Indiana Jones says her name, slinking in through her door like he’d never left - like he’d not broken her heart and destroyed her father’s spirit - and Marion wonders why she ever thought she’d seen the last of him. Something in her, deep deep down and as optimistic as the child she’d been when their affair had started, cries out in delight.
The rest screams in protest; ten years of learned hate clawing fiery hot at her insides. This man, this man has no right. He left. He left .
And she’d been a child, innocent and exploited.
She ignores the fact those words are only ever heard in her father’s voice - his drunken roar.
He makes his usual excuses, taking as little of the blame as he can. Time has not changed this man; he’s still blind to his own faults. But now, Marion at least does not love him for this blindness.
In spite of… no. She’s not going down this path. Not again.
The man with the fedora hat stands out in the crowd in her father’s home.
He’s tall and handsome, his rugged looks an outlier amongst the stuffy professors that are her father’s usual acquaintances. Despite this, he’s the centre of attention - holding the room’s focus in a way that makes Marion envious.
Later, when all their guests are gone and they’re cleaning up the house, her father asks what she thinks of his new student. It takes a while for Marion to realise that the stranger in the fedora hat is Indiana Jones, that genius student he always talks about and the one coming with them on their dig to find the Ark next month.
But then all she can do is sigh in reply to her father.
This Indiana Jones is never going to see her for anything but a child. He’s going to be like all the others - someone that looks down their noses and never sees anything but Abner’s annoying little girl, dragged along for the dig.
Nothing ever changes.
She stands in the burning ruins of her pub - her home - and wonders, through the shivering, how much of a metaphor for her own life this is. Jones has barely been in her life a half hour and already it’s a smoking ruin, crumbing to dust around her with only his word as a promise of a better future.
‘I have an extra ticket for Cairo,’ Indiana says, awkwardly shuffling in place. His eyes have not left the medallion in her hand, still warm from the fire. ‘I’d hoped to bring Abner with me; to keep him safe.’
His words are a stab to Marion’s heart, an extra blow to an unhealing wound. Of course he’d planned for her father but not her. Of course he’d decided to try to keep Abner safe years too late.
‘Well now it’s mine,’ she snaps, slipping the medallion into her pocket. ‘Along with everything else you were going to finally do for my father.’
Indiana looks away at the pointed jab, as piercing a blow as he’d delivered to her when he mentioned her father.
It’s a low blow, and perhaps not deserved, but at this point Marion’s going to take all she can get.
He deserves it.
It’s the second night of the dig when Indiana takes the seat next to hers, in the bigger tent they’ve made their communal area. At first she’s sure it’s just as a courtesy - say hello to the boss’ daughter so she’ll mention that you were nice to him - but then he says something so stupidly wrong she has to correct him.
And he takes offence.
Every word makes Marion feel like she’s flying. Indiana - call me Indy - doesn’t dismiss her thoughts as those of a stupid child, and actually crows when she concedes a point. Like victory over her is an accomplishment.
But he also concedes points to her. It’s mutual.
She concedes more than she wins, but Indy seems to like that. He offers to teach her some things, so she can keep up next time.
Marion agrees. This is going to be amazing.
Reaching Cairo feels like walking back into a memory. The heat of the desert with its warm air that fills her lungs and steals her breath away… each breath is its own case of deja vu. She feels like a child again, the same one she’d been all those years ago when Indiana Jones first crossed her path.
And she hates every second of it. How dare he bring her back to this place, to this feeling?
Meeting Sallah helps, his friendliness overpowering all Marion’s anger. It’s hard to be angry around this jolly man; even harder when introduced to his delightful wife and daring children. Indy fades into the background as every member of the family falls over themselves to make Marion feel welcome - even tiny Jasmine, who offers Marion her favourite dolly.
And outside Marion can see Indiana watching her every step but it doesn’t matter. She’s not falling into this trap again.
She’s never going to go to him. Not again.
One night, weeks after they’ve made their nightly meetings a confirmed habit, Indiana wakes the camp up screaming. Marion tries to rush to his side but her father holds her back as Indy disappears into the darkness just beyond the dying light of their campfire.
‘Leave him be,’ Abner says with a dark look that matches the one Marion had seen on Indy’s face.
‘What’s wrong with him?’ Marion says, the words making her feel small and childish in a way she’s not felt since this dig began.
‘He’s been through the wars,’ Abner says, and no matter how she pushes that’s all he’ll say.
Maybe he needs comforting , Marion reasons as she sits in her bed the next night. Half formed memories of her mother holding her at night slip through her mind. The nightmares had never seemed as bad when she’d been in her mother’s arms.
She’ll go to him now, see if she can help. A little comfort - maybe a healing kiss! - and Indiana won’t have that dark look in his eyes anymore.
She’ll go to him, and it’ll be alright.
Everything will be better.
What could go wrong?