Fandoms: Supernatural/The Shadow (1992)
Rating: T maybe?
Warnings: Not much
Timeline: Post ‘Born Under a Bad Sign’, possibly all the way through ‘Heart’. But definitely before ‘Hollywood Babylon’.
Pairings (if applicable): None
Character(s) (if applicable): Dean Winchester, Sam Winchester, Lamont Cranston, Margot Lane-Cranston, Diana Ballard
Summary: Still grieving their father’s death, Sam and Dean Winchester discover a family legacy their mother Mary never had the chance to warn her husband about. Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
A/N: I know the actress (Penelope Ann Miller) who played Margot lane in The Shadow (1992 movie) has blue eyes, but for the sake of this story, Margot Lane had hazel green eyes.
Waiting for his brother to return from what was supposed to be a quick food run; Sam paced the small motel room. Dean was beyond late, and despite their constant danger of capture by the Feds, there was probably a woman behind it. To make matters worse, both the television and the internet were out and without something to distract him from watching the clock; Sam was quickly losing his temper. On his 30th pass, a blinding pain punched him behind the eyes and knocked him to his knees. He jarred the table on his way down, knocking John Winchester’s keepsake box to the floor.
This particular vision experience was so different from the others. The pain in his head actually receded as the images began to manifest. As his sight cleared, Sam turned and saw that he was standing in a richly appointed room; a roaring fireplace was along the wall across the room, tall flames licking the flue opening.
Immediately to his left, he heard a soft sound, like the whisper of silk and Sam saw a beautiful young woman suddenly appear. As she turned, an invisible wind billowed her negligee. With wide eyes, she stared at a point to Sam’s right and Sam turned to follow her gaze.
A tall man with long, lank hair and piercing blue eyes, dressed in a black traditional Chinese robe stretched out his hand, pointed at her with wicked long nails and then looked right into Sam’s eyes. “You’re not supposed to be here.”
The man’s voice was chillingly deep and ominous and Sam shivered in response.
Fire from the hearth leapt out and surrounded the woman in a circle, not quite touching but seeming to almost caress her. Sam shouted a warning, but his voice was not heard.
She turned and looked into the fire.
The flames parted to reveal the man now dressed in full Mongol warrior armor, standing on a battlefield and screaming as if possessed. The blood covering the lower half of his face dripped as it ran off his chin. He lifted his sword and swung viciously, gutting a man nearby. He cut down another man and then paused, a mad light shining in his eyes as he wiped the blood from his face…
A soft voice called out, “Lamont? Lamont!”
The battlefield faded and Sam was suddenly standing in a bedroom.
The dark haired man was lying on a large bed, the woman seated next to him, wiping his feverish face with a cloth.
“You were dreaming.” She turned to place the cloth on the side table and he reached out and grabbed her arm, his grip careful. She turned back, her expression soft.
His voice was low and hoarse, “Do you have any idea what it’s like to have done things that you could never forgive yourself for?”
She leaned down and cupped his face. “Lamont, whatever you were, whatever you did, it’s in the past.”
The guilt and sadness made his handsome features tragic as he replied. “Not for me Margot. Never for me.”
The scene shifted again and Sam saw the two once more, obviously many years later as both were considerably older. Sitting on the floor, Lamont was cradling Margot, tears streaming down his cheeks as he begged her to hold on.
She reached up to stroke his face, a serene smile lighting her face despite the blood running from her nose and mouth. “You have to watch over them Lamont. You are all they have left. I fear our Mary kept us a secret for too long and now that it’s almost too late, they need your help. We should never have interfered. She loved him, but he’s gone now and they need another to guide them. Lamont, the youngest is the image of Rosamund and his brother is so like you. Dear Heart, you must show them the way, how to control it so they do not fall into the dark.”
“How can I keep them out of the dark when my Light is dying? Please don’t go.”
“They shine so brightly Lamont! So beautiful.” In a surprising show of strength, she gripped his hand and he winced. “Promise me! Don’t leave them alone in the dark. Let the Shadow guide them.”
He stared into her eyes with an eerie intensity and then he reluctantly nodded his head in acquiescence. “I promise.”
“Will you kiss me Lamont? I’m cold.”
Sam came to with tears on his face, the sorrow from his vision still leaking through into his consciousness. Wincing, he picked himself up and walked to his bag for the pain reliever. Headed to the bathroom for water, he passed the table and his boot collided with something on the floor. Sam looked down to see his father’s box spilled open on the floor. Cursing, he bent down to gather the escaped contents and discovered a hidden compartment built into the bottom had come loose as well. The mess of papers was deceptively large so he sat on the floor and used his long arms to gather the papers and sort through them. He wondered what secrets his father took with him in death. How awful were these secrets that his father felt it necessary to hide them like this?
With the bulk of the documents piled loosely together, his headache was forgotten and Sam started to sift through them, trying to place the mess into a semblance of order. There were the usual documents Sam was familiar with, his and Dean’s birth certificates and cherished letters from his mother. Close to the center of the pile, Sam found another, older birth certificate paper-clipped to the back of an envelope. The writing on the envelope was distinctly feminine and addressed his father in an intimate manner. With a shaking hand, he carefully opened the seal on the delicate envelope and pulled out a single sheet of paper. Unfolding it revealed writing that matched the envelope and he read on.My Dearest John;
That sounds so wrong, like I’m saying goodbye. But if you’ve found this, then it’s too late for that. My tears are endless at the thought of you having to raise our beautiful children alone, but I know in my heart you will do the right thing. What ever that might be. I can’t tell you which choice is the right one. I can only give you enough to make an informed decision. Please forgive me for keeping secrets. I honestly thought that it was for the best. You remember the choice I made by marrying you. In no way do I regret it. I can only hope that they will forgive me when they see our boys. I never thought that my family’s legacy would be an issue since it hadn’t manifested in me. I thought that it had stopped with my mother, Rosamund.
I know that I am going to die John. It’s the dreams. They started during my second trimester with Sam. I know you think it’s just the hormones making my dreams so bizarre, but unfortunately, it’s not. I never expected it to happen, but I know from experience that there is nothing I can do about it. The dreams are never specific and I knew from watching my Mother live in fear of her death for years that the best approach is to live my life to its fullest. Every day. I didn’t tell you, my dearest love, because I couldn’t live out my days with you always in fear. Wondering how and if it would be today or tomorrow.
I made a choice. To love you every second of every day to the fullest and I will never regret that.
Even though it manifested so late in my life, my Grandmother’s gift was passed to me, and my fear is that both Sam and Dean could inherit some or all of my family’s gifts. I can already see so much of my Grandparents in Dean. Please don’t be afraid to ask for help John. This is something you have no experience with and I believe my Grampa Monty (please don’t tell him I told you my name for him, he’s usually very dignified) and Gramma Margie are the only ones able to help the boys should they show any sign of our unique family traits.
I am placing this in the false bottom of my keepsake box and I will leave you a small note in our lockbox. Both you and Dean will be home soon. I wish I could have seen his ballgame, but my back is aching and you insisted that I stay in bed. I hope you remembered the video camera. I don’t want to miss a moment.
Don’t forget John, it’s important that you contact my Grandparents if either one or both the boys develop signs of prescience, clairvoyance, telekinesis or thrall. These things can be easily exploited if proper training is not made available. And NO, you cannot just tell them to stop. My Grandparents can explain this far better than I can.
I look forward to every moment of my time with you.
My love always,
Sam replaced the letter in its envelope with shaking hands and took a look at the other papers that had been clipped to it. The largest document was his mother’s birth certificate; her parents were listed as a Margot Lane – mother and Lamont Cranston – father. Sam noticed another piece of paper clipped to the back of the birth certificate. It was small, index card sized and printed on it were the names Lamont and Margot Cranston followed by a phone number and an address in Chicago. He heard the lock rattle and jumped up, gun already in hand as it opened to reveal his brother. Sam’s irritation at Dean resurfaced at the smirk on his brother’s face.
“Dude! Where the hell have you been?”
“Don’t get your panties in a twist Samantha.” Dean saw the mess on the floor and frowned. “What happened klutz boy? You forget to pick up your feet and knock over… hey! Is that Dad’s box? Did you break it with your elephant feet?”
“No! I didn’t break it! I had a vision and bumped into the table on my way down.”
“Shit Sammy, are you okay?”
Yeah, I’m fine. It was really weird. Dean, did you know there was a false bottom in Dad’s box?”
“Are you sure these reports are accurate?”
“Yes sir. The FBI has extensive files on both of the Winchester brothers. They have one on the father as well, but with his death this past year it was closed.”
“I just can’t believe this is what my grandchildren have been doing with their lives. Desecration of graves, robbery, identity theft, credit fraud, arson, murder? How did this happen?”
“Oh, that is all Wilson. I will let you know if I need further assistance.”
“If I may Sir?”
“What is it Wilson?”
“Reading through their files, I get the distinct impression that there is more to these cases than what is described on paper. There are several supernatural incidents linked to the areas in the files. I suggest an additional interview with a Detective Diana Ballard of the Baltimore PD.”
“I’ll expect your usual report on my desk as soon as possible.”
“Of course sir.”
“A false bottom, are you sure?” Dean looked at the box in his grip, shifting it in the lamplight to get a better view of the bottom.
Sam held up a thin, slightly cracked rectangle of wood. “Yes. After my vision, I found these papers and a letter. It’s addressed to dad. I’m pretty sure it’s from Mom.”
“The box was Mom’s. It was one of the only things that survived the fire. Hell, dad said the upstairs burned so hot even the papers in the lockbox turned to ash.” He jerked his chin at the letter. “Did you read it?”
“Of course I did. But, I don’t think Dad ever read it.”
“How do you know that?”
“It was still sealed Dean. Here, you read it and then I’ll tell you about my vision.”
Dean reached out with a shaky hand, a fact which both of them ignored, and took the letter. He sat on the bed and read quietly while Sam sorted through the remaining papers.
At the bottom of the stack, Sam noticed another envelope. Inside was another letter, addressed to their mother, Mary. Sam unfolded it and two small pictures fell out. The smaller one was a professional portrait, picturing three women of varying ages and a distinguished looking man with piercing blue eyes. There was a green eyed, sandy haired woman of middle age and an older, blonde haired woman standing behind the seated man. The youngest of the women was a striking blonde; her appearance marking her as undeniably related to the other three people pictured. There was no doubt in Sam’s mind that the young woman was their mother, Mary. She was a younger version of the picture Dean kept in his wallet.
“Hey, Dean?” Sam tapped his brother on the leg and held up the picture. “This is Mom, right?”
Dean cleared his throat and took the photo from Sam, he avoided meeting Sam’s gaze, but the younger man noticed the moisture threatening to spill from his brother’s eyes. Sam refrained from mentioning this and inspected the other picture. The background was a… well, the only word to describe it was, a mansion. Standing on the front steps were a very young version of their father John with his arm around their mother Mary’s shoulder. Her left hand gripped dad’s hand on her shoulder and Sam noticed that her ring finger was bare. ‘Must have been before they got married.’
Sam felt Dean’s eyes on him and he silently handed him the other photo.
“Dude! Look at that house! Do you think Mom’s family worked there? I don’t remember meeting Mom’s parents and Dad never talked about them.”
Sam opened the letter. “This was the letter the pictures were in. The envelope is addressed to Mom from a Margot Lane-Cranston. Oh my god. Dean, the woman in my vision was named Margot.”
“Well read the letter genius.”Mary,
I hope that you are reading this and not returning it unopened like most of the others. I am thankful you opened the letter I sent after Dean was born.
I know you were so very hurt when I didn’t stand up for you when you married John Winchester. There were reasons for that and I couldn’t explain with any clarity.
I’m so very proud of you sweetheart. A good marriage to a decent man and two sons. Dean is such a strong name and I’m sure it will hold true given our family history. And dear little Samuel. Or should I say Sammy?
We miss you. Believe it or not, your grandfather misses you most of all. He refuses to talk about it and I’ve given up trying to persuade him. You come by your stubbornness honestly I’m afraid.
Please do not let that stand in the way. If either Dean or Sammy show any sign of our family gifts, please come to me. Your grandfather is the best choice to train them should they manifest any extra abilities.
I’ve enclosed a gift for the new baby. Please use it for anything your family might need. It’s not as much as I wish to give you, but I know you wouldn’t accept more. I hope that in time, we can be a family again.
I love you.
The dark haired woman looked up from her coffee warily. “Maybe. Who wants to know?”
The man addressing her was fairly nondescript: brown hair, brown eyes, average height. He held out his hand. “Matthew Wilson. I’m a private investigator and was hoping you would be willing to speak with me regarding a rather delicate situation.”
She leaned back in her chair and eyed the man in a new light. “Delicate situation? Hmmm, where are you from? You’re not local.”
“Chicago. Would mind joining me at my table? It’s a bit more private.”
“Sure, what the hell. I don’t have anything better to do right now anyway.”
Wilson soon had her seated at his table in the back of the room. She watched him with curiosity and he decided to shoot straight with her.
“My employer has a keen interest in the events that happened in November of last year.”
Ballard’s eyes widened in disbelief and she let out a shocked laugh. “Oh he does, does he? And just who is this ‘employer’ of yours?”
“I am sorry, but that information is not within my authority to share at this time. However, I believe your cooperation in this would go a long way in assuring my employer of your discretion.”
Her eyes narrowed. “You know, I don’t think was a good idea. I’m not telling you anything different than what’s on my official statement.” She crossed her arms over her chest. ‘I’m not paying those boys back for saving my life by screwing up my statement.’
She leaned forward, her voice low and filled with venom. “Who put you up to this? Was it Sorenson or the Feeb?”
“I can see that a further show of trust is needed.” He pulled out a card and held it out to her. It was plain white, of high quality stock, and only had a phone number printed on the front.
“What is this supposed to be?”
“That, Ms. Ballard, is my employer’s private line. You are welcome to call and speak with him yourself regarding his interest in your erstwhile saviors. You are welcome to use my cell phone if do not have one of your own.”
Det. Ballard held out her hand. “I’m assuming you are on an expense account?” At his nod she continued. “Then let me have your calling card and I’ll use that payphone.” Wilson handed over his card with a small smile and watched as she walked to the phone and called his employer. The call was fairly animated, but quiet and he watched as she carefully hung the handset and returned to the table. Her face was troubled as she took her seat and he waited patiently.
“Are you completely sure this isn’t going to bite me in the ass later?” Her gaze was steady as it met his and he regarded her solemnly.
“Nothing that you share with me will go farther than the report to my employer I assure you. It is in his best interests that his name is not officially linked with the parties involved. Especially since he will use his considerable influence to help them if you confirm my suspicions.”
“Tell me one thing first…”
He smiled encouragingly.
“What’s it like in Chicago?”
He broke out into a full grin as she confirmed his gut feeling. “I think you’ll enjoy it. The benefits are second to none.”
“Good. That’s what I thought. Okay, so, my partner and I were assigned a double homicide. It seemed like a typical case, how sad is that? But then the Winchesters got involved. And, don’t you dare laugh, a ghost…”
This was something I had to write to get it out of my head. I'm not sure if I will continue this or not. No ideas for further storyline have popped up so I will mark it complete for now.
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