For someone who claimed to work with children, his office was a dud. Dean nonchalantly examined the office of beige walls, stacks of paper three feet high and a computer that looked like it hadn't been upgraded since 1992.
"Alright Dean," a man opened the door, looking intently at a file as he made his way to a cluttered desk Dean was currently resting his feet on. "My name is Sam Wilson and I'll be your case worker!" The man looked up from the papers as he sat down, extending his hand towards the teenager.
Dean scoffed and continued to glance around the room, ignoring the man.
Unfazed, the man, Mr. Wilson, took back his hand and continued to read the file. "The police found you and your brother at a motel a few miles from here. Is it just the two of you?" Mr Wilson questioned. Dean has to admit, either he's one hell of an actor, or he actually gives a crap about the answer.
"Nah, we got my dad." Dean replied smoothly. "In fact he's probably wondering where we are, so if you don't mind wrapping this up, we got a motel room to get back to." The thirteen year old stood up, grabbing his backpack from the floor.
"Not so fast." The man stood up, extending an arm. "Your brother's sleeping right now, there's no need to wake him just yet."
Dean paused at the door. Damn. Guy had a point.
Seeing the boy hesitate, Mr. Wilson continued. "We're just trying to make sure the two of you are safe. Is that so bad? I just want to ask you a couple of questions. If everything checks out I'll drive you back to your room myself."
Dean sighed and dropped his hand from the doorknob. He's been through this a hundred times before in different states. Observant people noticing how often dad's gone, how he sometimes comes to school in gashes and bruises, and once an especially observant woman noticed how Dean was caring a little bit too much for Sam than he should've been.
"Look," Dean started, turning to face the man, "I get it. You see two brothers alone and you immediately think the worst. But a)I'm 18, I can take care of my brother when our dad is working, and b)our dad is gonna be home any minute. He only left on a business trip. So thanks, but no thanks."
Dean turned back to leave when Mr. Wilson rounded his desk slowly.
"We know your father hasn't been back in almost three weeks. That's not a business trip. And your brother already told us that you're thirteen. That's not old enough to take care of yourself yet, let alone a nine year old." The man reached out and put a hand on Dean's shoulder. "I really do just want to help."
Dean shook the hand off him, but didn't leave just yet.
"It's been longer than he said it would be, I'll give you that. But he always comes back." The boy admitted quietly. "I swear it's for work, he usually leaves us with enough money and he's not gone for longer than a week at a time." Dean had his eyes closed. Fighting off the knee jerk reaction to run. This is wrong. Never trust the law, they're ignorant. But something about the man and the situation just made sense to reveal the half truth.
"He usually leaves enough money. Is that why you were caught taking the peanut butter? Because you ran out of money for food?" Mr Wilson inquired, sitting on a stool beside the door.
Dean nodded slightly.
"Sam finished off the rest of the cereal yesterday and was complaining he was hungry. Can't let the poor kid starve." Dean ran a hand down his face, exhausted. He hadn't properly slept since dad left, always watching and protecting Sammy, even when he slept.
"That sounds really stressful. Having to take care of your little brother and not know how you're gonna feed him or what's going on with your dad."
Dean snorted slightly. "You don't say."
Mr Wilson leaned toward Dean, resting his elbows on his knees. "Then let me help. Let me make sure you two get three square meals, a roof over your heads, someone to take responsibility for feeding and clothing you so you don't have to. At least until your dad comes back."
Dean opened his eyes then, looking at the man offering to help, the man that had such expressive eyes that convade nothing but compassion. Dean sighed. And, pushing the voice of his dad aside, accepted.
"We stay together. No matter what. I know how you guys like to split up siblings and Imma tell you right now that ain't gonna fly." Dean poked the man's chest, accentuating his point. "You even mention us going separate places and we'll be gone before you know it, and I promise you you'll never find us again."
Mr Wilson smiled, then stuck out his hand. "Sounds like a deal."