My muse came and sideswipped me this morning when this story popped into my mind...

Dean and Sam's calling to help people in need is so central to their characters and amazing if one considers their relatively harsh & deprived childhood, but maybe the kindness they received from people like Bobby and Pastor Jim and others like them may explain it a little.

The kindness of strangers

There was a knock at the door and Bobby looked up from the book on his lap. He tilted his head, his eyes searching for movement in the house as a response to the knocking but neither Dean or Sam appeared.

'Dean…Sam…?' His call echoed through the room. No answer. The boys must be out in the yard.

Grumbling Bobby put the book on the table next to him and maneuvered his wheelchair around towards the door. Another more urgent knock hurried him along.

'Coming…keep your panties on' he yelled pushing himself along the corridor and finally arriving at the door. Bobby turned the door knob opening the door before wheeling slightly back to swing the door fully open. In front of him stood a young man in a dark overall with a large rectangular box at his feet and a clipboard in his hand. The badge on his chest identified him as a courier for a well known private firm. He seemed relieved to see Bobby appear at the door.

'Are you Samuel Winchester? I have a special delivery for him.' Eagerly the young man held out the clipboard for Bobby to sign.

'Not him…he's out the back. You'll have to get him yourself if you need his signature'

Bobby waved his right hand indicating towards the car yard at the back of the property.

A fleeting expression of annoyance passed over the young man's face.

'Ah, no just need you to receipt the box and this letter.'

The young man placed the clipboard in front of Bobby holding out a pen for him and directing him to the line at the bottom of the consignment form.

'Just sign here, please…and it's all yours' he smiled vacuously tapping his foot impatiently. Bobby groaned softly fighting the inclination to whack the young man over the head with the clipboard. He might have done it anyway but he knew a lost cause when he saw one so he just held it out when he finished.

The courier took the clipboard from Bobby, tore off a portion as a receipt and handed over a thick manila envelope. He promptly turned on his heels heading down the steps towards his small delivery van.

'Heh…can't you bring the box inside?'

'Sorry, company policy states delivery to the door, not through the door old man' The young man shouted over his shoulder as he reached the van.

Bobby sucked in an audible breath while reaching around the back of his chair for his double barred shotgun only to find it not there. Right, he thought, Dean had taken it to clean and reload for him. The visual of a load of rock salt hitting the hooligan square in the backside gave Bobby a brief moment of pleasure.

He watched as the courier van sped up the drive way, gravel spitting along the sides and then dropped his gaze to the box in front of him. It would have to stay out here until the boys came into the house.

Bobby closed the door and wheeled himself back into the living room, throwing the envelope onto the coffee table in the middle of the room and returning to his reading.

It wasn't long until he heard the backdoor open and heavy steps announced the entrance of Dean and Sam in the house.

'Sam…?' he called out.

The taller of the two brothers appeared in the room, his lanky brown hair falling into his eyes which quickly fastened onto the older man in the wheel chair.

'You're calling, Bobby?'

'Yeah, you got a delivery …there is a letter on the table and a box outside on the porch'

'A delivery for me…here?' with a puzzled look on his face Sam scooped up the envelope examining it. "Sam Winchester" was written broadly in fountain pen in the right corner but there was no sender anywhere.

'Well open it, idjit!'

Sam tore the letter open and pulled out several sheets of paper filled with dense handwriting.

A smile broke out on his face as he recognized the author of the letter and he looked up to Bobby who had been watching him intently.

'It's from an old friend…I haven't heard from her for a while'

He walked across the room and let himself sink onto the couch. A few minutes later Bobby heard Sam sigh sadly as he place the letter down next to him. There were tears pooling in his eyes which took Bobby by surprise.

'Bad news, boy?' he enquired in a soft voice.

'Yeah, the worse…I'll finish this in my room' He stood up clutching the pages and swiftly moved upstairs unwilling to let Bobby see how upset he really was.

Sam dropped down on his bed, wiping the tears away with a quick movement of his hand while the memories came thick and fast.

Okay so much for tonight...back tomorrow when we'll meet up with Sam age 8 who finds himself in a tough usual for the Winchester lads ;)