Title: Gentle (Part Two)
Characters: Chloe, Sam, Lois, Lana, Dean, Mary, John, Ma, Pa
Disclaimer: Don't own
Summary: The thing that made an isolated, scarred ten year old Chloe notice fourteen year old Sam was the fact that he was gentle, incredibly so. She'd never seen someone that gentle before, hadn't realized someone like him existed.
A/N: In this universe NOTHING supernatural ever happened to the Winchester family (kinda like in the universe shown in "What Is And What Should Never Be") so the family are all alive and living in Lawrence. And, of course, NOTHING is canon in Smallville.
WARNING: Somewhat dark, mentioned child abuse.
He sat in his office, staring out at the vast city alit in the night.
A knock sounded on the door.
The door opened and the large man in a business suit entered, lowering a folder to the desk. "The report, sir."
He didn't turn away from the view of the city. "Summarize it for me."
The man cleared his throat. "They survived."
He froze and yet didn't turn as yet. "Which ones?"
"The children, sir."
The man turned in his seat and looked up at the mountain of a man. "All
of the children?"
The man nodded. "The newly activated one was critically injured, but has been moved to the recovery room of the hospital. She'll live. And the others sustained minor wounds due to the fact that the girl used her power to mostly misdirect the bullets our operatives sent towards them. It was only when she was shot from behind and injured that the other two sustained minor injuries from the remaining operatives before killing them. By that time, the police were almost on the scene and we were unable to move in and collect them."
He leaned with his elbows on the desk, fingers steepled. "They survived
The man clasped his hands behind his hand and nodded. "All three."
The man was silent, thoughtful. "What of our men?"
There was a pause. "None made it out alive."
There was another bout of silence, and he leaned back in his seat. "And the Matron didn't kill any herself? These are all confirmed deaths perpetrated by the children?"
The man nodded. "In the folder there is a jump-drive with a video feed from the event. The Matron in charge of them was swiftly killed, and when she died her power over their use of their abilities was nullified, and they were able to defend themselves against our men."
He reached for the folder and opened it, ignoring the papers and instead picking up the jump drive. "Go, I wish to watch this alone."
"Yes sir." The man nodded and turned to leave, before hesitating. "Sir, what about the children? What are we to do about them?"
"Where are they now?" He enquired curiously.
"Still in Lawrence, Sir." The man reported. "Our sources say that the telekinetic and the other have been released into custody of someone named John Winchester. His information is in the file as well. From what we've gathered it's a personal favor, since they should have been sent to foster care but the injured one is still in the hospital, and apparently this John Winchester has friends in high places."
"Interesting." He murmured, tapping the jump drive against his lip. "Have any evidence found in that house destroyed or go missing."
"Already taken care of." The man paused before asking once more: "What about the children, sir?"
"Leave them, for a while." He decided after a moment's thought. "We've never had a child pass the test before, Raymond."
"I know sir." Raymond nodded. "Most don't survive the injections of the meteor-based serum or the mutations either, especially not in as much dosage as the injured one received."
"I always had hope for this batch." He confessed. "They had something the others didn't." He frowned. "I do not know what it is, but whatever it is it has made them stronger."
Raymond waited a moment before asking: "So we will halt the search for their replacements? They survived the test."
"Unlike all the others before them." He smiled. "The girls have made me very proud." He chuckled, looking up at Raymond. "Forget acquiring more test subjects. We're going to concentrate on these. They could be what I've been searching for all these years. Input the new codes for their collars and send it to them. They've reached a new level."
"So we are leaving them with the Winchesters, sir?" Raymond asked, just to be sure that those were his orders.
"For now." Grandfather nodded. "The Matron finished teaching them their first lesson. Now, let the Winchesters teach them how to live a normal life, how mingle with normal people, and how to go undetected in the real world." He smiled evilly. "They'll need that knowledge if they're to graduate this next level."-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-
"Are you sure you want to do this, John?" Mick McGreggor wanted to know, eyeing his long time friend with unease.
John could understand the concern. "Yes." He nodded, gazing at a picture of the days when he was a part of the Marines. "You've seen Mary with them these last couple of days, she's in love with the girls."
"I admit they're cute, John, but these girls come with some serious baggage." Mick frowned. "They aren't run of the mill orphans. They've been abused and they don't even realize it. That shows you that all they know is abuse. They're messed up, John. And then we have to think about whoever it is thats behind the trafficking. I don't think he or she is just going to sit there and let the merchandise be taken from them."
"You think i haven't thought about that, Mick?" John snapped, sitting down. "Mary and I have spent these last couple of nights speaking of nothing but that. We don't sleep. Not that the girls screams are lullabies either."
Mick sighed. "They're still having the nightmares?"
"Every single night. They won't tell us what the nightmares are about, but every single night they're dreaming them." John nodded, remembering the agonized screams coming from the room the girls were sharing. "And from what Neil told us, Chloe's the same in the hospital. She wakes up with cold sweat, screaming her lungs out, and refusing to say a word to anyone."
"They're damaged, John. Screwed up for life." Mick tried once more. "These aren't stray kittens that Sam found in the garage and wants to tend to until you can find better homes for them. These are three very fucked up kids."
"Exactly, Mick. They're kids." John swallowed down past the disgust he felt every single time he remembered the bruised and battered bodies. He hadn't known these kids personally until that night at the hospital, but as a father it sickened him to his soul to think of a child being abused the way they had. "We're not saying we're going to adopt
them, but right now they need something stable, and the girls know Sam, and they're getting less wary of Mary. And you know her. Mary's in love with them. Spends all her time with the three girls at the hospital." He gave a small smile, thinking of his angelic wife. "She's probably more anxious than the girls to have Chloe be discharged."
"Doctor WIlliams says she's healing fast."
John nodded. "If things continue the way they are, she'll be let out in a couple of days."
"John..." Mick tried once more. "This could be dangerous."
"Mary nor Sam won't have it any other way, and Dean feels the same way I do about some grown person taking a stick to a child." John ran his hand over his head.
"They're strangers, John. Why would you put your family at risk-."
"What if they'd been my sons, Mick?" John interrupted, looking up. "What if Mary and I had been the unlucky bastards who'd had their children stolen from them? If those girls had been Sam and Dean, all screwed up and abused, I would be praying night and day for someone to take pity on them and treat them right until I could get them back."
Mick fell silent at that.
The police officer cleared his throat. "John, we don't know who they belong to. The DNA proves that they didn't belong to the woman they called Ma, but we can't even figure out who she was. She had her fingerprints lazered off, and her face isn't registering in any system. And the children-their fingerprints were lazered off too, probably right around the time thy were taken."
John frowned. "That's kinda high tech."
"We've also run their faces through our national face recognition program, trying to find any missing children reports that might match them, but nothing. We can't find anything on them. Either they were taken too young...or their parents haven't reported them as missing."
"What kind of parent wouldn't-?"
"The dead kind." Mick paused. "Or the kind that didn't lose their kid."
For a moment John couldn't understand, and then he did, growing furious. "You don't think-?"
"It's sad, John, but it's been known to happen before." Mick responded. "Sometimes orphanages have too little space and they sell some off, and sometimes its the parents or the guardians themselves."
His fists clenched in anger.
Mick hesitated. "And I shouldn't be telling you this, John, but you're my friend and I need you to understand the gravity of the situation. We found some sick shit in that house. There was even a crematorium downstairs, and searching inside amongst the ash we found tiny bits of blood. The owner of the house (who was registered as Jane Doe Smith by the way) was obviously using it to get rid of the bodies of people they'd killed. And one of the upper bedrooms was a male's room. He had a stash of the most disgusting kiddie porn we have ever collected. Inhumane stuff."
John felt sick at his stomach. "Do you think the girls-?"
"I don't know, John, but I wouldn't have put it past whoever the bastard was." Mick looked sick. "But what I'm trying to say is that the Feds butted into the investigation, took everything over and locked us out. And only when I badgered and badgered did they reveal to me that all of the evidence went missing
"Whoever is in charge of this, John, has a lot of sway, even in the FBI." Mick frowned. "Do you really
want to get involved in a war that is not your own?"-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-
The last bell rung and everyone began quickly grabbing their things, aiming for a quick getaway.
Sam let everyone fight to get out of the classroom as he took his time getting his things together. Dean didn't have detention for once, and that meant that he had a sure ride home and didn't need to rush to get to the bus before it filled up or left. The fourteen year old sighed and leaned against his desk, looking at his book.
The last couple of days had been odd, having two silent girls in the house with them, but Sam was getting used to it.
And his mother-she adored the girls.
And the girls?
Well, Lana had actually smiled at Mary last night and it'd made his mother all misty-eyed.
Lois was more reserved, refusing to let Mary get close to her.
But Sam saw it for what it was.
She was still wary, and protecting herself against the older woman.
Lois was doing it with everyone, keeping an invisible wall up between them, never letting them get too close.
But Sam had also seen the longing in her eyes when she'd seen John ruffling Dean's hair and laughing.
The kid wanted to open up, but she wasn't letting herself.
It hurt to watch.
Just like it hurt to go to the hospital every evening to spend the time with his mother, the girls, and Chloe.
Mostly, Sam just did his homework and kept an eye on them, but it made him feel better to know that they were where he could keep an eye on them.
Maybe Dean was right-maybe Sam was a sucker for strays.
"Okay, so I talked to my mother and she'll drop me off in about an hour and pick me up when I call her." Sarah arrived by his side, smiling brightly. "This will be so exiting
Sam frowned, looking up at her, confused. "What's so exciting about the hospital?"
"Hos-?" Sarah frowned. "Sam. I'm talking about our date." She paused. "Our anniversary."
Sam looked at her, eyes widening. "Anniversary
? That was this week?"
"It's today." Her gaze lowered. "You forgot."
And he felt like such a dick. "I'm sorry. I----with everything that's happened it totally slipped my mind."
She looked up and gave him a weak smile. "Thats okay. Its understandable." She took in a deep breath. "But we can still make it special."
He opened his mouth, about to tell her he'd told Chloe he'd be at the hospital today, and then he closed it.
This was apparently their Anniversary (had they really been together for a year already?) and Sarah had been really understanding these last couple of days, letting him spend most of his time (if not all of it) at the hospital. "Where do I ask Dean to drop me off at before he goes to hang out with his friends?"
Sarah grinned brightly and threw herself at him, hugging him tightly.
Sam wondered why it was so hard for him to feel excited.-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-
"Sam won't be coming again today." Mary sighed as she got off of the phone with her youngest, eyeing the girls where they'd been laying on Chloe's bed watching the television in her room with apt intentness. The girls had never seen a television before Chloe had been hospitalized, and Mary had felt both amused and saddened at how excited and curious the three had been over it, asking questions about 'the people in the box' and such.
Chloe lowered her gaze.
Lana didn't really seem to care, her eyes glued on the My Little Pony cartoon.
Lois sent a look at her cousin and then looked away. "Well, I
." Chloe whispered, sending Mary a worried look.
It hurt Mary how, despite the last couple of days, the girls were still wary that any little thing would end with them being hit. They were all so cautious, so careful, and so terribly respectful. They usually didn't speak unless spoken to, and even then they usually answered with the least amount of words as respectfully possible.
"I'm just saying." Lois mumbled, folding her arms over her chest.
Chloe might have been the one with the most physical bruising, but Mary could see that Lois was the one who'd suffered the most psychologically. It pained her to see the girl so closed off and cynical.
"I'm going for a drink." Lois announced, slipping off of the bed, sending a glance to Mary. "I won't blame you if you're not here when I come back."
And with that she left.
Lana looked at the older girl before climbing off of the bed and hurrying after her.
That girl had been hurt
"Don't take it personally. You're...very nice...and gentle...like Sam." Chloe whispered, gaze lowered, fingers tracing a pattern on her faded sheet. "But you look like aunt Ellen, and that hurts Lois."
Mary looked up.
Was that Lois' mother's name?
Chloe continued to look down at the sheet, her face black and blue but the pain on her features wasn't physical. "Lana's parents died when she was a baby, but Lois' and mine gave us up."
Mary could hear the tremor in the child's voice and she wanted to reach out to touch her hand, but she knew the child was jumpy and not ready for it yet.
"Ma and Pa liked to remind us how we weren't wanted, how our families got on fine without us." Chloe cleared her throat. "I understand the tactic, mentally. By turning us against our parents they would become our only anchor and we wouldn't rebel as much. They were trying to instill a Stockholm Syndrome of such in us."
That was incredibly mature logic for such a young girl.
"Lois' parents had a baby after they gave her up." Chloe looked at her nails. "They named her Lois."
And suddenly Mary could understand the child with the wall of unbreakable ice.
"We wanted to believe that it was a lie, but the story was in the newspaper. It spoke about how Lois had been 'abducted and never found' and that the 'grieving' mother and father had wanted to move on." Chloe sighed. "Lois moved on too, after that." She finally looked up at Mary. "So please, don't be offended by her. It's nothing personal."
Mary wondered when these girls stories would stop breaking her heart.