AN: Hey there... this is the sequel to Bullet with Butterfly Wings, so if you hadn't read it, I recommend doing so first. Now then, I know that I have other stories to update, but I promised Sammygirl1963 that I'd get busy on this one, and I just hope I've done it some justice. Don't forget to let me know, ok? Cool!
Disclaimers: I do not own anything of Eric Kripke's creations, but boy don't I wish I did! ;) Seriously though, I'm only playing with them, but will put them back when I'm done... uh... where do they go again? :) JK!!
Sam looked at his watch as he rushed across the quad of the college campus, slinging his backpack across his shoulder. He had just enough time to stop at the store to get something special for dinner before picking up Ellie from the day center that she had started attending that was special designed for those with special needs. He'd been lucky to get her in without a doctor's recommendation, but when they had evaluated her they found that she already matched several of their criteria with the potential to succeed with their curriculum. It had been a huge adjustment that instead of everyone taking care of their little princess, she was actually going to school three days a week which left him time to enroll in the Spring semester as a full time student. Now that he had finished his last final, he could relax for a couple of weeks before starting again for the upcoming Summer term.
His unofficial advisor Dr. Young warned that he was going to burn out if he didn't slow down; but after seeing his determination, had quickly helped him design a semester by semester schedule to help him optimize his credits without putting too much of a strain on his family life or pocketbook. It had taken several attempts on his parents part for him to finally accept the money they kept offering to pay for his tuition, but when Ellie started going to the school it started to put a crimp in his budget and he knew that he didn't qualify for any scholarships yet so it only made sense. Now though he was running late and that was something he absolutely hated and had never gotten used to in his brother Dean. 'He's going to be late for his own funeral.' He thought with little humor, knowing how easy things could happen to make that an actuality.
"JOHNNY! JOHNNY DOE!"
Suddenly Sam was tossed back into the past and it was definitely one place that he'd been trying to stay out of. Turning around he saw a woman running towards him waving as if they were the greatest of friends. He knew that others were wondering about this crazed middle aged woman yelling at him, but he couldn't be bothered with that, his main concern was why she was there and why in the world did she want to talk to him. As she stopped in front of him she looked out of breath, but extremely pleased with herself.
"Johnny, I'm so glad that I caught up with you. I'm not sure if you remember me, but I'm…"
"I remember Ms. Chase; the question is why are you here?" Sam asked brusquely. He had never really liked her and had made no secret of it. Now this person was standing there looking at him as if she had done something wonderful, he wanted to leave but didn't want to give her any reason for her to keep nosing around in his business.
"Of course, I understand Johnny. We didn't get off on the right foot, did we?" she asked, hoping for some sort of response, when she didn't get one she continued. "I recently retired, and have been going over many of my older case files and checking up on those that I had lost track of. No matter what you thought of me, I always had your best interest at heart. If you have a few moments I would love to catch up with you and see personally how well you're doing."
Sam couldn't believe the audacity of this woman and could only stare at her for a moment before he finally had enough. "I don't want you here; I don't want you around me or my family. You've seen me, you've seen how I'm doing, now leave." He said before he turned and started to walk off, hoping that she'd get the hint and stay away.
Mary was excited, she knew that her youngest son had wanted to cook dinner for everyone tonight in celebration of finishing his finals, but she and John were so proud of him that they had decided to surprise him with their own cookout. It had taken most of the afternoon to gather up everything and get it all ready, but it was going to be worth it. Taking one last look at the note she wrote, she taped it to the back door and hurried home where Dean and John were both waiting.
It didn't take long after hearing the old truck pull into the driveway that they heard Sammy talk to Ellie as they walked into the elder Winchester's home. As they listened, they could tell their ruse of a broken oven worked making John extremely proud of himself that he'd thought of it. Smiling, they knew that Sam had stopped in the kitchen to see what he could do to 'fix' their stove.
"Hi sweetie, thank you for coming over so quickly, but you didn't have to." Mary said as she made her way into the kitchen.
"It's ok; I know how much you like to bake cookies for Ellie, so…"
"No son, she meant that you didn't have to… the stove isn't broken." John said with a smile, joining them and quickly followed by Dean.
"Yeah little brother, we're having a cookout in the back yard."
Looking around, Sam had no idea what just happened, but he suddenly was very happy for it. Although his exams had gone pretty well, he wasn't in as good of a mood as he had been and he knew what was to blame for it.
"So, let's get this party started!" Dean said as he picked Ellie up and headed out the door smiling the whole way.
Sam smirked on his way out the door wondering if it was going to be like this every semester and if so, what would happen if he actually graduated. As they reached the back yard though his thoughts were suddenly frozen when he heard the question he hadn't even known he was dreading.
"So Sammy; how was your day?"
Adrienne Chase had been a social worker for the Virginia Department of Human Services for twenty years before she found herself at a crossroads in her life; continue and get fired for incompetence, or retire with some sense of dignity still intact. Once the decision was made she then started to think about all the cases that had gone so very wrong and wondered if maybe she had actually done more harm than good. She knew how a lot of her cases went, but there were many that had actually seemed to fall through the cracks and she wanted to see for herself how they actually ended. So far though, things weren't progressing as she had hoped.
When she had chose social services as a career, she had envisioned herself as someone dedicated to make sure each and every child got the best care possible, no matter what it took. It didn't take her long to realize that she only had so much power and not enough hours in the day. Too many days ended with rescheduled appointments, and dinner being ate while looking over reports that would make the most hardened hearts cringe. Although she had thought she had done her best, she was now starting to understand that maybe her best wasn't good enough and maybe even a little biased on how she thought things should be done instead of what was needed for the individual.
She remembered Johnny Doe as a ten year old boy who had been shuffled around so often that he never bothered to unpack what few belongings he had. If it had been a couple of years previous then she would have had more sympathy towards him attempted to break through more of those barriers that he had created. Instead she had voluntarily skimmed over his file and determined that with his frequent outbursts and outlandish fabrications of life with several of his foster families, the only logical course of action was to have him admitted for evaluation. He of course was not pleased with her recommendation and had proceeded to tell her to her face exactly what he thought of her which only bolstered her opinion. It wasn't until charges were filed against one of his former foster parents that she started looking into his case further. By that time however, he had been released into temporary placement and in less than a week had disappeared.
It hadn't been easy to track him down, but she had a lot of help as well as quite a bit of luck. She still hadn't gotten the full story about why he was enrolled at the University of Kansas under the name of Samuel Winchester, but she was certain that it wouldn't take much to find out. Now though, she wanted a chance to have an actual conversation with the boy in question, if for no other reason than to have some form of closure about his case. There weren't many Winchester's in the phone book so she decided to find him the old fashioned way, by knocking on doors.
Dean had been excited all day to celebrate his little brother's accomplishment. Sure, to most people finishing one semester wasn't a big deal, but most people didn't take honors classes while taking care of a little girl and working part time either. He knew how hard his brother worked and as much as it made him proud, it also worried him; the kid hardly slept anymore. After they had moved into their house and got Ellie's room just the way she seemed to like it, Sam had actually started to sleep more than an hour or two at a time. Now though he was so concerned about disappointing everyone that he would worry about every little assignment or quiz to the point of pulling all nighters just on the possibility that there would be a pop quiz the next day. Between that and the amount of paperwork that he was having to sift through when taking notes, the kitchen started to look like a bomb went off in a paper factory.
"Hey Dean, I was meaning to ask you if Sammy really liked his birthday gift, or should we find something else?" Mary asked, thankful that her youngest boy was back inside tinkering with something upstairs.
"That's funny Mom, I was just thinking about that. Don't worry, he likes it. Hell, I like it and I don't even use it!" Dean joked, happy to know that the laptop they had split the cost for was going to good use. "He told me that he put all of his notes in it and he was actually using it right before exams to skim over everything without having to worry about it being in the wrong order."
Mary smiled, she knew how Sammy was about order, but for some reason it didn't seem to extend to his organizational skills when it pertained to school work. She couldn't believe some of the pages she had seen him toss out because they were written 'wrong.'
"Hey you two, how about you get over here and help me and Ellie dish up some of this stuff and…"
"Excuse me… hello… I heard voices and thought I'd find you here, um; do I have the right address? I'm looking for John and Mary Winchester."
John looked at the woman who walked up their driveway and wondered about the feeling he was getting. Everything had been going so well lately; Dean was enjoying his job, Sammy was helping out at the shop when he could while going to school, and Ellie had been accepted into a school that had a specially designed curriculum for different forms of Autism. Everything was great, so why was he getting the feeling that their luck was about to change?
"I'm Mary, how can we help you?"
Adrienne smiled at the woman in front of her and wondered if it was possible that she knew Johnny, maybe her luck was changing after all. "Well, I was hoping you would be able to answer a few questions for me; I'll try not to take too much of your time."
"What kind of questions?" Dean asked, wondering why his dad was looking at this woman with distrust and his mom was truly curious.
"Well, I guess for starters, do you know a Johnny Doe?" Adrienne asked, watching the people in front of her go from accommodating to borderline hostile in only a matter of moments. "I assure you that I only want to make sure he's in a better home now. Now if you could just tell me how long it's been since he's been with your family?" she asked, hoping to get this over with before anything happened that she might regret.
The sound of the screen door swinging open before slamming into the side of the house brought everyone's attention to the person who just joined them. Dean knew he needed to act fast because the look on his brother's face was murderous. "Sammy…"
"Stay out of this Dean." Sam said as he approached his former social worker. "I told you that I didn't want to see you. Why are you really here?" he demanded as he approached the woman, making her back up along the driveway.
"Johnny, I assure you that what I told you was the truth. I just want to catch up and see how far you've come since…"
"Since you tossed me into hellhole after hellhole? Or how about after you decided that I was showing 'inappropriate anger' and had me committed? Is that what you want to talk about?" he asked as he continued his advancement towards her while ignoring his mother's request for him to calm down and Dean's insistence that the woman wasn't worth it.
"I assure you that I did everything in my power to find you a good home, but sometimes…"
Sam stopped suddenly before he looked at her as if pondering something. Finally he asked, "Did you ever try to find out if I belonged to someone?"
Puzzled, Adrienne looked at the faces of each person before shaking her head. "Johnny, there were never any records of you having a family. You were in the system for so long; any chance of finding anyone who knew what happened to them was slim to none."
Laughter bubbled from Sam's mouth as he let her words wash over him and he found the whole situation insane. He looked first at Dean then Mary before looking over his shoulder at John. A moment later he turned his attention back to the woman in front of him. "Wow, slim to none, that's impressive; it really is… since my family found me on the side of a damn road in the middle of the Oklahoma panhandle, and you couldn't find them with all of your contacts across the country."
"Johnny, I understand that family comes in all forms and I'm happy that you found one that you're compatible with, but you have to understand…"
Dean couldn't believe what he was hearing and furthermore something that Sammy said clicked in his brain; someone had to have seen a notice for a missing baby at one time or another, why didn't they ever connect the dots? "Look lady, my brother is trying to tell you something and you're not listening. His name is Samuel Winchester, he was kidnapped from his bed when he was six months old and we finally found him a year ago on the side of the road in the Oklahoma panhandle. Now, my question to you is… why didn't anyone figure out who he was sooner? I mean it's not as if there hadn't been national news coverage about his kidnapping, hell… people thought our mom did it! I had always thought that he was safe and happy with someone, but the more I learn the more I want to take it out on the people who helped make his life miserable. So, I suggest you turn around and forget you ever found him."
John knew that things were escalating at a rate faster than anyone anticipated, but he also knew that this woman had an agenda but he couldn't figure out what it was. Picking up Ellie, he walked closer to his son before placing the little girl in his arms.
"Sammy, take Ellie inside for awhile, she doesn't need to the stress and you need a chance to calm down." John said calmly as he waited for the answering nod as his boy took Ellie into the kitchen. Turning back to the woman he couldn't believe what he saw, she actually was crying – crying! As if she had an actual reason to give in to tears. "Look, as you can see, we found him and until you showed up, he was happy. So how about you leave us all alone before we file a restraining order and make you?"
As he watched Ellie draw another picture, Sam did his best to calm down; he didn't want to upset his family with his anger towards that woman. Rubbing his hands over his face, he could hear his dad give Ms. Chase what for and he couldn't help but smile. 'This must be what I was missing when I was in trouble with the Principal.' He thought, allowing himself to drift back to a time that he was alone, and this time imagine having his mom and dad there to stand up for him. It felt good and he relished it for another moment before the sound of the phone ringing pulled him out of his daydream.
"Guess I'd better get that, huh Ellie?" he asked wryly as he glanced at her picture noticing that she was drawing a family portrait. "Cool."
As he reached over for the phone he was only half listening when he answered it, but nearly dropped the receiver when he heard the voice on the other end.
"Johnny Cade, Long time no see kid!"