warnings for curse words, implied Wincest and an obscene amount of denial.
summary: Bobby’s take on the relationship between the Winchester brothers.
This was just another one of those times. Over the years, Bobby had gotten used to ignoring things that he didn’t want to talk or even think about. It was a skill that every hunter had honed to perfection, and aside from the deceased John Winchester, there was no one better at it than Bobby Singer.
There had been so many things he had wished to forget. His wife showing up as a demon, having to kill her himself, motherfucking shit , what the hell had he ever done in his life to deserve that particular assignment? So really, what he had been building up a tolerance for ignoring over the past few years compared to that? There was nothing worse.
Since the “I’m going to bury this deep in my brain and coat it in many layers of Jack Daniels” bar was set so high, it hadn’t been so hard when it started so long, long ago. John dropping the boys off while he set out on a hunt when they were just kids, 12 and 16. He knew how close Sam and Dean were, traveling so much, never getting a chance to form relationships with anyone else, their father away more than he was with them. All they had was each other, and if they were physically more affectionate than most brothers their age generally were (as far as Bobby knew, anyway), that wasn’t so unusual, given the circumstances. So Dean would fix Sam’s plate when it was time to have supper, his hand on his brother’s arm so gently, fingers soothing and lips right next to Sam’s ear, whispering something about needing to eat. Sam thinking he was sneaking a look at Dean under long bangs and half-closed eyelids that didn’t seem to have the intent quite appropriate for a boy his age.
Instinct #1 – Chalk it up to their less-than-conventional upbringing.
So later, Sam was 14 and Dean was 18, and when Bobby offered to take Dean out to one of the local bars ( not like he didn’t have ID that made him 21), he figured Dean would jump at the chance. Booze, chicks, the libido of a teenage boy…it’s a given, right? What kind of 18 year old boy would turn down that offer?
This kind of 18 year old boy. The kind who said he didn’t want to go because no fake ID on the planet would get a 14 year old Sammy into a bar, regardless of his ridiculous height, and Dean wouldn’t leave his brother alone. Not only that, but he encouraged Bobby to go on his own. “Go on ahead, get hammered, pick up a hot babe, Bobby!” , Dean had said, because he wouldn’t leave Sam alone in the house.
Instinct #2: Dean didn’t want to leave his brother alone for the night, he wanted to protect him. He was absolutely not trying to get Bobby out of the house so that he and Sam could have the place to themselves for a while. Not a fucking chance.
Years passed. Bobby saw John’s boys as they separated, and came back together. He saw them as they mourned their father’s death in so completely different ways, Sam speaking and crying and wishing he could take back the last words he’d said to John, and Dean shutting his brother out like he’d never done before, then bashing his beloved Impala with a crowbar until finally, he collapsed under the weight of the grief and sat on the dusty ground choking on sobs that took his ability to breathe right out from under him. Bobby looked out the window and saw Sam moving toward his brother, settling himself in front of Dean, between his knees, placing his hands on Dean’s cheeks in a way that looked so fucking familiar, wiping away the tears, saying words Bobby couldn’t hear.
Instinct #3: Sam knew what was necessary to at least try to comfort his older brother in times of terrible darkness, and the physical contact was nothing more than that, comfort and safety.
Until he saw what happened next.
Sam placed his fingers under Dean’s chin and titled his head up. He kissed the tears that were falling down Dean’s cheeks, then moved, and placed his lips right over Dean’s. Well, certainly, due to all the instincts Bobby had followed, the only outcome was that Dean would pull away and dismiss his pain in the ass little brother’s attempt to take away a little of the pain. But that’s not what happened. Dean’s arms instinctively, it seemed, snaked around Sam’s chest, and the kiss went on and on until Bobby had to look away, or risk the chance of all the ignoring he’d done over the years being undone.
For the next several years after John’s death, the brothers had visited him and stayed with him many times. Bobby knew he was the closest thing to a parent-like presence in their lives, and sometimes he fulfilled that role in a fatherly fashion, but sometimes he had to put himself in a different position.
He stopped asking Dean and Sam which room they wanted, because he knew they’d always end up in the same bed no matter what. The bottle of Jack became a constant presence at Bobby’s bedside table, knowing that if John were still there he’d want to dull the edges of the sounds that came from the guest room. The house was old and the walls were thin and whether it was quiet sighs and whispers or if it was squeaking bedsprings and thinly covered groans of pleasure, he knew the truth and there was just no getting around it.
Instinct #4: Sam and Dean loved each other in a way that maybe wasn’t the way that most brothers loved each other. But the love was there, and it was what they had, and Bobby had no intention of spoiling it for either of the boys – he corrected himself – men.