Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural. This is for entertainment only, and not for profit.
Chapter 5 – lethe at the bottom of a water bowl
"Dad?" Sam called out softly. "Dad!"
Nothing. No reaction.
Sam sat down miserably on the kitchen floor. He had on a collar now, and he was chained to this hook set into the wall right next to the back door. He felt weak now, had been every since she'd frozen him in place with a gesture and slipped the brown leather collar around his neck. It was obvious she'd cast a spell on it. Sam tried pulling at the chain, and all he succeeded in doing was scuffing up the floor when his nails skidded on the linoleum. The bitch wasn't going to be happy about that.
Sam didn't give a damn.
His stomach rumbled. His throat was so dry it hurt. There was a light blue Drinkwell Water Fountain a few feet away, and the sound of the motor and the water stream falling into the bowl was almost hypnotic. He could easily reach it if he wanted to, and that was the whole point.
Come on over here, you sweet little pup. Take a drink.
He was so damn thirsty.
You know you wanna…
Sam flattened his ears. Won't listen to it. I won't. He put his back to the fountain, flopped down on the floor as far as the chain would allow, and curled into a ball.
His stomach rumbled again. Bet one of those deli sandwiches Dean stole would go pretty good right about now, huh, kid?
I said shut the hell up.
Fine, Sam's stomach rumbled sullenly. No need to be rude.
The water in the bowl was bewitched. Sam saw the way Dad's eyes went funny every time he came in and drank from that damn fountain, but that didn't stop him from trying to talk to his father each time he saw him.
Dad the black Persian cat padded into the kitchen.
Sam heard him before he even saw him, and he scrambled to his feet, despite himself, his long thin tail wagging with excitement. The third time was the charm. Dad heard him. Dad was here. He'd help him out of that damn collar, he'd ---
John didn't even glance at Sam. He walked over and very daintily pushed his flat little face into the bowl of the water fountain, just like he had twice before, and lapped up water slowly and carefully.
Sam scowled, but it did no good. His bitchface, translated into canine, had lost a step or two. He was just so darn cute.
The tip of Dad's long black tail flicked back and forth, lazily. When he finished Dad lifted his face up out of the bowl and stood there blinking and licking his lips. His pupils widened to black marbles, and then back down to slits.
"It's me, Dad. It's Sam."
Dad yawned. "I told you before, I don't know you."
"We were turned into dogs. I mean, me and Dean were, He looks like RinTinTin. I look like Pluto."
Dad snickered. The cat considered Sam for a long moment. "RinTinTin and Pluto, huh? You're funny."
"You're a dog. A d-o-g. I'm a cat. C-a-t. I don't have any sons." Dad shook his head. "I used to have funny thoughts. I don't anymore. Only thing that matters now is her and this house. I'm never going to leave. I don't want to. And neither will you."
"She likes you, uh, Sam, is it?" Dad looked thoughtful. "Funny name for a dog." He shook himself all over. That long thick black fur of his bushed out over his bright pink collar. "She'll put your head right. You'll see. You're confused."
"Dad, that witch did something to you. She made you forget. We were hunting her ---"
The cat's eyes narrowed. "Don't talk about her like that. She has a name. Circe."
Sam froze. "Circe? Circe?"
The Dad cat chuckled. "And my name's not Dad."
Sam's shoulders sagged. His ears drooped. He knew what was coming next. Oh, the humanity…
"My name's Fuzzybuns Snicklepants." Dad cat said proudly, and he held his tail held high as he pranced out of the kitchen.
Dean smelled pot.
He wrinkled his nose, sneezed nosily and then inhaled again.
Pot equaled potheads, which equaled gullible. He could use a pair of gullible human hands right now.
The tip of his thick plume of a tail wagged a little as he got up. The mastiff was sprawled on his back in a far corner. Dean took another sniff as he walked towards the gate of the cage. He tried not to inhale too deeply this time, what with his enhanced sense of smell and all. He needed a clear head for this.
One of the dogs down the row barked. What we have heah…is failure…to communicate.
"Be quiet, lil' doggie" and then the person doing the ssshing giggled madly.
Dean prickled his ears, cocked his head to one side alertly. They were headed his way. Dumbasses really were trying to be sneaky with it, and it was an epic fail. Two humans, both male, late teens, early twenties. One dark haired, the other blond. Dean smelled pot and potato chips, popcorn and hamburger grease. Apparently they'd had the munchies before they decided to do B&E (Breaking and Entering).
Sight unseen, Dean christened them Bill and Ted. They were having an Excellent Adventure.
The mastiff rolled over onto his stomach with a groan. He blinked at Dean and then stared at him sadly. Unbelievable. Bastard still thought they were a couple, huh?
The footsteps were coming closer.
"No…no…not that one," Bill whispered. "Looks like an overgrown rat."
The Chihuahua/Yorkie mix took offense. The dog yipped back, I got yer overgrown rat right here, you hairless monkey, but of course they couldn't understand him.
"Dude, I don't see anything I like…" Bill sounded confused.
Dean sat down directly in front of the gate. He sat up straight, stuck his chest out and held his head up proudly, ears pricked.
Two pairs of worn blue jeans, and dingy tennis shoes shuffled into view. Black band tee shirts, one AC/DC, the other Metallica. Dean didn't even blink. Yep. Bill and Ted. The nose knows.
"Dude! Lookit that dog!" Ted squeaked as he pointed at Dean.
Yahtzee, Dean thought. He sat up even straighter and gave them the full Hollywood handsome heroic pose.
Bill gawped at him. "Damn! He looks like Superman's dog or something."
High and stupid, Dean thought. He grinned a little. I like it!
If the marijuana smell was strong before, they practically reeked of it now. Dean held his breath. Come on, dumbasses, come on…
"Dude," Ted said loudly, "you bring Allie a dog like this one, she'll forgive your ass for running over her dog in the driveway!"
Bill's hands twitched around the rope he held in his hands. "The hell with Allie." He looked Dean up and down. "We could go hunting with this mother up in the hills. He looks like he could take down a bear!"
Dean intensified the pose. Come on, get the door. Open the damn door…
Ted stared at Dean. "Chicks love dogs. I mean, look at him. He'd be a friggin' chick magnet at that dog park down the street from your house!"
Dean grinned wolfishly. That's right. I got your magnet right here. Every chick needs some Dean in her life.
The mastiff got to its feet with a growly huff. Dean turned around and gave it the glare of Death. Fuck this up for me and I will end you.
The mastiff sat right down.
Dean turned back to the gate and cocked his head to one side.
"Get him, get him! He's a good one!"
Listen to Ted, Bill, Dean thought. The red-eyed pothead speaks truth.
Bill was wavering, and Dean could feel it. This was taking too damn long. The other dogs were waking up, alerted now to the presence of strange humans in the building after hours.
You humans don't wanna deal with that pup, that mouthy little terrier down the row sang out. He's trouble!
It was time to pull out the big guns.
Dean raised his right paw, leaned forward and very daintily put it on the steel mesh of the gate.
"Dude? D'ya see that?" Ted gushed. "He wants to come. He picked us!"
A second or so later the gate was open and Dean once again found himself on the good side of the gate. One more door between him and the outside world. He made the mistake of letting out the breath he'd been holding in all along, and when he breathed in again he felt light-headed from all the pot fumes.
Whoa. He blinked. Damn. I feel…good.
He swayed slightly as Bill and Ted patted him up from head to toe.
Something I need to do when I get out of here, Dean thought hazily. Oh. Oh! Find Dad and Sam. Right. Right.
He wanted to bolt, but he still needed them to open the door for him, so he stood quietly between the two idiots and waited. And waited. They stared at each other wide-eyed with these big goofy grins on their faces, like they just couldn't believe their luck.
Oh for cryin' out loud. Dean rolled his eyes. He opened his jaws, took the loop of rope in Bill's hands in his teeth, and started tugging at it, hard. Dean backed up, inched his way down towards the back exit door at the end of the hall. Come on, move it along. Sometime this year would be nice…
"What it is, boy? You wanna show us something, is that it?" Bill whispered, wide-eyed.
Dude, you have seen way too many Lassie movies, Dean thought. He tugged harder.
"Man, I love this dog," Ted said in awe.
Once we get outside I'm ditching your asses, junior, so enjoy the love while you can, Dean thought. A few more backward steps, a few more hard tugs, and they were closer to the back door, closer to freedom. The mastiff came to the closed gate, sat down and stared at Dean sadly.
See ya, wouldn't wanna be ya, Dean thought.
The other dogs were in full uproar by now.
Aw, c'mon, pup, I take back all those mean things I said about ya.
I love you! Take me with you, pleaaaase?
Don't kiss his furry ass like that, dawg! another dog snapped. He's busted. BUSTED!
Dean's eyes widened. Maybe it was the fact that he was still a little light-headed from the pot fumes. Maybe it was because he was focused on Bill and Ted. At any rate, Dean didn't notice the kennel worker who stepped out from behind the corner, between him and the exit door, until his tail brushed against the dude's pant legs.
"Hey!" The man snarled at Bill and Ted. "What the hell do you two geniuses think you're doing?'
Sam's stomach growled. Feed me. Come on…feed me…
Circe smiled as she walked into the kitchen. "Poor baby. I hear you," she said to Sam. "You hungry, huh?"
Sam stared at the wall. He wouldn't even turn around and look at her.
"Well, that's okay." She pulled that black and red flowered kimono closer around her body and opened the refrigerator. The glass jar in her hand was half full with something that looked like red meat mixed with herbs. She took a clear glass bowl from the overhead cabinets, a spoon from the drawers, and scooped out several big tablespoonfuls. "I've got something that you might like, Sam. It's a special blend."
Fuck you, Sam thought.
Circe smiled again. "Is that any way to think? Your big brother taught you that, didn't he?"
Sam shook his head wearily. He just couldn't win.
Circe hummed a wordless tune as she slipped the bowl into the microwave. She set it for one minute exactly.
When the timer dinged Sam's nose alerted him that whatever was in the bowl was the most wonderful thing it had ever smelled.
It smelled like…like, well, doggy heaven. Red meat, and lots of it, warmed up just enough. The scent wafted through the air and it smelled so wonderful it made Sam's toes curl. Even though he kept his back to her and didn't turn around the tip of his tail started wagging, like he was already standing there with his nose stuck into the bowl.
He could feel it on his tongue. He could taste it.
Circe laughed as she set the bowl down next to the water fountain. "Fuzzybuns and I will leave the two of you alone. Take your time, Sammy."
Sam's stomach growled hard in response. In the next moment he was on his feet staring at the wall, and he couldn't remember standing up in the first place.
Bill and Ted blinked. "Cyrus. Dude. You still owe us for that bowl of weed we sold you," Bill twitched. "We came to collect."
"I'm not paying you for that, you morons," Cyrus growled. "You think you can mosey on in here and pick any mutt you choose?"
Cyrus leaned down, hooked his fingers between Dean's plastic temporary collar and Dean's fur. Dean let go of the rope and lunged forward. Cyrus stumbled, off balance, as Dean scrambled madly between Bill's legs.
Bill fell forward on top of Cyrus, who let go just as Dean literally climbed over Ted. Dean felt kinda bad about that as the dude hit the floor on his ass.
Well, not really.
The dogs in the kennels yipped and snarled.
Don't let 'em catch ya, baby-bee!
Run you, sucker, run!
Dean cursed to himself as he turned the corner and streaked down the hall. There was one way out, straight ahead, and that was past the reception counter. He didn't know if the doors were locked this time of night, had no way of knowing if there were other staff on duty.
The double doors were there, right in front of him. Forward momentum carried him past another open door on his left, and he thought he sensed a draft (nightairopenairfreedom) coming from somewhere. Dean was moving too fast to stop himself.
Another man wearing a drab brown uniform stood in front of the doors. This dude had a baseball bat, and he grinned at Dean evilly."Batter up."
The blunt end of the bat brushed the tip end of Dean's right ear with the first swing. Dean went low, and since the man was standing wide-legged he figured, what the hell. Dean snaked his body between the man's legs, felt the pain when the bat came down hard on his hindquarters. He grunted, but instead of going down he turned in that space, reared up and around and sank his teeth into the fleshy part of the guy's ass.
Baseball Bat howled.
Dean shook his head from side to side. Ah, Christ, this tasted awful, but at least the moron dropped the bat. He pulled his mouth away, spat frantically to clear his mouth of brown lint and the taste of ass. His forepaws landed on the pressure plate of the double doors.
Dean turned on a dime and charged back down the hall, right at Cyrus and Bill and Ted.
He was pumped up on pure adrenaline now, going purely on instinct. Dean's sense of smell fairly screamed at him Hard left, dude, hard left and he ducked into the room without question, legs pumping as he climbed up the empty cages stacked against the wall. At the top was the same open window Bill and Ted used to climb in. There was no screen.
Dean barely had time to think as he lunged up at the opening.
Wide open spaces out there, Dad and Sam were out there.
Cyrus' fingers slid through Dean's fur from behind, finally gripped and pulled at the base of Dean's tail. Dean ignored the pain and jerked forward again. His front paws hit concrete, his hind legs scrambled madly as his back nails raked Cyrus' face. Another powerful lunge and Dean pulled clear, running flat out.
He was free.
Sam stared down at the meat in the bowl. He stared at the fountain, at that cool, clear water.
He barely remembered gettting up. He couldn't remember walking over to the bowl.
Just a little, he thought to himself. Just a little water. Just a little food. I won't forget who I am if I take a little bit. Just a little.
What could that hurt?
His stomach was quiet now, as though it was holding its breath to see what he was going to do.
He closed his eyes and sniffed.
God, that smelled good. His mouth watered. There was something he'd lose if he ate any of this. Something…Sam couldn't remember what.
His stomach growled again. Gently.
Sam lowered his head and ate.
Next: Rumsfeld2 and Bobby on the road, and Dean gets an offer he can't refuse. Also, thank you Thru Terry's Eyes, for "Fuzzybuns Snicklepants."