Jacob trudged up the stairs in his small home, freshly returned from a series of errands that had kept him out of the house since lunchtime. He'd been home for several days, and it didn't feel right to refuse his mother the help here and there with shopping or errands when she asked. It didn't cost him much to make a quick trip to the store, and it made her happy.
It also gave him the perfect excuse to grab supplies for Dean's building project.
Mere days ago, Jacob had come home to visit with two secret passengers in tow. Sam and Dean Winchester had been cursed when they were kids of only ten and fourteen years old, reducing them to a fraction of their real sizes. Jacob had found them years later and, after gaining their trust, was traveling in style in Dean's black 1967 Chevy Impala.
They were looking for John Winchester, a father who thought his boys had died a decade and a half ago. On the way, Jacob had been learning all about the kinds of monsters that lurked in the world, waiting to prey on the weak and unsuspecting. During their search, they stopped to handle what cases they found. They saved people from suffering like the Winchesters had.
Jacob had only been home a day when he realized that not all the monsters were found in the lore books in Bobby Singer's library of the supernatural. Some of them were seemingly-regular people, hiding in plain sight. Jacob's former best friend from high school had shown his true colors when he stumbled upon Sam and Dean while Jacob wasn't around.
Jacob had found them and brought them back as soon as he could, but not before the damage was done.
Sam's arm was snapped in one careless motion by a human who didn't seem to notice or care. The brothers needed to lie low while he recovered, and Jacob wasn't going to leave them behind. To that end, Dean had taken up the task of building them a home in the wall of Jacob’s bedroom, a safe place for them to wait if Jacob went out, and a place to keep their things on future visits. It was an idea that Jacob was certain would have come up eventually even without the crisis that befell them.
When he made it to the door of his room, he rapped twice on the wood with his knuckles before opening it. As usual, he watched the floor when he stepped in and closed the door behind himself. Then, one hand and both hoodie pockets occupied with supplies, he shuffled over to the wall near the dresser.
Dean had taught him a knock to use when he was near their chosen entrance to the wall, and Jacob repeated it. He wondered what it sounded like to them inside, but he knelt on the floor, knowing it wouldn't be long before he saw a tiny face peeking out from an invisible doorway formed by loose wallpaper.
“Don’t even think about it!”
Sam winced at the entrance to their small home. Caught.
Jacob’s footsteps were unmistakable coming up the stairs, though neither brother would show their face outside of the walls until the knock came on their wall, and especially if they didn’t hear the double knock that came on the doorway to Jacob’s room itself.
However, Sam had been trying to take advantage of the brief amount of time between hearing Jacob trudge up the stairs to his room to sneak away from Dean undetected.
It was boring in the walls all the time.
Dean rounded the one wall they had in their home so far, separating the main room that was being turned into a vague imitation of a living room/storage space/kitchen from their combined bedroom. Until he got more materials, they wouldn’t be able to separate the rooms further, but there was plenty of space in the hovel Dean had discovered. It gave them room to spread out if they needed, and with Jacob’s help, they could make it better than their old place back at Trail’s West.
Rough shelves lined one wall already, full of food choices that Dean had either slipped away unnoticed with, or given to them by Jacob. They might have a helpful human, but they still needed to make sure their skills remained sharp, so Dean would make supply trips to various areas around the house, and making sure to stay clear of any of Mariana’s items after Jacob had mentioned she was more likely to miss things than the men in the house. Valuable information like that couldn’t be wasted.
It was a nice, peaceful home. If Jacob wasn’t around to help them out, it would still be more viable than the walls of the Trail’s West motel, though they certainly would have to be more careful. Having the same humans around meant missing items would be easier to notice missing.
Sam glanced back at Dean. “Dude, chill. I was just going for a walk!”
Dean had a predictable glare on his face. “You need to rest, Sam, and that doesn’t mean going outside the wall!”
The rumbling echo of Jacob knocking on the door of his room came, followed by the sound of the door clicking open. It was crazy to imagine the sheer size of the guy that had helped them out so much. Closer to Godzilla than their own size, Jacob loomed over most humans and was built like a tank. He’d had no problem dealing with Bobby Loran once he’d tracked them down to Bobby’s house. The other teen had been handled like a child, and both brothers liberated from his pockets.
Sam tried to out-stubborn Dean, but his normal well of determination was drained. The arm was painful while it healed, and he didn’t want to admit it, but Dean was probably right. He needed to rest.
“Fine,” he muttered, hoping to avoid a draining argument. He shuffled back towards the sleeping area, kicking both his boots off again. “Just hate the fact that I can’t doanything in here.”
Dean’s eyes softened as he watched Sam round the corner to where they’d each set up their new nest of fabric, this time with even softer fabrics than before. Eventually he’d be able to separate the area more so they had their own individual rooms, but it was a work in progress. They couldn’t risk staying out in the open while he finished his modifications.
The second round of knocks echoed heavily around the air, and he jolted, having forgotten for a moment why Sam was trying to get out.
There were about three feet along the wall from their home to the entrance. It took Dean around twenty seconds to cover that distance, but Jacob’s body could stretch from one end of the passage to the other just by sitting down out there.
Dean reached the wallpaper, pushing it out with a recognizable wariness that had flooded back with Sam’s injury. It went away when he saw Jacob kneeling down out there, his shadow blocking the light completely over the entrance.
Dean leaned casually against the side of his entrance. “So, did you have a good trip?” he asked with a smirk, covering up the instinctive wariness he’d shown moments before.
Jacob grinned, glad to see Dean’s demeanor return to his usual confidence quickly. He might never be sure how someone like him, huge and built and powerful by comparison, had managed to win Dean’s trust even before Bobby tormented the small brothers. It was hard-earned. Dean, as Jacob had come to know, was one of the most stubborn people he’d ever met.
Jacob’s relaxed attitude was a stark contrast that only highlighted the small hunter’s drive and independence even more. He still let himself ask Jacob for help once in awhile, including getting him supplies for the house he was building. If it meant a better place for Sam to rest and heal, Dean could set aside that pride for an instant.
“It was, y’know, completely average,” he replied. He set down the wires, pins, and cloth bundle of easily-stored food that he’d carried in near Dean. Then, he reached into his hoodie pockets and produced some small cuts of plywood, filched from a construction site on the walk home, as well as a few sheets of aluminum foil that he hastily un-crumpled before setting them down.
With the significant pile of supplies laid out for the smaller man, Jacob shifted where he knelt. Both hands planted in the carpet so he could stretch his legs out behind himself, before settling down on his stomach. With his chin resting idly on folded arms, he was closer to Dean’s level.
Closer, but still above; he couldn’t physically make himself any smaller than that. “So, did I forget anything this time?” he asked with a grin, feeling proud of the pile he’d brought back regardless of the answer.
Dean let himself step out from the protective depths of the walls, fully trusting the human that was helping him. Despite the fact that Jacob had flattened himself along the ground, he was still just about the size of a mountain.
A friendly mountain that reminded Dean more of a hopeful puppy.
Dean walked around the supplies he’d been brought, surveying what he had to work with. Sam should be happy; the plywood would let Dean start separating their home further so they had more privacy. Aluminum foil was always in demand at their size because it was versatile. With this much Dean might consider making some extra cups and plates to keep around their home and not worry about unfolding it to be used for other projects.
They didn’t have to live day to day, hoping to find the next batch of supplies or food.
A wish crossed his mind again that they could give this life to their adopted family. Walt and Mallory deserved better than being trapped in that motel, no matter how content they seemed to be with their lives. Dean and Sam owed them so much, if only they could get them out of that place.
Dean scooped up the wires and pins into his arms and started to pack them away into his duffel. “No, I think you’re good. This is more than I asked for. I’ll have to start hiding the pins from Sam soon, he might throw them at me if he has to sit around much longer.”
Jacob snickered at the image of Sam tossing around pins the size of small daggers to him. They would be like slightly bulky throwing knives. "Maybe," Jacob agreed, raising an eyebrow appraisingly at the pins as Dean stashed them away.
"How's he doing, other than bored?" Jacob asked, willing to bet that Sam could hear him talking from their home tucked away in the walls. Even at the lower volume he used with the brothers, he'd been informed that he rumbled. A lot. "Maybe a little fresh air would do him good."
The suggestion came hesitantly, anticipating the answer already, but Jacob knew he'd be stir crazy, too, even after just a few days of being cooped up. They couldn't even fit their dad's journal into the walls, so Sam had nothing to really do while he was recovering. Jacob had yet to think of an alternative.
Dean considered it, then shook his head with a negative. “Maybe once he’s further along,” he said regretfully, hating the way Sam was stuck in the walls but seeing no way around it. “I don’t want to risk the arm getting jarred at all. We’d have to start from square one and that would be even worse than just cooling his heels for a few weeks.”
After he finished packing the pins in his bag, the small duffel was completely full. Dean tossed it over his shoulder, squatting down to grab the sheets of aluminum foil and fold them to a manageable size. He could spend the rest of the day sorting them and cutting them down to a proper size for use. Maybe leave one or two bigger in case anything ever came up. Being prepared was everything.
Rocking back on his heels, Dean glanced up at Jacob while he worked. An idea had come to him earlier in the day when he glanced over Sam’s shoulder at his journal. Just an extra layer of protection for their home against any eventualities. “Do ya think you could find us some red paint and a brush?” Dean asked seriously. “Something I could fit in the walls and work with.”
Jacob blinked, making sure he'd heard correctly. A bemused look overtook his confused expression and he smirked faintly. "Already getting to the decorating stage of your house building? Damn, that was fast," he teased, unable to resist. "Maybe I should be looking for furniture to match?" The thought of a miniature home within the walls being done up like the color-coordinated houses in magazines brought a grin to his face. Somehow, he doubted Dean had even once considered a magazine like that, even before his curse made him too small to hold one.
He thought about the unexpected supply request, musing to himself about how he'd get it. Red paint wouldn't be too hard to figure out. He could probably find some in the house somewhere, if it came to it. A brush that Dean could actually use might be tricky. Almost any paintbrush available would be longer than Dean's whole body, and the bristles would be half the length of his arm. Jacob might have to cut the end off of whatever he found so Dean wouldn’t be forced to work with something wobbly in his arms.
Dean tucked the foil under his arms as he stood back up, giving Jacob a flat look. “I doubt they have matching furniture that comes in our size,” he said dryly. “This is more important, anyway. We can figure something out for seats out of the wood you brought us if we put some fabric over them.”
He gestured towards the wall where Sam was waiting. “It’s for warding symbols,” he said. “Sam copied down sigils that will keep demons from being able to get into our home. They wouldn’t even be able to kick in the wall if they’re your size. Salt has the same effect, but it’s messier, and easier to disrupt.”
"Oh, that's a good idea," Jacob replied, his eyes trailing along the wall. Somewhere behind the simple wallpaper was a home, a place that Sam and Dean would call theirs while they were here. Jacob couldn't see it, but knowing it was hidden was enough. Now, it'd be hidden from even some of the things the trio hunted. Jacob had never dealt with a demon before, but he knew from what the brothers told him that they were nasty customers.
"You guys are gonna have a fortress by the time you're done," he pointed out with a grin. It sounded badass, even if he could never actually see it. Their own personal batcave to bunker down and weather the threats outside.
Though, now that he thought about it, Jacob was gladder than ever that his mom didn't know about Sam and Dean. She was a devout Catholic and somehow Jacob doubted she'd appreciate sigils and warding runes painted in her home. It didn't matter that they actually protected from demons; Jacob had seen enough of the symbols to know that they'd look satanic to the untrained eye.
“That’s the plan,” Dean agreed. He started to shuffle some of the larger blocks of plywood towards the hidden entrance. Some were larger than he was but he didn’t have a problem shifting them. Their cursed size had come with perks, though they were few and far between.
Increased strength for both brothers. Dean didn’t need an arm wrestling match with Jacob to know he should be stronger if they stood side-by-side. Humans couldn’t just dangle other humans like kittens, yet both Winchesters did so effortlessly whenever they got the chance. Once Sam’s arm was healed up, Dean would almost welcome his younger brother’s antics if only for a reminder that he was healed.
Sam also had the ability to know when they’d been spotted or when someone was seeking them out. The effect was dampened around Jacob these days, but he still got a tingle on the back of his neck if the human glanced at them. His knack had saved them numerous times.
Dean’s was, in a way, the opposite. Instead of knowing that he was being sought out, he had the ability to seek items he needed or desired. During their first road trip with Jacob to find Bobby, the entire time Dean had a compulsion almost pulling him towards the house in Sioux Falls. He’d assumed it to be John Winchester, but instead it turned out that he was being drawn towards the Impala.
One day, they’d find their father. It just hadn’t been that day.
Dean did pause before he took the first plywood into the walls. “Oh, and Sam thinks you should get a laptop to go with that new cell phone.” He winked, knowing why Sam would want Jacob to get such a thing. Dean and Jacob might be lucky to get a turn on it once Sam had a go. “It’ll help us find cases when we’re on the road.”
Jacob thought about the cell phone he'd gotten just a week or two before coming home. Sam and Dean had prodded him to get one, just in case he needed to call Bobby fast on a case. He'd gotten by without one for so long, that he only barely remembered to have the thing in his jeans pocket all the time.
It was made possible by a sly credit card scam that Dean had helped him set up. Jacob hadn't felt right about it at first, but it was hard to argue with the necessity. Hunting wasn't a very prosperous job, and what they were doing was important. Otherwise, people would keep dying that didn’t deserve it. Jacob could never deny that spark in Dean’s eyes when he got determined to do more to help people. The phone was a tool of the trade.
Getting a laptop would definitely require using the card again. A blank look strayed across Jacob's face before he cleared it, pushing aside the thought for the moment that he'd have to explain that to his mom; his jobs paid pretty well before becoming a hunter, but not that well. Maybe he'd be able to say he got paid really well for fixing up cars. Bobby Singer would back him up, at least.
"Okay," he answered with a nod. "I'll look at them when I go into the city next. Red paint and a laptop. Keepin' it interesting." Seeing Dean pushing the many supplies towards his entrance, Jacob tilted his head slightly to watch the progress. "Want anything else, or are you gonna be busy moving stuff around for a while?"
Dean shook his head. “Just the paint. If I get much more inside, Sam will end up buried under supplies and I’ll never hear the end of it.” He had to pause in his talking to shove the block into the walls, vanishing from sight as he did so. He dropped off his duffel and foil inside, forming a pile out of sight that he’d be able to sort through when Jacob was gone.
He slipped back into open air, going over to the bundled up food. He could probably use the covering of fabric to cover the walls he’d be building in their bedroom. It would be rough compared to the walls that humans made, but it would work for them.
They didn’t need much, after all.