Title: Bloodlines
By: Damerel
Pairing: gen
Rating: PG
Summary: Dean's his daddy's boy, through and through. Bobby's point of view following the exorcism in 'Devil's Trap'.


Truth is, I was thankful to shut the door behind those boys, even if it did leave me with a dead girl to explain to the cops. I'd often thought those two were the best thing about John Winchester. I sure as hell never thought I'd see the day that Dean turned into another John, and the warping of a good man like that leaves a taste in the mouth that even the best sipping whiskey isn't going to help. And Sam? From what I saw today, Sam now does whatever Dean tells him – which is something that must really annoy the crap out of John, because Sam always did the exact opposite of what John told him.

When I first met them, Sam reminded me of nothing more than Kissinger as a pup – into everything, nosing around, touching first despite being told not to, then finding out the hard way that it hurt or there was another damn good reason why he shouldn't. It was Dean who took charge of him, seeming to know when Sam was going to go too far, stopping him from annoying his daddy when John wasn't in the mood. But back then, all Sam had to do was turn those big ol' eyes on Dean, just the way Kissinger did with his mama, and he could have anything he wanted.

Those puppy dog eyes sure weren't working on Dean today. Weren't nothing working on Dean today except rage and hate, and that ain't the boy I used to know way back when. This time around, the boy was rawer than a bad batch of shine, and even Rumsfeld showed his teeth when he saw Dean, despite knowing him from years back.

See, I remember them back when they were real littl'uns. John'd pop in for supplies, maybe a smoke and a whiskey or two, knowing all the while that the boys were safe running around the yard and playing with the cars because the dogs would let us know the instant they sensed anything wrong.

Dean back then sure did worship the ground his daddy walked on, but I never thought he'd become like John. Not till I saw him with that possessed girl: no mercy left in him, no worries about right or wrong, just a burning need. Hell, even Sam was worried about him, not sure how far he'd go – and that's the thing that scared me the most. Because Sammy being scared of his big brother is something I never thought I'd see. Dean would do anything for Sam: lie for him, hell, even die for him, and it's not like that hasn't almost happened, once or twice.

Back in those days Dean was a scrappy little fighter with an attitude on him as bad as Cap's in his prime. Sam, back then, used to dog Dean's heels so close it wasn't so much Sam and Dean as SamandDean. Except for when he was using those eyes to get his own way, he'd let Dean boss him around just like the alpha in a litter. Leastways, that's what I thought till I overheard them one day when I was out taking the air while John was still a mite tender from the night before. I was sitting on the porch at the side, scratching Cap behind his one remaining ear in just the way that always turned that rough old soldier into a puddle of goo, and they were around the back, keeping close to the house just like their daddy and I told them to do. It was the whine in Sam's voice that put old Cap's ear up.

"I don't want to do this. I don't like it – it's boring."

"You know Dad said to."

"I don't care."

Cap relaxed against me again with a grunt, but this time it was me on alert. The sulkiness in that boy's voice warned me that John was going to have a fight on his hands with this one unless he nipped it in the bud right quick.

"Sam – "

"What, Dean? He's passed out drunk and I don't care about this stupid crossbow, and you're not the boss of me and you can't make me."

"Sam Winchester, you come back here right now."

It was a good attempt at one of John's commands, but from a thirteen-year-old it kinda lacked authority. Anyhow, commands only work if the person you're giving them to is either scared of you or respects you.

"Won't, and you can't make me."

I scratched Cap's ear and thanked the good lord all over again that he hadn't seen fit to bless me with littl'uns of my own.

"Look, Sammy – "

"It's Sam, jerkoff."

"Sam." Was it just me, or were Dean's teeth grinding? Cap was still flopped out next to me in bliss, so maybe it was just my imagination.

"Look, we do this, and then we can do whatever you want after."

"Trivial Pursuit."

This time Cap's ear raised again, so I knew it wasn't just mewho heard the sigh, presumably from Dean, that sounded like enough to take out a whole mountain range or two.

"I swear, Sammy, I don't know why Dad let you –"

"You just hate it because I whip your ass."

"Do not."

"Do too."

"Yeah, whatever – just shoot the goddamn tree, will you?"

And used as he was to the buzz of arrows through the air and the thwap they made as they buried themselves in wood, Cap didn't even twitch beneath my hand. I remember thinking then that John was going to have his hands full if Dean had to stoop to bribery with Sam only nine years old. The good lord only knew what would happen when that boy hit puberty.

Sure enough, next couple of times they came visiting were even worse; it was like Sam was this huge black thundercloud that John and Dean were dragging around in their wake. I could have told them that he'd run, soon as he had the chance. I've seen dogs like that, so damn miserable and hating everything around them so much that all they can do is attack or run. Leastways that boy chose the better route, though maybe he attacked as well, because I've seen dead dogs with more life in them than Dean had that time they showed just after Sam took off. That time I escorted John off the property and told him not to show his miserable face here ever again.

Should have done it long before, but I could see the good man buried underneath, and I'dhoped he'd find a way through. Hell, maybe I'd hoped those boys of his would be the saving of him. In the end, though, it seemed like nothing was going to change him.

I still remember the night I saw Dean out there with Condi, just sitting on the porch, not even noticing that she had her head in his lap, begging for attention. That bitch sure did love Dean. From what his daddy said, seemed like most females did.

Neither of them had been right since they showed upwithout Sam. My gut clenched when I saw just two of them get out of the car, and they weren't right, not at all: John with that look in his eye like he was about to go on a killing spree or a serious bender or maybe both, and Dean with no expression on his face, everything locked down tight, except for the confusion in his eyes. But whatever had happened was already done, and they weren't going to thank me for asking stupid questions about it. They'd tell me when they were good and ready.

Didn't take John long to get started on my stash, while Dean sat himself down in the kitchen and started cleaning a pile of guns. Guess maybe he'd seen enough of John's drinking by now not to want to be around; the signs were all there that this was going to be a blinder. And it didn't take long.

"You want to know? You want to know why little Sammy isn't here, Bobby?"

I knew it was going to be ugly from the minute I saw the two of them without him. I didn't expect him to drag his other son into it all as well, though.

"Dean? Dean, get in here."

Dean didn't come right in; he stood in the doorway between the kitchen and living room, and looked as though he'd rather be anywhere but there, with John's finger pointing at him in accusation.

"You want to tell Bobby why your brother left?"

Dean shifted from foot to foot. "Got a full ride," he said, eyes anywhere but on John's. "Stanford."

"Did he now," I said.

"We weren't good enough for him." John's voice was sharp with bitterness. "He turned his back on this family. After everything I've done to keep him safe, he walked away. Isn't that right, Dean?"

"Yes, sir."

And then it was my eyes Dean wouldn't meet, and I had no idea if he believed what John said or if he was just pacifying him, half-drunk as John was already.

"Just walked away. He doesn't care about his mom, his brother or me. Doesn't care that Mary died protecting him." John's voice was rough with pain. Or maybe just from the whiskey, because I hadn't let him have the good stuff. "We're not good enough for him with his fancy school and his fancy ideas. Dean there didn't even graduate high school – he's not going to want a dumb shit like that hanging round with his Stanford buddies, now is he?"

"John. Enough."

Because I saw the look on Dean's face, even though John didn't. And I knew damn well the only reason Dean didn't graduate high school was because he was trying to be everything John wanted him to be: a soldier in John's crusade.

"He'll be back," I said.

"No, he won't. He's turned his back on this family. Hunting is who we are, what we do, and if he doesn't want part of that, then he's not part of this family. He's gone, Bobby. I don't want him back."

I was pretty sure it was the whiskey talking. John's a cold bastard at times, with nothing meaning more to him than the hunt and the kill. At first I thought it was revenge, but now I think he's looking for absolution for his wife's death. But I'd never known him to be cruel to his boys and damn straight never thought I'd see him throw one of them out, not for any reason.

So I kept the whiskey flowing as Dean slipped away again, and John clutched onto his glass like a drowning man would a lifeline. I knew there weren't many places he felt safe enough to really let go and drink, which is why I cut him some slack about the way he tore into it when he was here. But I didn't need the running commentary from him about how ungrateful Sam was, how deceitful he'd been about getting the place at Stanford, and how they were better off without him because at least Dean always did what he was told.

Once John was passed out cold on the couch, equal parts exhaustion and drink, I think, I went looking for Dean. I found him on the back porch with Condi's head in his lap.

Figured there wasn't much I could say to him. It was family business, and they wouldn't want any outsiders butting in. But that boy sure needed a helping hand of some sort.

"Your daddy's asleep," I said.

His lips twisted. "Figures," he said.

"You know he don't mean what he says when he's drinking."

Dean moved Condi and got to his feet. "Whatever."

He wouldn't meet my eyes, and I could see it then, what was wrong with him. He was like a dog that's been whipped and doesn't know why. Damn, that made me mad; he was too like Cheney, Rumsfeld's brother, who used to practically turn himself inside out and in circles trying to please me. That was no good for a working dog, so I gave him to a family who wanted a pet to give their love and attention to, and they all got their happy ending. Too bad I couldn't do that with Dean, and maybe saved him from where he's ended up now.

The next morning John woke up with the hangover from helland told me about Daniel Elkins being an asshole who didn't understand the bigger picture, who refused to let John in on his hunt for the Colt, and he didn't seem to like it when I sided with Daniel. Because the way John was right then, he'd blow everything if he thought he had just one chance at this demon that got his Mary, and screw the collateral damage – people like me, Daniel, Dean, and any other poor soul that got in the way.

Maybe it was the hangover, maybe it had just been brewing, but tempers got ragged, and things got said, and it ended up with me seeing him off the property at the wrong end of my gun. That was the last I saw of any of them till today, when Dean showed up with Sam.

Dean. The boy still does worship his daddy – hell, you'd have to be blind not to see that. What I don't like is the way he's becoming like his daddy. He didn't hesitate, not once, when it came to sending that demon back to hell, no matter the collateral damage. He didn't even stop questioning that girl when she was broken and breathing her last: no words of comfort to take with her as she went into that dark night alone, just question after question about where their daddy is.

Anyone talks about marching into hell of their own free will, and you know there's a problem. Revenge don't mean much if you become what you hunt. Time was I thought Sam was the one to be worried about, but now I know. Dean's his daddy's boy, through and through. But just like with his daddy, I can see the good man underneath, and I hope that Dean will find him again, too. See, Dean has one thing that John didn't have: he's got Sam on his side.

In the meantime, I got myself a dead girl on my hands, and one thing I know is that for all he's turning into, it wasn't Dean Winchester that killed her. Maybe he could have stopped her dying, maybe eased her passing, but the only one who's really guilty is that demon. It's just the look in Dean's eye that tells me it won't be long before he does kill. And that he won't feel guilty about it.

I hope they find John. Alive. Because I don't want to have to see his eldest boy turning like that, like a rabid dog who doesn't mean to be vicious but doesn't know how else to be. I know there's only one thing you can do with a rabid dog. I don't want to have to run Dean off my property with a loaded gun and the dogs behind me because I don't trust him. Hell, I saw that kid grow up into a fine young'un. He had the makings of a good man, just so long as he could get himself out from his daddy's shadow and believe in himself a bit more. But John wouldn't let him be himself, and this is what's left, a train-wreck waiting to happen.

Maybe if they find John alive, thing will change. That's why I told them to come back here. Something tells me this might be their last chance to set things right between the three of them. To get John to back off both his sons and give them a chance.

But that's out of my hands. For now, I got me a dead girl to explain away and a good dog to bury.