Disclaimer: Not mine. I'm just playing. I'll put'em back when I'm done.

Rating: G

Synopsis: How did John come about the Impala?

The very day the good news had hit him like a wrecking ball, reminding him that his youth was definitely over now and it was time to grow a backbone and become a man, was the day he found her. Well, in essence it would be the other way around, because despite the fact that the route from the new house to the garage was fairly straight forward, he had chosen this very day to make a detour; to think, to contemplate what Mary's news would mean for them, and to finally grin like a goon at the thought of becoming a father.

He had stopped the old, battered truck to take in the moment, to actually feel what it would be like, and that was when he had spotted her. He loved cars, always had, and seeing her sitting there in the driveway, overgrown with weeds, all four tires long gone and only a hand sized patch of paint still remaining, had carved a gully through his heart.

Without thought of how insane it had to seem, he got out of the truck and stepped up to the driveway to stare at the wreck.

"It ain't running no more," a voice said.

He glanced up at the porch of the house with the peeling paint and eyed the man sitting there. The guy looked about as old and battered as the car did, but John had no sense for this guy today. All he could think of was this wreck that seemed to beckon him. "How much do you want for it?" he asked.

The old-timer arched an eyebrow and got off his rocking chair. "You aimin' to buy it?" he asked, curious now.

"Well, it's not improving your driveway," John countered with a smirk on his lips.

"Ain't that the truth," the old-timer agreed. "Been a hunk of junk for the past ten years. I got it off a friend, thought I might try'n restore it some day. Never got around to it."

John considered the waning contents of his wallet for a moment. "I'll give you fifty bucks for it. It'll cost you more to have it towed away," he said.

The old-timer eyed him. "Can't take more for it than I paid myself," he countered. "Gave that friend of mine a twenty for it."

"That'll be about fifty today," John said without looking up.

"Don't want more'n twenty for it," the old-timer countered.

John glanced at him, then shrugged, hauled his wallet out of one pocket and handed the man a bill. Then he went back to his truck, backed it into the driveway and hauled the wreck up on the back.

The old-timer stood by and watched him quietly. "You make sure you don't get too involved with'er," he said. "Ain't good for your soul if you let'er under your skin." That said, the old-timer returned to his porch and sat back down.

John eyed him for a moment, then shrugged again, got back in the truck and drove to the garage.

If it killed him, he would restore the 1967 Chevy Impala. The thought of owning a car like that made him tingle inside. The thought of owning one he had restored from scratch ... now that was a completely different thing altogether. It would be a momentous occasion when she was finished and the thought that – if the baby Mary carried was a boy – his son would one day inherit her did flit through his mind. For all intents and purposes, this was and always would be a momentous day for him. The day when he had found out that he was going to be a father was the same day that he had found her. It didn't get much better than that.

The End