A/N: This is the third part of the Brothers Found series. If you want to read the rest of the stories, they are found on my page.
Part 1: Chasing Family
Part 2: After the Hunt
Part 3: Bothering Bowman
Part 4: Jacob in Wonderland
Part 5: Clash of the Hunters
Jacob lay on his bed dozing the night away, long legs stretched out leisurely on top of the covers. It was one of his rare weeks at home for the summer, since he needed to refresh his laundry and his spending cash. And prove to his mom he wasn't dead in a ditch somewhere. Moms tended to worry about things like that for some reason.
Then again, considering how his road trip had gone from simply tooling around to learning how to hunt ghosts and monsters, he couldn't exactly say her worry was unfounded.
Sam and Dean Winchester, brothers with a very interesting background, had opened Jacob's eyes to the fact that sometimes things actually go bump in the night for real.
Of course, it took finding and trapping Sam, who happened to be four inches tall, to get that ball rolling. Despite the rough start and against all odds, they'd become friends. The brothers were reunited thanks to Jacob. They wouldn't have been able to do that without his help. That felt pretty good.
A text buzzed on his phone and lit up the little LED screen through the pocket of his hoodie. Jacob eagerly drew it out to see the answer to an earlier text he'd sent his friend Bobby Loran, asking if he wanted to make a little camping trip, a last hurrah for the summer. They had talked about it in passing the last time they saw each other, an easy plan since his friend's family owned a campground.
Instead of an enthusiastic affirmative like he hoped for, the text was so alarming that he didn't even consider the late hour as he sought out the business card and dialed the number Dean had given him. Thoughts of a relaxing vacation went out the window as the dial tone beeped out of his phone's speaker.
This sounded like a case.
To say Sam was caught off guard by the loud ringing would have been putting it mildly.
He was curled up on one of Dean's t-shirts atop the nightstand. They'd discussed finding him a small bed like the one he had at his home in Trails West, but so far Dean had only been able to track down cheap, plastic versions that promised more back pain than a good night's sleep.
Sam didn't mind the arrangement. After so many years of separation behind them, sleeping somewhere that he could smell the faint scent of his brother helped relax his mind and put him at ease in the enormous rooms he'd been staying in for the last month. He'd given Dean his trust, staying out in the open like this, and he knew he was safe so long as the hunter was close by.
They'd stopped at his home in the motel a few times, making sure Walt and Mallory knew he was alive and kicking, but neither of them wanted anything to do with Dean.
Sam was stubbornly holding out hope for the the day he could introduce both sides of his family. His adopted family with his family from birth. For now, he would settle for bringing them better food to eat, thanks to Dean.
A loud guitar riff cut through the darkness, jarring the silence and seeming far louder than it reasonably should in the late hour. Sam groaned, rolling over. He tried ignoring it at first, hoping Dean would wake up and answer, but there was no movement from the bed.
With a sigh, Sam hauled himself up. It might be important, after all. The calls that came in on that phone were never just for fun.
Sam pried open the flip phone with a minor grunt of effort, pushing down hard on the answer button. "H-hello?" he answered groggily, trying to wake up. He sleepily brushed the hair out of his eyes.
Jacob heard the sluggish weight in the small voice and glanced at his clock. Oh, whoops. Shit. He'd picked a pretty late hour to call. He felt bad for waking Sam, knowing the little guy and his brother worked hard and needed their rest. Jacob didn't even go along for every hunt they went on, and he was exhausted every time. It was a lifestyle that took getting used to.
Still, a case was a case. He'd learned from Dean to try to trust his instincts, and this was weird with a capital W. "Uh. Hey there, this Sam?" he greeted tentatively. "It's Jacob. Sorry about the time, I wasn't even thinking..."
"No, it's fine," Sam said, stifling a yawn in his shoulder. "Dean's sleeping. What's going on?" He had a smile by the end, glad to hear from Jacob even in the middle of the night. After Jacob helping him and Dean find each other, the gruff older hunter had taken the kid under his wing, teaching him a bit about the world he'd never even known existed. He was learning to be a hunter alongside Sam.
Jacob sat up on his bed, shifting the phone a bit so he might hear Sam more clearly. The smaller hunter's voice was soft over the line, and speakerphone would be out of the question, since his parents would definitely gripe about it this late. "I think I found you a case, if you're not busy." He almost paused, but decided he might as well explain what his friend had told him. If he was mistaken, they'd know and life would go on undisturbed. "My buddy says there have been some really... brutal animal attacks on some land his family owns. Like part nature reserve, part campground. They've never seen anything so violent. Seems kinda weird to me so I figured I'd letcha know."
"Sounds like a case," Sam said. His eyebrows furrowed. "Lemme wake Dean up. He should hear this."
He left the phone where it lay, leaping across the small divide between the bed and the nightstand. He underestimated the distance and ended up clinging to the edge. After a moment of scrambling, he climbed to the top.
Dean's head was rolled in his direction, making his job easier. Though a small bit of nerves reared up inside at the sight of the giant, sleeping hunter, he pushed it aside. "Dean," he called, roughly shoving against a cheek. "Wake up, jerk. We got a case."
Dean mumbled slightly at first, but after a rougher shove from Sam, his eyes snapped open. A hand came at Sam out of nowhere, scooping him helplessly up into a ball. Sitting up, the now-confused Dean glanced around at the dark surroundings pierced only by his phone screen. "Huh?" he asked to the room at large. He heard an angry flow of words come from his hand. Unraveling the fingers, his eyes widened in shock at the sight. "Sammy? Crap, are you okay?"
Sam pushed away a helping hand. "I'm fine, jackass. You got a call." Sam nodded at the phone.
Dean grabbed the phone with his free hand, putting it on speaker and holding the hand with Sam close to his chest. "Who's this?"
Jacob couldn't hear everything perfectly but it was obvious enough that waking Dean hadn't gone as smoothly as Sam predicted. A smirk gained ground on his face until Dean's rough voice spoke up over the phone. "Hey there, sleeping beauty," he greeted, unable to resist turning the nicknames back on the hunter for once. "It's Jacob."
"Ha, you think you're a real comedian," Dean groused at his phone. "What in the world is so important that Sam decided to use my nose to practice his boxing on at 3 in the morning?"
"OK, Iam sorry about that one," Jacob conceded. He really hadn't realized how late he was calling; he'd have to blame Bobby for texting so late. "But I think I found a case." He proceeded to repeat the information for Dean, telling him about the weird animal attacks at the nature reserve/campground.
Dean let Sam onto the hand holding the phone while Jacob talked so he could work the sleep from his eyes. "Yeah, that's soundin' like our kinda thing alright." He focused his mind on the problem. "We're not that far out, we could be there by noon. You want to meet us somewhere, or you hanging back?"
Jacob chuckled. As if he'd send his friends to the wolves without offering any help. "Dude, I want to help out, if you'll have me. If nothing else I know a few things about surviving in the woods." It might be a pretty tough case, if Dean was going to rush out to get started, but Jacob wasn't about to back down now.
"Sounds like we might have a party, then," Dean grinned, remembering their first salt and burn together. Jacob still had a lot to learn, but his heart was in the right place for the task. He was getting better with every hunt he tagged along for. "Full moon's this week, maybe we'll find some werewolves shacking up in the woods. We'll find a motel and check out the local paper. I'll be on my way soon as I grab my stuff."
"Sounds pretty boss," Jacob answered wryly. From what Dean had told him, werewolves were tough customers. "I'll seeya there. You'll, uh, probably get there a bit before me though, so I'll just call again when I'm close." He, unlike Dean, could not simply pack up and leave at 3 am without arousing all suspicion. His mom would kick his ass.
"Sounds like a plan." Dean hung up his phone, not one to waste time. "Up for a road trip?" he asked Sam with a grin.
Sam stretched his arms. "Always."
They rolled in at 11 the next day, checking in under the name 'Wedge Antilles,' one of the names Sam had picked out for Dean's new credit card. Sam had spent the night drive fast asleep against Dean's neck, nowhere near as used to the hunter life as Dean was.
Dean didn't mind. Even now he enjoyed the solid weight sitting there, the knowledge that his brother was safe and sound.
Once he had a room, and Sam was awake and perched on his shoulder, Dean gave Jacob a call.
Jacob fumbled the phone a little bit when it chimed obnoxiously from his pocket. For a second he thought maybe his mom or stepdad were calling him to remind him to be safe and eat healthy and other things parents liked to say, but the caller ID said otherwise. He punched the answer button with his thumb and put the phone to his ear. The other hand firmly grasped the steering wheel as his old reliable Mercury bolted down the interstate as fast as he could make it go without the car shaking itself to pieces.
"Lemme guess, you're already there," he greeted with a grin. He was making pretty good time himself, but sadly not enough to catch the brothers up despite having started out closer to the destination. "And here I am forty miles out, still."
"Guess me an' Sam can order a pizza. Watch a movie. Y'know, catch up on things." Dean grinned. "It's the Nightline Inn, right on Main Street. Room 114. See you soon." With that, he hung up, planning on reading over the local paper while Sam used the laptop.
Jacob may have been a bit gratuitous with the speed limit as he rushed the last leg of the trip, but he was eager to figure out what the hell was going on. He made it into town just under thirty minutes later. He pulled in at the motel, assured he was in the right place when he spotted that Impala. The impeccably shiny black paint, chrome, and standout classic look of the car were unmistakeable.
He checked his phone before getting out of the car, and frowned when he found a new text from Bobby. Apparently there had been another body found just that morning. Sam and Dean probably already knew.
Trying not to imagine the state of that body, Jacob walked up to 114 and knocked.
Sam was still working on the laptop when Dean went over to the door. Until he was sure it was only Jacob out there, he blocked sight of the room with his body, not willing to risk Sam being seen by anyone else. All three of them were very aware of how vulnerable the four inch hunter could be to other humans, and they spared no precaution for his safety.
"Hey," he greeted Jacob gamely when he saw who was there. He gestured the kid in. "Time to get this party rolling."
"The fun never ends," Jacob answered as he came into the room, knowing better than to linger in the doorway. "Hey, Sam," he greeted, with a nod and a grin at the little guy on the table.
"Hey Jacob!" Sam called in return, grinning brightly up at the second human. Even after everything he'd gone through with Jacob back when they'd first met, the younger human was always welcome in Sam's book. Jacob, after all, treated him like just another friend no matter his size. Just hearing him talk, you'd never guess he was speaking to someone that fit in his hand, except perhaps for the way he kept his volume lowered. It reminded Sam a lot of the way that Dean treated him.
Like he was normal. Like he could fit in.
Jacob held up his phone to put it on display and waved it about. "Got a text from my buddy just now. They found another victim just this morning. I guess whatever it is is not slowing down."
Sam stepped down off the keyboard, focusing on the new information as it was revealed. "Does it say where the body was found? That might be our best lead yet."
Jacob shook his head. "He didn't give me an exact location, but he did say it was a little ways past the designated campground." And Jacob was sure that was all even Bobby knew. No doubt his dad was keeping things close to the vest.
"Most of those woods are actually like a nature reserve, the campground is pretty much a fraction of it. Hikers going out of bounds are the only victims so far, according to him." If that was it, he'd just say the local wolves were upset by the intrusion, but these guys couldn't be the first humans to go past the boundaries, and wolves weren't usually this vicious. Something had to be in the woods.
Dean nodded as he listened. "You up for some hiking?" he asked Jacob, going over to his bag to inventory what he had. The last time he'd been out in the woods on his own hadn't gone so well. A Wendigo had nearly gotten the best of him and the campers he was protecting. He needed to be prepared, especially with Sam along for the trip.
"You kidding? Other than road trips, hiking and camping is like all Ido in the summer," Jacob replied with a grin. He enjoyed the outdoors quite a lot. Even the threat of animal attacks didn't dampen his enthusiasm for hitting the trails again. Jacob was ready for it.
Dean straightened with one of his other handguns held out. "You ever shot one of these?" he asked Jacob, eyebrows up. Jacob had proven himself capable enough on the last few hunts, learning the ropes quickly. On a violent case like this, Dean didn't want to chance him weaponless.
Jacob eyed the weapon, noting that it was well cared for. And probably not registered, the part of him that was a cop's stepson reminded him. He nodded. "It's been a while, though. I probably don't have your aim but hey, I'll just make sure there's only wolves in front of me if I have to fire it." He took the weapon and hefted it a little to get used to the weight.
"Only use it if you have to," Dean cautioned. "I love a good werewolf hunt as much as the next guy, but they really are oversized killing machines. Keep on your toes." He went back over to the laptop, putting a hand down near Sam. "I say we scope out the forest today, see what we can see and then regroup. This case is an odd one, that's for sure."
By the time he was done talking, Sam was safely nestled by his collar, checking to make sure he had his own supplies ready to go. Knife, canteen, journal... it could come in handy at anytime.
Plus, if any of it ever got heavy, he could drop it in Dean's pocket without the hunter even noticing the weight. The thought always amused Sam for some reason, putting a slight smile on his face as the others got ready.
Jacob took the advice seriously. After all, Dean was the undeniable expert in the room. He was pretty much the boss, having done all of this on his own for so long. Without Sam, Dean had spent over a decade with nothing but the hunt to take up his attention. Jacob tucked the gun away similarly to how Dean always did, making sure his hoodie concealed the weapon.
It wasn't much longer before they were off, loading into the car. "So, refresher course here," Jacob began as the Impala started with a familiar growl of the engine. "Werewolves, not fans of silver, they go for the heart? Great big blocks of 'holy shit, run'?" And obviously active at night, since the full moon was a number one requirement. "What's odd about this one?"
Since Dean was driving, Sam took over the explanation. He might have been new to hunting, but he'd heard many stories growing up, and he'd been studying their dad's journal constantly. "A werewolf will kill a human and eat the heart," he started, "which is why this is odd. The bodies I saw online have different organs missing... mostly hearts, yes, but also kidneys, one had the intestines removed, there was even a girl that had her heart intact but no lungs. And weirder was they found one heart nearby, but it was sucked dry. So this might be something completely new." Sam frowned as he finished, crossing his arms.
Jacob winced. That ... sounded really disgusting and sad. And, he couldn't help but notice, really inconsistent. Sounded like every victim they found was eviscerated a different way. Hardcore. "It might be. Hope we find it before it spreads out its hunting grounds." If whatever was doing that found the park area... there would be people out there who hardly knew how to rub sticks together, let alone how to deal with monsters.
"That's what we're here for," Dean said reassuringly. "Making sure to get this thing before it's body count gets too high." He scanned the side of the road, spotting a place to park.
Jacob couldn't agree more. He wanted to find this and put a stop to its violent ways. Maybe that drive was what Dean lived by. Always striving to keep people safe. Jacob understood it a little more with every hunt he went on.
"Alright, well, we've got some walking ahead of us," the teen pointed out as they exited the parked Impala. No one else was around this drop off; that was probably good. The local troopers were probably trying to keep people from visiting the woods while the animals were still a danger.
"Let's go see if we can't rustle something up."
Bowman had never flown so far from the village. As a patrolsprite (who didn't often mind the rules about how far to fly), he already went farther than most. But today, something just kept driving him forward. He couldn't tell it if was curiosity or intuition, but he didn't plan to ignore it either way.
Life was great in Wellwood lately. Bowman's cousin, Rischa, had realized her gift of the Voice of the Spirit. Things were still in a celebratory mood back home as she began learning how to use that gift to help the rest of the sprites.
The sun shone bright, giving Bowman more energy to fly. He was the best in the village, after all. Patrol work suited him perfectly, giving him ample time every day to fly and explore his forest, learning its pathways and branches.
He paused when he came to something foreign. A tall metal structure, like a grid patterned wall, stretched out on either side. Bowman found himself intrigued. What could the metal be guarding? And how many sprites did it take to find all this metal to build this?! He couldn't help but notice how uniform the squares of metal were. It didn't look like it belonged; no one ever built square things, and yet here was the biggest structure he'd ever seen, and it was made of squares.
He flew over it. Bowman had to find out more.
Dean let Jacob lead the way once they were out of the car. His own knowledge in the forest was much better when it came to tracking, so until then he'd hang back.
Sam was excited by the new surroundings. They'd only been together for a month now, so Dean hadn't been able to show him as much of the world as he wanted to. Even after he did, he knew Sam's curiosity would never end.
"So... Jacob," Sam called out. "What's it like, camping out here?" He would never be able to camp on his own, since it was far too dangerous. He would need the others with him to even make the attempt. On occasion he did allow himself to indulge in the thoughts of true independence.
Jacob glanced over his shoulder with a grin. "I love it. It's really relaxing to set yourself up away from everything for a while." Jacob liked civilization well enough, but there was something incredibly idyllic about staying in the woods for a few days. Assuming a werewolf didn't come along and rip someone to pieces.
"It's super chill if you're safe about everything. I usually come out here with some friends from school." Usually it ended up being Jacob and Bobby making sure their friend Chase didn't get himself too scuffed up, falling on everything. It was still very fun; hopefully this monster wouldn't ruin that for anyone else.
Eventually, something started to creep up Bowman's spine, a sense of foreboding that was nearly tangible. He was doing his best to keep track of the direction he came, but it was tough. He didn't know this part of the woods.
There was something in the air. A thick, rancid feeling more than a smell. Bowman followed it to a boulder, landing on the mossy stone nervously. There was blood on some nearby ferns, but nothing dead.
The feeling hung in the air. Something very wrong had happened, but he had no idea what. Bowman scanned the area with cautious green eyes, leafy wings twitching in agitation.
Time passed by fast enough. Jacob and Sam's innocent chatter filled the air, giving the hike an air of safety. Dean knew that feeling was false. He stayed on edge, letting the other two talk about things that used to be out of reach.
Spotting something ahead, Dean held up a hand, silencing the friendly chat between his companions.
Bowman had been examining the boulder when something interrupted. A voice, growing closer, along with lots of far off crashes. The noises seemed to grow a lot faster than he'd expect. That's when the source came into view, far off but still too close for comfort.
Giants. Two of them, crashing through the woods.
Six foot tall, wingless, and pale, they covered an alarming amount of ground in a single step. Bowman's heart pounded and his skin crawled. The impossibly humongous things were terrifying. One was talking, his deep powerful voice shaking the very air.
Until the other silenced it. Bowman gasped to see that they started walking towards the boulder. He was so scared he couldn't even get his wings to work properly as he stumbled backwards.
Bowman tumbled into the bloodied ferns, barely stifling a yelp of fear as he felt more than heard the approaching footsteps. He huddled in the greenery, glad for the camouflage provided by his wings.
He hoped fervently that they hadn't noticed him.
"Is that blood?" Sam's small voice came, hushed so quiet that not even Jacob would hear him. Dean didn't respond, intent on the bloodied ferns. He swept a hand over them, displaying the sight of more blood stains dripping down.
Kneeling down, he started to examine the ground around the boulder. Sam dropped down from his arm, wanting to help in his own way. He could see far more details than either human.
"Stick close, pint-size," Dean said quietly as he saw Sam climb down from the boulder to the soil below.
Jacob remained standing even as Dean knelt. His eyes swept over the area, trying to see if there was a corpse nearby to explain the blood on the plants. There was nothing. He didn't even see a trail. He shifted his feet a little, circling around the boulder opposite Dean to check a different angle.
Under the cover of the leaves, Bowman tried to get his heart in check. The giant sweeping a monstrous hand overhead was terrifying. His fingers alone were the size of sprites!
And then, into his midst dropped... something. Bowman balked at the sight of him: pale and wingless like the giants, but normal sized. What is going on?! The sprite backpedaled from the odd thing hastily, and noticed that the other giant had circled around and almost boxed him in.
Sam dropped to his knees to catch his balance. The leaves above formed a canopy over his head, sealing him from both Dean and Jacob's line of sight.
The tremors in the ground reminded him to stay vigilant. The two humans with him were his friends, but they could still be dangerous. He stood, staring around at the strange world around him, blinking in disbelief.
A movement from the corner of his eye caught his attention. "Hello?" he called out curiously, carefully pacing closer. His hand slipped into his jacket and closed around his knife, prepared to move if he had to.
The wingless sprite (for lack of a better word) was moving his way. Bowman stepped back again, matching the other's steps.
Until he noticed the web.
"H-hey, look out!" Bowman hissed, suddenly stepping forward. He came from behind a low leaf to shove the man back before he put his foot in the spider nest. A bite from that thing could leave him with a permanent limp if enough venom got into him.
"Whoa!" Sam cried out in alarm. It wasn't really strong enough to push him back on its own but the surprise certainly was. Sam recovered swiftly, latching a strong hand around the other guy's wrist before he could draw it back. "Who... who are you?" he asked, eyes wide.
Unfortunately, that was the moment Dean chose to push the foliage above their heads aside, staring down in surprise at the strange new creature they'd found.
Bowman's own eyes widened, and then he flinched and looked up at an absolutely enormous face. The other giant was trying to look over this one's shoulder, and their scrutiny sent Bowman careening towards panic. His heart didn't know what to do with the scenario, so it fluttered rapidly while his instincts went wild.
To a sprite, 'bigger' usually meant 'predator.' Bowman, as low as he was on the food chain, wanted to be anywhere but caught in the watchful gaze of two giants.
He frowned and tried to wrench his arm free, but wasn't nearly strong enough. He should have known better than to reveal himself. The stranger latched onto his arm may be sprite-sized, but he must be some kind of whatever the giants were.
Maybe he was just one of their young.
Bowman desperately spread his wings and fluttered them loudly, buffeting his current captor with the leafy appendages.
"Hey, wait!" Sam tried to yell as he almost got knocked down from the wind currents. "I just wanna know what you are!"
That was all either of them had time for. Dean's hand dropped from the sky, closing around them both in an attempt to save Sam from his attacker. Sam found himself in a fleshy enclosure, rising through the air next to the struggling winged man as Dean stood to look at what he'd caught. "This is all your fault," Sam griped at the winged man, trying to get himself unsquished. Dean's ring was digging into his side.
Bowman heard nothing through the white noise of his terror. He was caught by a giant of all things, his wings squashed awkwardly in the biggest fist he'd ever seen. It shouldn't be possible to be so large.
Jacob leaned in closer too, to get a better look at whatever Dean had in his hand with Sam. It was struggling as much as it could, those bright little eyes ablaze with panic. "Dude," he whispered, noticing the wings as they twitched desperately.
"Ah, look out!" Jacob warned, but he was too late. The new creature leaned forward and bit Dean's hand.
"Ow!" Dean said, cursing angrily. His fist sprang open reflexively from the bite, releasing the strange winged creature and Sam.
And we return to this trio of hunters!
For anyone confused, about a year had passed since the last story. Sam and Dean have mostly hunted on their own, must like in BA, so you'll see references to past hunts, like Home. When he can, Jacob joins them, and has become a protégé for Dean to teach the ways of hunting to, and Sam thinks of the kid like a little brother of his own.
And of course, Bowman's never seen any of them before in his life.
Fans of BA will recognize the story this is based on very quick.
Oh, yea. And we can consider this the prequel to the horror story.
A bit of backstory for Brothers Found: This is actually the first AU we ever worked on, after A Lich of Sense was completed! Initially, it was all done by skype RP. The first and second stories started out that way, then for the horror story we switched to a better RP system so we didn't lose any details.
The first story was then rewritten the same way, but the second– Bothering Bowman– remained in its skype RP form. Forgive any formatting errors that might have snuck past us, this is the one and only story we'll post that was done in skype. It was too much of a hassle in the end.
Next: May 24th, 2017 at 9pm est
Leave us a review to let us know what you think!
As always, Jacob and Bowman brilliantly written by my cowriter, neonthebright!