Friday came. Neither Sam or Dean went to work that morning, like the first time. Taylor went to school, at least, so she wouldn't miss any of her tests. Unlike the first time, the brothers were less nervous, since they knew what to expect.
Sam showered and got dressed up in his get-up he wore while posing as FBI, as did Dean. Except he had showered the night before. John wished he could have gone with them, wanting to be a part of it.
The hearing was at noon, this time, so the brothers left a quarter till eleven, picking Taylor up, from school, on the way. Sam went into the front office to sign her out, for the rest of the day.
"Hey, how was school?" Dean asked, as Taylor climbed into the back seat.
"Good. I got a low B on my spelling test and and a high one on the vocab part," she said, putting her seatbelt on, as Sam slid into the front.
"That's good, Kiddo,' he praised. "Ready to be free from caseworkers and boring meetings?"
Taylor lit up. "Yeah!"
Dean pulled away from the curb and pulled out of the parking lot of the school, heading for the court house, listening to a classic rock station on the way. It was a twenty-five minute drive there, with traffic. They went through the same procedure, as last time, with the metal detectors and headed up to the same floor, where everyone was waiting for them, including Jody.
"Still nervous?" she asked the brothers.
Sam let out a breath of air. "A little. But, not like last time."
"I'm more anxious to get this over with, than nervous," said Dean.
"How do you feel, Taylor?" she asked the kid.
Taylor was standing in front of her oldest brother, holding onto his hands around her. "Same as Dean," she replied. "Except I've been doing this since I was five."
Helen came over to greet the siblings.
"Hi," Taylor replied, with a smile.
"Taylor, you're not gonna need me, anymore, after this," she frowned.
"Nope," she shook her head.
"I'd like it if we can still be friends, though. If that's alright with you."
Taylor shrugged, "Sure."
Sam and Dean looked at each other. If that was true than they would have to make it seem like they found their father, after this day.
Mindy was over, talking to Jody's friend, Courtney. They came over when they were done. When the clock struck twelve, and the courtroom was empty of the last hearing, which seemed to have been a more positive one than the last time, everyone piled in, sitting their same seating.
Sam was able to sit, still, this time. Dean still felt uncomfortable in a courtroom, but was more relaxed. Taylor had the most change. Instead of curled up, in a ball, clutching her dolphin, which was at home, she sat on the edge of her seat. Taylor kept trying to balance the chair, on two legs, instead of all four.
Sam leaned over to scold her, to stop.
"I'm bored," she said.
Helen stepped in. "The judge will be in soon, sweetheart."
A little time passed and Taylor started doing it, again. This time, Dean said something to her. "Taylor, knock it off. I get you're bored. Find another way to entertain yourself that doesn't involve cracking your head, open."
"Like what?" she shrugged.
"How was school, today?" Helen asked, trying to start up a conversation, to pass the time.
"Good," Taylor replied.
"What did you do?"
"We had our spelling and vocab test." Helen had to interrupt her when they were told to rise, for the judge.
The same judge entered the room and walked over to his podium, to sit down. Everyone sat back down. Dean did not bump himself, this time, either. They went around the courtroom, starting with introductions.
When they got to Taylor, she blurted out, "I'm Taylor Winchester!" taking the judge by surprise. In a good way, though.
The official lady summarized Mindy's report, not receiving any interruptions, this time. Taylor held her chin on her folded arms, on the table, in front of her. Dean noticed. Now, that she wasn't so scared and nervous, he could tell how bored his sister really was.
Once the woman was finished, reading, Dean saw the glasses come on, as Judge Cartwright skimmed over his paperwork.
"Well," he said, looking up and scanned the courtroom. "I see a ton of progress made. In fact, are we sure we have the right kid? I think someone swapped out Taylor for another." The judge smiled over at her.
Taylor lifted her head, to say, "No, it's me," giggling, a little. Her brothers couldn't help smile at their sister.
"I have to say, I am glad we got the missing pieces from the years we lost. Not happy to hear they were bad for the poor kid. But, from what I've read and what I am seeing, right now," Judge Cartwright looked, extremely impressed, "how do you feel, Taylor?"
She shrugged. "Great. I love living with my big brothers. They give me lots of love and protect me, and even help me, tackle boys on the football field. My big bro even bought me, pads from the store when I started."
Dean turned bright red when his sister brought up the most embarrassing moment of his life, as everyone smiled at him, sweetly.
"Can I keep living with my big brothers?" Taylor suddenly, turned serious. "I don't want to go to another foster home or group home, anymore. I'd rather be with my family."
"Well, that depends," Judge Cartwright said, and looked over at Dean. "I hear someone wants to surrender his custody rights. Is that still correct?"
Dean swallowed the fear back. "No, sir," he answered, calmly. "I would love it, if Taylor still lived with me and my brother, here." He caught Taylor giving him, a smile, which Dean returned.
Everyone smiled, relief.
"That's good," the judge nodded. "That's saves me, from chewing you out, boy. I had a huge lecture for you and everything. Not to mention I was gonna throw this gavel at your head, and I never miss, either, even when they duck."
He stared, in horror at that. How does one not miss, even when the target ducks? Dean did not want to find out, though.
"Honesty, you boys have certainly proved to be good caregivers," Judge Cartwright turned to both of the brothers. "I've known Taylor, since she first walked into my courtroom, and I've been in charge of her case since she was a baby. I've seen the ups and downs, and I seen her grow up. There has been so many letdowns for Taylor, I was starting to pray for a miracle. I have to say, this is the highest point I've seen her, this happy. I just wished you boys had shown up, sooner."
"We didn't know," Sam spoke up, honestly. "If we had known, we never would have let our dad give her up, for adoption."
"None of you would have known it would get this bad, though," he shrugged. "I mean, as caseworkers and foster carers, people are supposed to protect these kids, coming through. That's what we expect and tell parents who can't take care of them, themselves." The judge picked up his gavel and hovered it over the block. "I will say, though, you boys have not let me, down, and I feel at ease, finally being able to say this. I hereby grant full custody of the minor, Taylor Mary Winchester, to her adult brothers, Dean and Samuel Winchester. As of now, this case is, now finalized and closed, and no further action of Child Protective Services are needed. Court is dismissed." He hit the block with the gavel, before standing to his face. "Taylor, it's been a great pleasure seeing you grow up," with that said, the judge exited the courtroom.
Taylor jumped off her seat and dashed around, to her brothers, who both scooped her up, in their arms and hugged their baby sister. All three squeezed each other, tight.
Out in the hall, Mindy and the brothers did the final paperwork, before they all said their final good-byes, to each other. Mindy and Helen cried as they hugged the little girl. Though, they were glad Taylor got a happy ending, this was the last they had to see her, unless Taylor stayed in touch, which she said, she would.
The group, all, walked out, together, parting ways in the parking lot. Since Taylor stated she was hungry, Jody suggested going out to eat, to celebrate. This time, they remembered John, and the siblings swung by the apartment, to grab him and to change, stating they would meet at the restaurant.
On the way to the restaurant, Taylor sat in the back seat, with their father, showing him, the YouTube videos she had shown her brothers, back during their visits, including the Frozen one.
Over the last nine months, Sam and Dean had experienced things they never thought they would ever do. From sitting in meetings, to going inside a courtroom, in front of a judge, for custody. All for their sister. They could still remember that night, seeing Taylor huddled in the corner, terrified to death, not uttering a word. Now, as Dean drove, he and Sam couldn't help look back at their sister, seeing her interact with their father, of all people they never expected to see again, laughing her head off.
That night, as Dean rolled over to fall asleep, he heard something in the dark. Instinctively, grabbing a hold of his gun, he reached up and turned on the light, again, only to see his sister standing there.
Taylor climbed into bed, beside him. "Can I sleep with you, tonight, big bro?" she asked.
"Sure, Kiddo," Dean got up, onto one elbow. "What's wrong?"
"I had another nightmare."
Dean helped pull the comforter, out from under his sister, covering her up, afterwards. Taylor laid down, next to him and snuggled up to him. Right as he was about to turn off the light, Sam entered the room, knocking.
"Hey, Dean. Is Taylor in here with you?"
"Yeah," she replied for him.
Sam smiled around the corner and headed over to join his siblings.
"Hey!" Dean objected. "It's cute when Taylor climbs into bed with me. It ain't when you do it."
Taylor giggled. "I want to sleep with both of my big brothers," she said.
"Oh sure. Hey, why don't we call Dad in here, too, while we're at it," Dean replied, sarcastically.
"I don't think there's room for Dad," Sam pointed out.
Dean glared at his brother. "There's not even room for you, big boy." The only reason he didn't kick Sam out, was because Taylor wanted it, this way. Otherwise, he'd be gone, in two point five seconds.
The siblings laid their heads, down and the brothers wrapped their arms around their baby sister, protectively, as they drifted off to sleep. Unknown to any of them, of John peeking in, around the wall, smiling at the sight.
Hope you liked the story! The last few chapters weren't my best, as I feel more confident with the first half of the story. I am still proud of the way most of this turned out. I still feel like I need more practice, though. Let me know your thoughts, as I hope to do this as a career, one day! :)