Disclaimer: I don't own anything recognizable in this story and I am making no profit from it.
Author's Note: This story is dedicated to the memory of my uncle who recently passed away.
Sitting nervously on the couch as she and John waited to meet the two boys they had been asked to foster, Mary couldn't help but think of her own two boys, the boys she missed with all of her heart. Dean had only just turned six and Sammy nearly the age of two when they had been kidnapped from the mall, never to be seen again. It hurt her to her very soul to know that she was the reason for their missing status. She and her boys had been at the mall and were enjoying a day of shopping when her world turned upside down. Her attention had been drawn away from her boys for just a moment by the hysterical screams of what she had assumed was a mother looking for her own child. If she had only known how wrong she was, she would have latched onto her boys and never let them out of her sight for even a moment. But she had, and her boys had been snatched from her, never to be seen again.
"Honey, you need to stop blaming yourself for what happened in the past," John stated softly as he wrapped an arm around his disconsolate wife after seeing a tear slip down her cheek as she stared off into the distance. He knew Mary well enough to know that she was once again blaming herself for their boys having been taken from them so long ago. And if truth be told, he had blamed her at first, nearly ending their marriage, but then he had come to understand that Mary couldn't have helped but turn to that supposedly distressed mother in her time of need, it was what mother's instinctively do, especially ones like his Mary.
"But how can I John? It's my fault our boys were taken away from us nearly five years ago. If I had only been paying more attention, then they would have never been snatched away from us," Mary lamented as she laid her head against her husband's muscular chest in sorrow.
"Mar, you had no way of knowing that you were being set up by that hysterically screaming woman and the kidnapping ring she was thought to be a part of," John voiced as he carded his fingers through his wife's curly blonde locks.
"I know, but still…" Mary's voice drifted off as she remembered the police informing her and John that the boys were most likely taken by a group that had been working the tri-state Kansas area for just over two weeks.
"I know... I wish things could have been different too," John informed his wife with a sigh as he remembered the worst day of his life; the day the police came to the garage where he worked to inform him that his boys had been taken. It had been a rough few months afterwards, with him blaming his wife for what had happened and losing himself in a bottle of liquor, but he had pulled out of the depths of despair and somehow, he and Mary had managed to move on past their tragedy in hopes that their boys would be found. But here it was almost five years later and the police and FBI were no closer to finding the boys than when they had been taken.
"Do…Do you think they're okay?" Mary asked, glancing up at her solemn husband with tear-filled eyes. "I mean, surely they were placed in a loving home…"
"I wish I could answer that for you Sweetheart. I just try to keep focusing on the fact that if someone wanted children enough to pay for them, then hopefully…" John's voice drifted off, not really knowing what else to say.
"Yeah, but I guess it is something we'll never really know," Mary bemoaned, reaching up to wipe the tears from her eyes upon hearing the sound of footsteps in the hall.
Walking down the long hallway to the bedroom that the two brothers shared since arriving at the home, Mrs. Amelia Whitworth could only hope that they had found the right placement for the boys. John and Mary seemed like such a nice couple, people who would hopefully be understanding of the issues that little Joey and his big brother David were now dealing with because of the abuse and neglect the boys had suffered over the past few years. Sighing deeply as she placed her hand on the doorknob, she couldn't help but shudder at the memory of when the Department of Family and Children's Services had shown up at her door. Both boys were malnourished and exhibited some slight bruising, but what caught her attention the most was how little Joey shied away from her just at sight. She had always thought herself to be a very approachable person with a bright and happy personality, but the fear exhibited in that child's eyes when she gazed down at them, it was something that would forever be burned into her memory. Pulling herself together, she plastered on a smile that she really didn't feel, and then prepared to enter the room.
Pushing open the door as gently as possible, she was unsurprised at the sight of the two brothers huddled closely together on the bed with David firmly sitting in front of the nearly seven year old, ready to protect the child at all costs. He had been protective from the moment they arrived, stepping in front of the little boy when she had knelt down to greet them on that day so long ago.
From that point on, things had not changed over the two months that the boys had been with her in the group home as they waited to be fostered or adopted . Anytime someone even got close to little Joey, David made sure they backed off rather quickly until he was assured they meant his little brother no harm. She could remember that first night they had arrived and she walked to their room to bid them goodnight. She had been surprised to find them both lying in the same bed, though it was just barely big enough for one, or so she thought. She had tried to get David to go to his own bed, but quickly negated that notion when Joey had quickly begun to cry and David he had tensed up immediately as if readying himself for a fight. Knowing when to pick and choose her battles, she had decided to let the two boys share the bed if it would allow them to sleep in peace and bring each other much needed comfort.
Each night afterward she would check on them, letting them know that they were cared for and they were safe around her. It had taken seven long days before David had finally allowed her to tuck them into bed at night, bending down to lovingly brush a hand through their hair, as she did with the other young children in the home.
Strolling over to the boys, she kneeled down to be on their eye level.
"Are you boys ready to go meet your new foster parents?" She asked cheerfully, though in truth she felt like crying. She would miss the boys something fierce.
"Guess we don't have a choice," David answered resignedly, wrapping an arm around Joey's shoulder and pulling him in close. He dreaded the idea of having to go to another new place and learn the rules. But most of all, he dreaded finding out just what these new foster parents would be like. He could slightly remember having been happy once, but that was so long ago that sometimes, he wondered if those thoughts were even real. Maybe he had only dreamt of having parents who truly cared about him and his baby brother instead of ones who constantly yelled at them, sometimes hitting them both when they had supposedly done wrong.
"David, I think you and Joey will really like these people," Mrs. Whitworth stated as she placed a comforting hand on each boy's shoulder. "They seem really nice and they're very excited about having the two of you live in their home."
"Yeah, well I sure hope you're right," David voiced worriedly before chewing on his bottom lip. He didn't want to think about being with people who forced him to sit there and watch as they berated his baby brother to the point where the kid thought he truly deserved to be punished. He had tried to protect his sibling as much as he could, but he was only eleven years old and could only do so much against their muscular brute of a father with his mean temper and acidic tongue over the past few years.
"I think you'll find that I am, so if you will, please follow me" Amelia stated as she rose to a standing position and waited for the boys to climb off the bed before starting towards the door. She had thoroughly checked the backgrounds of John and Mary Winchester and was truly hoping that the boys and the parents would be perfect for each other, they together, they could heal the broken hearts of each other.
Anxiously waiting for the meeting to occur, John and Mary both thought about the coming moment. They had decided six months ago to try fostering after the police had come to visit and said they had no more solid leads on the kidnapping and that the boys had most likely been transported out of the country never to be seen again, each knowing instinctively that they could never survive the loss of another child of their own.
Standing as the sound of footsteps drew even closer, John and Mary couldn't wait to meet the children they would be taking into their home. So far, all that had been told was that the children were boys who were raised in an abusive home and that they were wary of all adults and needed foster parents who would understand them, love them and nurture them through the days to come.
Grasping each other's hands, John and Mary both stood in shock as the door opened and they lay eyes on the two boys standing before them. It took their breath away to see the eldest child, who looked so much like their Dean with his blonde hair and freckles that Mary literally gasped aloud upon seeing him.
Giving Mary's hand a quick squeeze in an effort to give her a moment to pull herself together, John knelt down in front of the children and gazed into their eyes. "It's so nice to meet you boys," he said as he reached out to palm their cheeks, his heart clenching with sadness when both backed away from him warily as his own mind tried to reconcile what he was seeing with his brain. Could these boys actually be the ones that were stolen from him and Mary so long ago or was it just wishful thinking on their part?
TBC… That is, if you wish to read more. Let me know your thoughts on whether to trash it or keep going.