I don't own them but it is my birthday soon should anyone ask!

Sam had to get used to calling the dog Dean. It was odd at first and he often felt foolish and, somewhat, embarrassed, standing and calling "Dean," whilst he waited for the dog to come to him. However, there was no doubt in his mind that the dog was definitely Dean, in whatever form.

It was odd but now that Sam knew, he could see a lot of Dean in the dog and, as strange as it was, it was also incredibly comforting.

Ted even walked like Dean. That slightly bow-legged swagger, head up, tail up, eyes fixed forward. The dog walked into a room as if he owned the joint and it was obvious that being a dog did not hold Dean back at all.

Sam found himself talking more. He would sit in the Impala, hands loosely on the wheel and just talk. He talked about their childhood, how he had loved having Dean as a big brother, how he wished that they could have had normal, even for a little while. He talked about their dad and how much he missed him, how he regretted the constant fights, how he wished he had had time to make it right. He said more than he would have ever dared to say to Dean, the man, but somehow, the fact that Dean, the dog, couldn't answer back made it easier.

Often he would glance across at the dog, sitting upright and alert on the passenger seat and be rewarded with a side wards glare, brown eyes piercing him. He wondered what Dean was thinking and couldn't help but smile as he enjoyed the compatible silence.

Despite this, he missed his brother; he missed Dean's snarky remarks and his 'no chick-flick' moments. He missed the soft grins that Dean would shot him once in a while when he thought Sam wasn't looking, he missed the games of pool and even the stupid prank wars but, most of all, and he just missed Dean.

He was grateful that Dean's soul was no longer in hell and he was happy that Bobby had managed to do something to save his brother. Often he would lie on his bed, stroking his fingers through the dog's soft fur, tears running down his cheeks as he felt the dog nudge against him, moving closer so that his big, furry body was pressed into Sam's side, a long, rough tongue licking the water away.

There were good times too, like the time in Idaho, when they met a woman who bred rottweilers and fancied using Dean as a stud. Sam could see the interest in the dog's soft brown eyes and watched, amused, as the dog licked his lips and eyed up the bitches with interest.

"I am not putting you out to stud, Dean" Sam hissed and the dog's tail dropped in disappointment, "we will never get out of this town once you start."

Dean also seemed determined to get Sam laid as often as he could, turning his 'puppy dog' eyes on any female he thought Sam might be interested in. Sometimes it was a success and Sam found himself on a strange woman's sofa, drinking coffee and chatting about what a cute dog Dean was. At other times it was downright embarrassing and Sam found himself backing away from eager hands, promising that he WOULD bring his cute doggie back to visit, but for now it was time to go.

He still hunted and it was amazing what an asset a dog could be. Dean was an awesome fighter, all sharp teeth and eager claws. He was also an excellent tracker and seemed to be able to scent out anything. There were false starts of course, when Dean would return from a reconisancewith a squirrel or a racoon clutched between his strong jaws, but mostly their hunts together were a total success and they sent enough demon asses back to hell for Sam to be content, if not totally happy.

He finally got Dean to wear a collar in Kansas, when he attached his brother's amulet, the one he had kept after burning Dean's body, to a large silver chain. Dean sat obediently as Sam fastened it around his thick throat and Sam stood back to admire how fine it looked, shining against the black of Dean's fur.

"I guess I own you now," he said with a grin and the expression on the dog's face was priceless, "yeah, yeah," Sam clutched his sides, tears of laughter bubbling. "You are totally my bitch Dean."

Bobby called when they were on their way to a hunt in San Francisco; he sounded cagy and suspicious and wouldn't give anything away over the phone. Eventually, Sam gave in and turned the Impala back, heading towards Bobby's, burning rubber on the way.

"I don't know Bobby," Sam rubbed his hand through his hair and glanced down at Dean, who was licking his ass in an enthusiastic way that Sam did not want to think about right now, "is there any kind of risk involved?"

"There are always risks, Sam," the older man shook his head, "but isn't it worth a try?"

"I don't know – I – I am just happy to have him with me, in any form." Sam swallowed hard and stared at the dog, his heart pounding, "I don't think I could bear to lose him again."

Bobby sighed and let his own fingers run through the soft fur on the dog's head, feeling the rough tongue sneak out and lick his fingers. "We have to give him this chance, Sam," he murmured, averting his eyes from the younger Winchester's tears.

Bobby lit the candles and sprinkled the herbs, the pungent scent and thick smoke virtually obscuring the dog, who sat, obediently, in a carefully drawn circle, tongue out, eyes fixed on Sam.

Sam was chanting, clear and strong, the Latin phrases running from his tongue. The smoke grew thicker and his throat almost closed up, his voice becoming hoarser and rough.

Sam closed his eyes, unable to watch a moment more. He heard a bark, then a cry from Bobby but he kept chanting, his breath coming hot in his throat. There was a flash behind his closed lids and then there was nothing but cloying silence.

When Sam finally opened his eyes, he saw Bobby's books in a heap on the floor, cracked windows and black smoke.

As the smoke cleared, he finally saw Dean, in the middle of the circle, stark naked but for the silver chain and the dangling amulet.

Dean had time to gasp out, "I don't think I'm gonna be able to lick my ass anymore Sammy", before his brother was in his arms and they were both weeping with relief and laughter.


They stayed at Bobby's for another two months, Dean figuring that they needed time to rest and regroup, to drink themselves silly and to just be brother's again.

Sam heard the frantic knocking and he opened the door, frowning as he saw that there was no one there. Then he heard the snuffling and he looked down to see the box full of wriggling black furred puppies, a note attached to the lid.

'If you cannot control your dog, I suggest you get it neutered.'

Sam turned to see his brother rubbing the back of his neck, cheeks bright red beneath the familiar freckles.

"It was just this one time…"