A/N: Comment fic for 27_jaredjensen who just wanted to see Sam with puppies. Set directly after Devil You Know (5x20).

In Times of Trouble

The cool spring air whooshed through the Impala's slightly open windows. The breeze sent Sam's long hair sprawling into his face, but he took no notice.

Normally, Dean would be cracking jokes about Sam's girly hair getting in his eyes. Tonight, he didn't have the heart.

Sam remained silent in the passenger seat, had ever since he had stabbed his former friend turned demon Brady. While the demon had been disposed of in the alley, the night stayed to haunt Sam throughout the journey back to Bobby's house.

Dean looked away from the road to glance at his brother. The pale face and haunted eyes remained fixed on the open window. "We'll, uh, be back at Bobby's soon," Dean finally said. Sam didn't even acknowledge the comment. Dean just sighed. "Listen, we'll regroup and figure out how to ice Pestilence once we get there." That at least garnered a shaky nod from Sam.

Dean turned his gaze back to the road, but his thoughts stayed on Sam. He couldn't imagine what the kid was going through right now….To know what he had once considered a sacred free time in his life had actually been touched by the evil of the "family business" all along. Damn if that didn't sting….


Bobby positioned his wheelchair on the porch; he wanted to know as soon as the Winchesters pulled into the salvage yard. His mind still raced at the thoughts of "lending" his soul to Crowley. On one hand, they needed Death's location more than anything, but on the other hand Crowley was still a demon…

The crunching of tires on dirt interrupted his warring mental debate. A small whimpering punctuated the slight squeal of the Impala's breaks. Bobby turned towards the far corner of his porch. "You're fine over there…"

The slamming of car doors brought his attention back to the brothers as they made their way up to his house. "Boys," Bobby greeted. He looked both over, finding no real injuries on the surface. But damn if Sam didn't look awful. "How'd it go?"

Sam kept his head down as he moved to sit on the hard surface of the porch, focused solely on the ground at his feet. Dean turned to Bobby to describe the night. "Um, we know where Pestilence is now. Just have to come up with a plan. Killed the demon working for him too." Sam practically cringed as Dean finished that last sentence.

The whimpering noises returned from the corner. Dean walked to the ramp and took in the source of the noise. "Uh, Bobby, what's with the mutts?"

The two small puppies hunkered further into the dimly lit corner of the porch. The creatures shook with absolute terror at Dean's brass voice.

"Some damned idgit left a box of 'em on the steps in the pouring rain the other night. Managed to talk a few of my regulars into takin' the others. But those two," Bobby pointed towards the shaking puppies, "must've been abused or something. You even go near 'em they start shakin' and cryin' like you're gonna hurt 'em or something."

Dean smiled sadly at the little creatures before looking back at Bobby. "You ready to head in? See if we can't figure out how to gank Pestilence?" Bobby turned and entered the house, holding the door open for Dean and Sam. Dean followed but Sam remained sitting and staring out into the night.

Dean moved to pull his hurting brother inside, but Bobby stopped him with a sad smile. The two older hunters silently headed back inside to come up with a plan.

Sam heard the door click shut behind the two men. That simple noise was enough to trigger all the emotions he had been fighting to keep inside while in front of his brother and Bobby. Now, the tears pooled in his eyes and the anger flared through body.

He looked down and noticed a discarded whiskey bottle in the dirt. He quickly grabbed it and slung it at a junker just off to the side of the house. The glass from the bottle and the cracked windshield shattered spectacularly. The tears came uninhibited.

Through his anger filled haze, Sam heard small crying and whimpering. With his hands still clenched at his sides, he turned towards the small creatures Bobby had left outside. The dogs' eyes were wide with fear, and their shaking had practically doubled thanks to Sam's little explosion. Guilt momentarily replaced his anger as he moved back to sit cross-legged on the porch a few feet away from the poor animals.

"Hey," Sam comforted, "I'm sorry. Shhhh…" The two puppies continued to shake, but their cries slowly died down with each of Sam's soothing words. "I'm not going to hurt you." Sam slowly inched closer to the puppies, the closer he moved, the more the crying returned. "Shhhh…."

Sam stopped once he was in arms reach of the animals. He continued with the soothing words as he extended his hand out gently to the small puppies. The dogs shrank even farther into the corner. "Yeah, I know I look kinda scary to you, huh?" Sam never once moved his hand away from the animals. "Hell, I feel kinda scary myself lately," Sam sighed. Sam blinked as more tears threatened to fall and cleared his throat. "But I'm, uh, I'm really not. I'm not gonna hurt you."

Finally, one of the puppies bravely inched closer to Sam's outstretched hand. His small nose cautiously bumped against the back of Sam's fingers. When the little creature did not feel any hit or kick from his action, he slowly nuzzle his furry head against the hunter's hand.

A huge smile slid across Sam's face as he gently scratched and petted the tiny head. The other puppy soon followed his brother out from the corner. He was smaller, and Sam could easily assume he was the runt of the litter. He moved much slower than the other, shaking with every step. Sam didn't move and allowed the tiny thing to creep closer and closer. Finally the puppy's warm little tongue brushed up against Sam's other hand. The smile Sam sent the dog was absolutely blinding.


All the planning, research, and worry for Sam left Dean with a pounding headache. Bobby finally declared it time for a break and some much needed coffee. Bobby went to the kitchen to start the brew while Dean remained rubbing at his aching forehead. A small yapping had Dean turning his attention to the porch. Within seconds Dean was opening the door, ready to protect his little brother. But the sight that greeted him was quite unexpected.

Sam sat in the middle of the porch. The tiny mutts were climbing and clambering all over Sam's long legs and broad chest, yapping happily. Sam's face was alight with the brightest smile Dean had seen in ages. The smaller pup instantly fell from his place on Sam's chest and onto the hunter's lap as he noticed Dean in the doorway.

Sam looked up at his brother before instantly coddling the scared animal. "He's ok. He won't hurt you buddy…Shhh…" It didn't take long before the little puppy calmed and cuddled closer to Sam. Dean cautiously moved over to the group. He large hand gently brushed the scared puppy in Sam's arms before reaching down to play with the furry bundle of energy jumping around at Sam's feet.

"Seems like they warmed up to you pretty quick," Sam said. The puppies had begun to nuzzle and jump all over his big brother as well.

"Think they have you to thank for that," Bobby suddenly said from the doorway. "You're the first they've let near 'em like that, boy." Bobby smiled warmly at the younger man.

Sam just shrugged off Bobby's comment and kept his attention on the puppies. I guess they just needed someone who is as damaged as them….

Bobby took note of how the haunted look in Sam's eyes had been replaced by the warm gaze that had been so fleeting lately. "You know Sam," Bobby continued, "been meanin' to get some dogs for 'round here again."

"Really?" The hope bled through his words despite his attempt not to.

"But with this damn chair and all….Don't know how I'd train 'em and all."

"Oh," Sam's face fell.

"You think you could maybe help me out with that?"

Sam's face instantly lit up, and the smile brought out the dimples that had sorely been missed. Sam shakily nodded his head before practically hugging the tiny furballs to his chest.

Dean sent Bobby a grateful look before glancing back at his finally happy baby brother.

Yeah, the world may be coming down all around them and the devil may just win in the end. But for right now, everything was pretty damn good. And that's all any of the hunters could ask for….