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"Yeah, I have a Great Dean."

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“And never again shall I touch you, you godforsaken thing.” Finally you can put that book away on the shelf forever, having scanned every creepy-as-fuck soft page of human skin.  Uuuuuhuhuhuhuh.

You sit back down at a library desk and scroll through the list to see what’s next, but the front door slams and you think maybe you’ll take a break since the guys are back.

“Y/N?” you hear Sam, bellowing down the corridor.  His unusual volume is curious.

Then there’s a “Y/N!” It’s kinda breathy, almost hoarse, and you assume it’s Dean.

There’s some noise, like they’re arguing and you hear your name again in two parts - “Y! N!”

Dean must have some news.

You push your chair back and turn to look at the platform, watching where they’ll appear.

“Dean! Dean!” Sam says sternly. No!”

“Y/N!” Dean says again as he appears and you smile at whatever it is that has him so excited.

Sam calls, “Y/N!” and he’s right behind Dean but not keeping up. “Just hold your ground!”

Dean’s scrambling down the steps, almost at the bottom.

“What?” you call.  “Sam?”

“Hold your ground, Y/N!”

Dean hits the floor and starts running toward you, happy and gallumphing. You grip the chair to keep yourself still and can only watch as the most delighted Dean you’ve ever seen, with a bouncing slack-jawed grin, leaps up the steps and gallops straight for you.

“Saaam?!” You’re calling for help.

“It’s okay-”

Sam?!”

“-Y/N-”

“Dean!” you squawk, knees and hands up to defend yourself as he lands on you, all over you. “What- are you- doing?!”

“Dean!” Sam barks.

Dean’s landed on his knees, between yours, his hands flumped onto your shoulders panting “Y/N!” and licks you, licks you right up your face, chin to eye, over your ear-

“Dean! No!” you try to push him off but he’s heavy and leaning, your arms almost pinned.

He keeps licking, slurping wet stripes up your face and you crane your neck to see Sam, his hopeless trot having stopped a few feet behind Dean.  He’s exasperated and sorry, hands landing on his thighs in defeat.  Your neck and ear are getting ridiculously wet, even as you push on Dean’s shoulders.

“Dean! Get off me!” you yell, and his next lick slides right over your mouth and beside your nose, flapping your upper lip as his tongue goes past.  It’s a tipping point.  “Dean! No! Down!”

He closes his mouth and looks at you in stunned silence.  You look him in the eye, stern and dominant, point at the ground beside him and repeat “Down!”in your Mom Voice.

He sits on his feet, puts his hands on the floor, and diligently awaits your next instruction as he licks his lips and teeth, resettling his tongue back in his head.

You stare at him a moment, instinctively saying “Good-” but can’t finish your words.  “…God. Sam?” You look up at him.

“Yeah.”

“Witch?”

“Rowena.”

“Fuck.”

“Yeah,” he sighs.  “He’s just missing the fur and the tail.”

Dean’s chin falls open and he breathes, almost pants, while he watches you.

“And the fucking leash,” you mutter.

“I am not putting a leash on him,” he admonishes, coming around to the other side of the table to sit and hold his head.  “Seriously, he’s been mind melded with dogs – animals – before, but never anything like this.  It’s completely incapacitating.”

“He said my name,” you look at Sam.

“Yeah, he uses words, but they’re like… representations of thought.  No sentences, no human stuff other than that and the walking.  It’s like… he’s just acting exactly like a dog.  In a kind of human way.”

“Since when?”

“Uuuh,” Sam checks his watch, “three hours ago.  Hasn’t changed or lessened at all.”

“Has he eaten?” you ask.

“Um, no,” Sam frowns, realising he had prioritised getting home over everything else.

“Okay,” you say and lean over for your bottle of water.  As soon as it’s in view Dean shuts his mouth and follows it with his eyes.  “Are you thirsty Dean?” you ask, but he’s not listening because he clearly is thirsty and waiting for you to open the bottle.

With the cap off you offer it to him, just to see if he’ll take it, but he ducks forward a little, watching the spout, expecting you’ll tip it for him.  Sam watches awkwardly as you tilt the bottle towards him, saying “Okay, here you go,” and hope to God he’ll wrap his lips around the mouth of it to drink but he just gets himself under the flow and laps as it spills over his tongue and chin.

“Okay, no, Dean,” you hold his jaw and look at him, “can you do this?” You pout your lips as if to drink but he doesn’t even look at them, just dutifully glances at your eyes a second before looking at the bottle again.  So you give in and pour a slow trickle for him, your wincing gaze flicking between the dribbles on his chin and throat and the puddle on the floor.  “Uuuuuugh, this is so baaaaad,” you groan.  “I can’t believe I’m watching him do this.”

“I know,” Sam joins you, putting his forehead in his hand as he leans on the desk.

Once Dean’s taken enough he settles back to sit, lapping and licking the water around his mouth.  You put the bottle down and look at him with concern.  “Dean?” you ask gently and he looks at you.  “Are you in there?”

Nothing but solemn interest and patience.  You wait four, maybe five seconds, hoping you’ll get something, but he just breaks into a soft, panting smile.  

“He’s like a fucking German Shepherd, Sam,” you mutter.  “Did she use words or a powder or what?”

“Words,” he groans, “and I don’t know them.”

“That fucking woman,” you gripe, sitting back and crossing your arms. “What’s he been like with you?”

“Fine, for a dog,” Sam gripes.  “But yeah, he’s been good, doing what I ask, keeping close. Wouldn’t sit in the back though.”

You try not to smile at Dean over that.  It’s such a curious thing, to have him sitting before you, not watching you, as such, but ready to.

Sam goes on, “He knew exactly where we were going, started saying your name before I opened the car door and that was it; listening to me was over.”

“Right,” you wonder.  “Happy to be home.”

“Something like that,” Sam sighs.

You look at him, his butt sticking out as he waits idly for whatever’s coming, blinking as his eyes look at nothing in particular.  A sense of worry flickers in your chest, his complete lack of self-awareness making him seem so vulnerable.  You feel an overwhelming need to protect him, from Rowena, from ridicule, from misfortune, clumsy accidents… heartworm…

“I can’t help but think he might be able to see himself,” you say, turning to Sam, “Like he’s going to be absolutely mortified at these memories.  I don’t know whether to treat him like a dog or a Dean trapped inside the mind of a dog.”

“I know,” Sam leans his forearms on the desk. “I’m the same.  He’s so completely doggish that I keep realising I’m just responding like he is one.”  Sam tries not to smile but he can’t help but be amused because, as you’ve been talking, Dean has rested his chin on your knee and you’ve run your hand back and forth through his hair a few times as you’ve been listening and talking.

You look down at Dean, his eyes closed under your touch, and you yank your hand away in surprise.  “Shit,” you whisper and look at Sam cautiously.  “I, uh, grew up with dogs.”

“Yah,” he grins.  “You know what though?  He’s probably mostly feeling like a dog… I suppose… I mean, he didn’t try to drive. Let’s just roll with Dog Dean and see if we can crack the curse.”

“Yeah, okay,” you say.  “I think some food is in order.”

Dean’s head pops up on ‘food’ and you smile at him hesitantly, slightly self-conscious when you say “You got that huh? You want something to eat?”  

Dean stands as you stand and follows you closely as you head for the kitchen.

“I think he likes you,” Sam comments.

You roll your eyes back at him saying “Oh, can we keep him?”

You and Sam put some sandwiches together for yourselves and consider the options for Dean.  “Ugh, well, let’s see what happens…?” Sam asks you.

“Go for it,” you shrug and let Sam make a sandwich for Dean too.

At the table, Dean tries to sit on the stool but his knees and feet slide off the shiny surface.  Then, when he does try to eat, even as he topples around the seat, he puts his hands either side of the plate and drops his head, not even attempting to pick up the food. He can’t seem to get enough stability to make a start.

“Okay, hang on,” you say, unable to bare the scene any more.  You take his plate and put it by you on the floor.  “Here you go.”

Dean climbs off and moves himself around to face the plate, gets himself on all fours and picks up the sandwich with his teeth, chomp-tossing it back into his head as best he can and biting off chunks of bread. The plate clatters on the tiles as he picks up the fallen contents with his mouth-

“I can’t watch,” you close your eyes and sit straight, deciding to pretend he’s not there.

Sam seems stuck, riveted by the sight of his older brother on all fours and eating off the floor.  Slowly he stares at you, still trying to take it in.

“Shit, Sam, he won’t use his hands,” you realise.

“Yeah, I noticed,” Sam replies.

“Bathroom,” you state.  “What the hell happens there?”

Sam drops his sandwich and rubs his face with his hands.  “For fuck’s sake.  This is the worst.”

“You know what? Let’s put him in just boxers and a bathrobe. If it is cold outside he probably won’t even notice, and just… take him for a walk,”  you suggest.

Sam sighs deeply and picks up his sandwich again, “Yeah, that’s probably easiest.  Not like we’re travelling anywhere soon.”

“Just pretend like you’re old already and he’s lost his beans,” you grin.

Sam huffs a laugh, then breaks into a proper wheezing chuckle. “Probably the closest we’ll get to that,” he says.

“There you go! Silver lining!”

Dean’s finished his food and licked the plate clean, dragging it a foot or so along the ground before sniffing the floor a bit to check for crumbs.  All done and finished, he drops on his side, facing your stool, and stretches his limbs, hands and feet quivering at the reach.

Sam gets up to make a drink and Dean lifts his head to see where he’s off to, dropping it back down when he’s satisfied.  He taps your ankle with slack fingers, kind of dragging his hand over it.

“What?” you ask.

He does it again and tilts his torso back, staring at you through lazy eyes.

“Seriously? You want me to rub your belly? You just ate.”

He leans his hand on your foot again and blinks slowly, like Loook at meeee, how can I go without someone rubbing my bellyyyyy?

You groan, kick off your shoe and lightly rub his lower ribs with your socked foot, determined that this is the extent of your affection right now.  He closes his eyes and tilts back further, his upper arm hinging off his chest as your action works his shirts up his stomach.

You look up at Sam, something like a glare or a prayer, but instead of compassion he says “Hey, I’m trying not to be offended here.  He’s all over you.  I’m the one who’s made the sandwich… and doing the walks.”

“He’ll thank you later,” you promise.

Later in the afternoon, Dean is changed, which wasn’t easy, and you’ve dragged a spare mattress into the library for him to lay on if he wants.  

Sam has written down what he recalls Rowena saying.  Each word is rewritten in every language it could belong to so you can search with the most likely spelling.  You’re scouring what documents you’ve already scanned, trying to use text recognition software to analyse the texts not yet interpreted.  It’s tedious work.

Barely 20 minutes into the job and Dean’s up and trotted over to the stairs in the war room, his bathrobe almost coming undone.  “Walk!” he huffs.  He stares at Sam across the expanse.

“You wanna go out for a walk?” Sam repeats back.

“Why yes,” you say for Dean.  “Your astute observations are spot on. A walk is what I would adore.  Shall we?”

“Walk! Walk!” he repeats, taking a few steps up the stairs.

“Okay, hang on,” Sam says, getting up to follow, scowling at your shit-stirring as he walks away.

“Good luck,” you call.  “Don’t tell me about it.”

Another 20 minutes later and they’re back, Dean jogging back down the stairs and over to your chair, kneeling on the floor and dropping his hands on your arm rest.  Sam heads into the kitchen.  You’ve got a finger dragging along a line of intricate text, trying to see if it matches anything you’ve got.

“Hey how’d you go?” you ask Dean absently, taking in the script.  “All good?”

He pants at you and puts a hand on your arm.  You lift your hand and pat his shoulder, saying “Good boy,” as you try to think about what you’re reading.

He pants some more and noses your shoulder, encouraging you to do something.

“One tick,” you murmur, “one tick Dean.”

He noses again and bursts out “Y/N!” It snaps you out of your study and he grins at you slackly, eyebrows high, pawing at your leg.  

“Hey, sorry,” you say, smiling kindly.  “You doin’ okay?” you ask, rubbing your hand on top of his shoulder, near his neck.  Petting him feels awkward when he has no fur; you’re worried you’ll actually scratch his skin so keep to the robe.

But it’s not what he wants.  He ducks his head under your forearm to encourage your hand onto his head.  It feels wrong, but somehow Sam being absent makes it easier to be generous.  You run your fingers through his hair, using the kind of motions you would for a dog, but when you get to the hair behind his ear he closes his eyes and leans into it.  You don’t scratch, exactly, just kind of rub and stroke. He rests his chin on his knuckles, occupying the arm rest, and seems settled there, so you go back to your piece of text and keep petting his head, while you work.  

Your brain is teetering on a point between being unable to focus and completely unravelling at his attention.  You realise that this wall you have up inside you, between now and the memory of every time you’ve thought of your fingers in Dean’s hair, is to protect him. Because it seems he can’t choose this - it’s just what Dog Dean wants - and it feels unfair to make him sad now because you can’t keep your crush in perspective.

Sam returns with a bowl of water and some snacks for the table.  He notices what you’re doing but decides to not comment because, considering what he’s just been through outside, head pats are nothing.

“Dean?” he says. Dean opens his eyes and lifts his head.  You take your hand back to scroll and click. “Got you some water,”  Sam nods at him and places it on the floor by the mattress, doing that fake telepathy people do with our eyebrows that says Watch, I am putting it here, for you, okay?

Dean closes his eyes and rests his head back on his hands.  Sam sighs and goes back to his seat.  Then Dean thumps your leg again to prompt more patting.  You glare at him, just a bit, but his expression is a pleading stare and that’s… just… not comfortable.  

You sigh and lean back for your report: “Okay, so I’ve found a few of the words scattered around, all Latin-based languages, but they’re all one at a time.”  Your patting hand slides down Dean’s head and rubs up and down his back, just because it’s easier to reach, and you don’t even know you’re doing it.  His breath drops to a slow, throaty purr. “I’m beginning to think Rowena’s good enough to just make up a solid spell on the spot,” you level with Sam.

“Which means we need to make up our own reversing spell,” Sam reasons. “Can you interpret the words themselves?”

“Roughly, but all the different contexts aren’t always a helpful. It’s going to take ages.”

“Okay… so… worst case scenario: it takes ages-”

“No, worst case is you have a dog for a brother,” you correct.  

“No, we will find a way,” Sam assures firmly, “even if we go via a few mistakes.”

“Shit,” you look at Dean, “brace yourself for that buddy.”

He blinks at you sleepily.

“We’ll just be out of action for a while,” Sam explains, “and if something important comes up we’ll… I dunno… leave him with Garth?”

“Oh he would love that!” you say sarcastically, knowing full well it’s the best option you have.  “Actually, he may really love that.”

You lean forward to get back to the interpretations and Dean paws at you again for more patting.  “No, that’s enough,” you say, but he persists, nuzzling what he can reach of your forearm.  “No, Dean, I need both hands.  Go on,” you encourage, “go on Dean.  On your mat.”

He sighs, though it sounds more like a “Humph” and turns away.  You give him a goodbye pat on his back and he lazily crawls towards the mattress.  It’s not that far away, but again, the sight of him on his hands and knees twists in you.

“We are fucking figuring this out Sam,” you promise.

“Damn straight.”

Dean turns a few circles on the bed and flops himself down.  You hope, at the least, he’ll get some proper rest now.

Dinner is macaroni and bolognese sauce, a.k.a messy as hell, especially when Dean breathes in a piece of mac then hacks it up again.  Poor Sam thinks a different meal will work better and almost loses a finger trying to take his plate.  “At least his priorities haven’t changed,” he grumbles sorely.

Afterwards, you and Sam are back opposite each other at the desk while Dean naps on the mattress some more.  Before long, both of you notice his feet and wrists twitch as he dreams, chasing cars apparently.  He starts to whimper and woof through his lips.  You try not to watch and are thankful when he calms and stills.  

A minute or so passes and he starts muttering “No! Sam! No!” His twitching begins again but looks more like grabbing and going for things, and then says, sleepily but gruff and firm, “No, you leave her alone!”

You look at Sam, his face mirroring your curious concern, and get up to quietly creep over to Dean.  

“No! Sam! Don’t you-” he twitches big enough to make you pause as you kneel beside him.  You take his hand in yours, palm to palm and thumbs hooked, and run your hand over his hair.  It’s a gesture you’d never have done so easily before today.

You lean over to talk quietly and low by his face, “It’s okay Dean, you’re okay, you’re dreaming.”

Sam’s standing a little way away now, thankfully not saying anything about letting sleeping dogs lie.

Dean snatches at your hand so tightly you flinch and you repeat yourself a little “Shhh, s'okay Dean, we’re right here, you’re okay, you’re sleeping,” and you stroke his head some more to soothe.  He takes a shuddering breath in, rolls onto his back and slips into a position that looks wholly un-dog like and very Dean.  He holds onto your hand, resting it on his chest, one leg bent and the other straight, an arm wrapped around the top of his head, and mutters “No, not si- 'n the back. Go home t-nn…” and slides back to a quiet sleep.

You have to wait three or four breaths before you can ease your hand away and once you do, he rolls over onto his front to quietly snore.

When you get back to the desk you ask Sam “Did that seem a whole lot of human to you?”

“Yeah, just about,” Sam agreed, thoughtfully frowning at his brother. “It’s like his subconscious is still human Dean.”

“Yeah, took a while to surface though,” you think aloud. “But whole sentences? Hand holding?  Gives me hope,” and Sam nods in reply.

By the time you’d call it late, you and Sam have at least four permeations of what the words could mean exactly.  Both of you decide some rest will be worth while and you clean up a bit while Sam takes Dean out for another 'walk’.

When you head off to bed, you’re interrupted from your routine by impatient fingers dragging on your door.  You open it to Dean, rosy cheeked from the cool night air.  He roughly shoulders his way in and stands on your bed, happy and panting.

“No! Dean, down,” you say, pointing at the floor.  He circles a few more times, pretending to ignore you, leaving traces of dirt on the comforter. “Off the bed!” you repeat. “Down now! You sleep with Sam.”

He finds his place and settles into a curled position, blinking at you innocently, apparently hoping you won’t notice him there, or that he’s disobeying you.

Somewhere between your expectation that a dog listen to you, and your fear of what might happen if he sleeps on your bed, you kind of crack it.  You lean over a little, still pointing at the floor and say through clenched teeth “Down! Now!”

He curls a little tighter and waits to see what will happen.

This time your volume matches your mood.  “Get off my bed or I will drag you off Dean!”

Now he looks slapped.  He pulls his hands out from under himself and slowly, lowly, crawls off the bed, this 6-foot-something man slinking onto the floor as pathetically as possible and working the saddest face he’s got.

“Go on!” you persist, pointing out the door. “Go to Sam’s room!  That’s it! Go-on!”

By now he looks plain hurt and you wonder if you’ve been too harsh.  At the door he holds onto the frame and stands – another reminder of how weird this is – and looks at you hopefully.

“That’s it, all the way!”

Slowly he skulks off to where he came from, the bathrobe making him look all the more depressed.  You stand by your doorway in the corridor and watch him mope and glance back at you glumly. “Aaall the way,” you repeat, “You’ll be okay,” and when he gets far enough away you call “Good boy Dean” because it’s the only praise you can think of and, dammit, he deserves some kind words.


The next morning you open your bedroom door and find Dean curled up right where a doormat would be.

“Shit,” you whisper, then it occurs to you that maybe the spell might have worn off. You talk to Dean like he might be himself:  “Hey, Dean, it’s morning.  Time to wake up and wonder what the hell’s going on.”

He blinks a bit and lifts his head, looking around, then down the corridor and cranes his head back to see you.  As soon as he smiles you know it’s still not him, his dopey grin full of raw happiness.

He hops up and for a moment you want to keep talking to him normally, wishing it would snap him out of it, but he starts walking you backward, looking at you as he happily turns and figure-8s in front of you.  You retreat into your room saying “Okay, you had a good rest huh? Okay-”  He puts his hands on your shoulders, even jumping a little as though he had to reach up instead of down, and as your legs hit the bed you’re knocked down to sit, then lay and he grins at you as he rests his forearms on your chest.  

You wriggle to get his weight off your breasts, and remind him “No licks!” but he doesn’t respond, just pants and smiles, and you smile back, in case he can see you from in there.  It’s getting easier to smile at him when he seems so happy.  Your hands land on his head and rub back and forth and he makes this guttural happy sound as he smacks his mouth, like he’s eating good food.  He drops his chin onto your chest, unaware of how he’s crushing you, and lets his eyes blink heavy while you pat him.  

You wonder if your imagination would ever have come up with this being the way Dean got in your bedroom and between your legs.

“Let’s go get some brekky yeah?” you say and he's pushed off and gone, winding you a little.  You go into the corridor to find him half way down, waiting for you, his robe half open.  You notice a bit of morning chub, you assume, and think again of what Dean would want you to remember about this.  Which, unfortunately for him, is going to be everything.

Sam’s making a proper breakfast in the kitchen and Dean presses himself at your back to see the bacon.  

“This looks awesome.  Thank God he can’t figure out his hands,” you comment.

“Yeah,” Sam realises.  “Sorry about him being at your door.  I took him out for a walk and that’s where he settled when we got back.  I just figured it was easier to let him be rather than wake you with ordering him away.”  He plates up the meal and you grab some utensils before taking a seat.

“No problem,” you say, “I just hope he’s not sore from it.”

Sam leans down with a bowl of chopped bacon and eggs while Dean kneels and watches his hand, his tongue almost hanging out of his head and making a start before the dish even touches the ground.

“Sam, don’t give him bacon! Dogs shouldn’t -oh shit!” you slap your hand over your mouth at what you’re saying.  

Sam laughs at you and adds “You know though, while we’re in control of his food, we probably should keep it healthy.”

You grin at him slyly, “Can you imagine the feedback on that decision?”

“He’ll probably puke it up on my pillow before then,” Sam chuckles.

“Let’s do it!”

“No! That’s-”

“Sam!” you gasp, “Shit! I just thought of the words-”

“The spell?”

“One of them, near the beginning, it was something like 'this day’-” you think at him, talking over the sound of ceramic being pushed over tiles and against your foot.

“Yeah, what? You don’t think it meant 'now’?” he prompts you.

“It’s just, the context is vague all over. What if it mean 'for a day’?” you ask. “What time did she cast the spell?”

“Around 10:30,” he says.  “It’s a shot, actually.”

“Well, it’s not like we’ll have a counterspell in the next few hours anyway,” you calm down. “Let’s wait and see.”

Dean’s head pops up next to you, crumbs of egg and bacon debris across his face like a beard.  “God dog, keep it together yeah?”  He doesn’t notice you take a napkin to him, just looks at your plate while you wipe.

“Food!” he huffs, looking at you hopefully.

“My food,” you tell him.  “No more for you.”

“Food!” he repeats loudly.

“No! Mine! Go ask Sam! He’s in charge of feeding you.”

“Ugh, thanks,” Sam groans.

Dean shuffles around to your side, almost behind you, butting his head in between your elbow and ribs and resting a loose hand on your thigh. He pauses there, staring intently at your unfinished plate.

You pick up your fork, your other arm loose around his neck, load it with some eggs and jab a bit of bacon onto the end. Carefully you raise it to your lips, Dean following it from plate to palette. You notice the drool pooling around his tongue but he doesn’t notice, at all, that he’s pushing the side of his face into your breast, so you lean away for you both.  You shovel the food into your mouth and look at him as he cranes his head and pines, watching the food go away.

“Ours were outside dogs,” you say matter-of-factly around your mouthful.

He droops in rejection, groans sourly as he licks around his mouth before resting his chin in your lap.  You take a deep sigh, trying not to feel anything about his throat being over your pockets and put your hand on his shoulder.

When you look up at Sam, he’s serious and concerned.  “You got an opinion about all this?” he asks, nodding at Dean and his closeness.

You look at your plate, chew carefully and finish a mouthful.  “Lots, to be honest, but I’m going to wait till I can talk to him before I pick one in particular,” you answer.

“Fair enough,” he says, getting up for a coffee, “but for the record, I’m not surprised.”

“Really?” you ask in curiosity.

“Yeah, you are?”

“Well, you’re his brother, why isn’t he all over you?”

From your lap, Dean cranes his head so his eyes can follow your last forkful of food, a heavy sigh huffing out of him as you don’t give him that one either.

“Coz I’m a given, I’m family,” Sam reckons.  “You’ve only been here a few months, and he doesn’t want you to leave.  Like, at all… You really don’t think he looks at you?”  He sits back down with a hot mug for you each.

“I figure he cares about me, but I don’t really see him with other women, like day-to-day, so I don’t know,” you reason, glancing down at Dean with a vague feeling he’s listening to you.  “I, um,… I don’t want to stuff up the friendship.”

Sam chews on his smile a bit, hiding it behind his coffee as he says “Okay, well, you talk about your friendship when he’s back to normal, okay?”

“Pff. Yes Mom.”


The more you look at the words, the more hopeful you are that it’s a 24-hr thing.  You glance at your watch every now at then, your frequency climbing to every two minutes by 10:20am.

At 10:25, Sam’s watch goes off and he leans back in his chair to watch his brother.

Dean’s sleeping on his side, arms and legs paired much like a dog’s would be, and you wait.

“How quickly did the spell kick in?” you ask.

“Pretty quick, I think,” Sam replies.

Seconds pass, enough that you wish you’d timed them, but nothing changes.

Dean rolls onto his back and rests his arm over his eyes.  Not unheard of for a dog, but he’s also sleeping so it’s hard to go one way or another.  Then he groans, a proper What’s going on groan and he shifts his arm back to his forehead to look at the ceiling.

You and Sam sit forward and Dean slowly pulls himself up, turning to face you both and resting his elbows on his knees.  He rubs his face, looks down and frowns at his robe, closing it a little more and rubbing his thighs and arms, like his muscles are itchy.

“Yeah?” Sam says, “is that you?”

Dean looks at him and takes a deep breath.  “Yeah, it’s me.”

“Oh thank fuck,” Sam sighs and slumps back in his chair.

You’ve sucked your bottom lip into your mouth, waiting to see how he’ll look at you, ready to forget the last day ever happened.  If that’s what he wants.

Sam laughs a little and says “That was a hell of a day.”

“You’re tellin’ me,” Dean says, running a hand back and forth over his head.  “Fuckin peculiar.” He stares at the floor a moment, before Sam gets up and walks over to him to offer a hand.

You stand as Sam pulls him up.  “Thanks,” Dean says, “for all that.”

Sam twitches his eyebrows at him, as if to say Of course I would. “Don’t worry about it,” he grins. “You were a good dog.”

Dean groans but pulls him in and smacks him on the back for a solid bro-hug.

“Good dog,” says Sam over his shoulder as he smacks him back.

“No,” Dean points at him firmly.  “Never again.”

Sam laughs and leaves, quite tactfully you think, and Dean tucks in his bathrobe.

He stares at you so long you feel like bad news is coming.

“I’m betting you want to take a shower or something,” you say, shifting a few papers on the table with your fingers.

“Yeah, I feel pretty ripe,” he reports.  “Think I’ve still got forest dirt on my feet.”

“You remember then?”

“Yeah,” he tells you.  “Everything.”

“Right then… well you really will need that shower,” you say and smile as kindly and casually as you can… and leave.