Barking At The Moon
I shifted nervously on the porch, Sam pressed up against my chest. Dad stood in front of me, hand still raised from knocking on the dark wood. Bobby stood shoulder to shoulder with Dad.
We met up with Bobby early that morning at Libby's Diner where we stopped to grab some grub before heading over to the beautiful wooden house hidden away from the road.
The door opened and a mildly plump woman smiled cheerily at us.
"Bobby Singer as I live and breathe!" She had a slight Southern accent. A red apron was tied around her waist which she wiped her flour covered hands on.
"Laurie," Bobby said, unable to suppress the smile that slid onto his face. She pulled him forward into a hug and muttered, "Wouldn't kill you to call once in a while."
"Been busy," he said gruffly once the separated. "These," he said gesturing back to us, "are the Winchesters."
"O'course they are." Her smile was motherly and I must admit it made my heart ache a little. "You must be John?" Dad nodded and extended a hand, signaling a hug would not be an acceptable form of greeting.
If she was at all offended, she didn't show it. Instead she shook his calloused hand with gusto.
"Dean?" she asked, eyeing me. I nodded, still trying to figure this woman out. There was something about her that just made me want to trust her. And that put me more on edge, but then if Bobby trusted her…But still, I did not trust Sam to strangers, hell, I didn't turst Sam with non-strangers.
"So this cute thing must be Sam?" I nodded and held him tighter to my chest when I felt his muscles tense.
"Well don't be strangers now, come on in."
The only word I could think of to describe her house, was homey. It was clean with that lived-in feeling. Not the most stylish, but practical as well as comfortable.
We entered into a large, spacious kitchen which smelled wonderful. In the center there was an island with three bar stools. On top of the counter was a plate of brownies sitting next to a pitcher of lemonade.
"Feel free to help yourself. Bobby, the usual?"
"Yeah, and one for Johnny-boy here too." She set about preparing something for them to drink while I poured myself a glass of lemonade.
After taking a cautious sip (can't be too careful), I smacked my lips in delight. Noticing Sam eyeing the cup, I offered some to him. Out came his pink tongue – which I must admit was quite cute – and he lapped up a little. Immediately his black nose scrunched up and he pulled back.
"Too acidic for you, hun?" Laurie said while setting a bowl of water in front of Sam. "Go on," she encouraged.
He took a quick look at me for silent permission before sticking his tongue in. At first he looked surprised. Just as I was about to leap up and accuse her of trying to poison my boy, Sam leapt forward and eagerly drank more.
"What's in it?" I said suspiciously.
She laughed at my look – only causing me to glare at her – then said, "It's just strawberry flavored water, sweetie, don't worry." I bristled slightly at being called 'sweetie' but let it go.
Once Dad and Bobby both received beers, Laurie sat down across from us. While I munched away on a brownie (Holy crap those things would put even Betty Crocker to shame!) and Sam drank his strawberry water, Bobby started the story.
Bobby had come to the town for a hunt where people had been mysteriously dying. Each death – 4 in total – had benefitted both of the Larewood sisters. After finding witchcraft supplies all of the house, Bobby had been just about to gank Laurie when he realized he'd gotten the wrong sister. It hadn't taken long to track down the younger sibling before he took her out. Laurie, according to Bobby, had handled the entire thing quite well considering not only had someone killed her sister, but originally tried to kill her as well.
Once the hunt was wrapped up, Laurie had all but threatened Bobby to keep in contact. And they had, becoming quite good friends.
"Wait, so you're a witch?" I asked suspiciously. Laurie nodded, still smiling warmly, completely unaffected by my narrowed eyes and Dad's almost-glare.
Staring at the woman before him, I could hardly say she was some evil hag intent on making people miserable. But it was strange, it had always been so black and white…Witches were bad and that was that. It was unnerving to find a shade of grey in such a black and white world. And it made it nearly impossible to trust Sam's wellbeing to something that, had I met her under different circumstances, I would have killed immediately solely because she was a witch, good or not.
"We're leaving," Dad announced suddenly. All eyes – including the small puppy eyes that looked up from the bowl – turned on him.
"What?" Bobby and I asked at the same time.
"Dean, get your brother." I obediently scooped Sam up, ignoring his glare, and rose from the table to follow Dad to the door.
I heard Laurie ask something, exactly what I couldn't make out, and Bobby said gruffly to "stay there" while he sorted it out.
"John, what the hell do you think you're doing? Do you want a dog for a son for the rest of your life?"
"No, of course not, but I'd rather have him as a dog than not have him at all."
"And what is that supposed to mean?" Both Sam and I followed the conversation with our eyes like it was some interesting tennis match.
"She's a witch, Bobby, who knows what sort of freaky shit she could do to Sam and we'd have no idea until it was too late!" Valid point.
"I trust her, John, she wouldn't harm a fly, let alone your boy!" Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Laurie appear at the end of the hallway to the kitchen where she stood nervously. Dad still didn't look happy, but Bobby started again before Dad could. "Look, John, I understand where you're coming from, but she's your only chance," he said softly. "You really think you'd be better off trying this shit on your own?"
There was about ninety seconds of silence before Dad quietly said, "Okay." I was surprised. Even though Bobby had won me over, I didn't expect Dad to back down. Guy was stubborn like that.
We all went back to the kitchen and took our seats. Dad muttered an apology to Laurie who dismissed it with a smile.
"Are you ready?" Laurie asked. All of us nodded except Sam who somehow managed to look nervous in dog form. Nervousness flooded me like a tidal wave. This was it. Laurie was going to turn Sam back – well I assumed that was what she was doing since I didn't understand anything she was doing.
"Alright, Sam, you come here – yes, that's right, now stick your paw in, yes, yes very good. So here we go." I reached out and gave Sam a quick stroke on the head before settling back into my place.
Laurie's hand hovered over Sam as she recited an incantation from the sheet before her. A soft blue glow emanated from Sam's dog body and he looked down at himself comically. In one sharp moment, the light pulsed out, blinding us all, then disappeared completely.
Blinking a couple of times, I found myself looking at my very human (and very naked) little brother sprawled out on the floor. He blinked a couple times then brought his hand forth in front of his face to inspect it.
"Uh, Sam?" He looked over at me and I nodded towards him, causing him to look down. He let out a little cry and scrambled to cover his pale body up. Taking pity on the poor boy, Laurie passed him a blanket from the back of the couch.
"Welcome back," Bobby said with a grin. Sam, head hanging down, sent him a shy smile as he looked up through his fringe.
"No wonder you were a border collie," Laurie said. "Tall, skinny, energetic, smart, loyal – fits you like a glove!" Sam's face colored a bit from the praise.
"Well, I think it's time we head out," Dad said.
Half an hour later – after I fetched Sam some clothes from the car – we stood at the door about to depart. Bobby was spending another night there (which I had teased him mercilessly about).
"Thank you," Dad said curtly and I nodded in agreement.
"Anytime, you boys need any help in the future, don't hesitate to stop by." Dad turned and climbed in the car. I was almost off the porch when I heard Sam quietly say, "Thank you," in that soft voice that made women of all ages fawn over him.
"Don't worry about it, Sam."
"It was nice meeting you." Always one to use manners, Sam extended a hand, but Laurie moved forward and pulled Sam into a hug. Finally she let go of Sam and I could swear I saw a tear in her eye.
"You take care of yourselves now!" Sam nodded as he climbed into the back seat of the impala.
As I stared at the passing scenery, I couldn't help but think over things. For the first time in my life, I was questioning my dad. Maybe it had been Sam who had been right all along. Maybe the world wasn't only black and white.
Maybe there were shades of grey.