A/N: I originally intended this to be a later chapter, but I didn't want to make you guys wait for it, so here it is. For those of you who haven't read Cujo Winchester Explains It All, here's the premise: after Sam Winchester leaves for Stanford, Dean is adopted by a feisty Manx cat female. He names her Cujo, and she joins John and Dean on hunts. Cujo's negative opinion of Sam is hers and hers alone and should come as no surprise to anyone who's read her story.
Summary: A standalone story from Cujo Winchester Explains It All. Sam's at Stanford; months later John and Dean separate to cover more ground. One day Dean checks up on Sasquatch at college and Cujo decides to take a closer look at Sam.
Timeline: In an upcoming chapter of CWEIA Dean, Cujo and John go to Blue Earth to see Pastor Jim. This takes place afterwards, which is why Cujo refers to Pastor Jim as 'the jesus man.'
Part 1 - big shaggy
I woke up Tuesday morning, curled up in my duffel on Dean's bed, same as usual. I yawned as I stood up. My eyes were slits but I didn't have to see what I was doing. I leaned down on my front legs and arched my back in a really good long stretch that loosened up everything from my nose to the finger crook of my tail.
I was ready for the day.
First thing in the morning I always wake Dean up. I usually walk on his stomach and knead, with my claws out just a little.
I'm here, and you're mine. Mine mine mine.
Sometimes he wasn't asleep. Sometimes he'd just lie there with his eyes closed. He never fooled me. I could feel the awakeness in his skin. When my claws pricked his skin too much for him to lie still he'd flinch a little and then open his eyes and laugh.
" 'm up, princess. 'm up."
I always stretch my neck out so he can scratch me underneath my chin. Then I'd jump down off the bed and go explore the corners where ever we spent the night. It's always good to check things out and make sure that everything is in its place as it should be. Rooms are tricky. Sometimes things move around.
I never bothered those salt lines. The first time I saw Dean lay one down, I was curious until I realized it wasn't food and it didn't move. So what was the point?
Dean told me, and I never forgot it: Sometimes the things we hunt try to get in from the outside, and kill us while we sleep.
Well, that wouldn't do.
Before I was done with my inspection Dean would always pour dry food and fresh water into my bowls. That was the way our mornings would go, when we had down time and weren't hunting or staggering back in from a night hunt. I never understood what 'down time' meant anyway. We weren't down. Down where?
Anyway, that morning I opened my eyes after I stretched. Same as always.
But it wasn't. Dean wasn't on his bed beside me. He had his clothes on. He was up already. He was right in front of me, standing near the door.
Most of our stuff was already packed up.
I laid my ears back. I didn't like this at all. This was not our normal routine. Dean was awake and up and what I felt from him made my fur feel all stiff and my skin itchy. He was sad and excited at the same time, but mostly sad.
Dean poured some dry food into my bowl, winked at me and said, "Eat up, kiddo. Road trip. We're going to Stanford."
Stanford? Didn't ring any bells at first, but then I remembered Dean showing me those pieces of paper you humans call photos. "We carry them around in case we get lost or separated," he said. I don't understand that part either. I always know where I am.
My memory for flat things isn't that good, but I remembered the other scent on one of the photos he showed me. I kept smelling that strange human on the duffels and some of the sharp pointy things Dean cleans all the time.
"See? That's Dad. There's you and me. And there's my brother, Sammy." Dean sounded sad. "He left us, went to Stanford."
That was the first time I ever felt him like that, and I didn't like it. I wanted to slash whatever made him sad in the first place.
Big shaggy boy was at Stanford.
I jumped off the bed, walked over and stared at the food in my bowl, but I didn't feel like eating. Dean frowned at me when he saw that I wasn't eating, so I ate a few bits of kibble anyway, just to make him feel better. Afterwards I rubbed up against his legs as he walked around the room gathering up our stuff.
When he opened the door I went outside and did my business. Just as I scratched at the grass I heard the big black car growl as Dean woke it up. They didn't go anywhere, just sat there waiting for me, but I ran anyway. Dean opened the door on his side and I jumped up onto the back of the seat. I put one paw on his shoulder, leaned forward and rubbed my chin against the side of his face and neck.
He still felt sad to me.
My duffel was on the seat right next to him. I jumped down and he ran his hand slowly over my back, just the way I like it. Then I settled down in the duffel. Dean skritched me behind the ears. I grunted and slow blinked at him.
He closed the door. The black car growled like an angry dog and we were on the road again.
Stanford wasn't what I thought it would be.
I thought it was going to be full of screaming humans and blood and dark things we'd have to kill. The closer we came to the place, the sadder and more nervous Dean became. I sat up in my duffel and my claws came out.
Stanford was bright and sunny, with green grass and trees. It was full of humans, but they all carried books. They walked, they didn't run and they didn't scream. There was no blood either. Not what I expected.
Dean pulled the car over and parked. He pulled this yellow piece of paper out of his shirt pocket and he bit his lower lip as he looked at it.
"Ummm...lessee...Sasquatch's got Ethics Class in another hour...Building H." Dean squinted at the paper. "It's quarter to twelve now, so chances are he's out studying like he was the last time."
Dean looked down at me and grinned a little. "Let's go see Sammy, huh?"
I laid my ears back. I didn't want to, but I didn't move, not even when he picked me and my duffel up and slung it over his shoulder. I heard the car door creak and off we went.
I poked my head up out of the bag and sniffed the air. The Samscent was stronger now.
We were in a grassy place. People came and went, and nobody noticed or looked at us. Dean stood behind this tree. I wondered why he did that.
I stood up, put my paws on his right shoulder. Dean didn't say anything, and the sadness in his skin became even worse. It really made my fur itch. I saw what he was looking at.
Who he was looking at.
There were tables and benches a distance away. More people. More books.
I saw that Sam boy.
He sat at a table near the center. His back was to Dean, but I saw that big shaggy hair, and those slumped shoulders. It was him, all right.
He sat at this round table with all these books scattered around. There was a girl sitting with him. She was smaller and blonde.
My ears and my tail twitched back and forth. My claws came out a little more and my nose was wide open, and all I could see was that Sam boy. He was the cause of Dean being sad, and I wanted a closer look at him.
So I climbed over Dean's shoulder and jumped down to the ground.
That startled Dean.
He really didn't like it when I stepped out from behind the tree.
"Cujo?" Dean hissed. "Damn it, get back here!"
It was his 'Do what I say right NOW!' voice. I ignored him, for the first and only time while we were together. We weren't hunting something that could kill us.
I ran towards the big shaggy.
When I jumped up on the table the blonde girl looked at me and smiled.
"Well hello there, sweetie. Where'd you come from?" The female had a kind, soft face. She reached out with her hand, and at first I tensed up a little. I thought she was going to grab me, but then she put her hand out so I could sniff at her fingers.
So I did. She smelled like flowers and dustdry books. I know about booksmells because Dean and his Dad had a lot of them in those bags of theirs. I'd always lay down on them. The books, I mean. Why should they pay that much attention to those flat old things when they've got me around?
I like a human with manners, one that's not so grabby, so I told the female so by gently bumping my nose against her fingers. The book smell made me sneeze. I allowed her to skritch me behind my ears and underneath my chin, but I never took my eyes off the Sam.
Bast, he was huge. And hairy. Bigger and hairier than Dean. Big dark hair, big eyes, big hands.
I stared at big shaggy, and he stared right back at me.
Huh. So this was what all the fuss was about.
He put his hand out toward me. I grunted (Touch me and you'll draw back a stump) and he pulled his hand right back.
Okay, So he wasn't as dumb as he looked.
He tilted his head to one side and stared at me. More to the point, he stared at my collar. He saw the charms the big man and the Jesus man hung from there, and his eyes got wide.
Big shaggy shook his head. "No. Can't be." He kept looking around with his eyes all squinty and narrowed.
I eowed at him. Yeah, it can be.
"Sam?" The female sounded worried. "What's the matter?"
"That's - " He nodded at me. "I don't-" He couldn't get what he wanted to say out.
I stepped over to the edge of the table. I'd had a good look, seen all I wanted to see, and I needed to get back to Dean. It was time to go.
The female didn't try to stop me. Like I said, she had manners.
Shaggy boy didn't.
He reached out and grabbed me.
As soon as I felt his big hands on me my eyes went to slits. My fur bushed out. I let out this growl that shook my whole body from my ears to my tail.
The Samboy froze.
"Uh, S-Sam?" the girl said quietly.
I looked around at him and then I got mad. Really really mad. I flattened my whiskers back. I showed him my teeth. He was afraid of me. I could smell fear on him, all sharp and prickly.
Both his hands came away from me so fast it was like he had springs in his arms.
I jumped down to the ground. I wanted to run off, but I didn't. Not yet.
He grabbed me. He touched me.
I didn't like that.
If I bit him, if I slashed him with my claws, I knew Dean wouldn't like that. Not at all. But I couldn't leave without letting big shaggy know exactly how I felt.
So I backed up to him, lifted my tail and sprayed on the leg of his blue jeans and that big shoe of his.
Dean's mine. All mine. You left him. Now stay away.
The Samboy looked down at me. "HEYYYY!"
We stared at each other long and hard, and there it was, what Dean called "Sammy's bitchface."
Huh. Not half as good as mine.
I gave it right back to him, then I ran back to Dean. There were a lot of people out and about, but when I looked back the Sam stayed right where he was. He didn't follow me. He was too busy hopping around like a stork, with his face all red.
Dean was still hiding behind that tree. I don't know why. He wasn't so sad anymore.
"Decided to come back, huh?" I could tell he was mad at me, and that was better. That I could do something about.
I walked up to him, sat down, looked him right in the eyes and gave him the silent meow.
His eyes went from hard to soft in an instant. Better. Much better.
He bent down and scooped me up. "Don't you ever do that again, y'hear me?"
I grunted at him (Nope. I won't) and bumped his hand with my head.
Dean hugged me to his chest, then glanced around the tree one more time. Big shaggy was still cussing and shaking his leg. His face was still red. The female had her hand over her mouth. Her shoulders shook a lot. She was trying really hard not to laugh.
"Damn." Dean's eyes narrowed. Then he looked down at me. "Cujo, what the hell did you do?"
I looked up at my human boy with my most innocent, wide-eyed face. Who, meeee? I purred. Nothing. Nothing at all.
Dean carried me back to the big black car, and I never stopped purring, even as we drove away.
Dean's POV is next.