Title: The Tale of Teenie Weenie Deanie (And His Brother, the Meanie)
Characters: Dean Winchester, Sam Winchester
Category: Gen, Humor, Crack
Summary: "What kind of stupid paranormal activity is this?"
Word Count: 3550
Disclaimer: ::bursts out laughing:: Oh, that's a good one.
Author's Note: Guys! I CRACK FICCED. Sorry. This was actually not one of the fics I meant to write this weekend. This does seem to be my weekend for really long titles, though, huh?
The Tale of Teenie Weenie Deanie (And His Brother, the Meanie)
They were investigating a series of strange occurrences on a college campus. Even the prospect of attractive co-eds hadn't done much to quell Dean's annoyance with the job, because, "Dude, it's just too bizarre. Butterflies and bubbles coming out of sticks? What kind of stupid paranormal activity is this?"
It hadn't been hard to track down the kid responsible—he'd been boasting about it in the cafeteria, and five separate students pointed the way to Pete Ulman, geek extraordinaire. Sam and Dean cornered him against the back wall of the library, and Dean went into his usual bluster, trying to scare the skinny halfwit onto the straight and narrow. It all seemed to be going pretty well until Pete pointed a finger at Dean and yelled, "Baleful Polymorph!"
There was a nice-sized puff of smoke, and where Dean had been a moment before was a tiny brown field mouse, cowering on the ground.
Pete's eyes went wide behind his coke-bottle glasses. "Dude. I totally didn't expect that to work."
"Well, he obviously failed the Fort save…" Pete muttered to himself, still leafing through his books.
Sam tried to quell his impatience, sitting on the dorm bed and carefully cradling his newly tiny brother in one hand. He had thought at the time that it sounded like a Dungeons & Dragons spell. And sure enough, it was.
"Does he still seem like, you know, himself?" Pete stared at him, eyes still wide with shock, deliberately not looking at the animal in his hand.
Sam looked down at the Dean-mouse, feeling a crinkle of frustration appear between his eyebrows. Dean had stopped trembling the moment he picked him up—had, in fact, run toward his hand when Sam lowered it to the ground. So at least there was that much recognition. Now he was completely still, perhaps resting, perhaps afraid, tiny claws pricking at Sam's palm, just a teeny little bundle of soft, warm fur. "I don't know. I can't tell."
"Try…talking to him or something."
Sam sighed and raised his hand to his nose so he could look in the mouse's dark, wide eyes, like liquid pools of ink. The minute pink nose twitched, scenting Sam's breath. "Hey, Dean. You in there?"
Delicate, tissue-thin ears shivered and swiveled forward, apparently listening.
"You gotta give me a sign. Are you feeling okay? Are you dealing with this whole new body thing?"
The mouse sat still for a moment longer, then twisted around and started licking his balls.
"Okay. I guess you're liking it all right."
Sam sat back against the wall, unable to deny the relief that flowed through him. "You know, I looked up mouse anatomy on the internet while Pete was digging up his books, just to make sure you were normal. All male mice testes are that big in proportion to their bodies. You're nothing special."
Dean bit his finger.
Pete peeked around the corner of the communal restroom, watching Sam curse and stick toilet paper against his bleeding finger. Dean sat on his shoulder, defiantly grooming. "Dude, Sam, you gotta be more careful. Mice are freaking fragile. You could have killed him without even trying."
Sam rolled his eyes. "I didn't mean to toss him into the air. But that hurt like hell." He addressed the last to Dean, squinting in irritation.
Dean sat still for a split second, then rubbed his little paws over his face and ears. He couldn't have said "La la la, not listening" more effectively if he'd actually had a voice.
"Well, yeah, of course mouse teeth are sharp." Pete rolled his eyes in return. "It's like being stabbed with a needle, I know. But c'mon, it's the only weapon they have and freaking everything in the world is after them."
"Yeah, okay, but…" Sam paused. "Hold on. How do you know so much about mice?"
Pete pinkened a bit. "My girlfriend, Jenny, keeps a bunch as pets. Probably why I was thinking of mice when I yelled the spell, and not frogs or salamanders or something. She lives just a short walk from campus, if you want to go talk to her? She could tell you anything you need to know. We don't have to tell her what's going on, just that you unexpectedly found yourself taking care of a mouse and you need some advice."
Sam's face lengthened in dismay. "I don't want to have to know anything about mice. I thought you'd be able to break the spell right away."
"Sorry, man. It's a permanent, so I can't just decide to end it. I think I'll have to study Break Enchantment and take a night of rest before trying it." He glanced away, shaking his head. "I still can't believe this works in real life." Pete looked back, a little more hopeful. "At least it looks like he made his Will save, so he still has the same wisdom and intelligence and charisma in there. He's still your brother. Just a mouse."
"Yeah. That makes things a lot better. Thanks."
"Dude, was that sarcasm? I'm not good at picking that stuff up."
Sam didn't bother to answer, merely walked to the kid and held his hand out to his brother. For a moment he almost held his breath, unsure if Dean would forgive him for flipping him into the air. But his mouse-brother simply sniffed his fingers, then walked across them, tail extended for balance, and curled up in a ball against his thumb.
"Sorry, Dean," he muttered, and tried not to think about the way he instinctively curled his fingers around his tiny brother, instantly protective, or about how very, very soft and warm and silky mouse fur was.
"Ooh, what a cutie!"
Jenny was a kind-looking girl, chubby but pretty and with a gorgeous smile, and evidently just as much of a geek as her boyfriend. Dragon posters adorned the walls of her small apartment, and every book and DVD Sam could see appeared to be fantasy or sci fi. She cooed over the mouse in his hand, who had hooked his paws over Sam's fingertips in order to peek at her.
"Look at that pretty brown fur, all those lovely shades mingling together! I do love the gypsy agoutis, what most people think of as the wild color. It's just as pretty as the champagnes and doves and Siamese seal-points, in my opinion."
Yep, Dean's charisma was definitely intact, even as a mouse. Sam startled at the strange, chittering sound that came from his brother, staring down at him in surprise.
Jenny grinned up at him. "It's okay. He's bruxing—grinding his teeth together. It's what mice do when they're very comfortable and content. Like purring." She stretched her fingers out, resting the tips against Sam's. "May I hold him?"
"Sure. If he'll go to you." Sam was doubtful. So far Dean-the-mouse had been very fearful and shy, preferring to curl up on his shoulder under his shirt when they walked in public, trembling at loud noises and pressing against his neck. Sam couldn't really blame him—the whole world must be a very bright, loud, and scary place when you were that small, that fragile.
But of course, this was a girl. Dean didn't hesitate to climb onto her fingers and across her palm, and then he continued, right under the cuff of her turtleneck, ascending her arm toward her neck. Jenny giggled, wiggling a bit under the ticklish feet.
Sam's eyes widened in horror, watching the Dean-lump move under her shirt. "I'm sorry! I didn't expect him to do that." He reached out as if to drag his brother back and stopped short, hands hovering uncertainly.
"Hey, it's a mouse. Mice do that. It's cool that he's so comfortable with someone he doesn't know." Jenny grinned, wriggling a little more. Sam couldn't see where the mouse-lump had gone.
"Where…where is he?" he asked slowly, terrified of the answer.
Jenny blushed at this and gestured vaguely toward her chest. "It's okay. Some mice like it there. Warm." Her shoulders jerked in surprise and she glanced down at her cleavage. "Oh! He's vibrating. Very happy little mouse."
Sam covered his burning face with his hands, completely unable to look at her anymore.
"God, Dean. I can't believe you did that, you tiny little pervert," Sam scolded as he set up the little plastic tank Jenny had loaned them in their motel room, complete with a food dish, water bottle, hidey house, and mouse wheel. "She has a boyfriend. What if Pete finds out? He might refuse to help change you back."
Dean sat on his shoulder, still buzzing faintly with residual pleasure. He had been utterly limp with bliss when Jenny retrieved him from her…shirt, and had laid so still in Sam's hand that he was momentarily afraid that the tiny mouse heart had given out, burst with too much delight at once. It was amazing, how quickly Sam had gotten accustomed to mousy mannerisms, how they were almost never still, always sniffing and wiggling and looking around, keeping an eye out for danger. But after a few moments Dean had roused himself enough to groom his face, paws moving slowly and sluggishly, dark eyes still almost shut with utter contentment.
Sam plucked Dean from his shoulder and set him down in the tank, glad to finally have a safe place for his vulnerable brother. Maybe now he could get some work done without constantly worrying about accidentally crushing his mouse. When he tried to remove his hand from the tank, though, Dean clung to his fingers, shaking inconsolably.
"What the… C'mon, you'll be fine in there. There's food and water, and look! You get your own house!" Sam tried to scrape him off, very ineffectively, since he could only fit one hand through the tank's opening at once. Dean continued to cling, tiny claws digging in. "Dean! You'll be okay. Look, I gave you a bite of cheeseburger for your supper. Cheeseburger, Dean. It's bigger than you are. You'll be fine." Every time he dislodged Dean, the mouse leaped back onto his hand and tried to dig in even harder. He was still shaking, too.
Sam went still with an exasperated sigh, letting his hand dangle in the tank. Dean made himself comfortable in the cradle of Sam's fingers, curling up in a warm ball, still trembling. "Aw, Dean…"
God, he was stupid. He'd already known that his brother hated to be alone, that his biggest fear was being abandoned by those he loved. Of course it wasn't any different now that he weighed less than an ounce. If anything, the fear was only concentrated, forced into such a tiny container.
"Okay, okay. I won't leave you, all right? I promise. Just…don't get yourself killed. Damn it, it scares me, you being so little and easy to hurt."
Sam lifted his hand out of the tank and set Dean back on his shoulder, where the tiny Winchester again crawled under his shirt and curled up in a ball against his neck. "All right, you can stay there. Don't wander off, okay? There's, like, a million places you can get lost just in this room."
Dean licked Sam's neck with his dry little tongue, giving assurance and affection the only way he could in this form. Sam sighed. It would have to do.
Dean the mouse was a snuggler. Sam didn't know why he was surprised. Every little noise from outside, every hint of strangeness or the slightest possibility of danger, had Dean scrambling back to Sam, darting up his sleeve so he could crouch against Sam's neck, where apparently he felt safe from everything. The only times he really went still was when Sam made a little cave of his hand and let Dean rest inside, surrounded on all sides by Sam's fingers and palm. Sam figured out how to rub his head with one thumb, causing the black eyes to droop shut, the little body to go limp.
Currently, the motel desk was covered with books and papers, Sam's open laptop. He let one hand rest on the wooden surface, the other using the touch pad to scroll through websites, searching for something that would explain why D&D spells were suddenly working in real life. Dean had slept on his shoulder for awhile, then gained enough confidence to climb down his sleeve and exit his cuff, peering curiously around. Now he explored the desk, never more than a couple feet from Sam, keeping well back from the edges.
Sam did his best to ignore the scurry of little feet, the rustle of papers and tiny gnawing noises. At any other time, these sounds would have meant their motel room was infested, and he would be complaining to the manager and breaking out the Raid. It was a bit disconcerting to know that his brother currently looked like vermin to most of the civilized world, something to be stomped on, killed, exterminated. Maybe not so different than how his brother always looked to some people, come to think of it.
Sam knew better, though.
He started, and looked down, narrowly stopping himself from reflexively swatting the mouse away. Dean was nibbling his finger, not enough to hurt, but very insistently. "You're hungry again? I just fed you ten minutes ago." Dean nibbled a little harder.
Sam sighed and grabbed the greasy fast-food bag on the chair next to him. So far Dean had eaten an eraser-sized chunk of hamburger and a bit of bun with congealed cheese, but turned his nose up at the pieces of lettuce and tomato Sam had offered. Sam wasn't sure if this was what a real mouse would do, of if it was just Dean still being Dean. This time he offered Dean a quarter of a fry, and couldn't help staring in fascination as his mouse-brother reduced it to crumbs, then ate the crumbs. Mice couldn't take big bites, but they ate very, very quickly to compensate.
He offered more, but Dean refused, turning away to crawl under one of the books again. Jenny had said that mice ate frequently because they had really little tummies, but again, Sam wasn't sure if this was mouse behavior or Dean behavior. Maybe both.
The next time he surfaced from his research haze, it was because Dean was chattering at him, loud and insistent. Still, it took him a moment to figure out where his brother had gone, peering wildly around until he found him. Dean was sitting on top of the bottle of beer Sam had fetched hours ago and then forgotten to open. Sam was a bit amazed that Dean had managed to climb all the way up there—wouldn't his little claws have slipped on the glass? But, really, he shouldn't underestimate the lengths Dean would go to in order to obtain alcohol.
Dean turned a little circle on the top of the bottle, trying to chew on the metal cap, then staring straight at Sam, ears up, demanding. Again, he chattered at him, all but bouncing up and down in impatience.
"No, Dean. I'm not giving you beer. One drop would do it for you at this point, and I don't want to deal with a drunk mouse. You're scary enough now."
In an incredible feat of acrobatics, Dean leaped from the bottle and managed to land smack dab on the back of Sam's hand, still resting next to his laptop. And he let his bladder go.
"Dude! So not fair!"
Turned out that a drunk Dean mouse was actually easier to deal with than a regular Dean mouse. He just fell asleep, pretty much immediately, which Sam was grateful for. The tiny, warm weight on his shoulder was sort of reassuring, actually, since he always knew exactly where Dean was and what he was doing.
Sam hadn't found anything to explain the sudden reality of D&D magic, and he was tired of looking, tired of worrying, tired of pretending that he wasn't scared out of his wits at the thought of this actually being permanent, as Pete had so casually mentioned. He'd done more research on mice, too, and found out way more than he wanted to know, including the fact that two years was extreme old age for a mouse.
He briefly considered putting Dean in the tank while he was too out of it to object, because at least he'd be safe there. But no, he couldn't even imagine how terrifying it would be to wake up from a cozy drunken stupor to find yourself alone in a plastic cage, sleeping on wood shavings. That would be an awful thing to do to someone you didn't like, let alone your tiny older brother.
Sam made his way to the bed and set Dean on his pillow for safekeeping while he did his nightly routine. Dean slept peacefully through it, but when Sam lay down, very carefully, he wiggled back into his now-customary position in the crook of Sam's neck and shoulder. Sam lay still for awhile, worried about rolling over in his sleep, but the gentle little puffs of air against his skin finally soothed him into rest. Dean was buzzing again, like he had with Jenny, only this time the pleasure was caused just by being near Sam.
When he woke up, he discovered that Dean had made a nest in his hair, thoroughly tangled and arranged to please only mousy sensibilities. He was too relieved to fuss about it.
"Well, I called my mom," Pete said when they arrived his dorm that morning, ready to get it over with.
Sam blinked a bit at the non-sequitur, but made a twirling motion with one hand. "Okay…"
Pete rubbed a hand through his hair, his face thoroughly sheepish. "Turns out that magic runs in our family, but sometimes it skips a generation or two. No one thought it would hit me. She said my grandma will give me some training at Christmas, and in the meantime I should just be more careful. My magical essence or whatever recognized the D&D spells as possible, even though my conscious mind didn't. So now I'll have to be more…uh, conscious about it, I guess."
"Well, that's good. I guess. Glad you got it worked out. Think you can change Dean back now?"
"Oh yeah, sure!" Pete stepped back from the door, making room for Sam to enter. "Well, I'll give a shot, anyway, right?" He chuckled nervously.
Sam eyed him askance, setting the plastic tank and accompanying fixtures on Pete's bed. "Give these back to Jenny, will you? And thank her for the advice. It was very helpful."
"Sure, sure. All right, where's the mouse of the hour?"
Sam gently retrieved Dean from his shoulder, where he had once more been curled up under his shirt, hiding from the outside world. Dean rested on his palm, still and quiet, a little bundle of silky soft fur. Helpless and fragile, dependent on Sam for absolutely everything, but still Dean, still annoying and gluttonous and desperately afraid of being alone.
Sam gently rubbed him in the little soft spot between cheek and shoulder that Jenny had shown him, the sweet spot that made mice everywhere go limp with bliss, eyes closing, paw popping up reflexively the way a dog's back leg would kick if you rubbed his tummy right. Dean relaxed under the attention, letting Sam pet him, and licked his finger gently when Sam withdrew.
"Okay." Sam looked up at Pete and drew a breath. "We're ready."
He carefully set Dean down on the dirty dorm floor and stepped back, not daring to take his eyes off him for a second. He was aware of Pete, next to him, closing his eyes and muttering, gesturing in the air. It was all meaningless, he knew, just a show to make his "magical essence" recognize what was needed.
Another puff of smoke, and there was Dean, blinking with wide eyes, hair mussed, shoulders hunched. At least he wasn't naked, his clothes having been transformed with him.
"Dean? You all right?"
Some kid outside yelled something about a Frisbee, and Dean jumped and darted over to Sam, where he ducked his head under his brother's arm and pressed against his side, trembling lightly.
"Yeah, okay. I guess not completely."
"Maybe it will wear off?" Pete suggested weakly.
Sam wrapped his arm around his brother's shoulders and squeezed him carefully. The habits they had formed in the last twenty-four hours would take a little while to break, that was all. "I'm sure it will. Thanks, Pete. We'll be okay. Be careful, huh?"
He gently herded his brother out of the dorm and back to the Impala, where Dean relaxed a little more, back on familiar territory. He let Sam drive, though, preferring to sit curled up on the passenger side, staring out the window with wide green eyes. They spent the next day holed up in the motel, letting Dean relearn how not to act like a mouse, but it faded pretty quickly, all things considered.
And if, after that, he always went droopy-eyed with contentment whenever Sam rubbed his head, they felt no need to mention it.