He had been an absolute cad.
She was seventeen. Headstrong, whip smart, with freckles and dark ringlets, the cutest little button nose he had ever seen. She lacked maturity, especially with dusty old Abner as a parent, but then, so did he.
She had recklessly made it clear that she wanted him. He allowed her to flirt and tease until he found that he wanted her just as much. Maybe even more.
She was infuriating, and the attraction to corral her was irresistible.
He had been selfish, allowed himself to be swept up in a childish infatuation, a first attachment. The guilt began to eat at him from the very first moment he flirted back. It still ate at him ten years later.
He knew he hurt her. If he hadn't been such a selfish little bastard and waited, he could've done it the right way…or maybe just not at all. He still loved her, too. Still felt that same inexplicable pull all these years later, but any possible bridge had been burned by his own hands long ago.
Then after that fateful night when he walked back into her life, after her bar burned down, after she followed him across the globe, after he thought she died, after the Ark, after so many things—they were finally here.
You know, domesticity. As he suspected, it didn't really suit her.
It was good and it was bad, that she wasn't cut out for that kind of life. Kept things interesting for sure, but it also made him want to tear his hair out multiple times a day. She certainly wasn't a housewife, and truth be told, he didn't want her to be.
She made everyday life an adventure, like coming home from the college to see their garage open, and, to his horror, their car half deconstructed. She’d put it back together though, and when it was done could go about a hundred miles over what was considered possible. They’d had fun with that one.
Or the time she’d decided that she couldn't stand going to the grocers anymore, only to run into the same cashiers who always made her feel terrible about her hair with their sharp condescending smiles. He’d asked her where she was going to get food from, then. When he realized later that she’d gone and taken his gun from the bedside table, he'd paced back and forth for hours across the living room waiting for her to return. That, or for the police to show up.
But no. He’d come out onto the porch, half crazed and in his robe, only to see that she’d come back, a triumphant smile on her face, a string of fish in one hand, the neck of a goose in the other.
“What? If you’re worried about vegetables, Mrs. Cooke next door told me I could buy some straight from her garden. I’d like to see the grocer outdo that for fresh.”
And when there was an artifact to go after, no amount of persuasion would keep her from coming along. “Now what kind of wife would I be if I let my husband risk his life without me there to help?” she asked winningly.
“A normal one.”
Marion rolled her eyes, “Come on, Jones, live a little.”
“I’m trying,” he muttered.
“Heard ‘ja!” she called from the other room as he saw shirts go flying above her head.
He really couldn't help but love her, all her messy, riotous exploits and her feisty courage. Sure, she’d gotten him into one or two scrapes, but she’d gotten him out of a few, too.
When Henry jr. started to show, they’d both been scared. Him more than her, but he hid that.
He tried to get her to slow down, but then, she was Marion. Of course, when their son actually arrived in the world, she did change.
At first it was something he had a hard time getting used to. Motherly was never a word he would have used to describe her, but somehow here they were. Her speech became less harsh, her manner less tomboyish, her heart a little more tender, and it was nice to have a meal without an explosion once in a while.
Life had changed drastically, but all in all, he was content. What was more, she was content. He never thought that he would have had a hand in that.
Their son was pretty great, too. Henry jr. was shaping up to be a chip off the ol' block, but if he ever thought he was going to get that damn hat, he had one hell of another thing coming.