Disclaimer: I don't own them. I do own season 1 of Supernatural and A Bug's Life on DVD, though.
A/N: This was written for a prompt on the hoodie_time Halloween meme over on live journal…and can I just say I am now completely addicted to that? Dang it, there goes even more of my time.
Prompt: De-aged Dean disappears while trick-or-treating. A very kick ass Sam has to rescue him from whatever trouble Dean is in.
Sam wakes up after taking down a particularly nasty witch, and Dean's four years old. He has blonde, almost white hair that sticks up like hay when he wakes up in the morning, wide green eyes that seem to take up more of his face than they should, and freckles that are impossible to miss. He looks like he should be modeling in some department store catalog. Bobby says he should snap out of it in a month or two (he thinks) and he'll be fine, and all Sam has to do between now and then is keep an eye on him.
Sam thinks that might be a bigger challenge than he can handle. He's only been watching 'baby Dean' for a week now, and he's already going crazy.
"Sammy!" Dean yells, snapping Sam out of his reverie. Dean's jumping up and down on the bed, a floppy-eared stuffed dog that Sam picked up clutched in one hand.
"What's up, kiddo?" Sam asks. He rubs his eyes. Dean's been having nightmares every night, and though the kid seems to recover quickly and fall back asleep in short time (tucked against Sam's chest, always,) Sam has a harder time getting back to sleep. It's not Dean's fault, he knows, but that doesn't help his energy level and he feels dead tired. Even watching Dean makes him want to pass out.
"T'morrow's Halloween!" Dean crows, his jumping growing more frenzied in excitement. Sam nearly bangs his head against the table, but restrains himself.
"Yeah, it is, Dean," he agrees, praying that this conversation isn't going where he thinks it's going. It is.
"I wanna go Trick-or-Treat!"
"You sure about that? We could stay home and watch A Bug's Life," Sam offers. A Bug's Life is Dean's new favorite movie (and he is going to give him so much crap about that when this is all over) and maybe if he's distracted, Sam can get a little bit of sleep…
"No!" Dean hollers. He stops jumping abruptly, staring at Sam as if he's grown a second head. Clearly even the idea of not going Trick-or-Treating is horrifying for him.
"Okay, okay," Sam says, backpedaling quickly. "We can go. But you need a costume, don't you?"
Fifteen minutes later, they're walking through Goodwill, Dean's eyes huge, his mouth hanging open. There are tons of costumes to choose from. Dean, of course, chooses a ladybug costume, because Francis is a ladybug, but that doesn't make him a girl, and he can still do cool things like save the little ants from the big bird. Sam snickers and buys it and he is so taking pictures of this. Trick-or-Treating might not be so bad after all.
Dean is so cute it hurts. He's got black pants on with a red shirt, complete with wings on the back, polka dots and all. A headband with black, floppy antennas is perched on his head, and Sam's hoping that his brother's slightly longer than normal hair will be long enough to keep it in place, because his only other option is tape and he doesn't think Dean will appreciate that. Dean's chirping happily about something, hasn't stopped talking since he put his costume on, and he's running around their room now, swinging his pumpkin candy bucket wildly.
"Whoa there, calm down!" Sam laughs, catching Dean in his arms. "I'm going to take a picture and then we can go, okay?"
Dean nods, but he's practically vibrating as he tries to stand still for the picture. Sam snaps one with his phone and shoots a quick text to Bobby with the picture attached, then kneels down in front of Dean.
"Okay kid, we need to set some ground rules. Got it?"
"Got it," Dean says solemnly.
"First rule," Sam says, smiling softly as Dean proudly holds up one tiny finger. "Yep, good job. First rule is that you stay with me. What's the first rule?"
"Stay with you!" Dean yells.
"Good. Second rule." Dean holds up two fingers, tongue poking out of the side of his mouth with the concentration that requires. "Nice job, Dean. Second rule is that you don't eat any candy unless I look at it first. Got it?"
Dean nods, a bit less enthusiastic this time. "But why?" He whines.
Sam really doesn't want to get into what could go wrong, so he pulls the card that he swore to himself from a very young age he would never, ever use.
"Because I said so."
Dean frowns and crosses his arms petulantly. It's hard to take him seriously- he's just so damn cute.
"Dean. What's the second rule?" Sam makes his tone firm.
Dean kicks at the ground, still frowning.
"We aren't going until I know you understand. Second rule?"
"Don't eat the candy."
"Unless I look at it. After I check, you can have it back."
Dean lights up.
"Really? I can eat it?"
"Of course, silly. I just have to look first."
"Can we go now? Please? Pleeease?" Dean yells, bouncing up and down.
"Okay, okay. Let's get out of here."
An hour later, Sam is beyond ready to be done with Trick-or-Treating. Dean's having a great time, talking animatedly to other kids and to the adults giving out candy, and he's been great about following Sam's rules. It's just damn exhausting to have to be on such constant watch, and Sam hasn't let anyone within a five foot radius of Dean without giving them the evil eye.
"Dean, next house is the last one, okay?" Sam says, looking down at Dean. He's been scrubbing at his eyes the last few minutes, but he shakes his head determinedly.
"Not yet," he whines. Sam rolls his eyes.
"Yes yet. You've got enough candy to rot all your teeth out!" He says, leaning over to tickle Dean in the ribs. Dean yelps and giggles, squirming away.
It's with some horror that Sam realizes that while talking to Dean, a large group of Trick-or-Treaters, all clearly high school age or older, has swarmed around them, and as Dean squirms away he disappears.
"Dean!" Sam bellows, elbowing his way through the crowd. "Dean!"
Damn it, Dean's so tiny and Sam can't see him anywhere and why are these guys out tonight anyway and what the hell is he going to do-
The group finally dissipates, moving on down the street, and Sam's left alone. Utterly, frighteningly alone.
A small headband with antennas on it is lying dejectedly in the street.
"No! Dean!" Sam cries, picking up the headband and clutching it tightly. One antenna has been bent in half and dangles sadly. Sam doesn't notice.
"Dean! Dean!" He starts after the group of kids, but stops when he hears a blood curdling scream behind him.
Sam turns in time to see a man disappear down an alley. There is no doubt in his mind that that's the man who took Dean, and he charges after him, heedless of the other kids out, heedless of the parents who yell at him as he flies past.
He has to get to Dean.
His long legs enable him to catch up to the man relatively quickly, in part because Dean is kicking and thrashing, fighting wildly. Sam feels a bit of pride watching his brother, but he feels a hell of a lot more fear.
"Hey!" Sam bellows when he's fairly close to the man. "Put him down!"
The man turns, sees Sam, and abruptly drops Dean, kicking the little boy before continuing to run. Sam's so blinded by rage that he continues after him, tackles him to the ground. He doesn't realize he's been punching the man repeatedly in the face until a soft wailing stops him dead in his tracks.
"Oh, shit, Dean," Sam mutters, dropping the man unceremoniously before running back to his little (big) brother. Dean's curled up, his face bruised, and he's sobbing. There's a little pool of vomit next to his head.
"Oh, Dean, come here buddy," Sam croons, scooping Dean up into his arms. Dean fights him for a minute, little body tense and trembling, but then he gives in with a sob, buries his face in Sam's neck.
"I wanna go home, I wanna go home," he cries. Sam rubs his back, whispers quietly to him, kisses his sweaty hair.
"We're going home, buddy. You're going to be okay. I've got you now. You're safe."
Dean sleeps in Sam's bed that night, curled up so that he fits perfectly between Sam's head and stomach, thumb tucked in his mouth and stuffed dog gripped protectively in one arm. Sam sings off-tune Metallica, rubbing his hand over Dean's tummy until the little boy falls asleep.
Sam doesn't know why, because it was a damn scary night, but Dean doesn't have any nightmares.