AUTHOR'S NOTES: This story is going off on the hints from episode 7.13-'The Slice Girls-that Bobby's ghost is still hanging around.
As for the title, it's just something I came up with, but I figure it fits pretty well.
SUPERNATURAL: Stubborn As a Mule But Twice As Pretty
It was actually harder to physically manifest as a ghost than most people thought—something that Bobby Singer found incredibly surprising. He figured that as soon as he was dead, he'd just come back and he could help Sam and Dean Winchester on their hunt for Dick Roman, the leader of the Leviathans.
But no matter how much he shouted, the boys didn't hear him and it was much harder than it looked to move things as a ghost.
Dean had been adamant about salting and burning Bobby, but had taken one of Bobby's old flasks as a memento. It wasn't anything special and Bobby knew that it wasn't what was tying him to the Winchesters.
No, what kept Bobby from moving on was much stronger and not anything that Sam and Dean could salt and burn—it was love. As hokey and clichéd as it sounded, Bobby felt more love for the two younger hunters than he'd felt for anyone else in his entire life.
He remembered the first time John had brought the boys to his house.
Bobby had been on a hunt, not knowing that John Winchester was on the same hunt. After a rookie mistake had nearly gotten both men killed, Bobby took John back to Sioux Falls and started teaching him everything he knew. Dean had been 6 at the time and Sam had just turned 2.
That first visit, John had taken Dean shooting for the first time and Bobby had been left with Sammy who had only just started talking. After a while, Bobby had picked Sam up, sitting the little boy on his knee as he sat at his desk, pouring over his books. Seeing that Sam was staring intently at the pages as thought trying to make the words make sense, Bobby smiled and started reading out loud.
By the time Sam was 5 he had a basic understanding of Latin and was already on regular kid's chapter books. Every time he saw Bobby's library, Sam's eyes lit up and he started reading everything he could get his hands on.
Standing in the dark motel room, watching Dean and Sam sleep, Bobby couldn't hold back the chuckle that escaped him.
As kids, Dean and Sam often shared one bed so both boys had learned not to move too much. Of course as they got older, Sam had the unconscious habit of kicking his big brother in his sleep.
When the boys slept in their own separate beds at his house, Bobby remembered watching them, fascinated by the fact that—even when separated—both boys seemed to automatically position themselves as though the other was in the bed with them. Sam liked to have one of his pillows at his back—no doubt a poor substitute for feeling his brother next to him. Dean, on the other hand, used to sleep on his side, curled up and a hand tucked under his pillow.
Nowadays, though, the boys were very different.
Sam—because of his gigantic size—often sprawled diagonally across the bed, and even then his feet usually hung over the edge. If he slept on his stomach, sometimes he snored, especially if he'd been drinking the night before.
Dean didn't sprawl as much as his brother, but he did still keep one hand underneath his pillow, resting either on the handle of his gun or the handle of a knife.
But that was a usual night, one that didn't involve injuries, small-town clinics, and prescription painkillers.
After the debacle with the Amazon case, Dean took Sam to a hospital a few towns over when Sam could barely move because of the injuries from getting thrown down a set of stairs. Bobby had kept an eye on Sam while the nurses surreptitiously knocked Dean out so the older brother could get some real sleep.
Bobby had watched as the doctors checked Sam over, even inspecting the scar on his left palm. That bit hadn't been good news. Before he'd taken the bullet to the head, Bobby had watched Sam use the scar as a grounding mechanism when the hallucinations and delusions got too real.
But watching the boys after kicking the bucket, Bobby noticed that Sam was slowly slipping a little more, digging his thumbnail harder and harder into his palm.
According to the doctor who was taking care of the younger Winchester, when the glass had cut Sam's hand, it had also caused a small amount of nerve damage to the kid's palm. Not enough to really impact being a hunter, but once the cut had healed, the inside of Sam's hand had become almost completely numb and only serious pain even remotely registered these days.
Bringing his thoughts back to the present when he heard Dean's voice, Bobby looked from Sam, sound asleep and snoring, to Dean who was sitting at the small table by the window, a spirit board set up on top.
"Bobby?" Dean said, quietly, not knowing that the deceased hunter was standing right across from him. "Look, I know you're here, okay? Sam thinks I'm crazy but I gotta believe you're still here 'cause if you're not…" Dean rubbed his face with one hand. "Just… give me a sign, okay? Anything…"
Bobby closed his eyes and focused. He concentrated harder than he'd ever had on anything else in his whole life.
Dean had been sitting at the small motel table, ever since Sam had finally fallen asleep under the influence of whiskey, beer, and hospital-grade painkillers.
Sam had been lucky. His fall known the stairs at the university had been short and had resulted in some seriously nasty bruises to the back, side, and shoulder and two cracked ribs. Of course when the docs had started talking about nerve damage in Sam's hand from the initial cut and digging his thumb into the wound, that had almost pushed Dean over the edge… again.
So once his brother was completely unconscious, Dean set up the Ouija board and had started talking, hoping that if Bobby was still around, the bastard would show himself.
But when an hour passed with no sign that there was anyone in the room other than Sam and Dean, Dean started to get up and head for the fridge to grab a beer, freezing when the pointer moved, pointing to 5 letters which Dean hastily scribbled down.
Dean let out a laugh, followed by a choked sob as he looked at the board and then at the paper where a single word was written: Idjit.
The next morning, Sam blinked hard when he woke up, seeing someone standing at the foot of his bed. "Dean…" Sam said as he slowly sat up, eyes fixed on figure now grinning at him.
"Told ya he was still around, Sammy," Dean said with a grin as he looked from Bobby to his brother.
"But we burned you," Sam protested, looking at Bobby, but not quite ready to believe it yet. Besides, his perceptions of reality were pretty skewed lately. "I mean, how…?"
Bobby shrugged as Dean tossed Sam a breakfast sandwich from a bag on the table. "Well, that reaper was asking me if I was gonna stay or go with him." The deceased hunter's eyes seemed sad for a moment. "I'd be lyin' if I said I wasn't thinking about going. Finding my perfect patch of Heaven…"
"But you chose us," Dean said, raising an eyebrow in confusion. "Why? 'Cause I gotta tell you, Bobby… Upstairs is looking more and more like a great idea right about now."
"That's part of the reason I stayed," Bobby went on, looking from Dean to Sam. "You boys need me. More than you're willing to admit. I just thought of your dad and what he'd say if he found out I'd left you boys too. Ellen, Jo… But that wasn't the final kick in the ass."
"What was?" Sam asked, curiously.
Bobby smiled and said, "Karen."
"Wait, your dead wife, Karen?" Dean repeated, even more confused.
Bobby just nodded and after a while, he said, "She wanted kids. I was afraid I'd turn into a mean drunk just like my dad so I told her I didn't want any." He looked at Sam and Dean and gave them the warmest smile possible. "Karen told me that I was a great dad to you boys… that she wished that I could have seen that sooner." Again flicking his gaze between the Winchester brothers, Bobby added, "It's gonna take a lot more than a bullet to the head to get rid of me. I'm not going anywhere, ya idjits."