Sam knows what a dogs nails on the ground sounds like. It’s one of those sounds he can always hear, no matter what’s going on around him. His subconscious brain is always on the lookout, because really, Sam just likes to pet dogs.
He knows that Dean will never EVER let a dog into the bunker. Not while I’m around Sammy he’ll say. And in fact he has said, a few times now.
The hunter lifestyle is no good for a dog, Sam knows this too. It’s the reason he left Riot with Amelia, and there was no way John would have allowed him to keep Bones. So Sam always volunteers to go into town on supply runs, not only to get away from the tension between Dean and Cas that was so thick he could cut it with a knife, but because almost everyone in Lebanon had a dog, and on the really nice days they all went for walks.
So Sam would take his time going to the grocery store or the army surplus, take a long walk the wrong way around and find a few dogs to give a nice ear scratch to. A couple he even knew by name. There were always treats in his pocket, a must have in the trunk of his Mustang along with all his hunting supplies, and he’s even returned a few runaways that he’s found bounding around loose back to their worried owners.
Today, as Sam walks the long way to Deans favorite burger joint to get some lunch, his ears alert him to the familiar sound of clicking nails behind him. His hands are digging out a treat from his coat pocket before he even turns around. He expects, when he turns around, for a person or a family to be with the dog, but the sidewalk is empty. His excited smile falls as he looks down and sees a little tan and white corgi sitting at his feet. The dogs expectant gaze switching from the treat in his hand and making eye contact with the hunter as if to say are you gonna give me that or, what?
“Uh oh,” Sam says in a sweet voice. “Did you get out of your yard, buddy?”
The only answer he gets is a muted bark followed by a growl and a little excited shift of the dogs legs.
Sam kneels slowly so he doesn’t scare the dog off. He holds out the treat and lets the corgi nibble on it, not actually letting it go, and reaches his hand into the fur on the dogs neck hoping for a collar. As his fingers find one, Sam lets out a breath of relief knowing he can take this little guy (guy? Yes a guy) home to his family.
Holding the collar in one hand, Sam lets the corgi take the last of the treat and uses his now free hand to reach for the tag hanging in the white fur of the dogs’ chest. He picks up the brass tag in his fingers and reads
“Sam? Is that your name? That’s my name too, buddy.” A low rolling growl was directed at Sam. He flips the tag over, hoping to find an address or a phone number, but is confused by the one word on the other side of the tag.
Hi? What the…? Sam was taken aback a little bit. He flipped the tag back over again, hoping that maybe it would change into a phone number so he could call the dogs owners. But, no. It still says Sam.
“Well, great.” Sam grumbled as he tried to avoid the dogs nose sniffing for more treats.
He bounced nervously on his heels as he looked up and down the street, concern growing in his chest. He certainly wasn’t going to leave this dog alone, and the collar suggested that he had an owner.
Sam mulled his options over in his mind while he absentmindedly scratched behind the dogs ears. Lebanon did not have an animal shelter, and watching the corgi relax deeper into the rubs and scratches Sam knew he didn’t have the heart to leave him in a place like that, even if there was one. Ultimately, he realized what he had to do. Dean wouldn’t like a dog in the bunker, but Sam was going to do his best to keep Dean out of the loop on this one.
After scooping the dog into his arms, Sam started walking towards the towns general store to pick up a few supplies. As he passed people on the street, he would ask if they knew who the dog belonged to, but no one could tell him anything. All the answer he got was that they had never seen him before.
Sam managed to buy a small bag of dog food and a bowl, a leash and a few toys for the dog and made his way back to his car. It was a good thing that he didn’t take the Impala today. Dean has a sixth and seventh sense for things being off with his precious car, and if one lone dog hair were to be found in Baby, Sam would have to detail that car once a week for a year. No thank you.
There was a spare blanket in the backseat, so Sam set it out to protect his passenger side leather, let dog Sam stick his head out the window, and set off to home at the bunker. He made a plan in his head as he drove back. Make some fliers, bring the dog back tomorrow and put them up, pray that he can stay out of Deans sight until he can get to his room.
“Yeah, two of those are doable, one is a lost cause,” Sam said to himself. The corgi looked over to him and let out a series of quiet yips then circled few times on the blanket and curled up in the seat, the light brown eyes looking straight at the hunter.
Sam huffed out a laugh and pet the too long ears. “You said it, Sam.”
If Dean or Cas was in either the war room or the library, Sam was screwed.
He had to pass through both of them to get to his bedroom. All he had to do was get to the hallway and Sam figured he could be home free.
And it seemed like things were looking up for him, because when he opened the door, the bunker was quiet.
Sam had the dog wrapped up in the blanket and tucked safely in his arms to keep the sound of dog feet out of the air and to protect said dog feet from the harsh grating the stairs were made of.
“Ok. The coast is clear. Just keep quiet, buddy.”
Dog Sam mirrored human Sams whispered tones with a sharp exhale out of his nose, a sort of snort of understanding, and Sam hoisted the dog higher in his arms and quietly descended the stairwell.
Once again, Sam praised his luck when he crossed the empty war room, stuck his head around the archway and found the library to be empty as well.
“Yes.” Sam hissed to himself. “Looks like we can make it.”
The dog shook his head wildly and Sam nearly dropped his bags of supplies all over the floor.
“Hey! Calm down, we’re almost there.”
Sam silently crossed the library and peered down the hallway that led to the bedrooms. He strained his ears listening for any sounds of footsteps or conversations, but he heard nothing. So he took off down the hall, not quite a run so he didn’t jostle the dog too much, sharp eyes on the lookout for Dean.
He thought he could make it, his room was right there. But as Sam rounded the last corner he had to stop short before he ran right into Castiel.
He was so close! Sam could see his rooms’ door behind Castiel, so close yet it seemed so far.
“Sam, how are y-“ Castiels eyes locked with the dogs, and Sam could feel his pulse quicken. The little corgis head did a dramatic side tilt, which was mirrored by Castiel.
The normally stoic angels blue eyes went wide with shock as he pointed am accusing finger at the dogs face.
“I know, Cas, I know. But Sam’s just lost and I’m going to get him home.” Sam started shuffling quickly around the angel, trying to get past him and totally ignoring everything Cas was saying.
“His name is Sam?” Cas asked, confused.
“He’s got a collar which means he has a home so please, just…don’t tell Dean. Please? He’d probably just throw him out.”
“Sam, wait, that’s not-“
Sam continued even as he managed to get a hand on the doorknob to his room.
“Please Cas. Just for one day.”
Sam shut the door too quickly for Castiel to respond to his rambling. All Cas could do was stare at the door, rubbing his fingers over his lips in contemplation.
“Wow,” was the only word that escaped him as he shook his head in bewildered amazement.
Cas lingered a few moments more before he turned on his heels and went straight to Deans room, still trying to wrap his head around this odd development.
Sam fell back into the cooling wood of the door and let out a heavy sigh of relief. After taking a couple breaths to calm himself, he set his bags down and released the squirming mass of dog under his arm. A quick shake and an itch to take care of, and little Sam was trotting around Sams room, investigating smells and rooting under furniture.
“Yes, go explore,” Sam waved dismissively towards the furry explorer. “Just please don’t pee in here.”
Sam was listening to the sounds of his things being rummaged through behind him as he emptied out his shopping bags. Grabbing the dog food and the paw print bowl, Sam called out to the dog.
As he turned around, Sam was cut off by his own laughter as his gazed fell to the floor by his bed. All he saw was a pair of stumpy legs wriggling under the bed frame, trying his very best to get at whatever was under there.
His laughter continued as he set the food and bowl on the bed and carefully extracted the excited dog from his precarious position.
“You hungry, buddy?” Sam asked, looking down at the dog between his legs. He could have sworn the dog was smiling at him as he furiously wiggled his whole body, and barked in what Sam would assume was a positive.
“Shh! Easy. Lets eat, ok?”
They had a nice afternoon after that, even though they couldn’t leave Sams room. After a little food, Sam played fetch and tried to run out some of the dogs energy. The tennis ball couldn’t hold the little dogs attention for long, so Sam pulled an old flannel out of the back of his closet, tied a bunch of knots in it, and had a few epic tug of war battles before the fabric ripped to shreds.
The rough playtime depleted the last of the dogs energy, so Sam heaved the wiggling dog onto his bed to get comfy. Sam tried to read a book while laying with him, but the wet nose constantly nudging into his leg kept him from concentrating on the words. Sams favorite thing to do was start rubbing little Sams belly, then when he rolled onto his back to really enjoy it, Sam would grab those little dog feet and try to avoid getting his hands caught in the dogs mouth as he twisted his body to play bite at the human. But the rough play made way to gentle head scratches, and Sam was back to his book with the sound of quiet dog snoring coming from the warm lump of fur beside him.
Apparently, there was another sound that Sams brain can hear subconsciously, and it’s the heavy stomp of Deans boots in the hallway.
Sam leapt off the bed as easily as he could, trying not to jostle the sleeping animal, and threw a blanket over him in a not very well thought out plan to hide the small dog. And before he could hide any of the other evidence of a dog in the bunker, Dean burst in through Sams door not even bothering to knock.
“Dean,” Sam said cautiously, putting up his hands as he tried to placate his brother before the angry words came. “I know what you’re going to say.”
“Dude, you really don’t.”
Confusion twisted Sams features at his brothers light, almost humorous tone.
“What? Why are you here?”
“Oh, I’m here because of the dog.” There was a smile on Deans face that seemed to say I know something you don’t. Castiel came into the room behind Dean, a slightly guilty look directed towards Sam.
“Come on, Cas.” Sam sighed.
“Yeah, no, he is a terrible liar,” Dean laughed as he pointed a thumb back at the angel behind him. “You never should have let him walk away.”
“I am very sorry, Sam. Apparently I was acting suspiciously.”
“It’s ok, Cas.” Sam said to Cas before turning his attention back to his brother. “But, Dean, it’s only for a day or two, until I can find his owners in town.”
“Sam, you could search every house in the county and still not find anyone who knows that dog.” The self-satisfied grin was making Sam madder by the minute. But when Dean motioned for Sam to turn around, the anger faded instantly and was suddenly replaced with shock as he stared at an archangel sprawled across his bed.
“Gabriel! It was you?”
“Was that not obvious?”
“What? No!” Sam yelled at Gabriel.
The golden angel shifted on the bed, sitting cross legged under the blanket Sam had thrown over him earlier.
“You read my tag.” He brought his hand up and wiggled his fingers like he was waving. “I said ‘Hi Sam!!’”
For a moment, Sam could only stare, the sound of Deans laughter getting smaller as he walked Castiel back to his room. Shock eventually turned into irritation at the archangel who had fooled him all day.
“You couldn’t have told me before the belly rubs?!”