WARNING: THIS IS AN INCOMPLETE ROUGH DRAFT OF THE LAST CHAPTER. PLEASE CONSIDER IT A SPOILER…. I WILL POST THE FINISHED VERSION AS SOON AS I CAN, BUT FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO CAN'T WAIT THIS IS THE VERY LAST SCENE….
A/N: I feel badly that I was unable to finish before tonight's episode, so this is a thank you and an I'm sorry to those of you who have stuck with me all week and reviewed or lurked!!! What you will find here is the framing scenes and the beginning and the ending of the flashback scene….
"Seeing as how I have no memory of your pulling the gun on Dad, I'm assuming this happened when I was at school?" Sam was starting to get a bit impatient. With what Bobby had told him already, Sam could hardly imagine what more had to have happened to get Bobby to lose it.
"Sam. Um. Maybe telling you this story wasn't such a great idea." Bobby pushed his hat around on his head and ran his hand through his beard.
"Oh, come on Bobby! You can't get cold feet on my now. That would make you the biggest tease in the mid-west – and you know that would be going some!" Sam's face went from incredulous to serious full-blown puppy-eyes in a heart beat. Even Bobby wasn't immune to the Sammy charm when it came right down to it.
"Uh. I don't know Sam. Dean's not gonna like it." Bobby looked anywhere but at Sam.
Sam leaned over and grabbed the bottle of Jack that still sat on the kitchen table. He poured Bobby a very generous measure, and then thinking, what the hell, it's gotta be after noon somewhere, Sam poured one for himself.
Bobby took a drink that was ample enough to almost finish what Sam had put in the glass. Sam filled the glass back up.
"Ok. I've gone this far. In for a penny, in for a pound." Bobby sighed and looked resigned.
"Here's the thing though, Sam. You gotta understand that your brother and your father were in a really bad place after you left."
Bobby held up his hand when he saw Sam draw in a breath to protest.
"None of what I'm going to tell you is to make you feel bad about the choice that you made, Sam. I don't blame you, and contrary to what you may believe, neither Dean nor John blame you anymore either. But you have to understand that things got really bad after you left."
Bobby groaned as the phone kept ringing. Finally, he realized that he was fighting a losing battle and reached over.
"Bobby! Where the hell have you been and why aren't you answering your damn phone!"
"John. I'm in bed. Asleep. Like normal people at 6 am." You jackass, he added under his breath.
"Oh." Bobby's answer actually seemed to have taken the wind out of his sails.
"What do you want John?" Bobby prompted him wearily. If he actually managed to get John off the phone, he might be able to get back to sleep.
"I need your help with some research, and we might need an extra hand on this hunt if you're up to it." John was picking up steam again.
"Sure. No problem for either. I'm not working on anything at the moment. Where are you?"
"About 15 minutes from your place. Put the coffee on." And with that John hung up.
Damn cell phones, Bobby thought as he hung up and swung out of bed.
It had been a few months since Bobby had seen John and Dean. He hoped that they had started to get over the loss of Sam to Stanford. John had thrown himself even further into his work, becoming increasingly oblivious to everything else and everyone else around him. He was a conflicted wreck. On the one hand, he was so proud of Sam. He knew that Stanford was what Mary would have wanted for her baby. But on the other hand, he felt betrayed and abandoned. Outwardly, he stormed that Sam had betrayed his family and his mother's memory. Inwardly, he was crushed by Sam's rejection of everything he stood for. Sam's rejection of any good that John had ever done.
But John was a master of suck it up and just get on with it. He buried his feelings about Sam as far down as he could. At least he thought he did, but those around him knew those feelings were still messing with his head. He had become increasingly erratic. He was finding it harder to get fellow hunters to hunt with him because he was turning into a loose cannon.
Bobby was almost afraid to see Dean. The last time he'd seen him he'd been a mess; he'd been hurt on a hunt and that was on top of not having been doing well to begin with. He had been almost mute since Sam had left. He blindly followed his father's orders, never questioning anything. He'd been sick when Sam left and had never quite gotten over it.
INSERT MISSING SCENES HERE…….
"John. For once in your life, put that boy before yourself and your damn crusade." Bobby held the shotgun steady on John.
John just glared at him.
"You are going to get him killed. He'll follow your damn orders straight into Hell if you let him. Damn it, he'll follow your damn ass there whether you ask him to or not."
"Fuck off, Bobby. This is none of your concern." John growled.
"The hell it isn't. You made it my business the day you started coming around here. The day you started leaving those boys with me." And let me learn to love them like they were my own. Bobby didn't say the last part, but it came through loud and clear for Dean. John was too lost in the hurt and rage that had consumed him that it was lost on him.
"I'm leaving, Dean. Now. Get your ass in the damn Impala." And with that, he whirled around and slammed out of the door.
Dean stared at the door and then slowly turned his gaze to Bobby. Bobby still held the shotgun at the place where John had been standing.
Emotions ran across Dean's face like sunlight filtering through the canopy of a forest. Anguish. Gratitude. Sorrow. Loss. Hope. And Bobby could hardly hope to see love. But in the end, the anguish won out. Once again, those who professed to care for him were pulling him apart.
"You don't have to go, Dean. There will always be a place here for you." Bobby pleaded with the boy.
"I'm sorry Bobby. He's my dad. He needs me." Dean limped toward the door, devastation clearly displayed on his face.
When the door shut, Bobby was convinced that he would never see the boy alive again. He heard the Impala roar to life, but it barely registered when the shotgun finally fell from his hands to the floor.
"You have to believe me, Sam. I was trying to help. I knew Johnny was on a downward spiral and your brother really wasn't in any shape to help either your Dad or himself."
Sam's emotions were, as always, clearly displayed on his face. His affection for Bobby was mixed with a liberal amount of gratitude for what Bobby was willing to sacrifice in an attempt to help his brother.
"Your Daddy did try to do the right thing in the end. I firmly believe that. He tried to protect you boys by keeping his distance. I think it was my pushing the made him encourage Dean to do solo hunts. I think it was my pushing that made John leave him. I don't agree with the way he went about it, but in the end, your Dad did try to keep Dean safe. I don't think he had any idea how much he inadvertently hurt your brother."
Sam smiled at Bobby.
"Thanks, Bobby. I think I'm finally past the point where I want to see Dad as the villain all the time. This helps so much to understand what was going through his head. And I think I have a better sense of why Dean made the deal."
"Maybe I was out of line..."
"No." Bobby and Sam both spun to find Dean standing in the doorway.
"Dean. You ok?" Sam half rose at the sight of his too pale brother. The cut and bruising on his forehead standing out starkly.
Dean grinned that damn shit-eating grin at his brother.
"Bit of a headache still, but I'm good."
Dean moved into the room and up to where Bobby was sitting.
"You weren't out of line, Bobby. I knew it at the time, but I didn't have the balls to tell you."
"Dean." Bobby stood up. "I'm sorry. I put you between a rock and a hard place."
"Don't be sorry."
"It's my fault your Dad took off on you."
"Not like you to take credit for one of my Dad's boneheaded moves," Dean teased. Sam gaped at Dean's criticism of their Dad.
"He was trying to protect you, Dean," Bobby stressed quietly.
"Yeah, Bobby. He did what you were doing. He did what family does. They try to protect each other."
Bobby smiled at Dean.
"And Bobby, you've been family for a very long time." Dean stepped forward and pulled Bobby into a hug. Sam smiled.