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The next day.

Brian thought all night about what he was going to do. He had told his entire family what was going on the night before and they had all advised him to think about it and do something in the morning.

He had thought long and hard and he thought the best option was to call Josh's social worker, Mary Brooklyn. Brian had never liked the woman and he was sure the feeling was mutual so he knew it was going to be a task to get her to believe him, but he felt he had to try and do something, he couldn't just leave it and let his baby brother by blood get hurt.

Brian headed downstairs and went straight outside to the back yard, where he knew he would get some peace and quiet.

Jackie watched from the kitchen outside to her son. She loved him so much, even if he wasn't a blood relative. She knew that the news had been a great shock to him, as it would to anyone, but she was glad that he was being mature and accepting the truth.

Her and Harold had always promised each other the day they adopted him that they would tell their son the truth of his family on his sixteenth birthday but when the day actually came, they saw how happy he was and didn't want to ruin that, they then promised each other to tell him on his next birthday but each year they couldn't find the courage within themselves to tell him.

They knew though, as soon as they got the phone call from the adoption agency, a place they would have never expected to call, told them that his birth mother had died and that he had a younger brother, they knew that they would have to tell him the truth.

At the time it had hurt so much that Brian could not see them and the way that he had ran out of the house when they told him, but they knew he had to deal with this on his own and he had done so very well.

Jackie knew that there had been a lot of problems between the two brothers but she felt that they would be able to get through them, so she was shocked to find out about Josh being taken out of Brian's care.

She could remember vividly a conversation she had with Brian soon after that and she could remember hearing him say that he felt like a failure. It was the first time since she and her husband told him about his adoption that he had opened up to her and it made her realise what a wonderful son she had and that he could never be a failure.

Jackie came out of her thoughts when she heard the back door being opened and her son came walking through from the back yard with a rather perturbed look on his face. She assumed that the conversation with Mary hadn't gone over to well.

"Are you okay Bri?" She asked, seeing clearly that he wasn't.

"She calls herself a social worker." Brian said, obviously fuming. "I told her what Josh had told me and she had the cheek to say I was making it all up just to get Josh back. Anyway after some convincing she agreed to go and see him and ask him herself." Brian said, calming down a little.

"Well that's good then, at least she's trying to do something about it." Jackie said.

"Yeah. I just hope that Josh will tell her the truth." Brian said, making his way back to his room, ignoring everyone that said good morning on his way.



Mary Brooklyn knocked on the door of 533 Evergreen Street and waited for an answer. She had just gotten of the phone to Brian only an hour ago and she was already checking out his story.

She knew she had to take all allegations of child abuse seriously even if she did find it highly unlikely or if she believed the accuser was just making it all up.

She smiled at Josh as he opened the door to let her in. So far she could see no sign of physical injury, which was a good sign.

"Hello Josh. How are you?" She asked cheerfully.

"Fine Mary." Josh said, walking into the living room of the house of hell as he referred to it.

"Hello Mary, its lovely to see you again." Joyce Allen, Josh's foster mom said, inviting her to sit down.

"I'm very well thank you. Is Ted here?" She asked wanting to speak to both of the couple.

She was very happy to have put Josh into the care of the Allen's. They were very good foster parent and you could always rely on them if you needed a child fostered quickly, she also knew of the love they had for each child that passed through their door. So to have Brian accuse them of abusing Josh was just beyond her.

"Yes he's in the kitchen making some tea." Joyce said sitting down on the couch next to Josh.

Mary didn't notice it but Josh flinched as Joyce put her hand on his.

"Well, I'm just here to see how things are going." Mary said, as Ted came in with a tray of three cups of tea on it and a can of Pepsi.

Ted placed the tray down and sat on the couch, the other side of Josh.

"Hello Ted." Mary said. "As I was saying I was just wondering how everything is going." She said, looking over at Josh. She could see no signs of him being scared.

Josh, however, was petrified and was trying really hard to keep his fear locked inside his heart, willing it not to come out.

"It's going wonderful, isn't it Josh?" Joyce said, giving her foster son's hand a squeeze. Josh quickly nodded. "Josh is a really great kid." She said.

"Yeah, he's very helpful around the house." Ted added, giving Josh a warm, loving look.

Josh decided that he should get an Oscar because he was certainly fooling Mary.

"That's wonderful news." Mary said. "Would it be okay if I spoke to Josh alone?" She asked politely.

"Yes of course, we'll be in the kitchen." Ted said, walking out of the living room with his wife giving Josh a warning look.

"So Josh, I've spoken to Brian. He tells me you said that Joyce and Ted are hitting you." Mary said in a hushed voice.

"That's not true. I don't know what he's talking about." Josh said, hoping that she could see through his lie.

"Have you spoken to Brian at all?" Mary asked, seeing that her thoughts were right all along.

"No." Josh lied.

"Okay. Well it was nice to see you again, and remember you can always call me and tell me anything." Mary said standing up.

"Joyce, Ted, I'm leaving now. Thank you for your time." Mary said, letting herself out.

Josh, still in the house felt his heart beat faster as his foster parents closed in on him, ready to pounce.



Mary sat in her car and began to run through her head what she was going to tell Brian. She had took his allegations seriously, but only because she had to and now she had to tell him that there was absolutely nothing going on.

Once she found the cell phone number she was looking for in her brief case she dialed it carefully and waited for a reply.

"Hello?" Brian said, he sounded tired.

"Hi Brian, this is Mary Brooklyn." Mary said, she had an annoyed tone to her voice. She had a lot of paper work to get through today and she had wasted valuable time with Brian's silly games.

"Oh hi. Have you spoken to Josh? Is he alright?" He asked, he had been worried about his little brother ever since he had hung up on him the night before.

"Yes I've spoken to Josh and he's fine." Mary said.

"He's fine?" Brian questioned. "He didn't sound fine to me on the phone yesterday." He said.

"Well he's fine now. I've spoken to him and he said he hasn't even spoken to you." Mary said, trying to put this in the nicest terms possible, it was just that 'nice' wasn't really her thing.

"Brian I know that what has happened to you and all the information you have recently found out has been a shock to you and I know that you've had some difficulty in coming to terms with it all. I can understand that, but to call me and fill me with false allegations is not the way to deal with it just to get Josh back." She said.

"But what I'm telling you is the truth." Brian argued, he couldn't believe this.

"Brian, child abuse is a very serious matter and you don't go around falsely accusing people of it just to fill your needs." Mary said.

Brian couldn't believe it, he knew that Josh was telling the truth, he's not that good of an actor.

"So what happens when Josh ends up in hospital after being beaten unconscious?" Brian shouted down the phone. He could feel the stares coming from his family, but at that moment he really couldn't give a damn.

"Brian, I believe what Josh is telling me and there was no sign of physical abuse. I've known Joyce and Ted Allen for a very long time and I know that they are very good foster parents and love each child that passes through their door as their own. I know that you want Josh back but doing it like this is not the way to go about it. I'm sorry." Mary said.

"Can't I even see Josh?" Brian said, he had an idea and thought that if he could see Josh to see for sure if he was telling the truth then he would be able to prove it to Mary.

"If Josh wants to see you then I don't see the harm, but if you're going to cause anymore trouble then the answers no." Mary said sighing, thankful that she would be able to come to some sort of agreement with Brian.

"I won't, I promise. I just want to see him that's all." Brian said, he had to do this, he wouldn't stop trying until he knew for sure what was going on.

"Okay, I'll set up a meeting. I'll call you as soon as I find out what Josh wants to do." Mary said.

"Thanks." Brian said as the two hung up.

He knew he could prove what was going on, all he had to do now was to get Josh to open up to him and Mary.


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