John fucking Winchester, I am going to kill you.
It's not the first time Bobby's had the thought, and it certainly won't be the last. To judge from the number of times his fingers have twitched towards the shotgun at the sound of John's voice on the other end of a phone line, it's a homicidal urge he's going to be experiencing for the rest of their lives.
But John Winchester is a special kind of bad news. He's the kind of bad news that comes with two little boys who are both too smart for their own damn good, who come tearing around Bobby's place, Dean into everything at once and Sam only a step or two behind, shouting for Dean not to move so fast. He's the kind of bad news that Bobby can't shout about too loud, because Sam doesn't know just what kind of bad news his daddy is and it isn't Bobby's business to tell him. He's the kind of bad news that comes wrapped in prickly spots and secrets that set Bobby's teeth on edge, because John Winchester's trouble is handle-with-care or it might explode and those guns might really get used, and Bobby never really got the hang of subtle. Never really needed it, until he got mixed up in this life.
And just yesterday, John chose to show up at his door with more than just the patented fucking Winchester bad news. It wasn't just a Black Dog, or even a male-female pair. No, that wasn't enough of a mess for John to get tied up in. No, he had a full Wild Hunt on his tail, and all he could think of to do was pull up at Bobby's and at least drop the boys of.
At least drop the boys off. John had even said it like that, as though he'd expected -- or maybe just hoped -- that Bobby would let it go at that, rather than drag John into his armory and start asking pointed questions. But it's only been six months -- maybe a year -- since John got Bill Harvelle killed, and John's still visibly cagey about having someone else along. John's brain tends to work like that, when it's ordinary hunting and not the demon.
But you can't just call off a Wild Hunt and trying to kill one would be like trying to kill of an entire wildebeest stampede while its bearing down on your ass, so the best bet they've got is to try and steer it into uninhabited parts of the Rockies with rock salt and iron and explosives handily mixed up in Bobby's basement while Dean distracted Sammy. They'd break up and get back to faerie eventually if they didn't have any humans to chase.
So that's the plan.
But partially because it's the nature of hunting, and partially because they're dealing with faerie, and partially because it's meticulous Bobby having to deal with John fucking Winchester's instincts on top of something they can't stop, things are not going as planned. There's a Wild Hunt within hearing distance and explosives set to a timer with three whole minutes left on it, and Bobby's still trying to lay the salt lines down right.
Meanwhile John and the car are screeching to a stop on the right side of one of them, about two-and-a-half minutes too early because they caught up with him too soon. Timing sucks.
But that's not actually the reason Bobby'd like to lay waste to John right now.
John's out of the car now, one pistol in his hand and another at his hip. Both are loaded with iron rounds, the only thing they can hope to plug faerie things with, because salt's not really much of a barrier for the fae, at least not to the degree it is for spirits. And he's wearing the some-monster-is-going-to-regret-the-day-it-spawned look, which Bobby minds now because John has a track record of wearing it right before he checks into a goddamn hospital because he didn't quite know enough.
Bobby shoves the rock salt into John's hands and reaches for his own shotgun, so he can go trigger the explosives manually, if they've even got time to use them anymore.
John fumbles with the bag for a moment but finishes with the line that'll get the hunt off the road while Bobby finds the switches.
Out of the corner of his eye, he can see John drop the bag and readjust his grip on the handgun, pulling the hammer back. As ready as they'll ever be, he guesses, although he would have liked to have two guns trained on the road.
The first explosion cuts off a whoop from one of the Sidhe, which ought to be a good thing, except it means that there are sentient-by-human-standards beings in the pack, which Bobby had kind of hoped there wouldn't be. John is more than ripped-to-pieces screwed if this doesn't pay off.
He reaches for the switch on the next explosion, hoping to drive anything that's heading onward back towards them. And them he grabs his gun, because he'll worry about the other explosives, both those on timers and those on tripwires -- when the Hunt's not bearing down on top of them.
The next twenty minutes are busy, full of gunfire and screaming and John's cussing as things bear down on him in silver, because faerie weapons can cross over salt even if the fae themselves can't and they brought bows to this. Bobby's saving his breath for one hell of a bawling out later.
But the fights are quick and dirty and not as bloody as they could be, because the planning was good even if the timing sucked. When John flips the last switch, John's got an arrow graze on his shoulder and they're both breathing too hard, but the Wild Hunt is still clattering away from them.
Bobby lays the gun down and picks the salt back up, to draw a temporary circle around the two of them while John licks his wounds and they wait to see if the fae start doubling back.
But by the time Bobby has a circle lain around the car, John has stepped over it to take a look at one of the Hunters that fell -- a Black Dog from the looks of it, shot in the chest and then trampled under the stampede. "That it?" he asks.
"I'm gettin' too old for this crap," Bobby says, because the fading whooping and howling is answer enough.
"You think we could've just blown 'em all up?"
Even though John's got his back to him, Bobby rolls his eyes instead of answering. If just blowing the Wild Hunt up was possible, they'd have done it, and John knows it.
Bobby closes the salt and opens the trunk of the Impala to start shoving their arsenal back into it. "John?" he asks when the other man finally turns around.
John raises an eyebrow and waits.
"There were Sidhe in that Hunt. And it's not Hallowe'en or anything. This wasn't just some pack that picked up a hunter's scent, they were after you."
John lifts an eyebrow.
"What in the hell were you doing?" This is going to be the reason he kills John eventually. Because John can't screw up small, and one of these days its going to be Dean or Sammy that shows up at the salvage yard with the forces of faerie or Hell or maybe even just humanity on their tails, because John's teaching them the art of the spectacular fuck-up better than he's probably teaching anything else.
John glares, which means he's pissed at himself rather than ashamed that he screwed up. "Pack of Black Dogs," he admits. "One of 'em got away. This was, I dunno, maybe a week ago."
Bobby nods. Sometimes things get away, and he can't really fault John for that one too much.
"We gettin' out of here?" John asks. He holsters the gun in his hands and pulls out the other one to put it away.
"Give it thirty minutes. And there's one trip wire they never went for to disarm."
John nods. "Then the nearest pay phone," he says, because they both know Dean at least is still up and pacing Bobby's kitchen, waiting for his daddy to check in.
"In the mornin', you're making yourself scarce until the next crisis. Next time you just need a name, call Jim. Because I don't wanna deal with you."
"Until the next crisis," John repeats, voice dry.
Bobby slams the trunk closed. "There'll always be another crisis," he growls.