A/N: This is the second part of the Brothers Unexpected series.

Part 1: A World of Secrets
Part 2: An Unexpected Visitor

Related short stories: Pinky Promise (Posted to deviantart by PL1)

Ever since losing his younger brother, Dean Winchester has had a difficult time coping. Left at a motel while his father is off on a hunt, he doesn't even have Bobby Singer around to help him adjust to his new life without Sam.

However, there is one other person that slips into his room, and Dean's about to discover more than he ever expected.

"Class, say hello to Dean Winchester, our new student at school."

"Hello, Dean."

The mumbled response to the teacher's introduction left much to be desired, but it was more than Dean had received in other places. He stood at the front of the class, hands shoved in his pockets and shoulders slouched. As the last words of welcome tapered off, Dean gave a jerky half-wave, doing his best to avoid catching anyone's gaze.

"He's new in town, so let's give him a proper Breckenridge welcome. His dad says he doesn't talk, but be sure to be polite."

Dean's cheeks burned with shame. It figured his dad would find a way to ruin this school just like all the rest. Bad enough the entire time spent at Bobby's revolved around either learning his weapons when he was alone or being berated by John for slipping in his training. All he had to hold onto during that month-long stay was that one night Bobby had taken him inside to make him eat, and they'd sat around watching movies for the rest of the night.

It wasn't his fault. The words choked up inside his chest and refused to leave. Every time his dad yelled, something inside curled up a little tighter, balling into a cocoon for protection.

Keeping his head down, Dean made his way to the back of the class. Maybe he could escape his dark thoughts here. Just blend into the anonymous mass of the student body and ignore the snickers that followed him.

Laughs and jeers were nothing compared to the gaping hole in his chest that threatened to devour him from the inside out.

Sam was gone. Dean had failed his little brother, and all he had left was the memories of their time together and the amulet that hung heavy against his chest. Compared to that loss, nothing else mattered.

Dean was glad to put the long school day behind him at last. It was full of awkward half-conversations and condescending looks from people who acted like they gave a rat's ass about Dean Winchester, the new kid. One teacher even went so far as to insist Dean go to counseling once a week. He had no intention of showing up, and skipped out before the final bell rang to avoid it.

What did any of this matter, anyway? He was only in town until his dad finished the case. One month, max. After that, it was on to the next town and the next school. A pattern that had repeated itself Dean's entire life, over and over again. Sam was the one that wanted to stay in one place for school. Dean never cared, so long as his family was close by.

Now, that family was gone and Dean was left to carry on.

One month. He could do that. Then he'd be back on the road where he belonged. He might even be able to convince his dad to bring him on the next hunt. Dean had a duty to Sam's memory. He would do his best to keep other kids from getting hurt like Sam.

Sam would like that.

These thoughts carried Dean all the way through his walk back to the motel. He paused briefly at the door to fish his key out.

The door swung open with a creak. After a quick check to make sure the salt lines around the doors and windows were unbroken, Dean tossed his backpack on the second bed and let himself collapse on the first. His eyes drifted shut, glad to be behind closed doors and away from the judgmental looks.

Oscar greeted his waking with sluggish eyes and a wide yawn. His bed, an uneven pile of blankets and rags bunched into a nest, cradled his body in a soft embrace. It was never as soothing as hugs from his mom used to be. The memory of her arms curled around him to keep him safe and warm when he got cold at night was blurring at the edges. Oscar sighed quietly, lingering under the blankets for a second longer.

"G'd'mornin'," he mumbled to himself. The tiny, piping sound of his sleepy voice didn't carry any further than the first few layers of blankets piled on top of him. His house didn't say anything in return to his greeting, but sometimes he spoke aloud to himself. Breaking up the silence there was one way to make it his.

Standing less than two and a quarter inches tall, Oscar needed to maintain quiet in everything he did. He was too small to risk drawing danger to himself. Outside his home, danger abounded.

A rat or a spider could accost him in the dark passageways within the hollow walls of the Knight's Inn motel. Dust coated the ground out there, creating a texture that he grew up knowing. Near total darkness filled the space like another one of his blankets.

Oscar wasn't the only one hiding in the comforting blackness of the walls. Mice and some small bugs were okay neighbors. If spiders tried to move in, he had to shoo them away with a long splinter of wood. He had no idea what he was supposed to do if a rat moved in, but so far the question never came up for real.

Even a rat couldn't be as frightening as a human.

The giants who ran the world and stayed in the motel could make dust rain down in the walls just by walking around. They had loud voices and heavy steps, and big, strong hands. Oscar had never met one. He didn't want to. His mom always warned him to stay out of sight.

With a huff, he pushed the blankets off of himself, setting aside his thoughts. It was a new day, and that meant another day of chores and seeking supplies. His pantry was woefully sparse, as it was all the time. Oscar would need to go out into the rooms.

He closed his eyes and shuddered. The human rooms were scary, but he didn't have a choice.

He clambered out of bed and passed into the small main room of his house. His bag waited next to the ring box he used as a comfortable chair, and Oscar scooped it up. Weak light leaked into the small home, pointing like a beacon to the block of wood he used for a door.

Just another day. More crumbs to eat. Then I'll come back and do chores. He took a slow breath and crossed the small room, pushing the door open with his skinny arms, emitting a quiet grunt of effort.

The easiest room to access from his home still required him to find a way into the motel's ventilation system. A short walk from his home and a turn to follow the duct led Oscar to a loose piece of metal in the side. It was a good door for him, one the humans would never find to repair. Perfect for someone so little.

After wriggling through the opening and pushing the cold metal back into place, Oscar began his slow trek towards the room. His feet fell softly and silently in the vents, helped by the cloth wraps he used for shoes. One hand was tucked into his worn cloth bag, clutching the metal of a safety pin so hard that it grew warm under his touch.

He reached the opening of the vent in due time and peeked out. This was the scariest part. Oscar watched as much of the room as he could see and listened intently. There were signs in the rumpled bed covers that a guest was staying there.

Oscar couldn't make out any signs of a human in the room. No water running in the bathroom, no slow breathing of a slumbering giant. No creak of the chair at the table, and no electronic hum from a muted TV.

That was his cue.

The vents were more than wide enough for Oscar to step up onto the base and walk right through. He hopped down to the carpet, eyes wide and scanning the room like he always did. The ceiling stretched incredibly far overhead and the floor was a broad expanse of thick carpet fibers. Humans were so big that they'd worn a path into it.

The fear that always accompanied remained hand in hand with Oscar as he skirted along the wall of the room. The huge open space put more pressure on him than the dark in the walls ever could, and his little heart pattered. The sooner he could find some food, the sooner he could duck back into safety before considering another room.

He was under the bed when he heard it.

A key, probably more than half Oscar's height, sliding into the lock on the door. Ice surged through his veins and he froze. There was nothing else he could do.

Oscar had a view of the nightstand between the two beds, beyond a forest of dustbunnies, as the door creaked open. With agonizing slowness, a piece of wood impossibly tall and heavy for someone his size swung open to admit the human stepped into the room. Oscar's legs tensed. He'd gotten himself stuck in rooms with humans in them before, but it never got easier. He was too small.

Heavy footfalls that Oscar could never miss vibrated through the floor. Same usual routine; a few steps, then the percussive click of the door shutting. Oscar held his breath and stared straight ahead.

Something crashed onto the other bed, and before Oscar could glance in that direction, the entire world around him quaked. The bed frame and the mattress it supported both released noises of protest as the human crashed onto them. Thinking quickly before he could yelp in terror, the room's hidden occupant lifted his hands and clamped them over his mouth. Oscar stared upwards at the underside of the mattress with wide brown eyes.

For a kid barely more than two inches tall, just a step could cause a small earthquake.

Oscar was used to the feeling of humans walking around. They were always stomping about as they got ready for something or other, and Oscar tried his best to keep himself well out of their way. He was still learning the routines, though, and hadn't expected anyone in this room for some time.

It was hard to learn these things by himself, but he didn't have any other options. His mom was gone and she had been for a while. He had been seven when he last saw her, and he was eight now, he was sure. It was hard to navigate a world so big by himself.

She would have known what to do in this situation. He was under the bed with a human in the room, and he didn't have any exits into the walls. It was safer in there by far, where he could take quiet steps and keep to himself and the humans never bothered with his surroundings. They were giant, unpredictable people in most things, but at least they could be counted on to ignore the space that Oscar called home.

He glanced across the floor, past piles of dustbunnies and the wide expanse of worn out carpet. Past the second bed and the dresser was his vent, low in the wall.

It felt so far away. Oscar lowered his trembling hands from his face and took a slow, quiet breath. At least he knew how to be quiet.

He was frightened of the human above. Oscar had found a small, stale piece of bread. It could have been from the previous motel guest, but if this one found out he took it, he could be mad. Then he might want to hurt Oscar, and the tiny child would be helpless.

He crept towards the edge of the bed. His wrapped feet pushed softly through the dust piles until he was just at the edge of the bed. He stared straight up.

He almost ducked back immediately at the sight of a hand draped over the side. It wasn't moving, so he took a slow breath instead. He could do this. All he had to do was move quickly and stay out of sight. So long as the human stayed up on that bed and slept, he'd be fine.

Biting his lip to steel himself, he clutched his bag closer. Then, he bolted across the space between the beds. All he had to do was dive under the other one, and he'd have a safe place to get closer to his vent.

Halfway out, he tripped on the thick carpet fibers. Stumbling, he toppled forward and landed on his front with a quiet Oof! that sent ice up his spine. A sound had escaped him. One of the biggest rules about going to the rooms, and he'd broken it without meaning to.

The tiny sound was just barely audible over Dean's breathing. His eyes blinked open, staring blankly up at the ceiling while what he'd heard sunk into his head.

Dean sat bolt upright as he realized that it meant he wasn't alone in the room, one hand brushing away the tears that had crept up on him while he let his guard down in privacy. So much for that…

The room was still and silent, and as Dean scanned his surroundings with a hunter-practiced eye, he wondered what he could have heard. It was so soft, maybe it was from one of the adjoining rooms. They didn't have very good walls here, and sound came right through them.

Then his eyes fell on the ground, and he sucked in a breath of shock.

A tiny child was down there, staring over his shoulder at Dean. Green eyes met much smaller browns, both kids holding their breaths.

Instinct and intense curiosity compelled him out of the bed, and Dean found himself lurching towards the little kid with a hand, a voice in his head telling him that it wasn't safe for a tiny child to be down there all alone. If Dean hadn't seen him, it would be all too easy to miss him down there. His heart clenched at the thought of being the cause of another kid's pain, maybe even killing them by accident, just like Sam was killed.

Everything around Oscar slowed down or dropped out of awareness to draw his focus to that hand rushing at him. From the moment that human had laid eyes on him, he'd known this would follow. The ground quaked from the giant feet hitting the floor, but Oscar's pounding heart drowned out the sound.

His mouth opened in a soundless yelp of fear and he tried to lurch backwards, scooting with his hands. The hand came closer and closer and beyond it he could see the human's focused, intense gaze. Caught. He was spotted and now the human was after him. Huge fingers bigger than his body stretched closer and closer and pressed Oscar's aura of terror around him.

He couldn't stop this from happening. It was going to go exactly as his mom always warned him it would if a human spotted him.

He'd be captured and claimed, like a pet or a toy. They might keep him in a cage so he couldn't get away, couldn't go free ever again. He might get hurt when the human realized why he was in the room, and he wouldn't have any excuse other than he was hungry. Who knew if that would work?

The terror overwhelmed him and he couldn't even prop himself up on his hands. With a cry, Oscar fell backwards, only to roll onto his side and curl up into as small a ball as he could. He was desperate to avoid getting hurt.

Those fingers reached him, settling around Oscar's terrified huddle like a living cage. Oscar couldn't see them with his head covered, but he could feel the presence around him. His breathing and heart both paused when they closed in, shoving under his tiny form to gather him up. For a moment, Oscar was knocked out of his protective ball as the other hand joined the first and they both cupped around him, sealing him in completely.

Then, his stomach lurched as the hands lifted and took him with them. He could see the silhouettes of fingers bigger than his tiny body, from light just barely slipping between them. He was trapped.

Please don't hurt me!

Dean felt some of the worry and tension leave him as his hand closed around the tiny figure, scooping him easily off the ground. Now, at least, he didn't have to fret about a tiny kid on the floor that he could accidentally step on.

Lifting his hands, still closed around the tiny boy he'd seen on the floor, staring up at him with equally wide-eyed shock to what Dean felt, he wondered if he'd really seen what he thought he saw. A tiny kid? In his room. Dean knew a lot of stuff out there that people thought were myths or fairy tales were real, but… tiny kids?

Was he living The Borrowers?

He hesitated with his hands cupped close to his face. He had to be imagining things. He was going to open up his hands, and there would be nothing in there.Or, he amended, feeling a tiny weight in there and ticklish flutters against his palm, there'll just be some mouse or moth. Can't be a kid.

If John could see him now, sitting on the floor with his hands cupped around an imaginary kid, he'd never hear the end of it. But… if he wasn't imagining things... Dean took a deep breath to steel himself. He knew if Sam was around, he'd want to help such a tiny kid out. The little guy could be hurt, lost, looking for his family…

Dean carefully opened a crack in his hands to peer in, still in disbelief of what he'd seen only moments ago. When he spotted a fearful face covered in tears, he let out a gasp, the closest he'd come in over a month to actually talking, and closed his hands up again.

He definitely wasn't holding a mouse.


Brothers Unexpected continues with the second part of our series; this one focusing on Dean and Oscar!

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Next: January 31st, 2021