A/N- So, I was reading some fics today when I realised how effective it is to write from an outsider POV when it comes to the Winchesters. So, I decided to give it a shot. I hope I did the idea justice. Reviews are loved, so please review.

When The Going Gets Tough

Bobby was fiddling in the kitchen when his phone rang. With a sigh, he reached over to pick it up, wondering what kind of hunt he was getting himself involved in this time.
"Singer's Yard."
"Sam? What's up?"
"Bobby, me and Dean… we kinda need somewhere to stay for a bit. Can we crash at your place?"
Bobby frowned at the tired sound of Sam's voice.
"You boys are always welcome here so long as you don't come with some demon tailing you or nothing."
"Thanks Bobby."

As the call ended, Bobby stared at the phone hard. Why would the Winchesters need to crash at his place? They could easily find a motel or something that would be far more convenient for them; his place wasn't exactly in the most convenient area. Shaking his head, Bobby turned back to the kitchen where his lunch now stood, cold.

About an hour later, Bobby heard the sound of Dean's beloved impala pulling up. He peeked through his curtains to confirm his thought. Sure enough, Sam and Dean were the occupants, but as he stood watching, Bobby noticed something quite strange. For one thing, Sam was driving the car, not Dean. That was definitely not a regular occurrence. Also, both boys looked beat. Not just injured beat, but actually 'dead on their feet' beat. The two brothers walked slowly up to the front door, Dean leaning heavily on Sam, but at the same time also supporting Sam. Bobby would never know how the two brothers managed to help each other like that, but now was not the time to ask. Something was up.

He opened the door before they could knock.
"Sam. Dean. What in the world happened to you two?"
He was met by a small smile from Sam and a drowsy look from Dean.
"It's kind of a long story Bobby, but-"
"Never mind that," Bobby interrupted. "Let's just get you two idjits inside before something else happened."
Sam and Dean stumbled into the house, leaving a worried Bobby at the door. He gazed at their car for a second before turning around and following them into his house.

Once the two brothers were sitting comfortably in his lounge room did Bobby bring up the same question.
"Okay, now tell me: what the hell happened to both of you?"
Sam shot a look at Dean before beginning their story.
"There was just this hunt, this chupacabra. Everything was fine; we killed it, and we barely got hurt." At Bobby's unbelieving look, Sam quickly added:
"Okay, I had to have a couple of stitches, and Dean had a bit of a concussion for a while, but that was it."

Bobby frowned.
"Then how did you two end up like this?" He asked, gesticulating at the two. Dean snorted.
"Thanks, Bobby," he said sarcastically. Bobby shook his head, hiding a smile.
"Well, it turns out that we overlooked something."
Bobby looked at Sam, slightly worried. Sam looked back at him, before shifting his focus to Dean.

Bobby had to do a double take.
"It sounds crazy, but it's true. Damn rain gave both me and Sam a cold." Dean replied.
"Actually, it only gave Dean a cold because he stayed in his wet clothes too long. I got it off him," Sam interrupted. Dean scowled at Sam.
"Dibber dobber," he said sulkily. Then he turned his attention back to Bobby, who was looking at the two in disbelief.
"Rain? You survive a chupacabra only to get sick because of rain?"
The two boys exchanged a slightly embarrassed look.
"Yes." They replied in unison.
Bobby shook his head again.
"Unbelievable. But that doesn't explain why you both seem so… dead."
"Yeah well, when Dean got sick, he refused to admit it," Sam said, glaring at Dean. "He just pretended he was fine, and I finally decided to wait until he was too sick to pretend anymore. But then I got sick, and my plan blew out the window. Dean here ended up fainting because he neglected to look after himself and I couldn't do anything because I was sick."
"I did not faint!"
"Anyway, we hauled ass here as soon as we could. Between the two of us, we're killing ourselves by trying to help each other, and we couldn't come to any agreement." Sam finished.

There was a long silence.
"I can't believe you two! You two are going to be the death of each other… and of me!" Bobby growled. Looking at the two, however, his anger left him as he saw how tired they both were.
"Well, at least you had enough common sense to come here. Come on, you two need rest. You can sleep in my spare room."
Sam struggled out of his comfortable sofa to go help Dean, who looked pale and half asleep. He muttered something unintelligible to Sam, but didn't refuse the offering hand. The two followed Bobby up to the spare room, which accommodated a double bed. Bobby turned to the two, as if waiting for them to complain about the sleeping arrangements, but they merely collapsed onto each side of the bed, both worn out. Dean took the side closest to the door, Sam the side closest to the window. Both men were asleep almost immediately, each unconsciously turning their head towards the other in order to seek some reassurance that the other was there. As Bobby stood, watching this, he was reminded of another time he had to look after the two, many years previously.

15 years ago

A desperate John Winchester stood at Bobby's doorstep. In one arm he held a sleeping 8 year old Sam, the other arm wrapped around a 12 year old Dean who looked up at Bobby wearily.
"Please Bobby, you have to let them stay. They're both sick, so Dean can't look after Sam, and-"
"Of course I'll look after them, you idjit. But I can't believe you're not staying to look after them. For God's sake, they're your sons, John!"
"I know, but I can't, Bobby. I just got some new information, and I-" here John lowered his voice- "I think I might have a lead on what killed Mary. I can't let that pass, Bobby."

Bobby sighed, but let John in. However much he disagreed with John on this, he knew that the boys were number one priority- at least to Bobby. Bobby reached down and lifted up Dean with a grunt. The boy was growing taller, and was also a lot heavier than Bobby remembered. What worried Bobby was that Dean made no complaint. For as long as Bobby could remember, Dean had always complained about being treated in a 'girl-like fashion', which included being carried or fed. However, this time he just wrapped his arms weakly around Bobby neck and laid his head on Bobby's shoulder. Bobby could feel the heat radiating off his forehead.

He followed John upstairs to the spare room. John had already lay Sam down on the side of the double bed furthest away from the door. Sam woke suddenly, his eyes wide.
"Dean? Dad?" he whimpered. In Bobby's arms, Dean stirred.
"S'mmy?" he muttered softly.
Bobby lay Dean down next to Sam, amazed at the connection to two had. Dean immediately woke from the loss of warmth. Seeing Sam next to him, he quickly wrapped his arms around his little brother.
"S'alright, Sammy," he slurred, still half asleep. "I'm here, and so's Dad and Bobby. Sam stopped whimpering and instead curled up into his brother's side. Dean opened his eyes to look at his father.
"You going on a hunt, dad?" he asked softly, green eyes looking vulnerable. John gave a sad smile.
"Yeah. Got a call from a friend, and it's pretty important."
Dean nodded acceptingly. John dropped a kiss on his forehead, followed by a kiss on Sam's forehead.
"Get better, you two," he said quietly before turning and leaving the room.

Dean turned his green eyes to Bobby.
"You gonna leave us too, uncle Bobby?" he asked quietly, but Bobby could still hear the fear in his voice. I'm going to slap John when he gets back, Bobby thought furiously as he looked down at Dean.
"No, Dean. I'm staying with you." He said firmly, rustling Dean's hair. Dean smiled up at him.

Present Time

Bobby stood, 15 years later, still watching over the two brothers. They had both grown so much. Sam now towered over Dean, a detail that Dean battled by constantly making fun of Sam's height. The two had also changed in appearance; Dean's blonde hair had now darkened to a brown, and Sam's light brown hair was now a dark brown. Both boys- men, Bobby corrected himself- usually looked quite stressed, with wrinkles forming around their eyes, and their eyes themselves harboured the look of someone who has seen to much.

Now however, in sleep, they both wore a look on innocence. It made Bobby smile to see Dean- manly, strong Dean- curled up on his side, his face looking young and completely innocent. The freckles on his face were clearly visible, as they always were when he got sick. The same could be said about Sam, who, despite his tall lanky frame, still managed to look like the 8 year old who had once slept here. His long hair fell over his eyes, making him look like some overgrown puppy.

Bobby moved forward to check their temperature with his hand, as he didn't want to disturb them with a thermometer. Pressing his hand against Sam's forehead, he sensed the young man's temperature was slightly above average, but no cause for immediate worry just yet. Better to let him sleep and see how he felt when he woke up. Sam slept on throughout Bobby's inspection of his forehead and the stitches on his arm, which were thankfully not infected.

Next Bobby moved to Dean. Unlike his brother, Dean woke immediately at Bobby's touch, but stayed still, his eyes following Bobby's every move. Once Bobby had finished his inspection- temperature was quite high, but the concussion had gone- Dean spoke, his voice hoarse.
"What's your recommendation, Doc?" Dean asked with a smile.
"Next time, don't be so stupid, and get out of your darn wet clothes quicker." Bobby replied.
"Aw, Bobby, you know I don't swing that way," Dean said with a sly grin.
Bobby swiped gently at Dean's head.
"Idjit," he said fondly.

The two sat in silence for a while until Dean voiced a thought.
"Umm… ok, this is slightly awkward. But I just wanted to say… thanks."
Bobby could have asked 'for what?' But he understood what Dean was saying. Thanks for being here, thanks for looking after us… the list goes on. Bobby smiled gruffly at the young man he considered a son.
"No problem." He said.
The minutes ticked on until Bobby rose from his chair to grab a drink.
"You gonna leave us Bobby?" Dean asked, his voice sounding so innocent that Bobby had to look around to make sure it was the 27-year-old Dean speaking and not the 12 year old. It was the older Dean, but the look on his face was so vulnerable that it didn't make a difference who it was to Bobby.
"Course not," he said, settling back into his chair. "I'm staying with you."
Dean smiled.