“Aww, c’mon, Dean!” Sam said pleadingly. He shifted around on the surface he was sitting on, careful to not yank any of the spiky hairs that surrounded him. The last thing he needed to do was inspire a reflexive action in his gigantic brother by pulling out a hair. He already tickled Dean just by sitting on his shoulder, he didn’t need to do more. It was like a small-scale earthquake when Dean flinched.
Once he was in the right position, he slid down from his seat on top of Dean’s head and landed on the older boy’s shoulder so he could meet his eyes. Sam's best attempts at coaxing anything out of Dean always came with eye contact, and he intended to use every asset he had now that he couldn't just snatch away the controller. “It’s only for a bit! Then you can watch whatever you want!”
Dean’s eyes snapped over to his shoulder, landing on the tiny form of his cursed brother. “But X-Men is on now,” he said defensively. “It won’t be on later.”
Sam, standing barely over two and a half inches, managed to meet the look in those green eyes without flinching. Considering he’d only been cursed a little over a month, he was inwardly proud of the way he could stand up for himself against Dean. He’d found that everything was scarier ever since losing his height... even the brother he’d had at his side his entire life.
After all, those eyes were bigger than his entire head now.
But, giant or not, Dean was Dean. He might argue, complain and grumble, but he’d never once shouted at Sam. He was always cautious, and he might grab Sam from time to time, but he’d never even come close to hurting his little brother no matter how much Sam tried to squirm free. And he didn’t ignore his brother just because he was smaller now.
Sam wished that their dad was the same way. Usually, he either shouted at them both, or acted like Dean was responsible for any of Sam’s actions. Even the time he’d hitched a ride to school! They’d both been berated, but Dean had been the one punished. It didn't even matter that Dean had no idea he was there until they were halfway to school.
Even after all that, they stubbornly continued to go to school together. Whether or not John approved, he no longer said. Personally, Sam doubted it, but after the shouting match between father and older son, John had stopped arguing and snarled that if Dean wanted to be reckless with Sam, it was his responsibility.
Acting like Sam didn’t have a mind of his own anymore.
At least he wasn’t around. He’d dropped them off at the Knights Inn in Breckenridge, Colorado. He’d given them a date he should return, and left one of his fake credit cards with Dean to cover food expenses. He left salt lines around the doors and windows to keep bad things out, and a list of contingency plans for Dean to follow in case of emergency.
The motel was interesting. Sam was fascinated by the images of medieval knights that adorned the walls. He’d stared at one that hung above their bed for an hour while he waited for Dean to wake up in the morning before the alarm clock went off. The shining armor and the white horse and the sword lifted high in the air seemed so cliche, but he couldn’t help but wish he’d be able to ride in on a white horse and save the day, instead of being the victim that needed to be saved.
He turned his best puppy eyes on Dean, trying to cajole the older boy away from watching his show. After all, Sonic the Hedgehog was only on once and Sam wanted to see what the show was like.
Sam saw the moment Dean cracked. The annoyance in the green eyes vanished, and he managed a smile back. “Fine,” he said. “But next time X-Men’s on, I get the tv.”
“Deal!” Sam said brightly. That was fair.
Dean flattened himself back on the bed, lying on his stomach. They were facing the tv, near the foot of the bed where a bag of Hershey Kisses was sitting. He flicked through the cartoons that were on, finding the channel they’d passed earlier with a blue hedgehog flashing through the screen. Once he found it, he grabbed a chocolate from the bag and unwrapped it. Dean popped it in his mouth, staring rapt at the screen. He wouldn’t admit it out loud, but he enjoyed the show just as much as Sam.
Sam stretched himself out on his stomach as well, mimicking the way his big brother was lying. Instead of being stretched out on the bed, however, he was stretched out along Dean’s shoulder with his feet pointing towards the older boy’s back. The fact that Dean was eating a piece of candy the size of his torso didn't bother Sam at all. Not so long as it was Dean, at least. He rested his head on his arms, and smiled to himself.
At least Dean hadn’t changed, no matter what had befallen Sam.
While the TV flickered to images of the blue blur, down below it an unseen third guest in the room lay in wait. The space under the dresser looked like a maze of dust bunnies and the occasional forgotten wrapper left by people who missed the trash can. The maids at Knights Inn weren't paid enough to bother with vacuuming under the furniture every time they turned a room over.
Their haste proved to be an asset for the person hiding in the dust they overlooked. It was a landscape that might look dangerous to Sam, newly shrunken as he was. He could get tangled in a larger dustbunny and trip over himself trying to get out of it. The jungle of dust made the shadows even murkier.
But for Oscar, who'd never known any different, it just made it easier to hide under the dresser. He was even small for his age, making it easier than ever to duck behind things and go unnoticed.
Even so, he should not be in this room. There was a human out there. His little heart was fluttering with fear from the very idea. Humans were the most dangerous enemy for someone like him.
He'd been stuck in the room since the human teen had gone out for food, coming back sooner than Oscar had expected. He was still getting used to judging the comings and goings of humans in the motel. It was hard. Humans had patterns but it was dangerous to watch too closely. Noticing them too closely might get him noticed back.
The last thing he wanted was to get caught.
If a human caught him, it'd all be over. Oscar, barely over two inches tall, couldn't hope to escape even the frailest human. They could play with him like a toy or lock him in a cage like a pet. He thought of the many traps set in the motel's kitchen and shuddered. He never went in there for fear of having one of those snap closed on him.
They could kill him just as easily as those traps. For a human, it'd be as easy as snapping their fingers.
Oscar remembered hearing all these lessons, and he recited them to himself every time he went out for supplies. They were essential to his survival, he’d always been told. He had to plan his every move around what the humans did. It was difficult, and there were a few times he thought he might just lie down from hunger and never get back up, but he always made it. His luck hadn't run out yet.
Though it certainly felt like it. He'd been intrigued at first, seeing another kid like him with that human. Sitting on his head, and now resting right on his shoulder. They'd talked to each other like normal. Even argued about what show to watch on the television sitting above Oscar’s head.
The picture didn't fit what he'd heard about humans. But Oscar wasn't about to march out and ask what was going on. That would get him caught for sure. If that other kid was once a captive, who knew what had made him so friendly with the human now?
What he needed was to get out of the room. He was crouched near the side of the dresser closest to his exit. A vent, probably a whole five feet away, was set into the wall. If he could just reach it, he'd be fine.
The problem was the human. He was facing the wall where Oscar's vent was located. One glance down and he could see Oscar running for it. Oscar had to wait for his opportunity.
It didn't come for several more minutes, but considering how long he'd already been stranded, it made little difference to the kid hiding under the dresser. When that teenager was staring intently at the screen, hardly moving, Oscar thought it was as distracted as he'd get. Images of the show flickered in those green eyes.
Oscar took a deep breath, clinging tightly to the strap of the cloth bag slung over his shoulder. He inched towards the wall under the dresser, his eyes on the vent. It was far, but he could do it. It was what he was supposed to do: get away from the human.
So he ran.
Sam was quickly enthralled by the show on the television. It wasn't hard to figure out why; neither brother had ever owned a video game system while growing up, but at least once John had actually buckled to let Sam visit a friend for a few hours, and there was a Sega Genesis in the house.
Sam might not be able to hold the controller now, but he could watch Sonic the Hedgehog just like any other kid and pretend he was still playing that game. His eyes were wide as he watched the movie theater sized screen, completely enthralled by Sonic’s antics.
Dean rested his head on his arms, eyes glued to the tv the same as Sam. But his attention drifted, wondering if their dad had had any luck in tracking down a cure for Sam. After over a month, no one had even found a trace of his attacker, and no lore that Bobby had dug up pointed to the possibility of a size change. He might not be allowed to listen in when the two hunters were talking, but he knew the places to go in Bobby's house where he could overhear the voices. All he had to do was prop the right window open upstairs and he'd catch almost every word they said. He'd only chanced it when Sam was sleeping, knocked out on the house-sized pillow that sat on Dean's bed. Dean didn't want Sam to hear any bad news at all. He deserved to keep his hopes up, as long as it took.
When Dr. Robotnik appeared on screen, something down on the floor caught Dean's attention. He squinted, and could have sworn there was something moving down there.
"Hey, watch out," he warned Sam. If it was a false alarm, he didn't want to interrupt the show.
Sam barely acknowledged his older brother as he slipped down from the shoulder and landed on the plushy bed with a small bounce. He didn't glance away from the screen as Dean straightened, moving into a kneeling position above Sam's head.
Is it a mouse?
Dean didn't want to risk having any unknown animals darting around the room. Sam was small and vulnerable now. It would only take Dean leaving him alone once at the wrong time for tragedy to occur. He didn't need John's voice in the back of his head to tell him that.
Dean slipped quietly off the bed, creeping over towards the wall. He ignored a curious question shot his way from Sam, who was finally taking note of his older brother's odd behavior.
"Gimme a sec," Dean muttered over his shoulder.
He saw the movement again and lunged forward. Two hands slammed around the small animal to trap it between them. The show was completely forgotten as Dean stood back up, eyes wide as he stared down at his hands. He could hardly feel the weight of what he’d found.
Did I see what I thought I saw?
“What is it, Dean?” Sam asked, taking a few hesitant steps forward on the uneven surface of the bed.
Just as curious as Sam, Dean cracked open his hands so he could peek inside at what he'd caught. He sucked in a gasp of surprise and slammed them shut, staring back at Sam in dismay.
It was a kid even smaller than Sammy.