Well, here it is--the last chapter. To all of you who've taken the time to read and to all who left such kind reviews, I thank you. I hope you enjoy this final addition.
Dean was yanked from a sound sleep by a nearly simultaneous yelp and a thud of something large striking the threadbare carpet
Dean was yanked from a sound sleep by a nearly simultaneous yelp and a thud of something large striking the threadbare carpet. He jackknifed to a sitting position, rubbing sleep heavy eyes with closed fists before looking worriedly around the dimly lit room.
"Sammy?" He paused, not know if he should whistle for the dog or expect an answer from a human.
The appearance of Sam's shaggy chestnut hair and wide hazel eyes above the edge of the mattress answered the question, but it was accompanied by another squeaky yelp and the quick disappearance of the faded comforter off the bed.
"Uh . . . Dean? Why . . . why did I just roll off the end of your bed?
The older man opened his mouth to speak but was cut off before he could utter a sound.
"And why the hell am I naked?"
Dean rubbed a hand over his scruffy blondish-brown spikes of hair and blinked. "Well, Sammy, umm . . . you see . . . you were a . . . a dog."
Misinterpreting his brother's words, Sam muttered, "You mean I brought a woman back here? But why was I sleeping on your bed?" His young hunter's expressive eyes grew even larger. "Wait—we didn't . . . I mean . . . you and I didn't . . . both . . . you know . . ."
Dean smirked and rolled his eyes at Sam's stuttering question. "Geez, no—you perv! That's just all kinds of wrong. Besides you'd get jealous of my . . . attributes. I mean you really were a dog. An honest to goodness furry, floppy-eared D-O-G!"
"B-But . . . how . . . why . . . What the hell?" He watched with keen interest as his brother reached out a hand and wiped his fingers across the surface of the nightstand and then held his fingers up for inspection. He could see a glittery substance shining in the low light.
"A pixie prank apparently."
"Ah, man. You're kidding me. Freakin' pixies? Here?" He groaned.
"Dude, take a look at the room. Are you really all that surprised?"
Sam glanced around their current environs and heaved a long, drawno out sigh. "No, I guess I'm not surprised at all. How long?"
"How long was I a dog? Couple of minutes? Couple of hours?"
"Four days. I guess anyway. To tell you the truth I lost track of time. But their note said four days." Dean held out a piece of fragile gossamer paper for Sam to read.
In four days time
it will be done,
return will he
into mother's son.
Just as Sam finished reading, a light and ethereal giggle filled the room and the note crumbled to shimmery dust and disappeared.
"Four DAYS!" Sam ran a hand through his hair, an expression of disbelief on his face. He suddenly stopped and wrinkled his nose. "What the hell is that smell?"
"That, brother dear, would be YOU. Apparently, you made nice with a skunk while you were lost in the woods at the park. Oh and since that wasn't enough stinkifying fun for you, you apparently rolled in something dead. That's what Brody said anyway."
"I was lost in the woods? How'd that happen? And who's Brody?"
"Brody Ellison—one of Webster Creek's boys in blue."
"A cop?" Sam raised his eyebrows in surprise.
"Long story. Why don't you take a shower and try to wash more of that stench off first?"
After another unappreciative whiff, Sam decided the whole sordid tale could wait and agreed. He pulled himself to his feet; securely holding the comforter wrapped tightly around his waist and marched toward the bathroom. A few seconds after flicking on the overhead light, Sam bellowed, "Dean!" and raced back into the main room.
"What the hell did I do while I was a dog—maul you or something? There's blood all over the walls in there!" Sam's gaze was roving over what he could see of his brother.
Dean held up a calming hand and responded, "Relax, bro. It's tomato juice, not blood."
"Yeah, it's supposed to help get rid of that nasty skunk smell. That and vinegar, dog shampoo—a bunch of other stuff." Dean waved his left hand in the air. "If you ask me, none of it worked very well."
"You're right. I still reek." With that, Sam turned on his heel and made his way back into the tiny bathroom, shutting the door behind him with a firm thud and click of the lock.
It was a good 15 minutes later when the door reopened and Sam, now with a towel snug around his hips, strolled back into the main room, a cloud of steam billowing behind him and his towel-dried hair curling wildly around his face. Feeling more normal and grounded and considerably less smelly, he started for his duffel bag. It was then that he truly noticed their clothes messily strewn about.
"It looks like a tornado went through here. I didn't do that, did I?"
Dean, who was still reclining in bed with his eyes closed, said, "Nope. That would be yet another prank on behalf of the pixies. Shoulda seen it—they were all floating in mid-air."
The tall young hunter poked around at the various and sundry pieces of clothing, extracting items that belonged to him. He quickly pulled on boxers, dropped the towel and pulled on a pair of jeans before yanking a maroon-colored t-shirt over his head. He searched out a pair of black socks and sat down on his bed to pull them on.
"So—I was a dog?"
The older sibling pushed himself upright and leaned against the garishly decorated wall. "Uh huh."
Sam ran his fingers through his hair, scratching at his head a little as he contemplated the concept.
"Still got fleas there, Sammy?"
The younger man rolled his eyes.
Undaunted, Dean continued with a grin, "Dude, you totally had to go outside to go to the bathroom!"
The recent victim of the precocious pixie prank thought about that for a few seconds and then retorted, "So? If I had to use the bathroom outside that just means YOU had to clean up after me." He smiled when he saw his older brother wrinkle his nose in distaste.
"So how'd I end up lost in the park?"
"Ah, man, you should've seen it. For once in your life, geek boy, you were an honest-to-God chick magnet! The women just couldn't resist you. And then when they got a look at me—well—"
"Wait—you took me to the park to pimp me out so you could pick up chicks?"
"No. I took you to the park because that seems to be what people do when they have a dog. The chick magnet thing was just an added bonus."
"How'd I end up lost?"
Dean sighed and pushed back his covers, dropping his feet to the floor. "There was this girl, Josie . . ."
Sam pointed an accusing finger at his brother. "I KNEW it. You got all wrapped up in her and forgot all about me, didn't you?"
The eldest Winchester shot his brother a glare. "No, I didn't forget all about you, jerk. Josie and I were just having some coffee one morning and her ex-boyfriend, Dick—I mean, Dirk," Dean placed extra, and unkind, emphasis on the name, "this big, freakin' behemoth—took exception to it. He kinda blindsided me. Got in a few lucky shots. Dumped me in the pond. By the time I was able to take him down, your little doggy-ass was gone."
He'd been so wrapped up in the concept that he'd lived life as a dog for the last few days, Sam hadn't paid much attention to his older brother's appearance and felt bad for being so self-absorbed. Now looking more closely, he could see the mottled bruising along with a variety of scratches and scrapes—not to mention the wrinkled clothing, layer of dirt, and dark circles under his eyes. "Sorry, man. You okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine. Told ya he only got in a few lucky shots." Deciding it was time to make quick use of the facilities, Dean pushed himself slowly to his feet, cringing at the stiffness of sore muscles and joints. His first step though belied his nonchalant words as his bad ankle gave way under his weight. Only Sam's quick reaction, lunging up and off the bed and grabbing his arm saved him from an ungainly descent face first to the floor.
"What's wrong? I thought you said you were all right," scolded Sam.
"It's nothing. Just a sprained ankle."
"Did Dirk do that too?"
"Uh uh. I did that when I was out searching the woods for your shaggy butt. Stepped in some stupid hole or something."
Dean's bladder twinged reminding him it was painfully full. "No."
The younger man let out a growl that sounded not unlike the ones he emitted while still a dog and Dean sighed. "Fine. You can look at it AFTER I go to the bathroom. And no I don't need your help to get there." One painful hop-step later, he muttered, "Dammit. Okay, gimme your arm, Sasquatch."
Sam helped his brother navigate to the tiny bathroom and watched as he hobbled inside and shut the door with a thud. While he waited for Dean to take care of business, Sam started to tidy up the disaster that was their room. A few minutes later, he heard the toilet flush and started back for the door expecting it to open. Instead he heard the shower start. Shaking his head, Sam muttered, "Stubborn bastard." He returned to sorting out the clothes the mischievous creatures had used as their own personal toys. Sam grabbed a few things and placed them just inside the bathroom door for Dean to find.
When the door opened some time later, Dean stood balancing on his right foot, his fingers tightly gripping the door jamb. A white line of pain circled his lips.
Sam hurried over and helped him across the room. Taking advantage of his brother's wobbly stance, the taller man pushed him down on the bed. "Sit."
Dropping to his knees, Sam examined Dean's injured joint, his fingers pushing and pressing in numerous locations, eliciting one or two reluctant gasps when he hit particularly painful spots. It was swollen to at least twice its normal size and was an ugly shade of black-and-blue.
"Geez, this looks really bad, Dean. Are you sure it's not fractured?"
Dean shrugged. "I dunno. I didn't think so, but it hurts like a sonuvabitch—maybe it is." The admission pained him almost as much as the ankle itself.
"We should get it looked at."
"Yeah, well, not around here. We'll hit a clinic or something somewhere else."
Sam sighed. "Fine. But I'm at least gonna wrap it. Be right back." He ran out to the Impala to grab the first aid kit. Grabbing a glass of water from the bathroom sink, Sam tipped two pain pills into his hand and held them, along with the water, out to his brother. That accomplished, he pulled out one of their Ace bandages and began to wrap.
"I don't think you'll be getting your boot back on for awhile," he observed as he wound the stretch brown cloth over and under the heel of Dean's foot.
"Maybe I'll have to borrow one of those freakin' boats you call shoes. Hey, that reminds me! You, dog-breath, owe me a new pair of shoes."
"Dude, you totally peed on my foot! It was nasty!"
This news caused Sam to laugh. "Yeah well, knowing you, you probably deserved it and then some."
"You still owe me, doofus. AND while you're at it—a pair of socks too."
"I'll get right on that."
The boys were quiet for a moment as Sam finished wrapping the Ace bandage and secured it with its two little metal clips.
"You know what—when you were a dog . . . you were like . . . licking your own . . . licking yourself."
Sam felt heat build in his cheeks and punched his brother in the upper arm with enough force that even the seasoned hunter flinched.
"Shut up. I was a dog! Besides I just bet you'd like to have that ability."
Dean paused and donned a contemplative look, rolling his eyes toward the ceiling. "Hmm. Could come in handy sometimes." He grinned a decidedly wolfish grin.
"You're sick, you know that. Sick!"
The older man couldn't help it; he broke down into laughter at the expression on his younger brother's face. When he could again speak coherently, he said, "Man, I'm starving. Let's pack up and get the hell out of here. I need food. And coffee. Lotsa coffee." Dean started to stand, intent on packing his duffel so they could hit the road. Sam pushed him back down.
"Stay. It'll be faster if I do it."
Dean shot him a disgruntled look but stayed seated on the bed. Truth be told, the pain pills hadn't kicked in yet and his ankle really was killing him.
Sam quickly gathered all of their stuff and packed their duffel bags. After storing them in the trunk of the Impala, he quickly dropped off the room key before heading back to help Dean out to the car.
He gave one final look around the creepy motel room. "Shouldn't we do something about the pixies?" he queried as they headed for the door.
"Nah. Dad always said they're mostly harmless, but once you try to get rid of 'em—which hardly ever works—their pranks could turn deadly. I don't think we should chance it."
When Sam headed for the passenger side, Dean resisted. "What're you doing?"
"Umm . . . helping you to the car?"
"Wrong side. I'm driving."
"Dean . . . your ankle . . ."
"Yeah, my left ankle—use my right foot to drive."
Seeing the implacable look on his brother's face, Sam reversed direction and helped Dean to the driver's side door. He waited until Dean was settled before jogging around to the passenger side and sliding into his seat. Sam waited for the other man to bring the car to life. When that didn't happen, he looked over at him with a quizzical frown. "What are you waiting for?"
"I'm waiting for you to roll down the window and stick your head out so you can sniff the air—you know with your tongue hanging out the side of your mouth and everything." Dean's loud guffaw filled the close confines of the vehicle.
"Ha ha. You're a laugh riot."
The empty, crinkled up M&M bag aimed at his head made not the slightest impact on his merry laughter as he turned the key and set the Impala to rumbling. It was good to have Sammy back.
Sam turned his disgruntled and pouty gaze to the world beyond the window, completely and utterly ignoring the fact that he felt at all tempted to do just what his brother had suggested.