Driving back to the house, the boys had been silent. I could tell that they were scared to face John and Mary again.
Pulling up the driveway, I noticed Dean sigh as he put a hand on Sam's shoulder before squeezing it in reassurance.
"You boys okay?" I asked.
"Do we have to?" I was suprised by Sam speaking up.
"Sam..." Dean scorned under his breath.
"No, it's alright, Dean." I stated with a nod. "Do you have to what, Sam?"
"It's just..." He began. "John shouted at Dean when he hadn't done anything. It was my fault that Mrs Winchester got hurt. I hit the ball and it hit Mrs Winchester, it wasn't Dean's fault, he tried to stop it. He shouldn't have been the one that got shouted at, it should have been me. I just don't want Dean to get in trouble for something I did."
"No one's in trouble, Sam." I explained with a gentle smile although I could still see the worry in their faces. "You're scared." I spoke softly. "It's okay to admit that."
"They're gonna' be mad." Sam stated.
"I highly doubt they will be. Even if they are angry, I have known Mary and John for a long time and I can promise you that they are nothing like Graham. They're not going to punish and they're definitely not gonna hurt you."
"But what..." Sam began before stopping and looking down.
"Hey..." I spoke in a gentle tone. "It's okay." I reassured.
"What if they don't want us anymore?" Sam asked sadly. "I don't want to go back to the group home. They'll split me up from Dean and send me back to my foster home." I could see tears trickling down Sam's face as he spoke.
So thats what Sam's also been worrying about. Dean wasn't the only one that's been worried about what was going to happen to them. Both of the boys have an equal fear of being abandoned. The worst part, they weren't just abandoned last time, they got split up. Two vulnerable brothers with a history of abuse, who spent years defending each other to survive, and they made the brilliant decision to separate them. How could they be so stupid? Fostering is supposed to be what's best for the child. How is taking two brothers away from each other just after they had escaped from an extremely abusive home the answer?
Kneeling down to the kid's level, I smiled softly. "Is that what's been bothering you?"
My wrenched for the kid. "Sam, I can promise you that I am never going to let them send you both back there. I'll fight for you if I have to." I explained. "And I am never going to let them split up you and your brother. Okay?"
Sam nodded again tearfully before throwing his arms around me.
I smiled and wrapped my arms around him too, stroking his back comfortingly as I did.
"Thank you." He whispered into my ear.
"You're welcome, Sam."
Walking into the house, I went first with Dean and Sam following close behind. We hadn't even reached the end of the corridor before Mary appeared. She caught sight of the boys.
"Hi Mrs Winchester." Sam spoke.
A giant relieved smile appeared on her face as she rushed over to them and pulled them both into a tight hug, tears streaming down her face as she did. "I thought we'd lost you."
"Found them in an alley in town." I explained.
Mary's expression saddened as she heard that.
"Mrs Winchester?" Sam's quiet voice spoke up once again. "I'm sorry for hurting you."
"Oh, Sam..." She sniffled. "It wasn't your fault." She smiled softly. "Accidents happen, you boys were only playing and there's no harm done." Mary reassured.
"Where's John?" I asked.
"In town looking for the boys." She answered. "You should have called to say you had found. I've been going out of my mind with worry."
"It's okay, they're safe, and that's all that matters." Mary smiled.
I sent the boys up to shower and change. This allowed for me to talk to Mary.
"This whole fiasco did not help them. Both boys are terrified of being deemed unwanted again, and John telling them to get out hasn't had a good effect on their confidence. Dean and Sam have a major underlying fear of being sent back to the group home because the last time they were there, they got split. They don't want that to happen again, and Sam was in tears because of it earlier. These boys are fragile. They already feel as if they're not good enough for anyone because of being abused and living on the streets. They need stability...and they need to know that you and John and just going to send them back to the group home when something happens."
"I know." Mary answered sadly.
"Did you report Sam and Dean missing?" I asked.
"No." Mary sighed. "If the CPS had of caught wind of it, they would have seen the whole thing as the boys being the ones that were trying to get away from us and taken them away from us. I wanted to try and find them ourselves first and then reported them missing if we hadn't found them within a few days. But the CPS can't know about it. Our fostering status is only emergency, if we want to have any chance of fostering them properly, then we can't have them going missing hanging over our case."
I nodded, remaining silent for a few seconds before speaking up. "Mary...why are you and John so against having a paternity test. It's crippling the boys because they think that the reason you don't want to do it is because you don't want them to actually be your sons."
"That's not the reason. I love those boys, and I want them to be ours more than anything, but there are some things you don't know, and John and I don't know if we're ready to face them."
"What things?" I asked.
"I'd rather not talk about it." She answered.