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A World of Secrets

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The sight of the kid coming around the bed didn’t unfreeze Sam in his fear, but it did make him glance upwards to meet the big brown eyes. There was a moment were the two kids just stared at each other with equal shock in their faces.

Then the larger, younger kid’s eyes lit up.

That was all Sam could remember clearly. The rest just happened too fast for his mind to comprehend. The floor shook under his boots, and two hands slammed down over him, casting his body into darkness. Sam gave a yelp of fear, afraid they would come down the rest of the way around him, and fell to the ground in a ball. He curled up, covering the back of his neck and shuddering as terror wracked his body.

The tears that had threatened him when he’d found out his family was gone came back, and he just barely managed to say “Please don’t hurt me, I’m sorry, please… I didn’t mean to come in here…” Sam scrunched his eyes shut.

Jacob pressed his cheek against the carpet, peering at his domed hands. He could hear a little voice in there, but it was so quiet and muffled that he couldn't understand the words. He pursed his lips in concentration and shifted his hands so that he could see in without giving the small figure a space to dart away from him.

The sight took the smile right out of his eyes. "Oh no," he muttered, squirming his body again to sit upright. At the same time, he scooped the little balled-up person onto his hands, cupping him in them like a bowl.

"I didn't mean ta hurtcha," Jacob said, his brow furrowing with worry. "Did I make you fall down? Didja hit your head?" He spoke in an excitable voice, holding the small figure like he'd picked up a baby bird.

Still undeniably curious, Jacob lifted his hands even higher to get a closer look. "Hi?" he said hopefully, nudging at the itty bitty back with one finger.

The motion of being picked up didn’t help Sam’s fears. His eyes started to overflow and he shuddered at the quick motion. It was like a rocket was taking off, lifted up into the air with no control whatsoever.

The words that rumbled overhead shook through Sam, and he tried covering up his ears. Sobs choked up his voice and the knowledge that someone so huge was looking right at him didn’t help.

A nudge against Sam’s back made him writhe desperately away. He wailed in fear at the pain, praying he wasn’t about to get squished between the kid’s hands. “N-no, please,” Sam begged, twisting desperately away from the probing fingertip. “Don’t h-hurt me. I’m s-sorry…” He put a hand against the finger, trying to push it away and buy himself some space.

Jacob drew in a gasp. The little voice sounded so sad, and of course the wriggling and pushing at his fingers worried him, too. He hoped he hadn't hurt the little guy at all, but he was crying. Jacob didn't know what to do. He glanced up at the door, wondering if his mama might know better what to do.

He looked back at the little person in his hands, noting that he seemed to be a kid, just like Jacob. "I'm sorry," he blurted, wishing he knew what he'd done to make the little boy cry. Jacob didn't want to be mean. His mama and papa always told him to be nice to everyone, even other kids he'd never met before.

"I didn't mean it, I'm real sorry," he said again, this time in a quieter voice that he hoped was comforting. Without waiting for an answer, he cupped his hands more securely around the tiny boy and held him to his chest in a hug. He couldn't even see the little guy anymore.

"Shh, shh, it's okay. I'm real sorry I made you cry. It's okay. Please don't cry." His murmurs surrounded the smaller boy, and Jacob sat still while he hugged him, hoping it would work.

Sam’s chest hiccuped as he cried, curling into as small a ball as he could while the kid’s voice rumbled around him. Everything was dark, except the few shards of light that snuck in past the huge fingers.

Surrounded. He was surrounded by fingers.

That thought made Sam bury his head against his knees, hugging them to himself. There was no room to thrash anymore, and he waited for the end to come. It was only after a few long moments that stretched out around the stuffy air inside of the hands that Sam realized there was a voice-- a voice that shook the wall next to him, but still a voice.

The words began to filter past his panic at last, and Sam scrubbed at his cheeks while his sobs slowed down. 

It’s okay?

Within the tight confines of a huge fist, okay was the last way Sam would describe his situation, but a little flutter of hope bloomed in his chest. Maybe… maybe they weren’t going to squish him. Maybe he’d be okay, and could go back to finding Dean when he got out.

Sam put a hand on the ground under him and tried to roll over so he could see out. “I-I can’t breathe in here,” he called up timidly.

Jacob's murmured reassurances halted at the sound of the little voice. He didn't understand the words since he'd gone and muffled the tiny boy again, but he paused and looked straight down anyway. His chin touched his chest and he could just barely see a tiny face peeking through the cracks between his fingers.

He bit his lower lip in concentration as he tilted his hands away, letting the boy tumble gently to his palms again. "I'm sorry," he whispered, hoping he hadn't squished the little guy while he hugged him.

With a look of renewed awe and hope that his small find was feeling a little better, Jacob lifted his hands up higher, almost eye level with him where he knelt. "Hello," he tried again, silently praying he wouldn't cause the little person to cry again.

Sam tried to gather himself, tears streaking down his face and starting to dry. He sniffled as he wiped his eyes with the too-long sleeve of the tan jacket his dad had just given him, his cheeks bright red.

The sight of how high off the ground he was made Sam cringe further back, wrapping his arms around him as he finally made eye contact with the kid that was holding him. The hiccups hadn’t worn off, shaking his shoulders as he tried to catch a breath. “H-hi,” he managed to get out, his voice quavering and feeble compared to the other kid’s. “I’m… ‘m sorry. I j-just wanted to find my big brother!” Sam covered up his eyes.

Jacob's eyes widened and he nearly hugged the little guy again. "Oh no, don't cry!" he pleaded, brushing at one of the teeny tiny arms with his thumb. He barely needed to touch it; the little kid's hands were almost too small to see. His thumb retreated and he tilted his head to try to catch the little person's eye.

"I didn't see your brother, I don't think," he admitted. "Maybe we can both look? What's he like? Is he little like you?" His eyes were wide at the thought of another tiny person. This one could practically ride around on one of his trucks.

"My name's Jacob," he remembered to say, offering a friendly smile. 

Sam cracked his fingers open so he could peek out at the giant holding him. The brown eyes peering down at him were huge, probably bigger than his whole head, but they didn’t look mad at him like he’d thought from the first second the hands descended upon him, slamming closed around him and keeping him from running back to Walt and safety.

At some point, his mind had changed track from thinking the motel rooms were safety to yearning for the little room he’d woken up in, with the people his own size and the pile of blankets to curl into.

It didn’t mean he’d given up on finding Dean, curse or not, but he was afraid. Somehow, in the time since his last memory of them being attacked, Sam’s normal world had been replaced by monumental furniture, dust bunnies the size of actual bunnies, and giants that could catch him in a hand, whether he was older than them or not.

Sam lowered his hands away from his face at last. “M-my name’s Sam,” he introduced himself shyly, wrapping his arms around his legs. He hugged them as close to his chest as possible. “But Dean’s not little! ” Sam protested loyally. “He’s like a whole five and a half feet tall, and I’m supposed to be almost four and a half feet tall. I-- I dunno what happened but everything got so huge and scary and now I can’t find him!”

Jacob's mouth twisted into a frown and he mulled over Sam's words carefully. He didn't know how tall five feet was, but he knew it was almost grown-up sized. He might have to ask his mama and papa later how tall they were for a frame of reference. He knew his dad was really tall, but that was the extent of it.

He did work out on his own that Sam was certainly not four and a half feet tall. His little legs would probably take a long time to cover that distance if he ran.

"I can help you look!" Jacob decided with a proud grin. He'd always been taught to be helpful to others when he could. He'd never gotten lost like Sam, but he imagined it had to be scary, even without being made so tiny.

He looked over the bed towards the closed door. He could still hear his parents out there. "We can have my mama and papa help. I bet they will! Then we'll find your brother, Sam!"

If anything, Sam drew himself into an even tighter ball. The voices outside crashed into his awareness with a startling clarity now that the complete panic he’d been in the entire time had fallen away. “B-but…” His ears flushed red at the thought of having to see even more giants.

More people that could close him in a fist. Maybe they wouldn’t open their hands like Jacob had done. Sam couldn’t stop them, after all.

He needed his big brother.

“What if they get mad at me?” Sam asked tearfully. “ ‘M not ‘upposed to be here! I was just tryin’ to find Dean, but I got lost. It’s all so dark and confusing and I don’t know where they went.” He hunched his shoulders. “Please… I don’t wanna get hurt.”

Jacob's brow furrowed with worry and he peered at Sam's tiny form. He was so small, and he was shaking with fear. Jacob didn't think his parents would be mad, but he could understand the reasoning. Kids weren't supposed to talk to strange adults, after all. Strangers could be bad.

He held Sam closer again, cupping him against his chest in another less-restricting hug. "Okay, okay," he said in a hush. "I'll keep you a secret. I'll help you find your brother and I won't tell my mama or my papa, okay?"

He lifted Sam back up before his eyes and smiled encouragingly. "It's gonna be okay, Sam. We're gonna find your brother an' maybe we can all be friends?" He had a hopeful look on his face again. Now that he looked a little closer at Sam's tiny form, he looked like he might be older than Jacob by a few years. He might be small, but he was a big kid, and like all younger children, Jacob felt he should try to impress the big kid.

For Sam, the hug was disorienting, but not unwelcome. John rarely hugged, and Dean was beginning to follow in his footsteps. Sam was young enough that a warm embrace was reassuring, and Jacob’s, though he still moved too fast for comfort, helped ease more of Sam’s fears. The novelty of an all-encompassing hug like that was enough to distract Sam and pique his curiosity. If he wasn’t in danger, he wouldn’t mind finding out more.

Sam rubbed his nose on the back of his sleeve again, finally recovering from his tears. “We don’t have many friends,” he told Jacob shyly. “We move a lot, for my dad’s work. I bet if we find Dean, he’ll be glad ta be friends!”

Shifting so he wasn’t hugging his knees anymore, Sam sat cross-legged on Jacob’s hand. He couldn’t help but glance around the room now that he wasn’t in immediate danger, his eyes going wide at how high he was off the ground. Jacob wasn’t even standing and they were higher up than any tree Sam had climbed while he was visiting Bobby! This high, Dean wouldn’t even have his eyes open.

Jacob beamed. He silently wished he could tell his parents about his new friend, since he usually told them about any new friend he made. He'd promised Sam, though, and it was wrong to break a promise like that, not to mention mean. So he would keep a secret and be nice. He was excited to meet someone new.

The novelty of how small Sam was caught Jacob's attention again. He couldn't help but look him over with intent curiosity for a few seconds, especially now that he'd uncurled from his fearful huddle. He didn't look like he was going to cry again, which was a step in the right direction. Jacob was doing a good job.

"That'll be great! Once we find him we can maybe go to the park. There's one right down the street and I think the slide was taller than my dad," he mused, suddenly wondering what a slide that big would be like for someone like Sam. He couldn't wrap his imagination around the concept, but he told himself that if Sam got scared he'd just have to keep hold on him so he'd be alright.

“Maybe…” Sam said, still nervous at the thought of how big everything was compared to him. If they found Dean, it might not be so scary. Sam knew that he was always safe with his big brother, and it wouldn’t matter if he was tiny. He took a deep, steadying breath, glad that the hiccups were going away now that he wasn’t in tears.

“We just have to find him, and I don’t know if we can.” Sam’s lip stuck out at the thought. He remembered Walt’s words, clearly telling him his family had chased after the witch. There was a chance the Winchesters would vanish in the Impala.

Leaving Sam behind, forgotten.

His eyes started to water again, and Sam stared down at Jacob’s palm. He traced the wrinkles in the skin with a hand, searching for a distraction from his thoughts. “Just gotta find them,” Sam repeated, this time for himself.

Jacob nodded. He didn't notice the way Sam's voice filled with doubt and worry. His own confidence didn't waver. After all, finding Sam's brother was something they needed to do. There wasn't room in his thoughts for the possibility that they couldn't. He was already devising places they could start their search.

He opened his mouth to tell Sam some of his ideas. However, a sound at the door caught his attention and he whipped his gaze to the side. The doorknob was creaking; he remembered his mother saying it was awfully stiff when they first checked in.

His parents were returning to the room.

His promise to Sam ever in mind, Jacob looked back at the smaller boy with wide eyes. "Gonna hide ya," he whispered, before adjusting his grip so that Sam rolled onto one of his hands, which he closed over him. That fist was shoved into the pocket on his little dark green shirt, and in a second he had released his small friend again.

When the hand opened up around Sam, he let out a cry of surprise to find himself tumbling into a completely new place. Dark green material rushed up to surround him on all sides, and as soon as the hand was out of the pocket, a tiny bit of light filtered in.

For a moment, Sam thought Jacob was going back on his word. Instead of being helped, he was being claimed, stuck in a pocket just like some small toy the kid had found. His breathing quickened at that thought.

Claimed, with no way to escape.

Running back to Walt was looking a lot better by the second, at least until the new voices in the room dashed Sam’s thoughts and made him realize what was reallyhappening.

Jacob’s parents had returned.

The rapid transition was just in time for the door to open up. Jacob twisted around where he sat as his parents walked in the door, haloed by the bright summer sunlight filtering around them. Their conversation tapered off and both of them focused on him immediately, checking on him.

His mother was a kind, somewhat plump woman. Her wild curls were tied back in a poof of hair to keep them from frizzing in her face. She let out a puff of air as the air conditioning cooled her immediately. "Hi, honey," she greeted Jacob. "Still running those trucks around?"

"Looks like they got away from you," his father said with a chuckle, following his wife in and closing the door behind him. His brown eyes twinkled with a smile as he peered down at his child, and the trucks abandoned on the floor behind Jacob. Jacob had to tilt his head back to grin at his dad, who could probably reach the ceiling really easily if he wanted.

Sam crawled over to the corner of Jacob’s pocket, seeking the darkest part of the green flannel to hide in. He curled up into a ball, praying he couldn’t be seen from the outside. Jacob’s parents sounded huge. The bass rumble of the man’s voice was closer to thunder as he talked to his young son. Sam squeezed his eyes closed. A tiny hiccup escaped his chest as the nerves returned.

I’m not here, I’m not here, you can’t see me…

If thoughts could become deed, no one would find Sam hidden in the pocket. Unfortunately, in their world that was not something that was possible, unlike curses that turned children tiny.

Jacob felt Sam moving around in his pocket and it took so much of his willpower to avoid looking right down at him that he almost forgot to answer his parents. After a beat of hesitation in which they watched him with bemused, expectant looks, he squirmed around so he could lean forward and pick up his trucks again. The pocket swayed, and he bit his lip in concentration to avoid spilling Sam right out.

"They were gonna race!" he said proudly, holding up the trucks.

"Oh? Who's winning, kiddo?" his papa asked. His mama smiled faintly and sat with a quiet huff at the table, still exhausted from the heat outside.

Jacob lowered the two toy trucks to peer at them in his hand, and spared his pocket one fleeting glance. He had to keep up the act to keep them from noticing Sam. "The blue one," he said.

His papa smiled and squatted down near the end of the bed while Jacob got to his feet. A huge hand reached out and settled on top of his head, pausing before it ruffled his hair. Jacob laughed. "Well, don't let us stop the race," his papa said. "I wanna see if blue wins."

Jacob grinned, momentarily excited about continuing his trucks' race. He had to keep Sam always in mind, though, so as he sidled past his dad to keep up the game, he was careful not to brush against him and accidentally squish Sam.

His papa put a huge hand on his shoulder to stop him and Jacob turned to look up at him with wide eyes. "Something in your pocket?" he asked, mildly curious.

Sam could hear every word outside of the pocket, and he could feel every word that echoed up out of Jacob. His eyes were wide as he tried to scrunch down even further. A curious question for Jacob’s dad could be the end for the tiny kid hidden away. “No, no, nonono…” Sam whispered to himself, his thoughts slipping out with his nerves. If they found him with their kid or in their room, they might get mad. He was trespassing, just like he’d heard his dad mention before. People didn’t like trespassers.

All Sam could do in the pocket was scrunch down as much as possible and pretend he was invisible. His knife, a reassuring weight against his chest that always comforted him, would do him no good against building sized giants. The best a slash would do was give them a papercut, and make them angrier.

A few tears squeezed out of Sam’s eyes. “Please, I’m not here…” he begged the empty air, a half-thought prayer with no direction, too distracted to realize that he was speaking out loud.

Jacob paused, noticing the tiny voice at the edge of hearing. He couldn't tell if his papa heard it too, but he was still looking at him expectantly. Behind him, Jacob could see his mama leaning to watch curiously. He pursed his lips and clutched his toy trucks closer while he rapidly processed the situation to determine if they suspected something.

"Uh uh," he said, squirming away from his Dad's hand to walk hurriedly around the second bed. "I'm only playing trucks today, see?" He held up the trucks to display them even as he sidled into the narrow space between the bed and the wall.

His mama raised an eyebrow at him. "Jacob, are you telling the truth? You know you're not supposed to lie."

"I am! I'm just playing trucks!" he insisted.

His father stood up with a quiet creak of his joints as they hoisted all of his huge body up. His mama stood again and walked around her tall husband to stand at the foot of the second bed and look appraisingly at Jacob and his pocket.

"Jacob," his papa said gently. "Did I hear something? Do you have a mouse trapped in your pocket?" His deep voice was kind, patient with the boy, but also stern.

His mama was in charge of the really stern looks, and Jacob inched away from her even more as she leveled one on him. "Jacob Nicholas Andris, you tell us the truth right now or I'm going to come and check your pockets myself."

Art done by creatorofuniverses!