Disclaimer: Not mine.
AN: I actually wrote this and two other fics for this fandom quite a while back but at the time there wasn't a category for them yet so I only posed it on AO3. But I noticed it's here now so I thought I might as well post it now. Written after 1x05.
*Mary's is a Long (Island) Sad Tale*
As she flinches away from her mother's touch, bile rising in her throat, the thought that makes her spinning mind come to a screeching halt is her words about Kate. Her mom said she didn't want Mary to hear this from her stepdad or Kate.
Which means that Kate already knows.
Her eyes skitter around the pier, avoiding the sight of her mother's tearful face, sure that if she doesn't she'll throw up right there in broad daylight. She can't be here, she has to get the hell away from this woman she's loved all her life and thought she knew, away from the face that now feels like it belongs to a stranger.
So she does, she stumbles past her mother and then she rushes off, hands tight around her middle, trying to contain the scream that hasn't passed her lips but is echoing through her mind anyway.
For the next few minutes all she does is hurry to put as much distance between herself and her mother as she can get.
Her mother forged the evidence that made her stepdad stop searching for Beth, which means that right now Kate absolutely loathes Mary's mom. And that's fine, right this moment she doesn't think she'll ever be able to forgive her mother either.
How could the woman who taught her the difference between right and wrong have done this? And... oh god. What if Kate thinks that Mary had already known?
Halting in place Mary grabs her purse to search for her phone, - her fingers shaking so badly she almost drops it before she can unlock the screen, - after a moment she gets to her contacts and scrolls down to her sister's name to call her.
It rings for a few moments and then switches to voicemail - 'This is Kate, you know the drill.' - Mary ends the connection and tries again.
"C'mon. C'mon Kate, please pick up." She whispers. One ring, two rings, three rings... voicemail. For half a heartbeat she wants to just keep calling like a crazy person until Kate answers but she forces herself to take a deep breath because that would be insane. She can leave a message, like a calm and reasonable person whose mother didn't just admit to faking a missing kid's death. "Kate, hey, I didn't know, you have to believe that I didn't know. I'm so sorry, please just... just call me back, okay?"
Because that didn't sound unhinged at all.
Mary looks around, glares at the group of people throwing strange looks at the crazy, crying girl and doesn't know what to do. She can't go back to the car, even if she gets there first it's not like she wants to be driven home. She doesn't want to be anywhere near her mother right now.
What she wants is to talk with her sister.
Her eyes rove around the street, searching for inspiration and land on the five star hotel on the other side of the street. It's as good as place as any to wait for Kate to call her back. And hotels have bars.
It's half an hour and one Tequila Sunrise later that she tries to call Kate again.
"Hey, I know you probably don't wan't to talk with anyone right now but can you please call me back? Mom... my mother told me what she did. I'm so sorry, Kate." Mary says, and after spending a few minutes hopefully waiting for Kate to call her back this time, she waves over the bartender for another glass.
Usually not getting a response from Kate wouldn't feel like this big of a deal, she's used to it. But today she can't help analyzing what it means, because if Kate is about to disown her stepmother then a stepsister is such convenient collateral damage.
The phone finally rings maybe ten minutes after that but before the relief has had a chance to set in she sees her mother's face flash across the screen. In the picture her mother is smiling, eyes crinkling at the corners that make her look kind and loving and-
Mary swipes left on the red button, chest tightening with simmering anger. She finishes off her second drink in two big gulps.
She doesn't want to hear her mother's justifications, or her apologies, as if it's Mary that needs to hear them. What she wants is for it to be yesterday when she'd thought that the worst thing her mother had ever done was occasionally make Mary feel like the family embarrassment.
"I can't believe she'd do that." She mutters into the speaker, head down on the counter. "I mean how did she even justify that to herself? I could-"
"Hey there." Interrupts an unwelcome voice from beside her. "What's got a girl as pretty as you so down?"
"Get lost!" She snaps at the sleazy white guy as soon as she picks up her head from the shiny wooden surface of the bar, she puts him to be at least fifteen years older than her, not that it would have changed much even if he was her own age and cute. Right now she wants to be hit on almost as much as she wants to ever again be in the same room as her mother.
The guy hisses something quietly under his breath before he leaves, Mary misses it under the smooth sounds of the piano that's running as the background noise for the hotel bar but she can make an educated guess as to its nature.
She rolls her eyes and as soon as the guy's gone turns her focus back on her call, only to find it's already disconnected again.
"Shit." She says and reaches over to finish off her glass but stops mid-reach, throwing a suspicious look at it and then the seat beside her. She hadn't been watching the glass, and she's still sober enough to remember to be cautious.
She pushes the half empty glass back to the bartender and asks for a Mai Tai to replace it.
"If you're avoiding me because you think I'll take Mom's side you don't know me at all. What she did was horrible and I would never ever ever ever ever- ever is such a weird word have you noticed? What was I saying?" Mary says cutting short and hiccups, it seems to jump-start her short term memory, "I'd never ever take her side. I hate her."
It hurts to say, it hurts even to think it but it's the only word that fits how it feels to think of the harm her mom's done. To remember all those times when Kate would say that she knew that Beth wasn't dead and Mary didn't believe it, and her mom sat on the other side of the dinner table and said nothing for more than a decade.
She wipes her cheeks for what feels like the hundredth time in the past few hours, the movement making her head spin around her feet even though she's sitting. It's possible she might have drunk a bit too much.
Time to change her plan of attack, waiting for Kate to call her back is clearly not working. She needs a cab.
Kate's apartment being a bust has brought her to Wayne Tower - Kate wasn't home, not even mad would Kate have made Mary bang on her apartment door for ten minutes straight without letting her in.
So now she's facing the world's most stubborn security guard. Though Mary is going to get past him, because he might not know it but if there's one thing that being raised by She Who Won't Be Named has made her ready for, it's elbowing her way into wherever she wants to go. And right now that's to see Kate.
"I'm sorry Miss, I can't let you in." The man says rushing to catch up with her as she storms her way toward the private elevator.
"I'm here to see Kate." She says and fends off his attempt to steer her away back toward the exit and pushes the elevator button.
"Miss Kane isn't seeing anyone right now."
"Well I'm not anyone and if she plans to avoid me just because Mom turned out to be the Evil Stepmother she's got another thing coming." She says and steps into the elevator as soon as the doors slide open, leaving the guard with the choice of either following her or physically carrying her out. He's not going to try that second one yet though, Mary can tell. She pushes the uppermost button on the elevator, - it's always the uppermost button, - and then she waits.
A minute later, as soon as the elevator door slides open again she rushes out, dragging along the guard who, in a last ditch effort to stop her, is now holding her by her elbow.
"Kate?! Kate!" She yells. "I need to talk to you, okay? I hate her too. Kate?"
It turning out that Kate's been off somewhere with Alice the entire day that Mary tried desperately to get in touch with her, to make sure she wouldn't be losing her sister in the upcoming parental divorce is so typical it's almost funny, - if ending up curled up on the ratty couch of the clinic that's hiding inside an abandoned building, under two musty blankets as she finishes off the last slice of pizza given to her by Kate's associate-assistant-real-estate-person Luke, and fighting off a migraine - can be considered amusing instead of depressing.
She finishes the last bites, throws a look at the dark screen of the phone and after a moment of hesitation turns her back to it to lay down and maybe finally catch some sleep.
Who knows, maybe she'll wake up in her own bed at home and this past day will just be a bad dream that never actually happened.
She doesn't wake up in her own bed. She also doesn't wake up alone. Her feet are laying across someone's lap.
"I'm mad at you." Mary whispers in the darkness at her visitor.
"I know." Kate says back."I talked to Luke."
For a minute Mary doesn't know what else to say so she lets the silence speak in her place. Eventually though the thing she's been trying to get Kate to hear all day spills out. "I didn't know what Mom had done. Not until this morning, I would have told you if I'd known."
This time it's Kate who doesn't answer but she reaches over to squeeze her hand and Mary sighs in relief.
"What were you doing with Alice?" She asks, not sure if she wants to know but nothing else seems to come to her mind and the silence is turning oppressive.
"She brought me to show what happened to her after the crash."
Mary freezes in place, her throat closing up. She's known that story couldn't possibly turn out to be good since Kate had said that Alice was Beth. But now whatever happened will always at least partially be her mother's fault. Because her stepdad would have never stopped looking without the evidence of those skull fragments, and maybe they would have found her.
Maybe she really could have grown up with two sisters.
"What..." She's terrified to ask what Kate has learned but she also needs to know. "What did happen?"
"Mary." Kate says in a pained voice and falls silent, like the words don't want to come, or maybe like she's trying to protect her from them.
"Just say it." Mary says, harsh.
"She was found by a serial killer. Apparently, he wanted a playmate for his son."
In a second Mary is off the couch and rushing for the door leading to the only working bathroom in the entire building. She gets there just in time to throw up those slices of pizza and numerous cocktails. By the time Kate follows her into the bathroom and belatedly turns on the light she's still dry heaving over the toilet seat, tears running over her cheeks. It doesn't help, she's still sick to her stomach.
"I'm sorry, Kate." Mary says and looks up to her.
Kate looks like the world has broken to pieces under her feet, like an earthquake has ruptured something vital and all the light has been leaked out of her. The closest Mary's ever seen Kate looking to this was five years ago when Sophie broke Kate's heart. But even then she didn't look as hopeless as she does right now, back then she had that anger that managed to carry her out of the city. Now even that seems absent.
It's enough to make Mary bring herself together. She gets up, quickly washes out her mouth and then steers Kate back to the room they came from.
Once they're back to sitting though, this time with one of the blankets around Kate's shoulders, Mary's at a loss again.
What can she possibly say to make Kate feel better? She doesn't even know how to make herself feel better.
The silence between them grows again.
Eventually it's Kate herself who breaks it.
"You don't have to kill anyone to get me to talk to you, you know." Kate says, the sound tired but with just enough of a hint of real humor to make Mary think Kate will be okay. Eventually.
Then her words register and Mary's eyes narrow. "How much exactly did Luke tell you about my visit to the Wayne Tower?"
"That was about it. He told me you'd tried to find me, found out I was with Alice and then said that when you left. He was quite insistent I should talk to you though. Why?" Mary sees Kate side-eyeing her thoughtfully with a twist to her lips and a raised eyebrow.
Mary doesn't blink. She knows that look on Kate too, it's a curious look. It's a look that means Mary needs to go back to Luke the first thing tomorrow morning and either swear or threaten him into keeping his silence.
First though she needs to distract Kate and she's got the perfect thing too. She's been thinking about it for a bit now, though she's pretty sure she wouldn't have gotten up the courage to actually mention it without the added incentive of making sure Kate never hears about the things Mary had said today while upset.
"Can I go live at your place for a bit? I don't think I can stay in the same building as Mom right now and I... I don't actually have anywhere else to go." The words rush out of her so fast she's not sure how she'd kept them in until now.
Mary looks up, uncertain, and finds Kate looking somewhere over Mary's shoulder but after a moment she focuses on her and nods.
"Okay." Kate says. "You can stay as long as you need to."
And that seems to be all that Mary needed to be pushed over the edge because she immediately bursts into tears. Except this time she finds Kate bringing her into her arms, starting to rock her in place as she runs soothing circles over her back.
"I'm sorry." Mary says and then repeats it, again and again, like she' can't stop. She's so sorry. She's sorry her mom did this, she's sorry about what happened to Beth, she's sorry she can't be the sister Kate actually wants.
"It's alright, Mary. It's not your fault. It's not your fault."
AN2: In case anyone couldn't tell: I really really love Mary.
Any comments on what you thought about this would be more than welcome.