Trust Lost, Forgiveness Found

Summary: Can Bobby get past almost being killed by soulless Sam? Can he forgive the boy who was like a son to him? Not even he's sure as he struggles with Trust Lost and Sam fights with the knowledge of what he did. Tired!Emotionally hurt Sammy / Stubborn Bobby

Tags: Another tag to Season 6/Episode 12-Like a Virgin in a scene that could've happened at the end between Sam and Bobby.

Warnings: Minor language, no violence.

Disclaimer: I own nothing. Just using the boys for some fun.

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"Rufus! Shut up, quit askin' me about damn dragons and just look into what I told ya to!" I snap into my phone before deciding to hang up before I tossed it into the fireplace. Rufus was a good friend but a pain in the ass at times and I had enough of those runnin' around my place right now.

It's been a couple days since the boys got back from that dragon thing they had and brought me a book made outta human flesh…yeah, that kept two pairs of grubby hands offa it so I could concentrate on deciphering what it said. That also meant it's been about a week since Sam woke up, walked into this library and hugged his brother in a way like I hadn't seen in…years. Only the night I took Dean to find Sam after he'd returned from Hell did I see the emotion reflected on Sam's face like I did the other day and I guess that's saying a lot since I haven't seen a speck of feeling on him since he got out of the Cage.

And that's where my problems start because while Dean's only too willing to accept Sam as he is now, lack of memory and all I'm having a hellava harder time doing that but then I'm the one the kid just tried to kill in order to keep his soul from being put back in.

"Damn!" Slamming a book shut, I look up at the clock and scowl. Dean left a couple hours ago to get dinner since I guess he was tired of putting up with my cooking or he was afraid I might try to poison his brother. Either option could've been running through that idjit's head since he knew I was having difficulty in accepting Sam right now.

Oh, I know it wasn't all the kid's fault. Being without a soul meant that Sam couldn't make those right or wrong choices for himself because he didn't understand the consequences like he had before falling into that damn pit with Lucifer inside him.

I'd known when Sam first came back that something was wrong with him in a major way but I wouldn't have guessed that something was his soul had been left in the Cage with those two warring bastards and his body was running around topside doing God only knows what.

Dean had about driven himself mad with self-doubts and worry over what had come back until Castiel finally decided to tell the boys that Sam's problem was he was running just shy of a full emotional load. So that started his big brother on the quest of getting it back…no matter if both an Angel and a damn demon told him that would be a mistake. I swear, John raised those boys tough but he also raised 'em both stubborn as hell because once Dean got a hold of something he wasn't lettin' go until he either got Sam's soul back…or he got them both killed.

That's what I worried about when Sam began to show signs of not wanting his soul back. I knew the kid was walkin' a tightrope that would eventually break and Dean constantly had to be with him just to keep him from doing the wrong thing no matter if Sam believed it was the right thing. I knew what it would come down to and I also knew that Dean would never be able to kill his brother…even if it meant saving him.

I guess I should've seen what happened between me and Sam coming from a mile away after his damn idjit brother made that bet with Death and Sam freaked out. The kid didn't want his soul back because he knew it meant pain…pain that he wasn't havin' to deal with right now but Dean could only control T1000 as he called Sam on his really bad days for so long before the kid flipped and killed someone. So he left Sam with me while he went to be Death for a day and I knew when Sam disappeared for a couple hours that day that he'd be up to no good.

Of course, I hadn't been expecting the kid to go Menendez on me after some featherbrained Angel told him he needed the blood of his father or the next best thing in order for the soul-blocking spell to work. I'd overlooked the time that damn demon possessed Sam and he came here to kill me but this time…even knowing how he was without a soul…it was hard to forgive. It was hard to forget the coldness in that boy's eyes when he raised that damn blade and I came real damn close to tellin' Dean to get him the hell outta my house after that but…I didn't.

Pulling a box of old photos out of my desk, I skim through them. I'd known both those damn boys since they were kids…hell, Sam was still in diapers the first time John dumped them on my door so in a way I was like a father to 'em both and that's why this hurt so damn much. I'd trusted Sam and to have him turn on me like that…trusting him again was gonna be hard and slow coming.

Another look at the clock told me that Dean had probably decided to use his time out to shout at Castiel for blabbing to Sam about the time he'd spent soulless which meant I really should check to see where Sam was. I hadn't seen the kid since his brother had left…and that worried me since the last time I had lost sight of Sam I nearly had my throat slit.

"Sam?" I let out a shout, figuring he'd be upstairs since he'd been avoiding me as much as I was him ever since Castiel informed him what he'd tried to do. I guess I can't blame Dean for wanting to deep fry that damn featherbrain since I knew the boy hadn't wanted his brother to know the truth yet.

It had been hard to watch those boy together the moments right after Sam woke up. Sam was pure walking emotion again and as I stood back while Dean hovered, I caught the way Sam would watch his older brother as if Dean had all the answers and I nearly cried because it's been a damn long time since I've seen those two like this.

Not getting an immediate reply, I'm nearly to the steps when I hear something drop in the basement and I take a moment to consider what Sam could be doing down there since Dean had flat out told him to stay outta the basement.

For Dean, my basement meant one thing: the Panic Room that he'd been forced to lock his kid brother up in three times now and I knew that once he had Sam out of there this time that he'd never let him go back…I just wasn't sure it would be that simple if this so-called wall ever fell.

Reaching for the pistol I kept handy, I stuck it in my waistband before starting down the steps to see where Sam had gotten to. "Sam?" I call to him again as I step into the basement and frown when I don't see the kid right away. "Sam!"

"Yeah, Bobby?" I hear his voice and know by the way it's muffled where he is and feel like groaning or swearing…I just didn't know which to do as I go over to jerk open the door to the panic room.

I was afraid this is where I'd find him and I'm almost afraid to ask him why he was down here when I take in the room and realize what I'd heard.

Sam had moved the metal bed that had been placed in the center of the room over to the side and up against the wall as if he were scared of it and I suppose the boy had a reason to be. Three times now he'd been chained to the bed so to Sam, that bed was as much a prison as this room.

Now, he was just sitting in the middle of the floor cross-legged much like he had as a kid up in the library. I noticed he had his battered jacket next to him but that was it. No cell phone, hell I'm not sure if I'd get a signal down here or not, no books even though the basement still had boxes of 'em. No nothing to fill his time. The kid was just sitting in the panic room on the floor drawing in that little notebook Dean had given him before he left.

"What the hell are you doing in the panic room, Sam?" I ask him finally, noticing that he wasn't looking up at me. Instead he was keeping those big eyes that Sam had always had locked on the bare floor.

He shrugged but it was a one shouldered shrug that tipped me off that the kid was scared and like a typical Winchester he was hiding it. "Waiting for Dean to get back," he told me softly, looking up only when he heard me enter the room and then he started scooting back toward the wall as if wanting to give me space. "I figured it was better to wait down here but…I can wait outside for him if that'd be better."

Balls! The kid was hidin' out in the damn basement because he thought that's where I'd want him and suddenly I feel the urge to shoot that damn Angel for opening his mouth. "Sam…" I know I should talk to him, tell him that I understand that it wasn't his fault what happened between us but…I couldn't say those words. Hell, it was hard enough to look at the kid and not remember seeing him stand over me with that knife. It was on those moments that I wanted to tell him to get outta my house and not come back.

The bad thing with all the constant stress and hell we've been through the last couple years is that I forgot that Sam could pick up on emotions like a sponge and it sure seemed like he picked up on mine. Because before I knew it, the kid was close to hyperventilating as he tried to stand too fast to get out of the panic room while babbling that he was fine and that he'd wait for his brother outside or down the road or…

"Sammy!" I swear to tie a bell on both these boys because I am so tired of one or the other comin' up on me without me even hearing him though John did teach Dean all he knew so I shouldn't have been surprised when I heard Dean come behind me.

Dean had been the over protective big brother from the first moment I laid eyes on these boys and I figure he'll be that way until he's put in the ground again. Though that also means the boy will fight anyone or anything if he thinks Sam's in danger so I know he's pissed even before he passes me with a snarl that vanishes before he's next to Sam.

"Hey, Sammy, settle down and breathe for me, little brother," Dean grew up in his Daddy's shadow and there have been times in his life that I could've smacked him for treating his brother like dirt. Today though I watch him slip back into a routine he's had since Sam was a baby.

Gripping Sam's neck, I watch as Dean talks to him in a low tone until the kid's breathing calms down and then he pulls him to his feet but keeps a strong hold in case Sam falls. I'm close but I know not to try to touch Sam right now as his brother listens to what Sam murmurs and I can tell by the way Dean's face goes firm what Sam's saying.

"Okay, you go upstairs and dish out the food and after we eat if you'll still awake we can hit the road," Dean tells him but even as he's nudging Sam out of the panic room I watch Dean's eyes lock on me and can read the emotions. "Bobby and I'll be up in a second. I just wanna help him get that box of herbs he's been bitching about."

Looking between us, Sam seems to want to say something but he finally nods and goes upstairs and I know the moment the basement door closes that I'll have an enraged older brother in my face. "You best watch your tone before you open your mouth, boy," I warn him, reading Dean's anger easily. "I didn't know that idjit had come down here."

Working to keep his temper intact…which for any Winchester I knew was hard, Dean struggled to keep from shouting as he finally turns to look at me. "I remember when that demon possessed you and you tried to kill me. You had the knife at my throat, Bobby," he starts to speak and I know the boy's emotions are raw by the way his voice breaks. "I never held that against you. I never brought it back up to you and I never treated you any different. So tell me what the difference is between that and Sam because he knows you hate him. Sammy knows that you don't sleep because he's in the house so he's taken to sneaking out at night. He's sleeping in the car because he doesn't want you to feel unsafe in your own house," he tells me this in a voice hushed so Sam wouldn't hear and I start to feel sick but now that Dean's pissed he's not done.

"He was down here in case you wanted to shut the door while I was gone. He said he moved the bed because the cuffs freaked him out but that he'd understand if you wanted him in them if you were here alone with him. He wouldn't bring any books in here to pass the time because he said he didn't feel right touching them when you didn't want him here," I've known Dean Winchester since he was four years old and I only saw tears in his eyes a few times. Seeing them now, knowing that he was reacting to Sam's emotions and doubts made me begin to doubt my reactions. "I know you hate him, Bobby and I was really hoping that you of all people would understand what it had to be like for Sammy because that guy who tried to kill you is not the scared kid upstairs now and we'll be gone by tonight."

"Dean!" I try to reach out to grab the kid but he pulls away from me like he's only done once…the night Sam had been stabbed in Cold Oak. "Y'know, you don't have to…"

Dean turned back to me after a minute and I could see the struggle in his eyes but knew he'd protect Sam first above all us. "That wall isn't strong, Bobby and I'm afraid of what'll happen if it breaks. Sammy has guilt on guilt for things he doesn't even remember fully but the guilt he feels for nearly hurting you. And for making you hate him will break him faster than anything and…I can't let that happen because if I lose him now you may as well burn us both because I'll die with him before I let him go again."

Knowing I could stop the boy with a shout, I don't. I let Dean go upstairs and I sit down on the steps to think. Leave it to Dean to throw it in my face about the one time my guard had slipped and I was possessed. It was fighting that possession to keep from killing him that ended up with me paralyzing myself for months but damn, the boy was right. If anyone had a right to throw it up or hate someone Dean had that right since I'd come this close to killing him and he hadn't said one word about it…until now. Until he needed to make me see what I was doing wrong.

I've been a hunter for a long time and after Karen died I thought I'd never have the family we dreamed of. Hell I accepted that but it wasn't until John dropped two scruffy rugrats on my door that I began to see that might change. 'Family's more than blood,' I'd told Dean that once. He and Sam had always known they had a safe place here with me when things with John got too bad.

It was hard to consider your son trying to kill you but then I guess if I'd been in Sam's shoes, knowing what condition his soul was probably in, I would've done whatever it took to keep it out too. "Balls," I muttered sourly, stomping upstairs to see that Dean had positioned himself between me and Sam but I also noticed that Sam was poised to run like I'd only seen him once or twice and that was usually after a fight with John.

"I'll…take mine outside so I can…check the trunk," Sam was quiet as if not wanting to draw attention to himself and he started to slid toward the door when I snap my fingers back to the chair he'd just left.

"Sit down, boy," I tell him while jerking a thumb at his brother. "You, out. I wanna talk to your brother alone."

Sam froze and Dean's sputtering so I take that time to shove Sam back in his chair and thrust a plate filled with food in his brother's hands while pushing him outta my kitchen. "I ain't gonna lay a hand on him, Dean, but Sam and I need to talk so you go lose yourself because you get mouthy and I will slap you."

"Sammy?" the simple look they share tells me that it's Dean's way of saying he'll be close because the look he shoots me ain't no where near friendly but he does slid the kitchen doors closed almost fully and I know he'll be right outside them.

"Bobby, it's fine. We'll…I'll…" Sam starts to talk when I plop chicken on a plate in front of him before pulling a chair closer.

"I ain't gonna say it's easy for me to forget that night, Sam," I tell him seriously, seeing his hands shake as he pushes the plate away. "I've loved you boys like my own and to have had you pull a damn knife on me…it ain't easy to forget that, boy."

Sam's hair is in his face again like it was when he'd been a kid and I figure Dean will start harping on him again about cutting it but right now he's trying to speak to me, to tell me that he understands without letting me see the emotions rolling off him like a wave. "I can't say I'm sorry enough, Bobby," he mumbles, damn I ain't heard Sam mumble since he was six. "I'll go…I just don't want you taking it out on Dean. He needs you and…"

"What do you need, Sam?" I ask him suddenly and finally the kid looks at me as if he's shocked that I'd ask him that. "Aside from making it right what you've done this past year and a half, what the hell do you need?"

"My family," the kid replies quickly as if it was that simple and I know in Sam's mind that it is since I can't recall a time that he didn't need his brother…well, I can and I'm glad they've gotten past that.

"Yeah, aside from Dean, Sam," I tell him, not missing the way those damn big eyes grow even wider and I swear Dean taught Sam to use the puppy dog look too well. "Aside from your brother what…"

Sam shaking his head stops me and I realize he's been watching me warily as he considers his next words. "My family, Bobby," he repeats and then adds in a softer voice that even my old ears nearly miss. "You're my family too…or at least you were until I screwed up now I just don't want you to take that away from Dean."

Well, hells bells if that didn't beat all. I'd been avoiding the kid like the plague, treating him like his brother had right after Lucifer popped up and leave it to Sam to be able to stop me cold with that statement. Looking at the boy, I know that if I say it he'd leave and never come back. Just like I know that these two damn idjits can't survive out there without me. Dean can barely take care of himself much less Sam right now so as I move to look out the window, I hear a quiet sob and drag a hand over my eyes to clear the burning I felt in them…damn dust in the library.

"It ain't easy to forget but…family don't make nothin' easy, boy," I tell Sam as I move closer and I'm a little relieved when he doesn't jump back from me. "You two idjits will be the death of me before Rufus especially if Dean keeps blowing things up."

"Hey! That damn stone wasn't budging, what the hell else was I supposed to do?" Dean snapped from where I knew he'd be, waiting right outside the door. "She had insurance too so quit bitching at me."

"I'll sleep in the car, Bobby," Sam tried to tell me when I slap the boy in his damn head like I always did while shouting for his muttering brother to get his ass back inside the kitchen. "Ow."

Growling about Winchesters, I feel like slapping them both at times but it's seeing Dean automatically move to his brother's side that reminds me of how proud I've been of these boys. "I catch you sleeping in that car and I'll kick your ass until you can't sit down, boy!" I snap, throwing caution out to reach out. "I'm givin' ya one shot at this, Sam and if you open your mouth you're cleaning my attic for a month," I growl at Dean before waiting to see if Sam would accept my offer.

Not that I had to wait long as Sam moved to offer the hug that he'd tried to give me when he'd woken up and I'd nearly refused. Now though I let the boy hold on and while I feel him tense as I give him one solid squeeze before shooting his smirking brother a look and stepping back to break all this emotional crap. "Now, you gonna sit down so I can tell ya what Rufus said or we having a damn tea party?"

Sam snickers as Dean rolls his eyes but I don't miss the hand that the older Winchester lays on my shoulder or his quiet 'Thank you' before he snatches a chicken leg off his brother's plate which distracts Sam while I gather myself together again.

Damn idjits will drive me to drink or make me a sappy old fool, which Rufus would just love. Watching the boys, I know it won't be easy but I will give Sam as much of a chance as the kid deserves and I'll shoot the first bastard who tries to hurt these boys this time because I won't be burying anyone any time soon.

"Dean! Eat your own or I won't tell you where I hid that pie the neighbor dropped off," I threaten, knowing that would get the older boy to settle down but it's the easy laughter I hear from them that makes me cough to cover the sudden emotion. Damn but it was good to hear them laughing and spatting again even if it was in my kitchen.

Seeing and hearing Sam laugh as his brother grabbed him in a headlock that I knew Dean was keeping loose reminded me of what it was like when they'd been kids…God help me.

The End

A/N: I honestly think that Bobby's close to forgiving Sam in the show but it'll take time. I hope I did this justice and may try another go at it sometime down the road. Thanks for reading and hopefully enjoying.