It wasn't until two weeks later that Bobby began to get worried. The hunt was only supposed to take a few days, a week at the most, River's father had said as he dropped them off.
At first, River and the others barely noticed, too busy messing around in the scrapyard or training outback with various pieces of weaponry.
But gradually, Bobby's anxious mood spread, first to the boys and then to River and her sister.
On the fifteenth night since Amy, Rory, and John had left, nobody could sleep. Even little Melody was restless and kept getting up and coming to sit with the rest of them in the den.
"Do you think Mommy and Daddy are ok? When will they be home?" Melody said, climbing back up onto the couch to sit next to River.
"I...I think they're probably fine...They must have just had some car trouble. " River said, lying oh so easy to protect her sister from what may just be the bitter truth.
When a hunter disappears and won't answer their phone, they're either in deep shit or dead.
Finally, a car engine was heard in the distance, drawing steadily closer, until a single pair of headlights illuminated the windows of Bobby's house.
River had briefly dozed off, Melody leaning into her side, but now she was wide awake, gently easing Melodys sleeping form onto the couch and following Sam, Dean,
and Bobby out of the house where they saw John's Impala parked. John got out, and though he seemed fine, immediately River knew something was wrong. She couldn't explain it, she just...knew.
John's eyes landed on her, and something like regret crossed his face. Bobby saw the look too and told Sam and Dean to take River inside for a bit.
They did, but once there they sat beneath an open window near the door and listened in to the conversation outside.
The men spoke in low tones, but River's keen ears still picked up snippets of conversation.
"Amy and Rory...hunt went badly...couldn't do anything...hunters funeral..."
At first, River couldn't believe her ears. Her parents couldn't be dead. They just couldn't.
Tears began streaming down her face as she cried silently, already learning how to lock away the things she didn't want others to see. Rationalizing in her mind.
They had been hunters, after all. And sometimes, hunters died. But they weren't just hunters. They were parents, leaving behind two children who had nobody else.
Sam and Dean had gone silent next to her. Sam reached over, wrapping River in a hug, trying to comfort her. Everything seemed hopeless.
Utterly hopeless, and through her tears River barely heard the next words from the two adults outside.
"So what's going to happen to the girls? Did the Temples have any other family they could go to?" John had returned to his no-nonsense, business-like seriousness.
"As far as I know, there's nobody. Which is why I'll be taking them in. I owe their parents at least that much. " Bobby replied.
The End of It Begins
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