July 19th 1986
Author's Note: I have written this as a journal (but it does become more story like in some parts), so what Bobby wrote way back when is just in normal font, but the notes he has added are in italics so you get to see what he thought then, and his thoughts now.
I met a man by the name of John Winchester today. He showed up at the old farm house I was investigating just outside of Sioux Falls. The guy had two kids in the back of an old 67' Chevy Impala. The youngest looked around three, while the oldest couldn't have been more than six or seven. It was clear that the youngest kid was completely oblivious to what was going on around him. His innocence was still intact. But the oldest, he had the look. The same look that every hunter has. A hard expression with enough confidence to believe that you'd win in a fight against anything on this planet. The other signs were there too, hidden behind the mask. The unmistakable fear and anger and guilt. No one just becomes a hunter out of choice. There is always something that pushes you in the direction, but in most cases, you're just thrown in at the deep end with no warning. Something happens in your life that seeks revenge, and pushes everything aside to make that your top priority. The oldest kid, upon noticing me looking at them, wrapped an arm around his little brother and pulled him close in a protective embrace. It was as if he thought I was going to hurt the kid. As much as it was heartwarming to see how close the two brothers obviously were, it sickened me to think how well trained John's oldest was. Being only six or seven, the kid clearly knew what was out there and I presumed he would know how to kill something supernatural as well. The kid probably also has the responsibility of looking after his little brother when John was off on hunts too, simply told to look after him. It showed in the kid's body language. Defensive and ready to attack if necessary to protect his younger brother. No kid should have that sort of responsibility or knowledge at such a young age. I offered John a place to stay until the hunt was over. Those boys clearly needed a roof over their heads, even if it was only for a short while at least.
When we reached my place, I told John that I had two spare rooms upstairs, one for the boys to share and one for him. He seemed thankful, but clearly had more important things on his mind. Although he didn't explain in much detail about their situation, he did tell me that he was hunting something. From what I could see, the Winchester's only had a green duffle bag and the Impala, to their name apart from the small backpacks which the two boys both had, but even they looked half empty. John carried the duffle and backpacks inside while Dean undid the youngest kid's seatbelt and lifted him from the car seat he was sitting in. Carrying him into the house, Dean put him down. The youngest kid immediately caught his older brother's hand and held it tight while hiding slightly behind him. I smiled softly at the youngest Winchester, but all that caused was the kid to hide a little further behind John's eldest.
"Bobby, this is Dean..." He motioned to the oldest looking kid. "and Sam." John ruffled the youngest's light brown curls.
"Nice to meet you." I smiled. "Why don't you two go and get unpacked?" I suggested.
Dean nodded before leading off Sam up the stairs.
Later that night, we all ate around the kitchen table. The meal was nothing fancy, just a few cans of tomato soup warmed up over the stove, but Dean and Sam seemed to appreciate it. I guessed that they didn't get home cooked meals very often, if ever. Life in motel rooms would mean that they were most likely taken out to diners and greasy cafes or had fast food brought back to them upon John's return. Both boys were quiet, and that seemed odd, especially for the ages they were at. Kids were supposed to be extremely chatty at their ages.
Once everyone had finished eating, Dean helped me wash up despite my best efforts to tell him I could handle it, but this at least gave me an opportunity to try and learn a little more about the kid and his little brother.
"So, Dean, do you know what your Daddy's hunting?" I asked while scrubbing the pan I had used to cook the soup.
"Sorta." He nodded. "Dad doesn't even know what he's hunting. He just knows it's something supernatural, like Missouri told him."
"She's a psychic." Dean explained before finishing drying one of the bowls. He put it into the dishes rack on the counter before turning back to me. "She was the one who told him about all this."
"Why did your Dad seek out her help in the first place?"
Dean looked down for a few seconds before sighing. "Because our Mom got killed by something bad."
I sighed too. I could only imagine what the kid was going through right now, never mind having to deal with all the supernatural crap on top of it. "I'm sorry."
He shook his head. "It's okay."
This was the first time I met Sam and Dean. Even back then when they were so young, you could see their personalities clear as day. Dean was daddy's good little soldier, walking and talking like John as nest he could (which could be considered a bad thing), while Sam was quieter and more reserved, introspective then his brother, looking at the world and using his brain before he acted, unlike the traditional Winchester way of 'shoot first, ask questions later'. I had just settled down from moving from state to state hunting when the Winchester's first visited my place. I began to get to know them, and soon, I couldn't get rid of them. John would call me to ask for intel on the various monsters he was hunting, or to ask if he could crash at my place for a few days. Of course, John being John, a few days was never a few days. I would have the boys for weeks at a time, sometimes months. Not that I'm complaining though. I enjoyed having them around and their company was always entertaining. To them I was Uncle Bobby, the old coot with a really cool backyard. Even Sam, who wasn't into cars much, couldn't help but have fun playing hide and seek with Dean. The boys did not have a home to call their own, just a long list of crappy motel rooms, so I wanted to make sure that they knew that they would always be welcome at my place, and establish that this was their home. When John would return, he would lie through his teeth to Sam telling him about the 'mechanic's job' he was 'working' somewhere across the country. It was only after he had been put to bed that he would explain to Dean and I the true details of his hunt. Dean would then rattle off the lore h'd learnt with a proud smile. The worst part was when they would leave for a few months. I worried so much for those boys, that it was like watching my own sons go off to war every time they drove off. As much as John was a great hunter, he wasn't a careful man. Certainly not careful enough to take two young kids on the type of hunts he was involving himself in.