Jacob flinched forward, ready to help catch Sam, but he needn't have worried. Dean would never let anything happen to Sam. If he tried to lunge towards the smallest hunter, he and Dean would just collide and it wouldn’t end well for any one of them. So, instead, he shifted his focus to the other little creature.
It had already righted itself in the air with a quick twist of that tiny, willowy little frame. It was flapping those powerful wings quickly to pull itself upwards through the air, aiming to get itself out of reach of the humans. Jacob barely managed to reach up and close his fist around those skinny little legs clad in green boots before it got too high.
Bowman cried out in panic and alarm as he was dragged back down, both his wings and his arms reaching skyward as if he might pull himself towards the gold and green canopy. His writhing struggles were brought to a halt when the second giant brought its other hand to him and wrapped it around his whole body more securely, obscuring even his wings in the massive digits. Bowman couldn’t begin to push them back.
Dean got a faceful of bloody ferns, but he felt a small, fragile body land in his hand successfully and his fingers curled instinctively around it. He barely had time for an internal cheer before he slammed into the ground-- hard-- with a grunt. Cautiously, he sat up, unfolding the hands cupped around his tiny brother. Sam was out cold, slumped across the callused palm with his fluffy bangs over his eyes and an arm twisted behind his back.
Heart in his throat, Dean gently nudged Sam so he rolled limply off the arm. His fingers were shaking a little when he gently prodded it to check it for breaks, but there was nothing he could find. Dean swallowed. If he'd grabbed Sam a second earlier or later, he might not be alive.
While Dean stared in shock at the still form in his hands, Jacob stared at his own hands a moment longer. The tiny person he held was far from still. He could feel pitiful struggles, tiny hands and feet pushing against his palms while those leaf like wings twitched and tried to flutter. The little face was covered completely in an expression of terror, bright green eyes glancing around. His head and shoulders were the only things showing outside of Jacob’s hands.
The little thing could wait. Jacob looked at Dean in concern. "Is Sam okay?" he asked, his voice full of worry for the little guy. Their investigation came screeching to a halt with Sam injured.
Dean blinked back at Jacob. "I... I dunno," he said, upset. "I must have... I must have grabbed him too hard or something." He held his small brother up to his eyes, just barely able to see the small chest rise and fall, still breathing. "I might have broken something when I caught him. I can't tell." Dean’s voice tightened over the fact that he might have hurt Sam and he couldn't tell because he was too damn big.
He carefully cradled both hands under Sam, and glared at the small winged man that Jacob had fortunately been quick enough to catch. "Why did you attack him? He wasn't hurting you!"
Bowman froze as that angry gaze found him. A shiver raced up his spine and he thought about how completely helpless he was, trapped in one giant's hands while the other glared at him. The other smaller person, the only normal sized one besides Bowman, had gotten hurt. And by the suspicious looks trained on Bowman, they believed he was responsible for the sprite-sized whatever-he-was’s plight.
Did this mean they'd make him suffer?
Somehow, despite the terror making him quake, Bowman found room for another emotion. He was indignant of all things, and he tried to level a return glare at the giant. "I-I didn't attack him! I was just trying to get him to let go of my blasted arm!"
Their skeptical looks made him renew his struggles, though his latest captor obviously had even less trouble keeping him in place than the miniature giant. Bowman hid his fear behind a small mask of snark. The giant holding onto him with one gigantic hand was absolutely massive.
Dean looked down and held Sam closer to his chest. "Sammy..." he said quietly, wishing to hear that small voice pipe up with a laugh like normal. Sam was still out cold and showed no signs of waking.
He looked back at the strange creature. "Until he wakes up and tells us just what happened between the two of you, we don't have anything but your word to go on," Dean pointed out, his voice a gruff growl from how worried he was about Sam coupled with discovering a new creature he'd never before heard of. "Just what are you? Some kind of fairy or something?"
Bowman's brow furrowed in plain confusion. "I'm not a fairy!" he snipped. He twisted and squirmed in the hands holding him, trying desperately to shake himself loose. He had to get away before the angry giants became hungry giants. For wood sprites like him, anything bigger than him was a potential predator. He couldn’t wait around to find out.
"L-let me go and I'll tell you!" he snapped, attempting to glare at the big giant that held him. He was just staring cautiously at him, and suddenly Bowman wondered if the monster even felt his struggles. His fingers were thicker around than Bowman’s entire body.
"Not happening," Dean stated simply. "Something in the forest is killing campers and hikers and until we know you didn't do it, you're sticking with us. So you might as well just tell us. You're not going anywhere."
Bowman's eyes widened. "W-what? No!" he blurted. He didn't know what ‘campers’ or ‘hikers’ were, but he could only assume they were also giants. How could Bowman have done a blasted thing to something so huge?!
"I... I, uh," he floundered for an answer before he huffed and gave into both panic and frustration. He bit down even harder this time on the giant's hand.
"Fuck!" Jacob hissed. His hand flinched but his other was already right there to wrap around the little guy after he only dropped a few inches. This time he shifted a thumb so it was under the little would-be fairy's chin, thwarting any further attempts to bite. The little neck was pushed back, but Jacob was careful at least to avoid choking the tiny creature. Those little eyes shut tight for a second in fear, but Jacob couldn’t waver in his resolve. Looks could be deceiving.
Dean was glad that Jacob’s reflexes had improved since his first hunt, since he couldn't risk moving either hand with Sam collapsed on them. It would be too dangerous and Dean wouldn't risk his baby brother for a case. Not after so long without him, not knowing he was even alive.
"Look, whatever you are. We just want to get rid of what's hurting people." Though the words weren't harsh, Dean's tone was, from his fear for Sam. "If you didn't do it, you can help us out. Otherwise, you're stuck until this forest is safe again."
He glanced up at Jacob. "We should go back to the room," he said worriedly. "With Sam in rough shape I don't want to chance a fight."
Jacob nodded. He wasn't sure what to make of the little guy. On one hand, he was quaking a lot like Sam had when Jacob first caught him. Jacob would remember that fearful shuddering for a long time, and even now he was careful not to hold onto the tiny thing as tightly as he’d held Sam. He didn’t want to hurt the little guy. The sight of the bruised splotches covering Sam's torso might haunt him forever, no matter how many times he was forgiven.
But Dean was right. They needed to keep an eye on the creature.
Bowman flinched at every word that came out of the giant's mouth. "I don't want to go anywhere with you! You shouldn't even exist!" He squirmed uncomfortably again. His wings were still trapped in the gigantic fist and they shuddered. He wanted nothing more than to spread them wide and glide far away from these giants.
Dean arched an eyebrow, amused at that statement. "That's a funny thing to hear from someone that looks like he popped out of Peter Pan after visiting Tinkerbell. Look, we're not planning on hurting you if you're innocent. So just try and relax, alright?"
Dean nodded at Jacob to lead the way, knowing the kid had a better sense of direction out in the woods than he did. Sam he held to his chest, humming Smoke on the Water to him once Jacob was ahead of them.
All he wanted to do was help his brother, but he had no idea how with the tiny, limp form motionless across his fingers.
Jacob almost felt bad about confining the little guy this much, remembering how Sam hated it. In fact, Sam would probably have something to say to him if he were awake. Those wings were too swift; he had to keep them in check somehow. He couldn't quit glancing down at the fairy-whatever as he walked.
Bowman couldn't let himself look at either of the giants. They seemed to suspect him of something, which was a fine predicament because Bowman had never been in this part of the woods before. No one knew where he was...
"Oh Spirit," he muttered, worry creeping into his voice. The trees were passing him by but not according to his own will. Something really bad was happening to him.
"Blast it, what makes you think you have the right to just take me away?!" he blurted angrily, twisting and thrashing in the giant hand. He strained his wings with all of his might, but the hand didn’t budge. No one listened.
Dean didn't pay any mind to Jacob or their captive. All his focus was on making sure his footing was clear, and Sam lying still in his hands. He was afraid to risk a second's inattention, knowing if he tripped and fell or Sam slipped out of his grip, it would be the end for the tiny Winchester. This accident ground into Dean just how frail his brother was, seeing how he'd hurt Sam in a second's fast grab.
He paused in his humming just long enough to say "You have to be alright Sammy, you just have to. I can't lose you.
Jacob heard the plaintive murmuring and his brow pinched with worry. He wanted to say something to reassure Dean, but nothing came to mind. He knew the feeling all too well himself. He’d been the first person to grab Sam too harshly, after all, but they'd take care of Sam. Dean may have grabbed his small brother a bit hard, but there was a huge difference between a broken bone and dead on the ground.
Bowman stopped barking out protests when he realized the giants truly weren't listening. They were angry with him for the odd sprite-sized man's state. As the trees began to thin around him, his breathing quickened.
And then it stopped entirely when the end of the forest was in sight. A monstrous, shining black thing waited there and the giants went towards it. Bowman stared fearfully up at the open sky, his heart beating so fast it was practically humming.
As carefully as he could, Dean extricated one of his hands, knowing he'd need it to open the door and drive. "Just for a little bit, Sammy, I promise. We'll get you back up to speed in no time. Just hang on a little longer."
Jacob settled in the passenger side, still glancing curiously over the little guy. He felt the desperate struggles and wondered if maybe he was hurting those wings by squashing them in his fist like that. Once he was settled he shifted his grip, bringing his other hand up and forming a kind of cage with his hands. The little guy could see out and breathe easier but he wouldn't be able to squeeze through.
Bowman scowled. He was so easily manipulated in those huge hands. The giant didn't even notice him trying to push the other hand away. Bowman fluttered a little and tried desperately to pry two sprite sized fingers apart so he could escape between them. He didn't know how he'd get out of the bizarre black box, but free of those hands would do for now.
Dean got in the car, shifting so that the hand with Sam in it was cupped against his chest, adding a second wall to keep Sam from sliding around during the short ride back to the motel. Once they were there, Dean could think things through. He just couldn't focus with Sam out cold like this. He dug the key out of his pocket, going to turn on the car.
A horrible growl rent the air. Bowman yelped and flinched away, dropping to the palm below him. He curled up with his arms over his head, certain that the growl was coming from some kind of monstrosity... Maybe even one of the giants. Don't eat me ran across his mind, as well as many other pleas.
The ride back to the motel was quiet with Sam out cold and their strange, unknown prisoner curled up in Jacob's unbreakable grip. Usually the silence was broken by a constant stream of curious questions from Sam, hungry to know everything he could about the world he'd had to hide from for so long. Half the time he would even sit there writing it all down in that small journal of his. The absence of those questions was like a physical weight.
But now, with him still on Dean's hand, a heavy silence sat over the Impala's passengers. Dean brooded to himself while he drove, his eyes occasionally flicking down to Sam's prostrate form. It was clear he blamed himself for what had happened.
The Impala ate up the road and before long, Dean pulled into the motel parking lot, turning off the car with a sigh.
Bowman shuddered. He had glimpsed through the windows as the big, rolling black box stole him further and further away from his home. They were far from any trees. All he could see now was unfamiliar things, and he kept regretting flying past that metal wall.
Jacob glanced down at the little guy in his hands. "Look, dude, I'm gonna hide you for a bit. Don't want anyone else to see you," he warned. It probably wasn't comforting but at least the little winged guy knew it was coming when Jacob shifted his grip and closed one hand over him in as loose a fist as he could manage, obscuring him completely.
Bowman pushed weakly against the giant's fingers, but he was soon stuck in a dark, cramped prison. He felt the sway of motion and shuddered again, having no idea what he was being taken into.
Dean followed behind Jacob as they went into the motel room. He dropped his bag on the floor, not caring about it clattering carelessly to the ground. He had more important things on his mind.
He grabbed two washcloths from the bathroom, and the shirt he usually let Sam sleep on. One washcloth went under the shirt to add cushioning before he gently lay Sam down on it, set up right next to the computer on the table in the room. He wet the tip of the other washcloth, carefully wiping Sam's forehead to see if that would help at all.
There was no response. With a sigh, he carefully brushed a finger over Sam's forehead to see if he had a temperature at all, but Dean's skin was too thick compared to Sam. He couldn't tell.
"I'm gonna... go grab some ice," Dean said to Jacob. "You want to keep an eye on things for a few minutes?" He didn't have a problem trusting the kid with Sam's safety after everything the three of them had gone through together. Jacob had earned their trust after his tireless efforts to help them out.
Bowman almost didn't hear the answer over the sound of his own heart and ragged breathing. The giant whose hand surrounded him replied "Yeah, of course" and the words rattled through the hand. And then there was the sound of a huge slam and the silence became oppressive. There was more movement as the giant sat down, and then fell silent and still. His massive pulse shook through Bowman's body.
Did... did he forget about me?!
Jacob was tense as he sat on the bed, keeping watch over Sam like he'd promised. The poor little guy looked extra fragile when he wasn't constantly spouting questions or analyzing a problem. Hopefully he'd be alright.
It didn't take Dean long to fill up the room's ice bucket. He didn't want to be gone from Sam's side for long, but he knew he'd need the ice if - when - Sam woke back up. He inventoried the items he had in his first aid kit, just in case Sam did have a broken bone.
Dean had set a bone before, but it had been a regular sized bone for his dad after a hunt one time. He'd never considered having to set a bone that was thinner than his finger. It worried him. Sam was so fragile. Dean couldn’t even help his own little brother without the risk of hurting him more.
He got back in the room, interrupting Jacob's silent vigil with a loud bang from the door. Dean winced at that, remembering how Sam always reacted to loud noises, or even just a raised voice.
The ice bucket was put on the table near Sam for when he woke up, and Dean sat down, relaxing a hair now that he had his brother back in reach. He quirked an eyebrow at Jacob, some of the case coming back to him now that he'd done what he could. Their prisoner wasn't in sight, leaving him most likely trapped in a fist. "So, how's small fry over there?" he asked. All he could do was wait for Sam right now, so they might as well get some work done.
Jacob glanced at his closed hand where it rested on his leg. He felt the little guy start to squirm nervously again and sighed. He again felt bad for trapping him like that. "He's alright, I think," he answered, holding up his hand to indicate to Dean where the little guy was.
"Oh, so nice of you to ask, well to be honest it's just a bit sweltering, thanks!" Bowman yelled, putting as much volume in it as he could to be heard through the massive fingers. "Let me go!"
Dean tilted his head thoughtfully. Sam would probably yell at them when he woke up for this, but Dean could see no other way. "Here. We can stick him under a vase. That way, he gets some air and we can see what else he knows, starting with what he is and why he was in the forest."
Dean grabbed the vase that had been shoved to the back of the table, emptying the fake flowers onto the floor by the wall. He held it above the table with just enough room for Jacob to stick his hands, ready to drop it around the captive.
A vase? Bowman thought, wondering just how many foreign words these giants would throw around. Then he felt his jailor stand and move again, and struggled against his grasp. His movements were useless; he might as well be kicking a tree for all the good it did. The giant was simply too strong.
He sucked in a breath of surprise when the fist opened around him and moved rapidly away. Bowman stumbled and started to frantically open his wings. Before he could, there was a bang all around him and his wings slammed into a clear barrier. He drew them back and stumbled away from the giants that now had him trapped and in view, until he was stopped by the curved wall of his new prison.
Dean sat heavily in his chair, carefully curling his arm so it was mostly wrapped around the cloth bearing Sam's prostrate form, who seemed smaller than normal while he lay there. A bit of guilt jumped up in Dean again at the sight before he focused back on the captive pressed nervously against the far side of the glass. "So. You ready to talk there, small fry?" he asked, leaning in to peer through the clear vase.
Jacob sat down opposite Dean. He saw the little prisoner glance over his shoulder once, but those bright green eyes were mostly focused on Dean. Jacob could hardly blame him. Dean was intense enough when you could stand eye to eye with him.
It gave Jacob a clear view of those wings. If he wasn't looking closely, they'd look like leaves. They looked so fragile; this guy was skinny as a stick compared to Sam. Jacob had severe doubts that he could have done anything as vicious as the attacks they’d seen, but he was learning from Dean that you could never be too careful. All leads had to be checked. Dean was thorough, but he'd never hurt the small winged man if he was innocent.
Though his knees were shaking, Bowman kept his feet and his glare in place. He took a few deep breaths, parched under Dean’s searing gaze. "Climb a dead tree and fall out of it, y-you stupid giant!" he snapped, wondering what they realistically expected him to talk about.
Dean snorted at being called a 'giant,' but let it pass, remembering how Sam had felt about him and Jacob. "Right, I'll get right on that. You're pretty mouthy for a little guy," he pointed out, slightly entertained by the anger directed at him. The odd words were spoken as intensely as a vehement curse, and Dean had to wonder if he’d just had some forest fairy swears thrown at him.
Bowman scowled. "I'm not... little..." he protested weakly, taking a chance to glance around the room. Everything was massive. Square angles and enormous furniture were all he could glimpse. By comparison, he felt very little indeed. He wouldn't be able to budge his latest prison an eighth of an inch.
The giants almost seemed amused by him. It was unnerving. Bowman had always been a bit tall for his age, and topping out at four inches was respectable for sure. These creatures were just unreal.
Dean smirked. "Well, I guess compared to Sam you're not little, but compared to the rest of us, you're a little lacking in the height department." He tapped his fingers impatiently on the table. "So, what's your name? Or should I just keep goin' with small fry?"
Bowman glanced at his feet, feeling the taps in the table quite clearly. Sprite sized digits were all but slamming into the surface of the table so casually. Bowman was well aware of how powerful those digits really were. He shuddered in spite of the defiant attitude he wore.
He debated refusing to say his name. After all, there were few options available to him for rebellion now. Part of him knew it’d never work. With his eyes still cast downward he replied, "My name is Bowman."
"He opens up at last," Dean said with a smirk. "In case you were wondering, I'm Dean, and that's Jacob," he nodded at the human across the table. "And that's my brother Sam who almost got killed," he pointed out, remembering it was Bowman who had caused it.
Bowman lifted his head to glance over at the sprite-sized man. So he really was the same as these giants. Who knew when he'd grow up and join the other two in being horrifyingly large? Bowman turned his gaze back to Dean, noticing the accusation lingering beneath the words.
Did he dare talk back?
With Bowman, that was almost always a yes. "If you wanna say something don't bother hinting around it. I just wanted to leave before I got killed and that didn’t work out. So will you just get it over with?" His heart fluttered as if scolding him for the suggestion.
"Bowman," Dean said, impatient. "You're not gonna get killed. We're not here to kill you, were just here to find what's killing people in the forest, and that's it. So if you're clean, we take you back and forget we ever had this conversation. If you're the one hurting people, you won't have to worry about us much longer anyway." Dean sat back. "Once Sam wakes..." if he wakes... "we'll get the full story of what you two were doing down there on the ground before he got hurt."
Bowman actually took a step forward, looking up at the giant face with an indignant expression once more. His hands pressed against the glass in front of him, unable to move it and unable to escape it. "I didn't do anything! He grabbed me and I tried to get away!" The threat that Dean hid poorly behind his words echoed in Bowman’s head. They would kill him.
"I guess you don't have anything to worry about then," Dean snipped right back.
Bowman's shoulders dropped. He didn't believe that for a second. They had no qualms about kidnapping him just like that. They'd have no problem getting rid of him when they got bored. "Oh, I feel so much better now," he returned, doubt creeping onto his face despite his attempts to remain purely irked.
Jacob watched their exchange, wondering if he should interject at all. The little winged guy was brave as hell, snarking at Dean like that. Jacob had faced Dean’s intensity before. He’d been under his scrutiny after the seasoned hunter found out he hurt Sam, too. It was not an easy glare to match. Bowman was a very stubborn little guy.
But Jacob didn't know what he'd say that wouldn't just get more defiant attitude out of the little guy's big mouth. All in all he was kind of entertained, despite the circumstances.
Dean rubbed his face. This was going nowhere fast. He needed to focus, but he kept getting distracted.
He took a second to cool off his aggravation, checking to see if there was any change in Sam's condition, but he hadn't budged at all. Dean's stomach clenched at the sight. It wasn't natural to see him motionless like this.
"So. Bowman. If you're not a fairy," and the tone of Dean's voice said he clearly believed he was, "what are you? I've never heard of anything like you before, and I've been all over."
Bowman scoffed. "Fairies don't look anything like me!" he complained. A snort of a laugh behind him drew his startled attention.
"Sorry, dude. I uh. Just thought of something funny," Jacob lied, keeping most of his snickers at bay. That little glare, Jesus Christ. What Bowman lacked in size he more than made up for in sass.
Bowman glared at the human before looking back at Dean with an annoyed flick of his wings. "What I am is a person, you ever heard of those?!" he said hotly, his hands clenching into fists.
Dean let out a barking laugh at that. "Right. You're a person. But here's the catch." Dean leaned in again and Bowman drew back from his approach. "I'm a person, Jacob's a person, and Sam's a person. Clearly, we're all people, but a little different. So. What are you, really? "
Bowman bristled. Apparently his real meaning had gone right past Dean. "Oh, gosh, forgive me. I guess I don't know giants' traditions very well. Kidnapping and trapping people is like saying 'hello' for you, isn't it?" he shot back, annoyed at being laughed at. Annoyed at everything really.
Dean rolled his eyes. "We'll revisit that question later, I suppose. The only reason you're here with us is people are dying. If you know anything, anything about what might be causing that, we need to know."
Bowman frowned, but hid his alarm. He didn't want to seem any more clueless and in the dark than he already did. "I don't know anything, anything, " he echoed, mimicking Dean's inflection. "So will you let me go now?"
"No," Dean said, leaving no room for argument. "Tell me what you are." This came out in a far more commanding voice, sharp at the edges. He was getting impatient with the complete lack of results. Why hadn’t Sam moved yet?
Bowman flinched back, startled by the tone of voice. His heart kept on fluttering, begging him to just stop, but he met the humongous eyes staring in at him and kept his mouth shut. It accomplished more defiant snark than anything he could have said aloud.
Dean held in another sigh and leaned back again. "Right. In that case, what do you say about getting some lunch?" he asked Jacob. "I could use a bite to eat since this guy's not talking."
Bowman's expression dropped into one of shock and horror. He heard the other giant-- Jacob-- answer with "Sounds good," but Bowman thought his heart was beating louder than their deep voices. He weakly leaned against the glass and sank to a seated position with his knees drawn up to his chest. This was it; he didn't cooperate, so they were going to… No…
Jacob didn't notice the extent of Bowman's distress. He was pretty impressed with the little guy for standing up to someone so much bigger than him. "I'm starved," he admitted, retrieving his wallet from his back pocket. "Here, we can split it."
Oh, Spirit, Bowman thought with dismay, folding his arms and wings around himself, then resting his forehead on his knees. It was one thing to be eaten by a predator. But to be... split ... He shuddered, knowing there was nothing he could do to prevent them from doing it. His eyes shut tight and he willed the tears not to build.
A Day of Duality 6
11. Stop manhandling me. (Food Fight)
Brothers Protected 4
ATaSC |Soren| Kitchen Conversation and Catastrophe
XD OMG the number of misunderstandings in this story. It is a tragedy.
This entire AU is in a hot mess.
Join us on tumblr and discord for Ask the Authors weekend, starting this friday! Links to be posted on tumbles and deviantart.
The chapters in this story are longer than our average stories because we might have been in a hurry to get to the horror story when I was sectioning them out.
A bit of backstory for Brothers Found: This is actually the first AU we ever worked on, after A Lich of Sense was completed! Initially, it was all done by skype RP. The first and second stories started out that way, then for the horror story we switched to a better RP system so we didn’t lose any details.
The first story was then rewritten the same way, but the second– Bothering Bowman– remained in its skype RP form. Forgive any formatting errors that might have snuck past us, this is the one and only story we’ll post that was done in skype. It was too much of a hassle in the end.
Leave a comment if you're enjoying! It means more to us than you know
If you have any questions or ideas about the new series, or if you're just curious about what we're up to right now, hit up brothersapart.tumblr.com!
LaEscritora has deigned to be our beta reader for this fun series (Bless her heart for her willingness to read the horror story)
First Story: Chasing Family
Second Story: After the Hunt
First: Bothering Bowman 1
Next: Bothering Bowman 3
For all Supernatural stories by yours truly, please visit my Masterpost of Stories! If you still want more after that, the story tumblr is always open with fanart and you can ask about anything in the stories and see what we're currently up to! Visit Brothers Apart and give it a follow!
--Gonna remake a new Masterpost of Stories once the contest ends, FYI, since the last one is poofed into who-knows-where land.
For anyone interested, my wonderful cowriter PL1 has several other collaborative works that she has worked on, along with a few great stories in her gallery. If you're in need of some good gt, give her gallery a check! And she's got all her cowritten stories listed together so they're easy to find: Collaborative Works by PL1
Jacob Andris, Bowman Leafwing and the earthbounds sprites © PL1 The sprites are a closed species.
I do not own Sam, Dean, Bobby, John or any part of Supernatural. The storyline is the property of PL1 and nightmares06. Please do not repost.