Requiem Pro Nostrum Abbas
"Bobby!" Dean yelled the older hunter's name.
Sam whirled around, catching Bobby as he pitched forward. He staggered as Bobby's weight collapsed against him and they ended up on the ground, Sam cradling Bobby in his lap.
"Bobby? No, Bobby. Please." Sam pushed Bobby's hat off and tried to see any injuries past the blood covering the front of Bobby's checkered shirt.
Dean skidded to a halt in front of them, dropping to the dirt beside his brother and their foster father. He touched the greying hair gently. A glance at Sam told him everything he needed to know. Choking back a sob, Dean grasped Bobby's hand in his. They stayed with the body until it grew cold. Only then did they rise to take him home. They buried his ashes next to Karen's in the salvage yard.
The next day, they were still at Bobby's, not really ready to pack up, but knowing it needed to be done. There were two reasons for this: first, Bobby had many useful items. Second, they worried about things falling into the wrong hands when someone finally came to sell or claim the house. Not everything could be covered up; the panic room couldn't really be dismantled, but anything that could be carried away was either going to be packed and brought to a storage unit, or put in a pile to be burned.
On the first day of work, they swept through upstairs, the dining room, and the kitchen. There wasn't much in any of these rooms that needed to be dealt with, just assorted odds and ends. In the bedroom Bobby set aside for the two of them, Dean found an old can with a perfect hole right through it. The can was tucked into the top drawer of the nightstand, behind a few of Sam's old books.
"I remember this. Do you?" Before Sam could even answer, Dean continued, "Nah, never mind. You wouldn't. I think you were probably only about four or five years old. Bobby took me out back to teach me how to shoot this new gun. We both knew I could already shoot, but he knew I was missing Dad. He told us to grab some of the cans from the box in the kitchen."
Dean smiled. "I wish you could remember the face he made when I hit this can. Corn gushed out and he suddenly realized that we took his groceries instead of the empty cans he meant. He was fit to yell at us, then you started giggling. He turned this awesome shade of red, then he starting laughing too. Let me shoot the rest of the cans, even though they were all full of soup and corn and crap. When we got back to the house, he took the lid off the can, rinsed it out and gave it to me as a reminder." Shaking his head a little he sighed wistfully and looked over at Sam. "That was a great day. Can't believe I forgot. Can't believe he kept it."
Sam said, "I'm going to miss him too."
The second day, they cleaned out the basement as best they could. Dean took care of the panic room, tactfully letting Sam avoid the room that housed so many painful memories for him. Instead, Sam cleaned around the main basement and Bobby's workbench. That was where he found it. He opened an old tackle box, checking to make sure there was nothing potentially harmful inside. Tucked into the lid, there was a crude handmade envelope. Sam recognized Bobby's name written in childish scrawl. He pulled the envelope out and took out the card. It was handmade, written in crayon. It was a thank you note for Bobby. Sam made it for him the summer he was eight years old. Dean and Dad went on a hunt, but Sam stayed with Bobby for a few weeks. Being without Dean had been torture, but Bobby seemed to know that. Probably because Sam talked about Dean constantly, frequently asking when his big brother would be back, was he safe, where was he? Bobby distracted Sam as much as he could with books and lore. He showed Sam how to cook a little. Basically Sam ran around and enjoyed the summer for three weeks. It was perfect, except for missing his brother. When Dean came back with their father, there was another two weeks of being a kid, and this time, Dean got to share it. Sam remembered when their father decided it was finally time to go. He gave them only an hour's notice to find and pack their things. Sam spent nearly half that time with construction paper and crayons, writing this thank you card for Bobby.
"What did you find?" Dean's voice sounded behind him. Sam glanced over his shoulder. There was a streak of dirt running across his brother's forehead and trailing down by his eye. A cobweb was stuck in his hair. The picture made Sam smirk, which, of course, worried Dean.
"I've got something on me, don't I?" he asked nervously.
"What is it? Is it moving?"
"Just cobwebs and dirt."
"Cobwebs? Gross." Dean leaned forward and vigorously brushed his hands through his hair, muttering, "hate having damn cobwebs in my hair."
When he was satisfied that all the offending cobwebs were gone, Dean straightened and held out his hand for the card Sam held.
"I remember this. It was the summer Dad hurt his shoulder and couldn't hunt for a couple weeks. We all stayed here. It was also the one time Dad separated us. That was a disaster, huh? All I did was worry about you, and Bobby said you talked about me non-stop. Dad complained that he spent more time at the phone booth than at the hunt."
Sam smiled. "Every time the phone rang I ran for it. Bobby always got there first, but I would stand in front of him, hopping up and down, waiting to see if it was you."
A wide grin broke across Dean's face, then he chuckled.
Sam looked at him suspiciously. "What?"
"Just picturing you hopping up and down, waiting for a phone call, but the age you are now, Sasquatch size. Not little like when you were eight."
After making a face and punching Dean in the shoulder, Sam held out his hand for the card. "Gimme that."
"Hang on. You let me sign this too, didn't you? Let's see how much better my handwriting was than yours."
"Dude. I was eight, you were twelve. Of course your handwriting was better."
Dean flipped open the card. An old photograph fell out and spiraled to the ground. Grunting, Sam reached out and caught it just before it hit the ground. He straightened and looked at it.
"It's us," he said, "with Bobby. And Rumsfeld."
He held the picture out and Dean moved closer. "Dad took this."
In the photo, Bobby stood between the two of them, arms around their shoulders, laughing. Sam was on the left, Dean on the right. The camera had captured the twinkle in Dean's eyes, probably there because he was stretching to his fullest height to hold rabbit ears behind Bobby's head. Sam had Bobby's hat on backwards and Rumsfeld, just a puppy, was cradled in his arms. Both boys were filthy and had muddy paw prints all over their t-shirts.
Sam sighed. "I can't believe he kept this." He tucked the photo into the pocket of his shirt.
"Yeah," Dean said, "there's a lot of that going around."
They tackled the den-turned-library-slash-office the third day. It took until now to work up to it. There was so much of Bobby infused into the every item that even walking into the room set off painful memories. This was the room where he spent most of his time, where his presence was the strongest. Both of them stood in the archway by the kitchen, hand deep in their pockets. Neither made a move to enter for a long moment.
"So..." Dean began.
"Yeah," Sam answered.
"I'll take the desk. You're probably better off dealing with the bookcases. I'd toss out a copy of some precious first edition rare book or something and you'd bitch at me for weeks."
Sam gave a little half smile and walked over to the nearest set of shelves. Dean went to the desk and sat uneasily in Bobby's chair. He sorted through everything on top of the desk, yelled at Sam to stop reading and start sorting, and moved on to the drawers. He'd just finished the bottom right one when he glanced over to see how Sam was doing. Dean was surprised to see Sam reading a letter while tears slipped down his cheeks.
"Hey. What did you find?"
Sam held the letter out to him. "It's a letter. From Bobby."
"For us?" Dean asked.
"Yeah. For us."
Dean took the sheets of paper from his brother. On the top was a brief handwritten letter.
I always worried that you'd go first, and I'd have to bury one or both of you. Actually, I have buried both of you. I count those days among the worst in my life. I never want to have to do that again. In a way, I'm glad you're reading this now. It means I can stop worrying when one of those days will rear its ugly head – and I can stop worrying that maybe this time there won't be any coming back for you and that my goodbye will have to be final.
The house and salvage yard are yours. I paid the mortgage off a few years ago and added your names to the deed. Can't really see how you can keep the business running with all the hunts and whatnot, but maybe you'll figure something out. At the very least, selling it should make you some decent enough money to last a while.
You're both idjits, and you've given me more gray hairs than I care to count, but I'm glad you came into my life when you did. You made me smile when you were bawling brats, and you made me proud of the men you've become. Watching you both grow up, seeing how you've handled everything these past years – I couldn't be prouder of you both if you were my own boys. You are my family, and I love you.
Take care of each other. Keep each other from doing stupid things – well – as much as you can. Keep on making me proud.
Dean could feel the tears welling in his own eyes. He placed the note on the desk and looked at the documents beneath. It was the deed to the house and salvage yard. Bobby, true to his word, had included them as owners.
"We have a house." Dean raised his shocked face to look at Sam.
"He was proud of us," Sam said softly.
"Dammit, Sam. No chick flick moments." Dean squeezed his eyes shut, ignoring the feel of drops running down his own face. "We're going to get through this. We've lost people before. It always sucks, and it never gets better, but we'll get through it."
Sam nodded rapidly, agreeing with his brother.
Dean said, "Why don't you get us a couple of beers. We'll take a break for a few, figure out what we want to do."
"Good idea." Sam headed for the kitchen.
Behind him, he heard Dean addressing the air. "You crotchety old bastard. You just had to, didn't you? I'm going to miss you so much, Bobby. So much."
By the time Sam came back with the beers, both of them had managed to stop crying.
So, this is in response to fears I have about Friday's episode. I hope I'm wrong, but it got me thinking... and this is what came of it. Thanks for reading.