"Holy shit," Jacob whispered. He barely needed to glance around to know that Sam's hand was a lot bigger than Dean's. Jacob may have been dwarfed in Dean's palm, but he was even smaller in Sam's.
For a guy that was normally four inches tall, Sam loomed overhead more than Dean ever could. Warm hazel eyes stared down at him, reflecting back his worry.
"Holy shit, Sam." Jacob remained sitting on a massive lifeline, certain that he'd just topple over again if he tried to stand. His legs weren't strong enough.
"Tell me about it," Sam answered in a soft voice that was barely more than a breath, still in shock. He reached his other hand towards Jacob, wanting to see if he was alright after his tormentor tossed him so casually. As soon as the hand got close, it was clear that his fingertip alone almost outsized the little guy.
Sam snatched his hand back, cupping it underneath instead, to keep them both steady. He curled his fingers up around the edges and realized why Dean and Jacob did that so often.
Jacob was so small Sam couldn't even feel the extra weight on his hand, and Sam was afraid to hurt him by accident. This was the first time he'd ever been... big.
"Did I hurt you?" he asked, ignoring the Cheshire cat smile on the stranger’s face. In his peripheral vision, Jacob’s self-proclaimed ‘teacher’ crossed his arms, his eyes glittering darkly at them.
Jacob's eyes widened. He'd always known Sam’s voice as a soft-spoken cadence that he had to pay close attention to in order to hear. Now, the sound of Sam’s voice rumbled overhead, reverberating through Jacob's entire skeleton, but somehow he recognized it despite the amplified volume. It was so different from what he was used to. Even the last couple days, with Sam standing much taller than him, Jacob hadn't actually felt his voice shaking through him the same way Dean's did.
Jacob shook his head mutely. He glanced over his shoulder and stared wide-eyed at the enormous fingers he recognized as Sam's curling upwards to guard against him falling. They looked like a tidal wave, tall as they were. Sam was huge, and even if it was just a dream, the scale of him had Jacob’s mind reeling and his heart pounding.
"Nah, nothing new is hurt here," Jacob clarified after a hollow moment of staring, realizing that Sam might not actually see him shaking his head. He'd been sure he would get hurt worse as soon as the stranger held him up by his hoodie.
The guy seemed fond of pushing his trepidation as far as it would go, dropping him and tossing him around with abandon. But Jacob wasn’t surprised.
He remembered that he and Sam had been very near the same height when he was standing at sprite scale. Now, the disparity between them couldn't scream louder. Jacob felt small. The ridges in the skin beneath him were keenly obvious to him; Sam's hand didn’t have as many calluses as Dean's without the years of experience repairing a car and building weapons, but it still wouldn't have any give if Jacob tried to push on it. He looked back up at Sam, shocked to actually be seeing his face at this scale, when he was so used to Sam's expressions being small and subtle, hard to make out. It definitely had taken practice to be able to read the small hunter, and even then Jacob was guessing a lot of the time.
The stranger chose that moment to wander closer, grin broadening at the sight of Sam holding Jacob protectively against his chest. "So, how's it feel, Sam, to be back in control? That's what you always wanted, right? To be in control?"
Sam tried to back away, hand almost completely cupped over Jacob and shrouding him from the stranger’s view as if it would protect him. "I wanted to be in control of my own life," he growled out. "Not like this!"
The stranger halted, hands in his pockets. "We don't always get what we want, now, do we?" He eyed the hand that held Jacob slyly. "You better watch out for him. The tiniest teddy might be in some trouble today. Better keep him safe. But considering where you're going, who will watch out... for who?"
Before Sam could demand to know what he was talking about, the stranger held up a hand, wiggling his eyebrows while his lips curled into a smirk that branded itself into Sam’s memory.
Jacob frowned at the warnings. He couldn't see the man anymore, courtesy of a wall of protectively curved fingers that stood much higher than his diminutive height. There was definitely an unnerving tone and he could just imagine that fucking smirk. He practically felt the smug mischief in the air and couldn't say he was surprised when the snap! of the man's fingers echoed around them and hurtled them back out of the so-called "dream world" the stranger always cooked up when he felt the need to taunt Jacob directly.
Things went dark.
Dean slept a deep, restful sleep.
Somewhere in the back of his mind, he knew he was supposed to be alert. After years of hunting, he knew how to keep himself just on the edge of waking if he needed to. It had saved his life on occasion, and usually helped him with knowing when Sam was trying to get his attention. Dean was usually ready to leap awake at a moment’s notice if he needed to, a weapon stashed under his pillow and quick reflexes ready to put it to use.
If he was asleep, really asleep, Sam found it almost impossible to wake him, especially with how lightweight he was. More than once, Dean had found himself waking to an extra tiny bitchface glaring up at him from his fist. As long as this fateful week with Jacob went on… hopefully only a week, please don’t let it go on for longer… he was going to keep himself as alert as he could.
Twisting the webs of chance, a certain Cheshire Cat smile floated through his sleeping mind.
Time for rest, time for sleep, time to keep you in a heap.
Dean was pushed out of his hunter’s rest, and drifted into the comforting currents of a deeper sleep. In that state, he heard nothing as two occupants of the room vanished, and the third occupant was coiled into a trap of his own, a special design made just for him.
It wasn’t until the sun had been up for hours, long, entrancing shafts of the warming sunbeams stretching across the room, that Dean came anywhere close to waking. His eyes scrunched together in confusion as he heard a strange rustling at the edge of perception. Hunter instincts prodded him, told him that something was wrong. Something could be happening and he was asleep.
Wake up, dammit! A familiar voice raged in the back of his mind, trying to force the cloud away as the rustling continued and grew more frantic with each passing second.
Jacob blinked sluggishly to lift the heavy feeling in his eyelids, regaining his bearings after yet another dream of being taunted and dangled and jostled around by his own personal tormentor. As he slowly gathered his awareness, he realized he was lying on his side on something plushy, pale blue, and a lot flatter than the rumpled up t-shirt on the nightstand.
Where'd he send me now?! The dismay in his thoughts was almost cancelled out by his sheer annoyance. The more he realized that all of this was just a game for the thing doing it to him, the more frustrated he became.
His eyes focused and Jacob's brow pinched. Horizontal bars were the only things he could see at first. And then, his sleepy mind caught up to the fact that, since he lay on his side, they were vertical bars.
Is this a cage?
That question demanded an answer, and Jacob would have to be the one to supply it. He pushed himself up, covering a deep yawn with the back of his hand while the other sank into the material under him. His focus returned and he took in his surroundings.
White wooden bars surrounded him on four sides, a pale blue cushion rested underneath him, and above him there was no ceiling. There was another "prisoner" with him, and Jacob glared at it accusingly as he realized where he was. His face erupted in a fiery blush, humiliation seeping through the many cracks in his stressed resolve.
It was a crib. Jacob had woken up in a baby crib. He swatted at the teddy bear sitting in one corner, knocking the toy on its cutely smiling face.
"If we find out a way to kill that bastard I'm gonna do it myself," he groused, heaving himself to his feet with a quiet groan as his ribs protested. The top of the crib was above his eye level. Wherever he was, Jacob was still woefully undersized. He stepped forward to peer between the bars, each hand lightly gripping one while he brought his face close to an opening between them.
The room beyond the crib was tacky even in the murky lighting from the one curtained window, the still air and deathly silence only warping every detail further. The wallpaper and the carpet were thick but cheap, pulling up at the very corners and layered with dust, and the patterns were clumsy and uneven. There was a dresser with clunky, lopsided drawers and a lamp the size of Jacob sitting on top of it. The base was simple, but the shade was thick and painted with eclectic patterns in a brush three times too large for the intent.
Against one wall was a large bed with a thick, heavy comforter on it that looked too stiff to be effective. Jacob wasn't very concerned with the blankets, because someone was resting on top of the bed.
"Sam!" he barked, trying to get the larger hunter's attention. From what Jacob could tell, he was still just barely tall enough to be higher than Sam's knees. Sam fit the bed perfectly (almost too well; one booted foot hung over the end in his sprawl). The guy who cursed Jacob had put them somewhere at a larger scale, but with Jacob still smaller than Sam.
What the actual fuck.
Jacob rubbed his eyes, wishing it was easier to see. There was something off about the stillness of the air, but he couldn’t place it. "Sam!" he called again.
Sam was out like a light, sprawled haphazardly on the bed and snoozing happily away. His poofy hair scattered over his eyes, but he slumbered on, peaceful breaths drawing in and sighing out.
"Sam, wake up!"
Jacob's voice wasn't enough. Even rattling the side of the stupid crib didn't earn any stirring from him. His voice died off without so much as a twitch, the silence muffling it again as if shaming him for daring disturb the peaceful night. Jacob grumbled to himself and reached up to the edge of the crib. With a deep breath, he hauled himself upwards, his legs scrambling for a foothold that didn't exist.
Sharp pain blossomed across his chest from both sides and Jacob saw white. With a low yelp Jacob fell back down. He avoided bumping his head on the opposite side of the crib by landing on that stupid overturned teddy bear. Jacob couldn't make that climb; his injuries, wrapped up or not, were too insistent. He kicked at one of the bars around him, frustrated to no end. The dim, silent room taunted him with its lack of notice.
"Sam, will you wake up?! " Jacob demanded sharply, getting to his feet again.
No response. Jacob grabbed the foot of the teddy bear with a huff and hurled it over the side of the crib with everything he had, and the stuffed animal flew through the air to hit Sam right in the face.
At least one thing went right.
Sam’s rest came to an abrupt end. Something crashed straight into his face and dispelled the calm serenity of sleep. With a strangled grunt, he flailed his arms protectively to guard his face, managing to topple his way off the other side of the bed and crash on the floor in a tangled mess of his satchel and cumbersome blankets.
Confusion pushed away the strange cloud that hung over his waking, the cloud that was tugging at his awareness in an attempt to keep him deep asleep. He tried to untangle himself from the mess, blearily blinking around the room in a daze as he started to regain his bearings.
Sam groaned as he pushed the hair out of his face. “What the hell,” he croaked. As his vision cleared up, he scrambled to his feet in surprise at his surroundings.
Everything. Was. His size.
And beyond all that, Jacob was standing in a crib.
“I think I need coffee,” Sam groaned. He buried his head in his hands for a minute. “Jacob, that really you there?” he mumbled around his fingers. The room had an eerie, oppressive quality to it that Sam couldn’t understand. Its silence was almost mocking.
Jacob sighed, leaning his forehead on the bars in front of him. "Unfortunately, yeah. I think this is really happening." At least he hadn't been dropped off somewhere on his own, though if it was yet another dangerous ordeal Jacob wished Sam didn't have to be snapped here, too.
"Awesome," Sam muttered, finally climbing to his feet. He shook his head, trying to remove the last remnants of sleep from his mind.
Jacob peered around the room, but he still couldn't place where they were. It looked just like any empty house that they might have cleared of vengeful spirits. He hoped he didn’t have to face a spirit at even this toddler size.
At the same time, Sam took in the strange detail and the odd feeling of being in a place made for his size. A chill crept up his back.
Something had to be wrong. His memories of how things were supposed to look were warped by over a decade of standing at a fraction of this size. Nothing had the same level of detail he was used to. Sam felt like he was looking at everything through a funhouse mirror.
Jacob clenched his jaw before giving in and asking "Look, can you, uh, get me out of here? I can't climb out myself."
Sam turned his wary gaze to the source of the grumbling voice, and the sight of Jacob in a crib derailed his growing concerns. He walked over with a slowly growing smirk. Dean might come off as the snarky brother, but the truth was that they were evenly matched. Sam, having more patience than Dean, found it easier to hold back most days.
Today, with his head scrambled and his sleep interrupted, he had no intention of following through with that.
He put a hand on the edge of the crib. "I dunno. You think I outta kid-proof the room first? Someone might be looking out for you, putting you away like this."
Jacob's expression flattened and he pursed his lips. He almost couldn't fault Sam for finding it funny. The joke was just lying there in wait. Staring up at the smirk that had so casually moved in on Sam's face, Jacob had to roll his eyes even as his cheeks turned pink.
Artwork by MogaDeer!
Winchester sass. Figures. Definitely brothers.
"You think you're funny," he mumbled, leaning against the far side of the crib with his arms crossed. Then "Oh, I almost forgot, I found a clue while you were snoring away over there." With that, Jacob flipped Sam the bird, raising an eyebrow at him. Jacob may not be sassy most of the time, but hanging out with Dean and Bowman pretty often had sharpened his shit-talking skills.
Being so small made it even easier to be cheeky. What else could he do?
He was in a crib for God's sake. And still the size of a toddler. The guy who cursed him was probably laughing his ass off, wherever he was. It was useless to even pretend he might not be watching their every move. He definitely didn't put Jacob in the crib to look out for his safety.
"Awww, it's okay," Sam crooned with the biggest grin on his face. He gently swept Jacob up into his arms. "I won't tell the big bad Dean about your little crib mishap. He would be so upset I didn't get pictures."
Jacob had to roll his eyes at least one more time. He almost surprised himself by actually shifting his arms to make it easier for Sam to lift him up; he was getting way too used to all of this. If there was a lesson in this, Jacob hoped he was learning it. He hated feeling so completely dependent. He felt like he had all of the disadvantages of a smaller size but none of the advantages.
At least Sam could climb.