Disclaimer: The Winchesters and Bobby, no-ot mine!
A/N: This is a one shot written for a prompt over at hoodietime. As always, watch out for lurking typos. They are ninja stealthy and alas, I am not.
"Tiny Hunter, AKA Dean Winchester"
Why was it always witches? Dean snarled at the evil female and her zombified henchman facing him across the shadowy cabin's dusty floor. They were going down. They had caused enough trouble in the nearby town and Dean was going to make sure tonight was the end of that and them. Gripping his knife tightly, Dean balanced on the balls of his feet, prepared to strike quickly. He gave the pair a confident smirk. "You ready to get this party started Malefiscent?"
"Oh, hunter. You are delightful in your stupidity." The shapely witch smiled smarmily, "I will dance on your dead body very soon." Beautiful and horrible at the same time, she announced with gleeful anticipation the violence she had planned.
Dean was unimpressed. rolling his eyes and grinning at her arrogance. Witches, in his experience, were always bragging about what they could do instead of just doing it. With the grace of long practiced skills, Dean lunged at the Witch, slashing her thigh with his consecrated iron blade.
Confounded, she attempted to staunch the bleeding wound with one hand while screeching angrily and whirling to stare with loathing at the person who had dared to come against her. She hadn't even finished telling him all her glorious plans and they were glorious. She opened her mouth set to continue but saw the intense gleam in the young man's eyes. He was not the easy mark that she was used to. She would have to be crafty to win against this one. Very carefully, she stepped to the side, reaching for her talisman, which enabled her to concentrate more power. She had laid it aside while she was working on her newest spell and then the hunter had interrupted her. Foolish hunter. With a brilliant idea of how to defeat him, her hand grasped the amulet and she smiled.
Circling her, Dean watched for another opening to try and finish her off. Most witches could be killed like a normal human, but just to be safe Dean had brought a little insurance. Never taking his eyes off of her, he reached behind him for his colt. A consecrated bullet would be just as effective as the blade and quicker too.
Before he could wrap his fingers around its comforting grip, the witch had something clasped in her hands and let out an unearthly sound. The sound grew in volume and morphed into something resembling words but Dean couldn't make sense out of any of it. The garbled chant seemed to fill the room, until there was only the howling screech. Feeling like his head would explode, Dean gave up on the getting the gun, dropped his knife and slapped his hands over his ears, working to keep out the horrendous cacophony. The walls began to waver and everything around him was becoming blurry and indistinct, as if the sound waves were breaking it all down to nothing. Dean battled to remain conscious as his vision began to gray out and buzzing static filled his head to the brim. Then the pain became too much, overwhelming him, bringing him to his knees and he could not believe that he was going to get taken out by a witch. A stinking witch, chanting some stupid spell way too loudly.
After what felt like an eternity, but was probably only a few minutes, the sound faded and the world was suddenly shoved back into sharp focus. The ensuing silence was so profound compared to the dizzying sound of before, that it was almost just as painful to Dean as he tried to get his sluggish brain to come back on line.
Taking a few moments to breathe, before tentatively removing his hands from his ears Dean could feel warm liquid trickling out of both ears and he hoped it was only blood and not his grey matter oozing out. When he wiped the wetness off of his hands onto his jean clad legs, that was his first clue that all was not as it should be. He looked down at his legs, then held his hands up in front of his face. He could feel his heart beginning to pound even more frantically than it was already. Dean raised his head to stare up, a long way up, to see the witch standing before him, only the perspective was all wrong. She was standing there bleeding from the wound he had inflicted, yet looking triumphant and excited.
Dean stumbled upright and promptly tripped on his jeans, which were now around his ankles. Startled, he hopped and windmilled until he was steady again, clawing and pulling at himself trying desperately to figure out what had happened. Of his clothing, the only thing that remained still on him, was a too big shirt that hung like a tent nearly to his ankles. Boots, socks, jacket, jeans and even his boxers, were lying in a jumbled heap beside him. Dean stood there staring, he just couldn't process what was going on.
The witch had no such problem and cackled maniacally, pointing at him with an evil sparkle in her onyx eyes. "You are just the right size for my pet to handle now. A tiny little hunter, too small to win any fight." She shivered in delight before continuing, "You will die now! Die! Die! Die!" She began to laugh as she repeated the word as though she were making the world' best joke.
Dean, however really didn't appreciate the joke and so did not smile, only glared harder.
Then the annoying laugh cut off abruptly as she turned her head sharply and gave her "pet" a direct order. The voice weirdly gruff, as she demanded, "Kill him!"
Dean took a fortifying breath, ignoring the crazy witch and her ranting. He told himself to calm down and take care of the business at hand. Then he could have have his freak out after these two were ganked. First he needed a weapon, because little did not mean helpless and he would not go down without a fight. Feeling around wildly Dean needed something to use, against the hulking slave that was lumbering toward him. Before he had garnered a defense though, he was picked up, as if he were a feather and dangled in front of the growling specter.
Drool sprayed Dean's face as the thing muttered in a gravelly voice. "Kill. Kill. Kill..."
"Dude." Dean grumbled disgustedly. "Say it, don't spray it. Ugh!"
The thing only rumbled a low growl in answer as it squeezed Dean's narrow chest and prepared to carry out its orders.
With an angry, squeaky war cry, Dean brought two tiny fists up and pounded the bulgy eyes of his large, but mostly brainless opponent. Surprisingly, the thing let out a high pitched scream and carelessly dropped Dean onto the hardwood floor. It was a long way down and hurt, a lot. Dean lay there a moment stunned at the turn of events, staring up at the beast as it wailed and clutched its head like a fractious toddler throwing a fit. Wide eyed, Dean wasted precious seconds as he watched the strange scene.
The witch, yelling furiously, "You fool! Kill him now!", broke the paralysis and Dean bounded up, searching frantically again amongst the pile of his discarded clothes. He came up with a victorious smile, this time grasping his blade and holy water. Quickly popping off the lid of the flask, he clutched the too big weapons in hands too delicate and ran full tilt toward the distracted witch. Flinging blessed water and stabbing her thigh with the sharply honed blade, none was more surprised than Dean when the desperate effort worked. The witch wheeled to face her attacker, but it was too late. Screaming in pain and fury, she shook the amulet in her hands and yelled hoarsely. Thick gray smoke began to pour off her and the thing clutched in her fisted hands. Her face twisted in rage as she began to shrink before Dean's eyes. The raving woman continued to melt and collapse in on herself, until there was nothing left but a sizzling, smoldering pile of rags.
"Huh." Dean stared nonplussed at the steaming, still crackling mess. He couldn't believe that she had been a cliché; a "Wizard of Oz" witch that could be killed with holy water. Dean remembered asking his dad about killing a witch with water after he and Sammy had seen that movie and his dad had laughed and told Dean that that was a stupid Hollywood myth. Water was not lethal to anything unless you drowned in it. Apparently, John Winchester could be wrong on occasion. Dean really wished his dad was around, so Dean could enjoy this moment. He knew Sammy and Bobby would like the story though. He would have to remember to share it with them. Turning back he watched in mild amusement as the still wailing "pet", thundered clumsily out the door into the dark forrest beyond the dimly lit, rickety porch.
With an almost hysterical giggle, Dean plopped down on his butt and tried to sort out the events of the last few minutes. He knew that creature needed to be destroyed, but with the size he seemed to be at the moment, someone else was going to have to take care of it. Without the witch, it would probably just wander around aimlessly or hide somewhere anyway.
Once the giggles had tapered off, he took stock of the situation. The main problem was that he was small, really small. Standing up, he walked over to the vanity in the corner and got his first look at his changed self. With a gasp, he stumbled back at the image. Then steeling himself, he moved closer again and bravely took stock of the changes. He was, maybe 3 and a half feet tall, fair haired, freckled, and skinny. His eyes seemed too big for his face and the blonder hair was longer, nearly touching his shoulders. His breathing sped up and his chest started feeling tight.
Dean told himself firmly, that now was not the time to panic. He would get back to the Impala and his phone and he would call Sammy. Everything would be fine. It wasn't that far, to walk, even with his shortened stature and he could wear his socks to protect his feet and... and... Dean felt his eyes sting with looming tears. Emotions too big for this miniaturized body threatened to overtake him.
He stomped in frustration and felt sharp pain spike through his bare foot as it struck the hardwood floor. His lip trembled and the tears threatened to overflow his welling eyes. He would not cry. Just because he looked like a baby, didn't mean he had to act like one. He ruthlessly reminded himself. Taking a shuddering breath, he fought to control his wildly swinging emotions and get on with his plan of getting help.
After a few minutes of pacing in a crooked circle and muttering dire threats to his person circa John Winchester style, Dean finally had himself sufficiently calmed down and ready to get on with his plan. He shook his head in consternation, pondering why it never went well when he and Sam split up. But Sam had been down with a cold for the last few days and this hunt was supposed to be so simple, (a one man, two day job). Bobby had agreed with Dean that it would be an easy hunt and it would have been if the stupid witch hadn't gone all "Honey I shrunk the kids" on him. Bobby and Sammy were going to laugh their heads off when they saw him. Dean smirked as he set about gathering up his pile of too big clothes and cache of weapons, he might even laugh about this, but not right now.
The trek back to the Impala was long and arduous. Not only was it cold and misting rain, but the moon was only a thin glow of sliver, so it was inky dark too. By the time Dean had reached his baby, his feet were stinging and bleeding from a multitude of cuts; socks did not provide much protection against sharp rocks he discovered. Icy rivulets of water were dripping from his soaked hair down his cheeks and to run under his steadily dampening collar. Dean leaned wearily against the big black car's door as bone rattling shivers racked his body. His teeth were chattering so hard that his jaws ached, and his little noodle arms were straining from carrying his useless possessions. Part of him had longed to dump his clothes and boots and heavy weapons beside the road because the load was way too heavy for this little body. But he knew he would regret losing his gun and boots and such, so he had trudged on. Now, that he had reached his goal, he wanted nothing more than to lay down and just sleep, but he couldn't do that yet. There were still things he had to do before he could do any resting.
Dean contemplated his dilemma, while he sat in his baby, waiting on the calvary to arrive. It had taken quite a few minutes to convince Bobby that he was Dean, with his squeaky, trembly voice and that was after he had tried every which way to figure out a possibility of him driving himself back to Bobby's. The Impala was just too big and he was just too freaking tiny to pull it off. He had even tried sitting on his knees and using his shotgun to push the gas pedal, but that had ended in near catastrophe a few hundred feet down the gravel road when the gun slipped and he almost ran his baby into a tree trying to get the gun back in place, keep the car in the road, and hit the brakes. There was also the chance of blowing a hole in his baby's floor board if the gun had gone off and that right there was the final straw that got the plan nixed.
After that near fiasco, Dean had put the car in park where she sat, shut her off (because there wasn't a lot of fuel in her tank), slumped back in the seat, and called for help. So now he was waiting, and freezing, and trying to be patient, not one of his strong suits as an adult or as a child he admitted. Sammy and Bobby would be there in a few hours. Dean would be fine. He would just wrap up in his too big jacket and he would get warm and he would be fine.
Only he couldn't get warm and he hurt everywhere. He was so weary that he kept dozing off, only to jerk awake few minutes later. His teeth were chattering again and he thought he might be coming down with Sam's cold because raspy sneezes had begun to startle him every little bit. Dean finally drifted into a miserable dream like state, half asleep but not really resting: when the driver's door was jerked open and a shaggy head appeared in the opening.
Dean squawked in fear, arms and legs flailing, tipping himself over into the floor board. This caused him to cough and made his chest feel all tight and wheezy. Stupid cold germs. He muttered around the coughs.
Sam pushed into the car and hovered near the little bundle that was his big brother. "Dean?" He asked uncertainly.
Dean pulled himself back onto the seat, huffing irritably. "Yeah, Sammy it's me."
"Wow." Sam's eyes were wide as he stared at the tiny adorable boy. Noticing the dried blood smeared across his little face, worry spiked and he demanded loudly, "Dean!" His voice harsh, in the small space. "What happened? Why is there blood on your face?"
Dean frowned at his brother's concerned face, giving a pained sigh as he mumbled, "'S nothin'. Just my ears bled a little cause the witch was so loud and I fell and..." And suddenly Dean was feeling all kinds of sorry for himself. He reached up a slender hand and rubbed at his tingling nose, he could feel a sneeze coming. "Hxxgsh!" The blast snapped his head forward and made his head ache. He didn't even care that he had sprayed snot onto his baby, he was beyond miserable and he really just wanted a hug or something so badly... he didn't know why, but he was bone tired and hurting and cold and Sam was here and Dean wanted...
Sam stared at his miniaturized brother, hunched over on the seat looking bedraggled and tiny and so woebegone that Sam couldn't take another second it. Carefully as though dealing with a skittish animal, Sam reached for Dean, giving him a chance to say no. Dean just watched the proceedings with huge, damp eyes, not moving a muscle.
One large hand gently cupped the delicate chin, the other covered the tiny furrowed forehead. "You're burning up kiddo." Sam whispered, his own brow furrowing in concern.
Dean nodded, letting a sad little huff escape.
Moving his hands down to the bony shoulders, Sam nodded firmly. Then without a by your leave, he pulled the slight figure into his arms, wrapping the too big coat securely around him and carried him around to Bobby's loudly running truck. He got in the passenger side, settled Dean on his lap and cuddled him close all without saying a word.
Dean kept quiet too, except for the initial squeak of surprise he let out when Sammy grabbed him. After that he didn't make a sound, because he didn't want Sammy to turn loose of him. His little brother was so big and warm and his giant arms were making him feel safe and... Dean felt like a giant girl but that was okay for now. He could pretend like it never happened later. He heard the soft rumble of conversation between Sam and Bobby discussing getting his baby home and other details that Dean surprisingly wasn't concerned about at the moment. Tuning out the noise of the conversation between the other two hunters, Dean snuggled down into his little nest of warm coat and warmer brother and let sleep take him where it wished. Sam would take care of things, Dean could rest for awhile.
Sam held the too fragile child in his lap, all bundled up in the coat like a a little cat. He could feel the small body shaking and shivering against his chest.
He looked up to meet Bobby's worried stare. "He okay there Sam? I mean besides the bein' shrunk part?"
"I don't know." Sam studied the curled up figure in his lap. "I think he's sick on top of whatever curse that witch whammied him with. Maybe he caught my cold or something."
Bobby nodded, reached up to scratch his head through his dingy cap, then spoke in his fatherly voice, which was sure and steady and always seemed to inspire confidence in the Winchester boys. "All right. I'll get the Impala hooked up and then we'll stop at the first pharmacy we pass and get some supplies to take care of your "little" brother, until we get this mess figured out and put to rights."
Sam sighed, relieved to have someone else making decisions. He still wasn't back to a hundred percent from his recent bout of sickness and he didn't feel up to being completely in charge. "Okay Bobby. Thanks."
Bobby nodded again as he climbed out of the truck and then set about getting Dean's baby hooked up to the tow truck and ready to travel.
Dean had become increasingly restless and hotter as they drove, Sam had been forced to lay him on the bench seat between him and Bobby. He hoped that might make him a little cooler like that, instead of pressed against Sam's warmth. It didn't seem to be making much of a difference and Sam was on the cusp of panic. Dean was so little and vulnerable like this and Sam couldn't wait to get him back to his normal strong self. In the mean time they were parked in front of a small drugstore and Sam decided he would be the one to go in and get what they needed. Giving the squirming lump under the coat a final worried look, he headed into the store.
Sam was unnerved, standing there in the garishly lit aisle with piped in muzak boring into his tired brain and seemingly hundreds of brightly colored boxes of children's cold medication lined up in front of him. The whole scenario was almost more than he could take.
He reached out and picked up a purple box that claimed to cure, sniffles, and cough, and congestion, and fever. The red box next to it, cured the same things, except for the sniffles but it did include a sore throat. The blue box below, when Sam picked it up to read the label, only helped with fever and a runny nose. Setting the boxes back on the shelf, Sam pinched the bridge of his own nose and closed his eyes in frustration. His head was pounding and what he really wanted to do was lay down in a nice soft bed, not stand in a stupid pharmacy with lights way too bright for this time of night and have worry consuming his every thought. What was the purpose of all these choices anyway? Couldn't they just have one box for a child's cold?
He felt like an idiot and on top of that a terrible brother. It was pathetic that he couldn't pick out which medicine to get. He knew he should never have let Dean go off alone. Something always happened when they split up. Dean would know exactly what kind of medicine to get. Even Bobby would probably be able decipher which type would be best. Sam glared at the shelves full of an over abundance of the bright boxes. This was stupid. Everyone said he was smart, but he was proving them all wrong tonight.
Pacing a few steps away from the display, he took a few deep breaths and forced himself to look at the problem rationally. Dean was sick and tiny and Sam needed to man-up and just pick something so they could get him home and fix him. With that little pep talk Sam marched back over to the colorful boxes and quickly, before he could change his mind, scooped up a variety of the boxes. He theorized that too many of them was better than not having the right kind. He then proceeded to grab a jar of vapor rub, a couple of boxes of tissues, and a few bottles of children's sports drink at the end of the aisle. With a smile of triumph he made his way to the check-out thinking about Dean. Every once in awhile, Dean's way was the best way. Like a bull in a china shop sometimes, but never let it be said that Dean didn't get things done.
Sam continued to smile until he opened the truck door and saw that things had gone downhill in the few minutes he had been gone. Dean was now crammed in the footwell on the passenger side, crying and shaking and Bobby was scooted back against the driver's side door, both hands out, trying to coax Dean up on the seat. Dean turned his pale, tear streaked face to Sam as the door opened and nearly fell out of the truck as he launched himself at his brother. Sam, luckily, had the bag in one hand, so was able to catch the flying projectile and keep them both upright and save the supplies from being dumped onto the pavement.
Dean had both skinny arms in a death grip around Sam's neck and both spindly legs had snaked around either side of his ribs. The little body was emitting way too much heat and vibrating like a live wire. Sam set the bag on the floor board and hugged the distraught brother. He met the older hunter's confused gaze over the blond head buried in the groove where his neck met his shoulder.
Bobby just shook his head and then re-situated himself more comfortably back in his seat.
Sam patted the little trembling back and crooned softly in Dean's ear. "Hey kiddo, what's the matter? Huh?" The only answer he got was the grip tightening.
"Can't breathe buddy with you choking me. Can you let up a little?"
The arms and legs loosened their fierce grip, but the face stayed buried. Cradling the clinging monkey to his chest, Sam awkwardly climbed back into the truck and pulled the door shut. He carded fingers through the soft hair and just held him until finally Dean eased away from Sam and stared up at him, appearing dazed and confused.
"You okay Dean?" Sam murmured.
Teeth chattering, Dean blinked and then he sneezed twice, one little hand, moving a tad too slow in an attempt to stifle the blasts. Before Sam could dig out a tissue, the same little hand had wiped at shining nose and then smeared that dampness onto his own shirt.
With a disgusted grimace, Sam quietly reprimanded his brother, "Don't do that Dean. I have tissues."
Dean just blinked again and remained silent.
Sam was starting to worry at his brother's strange behavior. "Dean. What's going on? Why were you crying?"
Finally the smallest hunter spoke, his voice scratchy and barely audible, "I don't know Sammy..." He paused shrugging narrow shoulders, "I just got scared all of a sudden and..." He paused again, rubbing his throat and squinting glassy-eyed up at Sam. "And I don't feel so good. Can we go home now?"
Sam frowned in concern at the pitiful little guy on his lap. "You mean go to Bobby's house?"
Dean frowned, bringing a tiny fist up to press against his forehead.
"Dean is that where you want to go?" Sam repeated.
"Yeah. I... uh... I meant Bobby's. Sorry Sammy. I'm just tired I guess." With that sheepish pronouncement, Dean, more or less, collapsed against his little brother's wide, warm chest and was snoring congestedly within seconds.
Sam pulled the discarded coat off the floor and covered his ailing sibling, tucking it around the tiny feet and shoulders.
"What should we do Bobby?" Sam asked quietly, rubbing the little back soothingly. "He's acting... weird."
Bobby put the truck in gear and slowly pulled out onto the dark road, before answering. "Well Sam I think you should wake him up and give him a dose of whatever medicine you got in that bag, then let him sleep until we get back home and can sort this mess out. It's probably just the fever messin' with his head. You know how he gets when he's sick and runs a temp."
Sam huffed. "Yeah, he does get a little crazy when it gets too high. Okay." Nodding in agreement with the logic, he put his worry aside for the moment. "Medicine, sleep, and back to your place. Sounds like a plan."
Bobby grunted. "Hmmm. And you take something for that headache that's kickin' your butt. Don't need you having a relapse. One Winchester down at a time is plenty."
Sam gave their friend a small smile and a sharp nod in reply.
"And then you can cuddle up with your big, little brother like a teddy bear and both of you can sleep." Bobby added gruffly.
With a goofy grin, Sam set about doing as he had been asked and left the "wheel" in Bobby's hands. Dean grumbled sleepily, but took the medicine (first box Sam pulled out) without too much fuss, then he let Sam tuck him against his shoulder, drifting quickly back to dreamland. Sam glanced at the older hunter, one hand on the wheel the other tapping against door, he was probably already working out how to fix this. It was nice having someone else in charge sometimes. But he wouldn't be sharing that little tidbit with Dean. Older brothers usually had too much ammo against little brothers anyway, and Dean seemed to have more than most, he certainly did not need any help in that area. So, Sam would cuddle this tiny version of his big brother and tease him about it later. That was every little brother's job, to poke fun at big brothers whenever possible. Sam had been on the look out for some new material to use against his big brother and this would be a gold mine. On the plus side, Dean was pretty cute and cuddly like this so Sam wouldn't mind taking care of little Dean at all. And he would trust Bobby to get them sorted out, just like always, because apparently that was Bobby's job, to keep the Winchester brothers sorted out and Sam was thankful that Bobby was so good at it. With a heartfelt sigh, he settled Dean more comfortably in his arms and closed his eyes for awhile.
~The End. Thank you for reading and reviewing, if you're so inclined.