A/N: So the way things are between Bobby and Sam right now is absolutely breaking my heart, but did give me the idea for this story. It is a WIP, but I really wanted to get the first chapter up before tonight's new episode. Please let me know what you think. Comments are very much appreciated!
An odd tension had settled over the house. The strain wrecked havoc on the residents as Bobby tried to avoid the newly re-souled Sam, and Sam did his best to keep his distance. All this left Dean beyond stressed and clueless on how to fix what was once a loving father-son relationship between his brother and Bobby.
So, yet again, Dean sat alone in the kitchen, nursing a nearly empty bottle of beer at seven o'clock in the evening. Sam was researching away up in their bedroom while Bobby tinkered on cars in the freezing cold, just as the two had done for the better part of the last week. Dean sighed and rubbed a hand through his spiky hair as the pressure began building in his head. The alcohol really had lost its desired effect and did little to mask the stress the situation was causing.
His cell phone chirped from somewhere within his pocket, and he quickly dug for it. Once found, he answered the phone without bothering to check the caller id.
"Cas?" Dean stood from the kitchen table, upsetting the chair in the process.
"Why the hell are you calling me? I thought you just popped in now. Did you loose your mojo again?"
"No. I'm afraid rogue angels may be tracking me. I did not want to lead them to you."
"Rogue angels?" Dean asked with worry.
"Yes. They were apart of the opposition in heaven. They managed to escape to Earth. I believe it is the ones that are less violent, but I did not believe you would want me to chance bringing them to you considering everything that has recently happened."
Dean looked out the window at Bobby fumbling underneath the hood of a rusty Ford pickup. "Yeah. Thanks. So that explains the phone instead of the teleportation, but that doesn't explain what you need. What's going on Cas?"
"I need your help. These angels may or may not be tracking me. I have felt their presence on occasions, however I have not been able to locate them long enough to capture."
"So you want me to help you track these dicks?" The whole idea sounded crazy to Dean…but it would get him out of the house for a day or two…
"Yes. I could use your assistance with this."
"Ok. Sam and I will pack up and head out in the morning. Speaking of Sam, you and I need to have a long talk…" Dean's voice held the rage he felt.
"I'm not sure I understand why. Sam seemed fine to me, a little dazed, but overall intact."
"Well thank you so much for clearing up the haze for him…"
"He didn't remember anything about the past year Cas," Dean says with less venom.
"Yeah. Look, I'll just…I'll head out in the morning. Where are you anyway?"
"Just outside of Chicago."
"Ok. It'll take me awhile to get there, probably around 9 or 10 hours."
"Thank you, Dean." Castiel quickly responded before hanging up his phone, leaving Dean no time to answer.
"Craptastic," Dean grumbled before heading towards the stairs.
He made his way down the hall towards the closed bedroom door. He pushed it open; the sight the door had been concealing brought a smile to his face. Sam's head lay near his laptop with his arms sprawled out across books littered on the desk. His eyes were shut tightly, his breathes even and calm. For once Dean had no desire to tease his brother for drooling over the keys. He was just happy to have the kid finally back and functioning….granted Sam was still pretty exhausted and hazy at times. Guess a year without a soul will do that to you…
Dean really hated the idea of waking his brother to pack when Sam really could use the extra rest. With that in mind, Dean silently began to stuff some clothes and necessities into his duffle. As much as he loved having his brother, his real brother, on the hunt with him, he really wished he could just leave Sam behind for this one. He continued to move about the room, grabbing the occasional item. Once finished he took another close look at Sam. Dark shadows were starting to form underneath his eyes, and a plate of food sat untouched across the table.
Maybe I should let him stay here. Kid looks like crap. Hell Bobby hasn't been much better. If I leave them…
Dean didn't like the situation, but knew Sam and Bobby desperately needed to hash things out. He wasn't sure they would ever get there with him in the house to mediate and communicate for the two. As much as he loathed leaving Sam, he hoped this would work…
"Sammy," Dean said softly. He walked over to his brother and gently shook him. Sam startled awake, a little unsure of his surroundings until his eyes settled on Dean.
"How long was I out?" Sam ran his hand over his face and then through his long hair.
"Not sure man," Dean responded. "You were pretty out of it though. So I'm guessing awhile kiddo."
"Damn…I really wanted to get some of this work done." Sam stared pitifully at the research that stretched across the table, and Dean had to suppress the urge to roll his eyes at his geeky little brother.
"Look, Cas called a few minutes ago. He needs some help with a few escaped angels that are outside of Chicago. He's worried they might be tracking him, so he wants some back up."
"When are you wanting to leave?"
"Not 'til the morning."
"Ok," Sam responded before moving towards his duffle bag that had been discarded underneath his bed. Just as he was about to pull on the strap, Dean grabbed his arm. "What?"
"I want you to stay here." Hurt flickered across Sam's face, and Dean could see the argument welling up inside his brother.
"Dean, come on. You know I can…"
"I know, Sam." Dean moved so that he could look straight in his brother's eyes. "But you need to rest. You're obviously still exhausted."
"Dean I'm fine, really. I could just sleep on the car during the drive if I needed to."
"Sam I think you know that isn't the only reason why I want you to stay here." A forlorn look graced Sam's face. "You and Bobby need to patch this stuff up. I get it; I really do. But after everything we've been through…you guys need to talk and fix this."
"Dean, I want to. I just….I don't know if it can be."
"Well, then you need to find that out. And you aren't going to do that if I'm here."
"No, Dean," Sam practically whined.
"Listen, you've two have just been talking to me and avoiding each other. With me gone, you guys won't have a choice. Besides, we need the two of you to work together on the "Mother of All" stuff. He needs your help whether he admits it or not. So I want you to be benched for this one and do that…for me, Sammy."
Sam nodded his head in agreement. He turned and slumped back into the chair by his laptop. He ran a hand over his face before resting his head in it and speaking. "And it's Sam…"
That definitely brought a smile to Dean's face as he walked towards his brother. He pulled him back up from the chair and gently shoved him towards his bed. "Go back to sleep bitch, in a bed this time."
"Whatever jerk," Sam mumbled tiredly but still moved the rest of the way to the bed. "Thanks," he said before tugging off his boots and trading his jeans for sweats.
Dean nodded in acknowledgement before leaving the room.
The following morning found Dean quietly loading up the Impala. Sam was still in his room, sprawled across the bed. Bobby sat in the kitchen, staring sullenly at his cooling coffee. Dean sighed as he glanced back at the kitchen window. Bobby was not exactly thrilled when Dean told him Sam was staying behind; in fact, he was about as far from thrilled as humanly possible. He had grumbled, avoided, and hid out for the rest of the night.
"Need any help?"
Dean quickly turned around at the voice. Sam still looked rumpled from sleep and appeared to have thrown on whatever clothes were near his bed.
"Think I got it, but thank you," Dean said as his closed the trunk. "How you feeling this morning?"
"Honestly?" Sam asked as he stepped closer to the car and stared off towards the house. "Nervous as hell."
Dean's brow furrowed in confusion, but then he followed his brother's line of sight. Sam's eyes seemed glued to the kitchen window where Bobby sat. "Sammy…"
"I know Dean," Sam said as he finally tore his gaze away from the window. "I know I have to do this or at least try. But…it's hard, Dean. I know what I did, and I'm not sure there is any way back from that. I want there to be but…"
Dean gently nudged Sam's shoulder with his own. "Just give him some time kiddo. You two will figure it out."
"I hope so."
"Well I know so, Sam. And when has your awesome big brother ever been wrong?"
"Well there was that time in Vegas…"
Dean punched Sam in the arm. "I thought we agreed never to bring that up man!"
"Sorry," Sam laughed. "I couldn't resist."
With the smile on Sam's face and the laughter, Dean honestly didn't mind. His phone chirped from within his pocket. He pulled it out to read the text message. "Damn…Cas learned how to text." He held the phone up to his brother in disbelief.
"Wow! Never thought I'd see that."
"Me neither," Dean laughed. "Well, I guess I better head out." Dean put his hand on Sam's shoulder and gently squeezed. "Don't worry so much. You'll work this out, Sam."
"Thanks," Sam said around the emotions that threatened to clog his throat. "Be careful, and if you two need help…"
Sam smiled, and Dean walked around to the driver's side of the Impala. "I'll be back in a few days."
Sam only nodded, trying to force back the smile that was starting to fall. The door to the car was shut, and the engine revved loudly to life. Seconds later the tires were eating up the road.
Sam sighed and ran a hand through his hair. He turned to go back inside the house, but noticed Bobby standing at the window. Their eyes met for a second before Bobby quickly turned and headed out of the room.
"This is going to be a long couple of days," Sam groaned.
Bobby had spent the majority of the day hiding out in the den, trying his best to work through some of his books to find information on this "Mother of All." The stress of everything was taking its toll, and a headache throbbed behind his eyes. The pain dulled his senses so much that he didn't even notice Sam walk into the room until the boy set down a mug of hot coffee on the desk.
"Thought you might need this," Sam mumbled. "Sorry if I startled you."
Bobby only nodded in acknowledgement. He felt as if he was starting to become immune to Sam's apologies and puppy dog eyes, but one quick glance at the youngest Winchester quickly proved that he wasn't there yet. That didn't change his mindset though. He sipped greedily from the mug and went back to pouring through the books.
Sam sighed and pulled up the chair across from Bobby. "I….I know this is hard, Bobby. And I wish…"
"You can't change the past, boy."
"I know that. God I know that. I just wish there was some way…"
Sam's words were cut off by the sounds of a shotgun and shattering glass. Neither Bobby nor Sam had any idea of what was about to come….