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[breathe until tomorrow]
gen fic; no pairings
pg-13
950 words

notes: coda to 5.15




Bobby finds Sam out in the junkyard, leaning on the skeleton of an old Chevelle. It isn’t easy to maneuver around the lot in his wheelchair, but he’s figured out how to do a lot of things since it’s become a permanent fixture. He wheels to a stop next to Sam’s legs and says, “Your brother is in there spitting nails ‘cause he’s ready to go and is waitin’ on your pretty ass.”

“Just thinking,” Sam says.

“That’s a dangerous thing coming from either of you,” Bobby replies, but Sam doesn’t even so much as smile.

“I think it’s best if you cut your losses now,” Sam says. He’s not looking at Bobby but out over the wasted bodies of cars.

“What?”

“Maybe,” Sam starts and then breathes through his nose. “Maybe it’s best to cut all ties with us.”

“Best for who?” Bobby has heard all kinds of stupid crap come out of both of their mouths – Sam and Dean – but he’s got a feeling this is going to be one of the stupider things. Sam looks at him and the kid looks pathetic – tired and sad and just plain worn out. “For me?” Bobby finally says and Sam nods.

“If you cut ties with us now… maybe you’ll be safe.”

“It’s the goddamn apocalypse! Nobody’s safe!”

“I know, but – “

“Do you even hear yourself?” Bobby asks. “I’ve known you boys practically your whole lives and I never gave up on you. I didn’t come this far, or land myself in this damn thing,” he gestures to his chair, “to call it quits now.”

Sam shakes his head and looks away. “I know, but… We’ve watched every person we’ve ever cared about die – Mom and Dad, Jess, Ellen and Jo… I don’t want to have to add your name to that list.”

“It’s war, Sam,” Bobby says. “There is bound to be collateral damage.”

“I know that, too,” Sam says, shaking his head again. “But, Bobby, if you cut ties now, maybe you won’t be when-“

“When what?” Bobby says angrily. “When you say ‘yes’, Sam? Let me tell you something: if you think that’s what you’re gonna do, you better get real flexible real fast ‘cause you’re going to need to put your head between your legs and kiss your ass goodbye.”

“Bobby, listen to me –“

“No, you listen to me, boy. We didn’t fight all this way for you to bend over for Lucifer.” Bobby doesn’t lose his temper all that often – old age does that to a guy – but right now he wishes he could stand up and slap some sense into the kid.

“And what if they send another message for you? What then, Bobby? What if they send some demon here to torture you or Dean and I come back here to find your guts splattered all over your house? Did you ever think about that?” Sam’s breathing hard, his eyes are bright with unshed tears and anger; there’s a war going on all around them, but the one Sam’s really hung up on is the one he’s got going on right inside himself.

“That’s a risk I’ll take,” Bobby says. “You and Dean are family; hell, Sam, you boys are the sons I never got to have. No matter what might happen, you don’t turn your back on family.”

“I know that, Bobby,” he says quietly. “I do; I know that. And you’ve always been like a father to us, and I can’t…” Sam coughs then; he may be more apt to express his feelings than his brother, but it doesn’t mean he wants to break down and cry in front of someone, and Bobby knows Sam sure as hell doesn’t want to break down and cry in front of him.

“It ain’t your choice to make,” Bobby says quietly. “Sam, I’ve been in this a long time. I’m not going to quit just ‘cause I might get killed. If I bite it and you’re still saying ‘no’ to that son of a bitch, then it sure as hell would have been worth it.”

Sam is quiet for a long time, and Bobby just sits and looks up at him. If he’s honest with himself, there is no “chance” he’s going to get killed; Bobby is a smart man and he knows that it won’t be much longer now. He’s a nuisance in this war, standing in between Lucifer and his vessel, and he doesn’t mind being just that. He’ll be a roadblock for as long as he can, he’ll keep pushing Sam to say no until he takes his last breath, and he’s really, really ok with that.

“Don’t you say ‘yes’ to that prick,” Bobby says. “I ain’t going down without a fight, but it’s going to make it a lot easier knowing you morons are still in one piece, relatively.”

Sam chokes out half a laugh at that, and looks down at Bobby. “I’m scared to death,” he admits.

“Yeah well, so is everyone else,” Bobby replies honestly. “It’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better, so I need to know that if that bastard finds you that you’re still going to tell him to shove it.”

Sam nods. “I will,” he says. “I swear, Bobby, I’ll keep saying no until I’m dead.”

“That ain’t as comforting as it sounds, but it’s good enough.” Bobby turns his chair and starts moving away. “Now, get your ass moving before your brother cries water stains into my floors.” He hears Sam laugh and it doesn’t sound as good as it used to.

Truth is, Bobby knows it’s all coming to an end, eventually. Everything does.

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