Chapter Six

Bobby had visualized this moment to be full of relief and joy for him, knowing that all his fears and worries were for nothing after all, and that all his patience had finally paid off in the end. But frankly, that didn't turn out to be the case. All the joy and relief he felt the second he heard Dean's voice come through the other line soon melts away from the white-hot fiery rage bubbling up within him like lava, the rage that had been building up and suppressed for over an entire week, and now he's going to let the damn idjit burn in its heat. He wouldn't hold back.

"You stupid ass! You friggin' son of a bitch!" he yells angrily into the phone as his stomach and chest burns with wrath, his tightly clenching fists causing his phone to emit a low cracking sound, his breaths roaring through his nose as his face colors a furious shade of red. "I've been calling ya for a whole goddamn week, ya friggin' bastard! Driving myself crazy trying ta' get through ta' ya. Ya should be glad ya ain't standing here right in front of me, or else ya' wouldn' have been able to sit for friggin' years! No, scratch that, ya wouldn' have been able to move a goddamn finger after I would've been through with ya!"

He's left panting heavily at the end of his rant, and even after all of that, there's so much more he wants to say, scream some more sense into that damn idjit. But he's afraid that if he does so for any longer, Dean just might get sick and tired of hearing it all and hang up on him, and he doesn't think he has another bout of strength or another week to go through the same thing again (his heart hurt at the thought), and certainly no more patience or tolerance left in him. So instead he remains silent, other than the heavy breaths pushing forcefully out of his lungs.

"Are you done? Is that what you've been calling me for a whole damn week non-stop?" Dean says, a hint of sarcasm in his tone and Bobby can almost hear the annoyed roll of his eyes in his voice.

"No," he bites out, still shaking from his outrageous fit.

"Then what the hell do you want, Bobby?"

"It's about Sam."

"Look, if you're going to tell me some sob story about how much Sam wants to see me and misses me or... or whatever it is that you think will make me change my mind, you can forget about it. My decision is final. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I am not- "

"Sam's dying."

There, he said it.

He finally told Dean, blunt and straightforward. Finally told the words he had been pressing up in his heart, the words eating away at him from the inside for an entire agonizing week. Seven friggin' days of worrying and fearing that he'll never get to Dean, that he'll never be able to tell him before it's too late, that Sam will never see the person he wanted to see more than anything, will never get his dying wish. That he'll let both of them down. And now he's finally told him. Most of the time has already gone by, but he's still thankful for whatever's left of it, still thankful that Sam's still breathing when Dean finds out, when Bobby tells him.

But it still doesn't feel good in the least. And he knows, in that moment, that he would have done anything to say something else, anything other than friggin' Sam's dying.

A long silence ensues on the other end, and though there's nothing, Bobby can feel the shock in it. He doesn't blame the kid. Out of all the things he might have expected, this was probably the last on his mind.

"The hunters... they got him, boy. Right in the goddamn heart," Bobby whispers softly, breaking through the delicate silence between the two lines. He can feel his eyes burn (much like Dean's probably were right now), his throat heavy with sadness as he continues. "The wound was too bad, and it damaged the kid's heart. The doctors estimated somewhere under a week. But..." he swallows when his voice cracks, then laughs humorlessly, shaking his head. "God knows how he even made it to this day. Stubborn idjit can't even breathe properly without the damn mask on his face."

.

.

.

"Sam's dying."

He freezes, his breaths knocking out of his lungs as if someone just slammed an iron crowbar against his ribs. His knees weaken, hands trembling, and he barely manages to stop himself from crumpling to the floor as he half-falls and half-sits on the bed behind him, gripping the edges and sheets with his free hand. He presses the phone firmly against his ear, his eyes burning and his insides clenching with fear and despair and devastation.

Sam's dying.

He lets the words sink into his numb brain.

Sam's dying. Sam's dying. Sam'sdyingSam'sdyingSam'sdying-

And all he can think is, I can't do this again. I can't. Not again. Please, not again. I can't do this again. Ican'tIcan'tIcan't I just-

I can't.

He thinks back to Cold Oak, back to that empty, dark, hollowness crushing his heart, the constant weight and clenching in his gut and the never-ending ache in his chest. That hopelessness and despair gripping his insides, of the thought of never seeing his baby brother alive, smiling and laughing and bantering with him ever again, the feeling of never being able to escape the horrible grief filling his entire being because he'll never see the kid's puppy eyes look at him again. All the memories, good and bad, making him sick with remorse and longing and sorrow and desolation. He remembered his baby brother's blood on his hands, remembers the desperate denial of the fact that this was really the end of his life as he tried to console him and himself.

"It's not even that bad, alright?"

Remembers the agony when he realized that he slipped away, right in front of him.

"That's my job, right? Watch out for my pain-in-the-ass little brother?"

Remembers holding onto his cold and dead body for hours.

He can't do any of that again.

Maybe Bobby's lying. Maybe this was just some kind of sick way of tricking him into coming.

Yeah. Yeah, that's what it probably is.

But as much as he wants to believe in that, he knows.

He knows because Bobby would never do something like that. It's not like him. He knows because of that deep instinctive feeling in the pit of his gut, the one he always gets whenever something's wrong with Sammy. And it's almost always right. He knows because he'll believe anything his mind tells him as long as it gets him away far, far away from 'Sam's dying'.

He feels his blood boil with rage as Bobby continues to talk, telling him about the hunters. And he's just about to open his mouth and demand their names when he hears the next words.

"The wound was too bad, and it damaged the kid's heart. The doctors estimated somewhere under a week. But..." A hollow, mirthless laugh."God knows how he even made it to this day. Stubborn idjit can't even breathe properly without the damn mask on his face."

And he feels that same blood run cold with fear.

The doctors estimated somewhere under a week.

That's when a cruel realization strikes at him brutally, like a ton of bricks colliding against his chest, and it hits so hard that he feels his lungs cease to breathe for a moment, feels his heart and stomach tightening with remorse and guilt.

All those days he spent ignoring Bobby's calls, letting every one minute he could have had with his brother waste away, every minute he could have saved if he had just gotten over his hurt and self-pity and picked up the phone. All that time he lost, he'll never get it back.

God knows how he even made it to this day. Stubborn idjit can't even breathe properly without the damn mask on his face.

Sam will never get it back either.

He won't waste another second.

"Dean?"

He swallows down the lump in his throat, schools his features into stoicism and determination, and strides over to his bag, shoving everything into it.

"Don't let him go anywhere."

He hangs up the phone and grabs his bag, storming towards the door. He pulls it open, steps out, shuts the door behind him, then stalks to the car and opens the gate, getting into the driver's seat.

The car rumbles as he turns the engine on.

I'm coming, Sammy.


Author's Note: I know, I know. I'm delaying my updates so much, it's not even funny anymore. I'm so, so, so sorry for that. Believe me, I think I'm pretty much punishing myself enough as it is with all the self-loathing and shame. I swear on my bloody life I feel really horrible for this. *hits self with a giant spoon*

Life's been quite a hindrance, and add that in with my writer's block and lack of writing enthusiasm. *blows awaaaay* But I still can't convince myself that it's enough of a reason. :( Oh, and some people still think it's abandoned, but I can reassure you and promise you, I will complete this, no matter how late my stupid updates are. My determination has never been as strong. :D

Thank you so much for still sticking with me, for your amazing support and lovely reviews/tags that never fail to make me smile. You guys are the best! *chases after all of you for an epic tackle hug*