Summary: All he sees from under the car is a shapely pair of legs. Curves in all the right places, just like this Chevy.
Pairing: John Winchester/Mary Winchester
Rating: PG-13 (language)
Disclaimer: Kripke's, not mine.
Original story: Dowry by Thuvia Ptarth
Notes: Thanks to my betas, spiralleds & cadhla. Title, funky remix subtitle, and section header lyrics from Led Zeppelin. Special thanks to Super-Wiki for their John Winchester page.
The Song Remains The Same (Ten Years Gone Remix)
Thursday, February 15, 1973
- The sea was red and the sky was grey
- Wondered how tomorrow could ever follow today
Takes twenty hours in a C-130 Hercules to get from Thừa Thiên to Camp Pendleton. By the time they land, John Winchester's pretty sure he's not going to want to fly again for a long, long time. Something about being trapped in a metal tube in the sky doesn't sit right with him.
Going off-base can wait. The Class VI carries his favorite brew, and better yet, Mike Guenther's feeling celebratory on account of coming home, so he's buying. They take the six-pack down to a rocky stretch of beach and look out over the ocean. It's all red and orange with the setting sun, like there's blood on the water. John focuses on the motion of the waves instead.
Guenther cracks open a cold one and passes it John's way. "Mud, blood, and rice paddies full of VC weren't bad enough; we come home to a country don't want us back."
John gulps the fine American lager, then wipes his mouth on the back of his hand. "Peace talks in Paris aren't gonna do shit for the shrapnel in half the Professionals, not to mention the rest of the Corps."
"My number came up so off I went, so none of your fucking tour extension shit for me. Got a girl back home would shoot me if I did."
"She's got you pussywhipped. Me, Echo 2/1's my one and only," John says. "Don't really want to rattle around the base telling war stories, though, so I guess I'm Indiana-bound."
"Shit, man. I keep telling you!" Guenther emphasizes his statement with a broad sweep of his arm, spilling beer on the sand. "You, me, old man Gaherty's garage back in Lawrence. Nowhere better outside for a couple leathernecks like us."
It's a familiar argument. John lets it wash over him as sea becomes indistinguishable from sky.
Friday, September 5th, 1975
- Dig that heavy metal underneath your hood
- Baby, I could work all night, believe I've got the perfect tools
The drugstore lunch counter's busy; bunch of people waiting. John inhales his hot beef sandwich and skips the apple pie. He needs to get back to the garage, anyhow. Lots of transmission work lately, and they just started a "winterize your car" special that's been bringing 'em in. Anyhow, no point in lingering when you're scarfing down grub by your lonesome.
Walking back, John buttons up his leather jacket and flips up the collar. Wind's picking up a bit. Just about fall, and the weather's letting him know it.
Kate and Mike are eating at the picnic table out back. Domestic bliss looks good on Mike, even if John himself's not sold on the whole settle-down thing. Kate takes a bite of her sandwich and then sees him and waves.
"Present for you inside," says Mike. He's got this look that says John should think about pinning a medal on him. Well, more medals. Mike served with distinction.
John steps in through the garage door. There's a gorgeous beast of an automobile in the far bay. 1967 Chevy Impala, gleaming in black and chrome, a stunning throw-back to when cars were cars and there was no such thing as an oil crisis.
The ticket on the clipboard says the customer's reporting that the alignment is off. "Sweet," John says. Alignment equals test-drive, and Mike left it for him. Helluva guy.
Ten minutes later, he's pulling back in and wishing he weren't. This would be the perfect car for a road trip. Sure as shit better than the junker he's driving. Does pull to the right quite a bit, though, which is something John can fix in a jiffy.
He's got the car up on the hydraulic jack when the bell over the front door rings. All he sees from under the car is a shapely pair of legs. Curves in all the right places, just like this Chevy.
He wipes his hands on the back of his coveralls and rounds the bay. "Help you?"
In their sorry excuse for a waiting room stands a pretty blonde girl in her early 20s, framed by the west-coast part of Mike's license plate collection. She fiddles with a watch, red plastic against her tanned wrist.
"Looks like you're working on my car. Almost done?"
"You don't look much like--", he says, checking the clipboard, "--an Edward, Miss." He sneaks a glance; she's not wearing any rings.
She laughs. "Ed's my dad. I'm Mary," she says. "Car's in his name, but I've been driving it for years."
Clean-scrubbed co-ed type. Satchel he'd bet is full of books. "Driving it up the Hill, I take it?"
"Yep, getting my English degree. Well, really Folklore and Mythology, but they don't have a department for that..." And she's off, talking about bogeymen and gremlins. He watches her eyes flash and matches her smile for smile.
By the time he gets the car down and takes her on the final test drive, they've got a lunch date.
Saturday, June 18, 1977
- If the sun refused to shine, I would still be loving you.
Not a cloud in the sky on their wedding day, and that's a lucky break, since it's a justice-of-the-peace ceremony in her parents' back yard.
John isn't much for dancing, but holding Mary feels so right that her subtle lead isn't hard to follow. Despite all her talk of fairytales, she's too smart for a long dress that would trip her up. She's barefoot in the lush grass, graceful and elegant in something her mama made.
He admires her as she goes off in a bevy of girls. John doesn't hold much truck with fashion, but Mary looks amazing. She'll be back, and meantime he wanders.
Ed's by the garage chomping on a stogie. "Johnny boy!" he says, in that jovial old-guy way. "I've got something for ya."
John doesn't know what to expect, but when Ed puts the key in his hand, he knows exactly what it opens.
"You take care of my baby girl," Ed says.
John's not sure which one Ed means, so he just answers, "Yes, sir!"
Ed flips open his cigar box, and John takes one. He drops the Chevy key in his pocket and pulls out a lighter.
Monday, May 2, 1983
- The apples of the valley hold
- The seeds of happiness
- The ground is rich from tender care
- Repay, do not forget, no, no.
- The seeds of happiness
Monday afternoon means sitting at Holcom Park and cheering as tiny kids run around wearing oversized baseball hats. Some nice folks let them take the bottom bleacher, since Mary's in no condition to climb.
Dean's at bat and the ball's out of sight. The tee wobbles as he rounds the bases. John squints into the sun and cheers. The game's over in no time, and Mary's snapping away with her Polaroid until the very end.
John stands and helps Mary to her feet. She squeezes his hand way tighter than needed. "Is the packed bag still in the trunk?"
"Sure is," John says. "I can call Mike and Kate to come get Dean, once we've got you to Memorial. When did it start?"
"I didn't want to pull Dean out of his game," Mary says. "But now, we should go. Now." That last comes out as a squeak.
Five minutes later, John's speeding up Route 59 and Mary's gasping every time he hits a pothole. Suspension probably needs rebuilding. Hasn't had as much time to work on the car as he'd like, and probably gonna have less. Hell, he's even left the Zoso album in the tape deck for months.
Bouncing around in the back seat, Dean's still wriggling with little-kid energy. "Did you see me? Mom, Dad, were you watching? I hit a home run!"
"We saw that! I'm so proud of you," says Mary. She can only half-turn around and reach into the back seat, but Dean's already snuggling under her arm.
John wants to freeze this moment and keep it for a lifetime. Before he can grab the Polaroid, though, Dean moves. Kid never stays put. Ah, well. Plenty of time for pictures.
"How come Dad is driving so fast?" Dean asks.
"Because it's time for your new sister or brother to come," Mary explains.
"Does he like GI Joe?" In his chubby fist Dean's holding that toy Marine with a grenade launcher and a blue EGA tattoo on its plastic chest. Semper Fi as marketing. "Will he fight Cobra Commander with me?"
"'Course he will, kiddo," John says. "You'll teach him all about being a man."
"Unless she's a girl!" Mary retorts, sticking out her tongue.
John smiles. "Especially if she's a girl." He leans across and presses a quick kiss on Mary's open mouth.
She pulls away, laughing. "Drive the car," she says, and then winces. She grabs his hand and squeezes. "Faster?"
John's more than happy to oblige her and put the hammer down. Their trusty Impala's engine purrs in harmony with Plant's wails and Page's riffs.
Wednesday, November 2, 1983
- I was her love, she was my queen, And now a thousand years between.
The acrid bite of smoke coats the back of John's throat. He leans against the Impala, clutching their boys. The car is cold, and so is he.