Chapter 12 -the present-

Dean is sitting on the sofa, his leg propped up on a pillow while reading the sports pages of the weekend paper. The last hunt left its marks on Dean's body. Sam suggested they rest up at Bobby's for the weekend and though Dean will never admit this freely, he is grateful for his brother's concern.

Bobby enters the room and wheels to a stop in front of him.

'You think you might want to check on him, Dean? He's been up there for over an hour'

'Nope, he'll be down when he's ready' Dean doesn't bother to look up.

'Then what about the box on the verandah? Are the pixies bringing it inside?' Huffs Bobby impatiently.

Dean folds up the paper und gingerly moves his leg off the sofa.

'What box, Bobby?'

Bobby is already wheeling back into the kitchen where his stew bubbles on the stove while grumbling expletives under his breath. Dean stares after the old hunter before calling out:

'Alright then, I'll go and fetch him!'

Impatient knocking against his bedroom door makes Sam look up from the books in his lap. Not waiting for a response Dean swings open the door.

'Dude, how long are you going to stay in here? Bobby's fixing dinner!'

Dean walks into the room where Sam is sitting cross legged on the old rug next to the small book case Bobby made for him many years ago. A letter lies next to Sam on the floor together with a shoe box full of cards, photos and letters.

Sam puts the book in his hand down and looks up to his brother sadness written all over his face. Dean sighs inwardly and sits down on the floor with his brother. He stretches out his injured leg, absentmindedly rubbing the swollen knee joint.

It isn't long before Sam pushes the letter across to him.

'Felicity Grey died last week. The pastor found this letter addressed to me and sent it with a note.'

Dean frowns briefly glancing at the letter. He never let on to Sam that he knew about Miss Felicity's letters sent to Bobby's address and that he made damn sure their Dad never found out, too.

'Mh, she was that lady that took us in when Dad was late from a hunt…the apple pie to die for?'

A faint smile tugs at Sam's mouth, pleased that Dean remembers Felicity and her kindness.

'Yeah, I never told you but we kept in touch. She gave me this book when I left and then every Christmas and Birthday sent another one for me.' He waves over to the row of books lined up in the wooden book case.

'You remember her cat that had a litter...the one kitten I saved, my kitten…?'

Dean nods silently

'Well, she kept the kitten for me. Said she'd look after it until I could come and pick it up. She sent me photos of him and her letters would be full of the things he had gotten up to.'

Sam grabs the shoe box and pulls out snapshots of a black cat lying on the verandah, sitting in front of the fire place and next to a lovely rosebush in full bloom.

'She knew I'd never be able to have him with me.' Sadly Sam shakes his head gathering up the photos and letters 'but in her eyes I was his owner.'

Dean shares the silence with his brother who is sorting through the memories from so long ago. He finally clears his voice.

'You know there was a large box that came with the letter. It's still out on the verandah and I think we should get it inside.'

Sam's head snaps up and his eyes widen.

'Damn, I totally forgot about that.' He jumps up and holds out his hand to help Dean up.

'Not an invalid…'Dean smacks the hand aside with a grin and pushes himself up ignoring the lancing pain radiating from his injured knee. Sam shakes his head watching his brother as usual downplaying his injuries.

'Yeah, right….I'll race you downstairs then!' Sam bounces out of the room, his laughter trailing behind him.

'I can still kick your ass, little brother' shouts Dean while hurrying after Sam.

He catches up with Sam who is already busy pushing the large box through the door into the hallway.

'Heh, Dude, did you read what it says on it…' Dean points at the lid surprise mirrored on his face.

'Live animal transport. Handle with care' he reads out which is no sooner followed by a pitiful mewling from inside the box.

Sam shoots Dean a glance grinning with childish excitement and nods while hastily running his fingers along the lid edges. He pries open the lid folding the cardboard back and reaches inside.

'I think I know who's in the box' his voice is husky with emotion as he carefully pulls out an animal carrier and places it on the floor.

'Heh there old fella! Sorry I left you in there for so long.' Sam is kneeling next to the animal carrier staring down into the yellow eyes of a black cat.

'You're kidding me!' exclaims Dean at the scene in front of him 'Is that the kitten all grown up…or better all grown old?'

At this moment Bobby comes wheeling around the corner: 'Are you Idgits ever going to come to dinner? This is the last…' he breaks off his tirade as he notices the animal carrier and Sam on the floor with a bemused Dean standing next to the box shaking his head.

'Ah, Bobby I think you have another guest for dinner.' Sam slides the bolt across and eases the small door of the carrier open.

After the long hours of confinement the cat hauntingly stalks out of the carrier and directs an angry meow at Sam who is sitting back on his haunches watching his cat take in its new home. The flecks of grey in the cat's gleaming coat betray its age.

Bobby finally shakes off the surprise.

'Sam, we've got to talk about this…my home isn't a place for strays!'

'Really, Bobby?' Dean retorts with a chuckle 'Could have fooled us!'

Bobby growls under his breath at Dean's insinuation that the brothers were two strays he had taken in all those years ago.

'Look, he's not going to be any work Bobby. Cats are very self sufficient. The scrap yard is going to be heaven for him, just think of all those mice and rats he'll catch. Heh, and he'll be good company when we are off on a hunt.'

Bobby's heart misses a beat or two as he catches the emotion in Sam's voice.

He glances at the cat which is now sitting in front of him looking up at the old hunter with unrelenting yellow eyes. The grey whiskers twitch briefly and as if it can sense the change of heart in Bobby it launches itself up onto the lap of the old hunter.

Dean and Sam hold their breath while the cat snuggles down into Bobby's lap and loud purring emanates from the old cat.

The exasperated look on Bobby's face is priceless and it takes all of the brother's willpower not to burst out laughing.

A deep sigh escapes Bobby's lips before he asks Sam: 'Okay, so what's his name?'

'Ahhh…' Sam hesitates briefly before continuing 'well, remember I was only 9 years old at the time and..'

'Stop beating around the bush, Sam. Spill!' Dean groans while watching Sam squirm. Sam exhales softly and lifts his chin:

'…it's Lucifer okay. His name is Lucifer because he is black and…'

The rest of Sam's answer is drowned out by Dean's howling laughter at the old hunter's horrified expression.

Sam shuts his mouth and the tension of his lips reflect the hurt caused by his brother's outburst.

'I'm sorry Sammy, but I can just see it now…Bobby out in the night hollering for Lucifer to come…' Dean quickly turns away before Sam can punch him.

'Oh Lucifer….come kitty, kitty, kitty!' Wheezes Dean and laughing loudly makes his way into the living room leaving an irritated brother and a stunned Bobby behind.

'I'm going to kill him' mutters Bobby while absentmindedly stroking the cat on his lap.

'No, I've got dibs on that action!' hisses Sam as his brother's laughter echoes through the house.

The End….

So, I hope you enjoyed my little story! Leave a comment please and otherwise see you next time around.

Cheers from DownUnder