When we ask for advice, we are usually looking for an accomplice. ~Marquis de la Grange
The sound of footsteps didn't disturb Bobby's focus at first. John had dropped the boys for a few days, not wanting to drive them across three states in a black car with no air conditioning. Not that they were so much better off at Bobby's with no air conditioning, but at least they weren't trapped in the car and causing a ruckus in the back seat.
The heavier footsteps into the kitchen indicated that it was Dean making his way through the house. There was no urgency in his steps, so no one was bleeding and he didn't need to use the bathroom. But he didn't head for the fridge as thirteen year old boys tended to do, which was unusual but not enough to really command Bobby's attention.
The older hunter was in kind of a lull; aside from John, who never stopped moving, there were very few active hunters that Bobby was overseeing. It was just too damned hot. So Bobby was taking advantage of the down time and attempting to reorganize his library. Tedious work, but he hoped it'd be well worth the effort.
Bobby could hear Dean opening cabinets, shuffling items around and pausing. Bobby looked up from the desk where he was sitting and peered into the kitchen. Dean was standing in front of the table with his back to Bobby. Bobby had a fair view of Dean's dust covered cut-off jeans and formerly white t-shirt. In his hand Dean held a small funnel – from the set of his shoulders to the tilt of his head, Dean seemed to be thinking hard. Now Bobby was intrigued.
After a period of examination Dean sighed heavily and his shoulders slumped in defeat. Bobby was disappointed on Dean's behalf; the boy had a good mind for puzzles and was very mechanically inclined, if he couldn't work out what he was worrying at, it must be a quandary indeed. Bobby quickly turned back to his books; no need to let the boy know he was being watched and make him feel embarrassed in defeat. So when Dean started to move again and his footsteps brought him to the library doorway, Bobby looked up in genuine surprise.
"Uncle Bobby?" Dean leaned against the door jamb. In one hand he held the frustrating funnel and in the other a length of hose Bobby didn't see earlier. Dean's face squinted in question. "What do you know about water pressure?"
It turned out, Bobby knew a lot.
Sam and Dean were always very diligent to follow the rules when they visited the salvage yard. They were smart enough to know that any infraction would have them restricted to the house and the porch – no boy wants that when there are acres to roam. Since they weren't technically allowed to play in the salvage yard, but the only grassy area that had any shade was too far away to be reached by the hose they had a problem. On the way out to survey the situation Bobby admired the effort and ingenuity of the boys' previous attempts to solve the problem; the water catapult was a particular favorite.
Once they got their heads together, Bobby's baseball cap covered head hovering over the makeshift blueprint scratched in the dirt of the yard, building commenced post-haste. In under an hour the hose and its attendant attachments and nozzles had been jerry rigged on a system of scaffolding and made to reach to the grassy oasis. Sam and Dean delighted in running around barefoot under the spray. There didn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to their game, just a lot of yelling and running. Deciding the library could sit unattended for another day, Bobby pulled up a rickety beach chair under the oak tree to enjoy the show.
After a while Bobby found himself drowsing in the heat lulled by the sounds of the boys at play. That was, until a shadow crossed his face and he opened his eyes.
Sam stood before his chair, water-logged and covered in mud. Dean was behind him grinning, like the cat who swallowed a canary. Sam held a monkey wrench and Dean was propping up a sheet of smooth plastic siding.
"Uncle Bobby?" Sam asked. "What do you know about water slides?"