Three days later…
"Tomorrow?" Dean asks, plopping down in the chair in Sam's room.
The woman and the police officer nod they head in synchronization.
Dean raises an eyebrow. "Tomorrow?"
The woman smiles, writing something down on her paper. She shakes her head vigorously. "Tomorrow, Mr. Winchester," she answers with a smile.
Dean scratches his head and then looks over at Bobby who shrugs. "This soon? I mean, it's been like a week and a half."
The police officer leans against the doorframe and puts his hands in his pockets. He, too, shrugs. "Do you feel unready, Mr. Winchester? Are you nervous?"
Dean makes a face. "Me? I was born ready," he says sarcastically. "And can you call me Dean? Mr. Winchester makes me sound like a fifty five year old science teacher."
The woman chuckles. "Sure, Dean."
Bobby takes a couple of steps forward. "You ready for this, Dean?" he asks.
Dean shrugs. "Me? Yeah. Sam, though? I'm not sure he can handle it."
The woman, Donna, walks in a few steps to the spare chair in the corner. She takes a seat and crosses her legs.
"I'd like to explain something to you, id you don't mind," she announces.
Dean holds his hand out. "Please…"
She clears her throat. "Sam," she starts, pointing over to his sleeping form. " He's not going to testify in an open court. We will simply come to him. There will be a judge, a writer to keep everything said in the records, your father's lawyer, you're appointed lawyer which is I, and you, of course."
Dean nods. Bobby stands behind Dean. "What about me?" he asks. "I'll be there, too, right?"
Reluctantly, Donna shakes her head. "I'm sorry, but no. You aren't in kin with the Winchester family. Before you object," she calls when Bobby opens his mouth to say something. "I understand how close you are to both Dean and Sam. But there isn't a law that says that you can be in here when Sam's questioning is going on. You see, Dean and Sam are biological brothers. They're blood related which automatically gives Dean the right to be here. But not only that, Dean is twenty. An adult. He can file for guardian rights of Sam. You, too, can file for guardianship over Sam, but the judge may be more lenient toward Dean because he's Sam's brother."
Bobby nods, understanding where the woman is coming from.
"Understand?" she asks with a slight smile.
Again, Bobby nods. "Yeah, I understand," he rests a hand on Dean's shoulder. "So would you recommend that both of us file for guardianship for Sam?"
Donna nods. "I would think that's best. If the judge sees that both of you want Sam in your life, then they'll understand how heartbroken you'd become if Sam was taken away from you. You see, the court needs to understand that there are people that are there to get Sam through this hard time. They need to be able to clearly see that you're mentally and emotionally stable to take care of someone of his age and with his injuries. Especially with the case that is against you're father. The abuse that's been brought to their attention. They need to make sure that Sam won't have to live through that again."
Dean waves his hand. "Whoa, whoa, lady. What're you trying to say? You think at me and Bobby are abusive, too?"
Donna shakes her head. "Calm down. That's not what I'm trying to imply. What I'm trying to let you know is how tough they judge and jury are going to be. The simplest question they may ask you might be the ones to see how you'll be as a guardian. Now obviously you care about Sam a lot. Correct?"
"More than anything," Dean answers matter-of-factly.
"Yes. That's great. But the judge and the jury don't know anything about you and Sam. They know the outline of what happened to you, but they don't know details. That's why they need you. They need to hear your side of the story, your father's side of the story, Bobby's side of the story, and of course Sam's side of the story. Then after hearing everything, exploring your personality, and seeing how well you answer questions, they'll make a decision to either leave Sam with you or enroll him in Social Services and find him a foster family."
Dean but his lip. "But if I'm filing for guardianship and Bobby's filing for guardianship, it doesn't matter who wins, right?"
Donna shook her head. "Well technically no. If you, Dean, get full guardianship of your brother then you'd have to provide a stable home for him, get a job, show proof that you actually have a job and have to fill out all the legal papers. Other than that, the only difference is if Sam ever needs something signed , say a permission slip or school file update papers, you'd have to be the one to fill them out and sign. Get it?" she asks.
Dean nods. "Yeah. But what about our house? I mean, can't we just go stay with Bobby?"
Dona shrugs. "If Bobby get's custody of Sam then of course he can stay there and you can stay there, too. But if you get custody of your brother, one of the requirements may be for you to find an apartment and have it approved my the state."
Dean rolls his eyes. "Yeah. Okay."
Donna closes her book, a little too loud because within seconds Sam stirs.
"Wha'happened?" he asked sleepily.
Dean looks over toward her.
"Uh, nothing, Sammy. Legal stuff."
Sam looks over at the woman and then at the police officer how still is stationed in the doorframe.
"'Bout me?" he asks.
Dean shrugs. "I kinda, not really." Dean answers with a smile.
Sam's eyes land on Donna who's smiling at him genuinely.
"How you holding up, Sam?" she asks.
Looking down at him bed, Sam shrugs a little. "I'll be okay."
She smiles. "Well that's great because I'd like to talk to you for a little. If that's okay with you and your brother?"
Dean shrugs. "You cool with that?" he asks Sam.
Sam nods. "Yeah sure."
Donna stands and walks over to the side of Sam's bed.
"I'm just here to inform you that you and your family have been scheduled for court tomorrow at one thirty in the afternoon. Your's though, well be at eleven forty five in the morning."
Sam's eyebrows scrunch together.
"Mine? What does that mean?"
Donna shifts on her feet. "Well due to your injuries and recent circumstances, we and the court have decided that it's best if we come to you. We'll ask you very simple questions, ask you to explain a few things to us. Now, I understand that you've already have a statement on record when the charges against your father were first bought to our attention, but we'll need you to tell us again."
Sam looks over at Dean, his eyes full of questions.
"Don't worry," Donna says. "Dean will be here with you the whole time. Right, Dean?"
He smiles. "Wouldn't have it any other way."
Taking a step backwards, Donna speaks again. "You can ask Dean or Bobby whatever questions you may have. I've explained it all to them already."
Sam nods. "'Kay."
With that, Donna walks away.
Dean smiles quickly at Sam.
"Guess we're goin' to court, huh?"
The next day…
"Knock, knock,' Donna says as she walks into Sam's room. She smiles brightly at Sam and he shoots a weak one back at her.
She takes a seat in the chair again.
"You guys ready?" she asks.
"Yeah, sure," Bobby says, reading a magazine.
"Ready as I'll ever be," Dean answers, taking a look at Sam quickly.
Dean looks back again when he realizes that Sam hadn't answered.
"Sam?" Dean asks, waiting for Sam's response. "You okay?''
Sam sighs. " I just want it all to be over…" he responds in a low voice.
Dean stands, rubbing Sam's shoulder.
"It'll be over soon, Sam. I promise."
Minutes passed and soon the judge, the writer and Jason entered the room.
'Good morning one and all," the Judge says with a smile.
The rest mumble greetings to the entering people.
Donna stands. "Bobby, I'm sorry, I'm going to have to ask you to leave for about twenty minutes."
Without argue, Bobby stands. He walks over to Dean and Sam and gives them both a hug.
"You're both going to be fine. Everything's going to be alright," he tells the brothers with a hopeful smile.
As soon as Bobby leaves, the judge takes not time. She begins immediately.
"First, I would like to state the rules for everyone. Dean," she says, scanning him for a second. "I understand that you are here for legal reasons and I also understand that you are here for support for your brother, but I must stress the fact that you cannot help him answer a question. You may not tell him what to say or state something that might influence his answer or his prospective on whatever the question may be. Understood?"
Dean nods and looks the Judge straight in the eye. "Yes, I understand."
"Great. And Sam," she fixes her attention on him now. "please answer all the questions as clearly as possibly. I know some of them might be hard to answer, but trust me it's for your own good."
Sam nods and lets out a deep breath.
The judge looks over everyone quickly then takes out a small notepad.
"Alright, lets get started."
Ten minutes into the questioning and neither Sam or Dean were sweating bullets. So far the questions were easy, but none of them have been about their father yet. Maybe the lawyer is starting slow? Or maybe he's saving all the hard questions for Dean later today? Either way, Dean was pleased. He'd rather deal with the hard questions then make Sam have to.
"What do you think about living with your brother?" Donna asks.
Sam loosens his grip on the bed. He shrugs his shoulders.
"Do you think Dean's capable of taking care of you?"
Sam nods. "Yeah. Of course."
"Even if your sick?"
Sam looks over at Dean who's sitting next to him in his bed. Dean's feet are on the floor and he watches everyone carefully.
"He's done it before."
"What about your medicine, Sam?" Jason asks, coming into the conversation. "Do you think Dean will be able to handle all of your medication? Make sure you get them on time? The right amount?"
"Yeah," Sam answers briefly.
"Has Dean ever had to take care of you when you were sick before?" Donna asks, taking the attention off of Jason.
"Yeah he has. I had the flu once. And I think he told me he helped me when I had the chicken pox. But I don't really don't remember it. I was little."
"Chicken pox?" Donna asks. "Children usually get that when they're between the ages of 4 and 6. That couldn't have put Dean older then ten. Are you saying he was taking care of you at the very young age of ten?" Donna questions, a look of astonishment on her face.
Sam nods. "Probably younger than that."
The judge nods and from the corner of her eye she flashes Dean a quick smile.
A smile that says to Dean , 'You're quite the impressive older brother.'
"Order! Order!" Judge Eva calls. "Lets get this started. This is the case of John Winchester vs. Dean Winchester and Robert Singer. Defendant, how do you plead?"
"Not guilty, Your Honor," Jason states a loud.
Judge Eva cocks an eyebrow. "Alright," she says, writing it down. "Mr. Jason Carmona . Who do you call to the stand?"
John had been up first. He's a world class screw up.
It was obvious that his lawyer was trying to give him the simplest questions, but he kept screwing them up pretty spectacularly. But when it was Donna's turn to question him? Oh, man. She really put him though the wringer.
"Do you believe that you were wrong for molesting your son?" she had asked while she was questioning.
How do you answer something like that?
Can you guess how John answered?
"I plead the 5th," he had said with his head down.
"Why would both of your son's accuse you of abusing Sam? They have no reason to lie," Donna had said somewhere toward the end of John's questioning.
John had shrugged. "Dean's got a control over Sam like no one else has. I bet he told Sam what to say."
That was John's answer.
Within the next five minutes, his questioning was over. Thank God. No one had to see this train wreck anymore. But now it was Dean's turn…
John and Jason both turn their heads toward Bobby and Dean's table.
"I call Dean Winchester to the stand."
Dean looks over at Bobby, stands, straightens his suit jacket, and walks over to the Witness Stand.
"Please state your full name for the record," Jason says.
"Alright. I'm just going to jump right into this. Are you aware of the allegations made against your father?' Jason asks.
Dean nods. "Yes."
"Do you believe these allegations to be true?"
"Completely," Dean answers. He couldn't help it, his eyes dart over to his father for a split second.
"And what makes you believe them?"
Dean runs his hand up and down his arm. "My brother told me."
Jason smiles. "Children lie, Mr. Winchester. They lie quite often."
Dean shakes his head. "Sam's not lying."
"How can you be so sure?"
"I've see it," Dean answers without hesitation.
Jason puts his hands up. "Oh really? You've seen your father 'supposedly' abuse your brother?"
Dean shakes his head. "No-"
"Exactly!" Jason jumps in. "So now you're lying."
Trying to keep his anger under control, Dean shakes his head. "That's not what I meant."
"But that's what you said."
Dean rolls his eyes. "I mean I've seen the bruises. On Sam. They're all over."
Jason puts his pen in his mouth for a second. "Huh. So when you found about what your brother accused your Dad of, what did you do?"
Dean fixed himself in the chair. "I took Sam away so he didn't have to stay with our Dad anymore."
Jason smiles. "Did you hear the key word in that sentence?" Jason asks the jury. "He said he took his brother. Took him." He turns back to Dean. "So you kidnapped him?"
Dean's mouth dropped. "What? No. I-"
'Well that's what you said, Dean."
Dean lets out a deep breath really slowly, trying to keep calm. Seeing this as an opening, Jason continues.
"You getting a little angry there, Dean?"
Dean shrugs. "I'm good."
"Oh really? 'Cause I've heard about you. Anger problems."
Dean gave Jason a look.
"What makes you think you're going to be able to take care of your brother if you have an anger problem? Because you know what people do when that get mad, don't you, Dean? They hit things. A lot of times they hit people. So how can we assure that Sam's safe with you? You may hit him if he starts to aggravate you."
Dean shakes his head. "I'm not gonna hit him."
Jason pokes his lower lip out for a second. "So you're admitting that you have trouble controlling your anger, you're just not going to hit your brother?"
"No," Dean says back, a little louder that he should've. "You're twisting my words around! No, I don't have anger issues. No, I don't and won't hit my brother. Happy?"
Jason shakes his head.
"I'm just trying to make sure that what you're saying comes out clear to the jury and our lovely Judge over here."
Dean doesn't say anything.
" I understand that you and your father recently had a little conversation, huh?" Jason asks.
"He wanted to talk."
"Oh really? What about?"
Dean shrugged. "You know, asking how I was doing. He asked about Sam."
"And what did John say when you told him about Sam?"
Dean though for a second. "He said that he hopes he gets better and that everything turns out alright," Dean tells truthfully. "But he's lying though," he added.
"And how do you know he's lying?"
Dean clears his throat. "It's simple, actually. All of the bad things started happening to us after we ran away from him. And he says that he hopes everything would be alright? Everything would be fine if he would've never put his hands on my brother."
"Understood," Jason says. "No further questions."
Jason walks away and sits down next to John.
Donna stands. She gives Dean as smile as she does so. Her job is to make Dean look good. This shouldn't take long.
"Would you consider yourself a good brother, Dean?"
"I like to think so. Yes."
"Do you believe you're capable of taking care of your brother alone?" Donna asks.
Dean nods. "Been doing it for years."
"Could you please explain to the court what you mean by that?"
Again, Dean shifts in his chair. "Ever since I was little. Since I can remember, that is, I've been taking care of Sam. Whether it was feeding him when he was little, or helping him when he got the flu, or driving him to the hospital when he broke his arm when he was fourteen."
"And where was your father through all of this?"
Dean shrugged. "Not sure. I mean, he did what he could, but in the end it was just me and Sam."
"Do you believe your dad is a good father to you and your brother?"
Dean shakes his head.
"I used to. When I was younger, that is. But I haven't thought that he was a good enough father in years."
Dean plays with the loose peace of wood on the edge of his chair.
"I don't know. It seems like he just stopped trying to take care of us. He stopped trying a long time ago."
Donna nodded again.
"You see?" she asks the court a loud. "Dean's more than capable of taking care of his brother. More than capable of providing a stable home for him. He's been doing it for years. Too many years if you ask me. Just think about this: Dean was the only one in his house that had the right presence of mind to take care of the youngest in the family when no one else would. When Dean was taking care of his brother, most kids his age were just discovering girls and dirt bikes. Why would it even be a consideration to take Sam away from Dean. He's done nothing but love and care for his brother. And the last time I checked that wasn't a crime.
Dean's a saint from my point of view. If I could get my son to take care of his little sister the way Dean's learned to take care of his little brother, I'd be the happiest mother a live. I think you have to see things from Dean prospective. All he's got left is a brother, and absentee father, and a very close family friend.
Can't you see why Dean's holding on to his brother for dear life? Wouldn't you? Why else would Dean and Sam want to testify against their father. Most children don't want their parents to go to jail. And on the rare occasions like this, where they actually do, you have to think ' how can a parent screw up so bad that their own children want to see them in jail?'
I think that most of you have heard the charges against Mr. John Winchester. For those who don't know, and for the record, John is accused of physical abuse and molestation of his sixteen year old son. Jason tried to point out earlier that children lie," Donna shakes her head.
"Sam's not a child though. He's a teenager. A very intelligent teenager at that. Why would he want to make this up? What would be his reason to lie about something so serious as physical and sexual abuse?" Donna looks each of the jury in the eye.
"Nothing," she answers for them.
She turns back toward Dean. "In five words or less can you please tell the jury what your brother means to you?"
Dean nods. "He means everything," he answers as bluntly and truthfully as he could.
Donna smiles at him.
"See? His little brother means everything to him," again, she gives each of the jury and even the judge a stern look in the eye.
"Taking Sam away from Dean would be like stripping an Olympic gold mentalist from it's first place."
Donna walks over and lays a hand on Dean's shoulder.
"Don't take away Dean's grand prize. What's the point of working hard if you don't get to keep the reward, right? Well, Sam's the greatest award Dean could ever get."
With that, she pats Dean's shoulder and heads back to the table.
"No further questions."
The Judge slams her gavel down.
"Witness may stop down. Court is in recess. We'll have came to a decision by then."
An hour later…
"Did I do okay?" Dean had asked when they were in the middle of recess.
Both Bobby and Donna smiled.
"You did wonderful, honey," Donna said.
Dean had smiled back, but he wasn't so sure.
He wasn't going to let his hopes get too high, if there's still a chance they they'll be knocked down.
"The case of John Winchester vs. Dean Winchester and Robert Singer will reconvene now. I repeat- The case of John Winchester vs. Dean Winchester and Robert Singer will reconvene!" a small woman called into the lobby where Dean, Donna, and Bobby sat.
Dean stood and let out a deep breath.
"Here we go…"
"This was a heartbreaking story. Really; it was,' Judge Eva had announced to the court. "But the jury and I have come to a decision."
Dean could feel his heart rate begin to race.
"Jason, Donna; I'd like to thank you for working your tails off on this case. But remember this isn't all over here. But we'll discuss that in private later."
"Robert, I commend you for sticking by Dean and Sam. In a way, you were kind of stuck in the middle. I understand that you have a case against John as well. The case of Guardianship over Sam? Yes, that case will probably be scheduled for some time next week."
Bobby nodded at her. He mouthed "Thank you."
By now, dean was literally dying with anticipation.
His palms were sweaty, his knees were weak, and his head was spinning.
"It was a pretty unanimous decision when it came to this. John," she says while she shakes her head. "I hope you get some help. Really, you need it. I've stared at the picture of Sam that's stapled on his case file for about an hour, wondering how someone could do what you did to a child. And to your child, at that." She shakes her head.
"After saying that. Jury, how do you find the defendant?"
A man, no taller than Dean stood with an envelope in his hand. He opened it and read it.
"We, the jury, find the defendant, John Winchester guilty for multiple counts of molestation of a minor, child endangerment, child abandonment, child abuse, and lying under oath."
Dean felt as he literally jumped into Bobby's arms. He hugged the bigger man tight.
"You did great, Dean. I'm so proud of you," Bobby had whispered.
"As for your sentencing, Mr. Winchester, that will be decided in about a week. Until then you will be placed in a holding cell until further notice. Bailiff, please take him."
John was pulled away and out of the court room.
"As for you," she says pointing at Dean. "You've done a remarkable job here today and with your brother. I wish more twenty year olds were like you. You've done a great job raising your brother," she smiles. "But now you won't have to do it alone."
Dean smiled greatly. He looks over at Bobby then back at the judge.
"I make the papers up tonight to hand you legal guardianship of your brother. You deserve it."
Dean laughs. He couldn't help it. He was just too happy.
Again, he hugs Bobby.
"I assume it's fine that they boys stay with you at your house?" She asks Bobby. He nods immediately.
"No problem, Your Honor. No problem at all."
The judge bangs on her desk. "Court dismissed.'."
Dean hugs Bobby again, then hugs Donna. "Thank you so much for everything you've done. Thank you."
Donna smiles back at him. "No problem."
After hugging Donna, Dean walks up to the judge.
"Excuse me, I just want to say thank you so much for letting my brother stay with me. You have know idea what that means to me. Just- just thank you. I thank you with all my heart," Dean could feel a tear beginning to form in his eye and he doesn't bother to wipe it. If anything, he dared it to fall.
Judge Eva smiled. "It was a no-brainer. Sam deserves to be with you. You're the best person for the job."
Dean smile, tears flowing now.
The Judge steps down and gives Dean a hug.
"Your welcome. Now stop talking," she gestures to the door. "Go to your brother. Go take care of him."
Dean smiles but doesn't say another word.
He jogs out of the court house and up the road to the hospital.
He must've looked like a fool with the hugest smile on his face and tears running down his face but he didn't care. His father was going to jail, but he didn't care. They're going to have to move in with Bobby. They're going to have millions of bills to pay, but he didn't care.
Dean had his little brother right where he belonged, and to him, that's all that mattered.
Well folks, it's over. :(
Did you like it?
Well I really hope you did.
Writing that chapter took me forever.
SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR THE FINAL CHAPTER AND FOR THE ENTIRE STORY! PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE REVIEW!
A/N- The sequel to this is called 'Stonewall' and it should be published no later than the day after tomorrow. I already have it typed, and my BETA already checked over it, I'm just putting the finishing touches on the first chapter. I hope you're excited for the sequel. All I have to say about it is that it's definitely a roller-coaster ride. Things will get crazy. Things will get out of control. This might go horribly wrong.
Haha...anyway, please review, and I'll see you in 'STONEWALL'
ILOVEYOU ALL !