The front door had been splintered along the edges, and the screen door was hanging by one single screw. That was obviously how the demon had got inside Bobby's house to get all up in him, and destroy his spine, and force him to live without his legs for the rest of his life.
And it was all Dean Winchester's fault.
He Chose to go to Hell
He Chose to get off the Rack.
He Chose to pick up that Razor.
He Chose to make that first Slice.
He Chose to break that first Seal.
He Chose the Path for his Brother.
He should have known better, he was a hunter, born and raised, he should have been strong enough to let Sam stay dead, should have been strong enough to not play into the angel's warped plans. So many things he should have been strong enough for. But he wasn't. And it was his fault the world was going to end. Cass had most certainly been right about that.
He looked around Bobby's house, devil's traps were broken and ruined, books were strewn about the floor, some looked as though pages had been torn and shredded, and then there was the lone coffee cup shattered in the kitchen. That alone told the story. Bobby had been living his life, just like any other ordinary human being, and because Dean hadn't been able to save Sam, like he promised their father all of those years ago, and because he wasn't strong enough to kill his little brother, the world was torn into shreds just like the books scattered around Bobby's dusty house. The weight on Dean's shoulders increased ten fold as he realized that this was just a small representation of what was going to happen to the world because he hadn't been strong enough to stop Sam.
He slowly got on his knees and began picking up each individual piece of paper, and putting them into piles. He tried to organize each pile by color, he was hoping that that might actually help in the reassembly process. Bobby had hundreds of books in his two story home. When he was little he thought that Bobby had thousands.
Sam used to sit on the chair in the corner and read and read and read the books that cluttered the junk man's home. Dean had never been a great reader, never been a fast learner if it came out of a book, and for the most part, he had left the books to his little brother. But, now, his little brother was gone. Gone who knows where, with who knows who. Anger surged, and he felt his face go red, and looking down he expected to see his amulet, the symbol of the brotherhood he and Sam shared, and found nothing, felt nothing. It was like Cass took it from him and their friendship, their partnership vanished inside the angel's coat pocket. He put a hand to his chest and sat back on his haunches and took a deep breath. It was for the best. Sam was a liability—Dean knew it, and Sam knew it too. Both had agreed upon that.
With that thought he looked at the books in front of him. The demons had apparently, by his count, damaged at least 30 books, all on apocalyptic signs and omens.
"Kinda pointless to ruin these books." Dean muttered to himself. He looked around and realized that he forgot the tape, because you need tape to put books back together after a demon goes and trashes them all because they want to get revenge on you and the people you love most in this life. Yeah, need tape.
"Samm…." He stopped. Realizing again that Sam wasn't there, that Sam would probably never be at his side again, he let his head hang. He ran a hand down his face and sighed. He had to get used to life like this. He had to relearn how to hunt by himself. Had to learn how to be by himself again. Because no matter what he did here in the next week, no matter what, he was fairly certain that once he helped Bobby out of the car and into his house, he would find a shot gun, cock it, and tell him to never come back.
He would Leave.
He ruined Bobby's Life.
He allowed the world to be subjected to Pain and Destruction.
He didn't deserve to be Forgiven.
He didn't deserve Bobby's Friendship, Love, Guidance.
He deserved to burn in Hell.
Dean spent all night piecing book after book together, taping carefully, ensuring perfection, with the same care and attention he gave to cleaning and maintaining his weapons, his car…. Once upon a time he could have included his brother, but that he had single handedly destroyed.
His legs cramped, and he didn't allow himself to move and resituate to alleviate the pain and the cramping, he figured that if Bobby had to suffer that he should suffer too, and he remained, continued to arrange, assemble and tape pieces of demonology books and arrange them back into the proper books. It took over 12 hours to do so, and when he was done, and tried to stand, he found that his legs wouldn't support his weight, he fell to the floor. It's what he got for sitting in the same position for over 12 hours. Gritting his teeth, he forced himself up onto all fours, and then tentatively on his feet holding the wall for support. Once he was certain all body parts were back in action, he took a long over due bathroom break, and surveyed the house. Books were put back together, but Bobby's house was anything but wheel chair accessible. That's where Dean would start. He ran a hand down his face, and headed outside, got in Bobby's truck, and headed for town—he needed some things.
"Sam?" Bobby asked when the taller of the two brother's slouched into the room.
"Hey Bobby, how you feelin'? The doctors treating you okay?"
"They are treating me more than fine. Especially after the way Dean and you chewed into that nurse the other day." Bobby chuckled for a moment and then sobered immediately. "Dean called and said all was fixed and that you, Ellen, Jo, and Rufus were fine."
"Yeah. We're fine. The town not so much. But us hunters got out."
"Where's Dean? Parking the car?"
"No. I think he's at your house. He mentioned something about getting that into shape before you come home."
"And, he drove all of the way out here to drop you off and then all the way back?"
"No." Sam said simply and sat down on the window sill and watched his long time friend. Bobby knew something was up, he knew the brothers far too well, better than anyone in the entire world. Sometimes that worked to their disadvantage, and Sam was afraid that today was going to be one of those days.
"Then how'd you get her boy? Ellen and Jo? Are they parking the car? Rufus?"
"No. Just me."
"Then how boy?" he asked. Sam noted that some of his friend's old spunk was coming back, and it was a relief after the days of silence and brooding.
"I hitched here." Sam admitted. Lying came easily in this job, he'd been able to lie convincingly for years, decades even, but when bobby called him 'boy' and had that look in his eye, it was like looking into his father's eyes and being asked if he broke the vase on the table, there was just simply no lying.
"Hitched? Your brother doesn't like you hitching a ride." Sam shrugged. "What's going on?"
Sam stayed silent and contemplated a lie that Bobby just might believe, but he couldn't come up with anything so he simply stayed silent, and when Bobby's gaze didn't move from his face Sam stood and said, "I'll just go."
"Don't you move a muscle. You are going to sit right there and tell me what in the hell is going on." Sam looked down at Bobby and hair clouded his vision, or it could have been tears. At this point Sam wasn't sure, and he didn't care. He just couldn't look at the elder hunter right now.
"Dean and I…uh…" he licked his lips and picked at the button on his shirt. "Dean and I decided it would be best if we separated for a while. I'm…I'm…" Sam swallowed heavily. "I'm not…that I shouldn't…shouldn't be hunting for a while. Until I get myself in a better place. Until…until…." Sam raised his eyes to the ceiling. It was hard to say the next but he forced it out, "until he can trust me again." Sam said and he could still hear Dean saying it in the parking lot just a few days ago, and it ripped his soul again, and it took everything for him not to cry.
"You're brother found his line." Bobby said softly. Sam nodded and Bobby was reminded of that little boy that used to get his feelings hurt at school. Dean had always been the one to help, this time, that comfort, that reassurance wasn't there, and Bobby didn't know how to help.
"Yeah, Dean found his line. I wish I hadn't found it."
"Me too boy."
"I don't think he hates me." Sam said softly. He was seeking reassurance and Bobby knew it.
"I know he don't boy. He just needs some time." Sam nodded and tears began to form. "Go get yourself some coffee." Sam didn't move he just starred out into nothing, and Bobby yelled again for him to git, and Sam finally moved his large lumbering body and started towards the door, it was the first time Bobby Singer ever thought Sam Winchester looked small.
Sam looked down at his cell. He had to call and let Dean know that he was going to drive Bobby out to his house, had to let him know to be prepared. Why was it that only after a week of separation it was so hard to do? Dean had been in hell for four months and it hadn't been this hard to speak to him after he returned from the dead.
He chose his brother's number on his phone and dialed.
"Hello?" Sam closed his eyes, relieved that Dean answered the phone and happy to hear his brother's voice and in that voice was a balm, something that soothed Sam's soul, and made him feel like he was home.
"Dean. I'm driving Bobby out to you today."
"Sure that's a good idea? He ready?"
"Doctor's say he's as good as he'll get."
"Didn't they say something about PT?"
"They claim that they set it all up in South Dakota."
"You sure you wanna make the drive?"
"Makes more sense."
"See you tomorrow."
"Take your time Sam. No hurry."
"I don't think Bobby will let me take my time."
"Probably not. But give it a good try. Don't want him in pain when he gets back."
"Okay. I'll do my best."
It took longer than anticipated to get back to South Dakota, bobby had been adamant about driving straight through, but Sam forced him to take breaks, to get out of the car and to sleep. A cross country drive with a grumpy Bobby Singer was worse than a long car ride with a grouchy Dean Winchester, and Sam had never dreamed that there could be anything worse than that.
Dean was standing at the front door, a ramp replaced the stairs that led to the porch. Dean was sun tanned to the point where his hair looked blond against his skin. They had only been apart for a week, and his brother looked so different. The new screen door swung on it's hinges and Dean came out, he came towards the car, nodded at his brother and helped get Bobby out of the car and into his wheel chair. Both men gathered their surrogate father and his things out of the car and into the house.
Bobby surveyed Dean's handiwork and was both impressed and enraged. Impressed that Dean had managed to get his whole entire house wheelchair accessible in a week, and infuriated that his whole house had to be rearranged to accommodate his new form of locomotion. So, instead of saying anything and rising saying something mean and hurtful, he stayed quiet and simply wheeled himself into the kitchen.
"Thanks for bringing him."
"No problem." Neither brother said more than was necessary or looked in the other's direction. They simply watched Bobby as he slowly wheeled his way around his house.
"Fixed up a car for you to take if you want it. It's in the back. By the shed. It's all gassed up and ready for you. Keys are on the seat. She's not a lot to look at, but she'll take you where you need to go." And there it was. The only thing that Dean knew how to do, take care of his brother rearing its ugly head.
"When did you have time?" Sam asked and Dean simply looked up at him and shook his head.
"No, Sammy. We can't do this. We can't start talking like this and try to pretend that everything is forgotten between us. That's what landed us in this mess before. Just take the car when you are ready to go." Dean walked away.
He had to walk Away.
He had to protect his Family.
He had to give himself Time.
He had to give Sam Space.
He had to give his brother a chance to See him for who he Really Was.
Sam watched his brother walk towards Bobby, and his heart ached again. Just like the day they parted ways over a week ago. It had been his idea, but the lack of argument from Dean had been devastating. The fact that Dean had agreed and even let him walk away had hurt more than the actual knowing it was true, and Dean was doing it again, this time he was walking away and Sam finally understood just how much it hurt to be left.
He turned, and went out the way he came, found the car that his brother was talking about, and found that while it wasn't the Impala, it was nice, it was his brother through and through, down to the polish and the shine. He got in the car, put the keys in and turned it on. Classic rock blared out of the speakers, Sam tried to turn the radio station, the music hurting his heart, and he found that he couldn't. Found that it was a tape playing inside. He ejected the tape and found in Dean's scrawl "Classic Mix". Sam wiped a stray tear from his eye, and pushed the tape back in and pulled the heavy car out of the salvage yard.
Dean watched Sam Go.
He wished things were Different.
He prayed that they would one day be able to hunt Together.
He missed his Brother.
"What do you need Bobby?" he asked and pulled himself away from the window, and away from his brother.