Travel Safe

by Vanzetti

Bobby hardly says a word the whole way to Lincoln, nothing beyond what's necessary. He waits with John until the tow truck comes, then turns around and says, "Guess I'll head back and check on those boys of yours." Neutral, like John can't tell exactly what Bobby thinks about it. John mutters, "Travel safe," and that's it. Bobby's gone.

Crazy to leave the truck out here, unsecured in a place like this. He's got a lot of hardware stored in it, got a lot of time invested in it too. He waited as long as he could, until he knew for sure that Dean was going to wake up again. Signed himself out AMA, like that mattered to him. What did they think, he was gonna sit by his son's bed and watch him heal from the wounds John himself made? And he sure as hell wasn't sticking around so they could pump him full of drugs that left him slow and sleepy. He has a hard enough time controlling his thoughts when he's awake: let his mind wander and all he can hear is his son pleading with him, calling him Daddy like a little boy.

Enough of that, he tells himself.

They tell him the truck won't be ready 'til tomorrow; he tells them he can fit the damned tires himself if they'll give him a place to work. The guy at the desk starts spouting some bullshit about liability and insurance; it's a relief to have something to lose his temper at. Ends up storming out, though, and has take the truck down the road to the next place. By then it's so late that they tell him tomorrow, too.

There's a cheap motel along the strip, all thin walls and rusty carpet. John dumps his bag on the floor and lies back on the bed. Doesn't seem worth it to take a shower. His phone rings; he doesn't answer it, just lies there and listens to it ring again and again, wishing he'd hit the liquor store before checking in. Sam will give up, eventually. Come tomorrow John will start checking the papers again, strike out west, maybe, anywhere but Missouri. Anywhere but the bed his boy was lying in, bloodless and mute. Anywhere but the bare room where he might have to meet his younger son's eyes.

Sam should have killed him when he had the chance.


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