No Ordinary Boys.
This is my first fanfiction. It's an AU story. Dean is fourteen and Sam is ten.
Mary and John Winchester are foster parents, who take in brothers Dean and Sam. Two abused and neglected boys that end up changing the Winchester's lives forever.
"I know it's a lot to ask on such short notice," Matt sighed and even over the phone Mary could hear him shuffling the papers on his desk. "But social services have landed us with a real emergency situation, and to be honest, I have nowhere else to go."
Mary Winchester couldn't help but smile. It wasn't the first time that Matt, the link worker from the fostering agency that she and her husband John worked for, had called asking them to take an emergency case. She'd never turned one down and she wasn't about to start now. "So, you say it's a sibling placement?"
"Yes," he answered. "Two brothers. Dean's the eldest at fourteen and his younger brother Sam is ten. I'm afraid to say they are not in a good state. They have both been horribly neglected and were very underweight when social services removed from their last foster home."
Mary let out a shocked gasp. "They're already in the care system? And their foster carers have been neglecting them?"
"It was a family foster placement," he explained. "The boys were taken from their biological father four years ago after he was found guilty of physical abuse. An Aunt and Uncle from the mother's side came forward to care for them, and after the usual checks the boys were placed with them. Social services were of course supposed to be monitoring them but somehow they seemed to have fallen through the cracks."
"Fallen through the cracks?" asked Mary, astonished.
"Look," sighed Matt. "I don't have all the details myself, just what I've been told by social services which at the moment isn't a lot. I'm not going to lie to you Mary, these boys have some serious issues. They both have behavioural problems and the older one is very protective of his sibling to the point of aggression. I will totally understand if you want to say no, but I can assure you that if you do take this, it will only be a short term placement until we can sort something else out. Two weeks max."
Mary had heard that before too. Their third foster child Meggie was only supposed to be a short one week placement and she ended up with them for two years. Then there was Alexis who's emergency overnight stay lasted six months. "Its okay, Matt. We'll take them."
Matt's relief was obvious. "Thank you."
"What else do you know? Has there been any physical abuse?" Mary had learnt early on that it was wise to get as much information about any problems now, rather than be blindsided by them later.
"No. As far as we can tell they haven't been physically hurt. Just severely neglected."
"So, when can we expect them?"
"Well social services went in and removed them this morning. They can be with you in about four hours."
"Four hours?" exclaimed Mary. That didn't leave her much time to get prepared. She usually had at least 24 hours to get ready for a placement.
"I know. I know. It's like no notice at all," agreed Matt, "but like I said it's a real desperate situation."
"Four hours it is then."
"Thank you again, Mary. I'll call the boys social workers now and let them know. They should have more information for you when they drop them off. I'll call you again tomorrow to check in but any problems before then just call me, anytime. Okay?"
"I will. I'll speak to you again soon. Bye Matt."
No sooner had Mary hung up the phone, John came through the door, groceries clutched under his arm.
"Mare?" he called, tossing his car keys into the bowl by the front door.
"In the kitchen."
"I ran into Andy at the store," he said, placing the groceries down on the kitchen table. "He invited us to a barbeque over at his and Sandra's tonight. What do you reckon, baby? You feel like going?"
"I reckon we might be busy," she replied simply.
John quirked an eyebrow at his wife. He knew that look. They were getting a new foster kid.
As it turned out they were getting two new foster kids. Brothers, from what Mary had said. Since he and Mary had started fostering they hadn't had many sibling placements. John watched as his wife hurried around the house preparing for the boys arrival. He'd learnt long ago not to help out unless he was specifically asked, and even then Mary usually ended up re-doing whatever task he'd been set. John didn't mind though, he knew that Mary just wanted things to be as perfect as they could for the kids.
It had damm near killed Mary all those years ago when the doctors had first told them that they would never be able to conceive a child. Mary had fallen into such a deep depression that John had started to fear he had lost her for good. Then a friend had mentioned fostering and from that moment Mary dedicated her life to it, to the children who needed her as much as she needed them.
It wasn't always easy but Mary had endless patience and love for any child who came through their doors. It didn't matter what situation they came from or what problems they had, Mary never gave up on them. John had been worried when they first started fostering that he wouldn't be much good at it. He'd gone straight from school into the marines. He had no experience whatsoever with kids.
However, it turned out his doubts were unfounded. Not only did enjoy looking after the children but he actually found himself bonding with them, and was even able to help some of them overcome their problems.
The only cases they wouldn't take were children under two. Their fourth foster case had been a five month old baby. The little girl stayed with them for seven months and after she left, Mary had cried for hours before shutting herself away for three days solid. That was when they decided that they wouldn't be fostering anymore babies. It was just too hard when you had to say goodbye.
John was pulled out of his thoughts by the sound of a car pulling up, shortly followed by Mary's voice.
"John, they're here."
Mary opened the door just as a smartly dressed woman who she assumed was Dean and Sam's social worker approached. The woman extended her hand.
"Hello, you must be Mrs Winchester. I'm Becca. I've been assigned as Dean and Sam's case worker."
Mary shook her hand. "Please, call me Mary, and this is my husband John."
John stepped forward to shake her hand and Becca smiled. "I can't thank you both enough for agreeing to this at such short notice. We are very grateful."
"It's not a problem," assured Mary and she glanced over Becca's shoulder to the scene outside. Another social worker, a man this time was ushering the two boys out of the car. The elder one, Dean, exited first before reaching behind to help his little brother clamber out. Even from a distance Mary could see they were small for their age and very underweight. As soon as the younger boy was out of the car he plastered himself to his brother's side, wrapping his skinny arms tightly around his brother's chest. Dean once more reached into the car, this time retrieving a duffel bag. The man extended his hand in an offer to carry the bag and Mary watched Dean practically snarl at the man before slinging the bag over his own shoulder.
"Ah, here they come," said Becca, turning around and beckoning them over. "This is my partner Jake, and this is Dean, and Sam." Becca stood to the side so they could come in. "Dean, Sam. This is Mary and John. They're going to be looking after you for a little while."
It took a lot to shock Mary these days but the state of the two children in front of her shocked her. Neglect, did not begin to cover it. They were both absolutely filthy. It looked the dirt was actually tattooed on their skin. Their hair was greasy and matted, and their clothes were torn, ill fitting and covered in the same thick dirt that coated their skin. Dean stood glaring daggers at them all, his arms entwined protectively around Sam, who was clinging desperately to his brother and Mary felt her heart clench when she saw Sam was trembling.
"Hello boys." Mary smiled her best smile. "Welcome to our home. We are very pleased to meet you both."
Dean didn't reply but Sam let out a shaky, "Hello M'am."
"Is there maybe somewhere Jake could take the boys to sit while we have a quick chat?" Becca asked.
"Of course." Mary led them through into the living room. "Would you like to watch some TV?"
When neither boy responded Jake smiled and picked up the remote. "It's okay. I'll sort it."
Mary nodded and gave the boys another smile before joining John and Becca in the kitchen.
"What do you mean you don't have all their files yet?" John asked.
"I was only assigned this case three days ago and I haven't received all the necessary paperwork regarding their past involvement with social services, including the case file on the boys removal from the biological father."
Mary sighed. "So, what can you tell us about them?"
"That they were taken from their father four years ago after suspicions of abuse. The mother is deceased but they were placed in foster care with an aunt and uncle. Three days ago, Dean's school contacted us with concerns about numerous unauthorised absences, as well as Dean's unkempt appearance. When we visited the aunt and uncle's home, we found that both Sam and Dean were living in unacceptable conditions. The house was filthy and over flowing with rubbish. The boys were both dirty and were sharing one mattress in an otherwise empty bedroom. They were clearly not being fed enough or cared for adequately, and steps were implemented to remove them, which we were able to do this morning."
John shook his head in disgust at the living conditions these poor boys had been forced to endure. "Why wasn't this discovered sooner? Surely social services were checking on them?"
Becca shifted uneasily in her chair. "I assure you Mr Winchester that it's being looked into." Smoothing a piece of hair back into place she continued, "This should only be a short term placement, until we can sort out something more suitable for the boys while the case goes to court. As you have probably already noticed both boys are underweight but it is not believed there that there has been any physical abuse. Dean isn't very talkative but he is very protective of his younger brother and doesn't like anyone getting to close to Sam. Little Sam is a bit friendly than Dean but he becomes very distressed if he is separated from his brother."
Both Mary and John nodded, absorbing all the information.
"They have a few belongings in their duffel, which Dean is also really protective off, but none of their clothes were suitable to bring. Do you have anything here that would be suitable or do you need some things picking up?"
"We should have some spare sets here that they can use until I get to the shops tomorrow." Mary replied.
Becca nodded. "The state will of course reimburse you for any expense, and I will call tomorrow to check in with you both."
After saying a quick goodbye to the boys, both Becca and Jake left, leaving Mary and John alone with their new charges.
John switched off the TV that neither Dean nor Sam seemed to be watching. "Okay, so how about we start a tour of house?"
The boys were both sat in one corner of the couch, well Dean was, Sam was practically sat in Dean's lap. At the sound of John's voice, Sam flinched and Dean pulled Sam closer to him, running his hands up and down his brother's arms soothingly while scowling at John.
"Sorry Sam," he apologised, deliberately softening his voice. "I didn't mean to make you jump."
"It's okay, sir." Sam stammered but he never met John's eyes.
"Come on then." Mary smiled. "Let's show you around."
The boys followed as Mary and John showed them around downstairs before leading them upstairs and into what would be their bedroom.
"I'm afraid I only time to prepare one room, so you will have to share for now but..."
Dean quickly cut Mary off with an abrupt, "Sharing's fine."
"Okay then." Mary nodded. "Well, how about you boys take a shower and then we can see about getting you both something to eat."
At the mention of a shower, both boy's eyes went wide and Sam instantly huddled closer to Dean, whose arms once again drew around his younger sibling in a protective embrace. "Please M'am, we don't like showers." Sam mumbled.
Mary smiled at them both. Sam was visibly shaking, clutching at his big brother's arms, and even though he was trying to hard to hide it, she could see fine tremors running through Dean as well. 'Those poor boys,' she thought sadly. 'They're absolutely terrified.'
"Its okay, Sam," she soothed. "There's no need to be afraid of showers here. They won't hurt you. They'll just get you all warm and clean. We all take showers here everyday and it feels really nice. Doesn't it John?"
John nodded. "How about we go take a look in the bathroom and I'll show you how everything works? You'll soon see there's nothing to be scared of." Noticing that Sam's attention was now fixed on Dean and only Dean, John turned his gaze to the older boy. "What do you think, buddy? That sound okay?"
Even though Dean's eyes remained locked on the Winchesters, he knew Sam would be looking up at him and trying to gauge his reaction to see if he should believe what he was being told. Showers tended to mean one of two things were about to happen and both of them sent shivers of fear through Dean's spine, and he fought to keep his face blank. Showing fear always made things worse and he had Sammy to protect. Continuing to hold John's gaze he nodded, keeping Sam close to his side as he followed John and Mary to the bathroom.
John proceeded to show the boys how to operate the shower, including how to adjust the temperature. He set the temperature to light warm and placed his hand under the running stream. "See," he said, smiling over at the boys who were both stood ram-rod straight. "Nothing to worry about."
"How about you go first Dean? Show Sam that it's okay." Mary suggested softly.
Dean's mouth was set in a thin line. His body thrumming with tension. "Fine," he gritted out.
"Dean." Sam's voice was shaky and he curled one of his hands into the sleeve of Dean's shirt.
"It's okay, Sammy." Dean gently removed his brother's grip on him. "I'll be fine. Just go wait in the bedroom for me, alright? I'll help you shower when I'm done." He glared over at the Winchester's making it clear that he intended to be the only one helping Sam shower and that John and Mary would definitely not be welcome.
Mary nodded and smiled. "That's fine, Dean."
"Come on then Sammy," John gestured towards the door. "Let's give your brother some privacy."
Sam flinched at the name Sammy.
"It's Sam." Dean snapped at the older man.
John looked down at Sam. "You don't like the name Sammy?" His brow furrowed a little in confusion. Hadn't he heard Dean address him as Sammy just a few moments before?
"Dean's the only one allowed to call me that." Sam mumbled as he reluctantly shuffled out of the bathroom.
Dean watched his little brother leave before turning his stare back on the Winchester's. "So, now what?"
John frowned. "Now you shower Dean."
"The shampoo and body wash are just here on the shelves. Help yourself to whatever you want, okay? There are some new flannels already there for you to use and fresh towels are in the cupboard over there." Mary said, and she and John moved to follow Sam out the door. "Just yell if you need anything, sweetie."
Once he was sure he was alone Dean let himself slump down onto the bathroom floor. He took a few shaky breaths in an attempt to calm down and stop his body from trembling. The fact that he could hear the shower running didn't help. Dean knew what shower's meant. Either he was going to be punished by being kept under the freezing cold spray for hours, or his body was going to used to satisfy some bastards sick needs. He hadn't even been in the house an hour yet, so he didn't think he could of done anything wrong to deserve punishment, which meant any minute now John would be coming back to take what he wanted.
Dean's gaze flitted briefly to the bathroom window. He knew it was big enough for him to squeeze through but he also knew he wouldn't even try. As much as his whole body wanted to escape before John returned, he would never leave Sammy behind. Sammy was the only good thing to ever happen to Dean and he'd rather die than live without him.
He hated the thought that right now Sam was sat unprotected in the bedroom, but Dean knew that the best choice he had right now was to go along with what the Winchester's wanted, because if Dean got in the shower that meant John would soon be in here with him and therefore no where near his baby brother. Of course that meant Mary would be alone with Sam, but from previous experience the women of the household tended to just turn a blind eye to the abuse rather than partake in it. It was the men who were usually the ones to worry about. Dean could only hope Mary Winchester wasn't one of those women who were the exception to the rule.
Struggling back to his feet, he began stripping out of his clothes, realising that if John came back in and found him just sat on the floor instead of in the shower, it would most likely make the man angry and he'd be rougher when punishing him.
Dean winced when the warm spray hit his naked body. He was still covered in the welts, cuts and bruises he'd received from his uncle's latest punishment, and the water raining down on him stung. Trying to distract himself from the sting, he looked at the various items stacked neatly on the shower's shelves. The Winchester's certainly seemed to have much nicer things than his previous homes. The whole bathroom was clean and smelt nice. Dean remembered his Uncle's bathroom. He remembered how grimy and dank it felt. He remembered being handcuffed to the shower rail as ice cold water pounded down on him, and he remembered wondering if that dirty bathroom would be the last thing he would see before he died. His uncle seemed to love using the ice shower as a punishment. His father had tended to prefer to plunge him into a freezing cold bath instead, chuckling while he held Dean's thrashing body in the water.
Snapping himself out of the past, Dean picked up one of the body wash bottles of the shelf, and popping open the cap he sniffed it curiously. It smelt really good but he hesitated before squeezing any out. He usually wasn't permitted to use something like this. His uncle had only allowed him to occasionally use a bar of soap. Mary had told him to use whatever he wanted, it could just be a trick but it could also mean that John wanted him clean before he did whatever he was planning on. Taking a chance, he squeezed the bottle and began rubbing the body wash over his skin.
Seconds later he was screaming in agony. The liquid soaked into his wounds, a trail of burning and pain spreading across his body.
"So, Sam, what do you think you and Dean would like for dinner?" Mary asked, sitting down beside him on the bed but not close enough that she was crowding him.
"Anything will be fine, M'am." Sam kept his head lowered, his bangs covering his eyes. He didn't like being apart from Dean. Especially when he knew what was going to happen to his brother in the shower. Dean had protected Sam from their father, uncle and anyone else who wanted to hurt them as much as he could, but despite Dean best efforts, Sam knew what the punishments were like, and he knew how much they hurt.
Sam's only comfort right now was that John was standing in the bedroom doorway watching him and Mary, which meant he wasn't in the bathroom with Dean. Hurting Dean. Maybe Sam could find a way to keep John in here and away from Dean.
"You really don't have to call me M'am." Mary smiled softly at him. "You can call me Mary. I honestly don't mind."
Sam just nodded. He didn't really want to call her anything. He just wanted his brother.
When it became clear Sam wasn't going to say anything Mary continued, "What about pasta? Do you and Dean like pasta?"
"Pasta's fine." Sam shifted uneasily on the bed. He wasn't used to being asking what he wanted to eat. He wasn't used to eating much at all and the unfamiliarity of the situation was making him nervous. He didn't know how he suppose to act. He didn't know how they wanted him to act and he knew if he didn't get it right he'd be in trouble.
"Sam, it's okay." said Mary, her tone soothing, seeming to notice his unease. "You're safe here, alright? I promise, nothing bad is going to happen."
That's when the screaming from the bathroom started.
Sam flinched violently at the sound, his eyes widening in terror as he scrambled from the bed, heading in the direction of the door. John had already taken off at a run towards the bathroom, and after being momentarily stunned by the sound Mary rushed after them.
Without even a second thought John burst through the bathroom door and ripped open the shower curtain. The sight that met him stopped him dead in his tracks. "Oh Christ." Dean's body was a mess. A sickening road map of abuse littered his skin and the poor boy was stood writhing in pain under the water.
"Mary, quick, get me a towel." He turned his head around to look at his wife, his expression grim."I need to get him out of here right now."
John quickly shut of the shower and seconds later a soft towel was being pressed into his hands. He gently reached for Dean, wrapping the soft fabric around him and pulling the boy closer to him. Dean's screams had died down to short cries and whimpers of pain.
"Shhh, it's alright." John hushed and as gently as he could, he lifted him out of the shower. He lowered them both the floor, his arms still wrapped carefully around him. The teen was shaking, keening loudly but despite the pain he still struggled weakly against John's hold on him. "Shhh Dean. It's okay. I'm not gonna hurt you. Just calm down, bud. You're alright. Shhh."
Dean could feel John's hands on him and he bucked against them. His whole body felt like it was on fire. It had been a trick. They had known what using that stuff on his skin would do and that's why they had said he could use it. They had wanted him to hurt like this. It had been a trick and he'd fallen for it. Tears tracked there way down his face, and he felt like he couldn't breathe. His eyes scanned wildly round the room, briefly landing on Mary, who was stood with her hand over her mouth in horror at the scene in front of her, before locking on his baby brother. Every part of his brother seemed to be radiating fear and Dean whimpered in response. Sammy. He had to protect Sammy. He tried to increase his struggles but he just couldn't seem to get enough air.
John frowned when Dean began to gasp for air. "Dammit," he muttered when he realised Dean was having a panic attack. "Dean, It's okay." John shifted his hold on Dean so they were kneeling face to face. "Just breathe, alright? You're safe here, Dean. C'mon, it's okay. Just breathe. In and out. In and out." Dean continued to hyperventilate and John cursed softly under his breath. "Dean, you need to calm down, buddy. You need to breathe or you're gonna pass out. C'mon bud, just take a breath."
Pass out? The words made Dean's heart beat faster. No! He couldn't pass out. If he passed out then who would protect Sammy? He can't pass out. He just can't. He tried to suck in the oxygen he so desperately craved but it wasn't enough and his eyes began to roll back in his head. The sound of Sam suddenly screaming his name was the last thing he heard before the darkness claimed him.
Thank you for taking the time to read :) Please review :)