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.
"What do you have for me, Caleb?" John asked via skype, looking at the serious face of his long-time friend.
Hearing laughter, John craned over slightly and peered out of the window. Outside, on the lawn, Lana was riding on Sam's shoulders, squealing in delight every time she nearly lost her balance. Mary was watching with a large smile on her face while Lois and Dean bickered over the grill, which John had left in their care when Caleb had texted him to get on his skype somewhere private. Ever since the table incident nearly a week ago Lois had lost some of her anger, and although she was still more withdrawn and wary, she'd opened up somewhat----if only because she seemed to enjoy annoying and arguing with Dean. The young girl had realized that no matter how much she annoyed him he wasn't about to raise a hand to her, and she apparently enjoyed pushing the boundaries and seeing him explode.
It gave her devilish glee.
And it was amusing to see the twelve year old discover each and every one of Dean's buttons---and push them expertly.
"It's not pretty, John." Caleb announced, getting his attention once more. "It's not much, I'll warn you about that, but what I know isn't pretty at all."
"As you know, I still have some contacts in the Underground." Caleb looked uncomfortable, as he always did, when referring to his sordid past. "And when I started passing around pictures of the girls, especially with reference of possible experiments being performed on them, most of my contacts locked up and wouldn't answer any questions. They were terrified, and these are some bad motherfuckers."
John understood what Caleb wasn't saying.
If the person behind this scared the baddest of the bad, then he or she was on a level of evil all of his or her own.
"I got one contact to tell me some stuff though. She recognized the picture of Chloe."
John looked up.
"Apparently for the last three decades there's been a big fish buying children and experimenting on them. I don't know what exactly he is trying to do, but my contact informed me that while she couldn't reveal any of her participation in the operation, that only three kids were supposed to have survived whatever was done to them."
John's heart clenched. "The girls."
"That means that whatever he was trying to do, was probably successful." Caleb nodded.
"So this isn't human trafficking?" John frowned, confused. "They weren't stolen to be bought?"
"No, they'd been bought a long time ago." Caleb answered. "They were being trained, conditioned, for whatever it was that they were bought to do."
"Did your contact give you any clue as to what sort of experiments they conducted on them?" John wanted to know, concerned. "Or about what they were being trained for?"
"No, and she told me not to come around anymore either." Caleb shook his head. "These children are valuable to whoever it is that owns them, and I can't understand why he or she would allow them to stay in your care. You told me yourself, someone went through the house the girls were staying in and cleaned it out, and all the evidence the police bagged went 'missing' as well. So obviously the person behind this is still very much in control."
"So why hasn't he or she tried to reclaim the children?" John mused.
"My guess? He's leaving them with you for a reason." Caleb answered. "He needs them to do something, or possibly learn something. Whatever it is, it's important for the person not to find it necessary to have them in his or her grip."
"I'm assuming its a man." John decided. "Lana mentioned something about doing something for 'Grandfather' to like them."
"Could be a code name, to throw us off." Caleb shrugged. "I've located the graves of Chloe Ann Sullivan's parents, and also Lois Lane's living parents as well. The stories their captors told them was true, and so I'm guessing that the story of Lana's parents being dead is true as well. Since we don't have a last name for her I can't verify it, of course, but why lie about her parents?"
"I can't believe that they really sold their children." John hissed.
He hadn't known these girls for long, but already he and his family were growing dangerously attached to them.
How was it that their birth parents could have been so callous and feelingless?
"The Sullivans and the Lanes both came into a large sum of money soon after the girls' disappearances. Apparently Sam Lane and Moira Sullivan were siblings, and the girls were supposedly abducted from the Sullivan house during a sleepover."
John looked away from the screen.
Outside he could see Chloe sitting a little away from the others, nose deep in a book on Quantum Physics. Sam had taken the girls to the library and borrowed some books for them.
Lana borrowed a couple of fairy tale stories that Mary was having a blast introducing the child to.
Lois hadn't really been interested in anything, but had browsed.
Chloe, on the other hand, had been excited. She'd quickly left the kiddie section though, and for a moment they'd feared they'd lost her, but Sam had found her in the section dedicated to sciences. She'd been sitting in the middle of the aisle, a couple of books that looked heavier than her all around her, and she'd been intently reading a book on Genetics.
She'd finished that before they girls had gone to bed.
This one on Quantum Physics was her fifth 700+ paged book in four days.
And she was understanding what she read.
John had asked her a couple of questions and she'd explained everything in scientific terms with such a straight face he'd felt so incredibly stupid.
This kid-----she was a genius.
"Have you tried talking to them?" Caleb asked. "Asking them outright about whatever happened to them? Or if they knew why they'd been taken?"
John nodded. "They clam up immediately, even Lana now is tight-lipped. It's like they're scared."
"They probably realize that they're not scotch free, that this 'grandfather' is still out there." Caleb sighed, running a hand over his head. "And they would have probably been conditioned from as long as they could remember not to reveal anything to anyone or they would get hurt."
John frowned, not liking the thought that the girls still didn't feel completely safe.
"Have you noticed anything about them?" Caleb asked, curiously.
Lois was strong. She'd broken the table with a kick, and hadn't had any bruises or even limped because of it.
Chloe was incredibly smart, eating up books about atoms and neutrons and spouting out scientific terms that seemed Latin to him. Then again, it could have very well been latin. He'd over heard her offering to teach Sam it when he'd admitted to wanting to learn Latin for fun.
And Lana? Well. John really hadn't noticed anything about Lana. All he really knew about her was that she was pretty and sweet and Mary was enamored with her.
"What are you getting at, Caleb?"
The man cleared his throat. "There's only a few reasons why humans are experimented on, John."
"I disagree with that."
Caleb ignored him. "You have to understand that something was done to these children, and that no matter how cute they are, they could be dangerous
John's gaze went to the window once more, watching as Sarah arrived and went to hug Sam, pressing a kiss to his lips.
Chloe, Lana (who wasn't on Sam's shoulders anymore) and Lois watched with utter fascination, obviously not sure what they were witnessing.
Sam shied away from the kiss, obviously embarrassed.
Mary just smiled, greeting the sweet girl.
Lana shook her head and began sneaking away to the large tree behind everyone.
"They might be housing some sort of virus inside of their bodies----making them some sort of biological weapons." Caleb announced.
John really wasn't listening, eyeing Lana and her suspicious behavior.
The girl looked around, making sure that everyone was watching Sam, before she looked up at the tree and raised her hands.
Her eyes bled pink
Her hands glowed pink as well as she began to move them from side to side...
...the branches of the tree began to move in time with the movements of her hands, causing the golden and red leaves to fall down on her like fiery rain.
Lana giggled in childlike glee, beginning to dance.
John's eyes widened.
"They could be clones
for all we know."
Chloe and Lois had noticed Lana's actions before the others, and shared a terrified look when people began to look in Lana's direction.
Lois narrowed her eyes at Chloe.
The blonde nodded and turned to look towards the grill.
The lid slammed shut, the noise causing everyone to turn back to look towards it before fully turning to look at Lana.
Dean cursed and tried to lift the cover but it wouldn't budge.
Sam came over to help him.
They couldn't make it move.
Mary and Sarah came over to watch.
Lois had already made her way to Lana and grabbed her arm, swinging her around and dragging her to the side, hissing angrily at her.
Lana pouted, lowering her gaze, looking repentant.
Dean and Sam were stilling struggling with the grill.
Lana, head lowered, followed Lois back to where Chloe was.
The blonde was looking pale and fatigued...and slightly in pain.
Relief entered her eyes when she saw the girls at her side...and the lid of the grill suddenly was easily flung open by the boys.
Chloe wavered slightly before her eyes rolled back in her head and she fainted.
John stood up immediately. "I have to go!"
He never heard what it was Caleb had been saying.-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-
"She'll be fine." Neil announced, coming out from Chloe's room. "She just over-taxed her body and ripped some stitches."
"Over-taxed herself?" Mary frowned in worry, hand to her heart. "But we haven't let her do anything! She was sitting down reading a book outside when she just fainted."
"Then maybe she should spend some days in bed." Neil offered. "I've never seen someone heal from such major wounds as rapidly as that girl, but we must all remember that she's injured."
"This is all my
fault." Lana whispered before rushing away.
Lois sighed and went after her.
John waited until they were out of sight before following as well.
Sam really didn't notice though. "Is there anything we can do?"
"Make her comfortable, force her to rest." Neil smiled. "From what my nurses told me in the hospital, keeping Chloe in bed was one of the biggest problems they had. She is used to being active, but she needs to rest so that her body can fully heal."
"We'll make sure she rests." Sam nodded.
Neil smiled. "I gave her something for the pain, and it'll have her groggy for a while, probably knock her out too. But that will be for the best."
"Can I see her?" Sam asked.
"She should be left to rest." Sarah protested.
"I always tell her goodnight." Sam countered, a little annoyed, though he wasn't sure why.
Neil nodded. "Sure, go on in. But you'll have to be quick, she'll conk out at any minute."
Sam nodded, hurrying to his room to grab a bag before slipping into the room where Chloe, Lois and Lana were staying in.
Chloe was lying on the bed, looking pale and sleepy, yet annoyed. "I dunna wrannaaaa sleep."
He smiled at her slur. "You're going to have to, so deal with it."
She pouted at him, eyelids lowering and rising in her valiant attempts to fight her desire to sleep.
"Before you go to sleep, I got you these the other day but I keep forgetting to give them to you." Sam announced, opening the bag. "Here's an extra strong flashlight since you don't like the darkness, and this is a walkie talkie." he put them on the side table. "I have the other one in my room, so if anything happens in the night and you are scared, you can call me and I'll come check it out for you."
Chloe looked even more sleepy and confused. "You'd do that?"
"Of course, Short Fry." Sam grinned, coming over to ruffle her hair affectionately.
Chloe's face lit in surprise. "I've been told about this." She yawned. "Its a sign of affection
, which means you like me."
Sam nodded, remembering having heard about the conversation that had led to the breakdown in the kitchen some days ago. "Yeah."
She beamed up at him. "I like you too." Her eyelids closed, and she yawned. "You're so gentle
Something constricted in his throat. "Sweet dreams, Chloe."
Her only answer was a soft snore.
He chuckled in fond amusement before leaning down and pressing a kiss to her forehead, before slipping out of the room.