Characters/Pairings: Dean Winchester, Sam Winchester, Castiel
Word Count: 2,826 words
Summary: When five people go missing at the local zoo, the Winchester brothers investigate under the cover of darkness. Dean's 'act first, think later' attitude gets him into trouble a few times, but luckily he has an angel with blue eyes perched on his shoulder (Quite literally this time) to get him out safely.
“Ok, so what’s the deal with this place again?” Dean asked.
Sam, familiar with Dean’s repetitiveness, began to recite the job over again, just as Castiel appeared in their motel room with them.
“Alright. Five people missing. One was a kid, three males and two females, all over a period of three weeks. No connections except they were all last seen at the local zoo. Police have scoured every inch of the zoo and have found nothing, but locals are getting nervous and staying away. The zoo keepers and manager are furious, they’re saying “Why would we draw attention to the zoo, we’re losing more money each day this person isn’t caught, It’s a ridiculous theory.”
"Tomorrow morning we have an appointment to see the CEO of the Zoo, then we have interviews with the family members of the last three victims. Then tomorrow night, if all still points to the zoo, then we will break in and investigate after dark.”
Dean grunted in reply at the same time Castiel said, “Interesting.”
“What?” Dean asked distractedly.
“I shall assimilate myself and investigate for you.” Castiel said, and then he was gone.
Dean looked at Sam with a raised eyebrow, “Well that was weird.”
Right friggin’ now!
“God Damn it Sam pick up the friggin’ phone!” Dean shouted down his cell as he ran for his life.
He spared a glance over his shoulder to check if the monsters were gaining on him. They were. Feathered spotty wings spread out, flapping, horrific noises coming from them as they gave chase.
His ringtone penetrated his panic and Dean answered the phone with a “A little help would be nice Sam!”
“Dean, what’s wrong?”
“I’m being chased by freaky mini dinosaurs with wings!”
“What!? Where are you? Do you know what they are?”
Keeping up his pace Dean glanced at the signs as he sped past them in the dark. “I just passed the lions and I have no clue what they are besides creepy. I tried shooting them but they move too quickly.”
“Ok, head towards the reptile displays and I will come in from behind.”
They both hung up and prepared for a fight.
Dean’s heart leapt when he heard Sam call out to him and he spun around to find Sam only metres away with his gun held down to his side, alert but not at the ready.
The mini dinosaur monsters scattered at the shout, and Dean attempted to shoot them again as they screeched in panic. Then Sam is in front of him, telling him to stand down.
“Are you crazy Dean?” Sam yelled. “What the hell are you shooting at the guinea fowl for? Do you want everyone to know we’re here?”
Dean froze, a frown on his face. “Guinea fowl?”
“Yeah Dean, you know, the spotty little birds that look like dino…”
Sam burst out laughing. “They’re your freaky mini dinosaurs with wings? You ran all this way because some little birds were following you?”
The following moments were spent with Sam leaning on his knees as he shook with laughter, and Dean’s scowl getting bigger. “Ok, ok.” Sam straightened and took a breath to calm down.
When he looked around he spotted the guinea fowl huddled together and hiding behind him, eyes wide with fear.
“It’s ok guys, my brother isn’t going to hurt you, he is just a big girl and gets scared easily.” Dean squawked indignantly and Sam smiled.
As if he could understand, the bravest bird hesitantly peeked out between Sam’s feet to eye Dean as if to judge the truth of the statement. Apparently whatever he saw satisfied him as he let out a rolling chirp and the rest of the small birds cautiously followed as he shuffled out to stand in between the brothers.
“Ok that was weird.” Sam puzzled.
“Mini monster dinosaurs I tells you, lets shoot them!” Dean crowed like he had just been proven right.
The guinea fowl all cheeped in panic and ran behind Sam again.
“Dean! Stop scaring them!” He yelled at his brother, and then turned to the frightened birds. “He was just joking. The idiot thinks he is funny.”
“Hey,” was Dean’s witty comeback.
“Huh. Hey Dean?”
“Did you count how many Guinea Fowl there are here?”
“Count them! I thought they were going to peck my heart out, I was more worried about trying to kill them not count them!”
“There are five Dean.” Sam said as if it should mean something, and it was on the tip of his tongue to say so what, when it hit him.
There are five missing people, and here are five creepy looking birds that seemed to understand every word they say.
“Yeah, oh.” Sam agrees.
“Ok so, we found the missing people, what could have done this? Uh… the Trickster?”
Dean shook his head. “Nah, not his style. Cursed object?”
At that the spotty birds went nuts, jumping around and chirping loudly.
“We have a winner.” Sam said over the noise.
Dean was deep in thought. “You know Sammy, when we were waiting for the interview with the board of the Zoo yesterday, I read up about this place.
Apparently it was the site of a bloody battle between a native tribe and the white men wanting to claim the land as their own. If I remember correctly that is why there is a memorial park where you can picnic here. This land was donated to preserve the very animals that were driven out when the land was taken over. What’s the bet somewhere there are bones that have been disturbed and spirits angered.”
Sam gaped at Dean, “I don’t know where to begin. You actually read something? Voluntarily?”
“Shut up Sam.”
“Where did the leap to bones come in? It sounds like a great theory, but sometimes I’m scared how well your mind works when you actually use it. Where to next Sherlock?”
Dean huffed, “next time I will let you do all the work.” He turned and stalked into the night.
Sam turned to follow only to stumble back reaching for his gun when something small and brown leapt from an overhanging tree branch and onto Dean’s shoulder.
“Gah!” the older hunter exclaimed, instinctively pulling the thing off and throwing it to the ground.
Sam relaxed as the ‘thing’ turned out to be a lemur with an orange brown scruffy coat, the deepest blue eyes and a long fluffy tail.
Shaking it’s head as it picked itself back up, the lemur managed to give Dean a look that conveyed exactly what it thought of being thrown before calmly sitting down on it’s haunches, wrapping it’s tail around itself and staring up at Dean.
Dean stared back.
All the intense staring was starting to creep Sam out until the lemur tilted it’s head to the side a small fraction and Dean gasped.
At the mention of the name the lemur moved suddenly, shimmying up Dean and settling into the crook of Dean’s neck, tail now wrapped around Dean like a boa.
Dean jumped at hearing the voice in his head. “Cas? Where have you been, and why are you a monkey?”
“Lemur,” Sam said at the same time as Castiel did.
Dean screwed up his face, “whatever, what’s happening? You got anything for us?”
I can only communicate by touch when I am in this form, and only in the mind of the one I am touching, so Sam will not be able to hear this.
I have determined that the giraffes know nothing about the case, but the lemurs think that the Caribou will be able to give us some useful information as they are the biggest gossips in the Zoo. I believe we should head there.
“Caribou it is then.”
Sam started when Dean spoke.
He had been watching Dean and the lemur that may/may not have been Cas stare at each other, Dean with a look of concentration on his face like he needed to poop.
“Reindeer? Why?” He asked.
Dean shook his head, “Not reindeer, caribou. According to the lemurs they are the biggest gossips in the Zoo, and our best lead.”
“According to the lemurs?” Sam deadpanned, wondering if Dean had finally lost and thought he could talk to animals.
“Yeah. It’s our best lead, lets go.”
Sam does not know I inhabit this mammal Dean and thinks you have gone mad as you are talking to me. Perhaps you should tell him before he misunderstands any further.
“Oh, right. Sam, Cas is the scruffy looking ball of fur clinging to my neck. He has been investigating for us and has some leads. If I zone out I’m just talking to Cas ok?”
“Uh, alright then.” Sam looked relieved as he nodded.
The brothers, five transformed guinea fowl and an angelic lemur headed towards the reptile house, hoping there would be a map around the building to help them find the habitat of the caribou.
Dean insisted on going through, instead of around the snake exhibits, even when the doors were locked.
“Relax, I can look at all the cool snakes and fight evil at the same time. Win win.” He said as he picked the lock on one of the doors on the far side of the room to let them out again.
He grinned and threw the door open, “See, piece of cake!”
“Dean!” Sam exclaimed, shooing the birds to safety and stepping back himself.
“Ha ha, funny. There’s nothing there, you’re just trying to make me look. Nice try, but why don’t you stop being a girl and have fun for once in your… Eep.”
I believe you brother was trying to tell you about the reticulated python that is currently constricting around your legs.
“No shit Sherlock! Now zap me out of here!”
The lemur sighed and in the blink of an eye the python was back in his terrarium and the door locked again.
“Heh heh,” Dean laughed weakly. “Thanks Cas.”
It is no problem, but please don’t do it again. This vessel dislikes snakes.
“Yeah, not gonna try that again any time soon, so you’re safe.”
Sam snorted, “Cas, don’t believe him, you’re never safe with him, he never learns.”
Tell Sam I am beginning to understand that.
“No, I’m not saying that, and you, shut up.” Dean pointed to his sniggering brother.
Following signs they made their way to a large grassed area with high fences.
Dean was getting impatient. “Maybe this is it. Lets go look.” He quickly scaled the fence and landed lightly on the other side.
Sam sighed and went to read the sign and see what his brother had gotten himself into now.
“Hey look.” Sam heard his brother’s voice floating through the darkness. “It’s skippy! Come here skip!”
“Uh Dean, It says here the red kangaroo kick when threatened. It says, by using their tail to support their weight they deliver kicks with their powerful hind legs. Be careful.”
“Nah Sam he loves me, come here skippy.”
He stepped forward making clicking sounds at the kangaroo that was standing tall, ears flicking forward and back, listening. In one lightening quick movement the roo did exactly what Sam said he would and his kick landed square in the family jewels.
Dean had the breath punched out of him and he squeaked to Castiel. “Abort, abort,” falling to his knees once Castiel had whisked him safely back on the other side of the fence.
“Right in the nuts!” Sam crowed and snapped a photo of his brother curled up, nursing his pain with a lemur clinging to his shoulder.
“Oh no! This one is totally on you Dean.”
Sam turned to the guinea fowl, “See what I have to put up with?” The birds seemed to shake their heads in sympathy.
“I know right!” Sam said to them.
“How are we lost?”
“I don’t know Dean, you’re the one who had the map. And don’t try and say the giraffe ate it again, because Cas told me it wasn’t true already.”
“Well you’re the walking encyclopaedia of weirdness, you should have memorised the map with your freaky brain.”
Sam sighed, “I think it is this way.”
The younger hunter stopped at another high fence. “This could be it, but there are no signs. Dean, go in and check.”
“What! Why me?”
“Because you lost the map, and you’re the one with an angel perched on your shoulder, quite literally. So get going before daylight comes.”
Grumbling, Dean climbed the fence, his pencil thin beam of light the only thing visible to the younger hunter and the five birds watching on.
“I think it might be empty.” Dean crashed around in the pen, not so quietly.
“I can’t see anything. Oh wait. There’s a cat in here. Pretty grey fluffy thing with black tufted ears. Here kitty kitty.”
Gray and fluffy with black tufted ears, Sam thought. Crap.
“Dean get out of there that’s a Lynx. It’s not a kitty and it doesn’t want to play nice.”
“Yikes!” Dean exclaimed at the same time the big cat growled and swiped at her intruder.
Before sharp claws could meet with soft skin Dean was safely back next to his brother.
Both brothers let out a breath of relief.
Dean, I am going to fly to the highest point and find the caribou from there. I will be back momentarily.
Before Dean could reply he was gone.
When he returned it was with the correct direction and they arrived at the enclosure within two minutes.
“Wow! Reindeers! I wonder where Santa is!”
They prefer the term caribou Dean. And Santa is fictional.
“Way to ruin my Christmas Cas!” Dean pouted, but it was short lived.
“So that means these are the droids we’re looking for. Let’s go get us some gossip and waste this ghost! I feel the need to set something on fire tonight!” The older hunter let out an excited whoop and leapt over the fence.
Sam and the guinea fowl rolled their eyes at each other before following.
“Meerkats are so awesome. That Flower was the best little mummy meerkat ever.”
Sam stared at Dean.
“You watched an educational show about meerkat families?”
“You’re not the only smart one here Sam.”
“When the hell did you get time to watch it?”
They continued to squabble as they headed towards the meerkat display.
The reindeer, after knocking Dean on his butt for calling them reindeer out loud, had happily told the hunters all they had needed to know.
Apparently the meerkats had been digging up their enclosure one night and found some old bones. Instinctively they knew they were evil and kept throwing them out over the side of their walls to get rid of them, but they would get thrown back in.
Those who touched the bones with skin contact had, as punishment, transformed into the feathered beings that ran free around the zoo.
Now they were off to employ the meerkats into digging up all the bones and then to salt and burn the remains to free the spirits and return the victims into human form once again.
Glad to finally be rid of the bones, the meerkats worked hard at finding all the remains quickly.
Sam and Dean sat on the side of the brick fence watching the scurrying creatures, smiling at the fact that, for once, they didn’t have to dig up the grave themselves.
They donned leather gloves and set to moving the bones into a pit to burn.
The only set back was when Dean realised that one of the younger male meerkats had pick pocketed his favourite lighter and wouldn’t give it back until Sam swapped it for a squished Twinkie that had been in his pocket for three weeks.
As the two hunters stood there watching the flames a feeling of peace settled over the zoo and there were exclamations of joy as the guinea fowl were no longer. The humans, although naked, were rejoicing at having opposable thumbs again.
After stealing them all track pants and a shirt from the zoo’s gift shop, Sam and Dean left Cas to wipe their memories so they wouldn’t be locked up for telling the truth to the cops when they came.
They bade goodbye and snuck out as the first of the keepers arrived just before dawn, then the brothers headed for their motel.
They were fast asleep by the time Castiel arrived, feeling reluctant to part with his latest vessel. His tail really was fluffy and he had rather enjoyed his time in this body.
This is why, when Sam turned over a few hours later, he was greeted with the site of Dean curled up on his side with a ball of fur that was Castiel snuggled into his chest.
It made Sam go aww on the inside, but he told himself he simply wouldn’t be a good brother if he didn’t take a few photos for possible future blackmail.
This is what Guinea Fowl look like...