Disclaimer: Not mine, I'm just playing with Kripke's toys.
Timeline: settled between season three and four
Spoilers: for the finale of the third season
Warnings: thoughts of suicide, abuse of alcohol, language
Bobby's Weekend Off
Dean was dead.
Dean had been dead for eight days when Bobby sat in his dark study and drank and Dean was dead. Burning in hell. Bobby filled his glass and emptied it with a practiced motion and thought of the gun he kept in the drawer.
Bobby never had a son but he sure as hell knew what it felt like to lose one. Or two. But who was counting. If he wanted to count something he could start with the empty bottles around him. He reached for the one full bottle for a refill but it wasn't as full as it used to be. With a sigh he placed it back on the pile of books he wasn't reading. Nowadays books were good coasters for bottles and glasses. Sometimes he didn't even bother to use a glass. Put the neck of the bottle right down his throat. Like a goddamn alcoholic.
Face it, you are an alcoholic, a voice whispered in his mind. It sounded like Dean. But Dean was in hell. Burning. Suffering. Bobby needed a drink. And there was a gun in the drawer.
It had been bad when Sam had died. Had been killed, his foggy mind corrected. Back then it had hurt and his world had shattered and he had mourned the son that wasn't technical his. However, back then he had been sure Sam would be in a better place, like people like to say. But now …
He shook the last drops out of the bottle and stood up to get a new one. With his desk and then the shelf and the wall and the door frame as support he made it on almost steady legs to the kitchen where he stored his bottles. Only one left. So tomorrow he had to be sober enough to go into town and to buy fresh supplies.
But tonight he could drink. Clenching the bottle in his fist he made his way back to his place behind the desk. He didn't turn on the lights – they would only hurt his eyes – but he had made sure to keep one path through the piles of books and empty bottles. So even in the dark he found his way back. When he would be too drunk to make this way safely it would be time to go to bed. Maybe. Or he'd just collapse on the couch at some point. Wouldn't be the first time.
With a full glass in one hand and the bottle in the other the world looked a little bit better. Except the fact that Dean was dead. And in hell.
Maybe it would have been better if Sam had stayed. Bobby sighed. They had a big fight and then Sam had left. He had called one or two times but they hadn't much to talk about.
"He'll need his body when he comes back." Bobby mumbled Sam's words into his beard. "That attitude started the whole mess." If Bobby had anything to say on that matter they would have burned Dean's corpse. A hunter's pyre like it should be. But with the Winchesters even dying wasn't easy. Sam had thrown a fit when Bobby dared to even mention the idea. Instead he had cleaned his brother up and stitched those awful wounds and then he had buried him. In a shallow grave, what else. He had expected to dig his brother up really soon. To bring him back to life.
Bobby sighed again, lost in memories. Stupid Winchesters. Bobby had told Sam what he was thinking about the whole bring back the dead idea which ended in an epic fight and with Sam leaving. Probably for good.
"Why, Dean?" He asked into the empty room. "Why did you have to make that stupid deal?" Which was a stupid question. Dean couldn't live without Sam. Before they both had turned up on his doorstep – Sam pretty much alive which he hadn't been the last time Bobby had seen him – Bobby had been fully prepared to go back to that cabin and to find two corpses. But instead Dean had made the deal. And Sam had spent the whole year his brother had left to find a way to get him out.
"As if you can wiggle your way out of a demon's deal." Bobby tossed back the next shot. "They have ages of experience with that. A year is way to short to do that trick." Not enough time. With more time they could have found a way. Maybe. Sometimes you try everything, give everything and it is just not enough.
Filling his glass one last time for the night – at least that was what he told himself – he put the bottle on top of a pile of books and papers. In his drunken state he was too clumsy to catch it when the whole pile tilted to the side and then went over the edge. Books, papers – from the desk and what had been already on the floor – everything landed in a tangled heap with the bottle in the middle and the whiskey sipping over everything. The heavy smell of the alcohol became overwhelming within seconds.
"Balls!" Bobby muttered and nearly made a nosedive into the mess when he bent over to save at least the rest in the bottle. Some of the books were ruined for sure. And he still had no place to put the damn bottle safely.
Dean had been dead for eight days when around three in the morning Bobby started to rearrange the piles of books to find a place for his bottle.
It was around noon when he had finished the study – there were still a lot of piles of books but now they were in order and he could move around without tripping over something – and started with the kitchen. At first he just wanted to get rid of the glasses and coffee mugs but there were too many bottles and dirty dishes around. And he hadn't taken out the trash since … before. When he was at it he could go through the kitchen cabinets and throw out some of the old stuff.
When Bobby stopped working in the kitchen it looked like right after an explosion – or like that one time Dean had tried to make him a cake for father's day while John had been on a hunt – but it had to get worse before it could get better, right? Except you were in hell, of course. Nothing gets better in hell.
In the afternoon Bobby gave in to exhaustion, his whole body blissfully numb and even his mind found some rest and for the first time in days – since Dean had died to be correctly – he fell asleep on the couch sober. Almost sober. And that only because his last bottle was empty.
Bobby woke up two hours later and felt not bad. Which was definitely an improvement. He felt good enough to shower and to change into some clean clothes before he went out to town for a supply run. The liquor store for once wasn't his only stop.
In the hopefully temporally disaster he called a kitchen at the moment Bobby ate an actual meal. Scrambled eggs, bacon and toast. Nothing special but it filled his stomach and after a diet of mostly whiskey and coffee he figured he should start small.
He finished his meal with a cup of coffee which he only spiced with a little shot which he also called an improvement.
By the time he had washed the dishes it was dark outside. Another dark night with only his thoughts and a bottle of Jack for company awaited him. Leaning heavily on the sink Bobby blinked away the tears and wished Sam would call. Just to let him know he was still alive. To hear a familiar voice. But Sam was gone. Bobby had to promise Dean to watch out for that kid, however, that kid was a Winchester. Ever tried to find a Winchester who didn't want to be found? Good luck with that. Not that Bobby actually tried. Maybe later.
The house was quiet. Since Karen's death he had lived here alone – only with sporadic exceptions of some certain brothers staying for a while – but never before he had felt so alone.
Bobby poured himself a stiff drink and welcomed the burning down to his stomach.
"I should clean up this mess before I …" He broke up and cleared his throat.
Before you go over there to sit in the dark and drink yourself senseless. You can at least say it. Nobody here to hear you anyway. The helpful voice in his mind said and it sounded a lot like Dean. Who would never say a single word to him ever again.
Bobby needed a drink.
"Dammit, boy." He muttered into his glass. "You're such a sweet talker. Couldn't you bargain more time? We would have found a way. Sam would have found a way." Which was too close to the question what Sam was doing right now. "Or at least we would have found a way to keep you alive till we got you out of the deal." He added as an afterthought. The laugh tasted bitter and he so needed another drink. "Sure, as if there's a place to hide from a hell-hound."
That night, however, Bobby finished cleaning the kitchen and the rest of that floor. He didn't set a foot into the study and the work kept him busy enough to keep his thoughts at bay. Most of it. For the rest he had his old friend Jack.
Around four in the morning Bobby collapsed into his bed and slept deep and dreamless.
Dean had been dead for fourteen days when Bobby finished the cleaning of the house – it hadn't been that clean since Karen – and went down into the basement.
This was harder work but it felt good. To feel the sweat pouring out of his skin, the strain on the muscles and the total exhaustion that let him sleep at last.
Incredibly what junk a man could store in his basement. Around his workbench – which Dean loved to occupy to make his own shells – things were more or less in order, tools he needed often lay in easy reach. But beyond that?
Car parts he had wanted to use some day but never did. Wooden beams, metal panels, old oil barrels with … stuff. And everything was dusty, oily and had sharp edges. More than once Bobby cut his hand on something and he learned quickly to keep his alcohol level low enough to not kill himself down here. One bottle was still right next to him all the time, though.
With less alcohol in his system and his hands busy his mind started to circle again. Liked to blindside him with pictures of Dean's mauled body. So he tried to focus on something else. One thought was stuck in his mind, so why not use it? It'd block out everything else.
Dean had been dead for sixteen days when Bobby started to thinks about a place to hide from a hell-hound. And everything else. When he was at it why not keep his mind really busy?
Dean had been dead for seventeen days when Bobby started to wonder if it was possible to build such a hideout.
Stoically Bobby made his way from the basement to the back of his salvage yard countless times. Metal scrap and all the junk he had sorted out, it all went on a pile in the back where it could rot for all he cared.
Over the years he'd bunkered a lot of stuff he had now no idea what he ever wanted with.
With all the stuff out the basement looked a lot bigger and it felt empty.
There was enough room for … something.
"A panic room." Bobby said and it felt right. If they had had a panic room back then when Dean had needed one …
Finishing his current bottle – it was time for another supply run – Bobby smiled sadly, then turned and made his way upstairs.
"What a silly idea."
But the idea stuck. He was sure it was actually possible but there was only one way to find out.
Dean had been dead for twenty days when Bobby sat in his study in the middle of the night with the lights out and made a decision.
He could go on like this – he could sort the car wracks outside by model and year next – and drink till his liver quits or he could do something.
"The planning alone will be a shitload of work." He washed his hand over his face. "The research and then the actual planning." That wasn't a days work. This was big, really big. Building the pyramids big. And he'd have to be sober to do it right. More or less.
"Don't start half-ass." He muttered and took a sip from the omnipresent glass. "Do it right or leave it."
Dean had been dead for twenty-one days when Bobby started with the research. He had made a list of what he wanted to keep out – hell-hounds and demons on the top – but there was more. He wanted the room as safe as possible. It was a little bit too late – twenty-one days to be exact – but if he ever needed a safe place like this he'd be prepared.
The more Bobby figured out what he had to do and what he'd need to do it the more it became clear that he'd have to make most of it by himself. Nobody sold iron casings coated with salt, for example. Not the way he wanted it, anyway.
So he asked around, called in a favor or two and finally made contact with a man who could deliver him custom-made iron panels. Now he only had to find a way to coat them with salt that left no loop hole for something to sneak in. That, however, was the easy part. The door was a weak spot and the ventilation system, too. But one problem at a time, right?
Bobby chose a cylindrical ground plan so he could cover the whole floor with a devil's trap without leaving the corners unprotected. Which was a good idea but made the walls a tricky task. He started with a simple sketch, just a few lines on the back of an envelope. A few days later construction plans were laying everywhere. Bobby even dreamed of numbers.
Dean had been dead for fifty-three days when Bobby actually started to build the panic room. Bobby had worked with metal all his life but this was a whole new level. The salt coated panels for the walls were bent like he had calculated it but he had to trim every single one so it would fit into place perfectly before he could rivet it. "Close enough" wouldn't cut it this time.
After he got the hang of it he build up a routine. It was slow but steady work, keeping his hands and mind busy and he cut his drinking back to almost nothing. And every night he fell into bed and slept dreamless till morning.
Dean had been dead for sixty days when Bobby almost killed himself with one of the iron panels. The seam just didn't came together neatly – got one finger already good enough for the nail to come off eventually – when the whole thing came down. Sliced his arm open from wrist to elbow.
"Damn piece of shit!" Bobby kicked the metal – good thing he had his steel-toed working boots on otherwise he'd broken some toes for sure – and felt a little better. His arm, however, shot hot lances of pain up to his head and he bled heavily enough to wonder if he nicked an artery. Clutching his arm he stumbled up the stairs already feeling lightheaded.
"Bleeding to death in my own house." Bobby mumbled and tried to ignore the pain. "Not gonna happen." He gritted his teeth and got the first aid kit.
Putting thirty-five stitches into his own flesh wasn't fun but it stopped the bleeding. There was nobody there to see him crying, anyway. He knew better than to mix painkillers with alcohol but that didn't stop him from doing it. He needed a drink to take away the edges. And then another one. And one after that.
Bobby woke up on the couch with one mother of a hangover. Blinking into the morning light – it was more likely early afternoon – Bobby tried to figure out why he had the taste of roadkill in his mouth. With a grunt he sat up and his foot landed in something cold and squishy. The smell of vomit and blood and alcohol was heavy in the air. He should clean the carpet as soon as his head wasn't feeling like a cracked nut anymore. For now he made a dash for the bathroom.
His arm was still coated with crusted blood. The throbbing pain was bad enough that he just wanted to cut his arm off. Instead he looked at his face in the mirror. Splashing cold water on it made him feel a little bit better but he still looked like crap.
Bobby had whiskey and coffee for breakfast and he didn't went down into the basement for three days. The panic room had been a stupid idea anyway.
Dean had been dead for sixty-five days when Bobby crawled out of the bottle again.
"I'll just take a look around." He said to himself standing at the door to the basement to afraid to open it. "Put the tools back and clean up a little." As far as he was concerned Project Panic Room was dead. Just like Dean. Another failure in his life. Why should he even build it now when he'd needed it about two month earlier?
He sighed. Slowly he opened the door and made his way down the stairs. His tools lay cluttered around and the panel that had refused to fit just lay there silently taunting him. Puddles and smears of his own blood everywhere. A lot of his blood. The smell still in the air, coppery and heavy.
"That was a close call." He realized at the sight of the blood. He tasted bile and had to breath trough the nausea but he managed without a sprint to the bathroom.
"Wonder how long it would have taken for someone to find me." He asked loud and didn't want an answer to that question.
Defeated by a shitty piece of metal.
Face it, Bobby. You're just an old drunk. Good for nothing. You couldn't save Dean. He's burning in hell. He's in hell because you came up with the right idea just after it had been too late. Good job, stupid. Too old, too slow, too drunk. Why don't doing the world a favor and put yourself out of this misery? The small voice in the back of his mind was back and the worst part was that it sounded like Dean more than ever. Panic room, how pathetic. You really think it'd work? Leave it. It's worthless just like you. Go back to your bottle and drown yourself in sorrow. Maybe eat a gun later.
Bobby rubbed his burning eyes. He wanted to go back and empty a bottle right now. And he thought of the gun in the drawer again. Instead he stood there and stared at the panel on the floor with his blood all over it. Then he looked up and took in the sight of what he'd already accomplished. With little imagination he could see the finished room. It was possible he was sure of it.
"I can't do it?" He asked the little voice but it kept silent this time. Bobby grabbed his working gloves. "Watch me."
It cost sweat and more of his blood – he popped a few stitches – and all his nerves but in the end the panel fitted right where it belonged. This night Bobby fell asleep with a satisfied smile on his face.
Dean had been dead for one-hundred-thirty-nine days when Bobby finished the stocking of the panic room. Getting the furniture down the stairs and in here had been a bitch but now everything was where it belonged. The blades of the vent cast shadows over the desks and the bookshelf.
"One could sit out the apocalypse in here." Hands on his hips he looked around pleased with what he saw. The scar on his arm tingled and he knew the weather would change soon. So if he wanted to get into town for groceries and to get rid of the bottles he hadn't bothered to throw out the last months before the bad weather hit he should get going.
"One last thing." Carefully as if it was an holy object Bobby hung the picture of Bo Derek into place. "At least somebody to keep me company."
Upstairs his phone rang. With one last glance at the picture Bobby made his way upstairs.
"Yeah?" He answered the phone.
"Bobby?" The voice sounded familiar but he couldn't place it.