Author's Note: Hello! I'm so sorry for the delay on updates. I seem to be having troubles with my creativity drive, and therefore, unable to think of new ideas. But I'm back now! With only a few plans, but hey, it's still something. The biggest problem though, is that I'm never sure of how to start a chapter. I would keep re-starting it until I'm satisfied with what I wrote. This chapter's a bit Bobby-centric, but we all love him so I know you guys don't mind that.
Enough rambling! Enjoy you guys. It's not long, but longer than I usually do: over 2000 words! Thank you all so much, you amazing people! To each and every one of you out there: you are awesome! :D
MASSIVE thank you to AlElizabeth, my awesome beta and friend, and also a great writer. You should check out her stories! They're truly great, and she always does her best to be innovative and original, which is one of the things what makes a writer awesome. And also, please check out our collab story; 'Burning Bright', which is on her profile.
Sam was — for what seemed like for the first time in a long time — peacefully asleep in the living room, snoring softly on the couch. Dean lazily walked inside the kitchen, dropping down on a chair as he watched Bobby prepare some coffee. The scent of the steaming brown liquid already perked Dean's senses, taking the slump out of his shoulders and bringing him out of his fatigued state as his surrogate father placed the hot cup on the table.
He gave Bobby a small smile of gratitude and took the coffee cup, letting it warm his cold hands. He allowed himself to be comforted by his surrogate father's presence as the older man's wheelchair came to a stop across from him behind the kitchen table. He was aware of Bobby's gaze on him, and instantly knew what he wanted.
Dean took a sip from his cup, and then lowered it down on the wood. He lifted his head and met the grizzled hunter's eyes, not ready for his questions, but knowing he'd have to respond anyway. He owed Bobby that much.
"You don't owe me anything, boy."
His head snapped up at that, his eyebrows furrowed in confusion. He narrowed his eyes in thought, and for one insane second, he wondered if Bobby was some sort of psychic, or he may have just spoken his thoughts out loud but didn't notice.
"I know you too well, kid. I've spent most of your childhood years looking after the both of you when your Daddy was too busy over a hunt." Bobby explained, smiling fondly at him. "You don't have to tell me anything you don't want to."
Dean licked his lips and nodded slightly. It was nice to know he had a choice, but he made a decision that he would still answer every question Bobby asked, except this time it was because Bobby was like a father . . . correction; he was a father to them, and truthfully, more than their own biological, flesh and blood father ever was, and as his father, Bobby deserved to know every detail about Sammy and him.
"I want to know what happened since the moment you stepped through that abandoned building's door."
And so he told him, everything.
"They whipped him and beat him with that — that fucking metal pipe, right in front of me, and I couldn't do a fucking thing to stop it." Dean said shakily, his cracking voice thick and heavy with pain and sorrow. He ran a hand down his face, smudging the fresh tears over his cheeks. His bottom lip quivered as he closed his eyes and took a deep breath, and then continued in a whisper.
"They injected him with demon blood, made him go through all the withdrawals. They — they would shove his limbs in boiling water, pour alcohol all over his wounds. They would break and dislocate his bones, and starve him for days, and when they do give him something, it'd either be stale or half-rotten. They'd beat him for hours on end, a-and then they'd . . . they'd . . ." He trailed off, his voice cracking on the last word as tears colored his eyes instantly at the memories, swallowing and biting his bottom lip as he ducked his head down and closed his eyes.
Dean turned to the older man, his features cold and hard as stone.
"They'd rape him."
The cup in Bobby's hand dropped to the ground, brown liquid spilled over the linoleum but neither man paid attention to the mess. His wrinkled eyes widened and tears welled up in them before the horrified and pained expression transformed into one of fury. He clenched his fists tightly in rage, repulsed that anyone could do something so disgusting, so vile to anyone, least of all to one of the two young men he considered his sons.
Bobby clasped Dean's shoulder tightly as the young man buried his face in his hands, all the while fighting against his own tears. He would kill those bastards if he ever had the chance, slowly and agonizingly torture them to death, but as much as he would love to do the job himself, he knew Dean was already plotting on that.
Any other circumstances, he would have tried to stop the young man despite knowing he couldn't, but this wasn't just any simple and common affair in someone hurting his brother. No, this time; these bastards have gone too far.
They've crossed the line.
And he will not make any effort at saving them from Dean Winchester's wrath.
Sam's physique jerked upright and into consciousness, his eyes flying open as he felt something wet trail down his cheeks, looking around frantically in panic, his breathing erratic and heart beating fast. He began to calm down as he became aware of his surroundings, aware that he was no longer there now. The final dredges of his dreams slowly fade away, and his eyes darted around in search of something, or rather someone.
But when he didn't find him anywhere; Sam started panicking again, his breathing and heart rate speeding up as his head darted from side to side, pressing his back further into the couch, clutching at the blanket tightly as if that was the only thing keeping him grounded now. A small whimper escaped from his throat, tears welling up in his eyes, his face crumpling against his will as he wondered; Did he leave him? Does he not want him anymore? Does he hate him too now like the bad men always said?
"Nobody could ever want a retarded piece of shit like you, boy."
He sobbed as his eyes wandered around desperately, hoping that what his mind was telling him wasn't true. He just wanted him; him to make him feel cared for, to feel safe and protected, to feel loved.
But without him; Sam only felt scared.
He hugged his legs to his chest, burying his chin between his knees while he stared down at his feet, tears streaming down his cheeks as he rocked back and forth, sobbing hard as he kept calling his name between them.
Bobby was in the process of making another cup of coffee for himself when he heard it.
A whimper, small and low, but he heard it none the less.
And then a long stream of hard, gasping sobs suddenly filled the long distance between him and the broken kid. He wondered if maybe he should check on Sam, go and try to calm him down even though he knew his presence wouldn't be welcomed (that thought hurt). He couldn't call Dean down since he was the one who had sent him upstairs to go get fresh and look civilized, even after the numerous protests that Sam would be scared if he woke up alone and didn't find him. That boy, so busy taking care of his brother that he forgot his own needs. It's not that Bobby blamed him, because if anything, he was proud of him for it; but he just wished that Dean would prioritize his own health too.
The noises coming from the living room weighed heavily on the old hunter's heart, and he felt a squeezing sensation in his gut as he caught the childish version of Dean's name between them.
And he just couldn't sit around and do nothing while he heard his youngest cry in that way.
So he wheeled out of the kitchen hastily, as fast as he could.
And within a minute, he found himself in the living room, staring at the trembling curled up frame of his surrogate youngest.
It crumbled his heart into tiny pieces, seeing him like this; crying like a child for his big brother. And if this was what it felt like to him, then he couldn't help but wonder what those sounds, those tears did to Dean's heart; the boy who loved his baby brother to bits. Lord, how damaged Dean must be, having to hear his younger sibling's cries and witness his tears and pain every day and night.
Bobby swallowed down the large, suffocating lump inside his throat, pushing down his own tears as he approached Sam. He thought about what he should do to calm him down; thought about what Dean would do. But he realized it would be different, because Sam trusted Dean, felt at ease around him instead of wary and scared; the only person he allowed to come close to him, to help him, to call him 'Sammy' and not flinch at the sound of it. Dean was the one he relied on in everything, for giving him comfort, for feeding him, for soothing him to sleep, for helping him through all the daily and regular motions of life. Bobby didn't have any of that.
"It's okay, Sam." He said, his voice rough, but soft. A gentle smile played on his lips, despite the dull ache in his heart at the fact that; this kid, who had shared so many laughs and jokes with him, sent embarrassing pictures of his brother to him, freely embraced him without any fear and distrust whenever they met. And now, that same kid didn't even recognize him anymore; didn't trust him . . . that same kid was afraid of him. But he ignored the deep sorrow weighing on his heart, and added in a light tone, "It's okay. Dean'll be here soon."
Sam froze at his voice, probably from fear or surprise, or both; Bobby wasn't sure. His tears and sobs stopped instantly at his words, his hazel orbs peeking out from his arms; and when he saw the man looking directly at him, he hid his eyes again, seeing only darkness.
Bobby hoped Dean would come down soon and take care of this situation. But he still decided to look on the bright side of things; he wasn't crying, so that was a positive sign. Sam might not like the owner of the voice, but the words were familiar to him.
After all, these were the same words Dean would say to him to console him from a nightmare; to calm him when he would feel scared; give him solace when his eyes would tear up after something reminded him of his time with those hunters . . . No, not hunters; monsters. These were the words those dicks never said to him, even when they took away that innocent, childhood name and twisted it into something cruel and mocking.
"It's okay . . . you're okay." Bobby whispered to him continually; a light smile blossoming on the old man's lips.
His gentle and soft tone sounded a bit unusual of him, even to his own ears; Bobby realized that, but he didn't care. There wasn't anything he wouldn't be willing to do for these boys, going out of his character and lightening his voice a bit was just the start.
He bit his lip, watching his surrogate youngest for any other positive effect.
And felt disappointment fill him when he found none.
Words couldn't describe how much he wished Sam would trust him again, and not be scared of him; not try to hide from him like this. He knew it would take time, a lot of it, but he couldn't help it. He felt useless, not being able to do anything to help his surrogate son.
But just when he was about to turn around…
He saw it.
A small peek, barely a glimpse of them really; but Sam's wide, hazel eyes were turned towards him, looking at him uncertainly.
Bobby sent a small, reassuring smile his way; a smile that showed him that he was good, harmless, and that he would never do anything to hurt him.
And it was that smile — as if one granting permission — which brought Sam to fully look up. It was hesitant at first; Sam lifted his gaze up ever so slightly, his nose still buried into his knees, his face half-way exposed.
Then he lifted it up a bit more, slowly; all until his face was a complete view.
And Bobby was just amazed, and also rejoiced at that simple gesture. Because he recognized it as a glimmer of trust, which he would feed with all of his love and kindness until it became a full light.
He heard a rumble coming from the young man's stomach, and Bobby chuckled softly, rolling forward slightly.
"You want to eat something?"
He took in the small, hesitant nod and slowly wheeled towards Sam, stopping in front of him, to which the boy instantly averted his eyes to his feet, but didn't hide again; so that was good.
The old hunter held out a wrinkled hand, jerking his head towards the kitchen with the reassuring smile still on his face. "Want to come to the kitchen with me?"
Truth be told, some part of Bobby would have never expected Sam to take his offered hand; not after the way he flinched so violently.
But he did.
Mouth still pressed against his kneecaps; Sam hesitantly lifted his hazel eyes, staring back into his.
And took a great leap of faith as his lanky, trembling fingers slowly reached for the older man's hand, albeit doubtful, but seized it tightly nonetheless.