Author: Oldach's Dream
Summary: Sam and Dean are forced to say goodbye to a little girl. Written to tug at your heartstrings. One-shot.
Disclaimer: If they were mine, there would be substantially more chick-flick moments.
The little girl would not leave Sam's arms. Which wasn't all that surprising, considering what her other options were.
Scary men in bulky uniforms, the other Winchester brother, covered in blood. Her mother's blood, but they all hoped to God that she didn't realize that. Or the social services lady, who was scary in herself, with her high pitched voice and way too jingly jewelry.
So, no, it wasn't all that shocking that Sam was her first choice. It also might have something to do with the youngest Winchester saving her life less than an hour ago. Although no one really knew to what depths a three year old could really understand that.
"Sir," the irritating social services lady tried again. "You're going to have to give me that child eventually."
"Her name is Katie." Sam snapped at her. "And I already told you, you scare her."
The round, middle aged woman scowled at him and Sam thought that bitter people should not be allowed work in any field that had the word 'social' in the title. Especially not one where you had to deal with children on a regular basis.
The lady shot a glance at Dean before throwing up her hands and stalking off to join the police on the other side of the room.
Dean rubbed the back of his neck tiredly as he pulled his brother slightly to the side. Katie was still curled up, Sam's log arms wrapped around her protectively.
"She's got a point Sam." He said immediately. "It's not like you can keep her."
"I know." He said, but Dean could tell he didn't, or didn't want to, believe the words. His eyes would not leave the little girl. After an entire car ride of screaming herself hoarse, she'd finally fallen into a fitful sleep, her head rested on Sam's shoulder.
"Do you Sammy?" Dean questioned gently. "Cause you seem to be getting pretty attached there."
"Dean..." he started, tearing his eyes away from the sleeping girl and meeting his brother's. "How can we just hand her over to social services. After everything she's been though, how can we just let her go, knowing she'll grow up in foster care?"
"We don't have a choice Sam." Although now his eyes rested on the sleeping angel his baby brother was holding. "I mean...what else can we do?"
"We could keep her." Sam said hopefully.
Dean couldn't keep himself from snorting lightly. "And what? Raise her in the back seat of the car? Take travel cribs around the country and set them up in each cheap motel we stop at?"
Sam looked from his brother to Katie and back again, pleadingly. Dean pushed on, knowing that he had to make his brother see the obvious here. "She'd grow up the same way you and me did. Worse actually. Do you want that? Do you want her to hate us for not letting her have a normal life?"
"No." Sam choked.
"Then you've got to let her go." Dean could hardly believe how difficult the last two days had been for them. Sam especially.
"I know." He breathed, and Dean could tell he was trying to keep tears at bay. It tugged at something in his heart that he usually kept extremely well guarded.
"We couldn't keep her, Sam. Even if we could take care of her. Neither of us have steady jobs, or real jobs at all, or a place to live, or anything. You know no one would let us raise a three year old."
Sam nodded and began rubbing the child's back soothingly. Dean couldn't help but notice how...right that looked. Sam would make an outstanding dad. If he ever got the chance. Which sadly, Dean doubted he ever would.
He felt tears stinging at his own eyes and blinked rapidly to clear them.
For a second he had seen it. He'd seen the normal life Sam was always talking about.
It had Sam, living in a two story, suburban home, with a beautiful wife, who looked a lot like Jessica. He could see Sam in his back yard, pushing a little girl on a swing. A little girl who might as well of been Katie, or teaching a son how to ride a bike, encouraging words flowing from his lips lovingly.
Dean could see himself, the beloved uncle, walking through the door, greeted warmly by his family. Swinging the girl around in his arms, ruffling the boy's hair. Handing out gifts that made Sam cringe and shake his head, but the children squeal excitedly.
It was perfect. The perfect existence. The perfect life.
Surrounded by so much love that you actually had the luxury of taking it for granted.
Dean reached his hand out unconsciously and placed it on Katie's head. Her blonde hair was soft, more than soft even, it felt like silk.
"We can't keep her." Dean didn't know if Sam was saying it for his own sake or his brother's, but Dean nodded nonetheless.
"I know," Dean tried to sound casual. "She's young and adorable. She'll get adopted fast, by a nice normal couple."
"With a white picket fence and a golden retriever?" Sam asked hopefully.
"Yeah." Dean agreed softly. "They'll raise her and she'll be normal. She won't remember what happened to her real parents. She won't believe in the supernatural at all. She'll go to college, marry a nice normal guy and have three or four kids."
"She'll always be safe." Sam added.
"Always." Dean's watery smile was enough to make a few of his own tears fall.
"And she won't remember us." Sam's voice was sad.
"She shouldn't have to." Dean's voice was sad as well and he closed his eyes, taking a few deep breaths.
His hand shifted suddenly when Katie's small head turned to burrow more deeply into Sam's neck.
"Dean..." Sam's voice begged him.
"We can't Sammy." He hated being the older brother. He really, really hated having to face the reality of this. "We just can't." It was a choked whisper.
The social services lady was at their side before Sam could say another word.
"I just got a call from an associate. She has a family who's been looking for a child to adopt for months now. She's told them about Katie and they're ready and willing to meet her as soon as possible, so..."
"Wait, now?" Dean said, astounded. "Her parents just died a few hours ago, and you want to give her to another family now? Don't you think that's a tad bit traumatizing?"
"No, what would be traumatizing would be to keep her in unstable surroundings during such a crucial point in her life." Her words were logical, but Dean didn't want to hear them.
"How do you know these are good people, huh?" He asked, voice cracking slightly. "If they want her so much, how come they aren't here right now?"
"They're on their way."
"What?" Sam asked desperately. "Now?"
"Yes." She said simply. "They live very nearby, so they should be hear shortly."
"But I thought...you just got the call..." Sam was having a hard time processing all this.
"Well, I got the call a few minutes ago. You boys looked so wrapped up..." she trailed off, shaking her head. "And the Costel's are good people. They've gone through a lengthy interview process and have met with numerous psychologist's and various social workers. I assure you, they want to be Katie's family as much as Katie needs a family."
She left them once more, after failing again to take Katie from Sam's arms. She would have tried harder, but Dean had stepped protectively in front of his brother.
"This is how it's supposed to be." Dean reminded him once she was gone. "She'll get to have normal now."
"It's too fast." Sam insisted holding more tightly onto the little girl. "She just... I mean her mom and dad just..."
"I know Sammy." Dean said. "But what else can we do?"
The Costel's arrived what felt like mere moments later. Before they knew what was happening, a middle aged couple stood in front of the Winchester boys. The man was stout, only a few inches taller than his wife. He had a look of extreme happiness, mixed with nervousness, plastered on his face.
The woman was much the same, only her eyes sparkled with unshed tears. She was blonde, much like Katie, with a round, motherly face. Each brother knew instinctively that this was right, that they were good.
"Mr. And Mrs. Costel." The Social worker introduced. "This is Sam and Dean Winchester. They were the ones who rescued Katie from her home earlier this evening. They've been acting rather protective of her since."
"Oh, thank you so much." The intensity of Mrs. Costel's words surprised Dean almost as much as her hands reaching out and clasping around his own. "You gave us an opportunity we would have never gotten otherwise. You have no idea how much this means to us."
"It's a blessing." Mr. Costel agreed quietly, yet nonetheless more powerfully.
Katie picked this time to wake up. She stirred groggily, lifting her head off his shoulder. "Sam..." she called lightly.
"Yeah." He responded immediately.
"I want mommy."
Every heart within hearing distance broke a little.
"She's gone." Sam reminded her and shifted the little girl so she was perched on his forearm, facing him. "But she loved you a lot. I want you to remember that, okay?"
She nodded as tears started to roll down her face. "Katie, honey. I want you to listen to me." He continued when he was sure he had her attention. "You trust me, right?"
She nodded, a confused look on her tired, little face. Sam took a deep breath. "And you trust Dean, right?" She glanced at the older Winchester, who was biting his lip to remain calm, and nodded again.
"Good." He ran his hand up and down her arm lovingly, and spoke again, trying to keep his voice level. "We have to leave now." Her little eyes widened impossibly and her chin started to wobble. "We're going to leave you with the Costel's. They're a really nice family and they're gonna take really, really good care of you, alright?"
"I wanna stay with you." She moaned. Sam looked to his brother desperately for help.
Dean stepped up, in front of Katie, brushing her hair with his hand lovingly. "You can't stay with us." He said simply.
"Why?" She asked, with that same child-like innocence that he liked to believe Sam still possessed.
"Because..." Every answer he'd had that might of been amusing or logical enough for a little kid was out of his head in an instant. He answered instead with the truth. "Because we care about you too much."
This time it was Katie who was biting her lip and Dean who had tears rolling down his cheeks.
"We're gonna take you home with us." Mrs. Costel spoke to her for the first time, truly touched by how much the two brother's cared about this little girl. Her little girl. "We've got a room all ready. You'll love it, I promise."
"We wouldn't let you go, if we didn't know you'd be safe." Sam told the girl when she looked up at him questioningly. "We protect people."
"You're superheroes." Her three year old brain deduced.
Neither brother could find the voice to answer her. All too soon she was lifted out of Sam's arms, carried by her new mother, away from the men who had saved her life.
The newly completed family paused at the doorway of the police station. The Costel's had identical looks of gratitude in their eyes and were mouthing the words 'thank you.' But Sam and Dean never saw it. Their gazes were locked on Katie, who now looked very secure in the arms of Mrs. Costel.
Neither would remember who uttered it first, or at all. They knew only, that in one word, they could sum up everything they knew, everything they had learned in life thus far. Everything that had hurt them. One word told their whole story, from start to finish.
A/N: Okay, so I actually wrote this late one night after watching a documentary on 'The Innocent Victims of Meth Amphetamine.'
I'm more attached to this one-shot, than I am to almost any of my other stories, and I really can't explain why. But I would love to know what you thought. insert hopeful smile