Bobby Singer wasn't one to care very much about anything. Not really. And on this particular cold day, when the temperature was about freezing or below outside, he really didn't want to be going out.
Then the Winchesters happened.
Bobby was just settling down on his sofa with a book – yes, sometimes he decided he got off time – when the phone rang.
Sighing and muttering something about how people these days don't consider the fact that a ringing phone is most annoying, Singer moved towards the device and answered it without looking at the caller ID.
"Singer here," he grumbled into his end. He was met with only silence, which was slightly ominous, and that was when he pulled the phone away from his ear briefly and looked at the caller ID.
And silence from a Winchester was NEVER a good thing.
Panic already building, Bobby put the phone back at his ear and said urgently, "Dean? Can you hear me? What is it?"
It seemed like hours later but really was only seconds that there was a cough from the other end of the line and a croaky voice replied, "Bobby. Uh, we might need some help."
"Or course I can help, boy, that's why I'm here," the man told the boy soothingly, trying to cover the alarm he felt at the fact that the Winchesters were asking for help. "What's wrong?"
There was more silence and a small sound maybe of a struggle before an answer was said.
"Can you track us on the GPS?"
Bobby nodded impatiently. "Of course."
"Can you come? Like, now?"
"Of course I can." He hesitated, deciding against needing more information and needing to get to wherever the hell the kids were.
He decided on the former.
"Dean? Stay on the phone, alright. I'm coming for you," Bobby instructed the boy as he pulled on his jacket and boots and headed out to his truck, phone in hand.
There was no answer from the other end as Bobby got into his vehicle and started the engine. "Dean? Dean, are you still there, boy?" he asked urgently.
A quiet cough. "Yeah, I'm here, Bobby." A pause. "You comin'?"
"On my way."
Dean was silent again as Bobby checked where the boys were via GPS. It came up; about a hundred miles out from his place, in a forest.
"What's going on, Dean?" Bobby asked, trying to keep the panic out of his voice. That wouldn't help the boy.
When there was no answer, he pushed on; "Is Sam with you? Are you two okay?"
"Well, no. We, uh, crashed a car."
Bobby swore under his breath. "What do you mean? Are you badly hurt?"
The voice was getting weaker; "Uh, it's not the Impala. That's back at the town." A pause, as if Dean was struggling for breath. Bobby willed his truck to go faster.
"Talk to me, boy," he urged when Dean didn't start speaking again.
There was a weary sigh. "It's, uh... this witness we were talking to. She took us out to show us something. But then-" He broke off, coughing.
Bobby tried to push his pedal down more as he drove at top speed through the almost deserted roads. "Are you hurt? Is Sam?"
Dean got his breath back and replied haltingly, "But she was possessed. She turned a knife on us. We managed to stop her but the car crashed into a tree." Another cough. "We're quite deep in."
"Okay." Bobby mentally tried to calculate how much damage could have been done to the Winchesters, seeing as Dean was reluctant to tell him.
Then he checked the GPS again; he was only a few miles away now.
"I'm almost there, Dean."
The kid's voice was getting fainter and a terrifying thought suddenly struck Bobby.
"Are you in the car or outside?"
He hesitated, then, softly; "outside."
Bobby hit the steering wheel, almost making himself swerve. "Balls!"
Dean murmured something that sounded a bit like 'my thoughts exactly' but Bobby couldn't catch it.
"Where's Sam?" he asked urgently. Of course Dean would know exactly where and how his brother was.
Another pause, and the sound of moving. "He's here."
"Yeah, I guessed that much." Bobby resisted the urge to roll his eyes. Now was not the time. "How is he?"
"He's in the car. He was in the back seat so he was safe; she only attacked me." Another cough. Bobby began to piece it together.
"Dean... did she stab you?"
Silence. Then, "Yes."
Bobby muttered a choice few swear words and checked the GPS again. Almost there.
"I'm almost there, Dean."
Silence. The elder hunter knew he had to keep Dean talking. Why not dwell on his best subject.
"Is Sam hurt?"
"Not badly. He's just out of it. The impact knocked him right out, he's not responding to me." Suppressed worry in his voice.
"Why are you outside the car?"
"After she crashed the car, the woman wrestled me out of it. I managed to stab her with the demon knife. But not before she stabbed me." He chuckled wheezily. "Kind of ironic."
Not the kind of irony Bobby liked.
He was about the say something else when there was a disturbance on the line and it gave out. Bobby swore under his breath and threw the phone at the passenger seat.
Not a minute later, he parked at the edge of the thick forest and walking in, calling out into the forest; "Dean? Dean!"
There was nothing for a few minutes as he walked further in, going in a straight line so he could get back to the car. Then he saw a light through the trees.
He hurried towards it, going left off the path. When he saw what had happened, he stopped and stared for a moment.
A car, silver ford focus, had crashed hard into a tree, the entire front of it crumpled against the wood. The headlights were still on, illuminating spots of red around the vehicle... and a body.
Without thinking, Bobby ran towards it and turned it over, already hating what he might see.
It was girl. A young woman, barely over twenty. She had a knife wound in her chest and bruises on her bare arms and legs where she had been beaten. No doubt by the Winchester.
Bobby stood up and looked around. There was some blood beside the woman but Dean was nowhere in sight. He swore under his breath and made his way to the car, remembering what the kid had said about Sam.
Sure enough, the younger Winchester was there, half lying on the back seats, slumped on the door where the glass window was shattered but not broken.
Okay, he wasn't going to open that door. The glass might smash over both of them, and he was sure that wasn't the only option.
Instead, Bobby opened the driver's door, and pulled the seat forward so he could get to the kid.
"Sam?" He called softly as he carefully settled himself on the back of the driving seat to see to the boy.
Sam's head had evidently been smashed against the glass and door; the right side of his hair was matted in red and his head was hanging down in unconsciousness.
Trying not to worry too much – head wounds always bled a lot – Bobby gently reached out and tilted Sam's head back to see his face and assess the damage.
Bobby could now see that the boy's temple had taken the impact; there was a big, slightly bloody, bruise there that had long since stopped bleeding, the dried blood making it look worse than it probably actually was.
"Dammit..." Bobby muttered; head injuries couldn't be messed around with, no matter how trivial they may seem. Well, this one didn't really seem trivial either. That meant hospital for the kid.
Thoughtfully he let Sam's head drop again and pressed two fingers at the boy's throat, just to check. His pulse was slow but thankfully not at all weak.
"You'll hold out for a minute, boy," Bobby murmured to the unconscious hunter before backing out of the car and shutting the door to preserve heat. He looked around and shivered in the coldness, cursing inside his head.
He glanced at the shadow of the young Winchester in the car. "Your brother, on the other hand..." he sighed.
He started to look for Dean.
This was no easy feat; an injured hunter was usually more dangerous and daring, meaning the kid could have gone anywhere.
"Dean!" Bobby yelled out into the night, hoping against hope the young hunter was still conscious. Because else, then they were in real big trouble. It meant that hypothermia had probably got him and it would take much longer to find him.
"Balls!" Bobby cursed for the second time that evening. He began walking a little way from the car, wondering briefly why Dean would have left his brother vulnerable.
The answer, it turned out, was that he hadn't. He had just acted on hunter and big brother instinct.
Bobby walked back to the car and caught a suddenly movement from the other side of it. Frowning, he went to investigate.
Peering round to the other side of the car, he did a double take. He was confronted by Dean Winchester, a knife in hand, barely upright, leaning heavily against the car that contained his brother.
"Dean...?" Bobby said cautiously. An injured hunter was as dangerous one, as said before, and the elder man knew that the boy could be lethal when provoked.
Dean squinted at the elder hunter for a minute as he slowly advanced, hands held out in front of him.
"Dean, it's me, Bobby. You called me, remember?" He explained soothingly.
The Winchester stared. "Bobby?" He whispered in a cracked voice.
Bobby gave a sigh of relief. "Yeah, it's me. I'm here to help, okay?"
Dean swayed and then fell, as the man knew he would. Bobby caught him before he touched the chilled ground.
"It's okay, Sammy. We're safe," Dean murmured, his eyes already closed, before surrendering to blackness.
Bobby smiled despite the situation as he held the fallen Winchester. "Yes. I'm here. You're safe."