Summary: 1-shot. Bobby's POV as he thinks of his life and Sam and Dean while choosing his final path at the end of 07x10: Death's Door. He recalls just what's important and why. *Reflective!Bobby * Will contain spoilers so beware.
Tags: This is tagged for 07x10, Death's Door but carries on past the end of the episode with what might happen.
Warnings/Spoilers: Has spoilers for the episode so if you haven't seen it, then be cautious. Contains minor bad language and maybe a tissue alert.
Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural or the boys or Bobby. Just use them for a distraction. No harm done and hopefully some enjoyment.
Author Note: Okay, the first tag for this one. I chose to do it from Bobby's POV with a little twist at the end. I hope you guys enjoy it. Thanks for reading.
SPN SPN SPN SPN
"'I adopted two boys. And they grew up great. They grew up heroes.'"
I've never said those words to anyone before…though I suppose given the circumstances I'm in now that I probably should've said 'em to the boys in question.
My name's Bobby Singer just so I don't forget that before the old melon collapses on me. I've spent the better part of…hell, I don't know how long, going through bits and pieces of my memories trying to find a way out of my own head and avoid the goddamn Reaper that's after me.
Yep, a real life or unlife Reaper of Death is chasing me through my own head trying to tell me that it's my time to go. That I've finally bit the big one and it's time to go. Well, that's all fine and dandy for that fancy pants guy but I beg to differ since I've got a head full of crap…or I did before the bullet I got hit with began causing me to leak grey matter all over the place, to tell the boys about the Leviathans and don't have time for all this death crap.
Oh, Rufus helped me get to the main door and I woke up enough to give those idjits the numbers I remembered seeing but I know them. Between the two of 'em they won't know which end of 'em is up or even what those numbers mean if I don't get myself out of here to help 'em…but I didn't have that time and now I'm sitting in what was my house watching my best memory and thinking long and hard on the choice that Reaper gave me.
Guess I should mention those boys I adopted…weren't adopted legally but they might as well have been considering I had 'em about as much as their own Daddy ever did and I think I paid 'em more attention than John ever did unless it was for something to do with hunting.
John Winchester might've been Sam and Dean's Father but like I've often yelled at Dean lately, blood don't make you family and those boys have been all that I've had in the way of family from the first night they spent under my roof.
Sure, I grumbled plenty the first few times John dropped the little rugrats on me but hell, I'd made a life of refusing to have kids. Didn't think I'd make a fit one considering the upbringin' that I had but then all of a sudden I've got this four year old standing in front of me holding his six month old brother and I'm a surrogate parent since it was up to me to make sure those boys survived while with me…and let me tell ya, those first few times I wasn't sure any of us would survive.
I'd been huntin' far longer than John and knew a bit more. We shared a common thing in that the weird and supernatural had taken our wives but I never went off the deep end as much as John did and I think that's how come he and I bickered so much. He had two boys to raise but was more interested in hunting when what he should have been interested in was helping those boys cope.
For Sam it wasn't as hard since he was just a baby, a chubby baby that I don't dare say that to these days since that kid sprouted up. He didn't have as much memory of his Mother as Dean did and it was always Dean that worried me cause I could see what John was doing to him. Every time they showed up on my door, I'd see a little more of the child in him disappearing until the day he was nine and looked at me with adult eyes and I wanted to unload my shotgun into John right then.
I taught Dean how to toss a ball instead of shoot a gun like his Daddy wanted and yeah, John and I fought like hell on the phone over that but by God I got to see that boy laugh like a real kid for once and then I watched him show his little brother how to catch.
It was always the best thing for me to watch Dean and Sam together because even when they're bickering, like they are right now in this memory, they were still brothers. I've watched Dean raise his brother as best he could and I never doubted who, besides me and Jim, raised Sam because it sure as hell wasn't their Father.
Even after John and I had that last fight, I never lost track of my boys. I'd known that Sam had finally gotten out. He'd gone to some fancy college out West, found a nice girl and was on his way to having the life he'd always said he'd wanted…but deep down I always knew that something would pull him back and I was right.
It was Caleb who kept me informed on Dean as best he could since the boy respected John too much to go against him. I knew though that Dean was mostly hunting on his own because while John preached a good game about the 'family business' and 'hunting together' he wasn't always as good as following through. He left that boy on his own to go hunt what had been obsessing him since the night Sam was a baby.
After John died, I caught the first signs of trouble in my boys and did what I could to be there for them. I never tried to replace John since I knew that couldn't be done but by then it was too late. They'd been mine since they were little and every damn time one of those idjits broke, I broke.
Before John died, when that semi smashed the Impala and I took my tow truck to get it and tried to explain to Sam that it would be easier to junk her, I saw as much emotion in his eyes at the thought of losing that car as I did his fear over losing his brother.
Sam and Dean would fight like cats and dogs, hell, I have seen 'em fight like cats and dogs, but the moment one or the other was threatened I'd see the other one fight tooth and nail to protect the other. I've seen Dean fall apart after Sam was stabbed in Cold Oak and I knew he'd try something stupid but I wasn't expectin' him to make that damn Crossroads deal that sent him to Hell a year later.
On Sam's birthday, he watched his brother, the brother who raised him, get tore to pieces by Hellhounds and sent to Hell. I fully admit that I was hurting too bad to have done everything I could for that kid. Sam had made up his own mind that he'd get Dean back and take out the demon bitch he blamed for it all.
Like all parents, I blame myself for the pain and troubles my kids get into and I blame myself for what happened to Sam during that four months. Maybe if I'd been around more that demon twit wouldn't have turned his head or got him that far down that black road. Then it was just a matter of hoping the boys survived.
I've lived a long time, done a lot of stuff I regret but the one thing I don't regret is taking those two boys in and doing the best that I could for them. My place was their home and I could count on them being there whenever they weren't out hunting.
I tried to keep Dean out of the life during the time we thought Sam was gone…even though I knew the boy was back and seriously off kilter but in the long run I knew he wouldn't be happy unless he was hunting. They'd gone too long in this life to ever settle for normal now and what was normal for my boys was the open road, that damn car with Dean's collection of rock tapes and each other.
What was normal for me? Doing what I do best, giving advice even when it wasn't asked for and keeping them alive. I forget which time this was but I had them both here and they were bickering like old times, before the Apocalypse happened, before Ruby and the demon blood came between them…before Sam went soulless and tried to kill me…yeah, that was hard to swallow but I forgave him because that's what parents do. They forgive even the hardest things because we love our kids and I'd been through too much with those boys not to love 'em.
That's what I'm thinking now as I watch 'em sit on the sofa, fight over movies and junk food. Blood didn't make family and these two hardheaded idjits were my boys as much as they were John's and I'd love 'em until I made that final choice.
I'd watched them grow from children into the young men they were now. I'd seen them broken and ready to give it up only to fight because the other needed him. I'd seen them fight, I'd seen them cry, and God only knows I've survived the Prank Wars those two had.
Do I regret going out on that job to New Jersey with them? Do I regret staying behind a little to make sure those bastards didn't get a shot at my boys? Do I regret taking the bullet that's going to end me?
Hell, no, I don't regret any of that. What I am regrettin' and what's hurting me now is the thought of leaving them alone to face this crap. They've lost so much in their lives. They lost their Momma when they were too young to understand why, they lost John long before they actually did…then there was Ellen, Jo, Ash, Rufus and just recently Cas because even though none of us have said it, I know Dean's aware that when Castiel walked into that water he ain't coming back up.
Damn featherbrained Angel tried to save the world all by himself and got overloaded with a bunch of crap too powerful even for an Angel. Losing Cas, on top of worrying about his brother has pushed Dean too far to an edge that makes me worried about him.
Do I think the boys can survive without me? I taught me how so, yeah. Will they survive this latest blow intact is what worries me cause I know there's just so much loss a body can take before it gives up and that's what pisses me off about this. That Reaper says it's my time. He says Sam and Dean can survive without me.
Maybe it is and maybe they can but…surviving ain't the same thing as living and if there's one thing I know it's my boys. I know deep down what they'll do at the end of this. I know how they'll react to this.
I watch my last good memory begin to fade and know what time it is even before I hear that voice behind me telling me it's time to choose. Do I follow him to that next great place or do I stay behind to become a long suffering embittered spirit?
Looking around my house as it too begins to go, I feel one last memory kick in. Father's Day this past year. I normally don't pay it no mind since I didn't have any real kids and I never told Sam and Dean how I felt about 'em since that would break Dean's no chick flick rule or some such bullcrap.
I'd just been finishing up some research when I get a call that I know on gut instinct these days when it's my boys so I'm wondering what the hell the idjits have gotten into now when I pick it up and hear a duel 'Happy Father's Day' and I'm glad it was a short call cause I actually bawled after I got off the phone.
Now as I think and look around, the Reaper's looking at me and waiting I make the only choice this old hunter ever could. "Well, if those are my only choices then I guess I…"
Out in a hospital room:
"Get a damn doctor!"
"I don't think threatening that one is going to get another one in here too soon."
"Right, but picking the intern up by the front of his uniform was friendly?"
"Yeah? Well, who broke that glass after that administration guy…"
"He was asking about body parts, Sam!"
"Bobby? Don't try to talk or…"
I hear or think I hear them fighting like always when I finally get my eyes open a piece of me is surprised to see anything or even be able to think since I know most Reapers don't like it when ya tell 'em to piss off.
Moving my eyes I start to hear more activity and I know pretty soon the room'll be filled with quacks and nurses which means I have very little time to do this before they kick the boys out or they get themselves thrown out by threatening the staff.
I try to move a hand only to feel it being held tightly and I know the grasp because I've felt Sam's hand holding mine when he was a kid and his fingers would always be restless. Shifting a look, I feel Dean on the other side. They both look like hell, which tells me I was right.
I yank at the mask…never could stand those things, to stare at the boys and yep, there it is. Two sets of full on, full emotional puppy dog eyes. I always told John that Dean had taught his brother how to use those things.
"Bobby, just don't…" Dean shoots Sam a look that's part panic and part hope because I'm shaking my head because there's one thing I need to say to them. "What?"
"…my…" damn, get a bullet stuck in your head and it's so damn hard to talk or the cotton in my mouth, one of the other. "…Your…my…boys, ya…idjits."
I guess I slip back under at that cause the next time I come too, my head feels a little better and a too chipper little shrimp of a doctor says they took the bullet out and that I'm a lucky man. I'm lucky?
Looking over, I see that Sam had somehow managed to curl his 6'4" self into a tiny chair and appeared to be sleeping but it was his brother that I noticed. Dean wasn't sleeping and didn't look like he had slept but he was standing next to the window as if looking out but he was also keeping a hand on his brother's neck like I'd seen him do a thousand times growing up until he felt me.
I guess I'm pretty well doped up but I watched the kid lean down to whisper something to Sam who just batted him away with a mumble and it's like they twelve and eight again. Then as Dean pulls a chair up to the bed and sits down, I see the shining in his eyes and I know as soon as I'm awake fully and can function again I'll probably lose it…when they're not around of course.
Reaching through the bedrails, I feel him lightly touch my hand before I hear him speak softly. "We've always been your boys, Bobby…and we always will be. Just don't let go cause Sammy and I need you."
Dean'll call do over in the morning like always but at that moment, he's eight years old again and trying to be brave for his frightened little brother when we don't know where John was for a time.
Give up? Who's he kidding? I told a Reaper off and still have a mind to play with. Reaching up a weak hand, I feel him grasp tighter then laugh when my other hand slaps him in the head like I would when needing to make a point to him. "Idjit."
Dean falls to sleep finally with his head on the bedside and I don't plan to mention his tears or the emotions, just like I don't plan on telling either of my boys what that other pretty Reaper who showed up at the end said when she rolled her eyes and just said I needed to come back before the boys created even more trouble with natural selection.
Yep, I'll fight to live. Not for myself but for my boys and that's how it'll always be.