Bobby would quite happily shoot John Winchester’s ass full of as much buckshot as he had left in the ammo store right now. He looked back at the two boys playing on the floor of the living room, a single car between them as Dean showed his little brother how to make it roll, carefully guiding him round the room so nothing got knocked over or moved out of place.
To be fair, Bobby was relieved that John wasn’t taking the boys with him, because hell if that would have been a good idea, but this . . . leaving them with him when he hadn’t met them more than once or twice in the past and only for a few minutes at a time. Not that being left seemed to have particularly bothered the little one, but hell if Bobby knew what you did with a kid of any age, let alone a little one like that. He glanced down at the bags John had left, opening the zipped one and seeing . . . fuck! Diapers!
What the fuck did Winchester think he was playing at? Bobby looked across at the kids again, seeing Dean’s eyes watching him anxiously. God Bobby hoped he hadn’t said any of that out loud. “Y’all right, Deano?” he asked, gruffly. The kid nodded back to Bobby’s relief, although looking at him Bobby wasn’t convinced it wasn’t a lie. Poor kid.
Bobby turned his back on them both and went in to the kitchen wondering what he could feed the two of them. He poked around in the fridge and cupboards for a while before calling out, “Dean, ya got a minute, kiddo?” The boy was at the door almost before he’d finished calling him. Bobby smiled, hoping it looked reassuring. “Was wondering what you and your brother like to eat?”
Dean shrugged. “Ya eat . . .” Bobby looked desperately into the fridge again. “Eggs?” Dean nodded. “Both of ya?” Another nod. “Bacon?” Dean nodded again. It’d do for tonight, it was too late to take the kids out shopping now, but tomorrow Bobby figured he’d have to work out how to manage that as well as what to actually feed them.
“Okay, dinner’ll be a few minutes then. You look after your brother til then?” Dean nodded and turned away to go back to his brother.
Bobby was thankful to put it mildly that Dean seemed to know what to do when it came to looking after his brother. He was the one who’d manage in very few words to explain that his brother only wore diapers at night when he was sleeping and it was ‘just in case’. He’d also been the one dragging his brother off to the bathroom regularly, Bobby assumed that was ‘just in case’ too.
When Bobby had put two plates down on the table in front of the boys, Dean had been the one to chop his brother’s food up, to spread it out to cool down and to tell his brother to blow on it. He’d also lifted some of the food off Sam’s plate and murmured that it was too much for him, looking embarrassed and anxious whether he was going to get into trouble for what he’d done.
Bobby had ruffled his hair and told him he needed all the help Dean could give him.
They’d not long finished eating when Dean took his brother to get ready for bed. Bobby found himself trailing behind to make sure that Dean didn’t need any help. The only problem the boys had seemed to be in reaching the sink for teeth brushing, which once Bobby had brought a chair for Sammy to stand on seemed to be resolved. Dean had everything well under control and Bobby wasn’t sure if that in itself wasn’t a pretty frightening prospect for a kid who wasn’t really that much past his sixth birthday.
Bobby had to lift Sam up onto the bed, immediately worrying that perhaps it was too high and what would happen if the kid fell out while he was asleep or even when he woke up in the morning. Sammy, however, seemed to have no such concerns, just crawled into the middle of the queen sized bed and flopped down, eyes closing and sleep setting in almost before his brother could bring the sheets up to cover him. Dean sat alongside him for a few minutes, looking at Bobby in silence.
Bobby wondered what was supposed to happen now, wasn’t like John had left any instructions. “You waiting on me telling ya a story, kiddo?” he asked. Dean shook his head, shuffled down the bed and lay down, wrapping his arm over his brother and closing his eyes. Bobby moved to the door, leaving the nightlight on outside the bedroom.
It was a couple of hours later when Bobby himself was heading to bed, that as he quietly passed the boys’ room, he heard the sniffle of tears. Concerned he pushed the door a little wider and saw Dean sitting up in bed, tears in his eyes, hand clearly trying to hold back actual sobs. Bobby didn’t hesitate, just strode into the room and sat down on the edge of the bed, sweeping the little boy up into his arms and holding him close.
“’s okay, Dean, I got ya,” he reassured, brusquely. Held close against Bobby’s chest, it still took a while for the little boy to relax. Bobby kicked off his shoes and swung his legs up onto the bed, shifting round until he was comfortable leant back against the wall, Dean still held close.
Maybe he’d call Jim in the morning, see if he had any advice on looking after the kids. With luck, he’d know what Bobby was doing wrong that had led to Dean crying and not coming looking for him or asking him for whatever it was he needed.
Dean shifted, curling round as he seemed to settle more comfortably, one small hand curling into hold onto Bobby’s t-shirt. Bobby let one hand come up to stroke Dean’s hair gently, watched as the boy’s eyes drifted closed with the soothing motion, his head slowly lolling sideways as he relaxed into proper sleep. It was heart-breaking to think what these kids had gone through in their short lives, brought out every ounce of protection that Bobby had inside.
He let his own head drop back against the wall, his own eyes drift shut, until he too was asleep, never letting go of the little boy who so needed his reassurance to know that he was safe and protected.
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Chapter end notes:
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