Title: Goodnight, Moon
Summary: Sam was also sounding a little congested--a squeaky sound coming from his little nostrils every time he breathed out. God, it was adorable. They were so screwed.
AN: This is really just a tester chapter to see how well it goes over. I am about halfway finished with it, but it is a WIP--and I work many hours. lol Thank you to my BFF Rae for the beta! All mistakes left are mine. Takes place after 'Jus in Bello' (spoilers up through there).
He wasn't going to say goodbye. He didn't that night at Cold Oak and he wasn't going to now. "Jus…just hang on, Sammy," Dean begged, not caring the way his voice cracked, not paying heed to the tears seconds from falling, only noticing the breath in his little brother's chest—every single labored one. "We're almost there."
Sam did hang on—for what it was worth. Lying in his brothers arms in the back seat of the Impala, Sam weakly fisted the leather jacket in his hands, tears lazily streaming from his tired, pain-filled eyes as they reflected the moonlight they chased.
"Sammy, just hang on..."
ONE WEEK EARLIER
Outside—dozens of wings beat upwards towards the pale pink sky away from the thunder pulsing through the earth.
Beneath the surface, flashlight held face forward and barely secure under his right armpit, running as fast as his will and burden would allow, Dean shot his way through pissed spirits, the dark and a confusing network of tunnels.
This is so not happening, echoed through his mind like the shots from his gun echoed against the cave's walls. Even with the deafening cacophony everything sounded muted and distant to Dean, though—adrenaline narrowing his world down to one thing. One purpose. Take your brother outside as fast as you can and don't look back! Now, Dean, go!
And he did. His legs burned. His arm ached. But he ran. And adjusting the bundle against his side, let out a stream of cuss words that would have made their father blush…if he were still alive.
As daylight neared and the tunnel and attacks seemed to finally come to an end, adrenaline started to lift and with it…
"PUT. ME. DOWN! I can walk!" Sam struggled against the fierce hold, but Dean just held him tighter, leaning his ear away so not to be deafened.
"Dean! I can walk, damnit!"
Ignoring him, the older brother didn't stop until they reached the Impala. Sitting Sam on the hood he dropped the flashlight, and stepping back barely hung onto the shotgun with numb fingers. In the light…it just made it more real.
It was an unseasonably warm spring morning and the sun rising over the plains cast the boys in vibrant colors that betrayed the fear darkening their eyes. Holy shit. Holy shit. Minds and hearts racing, they stared at each other, both panting. One from running. One from…well…
Washing a hand down his face trying to catch his breath—and apparently the last of his sanity, Dean stared, really stared at his brother. He stared for so long, Sam started to squirm, "Stop it, you're making me uncomfortable."
Dean's eyebrows rose, "I'm making you uncomfortable?!" he gaped incredulously. "Sam, you can't be more than four-years-old! What the hell did you do?!"
Sam looked as indignant as he possibly could for his current… age, "Me?! I didn't do anything! One minute I'm killing the leshii and the next you're staring at me like I have ten heads!" he yelled back from his precarious spot on the hood.
"Which would have at least been cool!"
"Alrightalrightalright." The eldest, and now tallest Winchester started pacing back and forth. "What could have done this? And, more importantly right now," he stopped to study the boy again. "How do you feel?" The tremors racing through the tiny body hadn't gone unnoticed to him.
"Small, Dean," Sam replied steadily, eyes and voice cold. "I feel very, very small."
"You could have at least grabbed my shoes and pants," Sam said, bringing his bare knees up to his chest and tucking them under his shirt and hoodie—for self-conscious reasons as much as to keep the chill off them. He had slipped right out of his clothes when Dean picked him up and though it was warm for South Dakota this time of year…that really wasn't saying much.
"Yes, well, excuse me for wanting to get you out of there alive. You were vulnerable and the spirits knew it. Besides, it's not like they're going to do you much good right now."
Groaning, Sam buried his head in his knobby knees, and turning towards the cave entrance they had just come from Dean nervously rubbed a hand down his face. "Maybe we slipped through to an alternate universe, or something," he offered weakly.
"Right, Dean, where I just happened to not grow."
Dean shrugged. "Maybe Sammy's grow at a slower rate here." He jerked and looked down at his brother's wadded up sock after being hit square in the head with it. "Dude, that's just gross."
"Well, would you be serious, Dean!"
Dean threw his arms up, shotgun still in one hand. "What the hell do you want me to do, Sam? This is a first for me too, ya know."
Huffing, Sam dropped his head in his knees again, and helpless Dean turned back towards the cave entrance, hoping it would offer up the answers they sought. Not surprised when flashing neon lights didn't point out a single fudgin' clue.
A loud squeak followed by a grunt had him turning around to find his recently downsized little brother in a heap on the ground, struggling and failing to get up in his bulky clothes.
"What happened?" Dean rushed over to help him, laying the shotgun on the ground.
"You need," Sam grunted and fell one last time before Dean finally wrapped his hands around the tiny shoulders and bodily picked him up and set him back on his feet, "to stop waxing your car," he breathed, slightly disoriented from the fall. He had slid right off.
Dean rolled his eyes. Like that was gonna happen. "You okay?" he started brushing off his little brother's clothes, but Sam smacked his hand away and gaped at him in disbelief. "No, Dean, I'm not okay. I'm four feet tall!"
"Dude, I don't think you're even four."
Jaw flapping, taking a deep breath, Sam squared his little shoulders and stepped around him. He felt insanely weighed down by his hoodie and shirt, which were dragging across the ground, but that wasn't going to stop him, nor was the disconcerting feeling of being so close to the ground now.
Dean grabbed his sleeve though, "Where do you think you're going?"
"The answer to whatever did this is in there, Dean. That means the answer to turning me back is too."
"Sam, there is no way you're going back in there."
"Why not?" He tugged on his arm, trying to get free from the giant grip. Geez, who was the Sasquatch now? He just had to get some weapons and…
Dean just blinked at him. Then, alarmingly easy, in one swift move, shoved back his sleeve, grabbed his small hand and lifted him up until they were eye to eye. A resigned Sam, once six-foot-four inches, dangled in front of his brother, eyes lowered, "I see your point."
"Good," Dean lowered him back down. "now let's go."
"W-what? We can't just leave, Dean."
"Sam," he patiently turned back to him. "Neither one of us is going back in there until we find out what we're dealing with. We need to get to Bobby's while one of us can still reach the pedals."
Resolve and shoulders deflating with reasoning, Sam sighed, "Yeah, I guess you're right." Looking back at the cave entrance though, he hesitated. "Dean…" he tried not to sound scared, tried not to sound unsure. It was exceptionally hard with his new voice.
"We'll figure it out, Sammy," Dean said in his big-brother-knows-best tone. "If something was able to make you small, it should be able to make you big again, right?"
Sam could only hope.
"Come on, shorty, I'll buy you an ice cream on the way."
Sam closed his eyes. It was going to be a looooong day. Turning, he carefully made his way back in his lone sock...which he had to keep tugging back on. "Enjoy it while you can, Dean, but we both know who the real shorty is in the family."
Dean just smirked, but stopped Sam when he went to climb in the front seat. "What?" Sam couldn't tell if his brother looked amused or apologetic.
"You, uh, you have to sit in back."
Just incase his glare didn't get his point across, Sam kicked his brother in the shin before hoping in. One advantage to suddenly being so little…
Dean wouldn't hit back.
Maybe he was hallucinating. Maybe he tramped on some funky mushrooms and inhaled their funky mushroom dust.
Driving as fast as he could without risking being pulled over—cause that would be loads of fun, Dean looked down for the hundredth time. Sam was curled on his side asleep next to him—knees drawn up under Dean's leather jacket.
Dean had changed his mind about making him sit in back. He wanted him close. He wanted to be able to reach him if he needed to in a hurry…like when, ten minutes out Sam had started to list. Panicked, Dean immediately pulled off the road, anxious hands on his brother demanding to know what was wrong.
The only thing that was wrong, apparently, was that the four-year-old version of Sam was a potty mouth…and just tired.
Still, Dean was almost glad he had fallen asleep. It was getting harder and harder to act like he wasn't totally freaked. His Sammy was ….Sammy again.
Jeezus… He washed a hand down his face. Aside from the fact that if they couldn't fix this they were totally screwed….oh, wait, no. They were just totally screwed.
Sighing, he looked down again at his little brother and a rush of nostalgia shot through his veins. He couldn't help the small smile that met his lips. Sure, Sam might still be grown-up on the inside, but on the outside…
He couldn't believe his Sasquatch was ever that small—though he knew it better than anyone else. Reaching down, he checked for fever, frowning when he noted a small one. Great. Sam was also sounding a little congested—a squeaky sound coming from his little nostrils every time he breathed out.
God, it was adorable.
They were so screwed.
The dog barking told him he had company. The familiar rumble told him who it was. Bobby couldn't help but smile. He hadn't seen the boys in weeks and damn if he didn't miss the trouble finders. He was hoping they'd stop by. Their last hunt was barely an hour away.
When he only saw Dean though, he got worried. The two were attached at the hip, even more so since…recent events and if his little brother wasn't with him…
When Dean got out, walked straight around the car, opened the passenger side door and crouched down, Bobby's worry skyrocketed. Sam was with him after all. And he was hurt.
He quickened his pace across the scrap yard. "Damnit, how bad?"
Dean didn't answer him though. Instead, backing out of the car his arms were full…with a sleeping child wrapped in a leather jacket.
"Where…who the…?" The eerily familiar dark haired boy didn't wake, but instinctively wrapped his arms and legs around Dean.
And that's when it hit Bobby. "Holy shiii…"