fathering our kids

(This is likely to get me into even more trouble, but whatever - the new Buckleming episode airs this week, so I’m guessing we’ll have worse problems by Friday.) 

So, my dash seems to be split between pro-Mary and anti-Mary people, and the debate is getting pretty intense and occasionally awful. And I just wanted to say that yes, it’s probably true we hold women (and especially mothers) to different standards of behaviour, and I’m sure there are some overt or subconscious sexist components in our dislike, or even outrage, in some cases, of her actions this past week, but also - to me, the problem is that Mary started out in a good place and is now going downwards, if that makes sense. Like, Crowley - Crowley is fascinating in and of himself, but one big reason I feel so sympathetic towards him right now is because he started out as a selfish, even cruel villain and he’s experiencing an upward arc towards understanding and helping other people. And this is a popular trope and all, but it’s popular for a reason: because it gives us a sense of satisfaction to see someone become a better person.

(Also because two thirds of Western culture are basically Christianity, which is the poster boy of the Redemption Arc, so we’re probably pre-programmed to like this from birth, but whatever. It still makes for a good story)

Now, Mary - Mary started in the best possible place, that of the Innocent Murder Victim who, on top of everything else, was a Mother and Beautiful and Trying to Save Her Baby Boy - Jesus, there’s not much that will give you more points than all that. So it’s not surprising, really, that her arc must be downward, because how the hell would have she been able to go higher that actual martyrdom? So her having trouble connecting with her kids, her being secretive and skulking about and making deals with unsavoury characters - of course it’s nothing different or worse from what every single person on Supernatural has done for the past twelve seasons - the problem is not in the actions themselves, but in where they are in her character’s arc. That’s why, I think, we perceive her behaviour as less forgivable - not (only) sexism.  

4

You crossed your arms and rolled your eyes as Dean and Sam cackled and as Cas looked on with an approving smile.

“W-wait, did you have the skirts and blazers?” Dean choked out.

“We had ties, too,” you sighed, and that caused him to lean forward again and shake with laughter.

Cas nodded.  “Good.  It’s nice to hear that some children grew up with faith.”  Whether he did on purpose or not, he gave a pointed look at the brothers, and Sam cleared his throat.

“So how was Catholic school?  Did you have to go to church once a week?” he asked.  Sam, after getting over the shock and apparent hilarity at the school you went to from first grade through high school, seemed genuinely interested to hear.  You weren’t sure what possessed you to tell them this, but his curiosity made it less painful.

“Yeah, once a week up until high school.  Then, it was only on special occasions.”  With a smirk, you added, “Why do you think I cream your asses when it comes to Latin?”

“You took Latin classes?” Dean asked, his eyebrows raised and a smile forming on his face.

“It was awful, and the only thing I remember from that class is how to say the ‘Hail Mary’ and ‘Our Father’ in Latin.  We used to have competitions on who could say it the fastest,” you admitted.  “And that class was hard considering it was taught for middle school kids.”

Sam nodded, and then hesitated like he was almost embarrassed of his next question.  “I’ve gotta ask, where did the short skirt stereotype come from?”

You pulled a face, rolled your eyes, and made a disgusted ugh sound.  “Oh, please, do you know how many kids from the local public schools would ridicule me?  The only reason anyone’s skirt was short was because those things were forty bucks a piece, and by senior year, who wants to buy new ones?  And, sure, some girls rolled them up, but can you blame them?  Those pleated skirts were not attractive.”

“Ooh, getting defensive, I see.  Don’t get your thigh socks in a twist,” Dean teased, and you held up a hand with an open mouth.

“No, no, no, thigh socks were scandalous!  The socks had to be below your knees, because God-forbid you cover more of your legs.”  You couldn’t help but laugh after saying that.  “Man, those rules were weird.”

“I don’t think my Father cares whether or not you wear your socks above or below your knees,” Cas commented, a confused expression on his face.

“See?  He gets it.  Catholic school was weird.”

There was a lull in the conversation before Sam asked, “So… how fast can you say the ‘Hail Mary’?”

A grin took over your face, and you took a deep breath, ready to test yourself to see how much you remembered starting with Ave Maria.

4

In all the time you’d known him, all the battles you’d faced and cases you’d taken together, you’d never seen Cas look so tired as he did when you arrived back home. 

“Did you guys have a good time with dad…” you trailed off, taken back both by Cas crashing into you, holding you in a vice-like hug, and by the mess that greeted your eyes.

“You’re home,” Cas breathed, relief evident in his voice. “They wanted to help make a welcome back dinner for you and I left the room for two minutes and…”

“Wow. Uh–maybe–maybe next time Sam and Dean need help, you can pop over there,” you said. “We’ll take turns.” Cas didn’t say anything, but you felt him nod, still holding you as if afraid he would be left alone with your tiny terrors if he let you go for a second.

x x x

2

“Don’t get me wrong,” her father said, “She’s our kid and we love her, but she’s wasting her life and for what? Hunting?” He shook his head, his arms crossed over his chest. “We can’t condone that.”

Condone?” Sam repeated, “You know what? I’ve heard enough. I get it - hunting isn’t exactly a career,” he admitted, “But that’s not what this is about! She’s your daughter - and she’s an adult. It’s not up to you to condone her actions or not. It’s not up to you to condition your acceptance of her based on what she chooses to do with her life,” he said, his voice raising with every syllable, “She wakes up every day not knowing whether or not she’ll have the next one. 

“She puts her life at risk with every step she takes because she believes she’s doing the right thing - saving people, making the world a better place,” he continued, “And you know what she says, when she’s hurt? Or when she really believes we might be hitting a dead-end? She asks about you. She asks us to take care of you if things go sideways.

“After you’ve abandoned her - after you’ve decided you no longer want her. She still thinks about you. What has she ever done to you, huh? Aside from making a decision about her life?”

They both stayed silent, exchanging disturbed glances.

“She doesn’t deserve this,” he muttered, standing up, “And, honestly? You don’t deserve her.”


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