A/N: This fanfic is a Season 6 AU in which Sam is not soulless. This is going to probably be a two-part story about the origins of Shadow, the dog in my fanfic Forty Weeks, but can be enjoyed by everyone since this takes place before that story. Hope everyone likes it, and happy holidays!

It was the night before Christmas Eve. Bobby had just finished up a hunt for a ghost in Rapid City, South Dakota. Sam and Dean had been involved in another hunt and he couldn't find another hunter to do the job so Bobby had done it himself.

The hunt had been one of the easiest he'd been on since he'd first reunited with the Winchesters back in 2005. The ghost had been killing the people his girlfriend knew because he blamed her for his death which had happened when their house burned down the previous year. Bobby had read up on the incident and found it to truly be an accidental fire. The ghost was so blinded by his anger that he'd continued on to try to kill his girlfriend but Bobby discovered that the only thing that hadn't burned in the fire was the necklace the ghost had given his girlfriend; the one she wore. So Bobby had burned it and saved her life.

After giving her comfort and the girl thanking him, Bobby walked to his car. There was a surprising amount of snow on the ground and as Bobby trudged through it some got into his boots and soaked his socks. Snow was continuing to fall in the darkness, and it was cold.

Bobby was anxious to get back home. He wanted to get there before Dean and Sam arrived. They were planning to stay with Bobby over the holidays, and though he wouldn't say it to their faces, he was happy they were going to spend the season with him. After everything that had happened the last two years he was grateful all of them had made it through.

Bobby had almost reached his car when he heard a whining noise. He froze and glanced around but saw nothing that could have made the sound. Everything was quiet again too.

Shrugging it off a bit, but still a little wary, Bobby grabbed the driver's side door handle and heard the sound again. Pulling out a flashlight, Bobby slowly made his way down the alley where the sound was coming from. Nothing but a dumpster was there, and a large cardboard box.

Bobby was about to turn back, but stopped when he heard the whining once again, and scratching sounds. The big box began to shake and wobble and Bobby approached it slowly.

He removed the duct tape that was sealing the top shut and opened the box to find a German Shepherd puppy, darker than the night, looking up at him with sad eyes.

"Where'd you come from?" Bobby asked.

The puppy's face seemed to light up and she yapped at him. Bobby could see her tail begin to wag. He pulled her out of the box and placed her down on the ground. The snow came waist deep on her. The puppy looked up at Bobby with her chocolate colored eyes and whined before her body shivered.

Bobby had been about to walk away, but seeing that, he sighed.

"You're lucky I have a soft spot for dogs," he said and picked her up again. "I'll take you to a shelter. But that's as far as I go."

The puppy wiggled in his hands and stretched to lick his cheek.

"Uh, uh, no," Bobby reprimanded the dog. "No puppy tricks, missy."

Once Bobby reached his car he opened it with one hand and laid the puppy down on the passenger seat. However, when he sat, the young dog stepped onto his lap and sat.

Bobby pushed her off but she came back again, and again, and again.

Giving up, Bobby let the dog be, and searched for the local shelter. Fifteen minutes later, with a snoozing puppy in his arms, Bobby walked through its doors.

The lady at the front desk smiled and reached out to grab one of the shepherd's paws.

"Well, isn't she a cutie," the lady commented.

"I found her in a box," Bobby told the lady. "Just wanted to drop her off here on my way home."

"Shame such nice animals can be dumped like that," the lady said, "In a box, I mean."

"Yeah, I knew what you meant."

Bobby passed the waking puppy to the lady and she scratched one of her ears.

"You sure you don't want to keep her?" the lady inquired.

Bobby shook her head. "I don't really have the lifestyle for a pet. Haven't had a dog for years. Didn't end well."

"I'm sorry to hear that," the lady apologized.

Bobby shrugged.

"You'll have to find another shelter unfortunately," the lady said, passing the dog back.

"What, why?" Bobby asked.

"We're full," the lady answered. "I don't even know where we're going to put any of the dogs that come here after the holidays. We need to adopt some out in the next couple days or the shelter is going to have to put some down."

She appeared to be near tears. "I'm sorry."

"It's alright," Bobby reassured her. "I'll just find somewhere else to bring her."

The lady nodded, and Bobby walked out.

He tried to search for another shelter to no avail. They were all closed for the night by the time he found them. So, Bobby decided he had no choice but to bring the dog home with him until after Christmas.

When he arrived and put the puppy down she bolted for the undecorated Christmas tree in the library and began chewing on a branch.

"Hey, stop that!" Bobby yelled. "No!"

The puppy stopped and bowed her head in shame.

Bobby huffed and walked into the kitchen, the puppy bouncing along behind him. He went into the kitchen closet and pulled out a box. In it he'd stored away a few of Rumsfeld's old things. Two bowls, a tennis ball, and his collar.

Picking up the collar, Bobby rubbed the leather between his fingers and shook his head, before putting it back in the box and throwing the ball for the puppy. She yelped happily, and chased it, almost sliding into the kitchen door as she caught it.

She ran back to Bobby and dropped the ball back at his feet. Bobby rubbed her on the head and pulled a bowl out of the box.

"I don't have food for ya, but for now water should be enough," he told her.

He filled the bowl with tap, and set it on the floor. The puppy sniffed the bowl and then began lapping up the water.

"I suppose I should call you something," Bobby said gruffly. "How about Lucy?"

No reaction.

"Shep. Shep, girl."

Still no reaction.

Bobby thought for a moment.


The puppy's head shot up.

Bobby backed off as she watched.

"Come here, Shadow!" he called.

The puppy bolted towards him, tail wagging like crazy as soon as he gave her a pat.

"Shadow it is," Bobby said. "It does kinda fit ya; you being so dark."

Just then, there was a knock on the door.

Bobby stood and walked into the library to see the Winchesters coming into the house. He almost tripped on Shadow as she shot past him. He scowled.

"Hey, Bobby," Sam waved.

The puppy yapped and he and Dean glanced down.

"What's this?" Dean quizzed, cocking an eyebrow.

"A stray I found on my hunt," Bobby replied. "I'm just keeping her here until the shelter opens in the morning."

"You sure she's not some skinwalker?" Dean asked as Sam squatted to pet the dog.

"What?" Bobby shook his head. "A skinwalker ain't going to take the form of a damn puppy, Dean. They don't normally get stuck in boxes either."

"Whatever you say," Dean said, shaking off his jacket and peering into the library. "Nice tree."

Sam stood. "Could use a few more decorations though," he mused.

"I was waiting for your help, idjits," Bobby told them.

The brothers nodded. "Sure."

"The lights are upstairs," Bobby said. "Let's get to work."