Of Kittens and Men

~~~

It took an effort, but Sam was able to waste half an hour on the computer, pretending to research possible cures for Dean. Initially he'd left Dean on the table and turned the laptop screen away from him, but as soon as he'd booted up the computer, Dean had climbed onto the keyboard and laid down. His butt had opened a new word document and his left paw had filled the first paragraph with LLLLLLLLLLLL before Sam had been able to scoop him up and dump him on the floor.

He'd told Dean, as sternly as possible, to amuse himself while Sam worked. Dean had looked up at him then scampered away, and Sam spent half an hour visiting websites that sold cat related merchandise.

He was going to hold this over Dean's head forever. The pink t-shirt that said "I love my kitty" would have to find its way into Dean's laundry.

However, he hadn't managed to order anything before he realised what Dean was doing. Looking down, Sam stared as Dean batted a wadded up gum wrapper, then very slowly and carefully stalked it, and attacked.

Sam watched this happen five times in a row. Bat, stalk, leap. Sometimes Dean would get the wrapper in his mouth and would attempt to kill it before batting it away again. Sometimes the wrapper escaped certain death at the last second. Suddenly Dean looked up and saw Sam, and froze. Casually, he sat on his haunches and began licking his front paw.

"If we ever get attacked by demonic bits of trash, I guess we're ready." Sam grinned, then laughed at the affronted expression that appeared on Dean's fuzzy face. Dean bounced three times towards Sam and landed smack dab in front of Sam's foot, whereupon Dean began to viciously attack Sam's shoelace.

Sam watched. It took Dean a couple of minutes, but he finally got one end of Sam's shoelace pulled out of the knot. Dean pulled it aside and began attacking the shoe itself, and Sam leaned forward to see if Dean was actually doing any damage -- to himself. Dean's tiny claws and teeth weren't capable of harming...well, not even a gum wrapper.

Dean paused and titled his head back, staring straight up at Sam. Dean looked perfectly nonchalant, as though wondering what the hell Sam was doing. Sam waved a hand. "Go on. You've almost got it untied. I'm waiting to see what you do with it."

The wrinkled nose very clearly said, Bitch, and Dean went back to tugging at the shoelace.

If he'd had hands, Dean would no doubt have been trying to tie Sam's shoelaces to the chair legs. But Sam was pretty sure that a kitten wouldn't be able to get that far, and even if Dean did get the laces re-tied, Sam figured he could probably undo any knot a kitten could tie.

He went back to browsing the web for cat stuff.

There was the occasional tug on his shoe, and he could feel every time Dean went tumbling off Sam's foot and every time he climbed back on. Finally Dean sat down on Sam's shoe and didn't move; Sam ignored him until he heard a soft meow.

He glanced down and found Dean looking up at him. Sam reached down and picked him up -- closing the web browser before setting Dean on the table.

"Mew," Dean said again, quietly.

"What's up?" Sam asked, and had to endure a scathing look from his brother. "Yes, I know you don't speak English, Dean. So either take up charades, or deal with the fact I don't have a clue what you want."

Dean seemed to frown a bit, then he walked over to Sam's hand. Sam rubbed his head, then scratched a little, watching as both of Dean's ears moved from side to side with the force of Sam's fingers. Dean swatted at his hand, then sniffed. Sam froze again in surprise as Dean began licking the tip of his finger.

"Dude, what the hell?"

Then Dean bit him. Sam blinked, didn't even jerk his hand away because he'd barely felt anything, but Dean mewed the most god-awful pitiful meow Sam had heard in his life, then bit his finger a second time.

"Oh!" Sam looked around, and saw nothing. "Damn. We...er, I have some granola bars in my bag."

Dean gave a sniff that Sam didn't need translated. Sam shrugged. "I can go hit the diner, bring back some--"

Dean let out a huge meow and leapt onto Sam's hand.

"Dean, I'm not taking you--"

He stopped, because Dean was looking up at him, and his eyes were so tiny and blue and Sam thought that maybe all those times he'd ever given his brother that beseeching look were coming back to haunt him. He felt his will melting away as Dean stared at him.

"Fine. But you're staying...um...." He looked around, then grabbed his hoodie. Slipping it on, he picked up Dean and put him in the front pocket.

He felt Dean lay down instantly and begin purring.

"Dean?"

Sam bent down, pulling the pocket open a little and saw Dean's head tucked down, eyes closed, and paws curled up underneath.

Sam grabbed Dean's camera phone and wondered why he hadn't started taking pictures before now.

He got to the diner without any trouble or even a sound from Dean. He found a booth and placed his order before Dean stirred -- then Dean gave a little mer? and wriggled out of Sam's pocket and hopped onto the table.

"Dean, behave yourself," Sam warned, but Dean was already batting the spoon back and forth. His tail was whipping from side to side -- all two inches of it. Sam amused himself trying to catch Dean's tail, then he heard, "Oh how adorable!"

The waitress set Sam's coffee and glass of milk on the table, and scooped up Dean. She held him close and Dean looked startled for all of a second before his expression grew just as smug as Sam had ever seen. The waitress was pressing him tightly against her breasts, and Dean's nose was just about exactly where human Dean would have wanted to be.

She cooed over Dean, baby-talking as Dean placed his front paws on her left breast and began kneading. Sam reached over and snatched him up, not-so-accidentally giving him a hard shake as he set Dean back down on the table.

"Sorry; he really needs his milk," Sam apologised.

"Of course he does!" the waitress exclaimed, giving Dean's head another rub. Dean gave Sam a death glare as the waitress walked away; Sam ignored him and poured some of the milk from the glass, onto a plate.

Dean gave it a sniff, then walked over and stuck his head into Sam's coffee cup.

"Hey!" Sam grabbed him and pulled him away; Dean's pissed off meow left nothing to the imagination. Sam held him up and stared at him. "You are not drinking my coffee. You weigh an ounce and I'm not giving you the slightest molecule of caffeine. At all," he added, because Dean was doing the tiny kitten eyes thing again.

He set Dean down beside the plate of milk, and picked up his coffee and held it where Dean couldn't reach. Dean meowed, as loudly and pitifully as he could and Sam put his finger over Dean's mouth before he could do it again.

"God! Shut up, already. Here!" Sam poured some coffee into the milk, and Dean settled himself down quickly and began lapping it up.

He'd actually finished half of it before the waitress came back with Sam's dinner; she gave Dean another round of head-rubbing and baby-talking, to which Dean responded by being the world's most adorable kitten ever. Sam gave his tiny head a light thump when she finally left.

"You should have been turned into a dog," Sam muttered. He picked up his sandwich, losing a piece of bacon as he did so.

Dean's head whipped around, then he pounced.

Sam stared, mouth still half open. Dean grabbed one end of the bacon and pulled it towards him, then began gnawing on the tip. Sam managed an absent-minded bite of his own sandwich, watching as Dean gnawed, and gnawed, and licked, and after about three minutes' of effort, got the corner of the bacon eaten.

He kept going, and Sam pulled out the camera phone again as Dean fell onto his back, holding onto the bacon. It was longer than he was, and all four paws were holding onto it as he kept chewing on the end.

Sam had finished his entire sandwich before Dean had got more than a third of the bacon slice eaten. Dean stopped, and rolled back towards the milk and coffee for a break; Sam reached down and broke off most of the remaining bacon and hid it under a napkin. When Dean returned, he blinked, gave Sam a glare, then dug his way under the napkin and dragged the missing bacon back out.

Sam shook his head. "Sorry; I thought if you tried to eat all of that, your widdle tummy would burst." As expected, he got a disdainful look for that, and Dean went back to eating his entire body weight in bacon.

By the time Sam was done, Dean had given up. Half the bacon remained, and all of the coffee was gone. Dean was cleaning his face, licking his paw and rubbing his cheeks and ears over and over. As Sam paid the check, Dean bounced over, fell off the table onto Sam's lap, then climbed his way back into Sam's hoodie pocket where he curled up and was sound asleep before Sam had even reached the door.

~~~

The caffeine hit when they got back to the motel room. Sam had barely got Dean out of his pocket when he leapt straight up in the air, twisted, fell on his head, then began jumping straight up in the air like a pogo-stick.

He hit the corner of the bed once, fell back, rolled over, and went back to bouncing. Then he hit the chair leg, fell back, bounced over to the table leg, managed to miss it, tumbled over Sam's foot, bounced over his foot, and Sam thought that he maybe should have argued harder about the no coffee thing.

Instead he wadded up another gum wrapper and threw it; Dean was after it like a shot. A badly aimed-shot; Dean missed it the first two times, overshooting and turning in mid-air to try again. He finally captured it and went back to stalking and killing it, over and over -- this time in fast-forward.

Sam was feeling a bit exhausted just watching him. When Dean landed on his back, rolled over, and went completely still, Sam went over and picked him up. Dean blinked sleepily at him.

"I hate to say I told you so... who am I kidding? I told you so." Sam smiled, smugly, and Dean just yawned. Sam couldn't help it; he rubbed Dean's still-full tummy, then reached back over his shoulder and tipped Dean gently into his hood. Dean curled up against the back of Sam's neck and purred, falling instantly asleep.

~~~

A torn tissue box and a wad of tissues made for a littler box; Sam had to actually leave the bathroom and shut the door before Dean would use it. Sam gave Dean merry hell for having to clean up after him, then tried to ignore Dean as his brother played with Sam's feet as Sam got ready for bed.

He nearly tripped over Dean twice before putting Dean on the bed. Dean amused himself playing with something invisible, until Sam finally headed over and crawled into bed. Dean pounced on his head the second Sam laid down.

Sam calmly picked Dean up and set him on the other pillow. Dean gave him a look that said You've got to be kidding.

"Go to sleep, Dean. We'll get you changed back tomorrow." Sam didn't really feel guilty -- he'd exchanged a couple emails with Patrice, the witch, and had set up everything to get Dean changed back. He'd very carefully deleted those emails, just in case Dean would have ever found them.

Sam closed his eyes and let himself relax; then he felt Dean curling up against his side. For a second Sam was willing to leave him there, then he realised, "Dude, if I roll over, I will flatten you." He scooped Dean up and placed him back on the pillow.

"Mew."

"No, Dean."

There was silence for a moment, then, softer, "Mew?"

Sam looked over. "I promise -- tomorrow, we'll get you changed back."

Dean looked at him for a moment, clearly deciding whether to trust him. Then Dean laid his head on his paws and closed his eyes. Sam put his head back down and closed his own eyes, and a second later he felt Dean crawl up his pillow and onto his head.

Sam opened his eyes, but didn't move. "Dean?"

There was a rumbling against Sam's skull, as Dean began purring where he lay, flat across the top of Sam's head.

"Christ, Dean, you're a real pain." But Sam closed his eyes again and fell asleep.

~~~

He woke up with a kitten on his neck like a warm, furry choker. Dean didn't stir as Sam tried to move; finally Sam just sat up and caught Dean as he rolled off Sam's neck. Dean's eyes flew open and he gave an aggrieved Mew! before twisting out of Sam's hand and onto the bed. He climbed across Sam's legs and to the edge of the covers, turning and burrowing under the blankets until he was thoroughly lost in the bedclothes.

Sam pulled them up and peeked; Dean glared at him before closing his eyes and going back to sleep.

"Well, that part isn't new," Sam said, and got out of bed. He headed for the bathroom, then went back to check his email to make sure Patrice hadn't had to cancel. There was no way of knowing which tiny fold in the bedclothes was Dean. Sam assumed that Dean was still there, and if he was lost under the bed, he'd eventually holler for Sam to rescue him.

Sam went back to ordering a cat collar and a cat dish that said "Princess" on it, and had been able to enjoy almost an entire morning to himself before he heard a mew, and a soft thump as Dean jumped out of bed. He ran straight for Sam's foot and pounced.

Tiny almost-pinpricks dug into Sam's ankle as Dean tried to... he wasn't sure what. Eat him, starting with the ankle? Sam looked down and saw Dean on his side, clinging to Sam's foot with his front paws, thumping him hard with his back paws, and biting mightily at Sam's foot, just below the ankle.

Sam just reached over and took a few more pictures.

~~~

It was evening before Sam took Dean to meet Patrice. He'd had an entire day of gum wrapper hunts and naps in every conceivable hidden spot in the motel room. Sam had watched as Dean had spent an entire hour sitting in a paper bag, chewing a hole in the bottom until it was big enough to crawl out of.

Much as he would have liked to tell Dean it would be another day, as soon as he'd said Patrice was ready for them, Dean had jumped up and run to him, sitting at his feet with wide, hopeful eyes. Sam put him back in his hoodie pocket, and Dean's purring had felt more excited than content.

It didn't take long to drive to where Patrice was meeting them, then the ritual had been quick. A few herbs, and few candles, and a spell with a kitten sitting calmly and almost patiently in the center of the circle.

When the kitten transformed into his brother, Sam realised he'd forgotten one small detail.

"Sam, where are my clothes?"

Luckily, Patrice hadn't seemed to mind.

the end