"We're closin' son," the bartender said as he wiped off the bar with a dirty white rag. The young man at the end of the bar was sitting dejectedly, tracing the lip of his glass with his index finger. "I'm callin' you a taxi," he said, reaching for the phone.
"No," Dean Winchester said, his voice hoarse from drinking whiskey for six hours. "I'll walk." He slipped off the barstool and staggered toward the front door, almost falling over a couple of times. He reached into his jacket pocket for the keys to his car, and stumbled over to the trunk. He rummaged through it, and finally pulled out his favorite gun, a shiny silver .45. He made sure there was a fresh clip in it, and slammed the trunk shut. He staggered around to the front seat and took a note from his pocket. He had written it weeks ago, not knowing if he'd have the nerve to act on it, but he knew it was time. As he leaned into the driver's side to set it on the seat, he felt a hand on his shoulder, and a familiar voice graced his ears.
"Dean," Bobby said softly, trying to get the younger hunter's attention without freaking him out. Dean returned to a standing position at the sound of Bobby's voice.
"Leave me alone, Bobby. I need to do this."
"No, you don't."
Dean twirled around and pointed his .45 at Bobby.
"Let me do this. I don't want to take you with me."
"Dean, I'm not gonna let you walk into the woods and shoot yourself!" Dean took a drunken step forward, and in one move Bobby disarmed him and took the clip out of the .45. "I won't let you leave Sam alone."
"Give me back my gun, damn it!"
"How do you think Sam is going to take it when he finds out that his older brother, the one who is supposed to be protecting him, goes out into the woods in some small town and blows his brains out?"
Dean remained silent for a moment. It would probably wreck Sam for life if Dean did what he was about to do, but the weight their father had put on Dean's shoulders that day at the hospital was too much for him to bear. He couldn't bear to see his brother turn into whatever that yellow-eyed sonovabitch made him into, and he couldn't kill his brother. This was the only option for Dean. It was either him or Sam.
"Just give me the gun, and let me do this, Bobby. I can't do it anymore. Dad laid a burden on my shoulders before he died, and I can't take it anymore. How could he do that to me? Every waking moment since Dad died has had me thinkin' about what my brother is going to become because of that demon. I can't do this anymore, Bobby. I'm tired."
Bobby looked down at the .45 and clip in his hand. There was absolutely no way he was giving it back to Dean, but the younger man had a valid point. John's admission to Dean before his death had put a great weight on Dean's shoulders, something that was going to be hard for him to live with, but Bobby knew he couldn't let Dean blow his head off and leave Sam alone to deal with the demon. It was a death trap.
"Dean, if I give you this gun and let you walk into the woods and blow your head off, you're condemning Sam to death too. You're not protecting him from anything by doing this. If you die, he's going to push me and everyone else away, and go after this thing himself, and he's gonna get himself killed!"
"He's not stupid, Bobby! He'll kill that sonovabitch, and then he can go back to school, and forget about all of this. You'll see!" Dean lunged at the older man in an attempt to get his gun back, but Bobby managed to get a hold of Dean's wrists, and pinned him to the side of the Impala.
"Listen to me! Your brother needs you, and I'm not gonna let you end your life, and his, because you're too scared to face what Sam might become. You're gonna get in my car with me, and I'm taking you back to your brother, and you're gonna deal with this, just like we always do."
Bobby let him go, and when Dean turned to face him, he could see tears streaming down the younger hunter's face.
"I don't wanna die, Bobby, I don't. I'm just tired of all this," he said, starting to sob. He fell to the ground in a heap, and Bobby dropped to his knees at Dean's side. Dean buried his face into Bobby's shoulder and started to sob uncontrollably. "Don't let me do it," he said in between sobs. "I'm sorry."
"I'm here, Dean."
As Dean cried into his shoulder, Bobby wondered if the sobbing was a result of all the whiskey and other assorted alcohol that Dean had been drinking, or if it was really genuine. As the thought swirled through his head, a noise prompted him to look up. Someone had come out of the bar and was making his way toward them.
"Excuse me," the elderly gentleman said to Bobby, who was trying to get Dean to his feet. "Is everything all right?"
"Yeah, my son here just had a little too much to drink, an' I'm tryin' to get him over to my car. I'll have his brother come pick up his car shortly."
"No problem. Just checkin.' Yer son's been here for at least five or six hours. I was gettin' worried about him for a while."
As the man walked off, Bobby managed to get Dean to his feet.
"Come on, let's get outta here before we draw a crowd. You and Sam have a lot to talk about, after you sober up."
Bobby got Dean into the passenger seat of his truck, and flipped open his phone to call Sam.
"I found your brother. You need to come get the Impala."
"He got that drunk? In the middle of a job?"
for yourself," Bobby said, referencing a time when Sam had done the
exact same thing, and had suffered for it the next morning.
"Fine. Just tell me where it is."
"It's at a little bar on Henderson. How fast can you get here?"
"I'll call a taxi. It shouldn't take long at this time of night."
"Fine. Just get it out of here before some kid gets curious and breaks into the trunk or something."
"I'm leaving now."
"Okay bye." Bobby started the truck and pulled out of the bar, heading back to Sam and Dean's motel room. He couldn't wait for Dean to sober up so they could have a real discussion.