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fic because it would appear I do not learn

Title: in the usual way
Ficverse: SPN
Series:
SPN comment!fic
Rating: PG
Length: 1400 ish
Characters: Bobby/Sheriff Mills
Prompted and posted: from 1.17, Hell House
Dean: I hate to agree with authority figures of any kind, but ... the cops might be right about this one.
Notes: This mostly came from a jokingly self-posed challenge over at blacklid 's.
(I have a feeling I'm never ever going to learn.) But I can't say I wasn't wondering, myself, and I think they would be cute together. I'm only sorry I don't have time to actually try to do it justice. This is pretty short and sweet for what I'd really want.
Warnings/Spoiler: up to 6.04
Feedback: let's hear it. The good, the bad, the ugly....



It begins in the usual way, somewhere between ten and twelve years ago. She’s a young, bright, tough officer transfered to Sioux Falls; he’s a worn-down, used-up, guilt-ridden crotchety widower accustomed to making a periodic drunken nuisance of himself on the town.

It is on one of his binges of alcohol and obstreperousness that they first meet. She is gentle, even concerned, to begin with, getting a glimpse of the pain below the hostility and giving the town drunk a pass. She isn’t thanked for it – in fact, the opposite – and it doesn’t happen again.



It develops along the usual lines. She falls in love with a nice, normal local guy, and settles down to start a family full of promise, her intelligence, integrity, and streetsmarts making her a natural for sheriff when election comes around; he half-heartedly runs a scrapyard, devours lore on the supernatural, and slowly becomes a hub of the hunting underground in spite of himself.

They make their dates with booze and shouting and squad cars and paperwork a regular thing. They even have a song. He makes a habit of marinating in whisky shots and Neil Young’s “Old Man” on repeat before finding something to set him off, and the jukebox is often still playing it when she arrives to throw him in lockup overnight. Although he’d never admit it, somewhere deep down he sees and values the kindness in her, the natural empathy she has never been able to bury entirely under a brusque exterior. And although she would never admit it, there’s something in his stubborn helpless rage against the world that makes sense to her.



There comes the usual twist: in the course of events of the apocalypse, the Rider of the pale horse makes a visit to town that turns bad in more ways than one, ending up in a bloodbath of headshots at Bobby’s house, one hell of a bonfire, and a new understanding. She loses everything from a sense of normality to her husband and revenant son; he lives his every guilty nightmare over again while stone-cold awake.

This time, she finds him before the shouting starts, drops a quarter in the jukebox herself, and takes a seat. This time, the shouting doesn’t start. Neither do words, but a shoulder offered by one who understands is quite a thing. They make their dates with booze and silence and ghosts and regrets a regular thing, and the song comes too, and betweentimes they can do their jobs and be who they need to be for all the people who depend on them.



They grow closer through the usual things. She covers for him when the heat catches his scent; he saves her life when an unnatural beastie catches hers; between them, they wage the war on the A side and the B side to protect innocence.

With the apocalypse done with and the defcon level down, attempts at conversation begin. Familiarity grounded in conflict gives way to trust grounded in familiarity. The currency of favors and alliance eases toward the currency of friendship and respect.

Which is why, with Rufus two statelines over and the boys in the old country, Bobby picks up the phone and dials a number that he doesn’t have to look up.



“Hi, uh, Jodie.... No, no, everything’s fine. There’s nothing wrong. I just ... uh, look, I know you’re kind of mad at me for what I asked you to do. And I don’t blame you. And I owe you, big time. But you got no idea what.... Well, anyhow. Are you free? I got a special bottle of scotch here wanting a celebration that’s long overdue, but I’m kind of on my own, and ... well, I guess what I’m asking is you come celebrate with me. Bring any Vandross album you want. I ... look, I know this is kind of weird, but ... you know what, nevermi– Yeah? Really? Uh, thanks. See you soon, then.”

Two hours later, with R&B crooning innocuously in the background, and the chatter of rain falling outside, he finds himself swirling the last swallow of scotch in the bottom of his glass, telling a very long and complicated story. In the rosy burn of companionship and alcohol, maybe she had asked, or maybe he had offered, but either way she is learning why he isn’t in a wheelchair anymore. Why he’d been in one in the first place. Why those long legged boys who’d flitted through her town are possibly the two most dangerous living souls in the world and why they owed everything to them.

Eventually he runs out of things to say, and she’d stopped asking questions a while back. Then suddenly it strikes him – how much he’d just told her. A cop. How had he forgotten she was a cop? They all drew a line somewhere and the things he’d done in the last few years – hell, the last few days – crossed every one of them. His self-indulgent yarn just put others at risk – others who trusted him, depended on him, who’d be implicated. But even with that, he feels a deeper fear creep in: of looking up and seeing revulsion in her eyes. Contempt for a man so far gone down the path of means that he can barely remember what direction principle lies in. Some celebration this was. He’d just gone and destroyed the respect of the only really decent person he knows.

He can’t bring himself to say anything else, and he can’t look up if his life depends on it. Then she clears her throat.

“When you said I didn’t know about what you’d done for this town ... you weren’t kidding.” Her voice is soft, and not completely steady. He can’t keep himself from looking up if his life depends on it.

Dark eyes sparkle with discreet tears, caught in the corners and the lashes, too proud to fall. The open sympathy in her expression reaches straight into his chest and wraps around his heart without even asking permission. Perhaps it was the license of the alcohol, or of what he’d just shared, but her hand also reaches out and takes his without permission. Slowly, reverently, she holds it in hers, touches it and explores it, as if it is extraordinary to her. It’s harder to breathe, but he barely notices, watching the absorption of her face, absorbed in him.

She looks up again. “Do you ... did you make another copy? Of that photo?”

He doesn’t have to ask which one she means. Nor does he have to think about where he keeps it. He goes and pulls it out of the drawer, and hands it to her. She holds it carefully, like a precious artifact, studying the faces, not having to ask who is who.

Bobby clears his throat, too. “You kind of remind me of her,” he tells her, and her eyes fly up to his.

“Ellen?”

He nods. “A bit.”

She shakes her head, a small smile on her face. “I ... thank you.” He hasn’t sat back down, and she slowly rises to her feet, eyes never leaving his. Her hand comes up and touches his face briefly. He wishes it would stay there longer and then worries that he wishes it. “So, you’re ... free, now.” It’s halfway between a statement and a question.

He swallows, because a whole lot more seems to be going on than what’s on the surface and he’s scared that it’s probably only going on in his head. “Uh ... yeah.”

She smiles, and draws him into the living room, and turns up the music. “In that case, we should dance. It’d be a poor celebration without dancing. And it would be a shame to waste those legs of yours.”

Which is how, a year after selling his soul and dying in the apocalypse, Bobby Singer finds himself his own man on his own two feet with a beautiful woman enticing his arms around her. And when he objects that she’s young enough to be his niece, she laughs and puts her head on his shoulder, and when he worries about what their town will think, she smiles and twines fingers into his hair, and when he tells her he’s nothing but a worn-down, used-up, guilt-ridden, crotchety old widower, she looks up and tells him to kiss her.

And so, in the usual style, they fall in love.

Comments

( 6 speakses — have a speak )
borgmama1of5
Oct. 25th, 2010 11:46 am (UTC)
This is delightful, and charmingly written.
themonkeytwin
Oct. 25th, 2010 04:26 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I like it for what it is. I just wanted ... more. :D
fannishliss
Oct. 25th, 2010 12:56 pm (UTC)
Yay! I love Bobby/Jodie. :D

Great work showing how their relationship progresses, especially that Bobby = Town Drunk thing which makes me this face :/
themonkeytwin
Oct. 25th, 2010 04:29 pm (UTC)
Yes, Town Drunk = Mitigating Circumstances, people!!! But I guess they call it like they see it. And Bobby doesn't really give people the chance to love him, except for those who don't take no for an answer. ;)

Thanks! The relationship takes a lot of progression to make sense. Which got jammed in the smallest amount of space I could make work!
blacklid
Oct. 31st, 2010 05:35 am (UTC)
Finally got a chance to read this. I really like it! :D You did it! And it works! THANK YOU.
themonkeytwin
Oct. 31st, 2010 04:12 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Yay! :D

I'm glad it works. In my brain, it was sort of, "why WOULDN'T it work?" As opposed to a host of reasons for why the other thing WOULD NOT EVER EVER.

Sigh.
( 6 speakses — have a speak )

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