Learning to Trust
Sam and Dean Winchester heard of demon sightings around Las Vegas, Nevada. At first, Dean was excited they were headed to Vegas, hoping to catch some fun times, goofing off. But, when the brothers tracked a couple demons to a house, things ended up headed in another direction they did not expect.
Dean picked the lock on the front door, letting Sam go in, first. The brothers held their shotguns and flashlights out, staking throughout the house. It was dark and quiet as Sam and Dean checked every corner. Sam decided to take to the stairs when neither one of them found anyone, downstairs. Dean stayed down there, though, continuing to look around.
Sam, very carefully, made his way up the red tiled staircase, taking one step, at a time. He shined his flashlight up into the upstairs hallway, checking each side before he made it up there so he wouldn't be ambushed.
Once he made it to the top, Sam made his way across the hall. There was a huge open loft space, the family that lived there, used as an office, with two expensive-looking computers, and a matching printer, right in between. Sam checked inside each room, including the bathroom. Nothing.
Something inside of him made Sam walk over to the long desk. He wasn't sure why he felt he needed to check the family's stuff out. That seemed like an invasion of their privacy. Sam shined the flashlight along the desk, messy of paperwork, folders, and old receipts. One folder caught his interest. Shifting his shotgun under his arm, Sam pulled out a tan folder that was peeking out from under several other papers and folders. The folder was thick, full of more paperwork. On top was a certified copy of a birth certificate, but what caught his interest was the name of the person.
"Taylor Mary Winchester?" he questioned, in a whisper, confused. His eyes darted towards the father's name and right there, under it, was his own father's name.
Suddenly, his brother's voice, just above a whisper, startled the tall guy. "Sam. Find anything?"
Sam looked back, behind him. He called Dean over, telling him he needed to see this.
Dean, carefully, made his way over, shining his flashlight where his brother was looking. "What?" he asked.
Sam pointed the flashlight at the birth certificate. "Look," he told Dean. "According to this, Dad had another kid, twelve years ago."
Dean couldn't believe what his brother had just told him. First, their brother, Adam, now another possible brother or a sister? He shined his own flashlight on the birth certificate. To the eldest Winchester brother, it could have been another John Winchester, maybe, but at the bottom of the official paper, was his dad's signature. He'd recognized it, anywhere.
Sam flipped the birth certificate over to look at what else was in the folder, quickly scanning through pages of court hearings, counseling sessions, as well as written and typed reports, and medical reports.
"Dean," he realized. "I think this may be a foster home."
"Why do you say that?" Dean asked, both of them still keeping their voices down.
"Most of this are reports made about the kid and what had been said, and court hearings. Listen to this." Sam then, read off a page he stopped on. "Child still does not vocalize her needs and keeps to her room, unless directed otherwise. Will not let anyone near her and has been having night terrors, that causes her to scream out, waking everyone in the household." He turned his head, back towards his brother. "That was from two years ago."
"If she is our sister, why did Dad let her live in foster care? Especially if he knew about her?"
"Dean, don't you remember what was happening, twelve years ago?"
"That was the year you came and got me from Stanford and we were looking for him," Sam reminded his brother. "Dad was closing in on the demon and he knew it wasn't safe for her to be around. So, I bet Dad made the decision to sign his rights away and hope she found another home."
"But, she didn't if she's almost a teenager and still in foster care," Dean pointed out.
"The last report in here was made two years ago. Maybe this family decided to adopt her-" A noise was heard from one of the bedrooms, like something falling over. Both of the brothers shined their flashlights at an open doorway. "What was that?" Sam asked.
"Could be either the parents or Taylor." Dean watched the doorway, cautiously. He motioned towards it, at Sam, before making his way over, pinning himself against the wall, next to the doorway.
Twisting around, he shined the flashlight inside the room, looking around. On the other side of the bed, Dean could see the top of a head, full of dark brown hair. It was huddled in the corner.
"Taylor?" he called out, in a loud whisper. When there wasn't a response, he stepped inside the room, noticing the head, flinch. "Don't worry, Taylor. I'm not here to hurt you. My name is Dean. Winchester, actually. Just like you. I think we may have the same dad." Dean made his way, further, into the room as he spoke to her. When he got to the bed, Dean looked around it, seeing a little girl huddled there, in a ball, clutching a blue, stuffed dolphin.
Dean knelt down, placing his shotgun behind him. His other arm that held the flashlight, he rested on the bed. "Taylor, right?" he asked of the kid, gentle as he could make his tone.
The kid stayed huddled in a ball, not looking up. Her head was hidden in her arms, she had folded on top of her knees.
Suddenly, someone snuck up behind Dean and ambushed him, shoving Dean onto his back. It caused him to drop both the flashlight and his shotgun he tried to grab, the minute he felt someone grab him.
Sam shot at the person with his shotgun, knocking it off of his brother. The demon inside, cried out at Sam, pissed. It aimed right towards him. Without thought, Sam pulled out the Knife, stabbing the demon in the stomach. Light lit up the vessel, showing them, it was a woman.
Another was alerted, running towards Sam, which he turned around in time for the demon to run into the Knife. Light lit up that vessel, as well, showing it was a man, this time. Both of the couple were dead.
"Dammit," Dean cursed. He hoped no one had to get hurt. Now standing, again, he turned back to the kid. Dean, carefully, made his way over to her, kneeling to her level. He had to make sure she wasn't possessed, either. Reaching inside his jacket, Dean pulled out a flask, unscrewing the cap. "I'm just going to flick some water on you. Okay?"
At the sound of his voice, closer to her, Taylor flinched, lifting her head up. She backed further into the corner, terrified out of her mind.
"I won't hurt you, I promise. I just need to flick some water at you," he repeated. Dean poured a tiny bit of holy water onto his fingers and flicked it at the kid. It made her flinch some more, but the water did not burn her skin. Dean released a breath of relief and screwed the cap back on, putting the flask away.
Taylor was watching him like a deer caught in headlights. The only light was from Dean's flashlight, over on the floor, illuminating the two of them.
"This may be hard to believe, but like I was trying to tell you before, I'm your brother, I guess. Dean. We have the same dad." He nodded behind him where Sam was now coming inside the room, "that's Sam, he's also our brother."
Taylor said nothing. It looked like she was squeezing the stuffing out of her stuffed dolphin.
"We just want to help you," Dean continued.
Sam noticed the light switch by the door and pressed the top of it. The ceiling fan light came on, filling the room with bright light. When the lights came on, the brothers were able to get a good look at Taylor. She had brown shoulder length hair and brown eyes. She was wearing pajama pants, with a white Las Vegas souvenir shirt.
"What should we do, Dean?" Sam asked, as he made his way over, carefully, as well.
Dean looked up at his brother. "We take her with us, that's what we're going to do."
He stared at his brother, surprised. "What? Dean, someone's gonna be looking for her when they find out the foster parents are dead."
"She's our sister, Sam," he pointed out. "We can't just leave her, here. Besides, if there's nothing on the last couple of years, there maybe a chance she got lost in the system."
"What are you talking about?" Sam looked at him, puzzled.
"I read random articles online, sometimes," he explained. "If a case worker has over a dozen kids, some of them could get lost in the system. You said, the last report was from two years ago, right?"
"Well, yeah, but she could have been adopted and the parents might have family that will be looking for her," Sam pointed out.
"Did you see an adoption certificate?"
Sam shook his head, "Not that I noticed."
"We're taking her, Sam. End of discussion." Dean turned back to the kid. "Is that all right with you if you came with us?"
Taylor's arms were pinned to her chest, hugging the stuffed dolphin to her. Her eyes darted between the brothers.
"We're not going to hurt you," Sam assured her as Dean had done.
"In fact, we'll do even better and protect you from those who would hurt you." Dean smiled for his sister.
It took a lot of coaxing and time, but after about forty minutes, Dean was leading the kid out to the impala. Sam had grabbed the large file on their sister. Taylor had grabbed a large, black trash bag of clothes and other personal belongings, which Dean tried to offer to carry for her. She refused to let him take it, keeping a safe distance from them.
It wasn't long from then when Dean was driving along the highway. Sam sat on the passenger side, reading through the file. He used his flashlight to see the pages. The reports were what got him.
"Oh, man." He was shaking his head.
Dean asked, "What?" as he drove with one hand.
Sam read off what he just read, hardly able to stomach it. "When child was three years old, current foster father at the time, he quotes, 'could not take the frequent bathroom accidents, anymore,' and beats her. The child was removed from the home and hospitalized for three weeks, before being released to a group home where she resided for the next four months. Child hasn't spoken a word since." He looked up and over at Dean. "That was from five years ago."
Dean found himself, repeatedly, looking between the road and Sam. "Why was that son of a bitch, a foster parent?"
"I don't know," he shrugged.
Dean looked up, into the mirror, adjusting it, to look at his sister. Taylor sat back there, with her knees to her chest, in the center of the backseat, staring at the floorboards, in front of her. Finally, he asked her, "You hungry, kiddo?"
Taylor either ignored him or could not hear him.
Dean decided to reach back and tap on the back of the front seat. "Hey, you hungry?" he repeated.
Hearing Dean hit the seat made Taylor freak out. She scooted over, towards the car door, on Sam's side, trying to shield herself.
He glanced back, over his shoulder, keeping an eye on the road, as well. "I wasn't trying to scare ya. I was asking if you wanted something to eat. We're a little hungry, ourselves, and I was going to stop somewhere."
It didn't ease Taylor, at all. She remained there, all the way to the bunker. Dean stopped for food like he said he would, and just got an extra cheeseburger, in case Taylor got hungry.
As soon as Dean pulled out of the fast food parking lot, getting back on the road, Sam moaned, again. He looked over at his brother, seeing his face lose color.
"What now?" Dean asked of him, unwrapping his bacon cheeseburger on top of the steering wheel. When he saw Sam look away, out his window, Dean caught a tear fall. He felt himself, swallow a lump. "Do I want to know?"
"No, you don't," he admitted, his voice cracking, a bit, as Sam tried to hold it in. He wanted to turn around and hug his sister, but knew that would scare the kid, more. "Who does these things to a kid?"
"I, honestly, don't even know, Sammy. The important thing is, Taylor's with us, and no one is going to hurt her, again. I mean, no one. I will rip out their inurds and strangle them with it." Dean glanced at his sister, who was now watching his every move.
Eventually, Taylor managed to fall asleep. Sometime later, she shot awake, out of a sound sleep. Dean was the only one, still awake. He looked up, into the rearview mirror, at her.
"You okay?" he asked, concerned.
Taylor looked around at her surroundings. She was trying to catch her breath as her chest heaved, in and out. Dean kept an eye on her, making sure she wouldn't hyperventilate. After a moment, he decided to pass back his soda he had left, from the fast food place Dean had stopped at, earlier.
"Here, drink some of this," he offered. "It's not water, but, hopefully, it'll wet your whistle for the time being."
Taylor stared at it, not moving an inch.
Dean glanced back, to see why she hadn't taken it. "It's just soda. Not poison, or anything. In fact," he took a drink of it, to show his sister it was safe to drink, before holding it back towards her, again. "See? Just soda."
She inched closer, slowly, towards the edge of the seat, and reached out for the large-sized paper cup. She grabbed it, with both hands, taking it from her brother and put the straw to her lips, sucking on it.
"Watch the upholstery," he warned, taking his arm, back. "Try not to spill any on the seat." Dean, quickly, added, "I won't do anything to you if you did spill. Just saying. Soda can be hard to clean up in here."
Taylor took a long drink before passing it, back. Thankfully, Dean had noticed in the rearview mirror, and reached back to grab it, returning it to his lap, where he had been holding it.
"After you fell asleep, Sam found the part why our dad gave you up," he said. "Like Sam figured, Dad was trying to protect you. He thought you'd be safer in foster care, wind up with a nice family. I'm sure if Dad were here, he would probably kick himself. I'm sorry you had to live through that. Hell, you probably would have been better off, living our lives than living yours."
She had leaned against the door, staring out the window.
"Did they tell you, your mom died giving birth to you?"
Taylor didn't answer.
Dean watched her, switching between Taylor and the road. She ended up, staying awake along with Dean, the rest of the night. He pulled over and got a couple hours of sleep, before continuing the drive, home, around seven AM, which Sam took over, driving. The brothers left their sister alone, for the most part, not wanting to overwhelm her in any way.
They finally pulled up to the bunker, late in the afternoon, around sunset. Taylor still would not allow the boys to carry in her bag. Instead, Dean carried in the pizza he ordered and picked up, while Sam showed her to one of the spare rooms.
"There's a bathroom, down the hall, if you want to shower," he told her. "I'll make sure to save you some pizza."
Taylor was standing in the center of the room, looking around.
"This is the last time you have to move, so decorate it, anyway you like. Okay?"
She stared at him, but said nothing. Sam left her to her own.
A bit later, Dean had come to check on her, while Taylor was in the shower. Her black trash bag was sitting on the bed, open. But, what caught his attention, was a worn out photo that had scotch tape across it, like the photo was ripped in half at some point, sitting on the bedside table, leaning against the lamp. He walked over, curious, and picked up the photo. Looking at it, it was a photo of John, him, and Sam, when they were younger, some time, right before Sam left for Stanford. On the back, it said, This is me and your brothers, Dean and Sam. Maybe someday we'll see you, again. I just wanted to protect you by keeping you away. I hope you will forgive me. I love you. -Dad
Right as Dean finished reading the back of the photo, it was snatched from his hand. He looked over to see Taylor out of the shower and dressed in another pair of pajama pants and souvenir shirt. She backed away, eyeing Dean.
"Do you know that's us in that picture," he couldn't help ask.
Taylor continued to glare at him. But, not for long. Her gaze softened and she looked down at the photo. She stared at the oldest boy in it, then up at Dean.
Dean tried to take a step towards her, reaching a hand out. As soon as he got close, it seemed like things were good. At the last minute, Taylor flinched from his reach, eyeing her brother, carefully. Dean took his hand back.
"There's still some pizza left if you're hungry and I'm sure you are since you haven't eaten all day. Come on." Dean motioned for her to follow, before he headed for the doorway.
Taylor followed him, but only with her eyes.
He stopped in the doorway, turning to look back at her. "You should eat something before you pass out from starvation." His sister still had not moved. So, Dean just let her be. Instead, he put a few slices on a paper plate and brought it to her, setting it on the desk in her room. "Just in case you change your mind, kiddo." With that said, Dean left her alone.
Everyone hit the sack, early, that night, since they didn't really get enough sleep, the night before. The bunker was dark and quiet as the Winchesters slept. Except, by two in the morning, the silence was broken by a blood-curdling scream.
Both Sam and Dean jumped out of bed. Dean zipped so fast, he forgot to grab his robe. He just grabbed his gun and ran towards Taylor's room, where Sam was throwing on the light, by the switch.
Taylor was tossing and turning, screaming at the top of her lungs, as if someone was murdering her. "No! No! Please, don't! No!" She was curled up, at the head of her bed. The minute she felt Dean touch her shoulder, Taylor bolted awake. She flinched back, staring at him.
"You okay, kiddo?" he asked, knelt beside her bed.
Taylor said nothing. She just stared at her brother, the front of her hair that hung down, stuck to her forehead, by sweat. When it looked like Taylor wasn't going to say anything, Dean stood up. He tried to cover her back up, but it, too made her flinch and pushed the covers away. She eased back down, slowly, onto her pillow, hugging her dolphin to her chest.
Dean walked over to where Sam was standing, exchanging a look with him, also noticing the pizza, except for the crust, was gone. This wasn't going to be easy. For any of them.