragement.

Disclaimer: Not mine



"The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,

And arbitrary blackness gallops in:

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead


I fancied you'd return the way you said,

But I grow old and I forget your name.

(I think I made you up inside my head.)"

-from Mad Girl’s Love Song by Sylvia Plath


When Mary is nine years old, she goes on her first hunt.

Hunting is all she knows, all she’s ever known, and so it’s all she’s really thought about. Monsters and knives and Latin incantations, that’s just the way life is. After all, the world is full of evil, and someone has to stop it. That’s what her parents have always told her, that’s the apology they give each time they move, the reason they offer each time they go away, and Mary doesn’t know how not to believe it.

But she’s nine now and nine is old enough, she thinks. She doesn’t want to go to school and learn these silly things and play with silly kids and their silly games. They don’t know what she knows.

Her parents say she’s still too young yet. She can study up on things and lean over her father’s shoulder while he researches and she can sharpen the knives with her mother but she’s not old enough to hunt.

At least that’s what they tell her.

But she catches wind of a haunted house out by the railroad tracks. All the kids talk about it and when Mary goes, the place is alive with EMF and all the telltale signs of a restless spirit. The legend isn’t gory, just a bunch of kids who get scared and run home to their safe little homes, except for one kid who got so scared he fell down the stairs and broke his neck.

That’s enough for Mary.

It’s not hard to find the name and the plot of ground. The hardest part is actually sneaking out of the house at night, careful not to disturb the salt lines her parents have laid down. But the fact is her parents have trained her well and she knows what she’s doing.

Her parents are waiting for her when she gets home and she gets spanked like she’s three and found the stash of daggers in her mother’s bag but when they’re done scolding her for being so stupid, Mary can see how proud they are.

She figures they don’t have much choice in it anyway. Mary is a girl who knows what she wants and she certainly isn’t afraid to get it.


When Mary is sixteen, she sees a man get eaten alive. Not just one second he’s there, the next he’s not, but slowly, losing his legs and then some skin until there is blood and bone showing, and he’s still twitching. Worse, he’s still conscious, eyes open and wide and mouth gaping and screaming.

She’s not fast enough. She was expecting a black dog, which is easy enough to down with a silver bullet, but when the bullets don’t faze the thing, she realizes that decapitation and a complete burn is probably the way to go.

It doesn’t take her long to figure that out, but long enough to see the guy like that, blood everywhere and something she knows must be intestines trailing from his eviscerated torso. Long enough to hear him stop screaming, to see his eyes glaze over.

She kills it and burns the thing’s corpse but she remembers that this victim had a family back in town. A wife and a daughter who was only three months old.

This is the kind of thing that hunting is supposed to prevent. This is why they did what they did.

But Mary is sixteen and she has no friends and she has no life and she just saw a man get eaten alive and there’s no reward in any of it.


When Mary meets John Winchester, she’s sort of smitten even if she thinks it’s ridiculous.

John is just like every other random guy she’s met. Oblivious. Naive. And he’s worse than most--he’s so goofy, so silly. Not a care in the world. She’s laughed at guys like that her entire life.

But he’s goofy and silly and oblivious and nice and he likes her.

She’s lived this life for so long with the moving and the killing and the lying and the saving and she sort of feels like she’s not a person anymore, that she’s sort of lost in the hunt, in the endless evil of the world. She doesn’t like that. She doesn’t like how it makes her feel. Like she’s becoming less than human, just like the things she hunts.

Because there’s more to life than saving lives and killing things. There’s more to it than that. And it doesn’t make any sense why everyone else in the world should get those things and she shouldn’t.

Her parents have told her that it’s dangerous to forge connections. It’s dangerous to let your guard down. But Mary doesn’t know if she can stop herself. Doesn’t know if she wants to.

It feels good to put down her gun, to leave her knives tucked safely away. It feels good to talk about the Beatles and President Nixon and whether or not war is the answer or not.


When John Winchester dies, all Mary can think is that it’s not supposed to happen.

It’s just not. It can’t.

Not like this. Not when he is everything, her hope, her happiness, her future. She hasn’t felt this alive since she was nine years old and killing her first spirit.

John is normal, John is a life away from hunting. John is her out. John is her future. John is everything.

John is what she wants.

She knows she can’t trust demons, knows she shouldn’t, but Mary is a woman who knows what she wants and there’s nothing that can stop that.


When Mary gets married, she thinks that maybe it’s all just a dream. That there’s no way she could be this happy, there’s no way life could really be this good.

That someday she’ll wake up and she’ll remember that her parents are dead, that there’s evil everywhere in the world, and that all her happiness is built on the promise of a demon.

But when she’s with John in their wedding bed, she’s stroking the smooth planes of his skin, her fingers linger on his neck and she remembers how he was dead, how he was dead and she wanted to die, too.

He kisses her, soft and long, and she doesn’t know how to regret this.

Ten years is so long. Ten years is a lifetime and whatever the demon could take, he could never take this.


When Dean is born, Mary realizes what she has to lose. Because Dean is so small and precious and needy and vulnerable. She never knew what love was until now.

And it’s amazing to watch them all together. John and Dean, her men. Her life. Her normal.

Nothing can touch this. She wants to make sure of that.

She starts to go to Mass every Sunday. She says every prayer she can find. Prayers of absolution, prayers of protection, prayers of forgiveness, prayers of hope. Because she has to believe in a God who saves, a God who can keep this life, this family safe. She knows the deal she made, but surely not everything in her life comes from that.

She learns how to invoke angels, not to summon them, but to call their attention. She knows how to place rosaries throughout the house. She blesses the water daily and sanctifies every room in the house. She buries salt around the perimeter of the yard and has the ground blessed with every incantation she can find.

Every night she prays, she prays with Dean, their hands folded together, and she kisses him and tells him that angels are watching over him.

She knows this much is true. She knows it because she’s made sure of it with every fiber of her being.

It has to be enough.


When it’s been ten years, Mary has a baby.

Her due date isn’t for over a month yet, but her water breaks that morning and she knows.

It’s a complicated birth and the baby is so small. The doctors worry the baby may even die, but Mary knows none of them will be that lucky.

John holds her as they watch their son, struggling to live, and it’s not the aftermath of childbirth or the stress of seeing her child so sick that makes her weak.

It’s the date. It’s ten years to the day and she’s given birth to a baby who she’s pretty sure she’s already sold out.

They name him Sam, after her father. She needs to remember him now, she needs to remember what he taught her, what the demon did to him. There are myths about the power of a namesake and Mary figures this baby could use all the protection he could get.


When the light flickers, Mary knows.

Mary knows.

And she remembers a man telling her not to go into the nursery. She remembers the demon saying not to interfere. It won’t kill Sam, she’s pretty sure of that, but she can’t stop herself.

Because Sam is hers, just like Dean. He’s just as perfect, just as precious. Dark hair and dark eyes, looking at Sam is like looking at John. So young and innocent and pure and Mary couldn’t help herself then and she can’t help herself now.

She finds the demon standing over Sam’s crib. Sam is kicking restlessly in the crib, about two seconds away from crying. And then she sees the knife in the demon’s hand, not poised to kill, but over his own wrist, letting his own blood, and she watches as a drop falls into Sam’s mouth.

When Mary is on the ceiling and looking down, she realizes that this is all her fault. That she sold Sam out before he was ever born. She chose herself when it mattered most and now they will all pay. John will be broken. Dean will be crushed. And Sam will never know his mother.

None of them will know this is Mary’s fault. That Mary betrayed them all, betrayed everything when she should have known better.

And for a second, there’s regret. There’s regret that maybe she should have left John dead then and spared him the heartbreak of her own death, of raising his sons by himself. She could have spared Dean a life where he always missed his mother, where angels weren’t enough. She could have saved Sam from whatever destiny she’d condemned him to.

But she loves her boys, all three of them, and ten years of good times, of good memories, and it’s hard to regret it completely.

Because Mary is a woman who knows what she wants, and it’s too late to change that now.




Posted by: Dani (pinkphoenix1985)
Posted at: November 10th, 2008 10:42 pm (UTC)

this is brilliant!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: November 26th, 2008 05:17 pm (UTC)
alone again

Thank you!

Posted by: percysowner (percysowner)
Posted at: November 11th, 2008 01:53 am (UTC)

Oh, this is wonderful. I love this view of Mary. She must have realized when Sam was born that the deal was coming due. Great look at a fascinating character.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: November 26th, 2008 05:18 pm (UTC)

It's almost disappointing to me that Mary made the deal she did--that she was the first Winchester to fall into that trap and that all of them have fallen after her. And man, poor Sam has never had a chance, has he?

Posted by: labseraph (labseraph)
Posted at: November 13th, 2008 04:04 am (UTC)

Whoa ... need to take a breath at the end there. I like your take on Mary, although it seemed to me that unlike John, Dean and Sam's nomadic life, hers was pretty settled in Lawrence and the Campbells' house looked very lived in and permanent. IMHO, Samuel Campbell hunted like Bobby Singer; ie from a home base.

Nevertheless, I dig the way you fleshed her out from girlhood to womanhood to motherhood ... everything unfolded beautifully and fluidly, thanks to your skill with language.

A beautiful work. Thank you for sharing.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: November 26th, 2008 05:19 pm (UTC)

Well, if you want to know a secret, I haven't actually seen ITB...I know all about it from a plot perspective, but in terms of actually viewing it, well, it's a long story why I couldn't :)

Still, I couldn't resist playing with Mary given her new backstory. How she started it all and what led to her making that decision.


Posted by: labseraph (labseraph)
Posted at: November 30th, 2008 08:31 am (UTC)

Man, how is it that you hit the marks so well without watching the eps? You gotta be psychic or something. You're very spot on about Mary's character, this revelation is indeed a surprise.

Kudos to the power of your imagination.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: November 30th, 2008 02:41 pm (UTC)

I've seen all the eps but this one--we had just changed over to DirectTV and there was this whole thing with one receiver vs. two and it ended up with me not getting the CW for a bit.

That said, I got detailed recaps from friends and read the boards and heard all the opinions about stuff. So psychic, not so much :) Thoroughly obsessed despite a lack of means, definitely.

Though I am kind of relieved that my lack of viewing the ep doesn't hinder this fic.

Posted by: peeps wanna see peeps boink (musesfool)
Posted at: November 15th, 2008 05:48 pm (UTC)
how much you hate me

Heartbreaking and lovely.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: November 26th, 2008 05:20 pm (UTC)

Thanks so much :)

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