It was the light that woke him.
Sam Winchester, cursed to live at four inches in height, was not used to waking up to bright sunlight in his room. For years, he’d lived under the floorboards in the Trails West with his adopted family, staring up at what little light managed to trickle between the floorboards. The dark confines of their home were warm and safe, welcoming for the people who were smaller than a hand.
So opening his eyes to a brightly lit open space was the last thing Sam expected to see.
Looking around the room didn’t clear things up for him. His memories of the night before were still fuzzy and unfocused, mixing up with the varied dreams he’d had. Sam sucked in a gasp of surprise when he saw a massive human lying in a bed only a foot away, peaceful breaths of air drawn into lungs bigger than Sam… or his bed… or even his home.
Sam curled his legs closer, trying to make himself as small as possible while his mind raced. What had happened? He didn’t remember getting caught… at least not since Jacob first got his hands on him.
Then he spotted Jacob lying in the other bed, his face just as relaxed as the other man’s, and the memories came rushing back.
A bit of the tension unwound from Sam’s back. That man lying so close by was Dean. Sam’s determination had lead him and Jacob to the hunter’s doorstep, culminating in a reunion that was long overdue. Sam calmed his breathing and did his best to relax, repeating to himself that he was with his older brother, and Dean would never let anything happen to him.
That fact was clearly underlined by Dean’s reaction to the bruises covering Sam’s torso. It was the outcome of a mistake by Jacob, holding Sam just a little too tight, and the teenager was repentant. He’d helped Sam and driven the cursed man over eight hours to find his older brother, and so Sam had forgiven him.
Dean was a harder sell, especially only seconds after discovering Sam was alive. Sam had prevented Dean from putting more than an impressive bruise on the kid, and had a feeling that if he’d let Dean keep going, Jacob would have been tossed out of the room with no other thanks.
There was a shifting on the bed Dean was sleeping on, and Sam found himself curling more of the blanket-- which, when he looked down at what he was sitting on, discovered it to be a black t-shirt-- around himself so he didn’t feel so exposed.
Green eyes blinked tiredly open and Sam could swear his neck tingled as they glanced around at the room. It was a full minute before comprehension fell over Dean’s face, and he saw Sam sitting there, arms around his knees and trying his best to hide in plain sight.
“Hey,” Dean said softly. His eyes briefly flicked to Jacob to make sure he was asleep, then back to Sam. “How you feelin,’ pint-size?”
Nerves or not, Sam couldn’t hide a roll of his eyes at the nickname he had a feeling Dean would never give up on. At least, not from the look in his eyes. “I’m fine,” he said, more insistent than he meant to be. A doubtful look crossed Dean’s face, and Sam knew he wasn’t hiding his nerves as well as he thought.
Sam hunched his shoulders. “Just… not used to being out in the open like this,” he said hesitantly. It felt like he was admitting a weakness.
Understanding filled Dean’s eyes, and the hard look that always seemed to be on his face softened. “You fell asleep after the hunt,” he said in an attempt to explain. “I… wasn’t sure where else to… put you.”
The same hesitation filled Dean’s voice, and Sam realized his older brother had no better idea about how they were supposed to handle things than he did. For some reason, that made him feel a little better. He might not know what he was doing, but neither did Dean.
“Maybe…” Dean was scanning the room while he talked. “I’m sure we can find somewhere hidden for you to stay. Y’know… if you wanted to.”
Sam looked into those green eyes, trying to ignore the way they were the size of his head, and saw hope, and fear, and nerves that almost equaled his own. He remembered the night before, when Dean almost didn’t want to believe that Sam was back.
“Of course I want to stick around,” Sam said, his voice so soft that Dean found himself leaning in. Sam twined his fingers together, focusing on them more than the gigantic hunter. “I just… should get my stuff from my home. I didn’t say goodbye to anyone there when we left. Wasn’t… really sure we’d actually find you.”
“Well, you found me,” Dean said, grinning at Sam. After a second of contemplation, he moved his arm and Sam found a hand reaching towards him. He tried to not flinch, but stiffened completely and squinted his eyes shut.
Something large touched the top of his head, then lightly ruffled his hair. Sam opened up his eyes to see Dean’s hand already retreating back to his side and realized it had only been a fingertip.
“You’ll have a hard time losing me, ever again.”