Author's Note: Wow, it has been a long time since I updated this. I am really sorry about the delay! My personal life got really busy and other stories took over . . . anyways, I'm back now. Please enjoy this chapter!

"I gotta get outta here

I'm stuck inside this rut that I fell into by mistake

I gotta get outta here

And I'm begging you, I'm begging you, I'm begging you to be my escape."

Relient K, "Be My Escape"

Time passed as time does.

Soon, nearly a week had flown by since Sam had come to stay and Bobby found himself enjoying the boy's company. The youngest Winchester had this way about him—this passion for all things that involved books, this spark in his eyes whenever Bobby would ask for his opinion on something—and the gruff hunter wondered if this little vacation would be enough to help Sam endure months of a life he hated. The boy was 13 and he desperately wanted to make his own decisions. The hunter's life; however, wasn't a life that allowed you to do that. Being a hunter meant following orders because if you didn't, you or someone else could be killed. With a father like John bearing down on him as well, it was no wonder that Sam hadn't snapped sooner. It was just lucky that he had managed to end up on Bobby's porch rather than vanishing over state lines and possibly into the arms of Child Protective Services. John had dodged the bullet and wouldn't even know how close it had come.

"Uncle Bobby?" Sam's voice snapped him out of his reverie and Bobby glanced across the table. The youngest Winchester was cautiously pushing his ravioli around on the plate, as if he was summoning up the nerve to speak. Patiently, the older hunter waited. "When do I have to go back?"

"When the hunt is done," Bobby replied because it was the truth. As soon as John and Dean finished the Wendigo or whatever it was they were hunting, they would be back bright and early to drag Sam off to another state. It wasn't right—children shouldn't be subjected to things like this—but it was the hand that fate had dealt Sam. Bobby could try to delay it as much as he could, but in the end, John would return and this brief respite would be nothing more than a dim memory. Softly, he continued, "You don't want to see your daddy and Dean—?"

"No, I do!" Sam protested, eyes meeting Bobby's gaze. "It's just . . ." The metal fork scrapped against the plate. "This has been nice." A shy smile tugged at Sam's lips and the hardened hunter found himself grinning too.

"You're welcome anytime," Bobby assured him. "I mean it. You feel like runnin' off again, you come here, understand me?"

"Yes, sir." Sam replied dutifully.


They ate the rest of the meal in silence.

Of all the things Bobby had anticipated, this was not one of them.

"Slow down, Marie," He barked into the phone as he listened to one of his closer neighbors rattle off how she had seen a spirit rampaging in her house. "You're sure?"

"Am I sure?" She echoed, nearly hysterical. "Of course I'm sure, you damn fool!"

"Just get out of the house, alright?" Bobby ordered gruffly, glance darting around the room as he searched for his keys and his duffel.

"I am," Marie assured him, voice shaking. "Please, Bobby, I don't want things to get worse . . . like they were with David." He nodded reassuringly; despite the fact he knew that she would never be able to see the gesture. David had been Marie's first husband and the two had been ready to live the American Dream when all of a sudden, David died.

Only, he didn't stay dead.

For months after his death, he terrorized Marie until finally, Bobby had stumbled across the ghost attempting to kill his wife and quickly put an end to it. Eternally grateful, Marie had been baking him casseroles and desserts for years now. Though not exactly friends, she was one of the few people in Sioux Falls that knew his true occupation.

"I'm on my way," Bobby assured her. "Just stay out of the house and wait until I get there."

"I will." She murmured and with that, the older hunter hung up the phone. Cursing softly, Bobby searched for his duffel and his keys. Where had he put those damn things?

"Here." Sam stood before him, his face a mixture of anxiety and anger as he held out the gruff hunter's supply bag in one hand and his keys in the other.

"Sam." Bobby greeted.

"You're hunting?" Sam questioned softly, a darkness flickering over his face for a few seconds, but vanishing before Bobby could make out anything.

"Vengeful spirit down the road," He informed the youngest Winchester. "You'll be alright here?" Sam startled and stared at him coldly.

"I'm going with you." He retorted.

"What?" Sam sighed, as if Bobby was the biggest idiot ever for not figuring this out.

"You need backup," He answered, placing the duffel over his shoulder and tossing the keys to Bobby. He headed to the door and then glanced back, looking exasperated for some unknown reason. "C'mon. Let's do this." With that, Sam marched outside.

"I'll be damned." He whispered.

Bobby certainly hadn't seen that one coming.

Author's Note: Short, I know, but I needed to get this out of the way to lead up to some Hurt!Sam in the next chapter. Please review if you have a second. An update will be faster this next time around, I promise!