Summary: Pre-Series Fluff – 4-year old Sam, 8-year old Dean, Awesome Bobby...and a dash of John – Bobby never doubted that John loved his kids, but the father was missing so much; so many precious moments that would never return. Like making pizza with a four-year old...
Disclaimer: Not mine.
A/N: Since all of my stories have been a little heavy lately, I decided to take a quick break from the angst and wallow in Weechester fluff. Plus, I miss Bobby so, so, so much. I'm just sayin'...
Let's make a pizza pie. Roll the dough. Add sauce and cheese. A little pepperoni if you please. ~ Rick Charette
"What 'cha makin'?" four-year old Sam asked curiously, crossing to stand beside Bobby as his sock-clad feet quietly padded into the kitchen; his small fingers gripping the edge of the kitchen counter as he pushed himself up on his toes, desperately trying to see what Bobby was flattening with the wooden rolling pin.
But Bobby didn't answer him.
Sam sighed, as if dealing with old people was exhausting. "I said what 'cha makin?" he repeated, only louder in case Bobby hadn't heard him.
Bobby chuckled, having ignored the kid the first time he had asked, wanting dinner to be a surprise – even though the old hunter had known the inquisitive four-year old would keep asking.
"You're like a dog with a bone..." Bobby fondly grumbled to the kid beside him.
Sam blinked up at him and smiled. "I like dogs."
Bobby nodded. "I know," he agreed, continuing to move the rolling pin back and forth; thinking about all the books he had collected over the years about dogs just because the squirt beside him liked them so damn much – liked books...and dogs...and books about dogs.
Bobby shook his head, having never pegged himself to be the kind of guy to hoard children's books for a kid that wasn't even his.
But then again, Bobby had learned long ago that family didn't stop with bloodlines.
...which meant John's kids didn't just belong to John.
Bobby nodded in agreement with himself and kept the rolling pin moving.
"We can't have one, though..." Sam continued – still talking about dogs – and then sighed, the disappointment fresh every time he remembered.
There was a beat of silence.
"But maybe you can get one..." Sam suggested, his eyes wide with excitement at the idea. "And then when we come to visit, I could play with it for ya."
Like the kid would be doing Bobby a favor...
Bobby quirked a smile. "You think so, huh?" he commented, having already planned to get a dog by Christmas simply because the salvage yard could use one...and because every kid deserved to have a dog in his life, even if – especially if – the kid didn't have a permanent home.
"Dean likes dogs, too..." Sam added, as if that detail would further sway Bobby to become a pet owner. "Well..." he paused, scrunching his face as he reconsidered. "Dean kinda likes dogs."
Bobby chuckled at the amended statement, knowing Dean only tolerated dogs because Sam liked them; otherwise, the eight-year old couldn't care less.
"Do you like dogs?"
Bobby glanced at the kid still standing beside him. "Sure do," he confirmed, the rolling pin moving back and forth.
"I knew it!" Sam replied, clearly proud of himself.
There was a pause.
"So...are you gonna get one?"
Bobby chuckled again as Sam looked up at him; the kid using those big eyes under that fringe of bangs like a superpower. "We'll see..." he vaguely responded and quickly looked away from the four-year old before he spilled his secret about already shopping around for a puppy.
Amazingly, Sam seemed satisfied with that answer; letting the issue drop as he returned to his earlier question. "What 'cha doin'?" he asked, grunting when he accidently bumped into Bobby's leg as he strained his neck to lift his head a little higher.
But he still couldn't see over the kitchen counter.
"I'm always too short," Sam whined and shook his head at his plight.
"You'll grow," Bobby assured, continuing his task.
Sam shook his head again. "Dean says I'll be little forever."
Bobby arched an eyebrow at the news, spoken like it was the gospel since Dean had said it.
...which was adorable.
"Well, maybe you'll be his little brother forever..." Bobby allowed, not wanting a grumpy four-year old on his hands and knowing he would have one if he outright contradicted anything Dean had proclaimed.
But Bobby knew the kid beside him certainly wouldn't be little forever.
Because kids grew up...in more ways than one.
Which made moments like this so much more special and more treasured than the old hunter would ever admit...
After all, whoever thought grumpy, ornery ol' Bobby would enjoy having a kid around to bother him?
Sam sighed. "Bobby..." he prompted, his gaze flickering to the older man. "Are you makin' sumpthin'?"
"Mmhmm," Bobby hummed in response.
Sam narrowed his eyes in slight annoyance at Bobby's continued dodging. "What?"
"What am I makin'?" Bobby clarified.
"Well..." Bobby began, pausing long enough to snag the leg of the stool he kept nearby and dragging it over with the worn toe of his boot. "How 'bout you hop up here and see for yourself?"
Sam nodded eagerly at the suggestion, practically bouncing in place before he climbed up on the stool; sitting on his knees as he watched Bobby roll the dough...and frowning because he still didn't know what the old hunter was making.
Bobby glanced at the uncharacteristically quiet kid beside him, knowing Sam didn't recognize this meal because it hadn't arrived in a large square box. "Know what it is?"
Sam shrugged and shook his head.
Bobby sighed, reminded of how much he hated John dragging his kids all over the country; his boys rarely eating anything fresh or homemade. "It's pizza," he told Sam and laughed when the four-year old shook his head.
"No, it's not," Sam disputed, his tone implying he was offended that Bobby would try to slip such ridiculousness by him. "Pizza is shaped like a circle."
...which meant whatever was spread out on the kitchen counter was not a pizza.
"Sometimes," Bobby agreed about pizza's shape. "But sometimes it looks like a rectangle. Like this..."
Sam tilted his head like the idea was strange.
There was a beat of silence as Bobby allowed the kid to work it out.
Sam shrugged, taking Bobby's word for it. "Can I help?"
Bobby smiled and nodded, having hoped Sam would ask that. "Absolutely," he heartily replied and once again hooked the toe of his boot around the stool's leg, carefully dragging it closer towards him.
Sam giggled his delight at being pulled across the floor and then sat patiently as Bobby came up behind him; the old hunter's arms on either side of his small body.
"Here..." Bobby offered, allowing Sam to take charge of the rolling pin. "Just roll it back and forth. But you have to roll it hard..."
Sam nodded, taking the task seriously, and pushed up on his knees to gain leverage before bearing down on the soft, sticky dough.
Bobby watched, his larger hands hovering over Sam's, and then patted the kid's back approvingly. "There you go..." he praised before crossing to the pantry and fridge to collect the remaining ingredients.
Sam beamed proudly and glanced over his shoulder as he felt Bobby move away from him, briefly losing his balance on the stool as he did so.
Bobby instantly reached for the four-year old, steadying the kid in place and then scowling at the close call. "Be careful," he admonished, his heart beating wildly in his chest.
Because the last thing Bobby needed was for John and Dean to return in a few hours and find an injured Sam; a Sam who was hurt and bleeding all because Bobby had turned his back for one second.
Bobby inwardly shuddered at the thought of what kind of lecture he would have to endure if that happened.
After all, it was bad enough that before Dean had reluctantly left with John on an errand, the eight-year old had given Bobby step-by-step instructions on how to care for Sam in his absence.
"Make sure Sam eats dinner around 5:30," Dean had told Bobby, like a mother advising a babysitter on his way out the door behind John. "...and that he's in bed by 7:30, or we're all gonna regret it tomorrow."
Dean had pinned Bobby with a hard stare even though the old hunter had needed no reminders that an overly-tired Sam was an overly-moody Sam...and that nobody wanted to tangle with that version of the four-year old.
So, even though dinner was going to be late – Bobby glanced at the clock and shrugged – he would make damn sure the kid was in bed by 7:30.
Or else suffer the consequences of not only a moody four-year old the next day...but the wrath of a pissed eight-year old tonight for not following directions on how to care for Sam.
Bobby twitched a smile, amused but saddened that it was Dean who was Sam's primary caretaker; Dean who looked after the kid while John walked around in a distracted daze, often too consumed with the next hunt to pay attention to anything else.
Not that Bobby doubted that John loved his kids, but the father was missing so much; so many precious moments that would never return.
Like making pizza with a four-year old...
Bobby nodded and refocused on Sam still perched on the stool at the counter. "Are you okay?"
Sam nodded. "Yes, sir," he responded and then smiled shyly, knowing he had almost nosedived off the stool and had scared Bobby in the process. "Sorry."
"Don't be sorry," Bobby grumbled. "Be careful."
Sam nodded again. "Yes, sir."
Bobby returned the nod, his gaze lingering on Sam before he resumed his collection of pizza ingredients – the jarred sauce, the shredded cheese, and the prepackaged pepperoni.
"Almost done?" Bobby asked as he set everything on the counter.
"I think so," Sam replied, glancing uncertainly at Bobby as he waited for the old hunter's stamp of approval on his dough rolling skills.
"Looks good," Bobby observed, even as he reached to pinch together a few gaping patches of dough spread too thin by an eager four-year old.
Sam smiled at the praise. "Now what?"
"Now the good stuff," Bobby remarked, quickly transferring the dough to a baking pan and then opening the jar of sauce; its lid twisting off with an audible pop.
Sam's smile widened before he imitated the sound, smacking his lips together and then giggling.
Bobby chuckled at the four-year old's antics. "Here, squirt..."
Sam giggled again and accepted the jar, carefully tilting it to pour out its contents and then gasping as the sauce unexpectedly rushed out in one huge plop.
Sam blinked and then glanced at Bobby to gauge his reaction.
Bobby shrugged, pulling open one of the kitchen drawers and handing a spoon to Sam. "Plan B."
Hunters always had one.
Sam immediately smiled, clearly relieved that Bobby wasn't mad, and grabbed the spoon; his small hand moving back and forth as he smoothed the sauce over the pizza dough. "Ta-da!" he announced, waving the spoon when he was done and splattering red sauce all over the counter.
Bobby shook his head, reminding himself that he missed the mess when the kid wasn't there. "Here..." he told the four-year old, passing Sam the bag of cheese in exchange for the spoon. "Spread it around," he instructed, vaguely gesturing toward the pizza.
Sam nodded his understanding, dropping handfuls of cheese onto the sauce and not seeming to mind that Bobby was distributing the cheese more evenly with his fingers.
"We make a good team," Sam commented, continuing to drop clumps of cheese on the pizza.
"Yeah, we do..." Bobby agreed fondly.
"But not as good as me and Dean," Sam informed and scrunched his face apologetically; not wanting to hurt Bobby's feelings...but the truth was the truth.
Nobody was better than Dean.
And nothing was better than him and Dean together.
It made his little four-year old heart glad to think about it.
Bobby did the same, grateful Sam and Dean shared the bond they did and hoping it only grew stronger with age.
He was sure it would.
There was a beat of silence.
"What next?" Sam asked, passing the bag of cheese to Bobby and blinking expectantly.
"The best part..." Bobby replied, shaking the package of pepperoni slices.
Sam smiled. "Dean loves pepperoni!" he proclaimed excitedly. "And so do I..."
"Of course you do," Bobby remarked, because if Dean loved it...Sam loved it.
That was just the way it was for the four-year old who idolized his big brother.
"Here..." Bobby said, passing several slices of pepperoni to Sam while keeping some for himself. "Bet I can beat you."
Sam blinked at the unexpected challenge but then nodded eagerly.
Bobby smiled, watching as the kid began tossing his pepperonis onto the pizza before joining in the race.
Several seconds passed.
"I win!" Sam proclaimed excitedly, holding up his greasy hands in victory.
"You're fast," Bobby agreed appreciatively, spreading out his share of pepperonis and then straightening Sam's as they lay in a shuffled heap on top of the pizza.
Sam nodded in agreement. "Dean says I'm fast, too. But I'm not as fast as him. Nobody's faster than Dean."
...or smarter or braver or...the list went on.
Bobby chuckled, hoping Dean knew to savor Sam's hero-worship while it lasted.
Sam stared at the pizza as Bobby continued to arrange the ingredients more evenly. "That was fun!" he commented and smiled at the old hunter.
"Good," Bobby replied.
Sam's smile lingered.
"Alright..." Bobby sighed, turning to open the oven. "What d'ya say we bake this pizza pie?"
Sam arched an eyebrow at the description. "Pizza pie?"
Because he had never heard a pizza referred to as that.
Bobby nodded, lifting the baking pan from the counter and sliding it inside the oven.
Sam watched. "How long before it's done?" he asked, rubbing his stomach like he was hungry.
And he probably was, since it was now closer to 6:00 than 5:30.
"Maybe 30 minutes or so..." Bobby answered about how long it would take for the pizza to cook.
Which meant it would be 6:30 before Sam ate dinner.
An hour later than the kid usually ate.
Dean would not be pleased.
Bobby could already picture the eight-year old's disapproving scowl.
"Bobby..." Sam called, attracting the old hunter's attention. "Will Dean and Daddy be back to eat with us?"
"I don't know," Bobby replied honestly; knowing the errand itself shouldn't take long but one thing often led to another.
And John was also like a dog with a bone when he had something on his mind...which was where his youngest got the same tendency.
Sam sighed, shifting from his knees to sit on his bottom; his feet swinging as he sat on the stool and propped his elbows on the counter. "I miss Dean."
"I know you do, squirt," Bobby responded and affectionately ruffled the kid's floppy hair, always finding it interesting – and telling – that Sam never made such a statement about John.
"Will he be back soon?"
Bobby chuckled at the four-year old's question, like Dean had been gone for days. "He's only been gone for a couple of hours."
Though Bobby knew it felt longer to Sam...and probably felt longer to Dean, too; both boys never doing well when they were separated.
Sam sighed again. "I hope Dean comes back soon," he wished aloud. "He likes pizza. And we made it even specialer 'cause it's pizza pie. Dean likes pie, too."
Bobby quirked a smile, the four-year old obviously thinking "pizza" and "pizza pie" were two separate things.
It was adorable.
"Well..." Bobby began, tossing the empty sauce jar and pepperoni package into the trashcan before sealing the bag of cheese. "We'll make sure to save him some, okay?"
The question had barely escaped Bobby's mouth before the unmistakable rumble of the Impala approached the house; the classic Chevy easing into the salvage yard and instantly brightening Sam's mood.
Sam's eyes widened with excited recognition. "Yay!"
Bobby snorted at the four-year old's simple but genuine response to hearing John's car and hooked his hands beneath the kid's arms, setting Sam down on the floor as he pushed the stool back to its corner.
"They're back! They're back!" Sam announced, as if Bobby couldn't hear the creak of the Impala's doors opening in the yard.
"Mmhmm..." Bobby hummed in agreement, quickly wiping Sam's messy hands with a damp dishrag before setting the squirming kid free.
Sam instantly bounded down the hallway.
"Be careful..." Bobby called after him; not wanting the four-year old to trip over the rug like he sometimes did and face-plant on the floor...like he sometimes did.
Bobby shook his head, returning the cheese to the fridge before peeking inside the oven at the pizza and then following behind Sam.
"Dean!" Sam yelled, colliding with his brother as the eight-year old entered the house.
"Whoa..." Dean commented and then smiled as Sam hugged him around the waist.
"I've missed you!" Sam told his brother and then pushed back to stare at Dean. "Did you miss me?"
Dean chuckled. "Yeah, Sammy..." he assured the four-year old and then glanced over his shoulder as John closed the door.
"Daddy!" Sam called and then smiled up at John.
"Hey, kiddo..." John greeted, tousling Sam's floppy hair as he passed by the kid. "You been good?"
"Mmhmm," Sam responded and then refocused on Dean. "We made something!" he excitedly announced. "Something just for you. You're gonna love it!"
"Well, if you made it, how could I not love it?" Dean replied, his tone overly sweet.
Sam glared and shoved his brother, recognizing Dean being a smartass. "Don't be mean. I'm serious."
"So am I," Dean responded, batting his eyes in innocence.
Sam huffed his annoyance and stomped down the hall toward the kitchen.
Dean chuckled as he followed. "Sammy..."
Bobby shook his head, watching the brothers disappear around the corner, and then focused on John still lingering in the hallway. "And?" he prompted.
"It's what we thought," John cryptically responded. "Only worse."
Bobby snorted at the news. "Of course it is..." he commented.
Because whatever it was, it was always worse than they thought.
John nodded and then sighed harshly, his gaze flickering to the kitchen at the sound of his sons' voices. "We'll talk about it more after the boys are asleep."
Bobby nodded as the younger hunter passed by him and then followed John down the hall.
"It's a pizza pie," Sam was saying when the two men entered the kitchen; both boys crouched to peek inside the oven.
Dean didn't respond.
"Your two favorite things..." Sam further pointed out. "Pizza and pie."
Dean nodded. "Looks good, Sammy..." he praised. "Smells good, too."
Sam beamed at him, dimples and all.
"You did good, kiddo," Dean added, touched that his little brother was so proud of what he had made seemingly just for Dean, and then turned at the sound of John and Bobby entering the kitchen.
Bobby paused as Dean pinned him with a hard stare.
"It's past 5:30," the eight-year old informed, meaningfully glancing at what he perceived as a starving little brother, though Sam had made no such comment.
Bobby nodded. "Time got away from us."
Dean arched an eyebrow at the pitiful excuse.
John chuckled at his eight-year old's silent reprimand. "Stay strong," he quietly advised the older hunter and patted Bobby's shoulder in understanding support as he crossed to the fridge to grab a beer; thankful that for once, he wasn't the focus of Dean's disapproval in how Sam had been cared for.
There was a beat of silence.
Sam turned away from peering inside the oven and nudged Dean's arm. "It doesn't matter," he told his brother, rolling his eyes at how overprotective Dean could be. "And besides, I didn't want to eat without you, so it worked out just right."
Dean glanced at his brother standing beside him.
Dean reluctantly did the same, still irritated with Bobby but unable to resist returning Sam's expression.
Because the kid was too damn cute.
And Sam knew it, too.
The little shit.
Sam's smile widened as he turned back to the oven.
"Saved by a four-year old..." John commented, taking a sip of beer as he sat in one of the chairs at the table.
Bobby cut his eyes at the younger hunter.
Bobby said nothing, knowing John had been saved by a four-year old more than a few times as well since Sam was the only one who could smooth Dean's ruffled mother hen feathers.
John shrugged, unable to dispute that assumption.
"How much longer?" Sam asked, glancing over his shoulder.
"Soon," Bobby assured, grabbing four plates from the cabinet.
Sam grinned, excited to eat something he had helped make. "It's a pizza pie," he whispered to himself, like he just couldn't get over how awesome that was; how lucky he was to have made two of Dean's favorite things in one dish.
Dean smiled at his little brother, knowing Sam's thoughts. "Thanks, Sammy," he told the kid standing beside him and affectionately nudged Sam's bony shoulder.
Sam nudged back, returning Dean's smile.
John and Bobby exchanged glances as they watched the brothers, a content silence settling over the kitchen while they waited for the pizza – the pizza pie – to finish baking.
Twenty minutes later, they were all seated around the table eating dinner together; enjoying a homemade meal as they talked about anything not related to hunting.
And at least for that moment, life wasn't too bad.