I howled. Oh, how I howled. I was starting to go hoarse. Sam didn’t spook easily, though. I thought that I was doing a great impression of being on my deathbed, but he was just scrubbing my back with his sinfully scented shampoo. Rubbing my ears and my belly, too. Sigh. It was difficult to focus!
So I cried harder. I was getting so into it that I was starting to feel genuinely upset. It wasn’t the end of the world (not today anyway) if I had to spend time there. I just had better things to do. If Castiel showed up, I was really gonna get an earful. He’d be able to tell it was me.
Sam dumped gentle handfuls of water over my back, chuckling at all my fussing.
“It’s almost over.” After rinsing me for an ungodly long time, he lifted me out of the bathtub and wrapped me in a warm fluffy towel. I couldn’t howl anymore. I couldn’t even try. I was SO comfy. He fluffed my fur and I caught myself yawning. Sam bent down and kissed my nose. “Good boy.”
“Hey,” Dean said behind us. Sam hugged me in my towel and stood up to face his brother. Dean pointed to me. “There’s a shelter across town.”
“Is it no-kill?”
“Is it a no-kill shelter?” Sam asked, rocking me gently. I yawned widely. Gah. Why was I sleepy? I didn’t sleep when I was in my normal form.
“I don’t know—”
“Nope. I’m not taking him there.”
“Sam! It’s a shelter! I’m sure they won’t kill a puppy! Come on.”
Sam brushed past Dean, shaking his head. I had to blink to focus.
“You’d be surprised.”
Shelter? A shelter sounded good to me. I could fly away from there! I yawned again. Come on. No napping. I needed to convince Sam that shelter was a good idea!
We moved at a surprising speed into the kitchen and then I was being sat on the floor, the towel pooling around me. I crawled my way out of it, flinching at how cold the floor was on my tiny paws. Yikes! I looked around.
Sam was digging in the fridge, clunking bottles around. I turned around and found Dean lurking in the doorway. He was frowning at his brother’s back, eyes flicking my direction.
Steal me, I dare you, I thought, looking him right in the eye as I let loose on the floor.
“HEY!” Dean snarled, striding across the room. He bopped me with surprising softness on my rump, scolding me. “Bad dog!”
“Don’t scare him!” I heard Sam shout.
“He just pissed all over the floor!” Dean protested, gesturing to me. Sam looked down at me with a frown, shaking his head.
“He’s a puppy. He doesn’t have a collar or anything — he’s probably been abandoned!” The taller Winchester knelt down and lay the towel over my mess.
Well, that didn’t work. Now Dean just looked like he felt bad for me. Ugh. Sympathy.
Castiel’s sexy gravelly voice made my stomach flop. He would be able to see me! He’d know it was me! My paws barely gripped the floor as I bolted from the room at full Corgi puppy speed.
I hid in the first room that had an open door. Judging by the scent of leather and self-hatred, it had to be Dean’s room. I tucked myself under his bed and stayed there.
I heard Sam’s voice as he passed by the room calling for me.
“Here boy! Puppy? Come on puppy, it’s just me!”
I resisted. Now, if he had been calling me by my real name, I would have been out there in a jiffy. I stayed on that thought, imagining Sam saying my name. I couldn’t even remember hearing him call me Gabriel to my face. Did he still think about me at all?
“A puppy?” I heard Castiel ask, his footsteps disappearing after Sam’s.
I don’t know why I was so freaked out about running into my little bro. He’d be thrilled that I was okay. Well, maybe. We hadn’t ended things on the best of terms. Then Heaven blew up, and then the whole Darkness thing... Yeah. I probably should have come out of hiding sooner.
I don’t know how long I hid there. Between the soft Queen T-shirt I was curled up on and the dim lighting in the room, it was hard to stay awake. I must have dozed off at some point, because when I woke up — I wasn’t under the bed anymore.