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.
A/N: Copyright for the pictures used in this chapter belong to whoever took them.
Sam groaned in pain, his face throbbing.
And someone poking his cheek wasn't helping.
Opening his eyes, the first thing he saw was Chloe's face peering worriedly at him, a glass of water in one hand, and pills in another.
He wanted to say good morning, but morning breath kept him from doing so.
"Here." Chloe shoved the pills into his mouth and forced the tip of the glass against his lips, tilting it up and thus forcing him to swallow or drown.
Sam nearly choked, gulping down all the water until Chloe finally pulled the glass away from him.
He coughed, looking away as he wiped his mouth with the back of his palm. "What was that?"
"Ibuprofen." She replied, motioning to a large bottle of it on her bedside table. "It'll help take away the pain, and the slight swelling you have."
"How many did you give me? That was more than just two." Sam frowned, a little worried about overdosing.
"Don't worry, nothing's going to happen to you." Chloe sat down gently on her bed and reached for the container, giving it a little shake. "We've had to use this since I can remember, and I know how much is safe and how much means you'll be overdosing. You'll be fine, feel fine, soon. And the swelling will go down as well." She tossed him the container, which he caught. "Take it with you when you go and keep taking some tablets throughout the day. By tonight you'll be back to new. I didn't hit you that hard last night."
Sam frowned, eyes on the bottle, fists tightening around it.
It killed him to know that the girl was so used to being hurt that she'd become an expert at administrating painkillers.
"I can't take your painkillers." Though he found it odd that the doctors had left the bottle with her. "You need them more than I do."
"Oh, those aren't mine." She laid down and pulled the sheets over her to her chin.
Sam blinked, looking up at her. "Then where did you get it?"
She snorted and then paused, eyeing him.
She did that a lot, as if testing his boundaries, seeing what he would allow and trying to figure out where his breaking point was.
It made him sick at his stomach whenever he realized that she was testing to see at what point he'd snap and hit her.
Sam waited for her answer.
She seemed to notice it, and a half smile tilted the right side of her lips. "We're in a hospital
, Sam. They store medicine here." She opened her mouth, paused, and then closed it, looking up at the ceiling. "Where do you think
I got the medicine from?" She then waited, a nearly pained expression on her face.
She was expecting to be hit.
He took in a deep breath. "Chloe, stealing is wrong."
She frowned and turned towards him.
He could understand the tray and the flashlight, but apparently Chloe was more efficient at that little art than he'd given her the credit. If she could sneak into where they kept the medicine and sneak back out with this bottle and not get caught, while still bandaged up and in pain, well...she was very good.
"Not unless you get caught." She replied slowly, as if reciting something. "And I never get caught."
He paused, thinking that that sounded exactly like something those psychos would've taught her. "Did you ever steal anything from the store I work in?"
She'd had ample opportunity.
The blonde shook her head no.
She opened her mouth and then closed it, looking perplexed. "I don't know."
He let it rest at that, watching her as she toyed with her collar.
The thing made him sick, but they couldn't remove the things from the girls. Every time they tried they'd had to stop because of the screaming. And they couldn't put the kids through that anymore, so they'd left the collars on and tried to ignore them.
They would find a way to get rid of them though.
Sam's gaze went to the clock on the wall, and his eyes widened. "Crap! Is that the time? They're going to kill
Her eyes widened in horror. "Why? Who
He looked at her, realizing that she was taking his words literally. "Calm down, I don't mean someone's going to really
kill me. I just mean that I'm going to be in trouble."
"Then why would-?" She looked a mixture of confused and angry. "Killing is killing, not being in trouble, killing is dead
! It's not
something to joke
His eyes widened.
She'd never snapped at him before.
Tears were welling in her eyes as she looked down at her hands.
He wondered what she saw when she looked at them.
And then-and then he realized that Chloe had
seen killing up close and personal the night those men had invaded her home.
And he felt like such a douche
Tears fell silently down her cheeks.
." He whispered, feeling like shit as he got up from the chair he'd fallen asleep on and cautiously approached the bed.
She didn't react to him, hugging herself tightly as the tears continued to fall in a creepily silent way.
It was as if she'd been trained that even when she cried, she couldn't do so in a way that might annoy her captors.
Sam's heart hurt for the kid as he lowered himself onto the side of the bed and placed an arm carefully around her shoulders. "I'm sorry."
She was stiff and yet didn't flinch away.God
she was too young to be this scared, this distrusting and broken.
Chloe wiped at a tear and sniffled, gazing at her sheet. "Will they hit you? Your Ma and Pa? Because you were here without their permission?"
." He blinked, surprised at where her mind had been. Then again, that would have been how her 'Ma' and 'Pa' would have reacted, wouldn't it? "No. My parents have never really believed in spanking us-----but they believed in groundings." He chuckled. "And I'll probably be grounded for this."
For some reason he didn't seem to mind it all that much.
The only place he really went out was to see Chloe at the hospital anyway, and he knew his mother wouldn't keep him from coming with her.
And anyway, Chloe was being discharged from the hospital soon.
Chloe was silent before turning slightly to look at him, eyes narrowed in confusion. "What is this grounding
you speak of?"
It was so hard to believe that the girl who could finish his homework in five minutes flat (not that he would let her), and was probably the most intelligent person Sam knew, could be so innocent and ignorant about some more common things.
"It's when you get punished for doing something wrong by not being able to go out to places or have certain privileges taken away from you for a certain amount of time." Sam tried to explain.
Chloe's face was blank as she listened to him. "Oh. I know of this grounding."
He felt a little relieved that they'd punished her by grounding her sometimes and not just hitting her.
"Whenever I was too much of a bad girl, and disappointed Ma too badly, my actions forced her to have to do this grounding." The blonde gulped. "I was locked in the little room under the stairs for a couple of days, just long enough for me to understand how bad I'd been and realize that I needed to try harder to be good like Lana and Lois." She sniffled, her face contorting in misery. "And Ma was always very good to me after I was let out. She didn't punish me for soiling the room or for vomiting if I ate the food too rapidly and got sick." She lowered her gaze in shame. "I got sick a lot. I was gluttonous. But I was so hungry
after the grounding, and thirsty
, and I just couldn't eat like a civilized person and Ma was good to me even the times I couldn't make it to the bathroom on time."
Sam's whole body was steel, his mind unable to process what she was telling him.
Those bastards had locked her up in a small room under the stairs, for days, without food, water, or even a bathroom break.
And she thought she'd deserved
She thought they were good to her for not beating her afterwards.
He wanted to cry.
"Sam?" Chloe's voice was shaky. "Why are you crying
He reached a hand up numbly to touch his cheek, and realized that he was
Chloe looked up at him, eyes wide. "I'm sorry. I---I did something I wasn't supposed to and made you sad, didn't I? What did I do
? I'm sorry
. I just don't know what I did wrong."
He wanted to shout at her, and tell her that not everything was her fault!
She was a kid for crying out loud!
Instead he wrapped his arms around her, mindful not to hurt her, and broke down crying.
Chloe went stiff in his arms, before slowly wrapping her arms around him and patting his back. "Its okay Sam." She tried comforting him, though it was obvious from her tone of voice that she didn't know why she was comforting him. "Are you scared of being lonely in your room when you get grounded?" She continued to pat his back, her actions soothing, as if she was used to comforting someone crying. Then again, she probably was. "When I get out of here, and if you're still in the room, I'll sit on the other side of the door and talk to you when they aren't watching." She promised. "Lana and Lois used to do that for me, and hearing their voices made it less lonely."
He cried harder.