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For all fans of The Road Not Taken, fear not. This will only be the first story in the Brothers Lost series. More to come in the future.
The afternoon proved that the hangover wouldn't hold Dean back any longer. With the new sense of motivation driving them, Jacob and Dean attacked what was left of the modifications on the Impala, actually finishing them up to Dean's standards.
Jacob went back into the house that evening grinning over it. After days of griping and careful measuring and tedious work, Dean's panic room and entrance to the car was done. And Jacob had been the one to build it.
The following day was much more straightforward. With the detailing and polishing materials for the car in their possession, the time was devoted to scrubbing at the Impala's faded, oxidized paint. Too many years weathering the elements, even under that cover, had left her dull. Not a shine was left on the black paint, but Dean and Jacob were going to fix that.
The process took a long time, and Dean spared no expense. He didn't let Jacob miss a single spot, and his sharper eyes guaranteed it. The oxidized paint was scrubbed away, and then new sealant and glaze and wax were applied, leaving the forty year old car looking like she'd just been made new. She seemed as proud as Dean was of the work they'd done. Suddenly the glare off her surface was almost blinding.
Jacob couldn't feel his arms that night after the constant work of scrubbing that impressive shine into the Impala. He fell asleep wondering how Dean had managed to walk around on the scorching black metal all day without burning himself.
The second day after Dean's first hangover, they worked on the engine again. Jacob watched, still fascinated, as Dean crawled right into the tiny nooks and crannies to check everything, often griping for the flashlight angle to be adjusted. The very tiny mechanic and his would-be apprentice were so close. They ended up missing lunchtime in favor of racing to the finish line.
In the early afternoon, Jacob borrowed Dean's key. In sharp contrast to the wheezing, pitiful attempts to turn the ignition over the first time, the Impala roared to life with a proud rumble. Jacob was positive even Sam heard it, tucked away in some book in the house with Rumsfeld as his guard.
Jacob brought Dean into the house after that so he could go and brag to Sam about the good news. He got himself a quick shower, early in the afternoon, but, he thought, well-earned. It wasn't every day he finished restoring a classic car, after all.
It started to sink in when he pulled a clean shirt over his head and glimpsed his reflection in the bathroom mirror. The spring days were still nowhere near as hot as the South Dakota summers promised they could be, but the sun had left Jacob tanner than before. He couldn't believe he'd spent weeks helping a man the size of his finger fix up a car.
And now I've got a story ... that I can never tell anyone, he mused ruefully.
He'd done his job. It was time to think about moving on, like he did at the end of all his jobs.
"Hey, Bobby," he said, greeting the man with a faint smile, glad he caught him in between a rush of phone calls from hunters all over the country. "Thanks again for letting me stay here, man. I really appreciate it. But, uh, like we said before, the Impala's all fixed up, so... I'll probably think about heading out pretty soon."
Bobby straightened, brushing off his hands. "That so?" He gave the teen a discerning stare, sizing him up. After all the time spent repairing the Impala with Dean, Bobby had to admit that Jacob had impressed him. He'd weathered Dean's moods as well as anyone else he'd ever met, with the only exception being Sam himself. That would be an unfair comparison, of course, since Sam had idolized Dean from childhood, always trailing after his older brother. If anyone knew Dean better than he knew himself, it was Sam.
Not much had changed since those boys were kids. After a day out working on the Impala, Dean would come back in and the two could always be found together. In fact, they weren't far from the kitchen right then, checking out some of the passageways that threaded through the walls. It gave them a great hiding place to hear what was going on above them with Bobby and Jacob none the wiser.
Which was good, because this conversation was definitely one that interested them.
After sizing Jacob up, Bobby gave himself a nod. "You'll want to say goodbye to the boys, then. They won't forgive you if you just head off without giving them a chance to thank you. And they won't forgive me if I letcha."
Jacob grinned and nodded, thinking nothing of Bobby's thoughtful pause. "Yeah, of course," he agreed. "I'm not dashing out right away or anything." He still had to gather up his few possessions and pack them up.
"I'll just be upstairs," he added before giving Bobby a brief wave and heading for the stairs. He paused to give Rumsfeld a pat when the dog tilted his head at him. Rumsfeld had seemed to get used to Jacob, particularly around Sam and Dean. Their guard dog was convinced that Jacob wouldn't do them any harm, something Jacob was both proud and grateful for.
Jacob moved at a leisurely pace, unconcerned with rushing out but tossing his clothes back into his duffel bag and backpack all the same, noting that he was running low on clean laundry. He figured Sam and Dean might wander into the room soon, since their little hideaway remained on the shelf even after his 'discovery.'
In the meantime, he laid down on the bed, his hands behind his head and his eyes facing the ceiling. He could afford a few minutes' rest while he considered where he'd travel next to look for work.
As Jacob stared up at the ceiling, the sheet that was draped to the side of where he was stretched out shook a little. A small hand reached up, grabbing up the sheet in a bunch as the man that hand was attached to hauled himself over the edge.
Sam bounced to his feet, peering off the edge of the bed and making a face at Dean. "Slowpoke!" he mouthed, keeping quiet to give Dean time to get up before Jacob discovered them there. It was instinctive for them to keep quiet up until the very end, regardless of their comfort level with the human in the room.
Sam still felt more nervous around Jacob than Dean. He couldn't help it, really. He just hadn't spent as much time around the gigantic teen.
Dean finally made it to the top. Sam grabbed him by the back of his leather jacket, hauling a griping, bitching Dean off of the side of the bed and dropping him down on the plushy surface.
"What the hell?" Dean complained, pushing himself free of Sam. "I wasn't even far behind this time!"
Jacob's gaze flickered to the two brothers in time to see Dean's indignant kicking before Sam let him go. A grin slowly overtook his face; he made a valiant effort to hold it back, but it was no use. Dean was like a kitten for a second or two, dangling by his jacket like that. And, from the look on his face, completely ready to throw a punch. Jacob suspected that this wasn't the first time Sam had pulled a stunt like that.
"Hey, guys," he greeted them. He very nearly pushed himself up to a sitting position, but with them so close to the edge of the bed, he chose to remain still. With the way the bed could dip down beneath his weight, it would only take one mistake to knock them off.
"Has Dean been bragging about the car to ya, Sam? I'll have you know I helped a little with that," he quipped with a chuckle.
Sam grinned back. "He hasn't stopped talking about it yet. I'm surprised he hasn't tried to drag me outside to see what you two made of his 'panic room' idea."
Dean rolled his eyes and wandered closer to Jacob, leaving Sam behind. "Actually, the car's just what we wanted to talk to you about. Since you did all that work for us." He grabbed onto the edge of Jacob's shirt and pulled himself up. His leather duffel swung against his back as he scaled, leaving Sam in the dust for once with the easier climb. The key to the Impala could be seen sticking out of the bag, the tip of it extending out over an inch.
Reaching the top, Dean straightened. He stuck his hands in the pockets of his leather jacket and strolled casually forward. "Heard you'll be heading out on us soon," he said gruffly, tilting his head to meet Jacob's eyes.
Jacob remembered to breathe after a few seconds of the sensation of tiny boots walking on his chest. Sam wasn't far behind Dean, and, being the swifter climber, joined his brother soon enough.
Jacob had two entire people standing on his chest.
Rather than make a quip about how eating his wheaties paid off, Jacob concentrated on not toppling them with the steady rise and fall caused by his breathing. He was amazed that they had come so far in trusting him. Enough to walk on him so casually, even though it put them in easy reach of hands that could close around their entire bodies.
"Well, I guess, yeah," he admitted, almost shrugging but stopping the motion just in time. "I mean, the car's all fixed. That's why you let me stick around, right?" He smiled sheepishly, thinking this had to be one of the strangest conversations he had ever held simply because he was talking to someone standing on his chest like it was completely normal.
Something in Dean's demeanor held Jacob's attention, and he fell silent, waiting for his response. It was definitely different from the usual attitude he saw when Dean was explaining something or other about the car.
"Heh," Dean laughed. "Maybe the first day. Look…" He rubbed the back of his neck, wondering how he should approach the idea he'd gotten while repairing the Impala. Sam was better at talking to people, when he wasn't flustered by them.
All at once then. Otherwise he might not get it out.
Dean took a deep breath. "Y'know, you don't… have to leave. Me an' Sam… we can do a lot, but the Impala… she's gonna need a driver now that she's fixed up. I can't really reach the pedals like I used to when I was a kid." He started to pace. "Hunting ain't for everyone, but we're supposed to be out there," Dean waved a hand at the window. "We were never supposed to be the victims. We were supposed to be the ones saving people. Keeping other kids from being cursed the way we were."
Small green eyes stared right up at Jacob and Dean paused in his pacing. "You might not think it, but you've got it in you to be a hunter just like Bobby. Just like our dad. We can make a difference, the three of us."
Dean pursed his lips in a smile. "And… you're not half bad, tiny."
The serious speech kept Jacob quiet, but the nickname did him in. "Ha," slipped from him before he could stop himself, and it briefly shook the ground under Dean and Sam's boots. "Sorry," he amended, sheepish again when their hands shot out to catch their balance. To his credit, he'd never had tiny people standing right over his lungs when he laughed before.
Something about being called tiny by one of said miniature people was too funny.
Jacob let a pause draw out for a second as he thought over the memories of the last couple of weeks. He'd gotten along with the brothers a little better each day; it was hard for him to let even their wary attitudes keep him down for too long; they still deserved friendliness. In the end, the wariness wasn't their fault. It was simply the way they had to be to survive in the world.
He had no idea that it had meant enough to them that they were considering letting him drive their car around, carrying them along, to go and hunt monsters. They'd be dealing with an amateur in the life that they'd spent their childhoods steeped in. Agiant amateur. They would be trusting Jacob with their well being every time they got into the car astride his shoulders, or stepped willingly into his grasp.
"You'd ... you really wouldn't mind hanging around Godzilla all the time?" Jacob asked, an incredulous but delighted smile slowly creeping onto his face.
Dean gave him a stern stare, doing his best to keep his serious demeanor before he ruined it with a smile. He pointed at Jacob. "Well, you'll have to remember not to grab, and if we go back to the Trails West you'll need to keep from going on a rampage near our family…"
That was when he gave in, and smirked back at Jacob. "But yeah. We want ya with us. It can't hurt to have Godzilla on our side, can it?"
"Just remember, you'll have to put up with Dean all day!" Sam chimed in helpfully from behind.
He got a scowl out of Dean in the middle of trying to fumble the key out of his bag. "Hey," Dean griped, pointing the Impala's key at Sam like a sword. "Quit your bitchin.' No one asked you to play nursemaid the other morning. I was fine on my own, thank you very much."
He turned back to Jacob, and after a moment's hesitation, held the key out to him. "So, whaddya say, Godzilla? Ready to protect the city from the other monsters?"
Jacob's smile remained and he stared at the key that Dean held out. That jagged piece of metal hadn't left Dean's side since Bobby entrusted it to him. It was easy to see that the car was Dean's pride and joy and the key was the symbol of that. While he worked his way through explaining all the repairs, he'd never given Jacob an inch of leeway. No mistakes, nothing less than perfection.
And here he was, ready to hand off the key.
Jacob shifted to free one of his arms from beneath his head, trying and failing to avoid making them sway where they stood. All part of being Godzilla, I guess, he thought to himself with a smirk.
His freed hand approached slowly, pinching the cool metal carefully and taking the key into his hand like a piece of precious metal. He understood from Dean's expression just whose car the Impala still was. Jacob would drive, but the car was all Dean's, and he didn't mind all that much. He still got to drive a badass car.
"Since you guys asked so nicely," he quipped, glancing between the two of them with a widening smile.
"I'll do my best."
The next morning found Bobby on his own in the kitchen. He fielded yet another call on his phone, wondering how exactly Garth had managed to keep his ass in one piece as long as he had. Out of all the hunters he worked with, that kid was certainly the most…
Well, maybe not the most unique.
His eyes drifted to the scrapyard that stretched out behind his house. Jacob's Mercury had replaced the Impala beneath the cover, waiting loyally for when its owner returned for it. This time, the car wouldn't be forgotten, Bobby knew. And if it needed to be fixed up, there was a certain small mechanic just raring to go.
The distant sound of an engine roared to life and he let himself smile. He'd had his suspicions about what Sam and Dean were up to with Jacob, and he hadn't been disappointed. They'd given the kid a second chance.
Second chances were something that both brothers would always hold dear to their hearts after being given a second chance of their own. They'd escaped that motel, size be dammed, and now they had a mission.
Saving people. Hunting things.
If there ever was a mission that ran in the family, that was it. They were off to find their dad, and would find every case they could, save every person they could find along the way.
And Jacob would be there to help them.
The Impala screeched out of the driveway of the house.
On the road again.
I can't believe we're here already. The conclusion of the first story to Brothers Lost.
Well, most of us could have told Jacob exactly what was coming. Bobby figured out what Sam and Dean were up to long before even they knew. The bros are back on the road with Godzilla as backup, and they're not about to let a little thing like size hold them back! They'll track their father down and in the meantime, any monster or spirit that gets in their way better watch out!
Saving people. Hunting things. The family business.
THIS IS NOT THE END OF THE JOURNEY FOR THESE THREE! BROTHERS LOST WILL CONTINUE IN THE FUTURE!
-New story starts July 17th, 2016 at 9pm est!
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