Hey guys, I hope everyone is enjoying the start of the new year... HAPPY 2011! Here's the next chapter and I hope it makes sense as far as Sam and Dean's differing emotions. Thanks for reading and I would love to hear back from all of you. I'll try to update as soon as I can since I'm still out of school for another few weeks. Thanks again! :)

Finishing the last bite of his ham, turkey, cheese, bacon, and avocado sandwich from the deli down the street, Dean stood up from his desk and tossed the paper wrapper into the trash bin. He took a swig of his soda as he reached for his cell phone, scrolling down to Linda's number. He hadn't talked to her in a while, not since all of their legal issues dealing with parental rites over Sam and such had been settled but he figured that she might have some clue as to where to start their search. Humming softly to himself, Dean sat and waited as it rung, leaving a message when she didn't pick up. "Hi Linda, it's Dean Winchester. Sam's decided that he wants to try and see if he can find his birth parents. I was hoping that you might be able to help us, or at least get us started so call me back when you can please? My number's (785) 788-5653. Thanks, talk to you later."


Later that night, Sam sat at the large desk in his room with his radio on low while he tried to make a dent in the rather annoying pile of homework that he had seemed to accumulate over the past week. Having finished the fill-out worksheets for his World History class, he closed the heavy textbook and put it to the side of his desk. He then leaned down and grabbed his binder off of the floor and searched through it, trying to find the paper that had the guidelines for his English project on it. Finding it in the back of the front pocket, he pulled it out and read down the sheet of instructions. The family history project had been assigned over a couple of weeks ago and Sam hadn't even started on it yet. He had been delaying it because to be honest, he wasn't even sure that he wanted to do the project. Logically, he knew he had to but he just wasn't feeling up to writing about that particular topic at the moment.

Twitching his nose and tapping his pencil against the edge of his desk, Sam tried to figure out how he could start it and what it was that he even wanted to say. He didn't want to come across as seeking pity or complaining but he feared that if he talked about his early life and the lack of family that he had experienced then that was exactly what it would turn out to be. Besides, the fact that he knew that he would have to present this to his class made him be a bit more wary about what he chose to include.

"I found my family when I was sixteen," Sam muttered quietly as he began to write. "It took me a while to realize it because I had come to believe that family wasn't something that would be in the cards for me. I was shocked when I figured out what was happening. See, you might ask why I hadn't figured it out before then but well, that's a long story." Sam sighed as he put his pencil down and sat back in his chair. He wasn't sure that he liked what he had come up with so far and reading it over, he shook his head before crumpling the piece of binder paper up in his hand. He grinned when he threw it and ended up making a basket in the trash bin. The sound of his cell phone buzzing broke Sam out of his stupor and he reached to answer it. "Hello?" He asked.

"Hey, it's me." Kate smiled through the other end of the phone.

"Hey, what's up?" Sam asked, standing from his desk and walking over to his bed to lie down to relax a bit. He figured that this was as good a time as any to take a break.

"Hmm, not much. I was just wondering what you were up to tonight, that's all." She questioned.

Sam laughed a little. He liked it when Kate would just randomly call him for no other reason than to just talk. "I'm having a blast." He answered sarcastically as he cast a fake glare over towards his desk and the remaining assignments he had to finish.

"And you didn't invite me? That's not fair." Kate pouted teasingly even though Sam couldn't see her.

"Somehow I don't think you want to work on World History homework or write that stupid paper," He responded, slipping one of his arms behind his head to act as a pillow.

"Yeah okay, I think I'll pass but you have fun." Kate laughed.

"Oh gee, thanks." Sam muttered, sighing a bit tiredly.

"So how is your paper coming?" Kate asked, her voice losing a bit of the humor and becoming a tad bit more serious. She knew that it wasn't exactly something that Sam was looking forward to doing. He had told her bits and pieces of what had happened to him but nothing too detailed and when he did say something, he didn't usually like to talk about it for long. Kate just hoped that Sam knew how much she cared about him, both as a friend and her boyfriend. She didn't know what the future had in store for the two of them but whatever it was, she just hoped he was happy. Sam was a good guy and a great friend; he was more than deserving of having a happy ending. Besides, she enjoyed their relationship the way it was now and she didn't want to rush either one of them into doing something.

Sam shrugged. "I don't know." He responded. "It's a little tricky."

"Yeah, that's understandable." Kate smiled softly. "So, you'll still go see that movie with me?"

Sam nodded. "Yeah sure. I'll pick you up after work?" He suggested.

Kate smiled again, this time a little brighter. Sam didn't often take control of their dates but on the occasions that he did, it helped to give her a glimpse of the guy behind all his shyness and hesitation. Hopefully, that confidence might one day help them get to experience other things... eventually. "Sure, when do you get off?" She asked.

"Ah... 5:30, I think." Sam answered after a moment.

"Yay," Kate squealed happily. "I'll see you tomorrow then, night handsome." Kate giggled, making Sam laugh too.

"Yeah, I'll see you tomorrow, night." Sam smiled happily as he hung up the phone.


The next afternoon, Dean was just walking through the back door of the shop when his cell rang. Quickly juggling the items he was carrying, Dean reached into his pocket to tug his phone out. "Yeah," He answered, flipping it open and pressing the plastic to his ear without looking at the caller ID.

"Hey Dean, it's Linda. I just got your message." The social worker greeted.

"Oh yeah, ah thanks for calling me back." He responded as he headed into his office and shut the door for some privacy. It wasn't so much Sean he cared about overhearing the conversation, it was more the customers he was trying to keep it from. It just simply wasn't any of their business.

"So Sam's interested in finding his birth parents, is he?" She asked, taking a seat at her own desk.

"Yeah, he... ah, yeah." It was obvious from the tone of his voice that Dean still wasn't completely on board for this.

"I should tell you now Dean that there is a fairly good chance that he may not find what he's looking for." Linda explained, having heard the caution in Dean's voice. There were often cases of people looking for lost family members, such as siblings or parents or even children, and finding a death certificate or realizing that the person didn't want to be found all along. That wasn't to say that happy reunions didn't exist... they were just a bit more rare, was all.

"Yeah, I know." Dean sighed. A part of him wanted to call it quits right then and there but then he remembered the talk he'd had with his brother and how grateful Sam had looked when Dean had finally agreed. Sighing again, Dean knew that he couldn't, that he wouldn't go back on his word to the kid. "So, what do we do? How do we get this thing started?" He asked before he could change his mind again.

Briefly, Dean's questions and the quiet urgency in his voice reminded her of the first time they had met and how desperate Dean had been to help Sam... even back then. It was obvious that the older brother's devotion hadn't diminished at all. "It might be better if we spoke in person. Could you and Sam make it into the office sometime this week?" She asked since she also wanted to speak to Sam about it.

"Probably, let me talk to Sam and then I'll call you back." Dean responded, wondering if and kind of hoping that Sam would be busy over the next few days.

"Sure, I'll talk to you later then. Bye Dean." She replied.

"Bye Linda," Dean shook his head as he hung up the phone, continuing to wonder if he was doing the right thing. Clenching his jaw shut, Dean stood and walked out to the garage area of the shop. "Um, I gotta go do something but I'll be back in about an hour." He told Sean, ignoring the curious look his friend was giving him.


"Any word on the kittens?" Sam asked as he walked in through the side door of the shelter. He walked over to where all of the leashes for the dogs were kept and hung up the ones that he had just used.

Caitlin looked away from the food bowls she was filling and nodded. "Tom called and said that three of the four kittens are well on their way to recovery and once they get a little bigger, then they can be put up for adoption." She explained as she closed the cage door.

"What about the fourth one?" Sam asked, remembering the tiny kitten who had been the runt of the litter. He was happy that the majority of them were doing well and healing but he felt a bit like he could relate to the one who was struggling and he hoped that the little guy would be okay.

Caitlin looked at Sam with a sad smile. "He thinks that one might take a little while longer to get up to one hundred percent." She responded trying to be hopeful.

Sam nodded before he turned his attention to the next task he had to do.


Sitting in the Impala by the curb, Dean sighed and got out, his hands shoved into the pockets of his jeans. He felt a little bit like he was forgetting or missing something since he hadn't stopped by the flower shop on his way over. Dropping his head a bit, Dean walked over to his parent's headstones. Kneeling in the grass, Dean leaned forward to brush the dirt and leaves off of the marble. Guilt filled him as he realized that it had been longer than he had anticipated since the last time that he had paid a visit to his parents. It wasn't intentional, he had just gotten caught up with running the shop and taking care of Sam.

Dean sat silently for several minutes before he wiped a hand over his jaw and sighed. "It's hard being a parent," He admitted as he moved to sit cross-legged in the grass. "And... and I'm not totally sure what to do... think you guys can help me out a little?" He asked, knowing that he wouldn't be getting an answer back. "Sam wants to find his parents, his biological parents," He corrected, feeling like the actual title was his and only his. "And I'm gonna let him... I said yes but I just, what if that wasn't the right choice? God, I just... the kid's been hurt over and over again... what if this is just another chance for that to happen?" Dean realized he was talking out loud to himself and to be honest, he didn't really care who heard him. He wanted to get this off his chest and who better to listen than his own parents? "I don't know... I just hope I'm doing the right thing." He was quiet for a while longer before he touched his fingers to his lips and touched them to each of his parent's headstones. Without another word, he stood and headed back to his car, feeling just the tiniest bit lighter.


"Hey, I'm gonna go meet Rachel now so will you lock up when you leave?" Dean asked as he stood in the doorway of his brother's room later that night.

Sam nodded. "Yeah, ah... does this look alright?" Sam asked as he stood in the middle of his room, fidgeting with the shirt he'd chosen.

Dean smirked and nodded. "You look fine. Have fun alright?" He asked, shaking his head a little. He was happy that Sam was putting an effort into what he looked like when he went out now. It wasn't a vain thought either. Dean just remembered the days when Sam would wear only baggy clothes and the fact that now, Sam wanted to look good... well, it was reassuring and Dean was always on the lookout for more signs that his brother was moving on. Taking pride in himself and in his appearance was one of the big ones, he figured.

"Thanks, you too." Sam smiled, feeling a little bit more confident after talking to his big brother. "What time do you think you'll be home?"

Dean laughed a little since normally he was the one posing that question. "Not sure, I'll call you later though." He promised.

Sam nodded, figuring that he would probably be home first anyways. Dean was much more the night-owl than he was.

"Bye kid," Dean smiled at Sam and then turned to walk down the hall.


About forty minutes later, Sam parked his truck by the curb outside of Kate's house and killed the engine. Tugging his jacket on since it was chilly out, Sam headed up the steps to ring the doorbell. He smiled, somewhat nervously, when Kate's younger sister was the one who answered the door.

"Hey Sam," The young girl smiled as she let him inside the ranch-style house. "Kate's in her room."

"Okay, thanks." Sam replied before he walked down the hall and stopped outside Kate's bedroom door. "Ah, Kate?" Sam knocked.

"You can come in," Kate called back through the closed wood. Silently, she shook her head at Sam's shy politeness. He always, always knocked even though she had told him that he didn't have to. If it was unlocked, then he could just come in.

Nodding to himself, Sam put his hand on the doorknob and then stepped into the room. A smile made its way onto his face when his eyes landed on Kate. She was dressed in a short sleeved black plaid button up shirt and a pair of dark blue jeans. Underneath the button-up shirt was a white lace tank-top. Her jeans were tucked into the boots she was wearing and Sam had to admit, she looked really good in his opinion.

Turning around from her closet where she was trying to pick out a jacket, Kate smiled at Sam and walked over to give him a hug. "Hey," She greeted, leaning up for a kiss. Even with the boots on, Sam was still a couple of inches taller than her.

"Hey," Sam smiled back as he returned the kiss, still somewhat amazed at the fact that this was a kiss that he wanted to be a part of. Maybe one day I'll want to be a part of something more he thought to himself. For a while there, he hadn't ever thought that would happen. "You ready to go?" He asked, trying to shake those thoughts from his head.

Kate nodded. "Yeah, just let me grab my jacket." Stepping back over to the closet, Kate grabbed her new leather jacket and slipped into it. "Now I am, let's go."

The two of them walked out of her room, hand in hand, into the living room where they ran into Kate's mom. "Oh, hi Sam," Kate's mom, Sheryl, smiled in a friendly way as she stood from where she had been seated on the couch, reading a book.

"Hi Mrs. Anderson," Sam smiled back, relieved that she had finally given up on trying to get him to call her by her first name. Sheryl, his former adoptive mother, the one who had sold him to Frank, had told him to do that and well that hadn't ended well, now had it? Sam guessed that despite the fact that both Dean and Dr. Boston thought he was improving, he was still being haunted by parts of his past. When he had first met Kate's mom, it had taken him a little while to be able to hear her name and not shiver or worry that somehow, someway his former foster parents had found him.

"Where are you two off to tonight?" She asked, watching the smile that was on her daughter's face. Sam was her daughter's first boyfriend and was easily Kate's biggest crush. Both she and her husband liked Sam, they thought he was a nice enough young man and both were extremely relieved to know that Sam wasn't trying to pressure their daughter into having sex or anything of that nature. Both were a little wary of his past though. It was obvious from the different times that they had met him and what Kate had told them that he was still living with the effects of it. They realized that was a very heavy thing to have to deal with, but especially at such a young age. Sheryl had had quite a few talks with her daughter about how those things might have an effect on her and Sam's relationship and that she had to be careful with how she handled things, not just with Sam really, but with any boy that she ended up dating.

"Sam's taking me to see that new movie!" Kate squealed excitedly as she cast a happy look at her boyfriend.

"She's been begging me for weeks," Sam responded in way of explanation as to why he was going to go see a movie that was supposedly the years biggest chick-flick.

"Well, it's nice of you to take her." Sheryl smiled knowing just how much her daughter had been looking forward to this.

Sam just smiled, starting to feel a little more nervous with the longer that they stood there.

"We should get going," Kate announced, letting go of Sam's hand and walking over to her mom to give her a hug and a kiss goodbye.

"Yeah, okay." Sam agreed.

"It was nice seeing you Sam," Sheryl waved at the shy teen as Kate and Sam headed towards the front door. "And Kate, remember to knock on your dad's and my door when you get home, alright?"

"I will." Kate promised.

"Bye Mrs. Anderson." Sam answered back and with that, Kate and Sam were on their way.


"So Linda thinks she'll be able to help us?" Sam asked once he and Dean were on their way to her office.

Dean nodded. "Yeah, she's not sure how or even if she will be able to help us though so ah, I don't want you to be disappointed if we aren't able to find anything." Dean answered, glancing over at his brother. A week had passed since he had spoken to Linda and he still didn't feel like that was enough time to get used to the idea of helping Sam find the very people who had turned their backs on him. Nobody said he actually has to meet them Dean silently reminded himself, secure in that knowledge at least.

Sam nodded, swallowing as he grew a bit more nervous. He couldn't exactly explain why this was so important to him but it was and he hoped that they would be able to find at least something out. Sam was incredibly grateful that in the end, Dean had decided to allow him to look and that he was coming with him to talk to Linda. Dean's support meant a lot to him and a part of him was worried about just how much he might end up needing it. If I am disappointed, it won't be anything new Sam thought to himself, knowing that he had gained enough practice in dealing with that over his life.

Pulling up outside of the social services building, Dean found a spot in the corner of the parking lot where at least one side of the Impala was protected. "Alright, let's go." He said as he stopped the engine and climbed out of the car. He was careful to keep his tone normal so that Sam might be at least somewhat relaxed before they went in there. Over the past four years since Dean had been granted legal guardianship of the kid, he had discovered just what kind of sacrifices parents really made for their children. Not that these people understand that concept he thought rather bitterly to himself as images of who Sam's parents might be filled his head.

Walking through the small and cramped building, Sam tried to keep his eyes from wandering around too much. He had always hated it when people who were considered to be outsiders stared at him, making him feel like he was an exhibit at the local zoo instead of a kid who just wanted a safe place to sleep at night. Even at a young age and before he'd met Frank, he had been afraid of catching someone's eye since he was never totally sure what his role in that particular family would be. And wouldn't you know, he was back at that subject again. Sam was drawn out of his thoughts when he realized that they had come to a stop outside of a closed door.

Dean turned to smile at his younger brother reassuringly when he noticed the thoughtful look on Sam's face. "You ready kid?" He asked.

"Hunh, ah yeah," Sam answered quietly as he nodded. It felt a bit surreal to be back in this place with Dean beside him.

"Alright then," Dean nodded back before he knocked on the closed door that had Linda's name printed on the glass window. "Ah, it's Sam and me."

"Just a minute," Linda called through the closed door and a moment later, the door opened as a young teenage boy stepped out of the room. He had close-cropped blonde hair and his shoulders were hunched with his head bowed. Sam recognized the look of someone who was carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders while trying their damnedest not to show it. It was a look he had become quite familiar with over his years of going from family to family... after all, what family wanted a kid with those kinds of issues? Dean did he silently reminded himself, a small smile working it's way onto his face as he thought about all of the issues and baggage that he had come with and the fact that those hadn't been a deterrent for Dean but it had almost seemed like they made him even more protective of him.

"What the hell are you looking at?" The teen snapped angrily when he caught Sam looking at him.

"Ah, nothing, sorry." Sam muttered before he followed Dean into the room feeling like his two worlds were crashing together and he was the only one who knew it.


"So, how did meeting with Linda go?" Dr. Boston asked the following Monday during her bi-weekly session with Sam. He had told her during their last session that he was curious about his birth parents and she was interested in knowing how that was unfolding.

"Good, I think. I mean, I realize that this will probably take a while to happen and stuff but I'm... I'm kind of excited." He admitted causing Dr. Boston to smile.

"Well, that's good to hear." She encouraged, glad to hear Sam sounding excited about something after the rough couple of weeks he had had.

Sam nodded. "Yeah, Dean and I talked and he finally agreed to it but he gave me some rules that he said I've gotta follow if we actually did this." Sam explained.

"What kind of rules?" Dr. Boston asked.

"He said that we've gotta do it together and that if he doesn't like where it's headed or whatever then we stop and I guess... I can agree with that. I mean, I'm not even sure that I want to meet them ya know? I just... I just want to find out if they're even alive, I guess." He continued. "I still don't think he really wants me to do it but I'm glad he said yes."

"I can understand why he might have some reservations about this, it's a pretty big deal." Dr. Boston agreed.

Sam nodded. "I know and truth be told, I didn't really ever think I'd want to find them. I mean, I knew they were out there and I thought about them and stuff but looking for 'em..." He drifted off knowing that before Dean, he had had other things on his mind to focus on rather than the what-if's of what had happened to his birth parents?

"What's different now?" She asked, wanting to know what had made Sam feel that he could afford to start this search.

"I've got Dean," Sam answered with a smile on his face. "I know he'll back me up." Dean made Sam feel secure in the fact that even if this did go south and he was disappointed with what he found out, he still had someone to go home to. Someone who would be right there with him. And if it did go well, then he had someone to share it with.

Dr. Boston smiled at hearing that. Having Sam tell her that he knew he had someone standing behind him, even if he knew that they didn't agree with him one-hundred percent was a big step forward. For kids like Sam, having someone who had your back and knowing that they did was sometimes a rarity.

"And now, I've got this project that's due in my English class at the end of the semester and it's based off family so we'll see how it goes." Sam shrugged since he still had no idea how he was going to write the paper.

"I'm sure you'll figure it out." She encouraged knowing that Sam had a lot of material to work with.

"We'll see," Sam didn't sound too convinced.

"Speaking of school, how did career day go?" She asked, remembering that Sam had been a little apprehensive about it since he was unsure of his choices.

Sam shrugged and relaxed back against the couch cushions. "It was okay... nothing too exciting." He noted.

"The jobs didn't appeal to you?" She asked curiously figuring that that might end up being a good thing. Either way, it was a step towards him figuring out what sounded like something he'd want to focus on and what he didn't want to do. And Sam thinking about his future was an incredibly awesome revelation for the teen to experience.

Sam shook his head no. "Not really... I don't know, I mean I like my job at the animal shelter but I don't think that's long-term, ya know?" He asked. Sam could picture himself doing that for a few years but as an actual job like the way Dean went to work... he wasn't so sure.

"Maybe your current job isn't but have you thought about working with animals in different respects?" Dr. Boston asked. Sam had always lit up whenever he had talked about Ace and it was obvious that this new job at the shelter was good for him. In subtle ways, he had seemed more confidant and not as apprehensive about new situations which was a major improvement. Continuing down a similar path seemed like a good possibility.

"Like what?" Sam asked curiously.

"Well, they have animal police officers who work to ensure that all of the animals in the county are being properly taken care of or you could be a vet. If it's something that appeals to you, you should look into it... and that goes for anything you find interesting." Dr. Boston explained but not wanting to push Sam in any one direction.

Sam nodded thoughtfully as he remembered the papers for the local community college that he had at home and it made him wonder if they offered anything along those lines. "I think... I think I will look into it, thanks." He smiled gratefully.

"No problem Sam." Doctor Boston smiled back at her client. "I'm glad to hear that you've had a good couple of weeks."

"Me too." Sam agreed before he looked at the clock and realized that their session was over. "Guess I should get going." He said as he stood from the couch.

Dr. Boston nodded. "Keep up the good work Sam. I'll see you in a few weeks." She smiled, this was one of the best parts of her job. She loved it when she was able to watch a client who had come to her when they were in a dark place and she got to watch them grow and mature and find a different place, a better place in their lives.

"Yeah, thanks Dr. B." Sam smiled and hesitated before he left, silently thanking her for more than just the job options. Besides his brother, Doctor Boston was Sam's closest confidant... the only other person he felt he could tell all of his secrets too and it would be okay. "Have a good week." He added before he walked out of the office, his head held just a little bit higher than when he had walked in.

Hey! So, how was the chapter? Like I said, I hope it all made sense. I know Sam's had a low self-esteem and such for a while and he still will (let's face it, he hasn't worked out all of his issues yet) but I think that it's about time where he kind of starts to get hopeful and excited and starts thinking of things that he actually does want to do and what he does want for his future... hopefully ya'll will agree with me? Anyways, thanks again for reading! I hope you'll leave a review and I'll try to update ASAP. :)