BA Canon: No || AU
Timeline: 2005 (The same week Dean and Sam reunited in canon BA)
Take it in steps.
First, examine the room. Watch the shadows. Listen for breathing.
Patience is key to survival. You must be willing to wait and analyze and decide if the risk is worth the gain.
Food does you no good if you get caught.
No matter how certain you are that they're gone, nothing is stopping them from coming back. Never drop your guard. It might be the last thing you ever do.
The maids don't pay attention here. Your luck might hold up if they're the ones that come in the room.
But there's no way to ever know.
Those words were always on Walt's mind. Some of the last words he'd ever said to Bree, and the words he now repeated to Samad nauseum. He was desperate not to lose another child to the humans.
For that reason alone, Walt was glad he'd caught Sam trying to sneak out that morning.
It was a good plan to check the empty room before anyone else checked in, but an odd feeling, the sense of foreboding, that trouble was waiting right around the corner for all of them, had made Walt tell Sam to stay with Mallory. He could help with her de-threading that she was working on.
Walt had gone instead.
And now, despite all his planning and watching and listening and waiting, he was in trouble.
Sam might already have been caught if he was the one in the room.
A massive boot hit the ground less than a foot from his hiding place, shaking the ground around him. He flinched back, knowing that all the human had to do was glance to the side. The chair leg he had darted behind in desperation to get out of sight offered no real cover.
He could feel the reassuring weight of his razor tucked against his chest, weighing down his jacket. It might not be as sturdy or as sharp as Sam's beloved knife (a weapon that had been crafted with a skill Walt found himself admiring), but it would get the job done if he needed to defend himself.
As the human continued past his hiding place, walking into the bathroom, Walt peered around the leg of the chair. His breathing hitched in anticipation. The man was out of sight.
It was now or never.
Gone was any thought of watching or waiting. He was out in the open, far from cover. The distance he needed to run to get under that cover would barely be two steps for the human if he was seen.
He'd never win that race.
His legs tensed, then he dashed towards the looming dresser. The welcome darkness underneath beckoned him. No number of dustbunnies would stop him from diving into that darkness.
The floor started to tremble.
No, no, no! Walt hadn't even made it halfway in his heartstopping run of desperation. He forced his legs to pump faster, desperately gasping in air. The soles of his boots dug into the worn carpet as he went.
"What the hell?" the voice boomed overhead.
He'd been spotted.
A boot crashed into the ground inches from Walt's body. The speed he was running, coupled with the aftershock from the impact, sent Walt sprawling. He slammed into a solid leather wall, slumping down with a groan as the impact dazed him.
Head spinning, he tried to stumble back from the leather wall that had materialized in front of him. He was too disoriented to spot the shadow that was approaching him from the side, cast from high overhead as the human stooped down.
Walt's legs buckled when he ran into something thick and unmoving as he backed away. His eyes widened as he toppled over, landing on a surface that was hard, yet at the same time gave a little when his weight hit it.
He realized what it was even as it closed around him.
Thick, callused skin covered a palm broad enough to use for a bed. He tried to scramble off immediately, but fingers longer and thicker than his body coiled around him until there was nowhere else to go.
With the haunting memories of his own capture, combined with the heartbreaking time he'd seen his daughter trapped in a cage, Walt thrashed desperately, trying to escape, trying to get free. His mind refused to acknowledge his helplessness.
Then, his stomach dropped out from inside him.
The hand was lifting.
His struggles halted immediately as he was unwillingly yanked into the air. He couldn't see out of the fist coiled around him like steel, but he knew the human was straightening to his full, terrifying height. Walt was along for the ride whether he wanted to be or not.
The moment the movement halted, the fingers shifted around him, loosening. Before he could go for his razor, damn the height, the thumb nearby slipped under his arm.
Walt suddenly found himself in an unforgiving fist, trapped from the chest down. His left arm remained crushed against his side but the right arm was free, uncomfortably propped up in the air at an awkward angle by the human's huge thumb.
The hand tilted with Walt confined inside. He found himself staring up into unblinking green eyes the size of his head, watching his struggles with simple curiosity. A calm, interested detachment while Walt's life hung in the balance at the whim of one of his greatest enemies.
The human frowned. Walt's blood turned to ice.
"What the hell are you?" the deep voice asked. The human was talking to himself as he curiously eyed the small person he'd captured.
While he was talking, Walt couldn't look away from the huge mouth. A lazy drawl curled around the words as the air vibrated.
The huge thumb shifted under Walt's arm again. Out of the corner of his eye, he caught sight of the other massive hand moving.
Realizing it was coming straight for him, Walt tried to twist out of the way. The human was fast. An index finger and thumb closed around his arm. The lean limb was helpless between the huge digits, outsizing Walt's entire body. He realized with a start that all it would take for the human to snap the arm in two would be a simple flinch.
"Be careful with that!" The words were out of his mouth before he even realized he was talking.
A heavy silence fell in the room. Walt's heart began to pound in time with the pulse he could feel surging through the hand around him, waiting to see what his fate would be for speaking up.
"You can talk?" This time, the question was directed right at him. Twin green orbs stared straight into his face, the intensity alone keeping him motionless. The fingers let go of Walt's arm and the human took a step to the side.
With a nauseating drop, the human sat down at the table, releasing Walt. Before there was a chance to even consider an escape, two immense arms thicker than he was tall had walled him in. The only exit to his prison was guarded by the two massive hands.
Still, Walt backed away, caution in his demeanor. His arms he held out to the sides for balance, keeping a steady footing. He couldn't afford to waste any opportunities that cropped up.
The human leaned in, eyes squinting curiously. "Well?" he demanded. Before Walt could react, a hand came over and swept his satchel from his shoulders.
Walt balled his hands into fists at that. "Aside from being bigger than me, what gives you the right to trap me or anyone like this? Do you always take advantage of your size so callously?"
The words that came out of his mouth made the human stiffen in his seat. The hand holding Walt's satchel slowly curled into a fist, putting the small bag unavoidably out of reach for the smaller man. The eyes that were trained on Walt and only Walt narrowed. "What gives me the right is the fact that you're in my room, sneaking around. Why were you here?"
Walt narrowed his own blue eyes back. He didn't say a word, simply crossing his arms. He would never put Sam or Mallory at risk by telling a human that he was only searching for food for his family. Visions danced in his head of this massive man tearing up the floorboards with his bare hands, greedily gathering up the rest of Walt's family, maybe even everyone else that lived in the motel. They had no way to stop him, no one to come help them. Their fate hung in the balance.
The human waited for a few moments, then frowned. Deep rivets in his face cut an intimidating figure all over again, making an icy shiver run up Walt's back. Damn the man was fearsome.
Seconds later, the human was leaning over. A vase that had a dusty set of fake flowers was lifted up in a huge hand. The flowers were tossed, and the man blew out the inside of the vase. Walt started to back away as he realized what was going to happen, but of course there was no way for him to escape. His climbing supplies were still wrapped up in a massive fist, out of reach, and he was over three feet in the air. He might be able to scale down on his own without a problem, but that would take time and careful action, and time was in short supply with a human around. He would only get a step or two before being grabbed again.
Then the vase slammed over his head and the time for action was over.
Dean frowned at the small man he'd captured. It had been over ten minutes since the blonde haired man had said a word, or even acknowledged that Dean was there. Tapping at the glass had only brought on a brief flicker of fear before annoyance pushed that away, and then the man had turned his back.
With an internal shrug, Dean turned his attention to the bag that was held in his hand. It was small, and well worn. Clearly something that was made to be used, and used often. Wondering what the hell was in it, he fiddled with the small straps holding it closed.
The motion attracted the attention of the small man once more. He stiffened at the sight of the bag held between thick fingers.
Dean dangled it closer to the vase. "Want to just tell me what you're doing here? That way I don't need to take this apart?"
A small glare was leveled at him and the man turned away again. But this time, Dean noted that he was still turned enough towards Dean to be able to track the hunter's movements from the corner of his eye.
Dean scoffed. "Suit yourself." He stood, going over to his duffel to dig out a needle. It was shoved in with his med-kit items, used for either stitching his clothes up or stitching himself up depending on the day.
He sat back down and scooped the bag back up. This time, he carefully played with the clasp, trying to undo it without just shredding the bag apart. He had no idea who this man was, after all, or if he was any type of threat. If he had no reason to destroy the small workmanship, he had no intention of breaking it.
It was only a few minutes before he got in. Flipping it open, he frowned as a trail of thread slipped out, attached to a… is this a paperclip? he thought wonderingly. He lifted it out, staring at the strangely twisted paperclip. It was almost…
"Did you turn this into a hook?" Dean asked in surprise.
The man turned back to him, eyes briefly wide at the question. But it didn't seem harmful… "Yes…" he begrudgingly let out.
Dean put it down on the tabletop, with the string still attached. "Holy crap," he said quietly. That was inventive, but he couldn't imagine using it to climb with. What if it slipped off? A paperclip couldn't be the most stable climbing tool… he hid a shudder at the thought of dangling in midair at the mercy of a cobbled-together tool like that.
"Y'know," he said conversationally. "Something like a fishhook might be a bit better for climbing with. Something that you don't have to worry about bending when you're using it."
That got the man to turn all the way around, suspicion in his small eyes. "Why's it matter to you? " he bit out at Dean.
Dean stared back at him. "I'm not trying to hurt you," he pointed out as he shifted the bag and its contents back over to the vase. "I need to know what you are and if you're dangerous. Then I can either let you go, or…"
The man glared at him. "Or you'll kill me. I know how hunters work." He turned away once more and crossed his arms. "I know how far you'll go."
Try as he might, that was the last Dean was able to get out of him for the night. Walt was trapped in memories of the hunter that had tried to kill him in the past, combined with those humans taking away his daughter. There was no way he'd get out of this one, not twice. All of his luck was used up on the first rescue.
He was only glad that Sam hadn't been the one captured.
Morning dawned the next day. Walt woke up from his uncomfortable position on the hardwood table. His back cracked and his neck was stiff after hours and hours on that hard surface. He groaned. The small bite of hamburger the human had offered him and the bottlecap of water were left to the side of the vase. He'd only eaten enough that he wouldn't starve, refusing to indulge in the human's 'hospitality.'
The human was standing near the window of the room, arguing on his phone. "What the hell do you mean? Why didn't you or dad tell me any of this before?!"
Walt flinched at the shouting, then pushed himself to the far side of the vase to get as far away from the man as he could. He could only hear one end of the conversation, and could only assume it was about him.
The human frowned. "You never even told dad?" Green eyes flashed over to Walt, making him stiffen up again. "Alright. I'll do that. Thanks Bobby."
The phone snapped closed and thudding footsteps brought the human back over to the table. "So," came the deep voice once more. Walt glared up at him, certain that his fate of either being taken from the motel or killed was about to be announced.
He didn't see it coming when the vase was lifted away. He stared up at the human in surprise, who sighed, an expression of guilt passing over his face. The human sat down at the table again, dropping the vase down on the floor.
"I just got off the phone with another hunter. He said he's met a few people like you before." The human leaned over a bit, making Walt shuffle back. All that happened was his bag and rope was gathered up and offered back to him. "He says you're harmless. Same as humans, but smaller. So… I guess I owe you an apology for the whole 'grabbing you' thing…"
Walt couldn't bring himself to talk at first, staring at the bag and rope piled in his arms. Those eyes staring at him were so sincere. He wet his lips, trying to compose himself. "So, you won't kill me?" he asked guardedly.
The human shook his head. "Just… do yourself a favor and don't go getting yourself caught in any other hunters' rooms. There ain't many that stop to ask questions." A hand reached towards Walt.
Walt jerked back, stumbling over his feet to get away from the massive, crushing hand.
The human's eyebrows went up. "I'm not gonna hurtcha, I promise!" He rubbed the back of his neck. "I just figured I'd offer you a ride after what I put you through."
"N-no," Walt managed to get out. "I can get myself down. Just… no more grabbing, okay?"
The human nodded sadly. "Okay."
Walt scaled down the table at the far edge from the human, worried about the man changing his mind. He kept a wary eye on those massive boots as well, remembering how close he'd come to getting stepped on. His back protested at the motion, but he refused to bend and ask for help from the human.
When he was on the ground and flicked his hook free, the human leaned over, peeking under the table. "I never found out your name…" he started haltingly. "Mine's Dean."
Walt stared back. The name Dean rung a bell… but for now he just wanted to get out of the room before worrying about this Deangrabbing him again. "I'm Walt," he said gruffly as he walked to the back of the dresser. Just as he was about to slip back behind there and into the darkness he preferred, he glanced up at Dean, one last time. "Thanks for not being like those other hunters," Walt said begrudgingly. "Not many would let someone like me go."
Dean simply watched as he vanished behind the dresser, never to be seen again.