Author's note: Thank you so much for sticking with this story to the end. I appreciate the reviews and support I've received on this story, and I just want you guys to know that I've enjoyed reading every single one of those reviews – you've made me smile! Here's the last chapter for you. – Elisa.

Chapter 6.

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"Singer." Bobby said as he answered his ringing phone.

The older hunter had been in the middle of trying to rescue his left slipper from Ranger when the phone had started ringing, and he'd reluctantly been forced to declare defeat against the dog in order to get to the phone in time.

"Bad Wanger!" Sam chided and lifted a finger at the dog which made Bobby smile wryly.

"Winchester here." The person on the line said and Bobby's smile faded.

"Johnny?" He asked after walking a bit away from the kids so that they wouldn't be able to hear the conversation. "How's the hunt?"

"Over." John Winchester reported. "Look, I'm eight hours from Sioux Falls so I'll pick up the boys tonight and then we'll head west."

"Another hunt?" Bobby asked.

"Poltergeist." John answered. "It's been terrorizing an office building and until yesterday there'd been no fatal injuries."

"I hear ya." Bobby said and eyed the Winchester brothers who were currently sitting cross-legged on the living room floor opposite each other as Dean was teaching Sam how to count to ten. "But what about the boys? You're not gonna bring them with you, are ya?"

"Yeah, of course I am. Why? What's with the third degree interrogation?" John asked with suspicion. "The boys alright?"

"They're fine." Bobby assured.

"Sam too?" John asked with a hint of worry.

"Yeah, although I'm a little surprised you haven't asked about him until now." Bobby answered, unable to hide the bitterness in his voice over the fact that John hadn't immediately asked about the sick kid he'd left in his care. John sighed.

"It's just been some tough days. I killed the creature but there were this woman and her kids.. And they didn't.. I couldn't.." John started, his voice trailing off, but Bobby still got the picture. "Anyway, how is Sam?"

"Well, he's good.. now." Bobby said. "The first couple of days were rough though. He's had an inflammation of the middle ear but nothing serious. Dean has been great with him."

"He always is." John said and Bobby could only nod in confirmation of that statement.

"You know, I don't mind them staying here for a couple of more days if you wanna go after that poltergeist." Bobby said as casually as possible.

"It's fine; they can stay at the motel. I just want them close." John said and cleared his voice a bit to get rid of the softness that had slipped into it. "I'll be there sometime tonight."

"Alright, I'll have them ready by then." Bobby said.

"Thanks Bobby, I owe you one."

With those words, John Winchester hung up his phone and Bobby sighed heavily. He'd known all along that John would soon return from the hunt to pick up the boys, but it still hurt the older hunter to know that he would soon be separated from the Winchester brothers again – the boys that he'd come to adore so much. Bobby put the phone back in place and washed a hand down his face before composing himself and returning to the living room.

"One, two.." Dean counted, pointed at Sam's fingers while doing so. "What comes next?"`

"Thwee!" Sam exclaimed with a grin. "Wike me!"

"Yeah, Sammy - just like you." Dean acknowledged before pointing at a forth of Sam's fingers. "And next time you'll be… Ffff…"

"Ffffffour..?" Sam guessed and Dean nodded.

"That's right, and after four comes..?"

"Five!" Sam exclaimed, grinning as Dean nodded his head eagerly.

"Uh-huh, and then? Ssss.." Dean said, drawing out the S-sound to help his little brother as much as possible.

"Ssss.." Sam mimicked and looked a bit distressed when he couldn't remember the continuation of it.

"You can do it." Dean encouraged and touched Sam's fingers one by one. "One, two, three, four, five, sssss.."

"Six!" Sam suddenly exclaimed and Dean chuckled.

"See, I told you, you could do it." Dean said and then wiggled the next one of Sam's fingers. "And after six comes?"

"Seven." Sam said while pointing at the same finger Dean was pointing at.

"And how old am I?" Dean asked.

"Eight!" Sam grinned.

"Uh-huh, and then nnnn..?" Dean continued.

"Nnnniwe." Sam said.

"Nine." Dean corrected with a smile. "The last one."

"Ten!" Sam beamed and clapped his hands when Dean's smile widened.

"You just taught your brother how to count to ten?" Bobby asked with amazement.

"Yup." Dean said with the smile of a truely proud big brother as he ruffled Sam's floppy hair. "Sammy's gonna be the smartest kid in kindergarten."

"Yeah, I have no doubt about that. Who knows what you might have taught the kid by then?" Bobby snorted.

Bobby guessed that not all the things Dean taught his younger brother would be appreciated in kindergarten. But well, Sam already knew how to count to ten and spell his own name and there was still at least two years until the kid was gonna start in school. Bobby could only imagine the things Sam might know once he did start in school. The older hunter just hoped that he would still be a part of the boys' lives by then.

"So, who wants ice-cream?" Bobby asked and laughed a bit as both brothers gasped and jumped up from their positions on the floor.

"Me! Me!" Dean eagerly cried out while Sam was shouting; "Ice-cweam!"

Bobby walked to the kitchen with the two young boys jumping around behind him and even Ranger joined in on the excitement; barking a bit and wagging its tail while hanging out its tongue. Bobby found two ice-cream sticks in his freezer and handed one to each of the kids. It was one of those round vanilla ones with chocolate coating and it didn't take the boys more than ten seconds before both their faces were covered in chocolate. While the chocolate was only situated around Dean's mouth, Sam's nose and cheeks had also been blotted with the sweet substance – how on earth the kid had actually managed to do that!

"Your daddy will be here to pick you up tonight." Bobby said and watched as Dean and Sam looked at him with big eyes.

"Dad's coming tonight?" Dean asked with a smile and Bobby nodded. "You hear that, Sammy? Dad is coming!"

"Ice-cweam for Daddy too, Unca Bobba?" Sam asked with big innocent eyes, making the older hunter smile wryly.

Bobby wished that innocence would never disappear – that Sam would never have to know about the supernatural creatures out there in the world which Dean unfortunately already knew about. Sam was still as careless as three year olds tended to be but Bobby feared that the kid would one day carry the world on his shoulders – that Dean would too. Bobby was well aware of the fact that John Winchester had a mission he intended to finish and the salvage-yard owner just hoped that the younger man wouldn't forget how to be a father along the way. These boys deserved to feel loved, deserved to have a life without too many worries.

"Uncle Bobby?" Dean asked, tearing the older hunter out of his thoughts.

"Yeah." Bobby said, answering Sam's question from before. "If your daddy wants to, he can have ice-cream as well."

Sam shot Bobby a wide smile before attacking his ice-cream again, and Bobby couldn't help but return the smile while Dean did his best to save the bottom of Sam's ice-cream that had started dripping.

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At 8.17 p.m. – one week, nine hours and forty-three minutes since the boys first arrived – the Impala came to a stop in the salvage yard. John Winchester looked rather tired as he stepped out of the car and walked the short distance to the house but Bobby noticed how the younger man's face lit up by the sight of his boys.

"Dad!" Dean shouted and closed the gap between them before John smiled and ruffled his oldest son's hair.

"Hey Ace." John said and nodded towards Bobby. "I hope he didn't cause too much trouble."

"Dean? No, he's been great." Bobby said, and Dean beamed when his father sent him a satisfied nod.

"Where's your brother?" John asked.

"He's saying goodbye to Ranger." Dean said and lowered his voice a little as if to tell his dad a secret; "He wants the dog to come with us but I already told him that we can't."

"That's right, we can't." John agreed before he stuck his head into the living room – his eyes catching sight of his youngest boy, sitting on the floor with his arms closed around the dog's neck and muttering soft words to it.

"Sam." John called and Sam immediately snapped his head towards the sound.

"Daddy!" Sam exclaimed and was suddenly airborne as John picked him up from the floor and put the kid on his hip.

"How are you feeling?" John asked and put his hand on Sam's forehead to feel for a fever that luckily was no longer present.

"You want ice-cweam, Daddy?" Sam asked and John chuckled.

"Ice-cream, huh? No thanks, squirt." John answered. "You ready to go?"

John frowned when Sam shook his head.

"Well, why not?" John wanted to know.

"Want Wanger and Unca Bobba in 'Pala too." Sam revealed. "And ice-cweam."

"But Bobby and Ranger can't come with us, Sam. They live here." John tried to explain which made Sam pout.

"Tell you what, kiddo." Bobby said as he handed over the boys' bag to John. "You can come visit us anytime you like. Is that alright?"

Sam lighted up a bit and nodded eagerly.

"The same thing goes for you, kiddo." Bobby told Dean and gently patted the eight-year-old's shoulder.

"Thanks Uncle Bobby." Dean smiled.

The older hunter followed the Winchesters to the Impala, talked a little bit with John as the younger man got the boys situated in the car and Bobby also made sure to keep Ranger from jumping into the car as well.

"Hey dad, ask me what a carburetor is!" Bobby heard Dean say as John got behind the wheel.

"A carburetor?" John asked with a confused expression and shot a look in Bobby's direction. Bobby just shrugged his shoulders and smiled wryly as Dean went on and on about the things he knew about a carburetor.

When John had turned on the engine of the car, Bobby knocked on the window and waited for John to roll the window down before he said; "If you need the boys to stay somewhere some other time, you have my number."

"Thanks, I'll remember." John said before Bobby stepped a little back and the Impala slowly started rolling towards the exit.

Two pair of small hands waved to him from the rear window of the car and Bobby waved back while emotion clotted his throat. Ranger barked a few times, then whimpered, and Bobby bent down a little to pet the dog.

"It's alright, boy. They'll be back again someday." Bobby promised both himself and the dog. "I know they will, and you know why? Because they're my boys."

Bobby smiled and straightened back up again before he went back inside his old house in the salvage yard of Sioux Falls, whistling happily and already looking forward to the next time the Winchester brothers would stop by.

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