Dean was lying asleep on the couch, while Bobby was sat in the armchair next to him and John was in the kitchen.
Hearing the sound of quiet footsteps, Bobby looked up to see Sam stood at the top of the stairs with a worried expression.
Bobby smiled reassuringly at him. "It's okay, son."
Sam cautiously walked down the stairs, glancing down the hallway to see John in the kitchen before walking into the living room. He then noticed Dean. His eyes widened in panic as he rushed over to him.
"Sam." Bobby spoke softly. "Let your brother sleep, he's exhausted."
Sam glanced between Dean and Bobby, maintaining his worried expression, before nodding and walking back over to Bobby.
"Is he okay?" Sam asked.
"He's fine, Sam." Bobby smiled at the youngest's concern for his older brother.
"I'm sorry for being a pain at the diner, Mr Singer." Sam apologised.
"Sam, you can call me Bobby." He stated with a smile. "And you don't have to say sorry, you were just scared, and that's nothing to apologise for."
"Okay." He nodded.
"Do you and your brother always call people by title?"
"Our first foster parents made us, so it's just force of habit now. We got shouted at if we didn't." Sam answered.
"So how many foster parents have you had?"
"Seven including John and Mary." Sam stated.
"So Dean's had six?" Bobby asked.
Sam nodded. "But I wasn't with those ones by myself for very long. I ran away at the end of the week because me and Dean had a deal where if I didn't like it, he would meet me by the old farm and then we would run away together. So that's what we did."
"So were all your foster parents bad?"
Sam shook his head. "Just the Harris' and Graham. The others just didn't like us enough to keep us."
Bobby's heart wrenched for the kid as he said those words. "What reasons did they have for sending you back?"
"Well the CPS took us away from the Harris', then we were with Graham for three years and got took back to the group home. We were with our next foster parents for two weeks because they decided they didn't want us because of Dean's temper, then we were with our next foster parents for a month because they said we were only a trial to see if they wanted to have kids of their own. After that we had Mrs Beech for 3 months until she gave us back too. She never said why she didn't want us anymore, Mrs Kearns just showed up at the door one day and told us to get our stuff because we were going back to the group then. Then they split me and Dean up, and we ran away and lived on the streets." Sam explained.
"How old were you when you were first fostered?" Bobby asked.
"I can't remember. But I do know that we were put in a foster home after the fire. Dean told me one night about it. Apparently he ran into my room and grabbed me from my crib before running out the front door."
Bobby began to work out a date in his head. "You were only six months old when the fire happened?!" His eyes widened in shock.
"I don't remember the house, or Mom, or Dad. I just remember our foster parents and living in the foster home in between being fostered." Sam explained.
The kid grew up in the system with no idea what life was like before. Imagine growing up to find you don't have a Mom or Dad and having to deal with the idea that they died before you were even born. Not having a home, instead having to live in a group one with others kids. These were all things that he couldn't imagine anyone having to go through.
"Why's Mr Winchester being so mean to Dean? I mean he wasn't before." Sam asked.
"I don't know, Sam."
Those words triggered something in Bobby's head as he stopped to think for a minute. "Sam, you're a genius!" He smiled at the kid.
"Yes." Bobby nodded. "You most certainly are." He rushed off.
In place, Bobby watched as John made his way down the hallway. Backing up so that he was hidden behind the doorframe, he listened to the sound of his footsteps as he came closer.
Springing from his hiding place, Bobby grabbed John, wrapping one arm round his neck as he put his other hand over his mouth forcing salt into it. "Get out of my friend you son of a bitch!"
John screamed before the spirit expelled from his body and dissipated.
John collapsed to the ground.
I knelt down beside him, beginning to shake his arm. "John! John!"
Mary came rushing in. "John?"
"I had my suspicions, and I was right." Bobby stated.
"Right about what?" She asked.
"He was possessed by a ghost." He explained.
"Oh my god!" Mary gasped, looking down at her husband. "John, honey." She looked at Bobby. "Who was possessing him?"
"The only ghost that John has been exposed to recently that wants the boys to suffer."
"Graham?!" Mary gasped once again. "But we salt and burned him."
"Something's obviously keeping him here. We're gonna' have to ask the boys if he had any personal possessions." He then paused. "The question is though, how long has he been possessed?" Bobby stated. "What was John and what was that ghosty SOB?"
"What happened to his face?" Mary asked.
"Oh, emm...that was Dean."
Mary's eyes widened. "This...was Dean?"
Bobby nodded. "It wasn't his fault, Graham said everything he knew would set the kid's temper off. He knew exactly what makes Dean tick and used them all against him. I managed to get him off John but the kid's wrecked, Mary. I don't know how we're gonna' explain this to the boys."
"We'll think of something." Mary stroked a hand across her husband's forehead. "He did a hell of a job on him."
"I've never seen the kid so angry. But I overheard John saying something along the lines of Dean not being strong enough to protect Sam, and obviously that didn't fair well with Dean."
"What the hell am I going to tell the CPS?" Mary asked.
"Tell them that John got jumped."
"They're gonna' want to interview the kids and I doubt they're gonna' lie for us. They hate us right now."
"They don't hate you, Mary, and Dean doesn't hate John, he hates Graham and he was possessing John." Bobby explained softly.
"What are we going to say?" Mary scoffed. "Sam, Dean, we really want to foster you properly but first we need to tell you that we hunt the supernatural. John didn't mean any of the things he said to you, he was just possessed by the ghost of the foster parent who used to abuse you. I promise we're not insane." I could see tears in her eyes.
"Mary..." Bobby sighed. "They're not gonna' hate you, it's just gonna' take some time for them to process it all."
"But they weren't supposed to know. They were supposed to be kids and grow up like normal kids without knowing about all this crap."
"They still can." Bobby stated reassuringly. "And anyway, these kids, they haven't been kids in quite some time. I was talking to Sam earlier. He told me about how many foster parents they'd had. The poor kid grew up in system, he was only six months old when he got put in the group home, and Dean was only four. They've both grown up in an unloving environment. Their first foster parents were apparently bad to them too. They got taken away from them."
"So they had two abusive foster parents?"
Bobby nodded. "And then the ones after that just kept giving them back for various reasons. Some didn't like Dean's temper, others just wanted to try having them around for a week to see if they wanted to actually have kids themselves." Bobby's tone was filled with anger. "I mean, who does that to a kid?!"
"How could anyone not love these two boys?"
"Mary..." Bobby began. "If you want them to choose you and John, then you need to talk to them cause' right now, they think you don't want them."
"What am I supposed to say?" She asked sadly.
"Well what would you say right now if Sam and Dean were actually your kids?"
Mary inhaled sharply at that question. Her boys. The boys that she had never really had the chance to love and care for. Her boys. Snatched away from her ten years ago.
"Emmm...I'd tell them that I love them and that it was okay, cause' I was going to take care of them and make sure nothing ever hurt them again. I would tell them that I've always love them because they're mine and that there's nothing in this world that I wouldn't do for them." She broke down into tears.
"Mrs Winchester?" Came a small voice.
Mary turned to see Sam standing next to her. "Sam, honey." She went to dry her tears, but before she had the chance, Sam had thrown himself at her and wrapped his arms around her, burying his face into her shoulder.
Mary smiled as she wrapped her arms around him too in a tight embrace.
Bobby smiled too.