“NO!” Dean bellowed, the room engulfed in brightness as a flash of light hit Sam. As the searing whiteness dissipated, Dean was afraid that he’d open his eyes to see Sam dead, or Sam gone. But his little brother was still there, lying on the floor and looking dazed from whatever spell had hit him.
“You bitch! What did you do to him!?” Dean growled, rushing forward and hauling Sam to his feet, placing himself between the witch and his brother. He trained his colt on her, finger on the trigger.
The witch simply laughed. “It’s a surprise, one you’ll be sharing soon enough.”
Before Dean could react, she lifted her hand and an invisible force gripped his body, rendering him immobile. Energy crackled as the woman prepared the spell for a second time.
It was at that moment that John Winchester burst through the motel door and into the room. Taking in the scene, he raised his gun and fired a few short bursts at the witch. The force holding Dean was released and he barely caught himself before crumbling to the ground.
“Take your brother and get in the car, Dean!” John yelled, pushing his sons towards the door. Dean grabbed Sam’s arm and pulled him with him as John fired a few more rounds. But the witch disappeared before any of them could hit. Snarling, John turned and rushed out the door, throwing himself into the driver’s seat after making sure his sons were in the car. With a roar, the Impala started up and peeled out of the parking lot.
In the backseat, Dean pulled Sam towards him to look him over. Sam was looking less dazed and more terrified from the encounter.
“Sammy, are you ok? Are you hurt?”
“N-no, but that light, what did she do to me, Dean?” Sam stuttered, turning fearful eyes to look up at his brother.
Dean pursed his lips, wishing he could give a definitive answer.
“I don’t know, Sammy. But it’s going to be alright. We’ll figure it out.”
After learning that his youngest had been hit with some kind of spell, John drove them just far enough to put enough distance between them and the witch. They stopped at a new motel and tried to figure out what the witch had done to Sam. But Sam was feeling fine, he didn’t hurt anywhere. With the exception of feeling dazed and confused for a few minutes after the initial attack, he didn’t feel any different. Eventually they decided to rest for the night and try to figure things out in the morning.
When Sam woke up, he didn’t realize at first that anything was different. Putting on a new pair of clothes, he frowned when his pants seemed to bunch around his ankles and didn’t quite fit on his hips like he was used to. When he was brushing his teeth, the sink and the mirror seemed to be higher than they were the night before. But it wasn’t until he saw Dean that he knew that something was wrong.
Sammy had always been small for his age, and at ten years old he just reached Dean’s chest in height. But as he stood next to his brother, he found that now he was below Dean’s chest.
Dean frowned down at his little brother, noticing the difference the same time Sam did.
“Sammy, did you get shorter?” Normally Dean would tease his little brother about being shorter than him whenever Dean hit a growth spurt, but there was no way he gained that much height overnight. They measured Sam just to make sure.
Dean paled when he read the numbers, and Sam immediately picked up on it.
“W-what’s wrong? What does it say?”
“3 foot 11 inches,” Dean whispered.
Sammy had lost three inches. He was shrinking.
When Sam lost another three inches by the end of the next day, John packed the boys up and drove them to Bobby’s. After explaining the situation to his old friend, John got back in the Impala and drove after the witch to get her to reverse the spell. The boys stayed with Bobby while he searched through his collection of books, looking for a cure.
Sam stuck next to Dean, terrified at what was happening to him. He was now level with Dean’s belly and only getting smaller. The world seemed to be twisting around him, changing each day and barely giving him enough time to get used to it before he lost more height. The stairs were getting harder, his feet no longer touched the floor when sitting on the dining room chairs, and he could no longer fit his entire hand around the TV remote. None of his clothes fit him, except for the ones he was wearing when the witch cursed him, since they seemed to be shrinking with him. Everything else kept getting bigger and bigger.
Dean had never felt so helpless, watching his brother lose more height each day and not being able to do anything about it. He was glad that Sam was sticking close to him, because he was afraid to let his little brother out of his sight. He helped Bobby the best he could with research, but the days continued to pass with no cure in sight.
Sam started sleeping in the same bed as Dean, trembling close to his brother as Dean wrapped him in a hug, trying to offer what comfort he could. Neither brother slept well, too afraid to close their eyes less they fall asleep only to wake up to find that Sam had shrunk away to nothing overnight.
On the eighth day, Dean woke up to quiet sobbing. Finding that Sam wasn’t in bed next to him, he got up and followed the source of the noise. He found Sam curled up on the floor in front of the closed bathroom door, head in his knees as he sobbed. At this point Sam didn’t even reach Dean’s waist in height and Dean felt far to large as he kneeled down and drew Sam close. His hand nearly engulfed his brother’s head as he cupped it at the base of Sam’s neck, coaxing him to look at him.
“Hey, Sammy, what’s wrong?”
Sam turned his tear-filled eyes up to look at his brother, face red and stained with tear-tracks.
“I-I just wanted to use the b-bathroom, but I can’t open the d-door,” he sniffed, fresh tears spilling out. “I’m too small!”
Dean’s heart broke to see Sammy like this. He would give anything to make this better, to spare his brother from this pain. But he couldn’t. He couldn’t find a cure, he couldn’t stop his brother from shrinking, and he couldn’t even protect his brother from getting cursed in the first place.
“I’m so sorry, Sammy,” Dean whispered, pulling Sam into in a hug. Sam clutched at his shirt, sobbing into his big brother’s chest. Dean rubbed his back, whispering quiet words of comfort as Sam let out all his fears and frustration. He felt so weak, so helpless. His whole world was being stripped away piece by piece, and there was nothing he could do to stop it.
But Dean was here, Dean was as solid and strong as he had always been. And while Sam was scared, he felt safe here in his big brother’s arms.
It was several minutes before Sam calmed down enough that Dean could let him go. He helped his little brother with his business and then took Sam down to the living room, where they watched movies for the next few hours, Sam curled against Dean’s side.
After ten days, Sam was less than two feet tall. Two feet became one and a half, and one and a half became one. But still there was no cure to be found. John had hit a dead-end with the witch as well, the trail going cold. Time was running short, but no one wanted to talk about what would happen if they failed.
Sam had never been so afraid. He was so small now that everyday objects had become looming monoliths. The bed was as big as a warehouse, easily high enough that Sam could walk underneath it and barely have to duck his head. The dinner table was only slightly smaller than a basketball court, a wide plain where plates as wide as Sam was tall were placed for meals. And Dean, Dean was as big as a five-story building, towering over Sam. When he walked, Sam could feel his steps reverberate through his body from feet as big as Sam was. His hands were large enough Dean could pick him up and carry him with only one, Sam weighed so little. He needed Dean’s help with most things now. And while Sam trusted his big brother, it was still terrifying.
And yet Sam was still getting smaller.
The day he reached six inches, he couldn’t stop trembling. The world was so big and so cold now. Dean was absolutely massive. His voice rattled Sam’s bones, even though Dean did his best to talk softly. His hands were bigger than Sam was and could easily engulf his little brother’s entire body. Sam had to speak up now if he wanted to be heard. He stayed off the floor, afraid he was going to be kicked or stepped on. He barely left Dean’s side, unable to go anywhere on his own.
At the end of that day, Sam was under four inches tall. He and Dean were in their room with Dean lying on the bed and Sam lying on his chest. None of them said anything, both brooding over what they knew was to come. Sam lay there, rising and falling with each breath that Dean took, listening to the powerful gusts that flowed through the massive lungs below him with the steady thumping of a heart pumping enough blood to fill a small pond at Sam’s size. He closed his eyes, relishing in the fact that his big brother was here. Dean, who had been there every step of the way through this awful nightmare. Dean, his best friend and the best big brother he could ask for. Tears started spilling from Sam’s eyes. He was going to miss Dean so much.
Dean’s breath hitched when he heard the tiny sniffles. He raised his head to look at his little little brother.
“Sammy?” he whispered. Sam raised his head and Dean could see the tears in those tiny eyes.
“Hey, hey, hey,” he said, gathering Sam into his hands and sitting up. “It’s gonna be alright, Sammy.”
Sam shook his head vehemently. “No, it isn’t, Dean!” He clutched Dean’s thumb, ducking his head to avoid his brother’s gaze.
“It’s not going to be alright! It’s not stopping and by tomorrow I’ll…I’ll be…”
“Sam,” Dean interrupted. “Look at me.”
Sam hesitated, but slowly lifted his head to meet intense green eyes as big as hubcaps.
“It WILL be alright, Sam. No matter what happens, because I’m not letting you go. Do you understand, Sammy? I am NOT letting you go.”
Sam sniffed, looking up at his brother. “Promise?” he asked in a small voice.
Dean’s eyes softened. “Promise.”
“What if…what if I fall asleep and disappear?”
Dean shook his head. “I’ll stay awake to make sure that doesn’t happen. I’m not leaving, Sammy. I’m staying right here.”
Dean scooted back so that he was up against the headboard and then brought his hands close to his stomach so that he could keep a close eye on Sam. After a few minutes Sam lay down, curling up in Dean’s hands with his back resting against Dean’s stomach. Both were silent for awhile, and then Dean started to hum. At first it was just a few random cords from no particular song, but then it slipped into the familiar rhythm of Traveling Riverside Blues, and then on to Smoke on the Water. The gentle cadence of his brother’s voice quieted the fear inside Sam, and he found himself succumbing to his exhaustion. With Hey Jude vibrating at his back, Sam slipped off into sleep, content in the knowledge that, no matter what the next day would bring, for now he was safe.
Dean kept up his humming until he was sure that Sam was asleep. True to his word, he stayed awake to watch over his brother. As the hours ticked by, Sam lost more height, and Dean was afraid that for all his promises, he was still going to lose Sam. But at early morning, Sam reached two and a half inches and stopped. By the time the sun had risen, and the new day had officially started, Sam’s size had not changed.
Sam woke slowly, blinking his eyes at the light. The first thing he saw was that his brother’s fingers were even larger, and he immediately knew that he had shrunk more during the night. He turned with fearful eyes to look up at his brother but was confused to find that Dean was smiling down at him.
“The sleeping beauty awakes!” Dean chuckled. Seeing the confused and fearful look on Sam’s face, he relented.
“I watched you last night, like I said I would. You lost a little bit of height, but then it stopped. It looks like maybe this curse is finally done.”
“Really?” Sam asked, looking so hopeful. Dean just nodded and brought his little brother up to his chest in a makeshift hug.
“I told you it’d be ok, Sammy.”
After a full day and no change in height for Sam, they concluded that the shrinking had indeed stopped. Everyone could breathe freely again. Granted, Sam was still very small in a very big world that was now far more dangerous for him, but they were no longer under the threat of him dwindling away to nothing. And Dean could live with that. They’d just have to continue to work at finding a cure for Sam. In the meantime, he’d continue to look out for his little brother.