Disclaimer: I used to own supernatural, the boys, the Impala and everything else on the show. But then, the men in white gave me my meds and I had to take them.

Summary: Bobby decides to have a heart-to-heart with Dean this time.

A/N: I loved 'Family Matters'. Loved it. There was a lot of action and plot development. I hated one thing though. Once again Dean was shown to be useless when it came to the actual hunt. Ever since season six started, it seems like everyone is a better hunter than Dean. I'm sure I've said this somewhere before, but let's recap: In episode one Dean was no good against the Djinns. He needed Sam to save him both times. In the second one, he could do nothing against either of the shapeshifters. He didn't even try to put up a fight against the Alpha. In the third, he had pretty much nothing to do except draw a blood symbol and light a holy fire. It was the same for the fourth where all he did was digging up some bones (though to be fair, he did do well against the Lamia). The fifth one had him easily cornered and turned by a vampire. And he almost blew the chance to capture it if not for the psychic intervention by the alpha. In the sixth, Sam was the one smart enough to free himself and help Dean out and in the end Sam stabbed the Goddess. And that after it was established in canon that both boys keep knives up their sleeves for situations like this. Remember 'Shadows'? And now in the latest one, Dean was stuck in the reject zone and even there he had to have his ass saved by Gwen. I don't know if this is a bid to show Sam as the better hunter or to show how impressive and scary the Campbells could be, but the thing that we feared for five seasons seems to have finally happened. As far as the hunt goes, Dean has officially been relegated to being a sidekick.

"Get some sleep, Sam." Bobby told the younger Winchester who was buried in an ancient tome from his library.

"I can't sleep." Sam replied, looking up from the book. "And we need to figure out a way to corner Crowley."

"Yeah, well, give it a shot anyway." Bobby said testily. "Me and Dean could figure it out."

"Dean?" Sam raised his eyebrows. "C'mon Bobby. Dean can't do research to save his life. If it weren't for you and me, he'd never even figure out what we were hunting at any time."

"He figured out what was wrong with you, didn't he?" Bobby replied. "Before any of us even suspected that there was anything wrong."

Sam looked away at that. If Bobby didn't know better, he'd say that Sam was feeling guilty for talking about Dean like that. But he did. Sam was soulless and for the life of him Bobby couldn't believe that he had missed something like that.

"Where is your brother anyway?" Bobby asked, noting the prolonged absence of the older Winchester.

"Outside on the porch, drinking himself into oblivion." Sam replied. "Like that ever fixed anything. Maybe you should go check on him. Make sure he isn't passed out on the ground."

Bobby almost got up to do as Sam asked. He should make sure that Dean was okay. If ever there was a time when Dean needed him most by his side, it was now. He had half a mind to ask Sam to go check himself, but that wouldn't be a good idea. Sam was the last person Dean wanted by his side. Especially this Sam.

"Oh, c'mon. What am I gonna do?" Sam asked, seeing Bobby's hesitation. "I'm not going to start some sort of dark ritual while you are gone."

Dean had been right. Being around Sam with him like this made his skin crawl. So Bobby decided to go and check on the Winchester who still had his soul.

"Bobby." Dean shouted with mock cheerfulness that didn't quite mask the pain beneath it. "Come to join me for a drink, my friend?"

"You are wasted, boy." Bobby observed. "C'mon. Let's go to bed before you fall off the hood and break something."

"Buzzkill." Dean said. "Why do I have to sleep? Sam doesn't. If super-Sam can do without sleep, so can I."


"C'mon. Have a seat." Dean patted the hood of the impala next to him. "I know you could do with a break from all the creep inside."

Bobby sighed. He didn't like hearing Dean talk about his brother like that. Though, to be fair, it wasn't actually Sam inside. Not completely atleast. Reluctantly, Bobby sat down beside Dean and took a swig from the bottle.

"How much of this have you had anyway?" Bobby asked pointing to the bottle.

"Finished one about half an hour ago." Dean replied. "Halfway through this one, so I'd say, not nearly enough."

"Dammit Dean." Bobby was exasperated. "I thought we were past all this. Do we need to have an intervention for you now?"

"Why would I give this up, huh?" Dean asked. "This is the only thing I've left going for me."

"You don't mean that Dean." Bobby said. "That's the whiskey talking."

"Is it?" Dean no longer made any attempt to hide his despair. "There you go again. Making decisions for me."

That barb hurt as it was obviously meant to.

"Face it Bobby. I got nothing left. No love, no respect, no family – nothing." Dean continued morosely. "My brother isn't my brother. He's a soulless bastard, literally. He thinks I'm a crap hunter who's only best for being bait. He thinks I'm some kind of idiot who'd put the hunt and everyone's lives in jeopardy by my stupidity, so it's best to keep me in dark, about everything. The only reason he is still with me is because he knows that I'm the only one he can trust to watch his back and not shoot him in it when he screws up the next time. I swear, if he ever thought he could trust those Campbells like that, he'd ditch me in a heartbeat."

"Your brother's not himself right now. You know that." Bobby defended.

"That's not it and you know that." Dean said. "Sam has always chosen others over me. Whether it's some demon he met by the side of the road or some demon he screwed."

"Dammit Dean-" Bobby started.

"What? What now?" Dean shouted back. "You gonna give me some big speech about the importance of family? About how you should run back to them with your tail between your legs even after they've screwed you over and over again? Because I've heard it before Bobby and I'm really not in the mood for it."

"No, I'm not." Bobby said. "Because I know that no matter what Sam does, you are never gonna give up on him. That's just not in you."

"Yeah, I know, my biggest weakness. Look what that has left me with. Nothing." Dean continued in his earlier vein. "I almost had a family that loved me. But I lost that because Sam decided that I'd make a good vampire. Castiel is barely around anymore, he is so busy with the war in heaven and all. Everyone else is just dead and gone. Except for the Campbells – my 'family'. Sam- he's their prince. He's the perfect hunter. One of them. Me- I'm just a tag-along they bear with for Sam's sake. The amateur, useless guy they put up with because they want Sam to be on their team. I'm- I'm cousin Oliver." Dean said with a laugh. "Look, I'm not complaining. I don't want their love or trust or anything like that. They are working for demons, for God's sake and I wouldn't trust them myself. But after all I've done, all I've been through, it'd be nice to be treated like a half-decent hunter, you know. Not like just some reject. Face it Bobby, I got no one who can give me that."

"I'm still here for you, son" Bobby said. "You still got me."

"Do I? Do I really?" Dean turned towards Bobby. "You have lied to me before. Kept me in the dark because you just decided that was best for me. You don't even respect me enough to let me make my own choices. And as a result of that I don't have my family anymore. And I'm not as good a hunter as I used to be. You know that. You said it yourself. Whatever, just screw it." Dean emptied the remaining bottle in one go. "I don't know what came over me. I'm acting like a girl. I must really be losing my touch."

Bobby just looked blankly at Dean, but said nothing. Because really, what could he say?

"I'll just go to bed like you asked." Dean said getting up. "Before you ream my ass for being a bitch."

Bobby looked at Dean's retreating back as he walked away. This boy, this man was someone who meant the world to him. He was the part of the only family Bobby had left and he had no words of comfort for him. Bobby had once told him that it was the nature of family to make each-other miserable. He'd just never thought that he'd be making Dean miserable.

But he had. He and Sam had made decisions that had hurt Dean, all under the delusion of doing what was best for him. And that was a poor excuse. If ever there was a time to make up for it, to open up and let Dean see his weakness, it was now.

"Dean, wait." Dean stopped in his tracks. "I'm sorry."

"What?" Dean asked, turning around. "What for?"

"For everything, son." Bobby met his eyes. "I'm sorry for lying to you. I'm sorry if I ever made you feel that you don't do enough for this family, because you always do more than enough. And I'm sorry for not telling you about Sam's return. If I had to do it again, I'd do it differently. Maybe then, we'd have caught this mess long ago."

"You don't have to do this." Dean said dejectedly. "I know you did what you thought was best."

"And I was wrong. That don't make it alright." Bobby said. "You were right Dean. You were right about everything. You were right about Sam being different when none of us saw anything wrong. You were right about the Campbells being shady. They were working for demons all along. If Sam and I had a lick of sense, we'd have sent for you from the get-go, because you always make the right call. You can always tell when something's off."

"Bobby- "

"I ain't finished, boy." Bobby breathed in deep. "You are one of the best hunters out there, Dean. Probably the best. You are better than Sam, better than me. You are better than your daddy or your grandpa could ever hope to be."

"That's not what you said a few days ago." Dean said. "And you weren't lying. You couldn't have been."

"Well, I thought that was true a few days ago. But things change." Bobby replied. "Turns out, you being right about everything could actually change my opinion. Sure, we all are better hunters on paper. I mean, you don't like to research and you like your booze and women. And we all know our creepy-crawlies better than you. But that don't matter a damn when you are out on the field, when all you have got to go on is your gut. You have very good instincts Dean. You can always come up with things at the drop of a hat and everything else doesn't matter that much. All the book-smarts in the world weren't able save your grand-father's life or your daddy's. And it sure as hell didn't make Sam smart enough to stay away from that demon-bitch. And from what you've told me, you knew your Daddy was possessed in five minutes. You knew that Samuel was possessed when you didn't even know he guy. And those yahoos and Sam had a demon working by their side for an entire year and never suspected a thing. He wouldn't have been able to pull something like that with you around. Dean, you are the best hunter I know and don't let anyone tell you any different."

"Thanks for the compliment." Dean said, rubbing his neck. "But you'll have a hard time convincing anyone else of all that. I've been getting into messes ever since I got back. I've been practically useless."

"I don't have to convince anyone, son. They'll all learn it for themselves. Like I did." Bobby replied confidently. "And Dean, you are not at the top of your game right now because your head's not in the game. You have been distracted ever since you came back. You have been worried about your family. You have been worried about Sam. About your new family. You have had to watch your back from both sides. It's a wonder you didn't get killed. Trust me Dean, when Sam gets his soul back, he'd be falling over himself to make it up to you. Because, even though it doesn't seem like it right now, your brother loves you. More than anything else in the world. Maybe then, you could have it all back again."

"You really think so, Bobby?"

"Dean, why do you think Crowley went to the trouble of bringing Samuel back? Or bring Sam back without a soul for that matter? He knows that you are the one person who could derail his plans. That's why he tried so hard to keep you out of it. And now that you are in it, he's holding Sam hostage. We're gonna fix this boy, and trust me, you are gonna be happy again."

Dean gave a small smile and went inside. Bobby knew that this little speech wouldn't be enough, wouldn't magically fix Dean. But he hoped that it would give the boy atleast some of the self-esteem he was lacking so severely. Then maybe, just maybe, he would have done his little part in fixing the older Winchester. The rest was up to the soulless man inside.

A/N: There it is. Before anyone starts flaming me about evil Sam, remember, this is who Sam is now. I realize Dean on the show would never say all these things, so I had to make him good and drunk for it. That was the only way to catch Dean with his guard down. Tell me what you think.

Btw, I haven't finished my other story 'Without You'. I know I said I would by the end of the week, but stuff came up. Rest assured that the next chapter would be up as soon as possible.