Rating: G (language)
Category: SPN Gen (Bobby, Winchesters (preseries))
Word Count: 1,147
Disclaimer: Don't own, don't sue, no offense, no money.
Bobby had heard of John Winchester before he ever met him.
Big bear of a man the way people told it, came out of nowhere and started hunting like a man possessed. Something killed his wife and Bobby knew the story, it was the same for most hunters. Only a very few were like him, second, third or even more generation. Bobby’s father had hunted and his father before him.
The first Winchester he ever met was Dean though, pelting out of rain-soaked forest, clutching a shotgun almost as big as himself. Bobby had been tracking a werewolf down through Kansas for two days and it seemed the Winchesters had beaten him to it.
Bobby had seen the big black car sitting at the end of one of the hiker’s trails and had thought nothing of it until he’d caught movement in the corner of his eye. Went over to have a look and was surprised as hell to see a small boy peering up at him through the window.
“Get away from him!” a voice shrilled behind and Bobby turned to see another, maybe ten years old coming at him fast. He was holding the shotgun like a bat and Bobby knew to this day that if Dean hadn’t been so panicked seeing a dark stranger hovering near his baby brother, Bobby would’ve not lived past that day.
“Hold on,” Bobby called, hands up and stepping away but it was right at that moment that a man burst through the brush behind the ten year old. He didn’t slow, just scooped the boy up and kept running, darting sideways when Bobby brought his own rifle up. The werewolf took one between the eyes and came to a halt right at Bobby’s feet.
“John Winchester,” the man introduced when they’d all taken a moment to catch their breath and calm down. “This is Dean,” he added, running a hand over the boy’s head. “That’s Sammy.”
“You’re a goddamned lunatic,” Bobby snapped. “This ain’t no place for children.”
John just smiled and said, “You don’t know my boys.”
Dean was quiet and serious and Sam inquisitive and craving of affection, or that’s what Bobby assumed when he got a lapful of Sam at his kitchen table, clutching books to his chest and asking, “Can you read me these?”
Bobby looked over the stack of dusty tomes and chuckled. “Maybe in a few years, kiddo.”
Sam huffed a sigh that was older than him and flopped backwards so his head was just under Bobby’s chin. Dean watched them with a suspicious eye from across the table, pushing the cereal he was offered around his bowl but not actually eating any.
“You hunt like my Dad?” he asked. John was sacked out on the couch in the living room, having had a nasty gash on his shoulder blade stitched up. Bobby checked thoroughly to make sure there were no bites and John let him, holding his revolver lightly in his hands with the handle pointed at Bobby until he was done.
“Some,” Bobby said, not sure how much to tell these boys. “I mostly help folks with possessions.”
“That when a demon gets in ya?” Sam asked.
“Sure is. If there’s somethin’ nearby then I’ll go check it out.”
“You live here, all the time?” Sam asked and Bobby watched something that looked like concern cross Dean’s face.
“I do. This was my Daddy’s place.”
“See Dean!” Sam crowed, sitting up straighter and thumping small hands on the table. “We can stay in one place-“
“Shutup jerkface, no we can’t!” Dean snapped, pushing away from the table. Sam was off Bobby’s lap in a rush to follow his brother out of the room. Bobby heard them arguing all the way to the back door and then the slam as it was opened and pulled closed hard.
“Sorry ‘bout that,” John said from the doorway, looking pale but otherwise none the worse for wear. “We’ll be out of your hair soon as possible.”
“No need,” Bobby said with a shrug. “That shoulder is going to be a misery for at least a couple of days so you won’t be driving far. I’ve got a couple of spare rooms and an ear if you’re willing to let me know what’s been going on out in the big wide world.”
John smiled and nodded.
Jeb was a mongrel Bobby had rescued tangled in a barbed wire fence. He’d always been ornery around strangers and that’s why Bobby kept him. You’d think he was a fluff ball puppy the way he acted around the Winchester boys.
Bobby eyed the enormous Jeb whose jaws could crush soup cans gently tugging Sammy around the front yard by the sleeve, every now and again halting and only proceeding when Sammy would say, “C’mon, show me!”
Bobby got back all manner of odds and ends that day that he’d thought lost as Jeb unearthed previously buried treasures just to win favour with the boy.
When Sammy handed him a wallet he’d had to replace four months ago, dirt caked and thoroughly chewed, Bobby couldn’t help but laugh.
They only stayed three days that first time, John edgy and uncomfortable as soon as he was healed enough to be able to putter around. Bobby recognised a man used to the road, to only feeling safe when on the move.
He’d seen the type before.
Dean was sitting on the couch with Jeb sprawled over his lap and his duffle by his feet. John was wrestling Sammy into the tub and from the protests Bobby could hear issuing from the bathroom, having a real hard time of it.
“I like your place,” Dean said, rubbing one of Jeb’s ears between his fingers. “You think we can come back here?”
“It’s up to your Daddy,” Bobby replied, wanting nothing more than to just say, “Of course, you’re always welcome,” but wary of overstepping himself.
Dean just nodded, like he’d been expecting that answer. Bobby grunted and got a slip of paper from the coffee table and a pen. “How ‘bout you take my number,” Bobby said, printing his phone number carefully. “You or Sammy call me, whenever you want.” Dean took the proffered piece of paper and tucked it carefully in his jeans pocket, having to nudge under Jeb’s chin to get to it.
“Ready, kiddo?” John asked, emerging with a Sammy whose curls were still wet and a partially soaked t-shirt.
“Tell your Daddy he can use what I gave you too,” Bobby said and Dean nodded solemnly while John merely raised an eyebrow.
Watching the Chevy Impala peal out of his driveway, Bobby thought there was a good chance he would never see the Winchesters again. He was happy when a banging on his door seven months later at two in the morning proved him wrong.