AN: Agh it's been a while! Sorry!

Chapter 21

Dean couldn't sleep. The mixture of his pounding head, rushing adrenaline and Sammy's snoring had kept him awake well into the early hours. All the thinking he was doing was just making his head worse but Dean couldn't stop. It was getting closer and closer to morning and Dean had no fucking clue what they were going to do then. He'd been all set on going hunting but now he wasn't so sure. Sammy was right as much as he hated to admit it, he was in no shape to be hunting anything. Plus there was a chance that one of John's buddies might be there and if any of them put a call into John then they were screwed. But…if they didn't go...what then? Sammy's cash wouldn't last them long and Dean couldn't see another way of making any cash. Even if, by some miracle, he did manage to get a job there's no way he'd be able to hold one down for long. With John Winchester likely to be hunting them down for next few years there's no way they could stay in one place for long. They were screwed. They were so fucking screwed and it was all Dan's fault. He should have taught Sam better. If he had hid his pain better, Sam wouldn't have come back from school early and wouldn't have confronted his Dad and then John wouldn't have hit him and things would be back to how they were. Or if he'd at least taught Sam to keep his cool around Dad then Dad wouldn't have hit him.

Go to the police, a little voice whispered away in his head and Dean could feel tears pricking in his eyes. What good would that do? The police, the social services, none of them ever helped him before. They hadn't seen through John's lies before, why would they now? Why would they believe that someone would stay in a house where someone beat them up every day? But they might believe Sam. Maybe if there was two of them then…maybe…or maybe not. Maybe they'd call John Winchester and send them back. Maybe they'd throw Dean in jail for kidnap or something. Dean groaned, rubbing at his eyes. He couldn't think of a single way out of this situation. Every idea he came up with didn't work and all he could imagine was him and Sam homeless on the streets.

He could steal, he supposed. He was sneaky enough to get away with it…for a while. But all it would take would be to get caught once and then he'd either be beaten to shit or arrested and then…back to fucking square one. It was fucking hopeless. There was no-one to help them…no-one…

Bobby Singer… That voice again. That stupid little voice in his head that was always telling him shit he didn't need to hear. He could hardly fucking remember Bobby Singer. Half of him thought that Bobby Singer might be some kind of imaginary friend his brain came up with to deal with the fucking trauma of John's abuse. But the other part of him knew he wasn't some crazy, pussy-ass schizo nutjob. Bobby was real and he was nice to him and…and he didn't save you either. He didn't help you then. Why would he help you now? But maybe he'd help Sam. That was the only thing that mattered after all. But…where to find him? Dean couldn't remember the address. Couldn't even remember what Bobby's house looked like really. Hell, he didn't even know what state to look in. They could be hundreds of miles away from the man. If he was still alive. Dean shuddered at that thought. What the fuck would he do if he wasn't? Deal with that if it happens, Dean thought, gritting his teeth. He was well practiced at this, blocking off his emotions and focussing on what he had to do to survive through this hunt or this beating, just to concentrate on what needed to be done because if he spent too long concentrating on how he felt he'd go to fucking pieces. Kind of like right now. Actually, a lot like right now. Fuck. He couldn't help it…Dean buried his head in his hands and sobbed.

Bobby almost felt like a new man as he pulled his coat on. He'd emptied out the milk carton and folded it up into his back pocket making sure not to crease Sammy's picture. He must have been staring at it for at least ten minutes beforehand – proof, proof that Sam Winchester did exist. That he wasn't crazy.

And God, how different little Sammy looked now! Bobby had considered that boy like his nephew and holy hell had it hurt to have all contact just snatched away. As he pulled the door closed behind him, Bobby wondered how Dean would look now…a young man. The hunter considered how many more scars the kid would have when they next met. Because they would meet again, Bobby was determined. If he could track down demons and ghosts in a world that didn't believe in them then he could damn sure find two missing boys. Especially when they weren't really missing, just hiding. All he needed to do was find out where.

Well, if he was gonna treat this thing like a hunt then there was one place he always went when he had no idea. A certain little Roadhouse a good hour's drive away. There were closer places, of course, but for this hunt, Bobby needed people he could trust. John Winchester was admired amongst the hunting community, probably even more than Bobby himself. Bobby had never told anyone what he'd learned about the guy – who would believe him anyway? Bobby could barely believe it himself even after all these years. Even after seeing and feeling it first-hand…Bobby shuddered as he remembered how cold Dean's skin had been as Bobby had cradled him in his arms. There weren't many people that would believe a story like that but Bobby trusted these guys with his life and knew they felt the same. If the Harvelles and their Roadhouse crew couldn't help him, then he really was screwed.

Bobby sipped at the beer in front of him as he finished off his story, cautious that he had an hour's drive back when he was done here. Plus, he needed his senses sharp for this one. Truth was, he'd had enough beer these last few years to last a lifetime. For years he'd tried to drink away the guilt of not being able to save those two boys, drink away the memories of Dean's agony, to drink himself into a stupor where he could, for a few short hours, stop imaging all the different ways he could have saved those boys. For years he'd done that and all it had done was fucked his liver and screwed over his bank balance.

Ellen Harvelle's beer was currently pouring all over the bar from the shattered pint glass which had dropped out of her still outstretched.

"Bobby, tell me this is some kind of sick joke…" She pleaded, one handed coming up to her mouth as Bobby sadly shook his head. "Johnny? Johnny Winchester? There's no way…"

"Ellen, I'm telling you. It's true. He carved up that boy's chest and didn't give him so much as a band-aid. Then he crept off in the night without even a goodbye. I've been trying to track him ever since."

"And that's why he ain't been round then? I thought he was dead or something."

"He ain't dead. He's the one who filed the missing persons report." Bobby paused and looked over to the dishevelled looking youth a few seats down. "Ash you wanna fill Ellen in on what you grabbed from the cop's computerbase?"

The kid shot Bobby a look which was somewhere between 'you retard' and 'poor old man' as he chugged his bottle of beer and started reaching for the next as he started speaking. "Database, old timer. But sure, John filed the police report from Billings, Montanna. Except he didn't file it as John Winchester, he used an alias. On top of that when the cops came for their enquiries they found traces of blood all over the place. John tried to pass it off as his own but DNA tests proved otherwise. It wasn't Sammy's blood either but it was still creepy enough for the cops to pin John as a suspect in his own son's disappearance. Thing is, when they went to arrest the son of a bitch he pulled a gun on the cops, shot one officer in the leg and split." Ash finished off his explanation with a belch as he swallowed mouthful of beer. Bobby was sure the kid was a few years underage to be drinking like that but, still, the kid was a genius and, after results like that, he was entitled to a drink.

Ellen nodded solemnly as she grabbed a towel and began clearing up the spilled beer and broken glass. "So John's a wanted man now…"

Ash shook his head "Not John, 'Jeffery Weston.' Well that's what he told the cops. But when they searched his place, as well as the blood, they found a load of his fake ID's. They don't even know what his real name is, and the guy's got more names than Audrey Hepburn."

Bobby did a double take at that before deciding he didn't even want to go there. On a good day he was lucky if he understood even half or what Ash was talking about most of the time.

"On top of that," the kid continued on, one hand idly playing with his stupidly long hair. "He told the cops he was partially sighted, turned up with these big dark glasses and a bushy beard, tried to play the poor old man card for sympathy I guess." Ash shrugged. "So the cops didn't get a good look at his face and they don't even know what his name is."

Ellen hissed in a breath through her teeth as she shook her head. "He's good."

Ash and Bobby both nodded together and Bobby could feel that wave of panic starting to wash over him again. Not only at the thought of how John had managed to outsmart the cops, but at the thought of the blood the police had seen. Enough blood for them to freak out… That had to be Dean's blood, surely? Oh God…what had John done now?

Ash however, sounded calm as ever as he replied. "Yeah he's good. But I'm a freaking genius." Calm…the kid was probably stoned, Bobby reminded himself.

"Based on what Bobby told me I called in the police and, well, I might have given them a few pointers," Ash grinned, looking pretty damn impressed with himself.

"You called in an anonymous tip?" Ellen asked, and Bobby was glad he wasn't the only one who wasn't following.

"Tip? More like an information overload. I told them his name, told them they need to be looking for two kids, not one. Told them that there were rumours he was a child abuser and that they should go digging in the social services record of one 'Dean Michaels'. Plus I mailed them some photos just so they know exactly what the man they're looking for looks like."

If he weren't so damned old, Bobby would have jumped up and hugged the kid. As it was, he simply walked over, grinning as he patted the boy on his leather clad shoulder. "Good work, Ash."

"Well done," Ellen nodded her approval. "But even if they get John into custody, it doesn't find Sam and Dom."

"Dean," Bobby corrected her, regretting how harsh his tone sounded. It wasn't Ellen's fault of course but it was just another reminder that John had kept Dean a secret, even from his closest friends. Sometimes he felt like he was the only person in the world that actually gave a crap about that kid. No, there was Sammy as well and Bobby was sure that, if they were together, then the pair of them would be alright. They had to be alright.

Just hold on, Bobby didn't know if he was speaking to the boys or himself. Just hold on and I'm gonna find you. I promise.

An: I'm sorry it's been ages. Not many chapters left of this now! The next fic I'm planning on writing his going to be a bit fluffier involving Mary and John adopting kiddy Castiel and Crowley into the family. But it *is* me after all so there will be a shedload of angst as well, haha. But first to wrap this story up, hope you enjoyed the chapter and, again, apologies it's been so long.