AN: After 'How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters' this just...had to be written. And I know Bobby's not dead yet, but man, I'm scared. Praying to the TV gods here people. So this is for Bobby. Don't you dare leave us (or our boys!) alone.
He was born in Nebraska and for most of his formative years, he was pretty damned sure he was gonna die there. Wasn't really a problem with him, cause as he figgered it, he didn't have much use for the rest of the world, most of the time.
He was your average, run-of-the-mill, midwestern boy, raised on white bread and meatloaf and potatoes. Every Sunday his Momma combed back his hair and took him to church while Pops stayed home and drank. And nobody paid much attention to him, and generally, that was how Bobby liked it. Sometimes the preacher patted him on his head and said he was 'a work in progress' and when he was younger, Bobby didn't really know what that meant.
Later, he understood that most folks thought he was simple. Not all there. Far as he figgered, it didn't matter much what folks thought. At home, he kept his nose in his books, reading whatever he got his hands on. Momma thought he was a genius til she died when he was nine.
Then Bobby didn't care for much of anything.
He got out of his father's house soon as he legally could, ran to the other side of Nebraska and found a mechanic's job in some podunk little town no one could ever remember the name of even if he told 'em.
And that's where he met Karen. Beautiful as the sun was bright, he used to tell her. And he loved her with all his might and all he had, and he let her so far in, he didn't know where he ended and she started.
And sometimes he told her that, late at night, when she rested her head on his chest, and she would laugh and say, "Bobby Singer, you're full of grace, y'know that?"
And for all the books he ever read, and all the things he ever saw, he never did understand what she meant by that.
They got married not two years after they met and found themselves a place in South Dakota way far away from Bobby's drunk, heavy-handed father, and her god-fearin' religious mother, and father, who unlike Bobby's, had hands that were too soft and too gentle.
And she helped him open up his own auto shop and wrote beautiful stories that she never let Bobby read. And everything was just so right in the world, and all the evil felt so far away, where it couldn't ever touch 'em. And just when they were sayin' maybe they could have a baby, a little Singer, she used to say, things went so crazy, Bobby was pretty sure the world would never be upside-right again.
And in a lot of ways he was right.
Cause all he saw when he close his eyes was black and red. Black eyes staring at him- none of Karen. None of her. Red blood pouring over his hand as he stabbed her again and again.
And Bobby just didn't have tears enough in him for Karen, for his sweet, perfect Karen and everything she had ever given him and everything that was gone now.
Rufus patched him up best he could and set him on his way. They hunted together for a while, but they were both loners, and they drifted apart. Bobby set himself up a nice little hunter's library, and he buried himself back in his books and foreign languages and answered calls and pulled false names out his ass and made sure that hunters could always rely on another hunter when things went wrong.
And that's why he couldn't exactly say no when Pastor Jim sent John Winchester his way. He wanted to say no – Bobby didn't care much for kids, these days. Preferred his drink and his books and maybe a hunt with Rufus once in a while.
But he'd practically written his own book on hunter loyalty and accountability, so he let the poor ragged man into his house. And the boys into his heart. Cause there wasn't a man anywhere who could keep from lovin' Dean and Sammy Winchester.
Not with Dean, six years old, and grown up as any man Bobby'd ever met, looking after Sammy with a heart twice the size Bobby thought was possible. Not with Sammy's adoration of all things Dean, or his curiosity, and how even at two, barely able to talk in full sentence and not even vaguely toilet-trained, there was little that made him more excited than hearing Bobby read to him in Latin.
And so he let those two little grubs into his heart, first people he'd let in since Karen. And he taught them everything he could to make 'em strong, make 'em capable. He taught them how to track and listen and shoot a rifle. He taught them to hunt in the first meaning of the word and in the second meaning of the word, and they learned and took to it like fish to water.
And that scared the living day-lights out of Bobby, sure as anything did these days.
Bobby picked up the pieces of Winchesters for a long time. He glued Dean back together when Sam went back to college, and watched warily when Sam came back. Watched as the the fractured pieces of two boys he loved grew more and more fused – more and more reliant on each other to stay up, stay whole.
He watched them give themselves away to each other and expect nothing in return. He watched, and he knew, that these boys were special. They were always on the front lines, and Bobby swore, even as Dean sold his soul to the devil, that he'd always be on those front lines with 'em. With his boys.
And it didn't matter what shit went down he was going to do it.
From a chair.
When the Apocalypse threatened to tear 'em all apart.
When Dean tried with all his might to be normal.
Through possessions of every kind, and unimaginable loss. Through selling his soul without even realizing. Deals. Demons. Angels. Addiction. Guilt. Purgatory. God. Leviathans.
It didn't matter what they were fighting – whatever Sam and Dean fought, Bobby fought too.
And he fought with them, fought with every last ounce of himself, all for the memory of a chubby fist grabbing his pant sleeve and little Sammy looking at Dean imploringly and saying, "De, we keep him?"
And then the bullet pierced his head.