Author: Marilyn Cane PM
Jody knows their real father was some man named John Winchester, but to her they'll always be Bobby's boys.Rated: Fiction T - English - Hurt/Comfort/Family - Sam W. & Dean W. - Words: 2,693 - Reviews: 12 - Favs: 19 - Follows: 2 - Published: 02-21-13 - Status: Complete - id: 9035595
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Well, I'm officially on a Supernatural kick it seems.
Anyway, a part ties into my other story "Grace" though all you need to know is that the pairing for that is Sam/Meg (it works, I swear) and there's a smidgen of Cas thrown in here for good measure. Also it's told entirely in Jody Mills' point of view looking at the boys from season five until some designated time around "Everybody Hates Hitler."
Disclaimer: don't own anything you recognize.
The first time Jody Mills meets Sam and Dean Winchester they're parading as FBI agents. She thinks they're idiots for even trying something as serious as fraud and for being friends with Bobby Singer. But her boy was back and half the town with it and she's too preoccupied to care much about two kids sticking their necks out where they didn't belong.
They don't even really look like FBI, she thinks dully as they try to explain themselves. They're too attractive and the shorter one has the wrong sort of eyes. She doesn't like them much, for obvious reasons; most notably, they're trying to kill her son.
Then he eats her husband and Sam shoots him in the head. He's understanding, but not regretful. Instead he puts a gun in her hand and says all the returned loved ones need to die or this will happen to everyone. That afterwards the bodies need to be salted and burned. Later, she watches the bonfire of bodies with morbid curiosity, the heat lapping at her skin. Bobby brings her back to his place and sets her up in the guest bedroom while the boys clean up her house. Tomorrow she'll hurt - physically, and most of all emotionally - but for now she's numb.
The four of them are friends, after that.
Next time she sees the boys is a few months later. She and Bobby have become something vaguely resembling friends, it's the day after Christmas, she has too many leftovers to know what to do with, and decides that maybe he'd like to share some. So she drops by Singer Salvage and knocks on the door. It's Dean who answers, all charming smiles and bright green eyes. He holds a bottle of beer loosely in his hand.
"Is he in trouble?" he asks her after an exchange of hellos.
Suddenly feeling embarrassed by her spontaneous invite, she answers, "No. I just wanted to ask him something."
Dean twists around, shouts Bobby name, and lets her in like this is his house too. Sam's in the kitchen, drinking coffee and reading the paper. Jody's been in this place just a handful of times, but normally the only things here are its perpetually half-drunk owner and his mountain of books and other objects she doesn't want to know the names of. The Winchesters fill in all the cracks she didn't know were there and chases away the shadows that populate the floors. Bobby comes down and she extends the offer to all of them.
The three end up in her house, sharing her food and telling her stories. At one point Sam gets a gravy stain on the edge of his sleeve but no other than her notices.
Jody drives past Singer's Salvage on a Tuesday afternoon and sees a closed sign for the first time she can remember. It's nosy and she should at least call first but she's right next to it already and it's not like the supermarket is closing any time soon.
"Those idjits saved the world," he tells her as they stand in the living room. He sounds gruffer than usual, a glass of scotch in his hand and a nearly empty bottle sitting next to the table but he isn't drunk. Jody knows Bobby when he's drunk and this isn't it. "Those - they stopped the apocalypse. Those damn idjits."
When Jody (tentatively) asks what happened, he explained in clipped, short tones. There must be details left out, but she knows enough. Sam jumped, Dean left to fulfill a promise, and an angel named Cas returned to Heaven. She's never met this Cas before, but she can see that Bobby cares about him the way he does about his boys. She reaches over, takes his hand gently in hers, and removes the scotch. For a moment he looks about ready to protest but dragging him off into the kitchen apparently causes too much confusion.
He asks, "What're you trying to do to me, woman?"
Even though it's the last thing she wants to do because Sam Winchester is locked in Hell, she forces herself to smile. "I'm making dinner," she says, "and you're helping."
Thankfully, she never ends up meeting Sam without his soul. She knows few details, but Dean told her enough, staring down into his glass of whiskey. He and Bobby drink too much, she thinks, but keeps the thought to herself. Sam comes back from the pharmacy, accompanied by a strange fluttering sound. A man stands there, coming into existence from nothing and she screams. The utter lack of reaction from the Winchester boys gives her the idea that this happens often.
"That's Castiel," Dean says, standing as she calms her heartbeat. "He's an angel. Cas, this is Jody Mills."
"A friend," Sam adds and Bobby comes back downstairs, confused for half a second before he sees the reason behind her scream.
She says, "Nice to meet you, Castiel," and Cas answers her in same, voice bland and deep. He's tall, but looks short in comparison to the other two. Dean smiles at him fondly and Bobby quietly asks Sam how he's holding up.
None of them look like men who saved the world. They have misery etched in their skin and nightmares stuck behind brightly colored eyes. Sam and Dean are half insane, Bobby's on the unhealthy trail to alcoholism, and Cas is apparently a socially inept angel. Superheroes on screen or in books dress in costumes to hide their identities; they fight glamorized, dramatic battles and all come out okay in the end. Now she knows real heroes and thinks that Hollywood's got it wrong - those who save the world wear flannel shirts and drink too much and when they get upset, it isn't in self-pity but realizing how much more there's left to do.
And most of all, real heroes don't get happy endings.
The boys have run off somewhere to steal a car and go save the world for the third time. Jody makes the mistake of asking Bobby why Sam keeps pressing his hand.
For a moment, she doesn't think Bobby will answer. His shoulders go tense and he pointedly looks everywhere but her. Then, finally, he says, "The boy's hallucinating. It's the only way he keeps his head on straight."
"By hurting himself?"
Bobby just shrugs, turning his back to her. "They don't explain anything to me," he says, obviously looking for something to do, "but as long as it works, I ain't complaining."
As he's possibly the smartest person she's ever met, Jody wants to slap him every time he speaks with improper grammar, tell him that he's better than that. Remind him that most salvage yard owners can't speak five different languages or have the patience to spend more than a day devoted to figuring out what can hurt a Leviathan. She wants to tell something similar to Dean, too - tell him that someone average can't do half the things he can and he needs to give himself more credit.
Sam she wants to make pumpkin soup for and a mug of tea. The kid makes every motherly instinct of hers explode and she hates the idea of him suffering like that. And as long as he isn't something remotely resembling okay, Bobby and Dean are left floundering. She thinks that she shouldn't be this perceptive into the lives of three people she barely sees, but when they're together, everything shows.
It's when they're alone, Dean lost somewhere in 1944 and the two of them frantically trying to get him back, that Jody learns how small someone as large as Sam can really seem.
For the first several hours, she watches him press into his hand more times than she's ever seen him do since that first day she asked Bobby until it abruptly stops. All things considered, he seems to be managing himself pretty well. He's worried about Dean, that much is obvious, and she supposes that's the cause of the increase earlier. Other than that, though, he can still look at her straight in the eye, keep track of the conversation, and seem mostly sane. But, of course, he's a Winchester and that horrible luck Dean told her about kicks in.
Suddenly Sam jumps, hands going to his ears, eyes screwing shut. She quiets and stills, not sure what she's supposed to do because she's dealt with PTSD (which is what this seems to be most similar to) before but not like this. PTSD for her means living through a war or witnessing a murder. Not getting stuck in Hell as a chew toy for Satan. He's murmuring something in a language she can't understand but figures it must mean something and decides to try to intercept. Two minutes of this and she's already wondering how Dean does it twenty-four seven.
"Sam?" she says, closing in and he twitches, hands moving away from his ears and eyes shooting open. His face is paler than usual and his pupils blown so wide she can barely see the blue. "Hey, it's just me."
He lets out a shaky breath and looks down at whatever it is he's researching. Maybe drinking Bobby's alcohol wasn't the greatest idea. "Sorry," he says, avoiding looking at her. "It - took me by surprise, I guess. I'm fine."
She wants to protest but knows there's certain territory she can't cross so she agrees and goes back to searching.
The conversation is quiet and quick.
She's half asleep when the call comes and though she didn't check the ID, she knows Sam's voice. "What's wrong?" she asks, sitting up. She squints at the clock, brushing hair from her face. 1:16. She has work tomorrow at six.
"Dean's - gone." Like that, she's wide awake. "Not dead, just gone. Purgatory. Cas too."
He doesn't offer up any more information, but she's used to this by now. "Where are you?" she says, already half out of bed. "Do you need me to come get you?" She doesn't care that she has work tomorrow, or that she's just in pajamas; she's not leaving Sam Winchester out on his own, mind repaired or not.
There's a noticeable hesitation before he answers, "I'm in western Pennsylvania. I'm okay. I just - thought you should know."
"Are you sure? I can be there in about five hours if you want someone there."
"No, I'm with someone but thank you." There's a girl's voice in the background telling him to go to sleep and something else, but it's scrambled.
Without warning, her legs decide to stop supporting her and she sinks back onto her bed. "Swing by any time," she tells him. "I'm so sorry, Sam."
"I'll come when I can. Sorry for calling so late. 'Night."
The other line goes silent and Jody leans over, feeling faint. Bobby's gone and now one of his boys is too. Even if he's with someone, Sam is still on his own. She's seen enough of the brothers to see how attached they are. She prays that Dean will come home soon.
There's no call beforehand. One day around dinnertime, there's a knock on the door and she opens it to find Sam, all puppy dog eyed and exhausted. My girlfriend died, he tells her after she lets him inside. My girlfriend died and we were so close to getting back Dean and Cas.
He doesn't look like he cried at all. They talk for a while on the couch, though half of what he says makes no sense out of context. When she asks what his girlfriend looked like, he takes a picture out of his wallet. She gets a glimpse of another picture too, one of him and Dean sitting on the roof of their car, and it looks like there's a third behind that.
The girl she finds looking back at her reminds Jody of Dean, all rough on the outside but something softer buried behind all that bullshit. They're on a beach by the looks of it and his girlfriend's hair is blown across her face, brown eyes bright in the sunlight, and it's obvious she's happy. There's no Sam in the picture, but from the way her gaze is tilted slightly away from the camera rather than directly at it, she's most likely looking at him. Jody wants to ask how she died but knows that's stepping on a sensitive topic too soon, so she does the safe thing and asks the girl's name.
Sam tells her that his girlfriend's name is - was - Meg and this was one of her first good days. Even though Jody doesn't know what he's talking about, she doesn't push for details on that either. Instead she gets him to the guest bedroom and tells him where the shower is and that he should try to get some sleep.
When she wakes up he's gone and there's a thank you note on his pillow.
Then Dean's back but he's different. Somehow harsher and happier at the same time. They invited her over because look, Jody, we've got a place of our own! and she knows it's only her they asked because there is no one else. The mystery bunker is just so Sam-and-Dean too, filled with weapons and books and there's Bobby's collection scattered everywhere in bits and pieces.
"Dean can cook!" Sam tells her, sounding much more like his old self than the last time they spoke. "Seriously, it's good. I don't know how he does it but it's awesome."
His brother hits him in the arm, but Jody doesn't miss that small, proud smile. The green of his eyes somehow seems brighter. She wonders where Castiel is but doesn't ask. For once they actually explain to her how they found this place and that we met our grandfather and he was younger than us which would sound insane from anyone other than them. Bobby would be proud, she thinks, trailing Dean into the kitchen with Sam coming up behind it. It's stocked with vegetables and fruits and meat with a pie on the counter. Even here she can see each of the brothers.
Sam calls Dean a jerk and his brother calls him a bitch. It really does feel like home, which reminds her painfully of Bobby's. She remembers the first she saw them there, filling in the cracks and chasing away the shadows with the sheer magnitude of exactly what they are. Some of her friend's old collectibles are in the bottom shelf of the pantry and in a drawer Dean accidently opens while looking for the pasta.
Really, she thinks again, Bobby would be proud.
Someone should seriously keep me away from the computer. Things like Meg/Sam stories are created and stuff gets written in random minor characters' point of views.
Anyway, hope you enjoyed!