A/N: This is a request from mandancie, so I hope I do it justice! This is set during "Man's Best Friend With Benefits" (admittedly not one of my favorite episodes but LOVED that ending!), so spoilers for those who are behind in season 8. A little prompt about how Sam could have reacted upon seeing a dog at the door of the motel room. DISCLAIMER: I do not own Supernatural or any of its characters. For entertainment purposes only.

When Sam first heard the low growl of the dog from the motel bathroom, he froze. Only one thought crossed his mind as he stood before the mirror, shaving kit still in his hand: hellhounds.

The recent attack on him and Dean, in which Sam had nearly watched a repeat performance of New Harmony (only this time, with a happier ending: if you could call being burdened with these godforsaken trials happy).

Jo dying in her mother's arms, fatally wounded by the hound, in a quest which had ultimately proven to be futile, the Colt having failed to kill Lucifer.

Dean, screaming in agony, as he was savagely being torn to shreds by sharp canines, Lilith's pet seemingly enjoying every tear and slice, as Sam watched helplessly from a corner.

The howling continued, and Sam finally left his place at the sink and made his way to the motel room door. Carefully, he unfastened the deadbolt, slid away the chain, and slowly eased the door open, peering somewhat cautiously out in the darnkess. And, sure enough, there stood a beautiful dog, probably what Sam thought to be a German shepherd, a spiked collar around its throat. For a moment, Sam stared down at the animal, shocked that a dog had suddenly made its way to his and Dean's motel (especially where there were several other rooms available the mutt could have stopped at). What was the creature doing here? God, Dean was going to be pissed! After all, if anyone had a right to hate dogs, Dean Winchester certainly did.

Get rid of the dog. Can't have Dean finding one hanging around the room.

And then, the damn thing sauntered into the room, as if it owned the place, and settled comfortably on Dean's bed (Christ, why did it have to pick Dean's?). Sam let out an exasperated sigh, closing the door behind him. The last thing he wanted was for someone to take a peek inside and finding that the latest guests had brought an uninvited housemate. Once feeling at least somewhat more comfortable, Sam took a few tentative steps toward the creature, who was looking up at him with soft, brown eyes.

And then, another memory flashed before Sam's eyes, like a snippet of broken film: running over the dog, meeting Amelia, that happy and yet horrible year he had spent with Amelia. For, as much as he had loved her, and had bonded with Riot, he had endured the most horrible heartache imaginable, believing Dean to be dead. All the women and loving house pets in the world could not have eased the pain in Sam's heart. For a while, he had almost forgotten. He and Dean were gradually repairing their wounded relationship, and had even enjoyed a few happy moments in between the quest to close the Gates of Hell. He smiled, remembering the time they had gone LARPing for Dean's birthday about a month or so ago. He missed Amelia, but he had missed his brother more.

But now, looking at the animal, who was still staring rather confused at its possibly new master, Sam was reminded of his year of domesticity, living the proverbial American Dream. Gently, Sam scratched the dog behind the ears, smiling despite himself, to which the animal responded by letting out a low growl of pleasure.

"Hey," Sam murmured, "you friendly?" The dog responded by licking Sam's hand, and he lets out a small laugh, the dog's rough tongue ticklish to the touch. Almost immediately, the creature turned on its side, obviously in hopes of a belly rub, and Sam obliged, chuckling in spite of himself. Once a dog lover, always a dog lover. For a moment, he stood there, rubbing the animal along the side of its muscular belly, all the while letting out the odd "now that's a good boy. You're a good boy, aren't you? " And then, another memory, one that had pained him for days on end, came before him, the day he had hit Riot with the Impala, how he had begged the woman he would eventually sleep with, grow to love, to save the little creature.

I had just lost Dean, I can't bear to be responsible for another death, even if it is just a dog…

The sound of the Impala as its tires crunch against gravel snapped Sam out of his reverie. Dean has come back from his beer run and he still had the problem of the canine lounging comfortably on his brother's bed. For a moment, panic sets in. Dean is still going to be pissed to have what he would see as a slobbering mess on his bed. Sam sighed, mentally bracing himself for the wrath of his older brother. And then, he suddenly grinned. It was so much better to have Dean alive and with him, no doubt angry at their unexpected guest, but still his brother nonetheless. A year ago, Sam would have given anything, hell had damn well tried to give anything, to bring him back. Shooting the dog one final glance behind his shoulder, Sam headed for the door, ready to face his brother.

"Hey…now, before you get pissed off…"