Could it be Vertigo Ch. 24
Disclaimer: See chapter one
Previously: "Jeez, don't remind me, I think I've been damaged for life from the sight of you two nearly au natural." Bobby complained as he started the procession back towards the park entrance. He was ready to get back home.
The drive back to Singer Salvage passed relatively quickly and the hunters were happy to get back to Bobby's place where they could kick up their feet and relax. Entering the house, Dean and Sam flopped down on the couch while Bobby sat in the recliner and John made himself comfortable in the rocker that Bobby had kept from the time his boys were little.
"Damn, I'm glad that hunt's over." Dean said as he propped his feet up on Bobby's coffee table after kicking off his boots. He never wanted to even think about the hunt again after what had happened.
"Dean, I thought you would have enjoyed that hunt." Sam stated with a sly grin as he looked innocuously at his brother.
"Now why in the hell would you think that Sammy?" Dean questioned incredulously.
"Well, you how many other times are you going to be able to get butt naked with two hot women around at the same time to ogle you?" Sam answered as he started giggling once again at the look on Dean's face.
"Sammy, that is so not funny you little bitch." Dean retorted as he glared at his little brother. "You know damn well those women thought me and Dad were gay and having a little fun out there." Dean informed his brother with a shiver at the repulsive thought.
"Leave the kid alone Dean, you know you should have followed the golden rule about when it comes to hunting." Bobby said, trying to hide the smirk that wanted to make itself known.
"Yeah, and what's that Bobby?" Dean asked the older hunter. He had never heard about any golden rule before.
"Never go on a hunt without ya boxers." Bobby replied before doubling over in laughter.
"I should have known better than to ask." Dean grumbled under his breath as he leaned his head back on the sofa and closed his eyes. He had to have been totally exhausted to have let Bobby get one over on him the way he just did. Feeling a blanket placed over him, he opened weary eyes to see his dad tucking the blanket around him. He heard his dad say something about getting some sleep before shifting around and closing his eyes, sleep overtaking him almost immediately.
Grasping another blanket from the hallway closet, John encouraged a fatigued Sam to shift around so that head was resting on Dean's thigh. It was obvious that his youngest was now struggling to hold his eyes open and the kid needed his rest also. Carding his fingers through Sammy's hair once he was settled, he mumbled his thanks to whoever was listening that Sam had come through the hunt in one piece. "Rest peacefully boys" he voiced softly before excusing himself from the room, he was in desperate need of a shower.
As the following days turned into weeks, John knew it was time for he and his boys to hit the road again. Dean had finally started trusting him with Sam again and even allowed him to help take care of his youngest the few times that Sam had experienced another one of his vertigo attacks. He had hoped the things would eventually stop and cease to exist, but now realized the episodes would be a part of their lives from now on whether he liked it or not. He was thankful that Sam had started recognizing the signs that an attack was about to happen, at least that way they could forgo a hunt and pass it on to someone else to ensure Sam's safety.
Changing the oil in the Impala, he didn't think that Dean would argue with his decision to hit the road again. He could tell that his oldest was becoming just as restless as he was to be in the Impala and driving down the highway once again. There was nothing like the feel of her engine thrumming to calm the restless soul. No, his main worry was Sam. He knew how much his baby boy craved a normal life and he couldn't blame him. Sam had thrived while staying at Bobby's and was much happier. He couldn't help but feel guilty with the knowledge that he was about to ask him to give that life up now. He was so engrossed with his thoughts that he failed to notice his boys approaching.
"Hey Dad, ya fall asleep under there?" Dean queried as he kneeled down to check on his father. He hadn't heard any noises in the past couple of minutes and worried something might have happened.
"What? No, I was just thinking about a few things." John replied as he finished tightening up the oil filter and then made his way out from under the car.
"Thinking? About what?" Sam asked innocently as he handed a beer to his dad since it was an unusually warm day for South Dakota.
Taking a long swig of the PBR to give himself some time to think, John wondered if he should bring up his plans now or wait until dinner time. Deciding there was no time like the present, he decided to voice his thoughts. "About how you boys would feel about hitting the road again." John answered honestly as he looked his boys in the eyes to try and gauge their reactions.
"No Dean, don't say anything yet. I just want you to think about it. I know you boys have probably gote used to staying in one place since you've been here at Bobby's going on three months now, but I can't keep staying here and sitting on my ass while the YED is out there somewhere and torturing more families. I can't let that thing keep doing to other families what it did to ours." John explained, hoping that his sons would understand his reasoning. "I'm planning on leaving by the weekend, and I'll understand if you boy don't want to go but…"
"Dad, I always knew that sooner or later we'd have to get back to the hunt. And even though I never knew mom, I still want to make that demon pay for what he's done." Sam voiced, alleviating his father's worries. "I'll admit I've enjoyed staying here at Bobby's and that I'm going to miss this place, but I'll be ready to go when you and Dean are." Sam said without hesitation. He could tell that his family was getting restless from being in one place for too long and even though he really wanted to stay, he wasn't willing to leave his brother behind just yet. He needed Dean.
Surprised by his brother's words, Dean turned questioning eyes towards him. "Sammy, are you sure? I don't want you doing anything you're not ready for Tiger."
"Yeah, I'm sure." Sam replied with a wide smile. Dean always put him first in everything, well this time, he was returning the favor.
"Fantastic." Dean voiced with enthusiasm as he reached out to ruffle his little brother's hair. He was so tired of staying in once place, but was willing to stay for as long as Sam needed it, even if he felt like he would go freaking crazy at times.
All too soon the weekend approached and it was time for The Winchesters to hit the road. Bobby was understandably upset about the family leaving and he had no qualms about showing it. "I still don't see why you idjits can't just stay a little while longer. I mean Sam had another one of his episodes just a few days ago and he's still weak." Bobby grumbled as he watched John place their duffle bags in the trunk of the Impala.
"Bobby, Sam's attacks are something he's going to have to deal with for the rest of his life, not to mention me and Dean. We're going to have to learn to adjust to them and the sooner we get started the better." John retorted, looking sadly at his mentor friend. "Look man, I know you're scared that something will happen, but as long as Dean or I am there, nothing bad is going to happen to Sammy.
"You don't know that John. What if Sam has an attack in the middle of a hunt, what then?" Bobby queried as he poked John in the chest with his finger.
"Then we deal with it, but I seriously don't think it will happen. Sam's learned to recognize the signs that an attack is imminent and I'm sure he'll let us know if he isn't up to the hunt." John replied as he placed a hand on the gruff hunter's shoulder to calm him. He didn't blame Bobby for worrying.
Anything Bobby had to say was cut off as he watched Dean and Sam approaching the Impala. Running a hand through his scratchy beard, Bobby looked at Sam with moist eyes. "Are you sure this is what you want boy? You know you can stay here with me for as long as you like." Bobby stated with heartfelt emotion.
"Yeah Bobby, I'm sure. Don't worry about me, I'll be alright." Sam answered as he reached out to hug the elder hunter, not caring if Dean would pick at him about the chick flick moment later.
"You better be kid, you better be." Bobby replied as he hugged Sam tightly before releasing him with a smile. Pulling Dean into a quick hug, he muttered, "Don't be strangers."
"We won't." Dean croaked with a smile before clearing his throat. He hadn't planned on being so emotional at the moment, but yeah, he was sad to be leaving Bobby's place too.
Watching as the Winchesters climbed into the car with John behind the wheel, Dean riding shotgun and Sam in the back seat, Bobby leaned into the open window on Dean's side. "You idjits better take care of the kid or I swear I'll hunt you down and kick you asses from here to kingdom come."
"With our lives Bobby, with our lives." John answered sincerely with a glance in the rearview mirror towards the backseat. He had messed up once with Sam and it had nearly caused him both his boys, he would never make that mistake again. Shifting the gear into reverse, he waited for Bobby to back away from the window and then slowly backed out of the drive. He couldn't help but feel guilty noticing the tears in the man's eyes as he threw his hand up in a goodbye gesture.
As Bobby watched the Impala until it was out of sight, he could only hope and pray that the Winchesters had made the right decision in going back to the hunt so soon. Walking back towards the house with a sigh, he hated knowing that the place was going to seem lonely now without the boys to liven up his days.
Thank you ST for allowing me to use your line about the Hunter's Golden Rule
Just in case you are interested, I am already hard at work on a sequel which jumps a few years into the future where Sam and his family deal with the effects of Meniere's Disease. The story will be called: The Effects of Vertigo and the first chapter should be posted by Thursday night if not before.