Author's Note: The Sam and Bobby bonding continues! Sorry for the long delay in-between chapters. Life has been so busy that I haven't had too much time to write. Thanks for everyone who is reading this story! Please enjoy this chapter!
"I just wanna scream and lose control
Throw my hands up and let it go
Forget about everything and runaway, yeah."
—Avril Lavigne, "Runaway"
Now, Bobby didn't know too much about what a "normal" childhood was supposed to be like. Hell, his own childhood hadn't been perfect in any sense and this left the gruff hunter with little to reflect upon. How could he give Sam a great vacation when he had no idea what "normal" 13 year olds did? He barely remembered what he had done when he was 13!
"Balls." Bobby swore softly as he rested his hands against the kitchen counter. Sam was upstairs, delving into a novel that the older hunter had been able to scrounge up. He had no idea if it was any good—it was just some Sherlock Holmes book that he had meant to get rid of, but forgot about—however the look on Sam's face told him that it didn't matter. With Sam, it had always been the thought that counted. The book could be the worst thing written in existence and yet, Sam would treat it as a treasure. The kid was just like that and it warmed Bobby's heart.
He had managed to dig out a pizza from the freezer, place it his ancient oven and somehow hadn't burnt it. The two had shared it and had a nice, normal conversation about things that had nothing to do with hunting. Currently, it was getting late, but Bobby wasn't sure what the protocol was when it came to sending kids off to bed. Did Sam have a bedtime or was he too old for that kind of thing? Would he be offended if Bobby went upstairs and let him stay up alone? Sighing, he paced the floor of the kitchen, numerous possibilities swirling in his head.
This was why he stayed away from kids—they were too confusing!
Still, there was something about those Winchester boys and how they had wormed themselves into his heart. After Karen . . . well, he had figured he would never be truly happy again. Then, Sam and Dean came barreling into his life and made him laugh and for the first time in years, Bobby found himself feeling truly happy again. Those boys—they were something special. John was lucky to have them and it was a shame he treated them more like soldiers than his sons. Still, you didn't go through what John went through and come out on the other side unscathed. John was a broken man with two sons—he had put the pieces back the best he could and this was the result. He was an angry man who loved his sons fiercely and wanted nothing more than to hunt down the demon that had killed his wife in the hopes that it would keep his boys safe. Somewhere though, the desire to kill the demon became more fueled by revenge and John lost sight of the fact that he was a father first and a hunter second. Still, Bobby couldn't begrudge the man. Losing Karen had almost been the end for him and he hadn't had kids to worry about.
"Good night, Uncle Bobby." Sam's voice took him off-guard and Bobby almost flinched in surprise. The youngest Winchester stood in the doorframe, dressed in an oversized shirt that he seemed to be swimming in and some sweat pants. He smiled tiredly at Bobby and the older hunter found himself grinning back.
"Night, Sam." Bobby told him.
With that, Sam skipped upstairs and went to bed, leaving Bobby to chuckle dryly before he too headed off to bed.
The smell of pancakes greeted him.
"Good morning, Uncle Bobby!" Sam chirped brightly as Bobby entered the kitchen. Sam was over the stove, a spatula in his hand and a pile of piping hot pancakes beside him.
"Sam, what . . ?" Bobby's voice's faded as he took in the sight fully. Was it his imagination or did his kitchen look visibly cleaner than it had when he went to bed? The dishes were no longer in the sink; they were stacked neatly in piles. The counter appeared to sparkling in the sunlight, all traces of grease gone. "What the hell?"
"You're mad." Sam's timid voice brought his eyes back to the young teen. He was frowning and seemed to be shutting down. Had he done this once with John and gotten yelled for it?
"No." The older hunter insisted quickly. "You just took me by surprise, that's all." He shot the kid a quick grin and watched as Sam visibly relaxed. "When did you—?" He gestured to the kitchen.
"This morning!" Sam exclaimed, flipping a pancake. "I'd figured that I could thank you with breakfast." Bobby sat down at the small table and Sam flipped off the burner of the stove and placed a stack of pancakes before him. After placing maple syrup at the table, he went to sit across from Bobby and began to dig into his own plate of pancakes. Much to his surprise, they tasted wonderfully. Who knew Sam could cook?
"They're great." The gruff hunter told the youngest Winchester with a small smile. Sam beamed.
"Thanks!" Sam swirled a piece of his pancake around in the syrup on his plate. "Dean loves pancakes."
"I bet he does." Bobby nodded knowingly. Those two boys . . . they were bonded even more closely than twins! "How'd you learn to make these?"
"Culinary arts," Sam replied. "Three schools back." The young teen cut up his second pancake into almost perfectly symmetrical pieces as a twinge of sadness entered his eyes.
"You don't like moving?" He ventured, earning a small headshake from the boy in return.
"I never fit in." He whispered.
"I'm sure that's not true—"
"It is though," Sam protested, slamming his fork down on the table. "I keep trying and I just can't do it anymore, Uncle Bobby! Dean was good at it because he always fit in." His shoulders drooped as his words continued to tumble out. "I don't want to do this anymore." He met Bobby's gaze, eyes full of worry and longing all rolled into one. It was a devastating look—one that made the older hunter feel nothing but grief for the kid. Maybe he could talk to John . . . aw, who was he kidding? John Winchester barely listened to him as it was; he sure as hell wasn't going to listen to him if he told him that Sam shouldn't be forced into this life. It wasn't his place and it wouldn't work.
"Well, long as you're with me," Bobby started, making sure he had Sam's full attention. "You don't have to."
And he meant every word.
Sam somehow talked him into—okay, well actually Bobby just gave in because who could resist those puppy dog eyes—taking him to the movies. Apparently, the nearby movie theater was doing some old classic movie matinee and the older hunter didn't have it in his heart to say no. So, he sat through To Kill a Mockingbird and while it wasn't a film that appealed to him, he did appreciate the fact that it made Sam smile.
"That was great!" The teen exclaimed for what had to be the third time in the past 10 minutes.
"You've never seen it before?" Bobby questioned, wondering how Sam would've even heard of it.
"No," He answered. "We read it in school, three states back." The same flash of sadness darkened his face for the briefest of seconds. The gruff hunter grimaced. It seemed the constant moving was taking quite a toll on Sam.
"So, what did you like about it?" He asked quickly, not giving the kid much time to reflect on his sucky school life.
"The lawyer?" Bobby echoed, surprised. Hunters didn't have much love for the law or those that enforced it. The few lawyers he had met had been jerks or possessed—not exactly a winning track record.
"Yeah!" Sam replied brightly. "He knew that guy was innocent. He didn't care if his whole career went down the drain—he was going to defend this guy because he knew it was right." A spark of life flashed in his eyes as he animatedly explained to Bobby how Atticus was an amazing person and how he wished he could be more like him.
It was the happiest Bobby had seen him since Sam had shown up on his doorstep.
"So, you wanna be a lawyer?" Bobby asked jokingly. It was ridiculous to think of a hunter's kid working for civilians and the law. So often, the law punished hunters for doing a job that had to be done—a job that people couldn't understand.
"Yeah." It was so quiet that Bobby almost missed it. He met the older hunter's gaze and with a small grin added, "Yeah, I'd like to do that."
I'll be damned, Bobby mused, watching Sam babble on about the movie as the two piled into his truck.
They headed back to the salvage yard.
Author's Note: There you go! I hope you enjoyed this chapter! If you have a second, please review. See you next chapter!