Unexpected Guests

Author: Cheryl W.

Disclaimer: I do not own Dean or Bobby or any rights to Supernatural, nor am I making any profit from this story.

Summary: Missing angsty Bobby scene for Lazarus Rising. For all the liquor bottles, Bobby's not drunk when resurrected Dean arrives. This is my little plot on why's Bobby's gotten on the wagon.

Author's Note: This was an angsty piece I wrote and never posted but I kinda like. Thought with the DVD of Season 4 soon hitting US stores, I would sneak this ramble onto ffnet.

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The barking jerks Bobby upright on the couch, sending the empty liquor bottle to shatter on the floor, his heart thudding in his chest, with the word 'hellhound' lodged in his throat. Blurry eyes shift to his door that's creaking open and, Lord help him, he honestly hopes it's someone coming to put him out of his misery. Seeing his intruder, he turns and puts his feet on the ground, leans forward and puts his head in his hands. Mercy ain't been seen for a good long while and it wasn't showing its face now.

"You and I both knew you couldn't save him," Rufus's rough voice echoes in Bobby's house, is followed by the scoff of boots onto the wood flooring. "I told the kid nothing was going to save him."

The sob is unexpected, comes from somewhere Bobby thought he had drained dry and his choked word is a plea, "Don't."

There is a sigh from the other hunter and Bobby can sense he's moved into the living room, is staring down at him. "John Winchester's boys. Damn it Bobby, out of all the young hunters out there why did you have to go and get attached to them. Winchester raised 'em to be this, to do this, to die like this. We both knew that. Was a time we took bets on it…who would die first…John or Sam or De…"

Bobby sprang from the couch, felt the impact of his fist on Rufus' jaw even as the other man dropped to the floor. "You bastard, don't talk about him like that!" he roars, towering over Rufus, the other hunter's look shifting, not to anger but sympathy. And that is worse, so much worse. "Dean's…" but Bobby's voice shatters on the name, on the image imprinted in his mind of Dean Winchester's bloody body, of Sam carrying his brother from that house in New Harmony, of pain the likes Bobby had felt only once before…for his wife.

Sliding back from his position on the floor to lean against a table, Rufus briskly wipes away the blood, eyes never leaving the shell of the man he knew. "Seems like old times, us fighting about those boys, about John. If it means anything to you, I liked him: Dean. He wasn't like John, was braver than John could have ever hoped to be. Was smart….and he liked my Johnny Walker Blue."

Bobby laughs in spite of himself but it's a sound of sorrow more than mirth. He knew the liquor would get Dean in Rufus's door, knew just as well that Dean would win Rufus over like he won everyone over. By being himself, by being cocky and generous and funny and compassionate to a freakin' fault. Bobby sinks back to the couch, eyes on his one time friend.

"You did right, Bobby. I couldn't see past the bastard John was. And his kids, I never gave them a second's thought, the life John had them living. It was a good thing, you taking in John, taking in his two boys. It took me ten years and meeting Dean to see that I was wrong and you were right," Rufus concedes but there is no victory in Bobby's eyes, instead there is a flash of regret. To Rufus' surprise he feels a lump form in his throat as he prepares himself to say what he had come to say. Damn kid had gotten to him, a few minutes over a shared drink and he had slid right under his skin like a splinter. Swallowing, he looks at his hands a moment, uncertain for the first time in a long while before he looks again to Bobby, can see how deep the other man's sorrow runs, knows this won't help, what he is about to say but it needs saying.

"Before he left my place, Dean asked me to check up on you after…." And his bravado is gone, finds he can't even choke out the words, knew by Bobby's crumbling face he didn't need to. "He loved you Bobby. Told me to tell you that it's not your fault, that it was all his fault."

Bobby chokes on a sob, stands up, turns his back to Rufus but his shoulders shake as he braces his hands against the wall and bows his head. The words were Dean's, echo in his head in the kid's voice. Dean would take all the blame on himself, would not want the gaping hole in Bobby's soul that is there now….would always be there.

It is hard to see Bobby breaking down, to see his strong friend brought nearly to his knees with grief, no matter the disagreement about the Winchesters that had separated them ten years prior. "He wouldn't want this from you, the drinking, cutting yourself off, not answering your phone so I have to drive five hours to say something you already know," Rufus says, the last words nearly a snarl as he climbs to his feet, purposefully slams the phone back on the hook and plugs in the land line.

"All the things I know how to kill, to stop and I couldn't save him, Rufus. I couldn't save the kid I love like a son. All this, it's been for nothing," Bobby rages, turning around, hand sweeping across a table laden with books and herbs and candles, sending them all to the floor.

Rufus nearly sighs. "None of us got into hunting because we saved someone…we got into it because we lost someone. It's a shitty business, we've known it from the start."

"Then why do it?! Why continue to fight a battle we can't win?!" Bobby roars, facing Rufus.

Rufus smirks sadly. "Because it's the only thing that keeps the darkness at bay, because if you quit, they win. Because it was something Dean Winchester stood for, died for."

"I…I don't know how to do it anymore. How to hope…how to care. They took the best of us, Rufus. He was the best of us all."

"Might be true," Rufus allows, stepping closer to Bobby. "So this is how you want to honor his memory? By quitting, by getting stinking drunk, by putting out a welcome mat to every evil thing to come on through your door and slit your throat. His life was worth more than that…even I could see that." Then Rufus turns on his heel and strides across the kitchen and out the door, leaving the door open in his wake.

For a moment Bobby stands frozen, Rufus' words repeating in his head. Then, with a curse he stalks forward, slams the door shut hard enough to rattle the windows along that wall. Rufus was a grumpy old bastard but he didn't sugar coat the truth, hadn't for Dean and didn't for him. Dean wouldn't want him drowning in sorrow, wouldn't want him turning his back on hunting, surrendering to the first evil that came knocking. No, Dean had given Rufus that message to kick him in the butt, to make him continue to be the man Dean had said was like a father to him. 'Crap, I'm letting him down. For four months I've tried to lose myself. Dean would be ashamed of me.'

Crossing over to the sink, he turns on the tap, cups his hands and splashes his face with the cold water. He has to get himself together, has to be the man Dean had counted on him to be after he was gone. Wiping his face with a towel, he is half way towards his bedroom for a change of clothing when the phone rings. There is not one soul on earth he wants to talk to, truthfully not even Sam Winchester, maybe especially Sam, their methods of grieving clashing like gunpowder and fire.

Reaching out for the phone, Bobby drew in a breath and picked it up. "Yeah."

"Bobby? Hey it's me…." And, God help him, since he's clearly going insane with grief because the voice…it sounds like Dean's.

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The end

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Thanks for anyone taking the time to read this!! If you're like me, you can't wait for the season 4 DVDs to be in your greedy little hands to rewatch every awesome episode.

And if anyone cares, I'm working on the finale for "It's in the Genes" but it's probably not going to get posted by Sept 1st like I hoped. I could use some inspiration actually. So if you have something you want to see/ some issue that you think need resolving in the "finale" of that story, drop me a PM. I'm not guarantying your idea will be in there because, getting excellent ideas and my being able to write them?! Well..that sometimes isn't possible for me. But knowing what some people what to see might make the chapter come together easier for me.

Have a great evening!

Cheryl W.