unikorento: (nobodyunderstands)
[personal profile] unikorento
Title: So That It Wouldn't Go Unsaid
Author: [personal profile] unikorento
Rating: G
Word Count: 1180
Set during S02E01, In My Time of Dying.


When the truck pulled up, Bobby didn't get out to greet him. Didn't even kill the engine, just leaned over and rolled down the window. He didn't want to be here, and he wasn't expecting this to take long, that much was obvious

For a moment, John felt regret. First at having made the call in the first place, asking Bobby to come down instead of letting him deal with just Sam, like the original plan had been. And then, at all the rest. The fight, the distance, the anger.

"I thought you weren't supposed to be up an' about," Bobby called, suspicious and keeping his distance. Funny, that. John wasn't the one that had pulled a gun the last time.

If this had happened 10 years ago, John would've called Bobby then too. But then Bobby would've gotten out of the truck. He would've run around it, and up to John, and asked about the boys, a hand on his arm to make sure he was in one piece.

Now, John got up off the bench and walked up to the truck instead, dressed in nothing but his hospital gown and the stupid baby blue robe that patients wore, and got into the truck without a word. Bobby blinked, surprised, but let him.

"Drive," he said quietly, and Bobby drove. Not far, just far enough so he could park on the side of the road and it wouldn't be too suspicious. Far enough for privacy, and not a mile further.
Before, if John would've asked him to drive, they wouldn't have stopped until they reached an ocean.

Now, Bobby killed the engine, turned off the radio. The car would be cold in just a few minutes.

"What's this about, John?" he asked quietly, eyes on the horizon, hands on the steering wheel. John stared at those hands. They were different from what he remembered - older, and their color had changed. A few more years, and they might start to shake.

John had raised his boys without a home. He'd thought it'd be the best thing for them, he really did. But the fact was that he could never really live that way himself. He'd had a center that he secretly gravitated around, a place he always knew was in South Dakota. He'd have wanted to go there, one last time. Though he'd rather have his thumbs sawed off than admit it to anyone.

"He's not gonna make it," John answered just as quietly.


Like he had to ask.
John just nodded, and felt his face flush with emotion. Turn red, like he might actually... He swallowed, and it was harder than he expected. Bobby's eyes were on him now. John imagined they were pained, but couldn't bring himself to look.

Before, Bobby would've reached out. He would've placed a hand on John's shoulder, or his knee, or his arm. John would've leaned into it, and let go. For a moment, he could've let go.

Now, the truck was filled with an oppressive sort of silence. John staring at the road ahead, and Bobby watching him.

"It's-..." Bobby started, but was interrupted as John looked up and met his eyes. For a moment that was enough to silence them both again.

"I'm going to make a deal," John whispered.

"He wouldn't want that," Bobby answered, tense and careful, like he was around something dangerous. The answer came a little too quickly. John didn't think anyone but him would've noticed it, but there it was. Bobby hadn't been surprised, he'd seen this coming.

"If he's dead it doesn't matter what he wants," John snapped. "It's you taught me that."

"What I taught you is you ain't good to nobody as a corpse," Bobby answered, just as fiercely.

"He'll live," John stated simply, and Bobby shook his head, broke away from the intense exchange to look out the window.

Before, this conversation would've ended with John getting punched in the mouth. It wasn't the first time he'd wanted to opt out, and Bobby had been there to stop it both times before. To punch him, and hold him, and nail him down so they could all keep going. But that wasn't going to happen now, because whatever they'd had between them hadn't survived as long as they had. It was John that had seen to that, too.

"I'll need you," he whispered, and Bobby's head snapped back to him with a furious expression.
Wrong as it was, that made John feel better.
"To take care of them, after. If this doesn't pan out the right way."

That other Bobby. The one with the younger hands and a cleaner shirt, he would've shook his head. He would've said "what you need me for is to punch out your goddamned lights". And John would've fought him, and things would've gone differently.

But this wasn't that Bobby.

"You're a cruel man, John Winchester," he sighed.

John thought Bobby's eyes looked glassy. Pained, rather than angry, and that was almost more than he could take.


"I'll do it," Bobby interrupted, voice rough.

Of course he would. John wouldn't even have had to ask, really. He'd known that all along - Bobby would do anything he asked, always had, but still he felt relieved. And grateful, and...

He reached out and took hold of Bobby's arm. To say thank you, to say sorry, to say something, but none of it came out. Bobby jerked away, violent and angry, and the kind of hurt that there wasn't any comfort for. John didn't let go, and what resulted was a sort of shuffle. Rough breathing as one man wanted to pull free and the other fought to hold on, their roles exact mirrors of what had happened before. No one said anything.

John won. John always did. One fist holding the collar of Bobby's shirt, the other grabbing his arm, he pulled the other man close. Bobby let him, pushing back his cap as the two leaned their foreheads against each other. Eyes shut tight, they stayed that way as the air around them cooled.

A minute passed, and then another.
John swallowed convulsively, trying to force out words, and failed. Bobby didn't even try. His hand rested against John's neck, and there it felt exactly like it had before. For a minute, everything was like it had been before, and John allowed himself to feel it, all of it. He wanted to live, goddamnit.

And then it was over, and John pushed Bobby back almost as violently as he'd held on, eyes shining with what should be tears and breathing unevenly. He didn't need to look at Bobby to know his eyes, his face would be just as hurt. The regret was poison in the back of his throat, and he realized that this had been a mistake. He'd wanted to say goodbye, and all he'd done was re-open one more wound. Leave one more hurt before going.

Without a word, Bobby turned the key in the ignition, and drove the car back toward the hospital.

Date: 2011-03-04 07:36 pm (UTC)
halfshellvenus: (Venus)
From: [personal profile] halfshellvenus
Congrats! Our team has recced you here at [profile] crack_impala.

Date: 2011-03-04 08:47 pm (UTC)
embroiderama: (Default)
From: [personal profile] embroiderama
Oh, OUCH. I love this look at what could've been between Bobby and John.

Date: 2011-04-22 01:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] applegeuse.livejournal.com
Listened to tinyminkmouse's podfic of this. :)

Oh, what a depressing fic. I mean that in the nicest way possible. I think you really did a nice job handling the sadness of the situation, and imagining where both men are coming from. I especially liked the way you recalled their past, and how a 10-years-younger Bobby would have reacted differently. I also liked how John thinks calling Bobby was a mistake, and how he's sort of forcing himself to steel up for the deal (even though "he wants to live, goddamnit." Really liked that tiny line, too.)

Thanks for writing! :)

Date: 2011-08-01 12:55 am (UTC)
embroiderama: (Default)
From: [personal profile] embroiderama
Hello! I just want to let you know that your fic was recced here at [profile] spn_themes. :)

Date: 2011-08-01 02:04 am (UTC)
withdiamonds: (john winchester)
From: [personal profile] withdiamonds
I really like this. That line, about John wanting to live, is wonderful. Because you know he did. I love what's between Bobby and John.

Date: 2011-08-29 01:44 am (UTC)
ext_892748: (Default)
From: [identity profile] mikiya2200.livejournal.com
I almost didn't read this, cause, you know, John/Bobby (or, rather, Bobby/anyone) SO isn't what I want to read, but it was you who'd written it, so I gave it a chance. And I'm glad I did! I'm still not a fan of this "pairing", but it absolutely worked for this fic. It was so sad, I'm still feeling this lump in my throat...

My favorite line was this one: "He wanted to live, goddamnit."

Because, yes, what many people often forget: John would have given anything to stay with the boys and be a part of their lives after everything was over. He just didn't have another chance.

Wonderful story, thank you so much for sharing it!