The cabin was too small. That was all Bobby could think looking around. Two small bedrooms with twin beds, which both boys had deferred one to him, and the other that Dean had insisted Sam take since the sofa was way too short for his long frame. But the interior space was so small that when one of them tried to walk from the front door to the bathroom, they literally had to climb over at least one of the other two people in the cabin.
"Dean! You said you got the hot water heater running!" Sam stood in the bathroom door, wearing a towel and what Dean would call a bitchface.
"Bite, me, bitch! You get your ass out here and try!"
"Fucking freezing my ass off." Sam's fist slammed into the doorjam. "Shit."
"I'm not a fucking plumber, asshole!"
"ENOUGH!" Bobby's voice drowned out both boys and they turned to him. "Your delicate ass won't turn to ice and fall off, princess. And you," He pointed to Dean before he could laugh. "Are just as bitchy, so let it go. Now."
"Yes, sir." In stereo. Nodding, Bobby left them to their cold shower and temper tantrums to go outside. The stress was getting to all of them, he couldn't deny that. His home. The place he and Karen had intended to grow old together. They'd lived together for what now seemed like such a short time. The place he'd planned to live in for the rest of his life. Gone. In a blinding, intense ball of fire. It wasn't just him, Bobby knew that. His home was the one place both of his boys felt safe. It has become their home as well over the years. The one safe haven they both had to rest, recuperate, and be just Sam and Dean.
The door behind him opened and Sam appeared. Cleaner, calmer, and wearing an all too familiar sheepish smile. "Sorry 'bout that, Bobby."
"No need to apologize, kid. We're all strung tight right now."
Nodding, Sam handed Bobby the second beer that the older hunter hadn't even realized he'd been holding. For a few minutes, they drank in silence.
"So spill. How fucked do you really think we are?"
Turning to the younger man, Bobby took a long drink. "I'd say things would have to improve a lot so we'd ONLY be fucked."
The only reply was a soft laugh.
"How ya holdin' up, kid?"
"Dean and I aren't close to blows yet, if that's what you're asking. We're just….."
"What about you?"
"Me? What about me?" Bobby eyed Sam warily. He knew the younger hunter well enough to see that the next question wasn't going to be one he really looked forward to answering.
"Your house, Bobby, I-"
"I'll get it sorted, Sam. Don't worry about it." His voice was sharper then he intended, and he knew it had stung a bit. "Not gonna say it doesn't suck, kid. But I'm a hunter. Been a hunter since before you were born. Knew it was always a possibility. There's only so much protection you can have."
"I guess I never really got that."
His voice actually cracked, and Bobby realized how close to crying the kid really was. "Shit, Sam. I know you're taking hits from every side these days."
"What else is new?" His tone was sarcastic, but Bobby stopped and stared at him.
Sighing, Bobby wished Sam had brought something stronger then beer out with him. He stared at the kid in front of him. Scratch that, he stared at the man in front of him. Funny how a four word sentence can change your entire perspective. "Where's your brother?"
That brought a loud laugh out of the taller figure. "Hiding. Well, guess I am too. Know the signs with him. Good time to just avoid each other for a while."
"Christ." Bobby sighed, knowing the older Winchester would sooner throw a punch at the kid then have this conversation. Okay, time to act like the father everyone always accused him of being to them. "It's a house, Sam. Wood, concrete, bricks and paint. That ain't what makes a home, you know that, right?"
"Since the Impala's been our home since I was six months old, I guess I do."
Shit. He knew if he pushed the kid he'd put the bottom line out there for him. His house burned down, then they had to hide the Impala. "You love that car more then you ever let on, huh."
Shrugging, the younger hunter took a deep breath before his eyes met Bobby's. "Just don't tell Dean."
They shared a laugh.
"Secret's safe with me."
A long silence settled over them. Bobby recognized the signs. Broad shoulders shifted, feet kicked the dirt around, and hazel eyes went everywhere but his direction. "Spit it out, ya idjit."
With a soft laugh, Sam finally spoke. "You think you'll rebuild?"
"We live long enough."
"Eternal optimist these days?"
"I hang with you two, don't I?" When Sam flinched, Bobby knew he probably shouldn't have said that. "Don't. Just don't. I have walked into everything with the two of you with my eyes wide open."
"Then those eyes must be blind as a fucking bat." Sam actually gave Bobby a small smile.
"Blind, deaf and dumb, kid." He gripped the large shoulder for a moment. "Maybe if we get through this, the three of us will go back and build again."
"Iron and salt foundation?"
"Yep. Take a few pages out of Samuel Colt's journal." Stopping, Bobby looked at Sam. "That's actually a doable plan. Know a hell of a lot more now about protection. Could pretty much build a fucking fort. And put in some kind of workout room so you two have something other than each other to take your shit out on."
Finally actually laughing, Sam bit his lip for a moment. "You know, we could actually do this. I mean, the underground railroad tracks in Wyoming worked for a hundred years. God knows your panic room was pretty much impenetrable." He snorted softly. "Fuckers' probably still there."
"Wouldn't surprise me."
"But we could use that same theory. Really wouldn't need the walls to be made out of it. Just line the foundation. Carve sigils into the actual concrete frame work before we put up wood, siding, or stucco."
Bobby could actually see the wheels in Sam's mind spinning, his enthusiasm obvious. The older man found himself getting excited. Suddenly the two of them were putting together a puzzle.
"What did I miss?" Dean exited the house and was surprised to see a Bobby and Sam with their heads together and actually smiling.
Moving to the current clunker they were driving, Sam dug through the front seat until he found a pad of paper. "Gonna build a house, Dude." He turned to Bobby. "So how do you want this laid out?"
"Well, give me some ideas, idjits. Gonna be your home, too."
Matching eyes stared at him, and he fought to keep his own eyes from filling with tears. It was true. If they rebuilt the house, it would be the three of them doing it, and it would be the three of them making it a home.