Shadows and Reflections 2

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Five minutes later, Dean was walking down the sidewalk. "You got ants in your pants or something?" his deep voice demanded of Sam.

Sam couldn't help twitching away from the anger and annoyance in the voice echoing around him, reminded of their argument that morning. And, on purpose or not, reminded of his insignificance. The last few days, Sam couldn’t help the feeling that he was pissing Dean off more often than not. Dean had been so angry ever since visiting their old house. Ever since calling their dad and hearing nothing back from him. For the thousandth time.

Sam had honestly thought he’d be helping when he changed the password to the computer… he’d been meaning to do it ever since finding out how easily hacked Dean’s was. Sure, he felt bad he’d forgot to tell Dean he changed it, but the last thing he’d expected was the anger he’d heard in his brother’s booming voice. It was the first time in weeks Sam had actually felt real fear of his brother. The first time in ages he'd felt so exposed and vulnerable with Dean. The only human in the world that treated him like a person. Even later on, sitting on Dean's shoulder like he normally did, he hadn't been able to push the underlying fear completely away.

"No... it's just hot and stuffy in here. And cramped." He couldn't help hoping Dean would take him out at last. Being trapped in a pocket this way was one of his biggest annoyances. And the inside pocket of Dean's jacket was even worse. Not only could he not get out on his own, he couldn't even see what was going on outside, and it was hot and stifling, with no fresh air. "And what the hell was up with grabbing me earlier?"

Dean didn't answer him right away. Sam heard the familiar creak of the Impala's door opening outside before Dean's voice came again, this time far less oppressive. "She was giving me weird looks the whole time you were shifting around in there. I just didn’t want her getting suspicious. Did… I didn't hurt you, did I?" As he talked, his voice went from its normal tone to a worried hush, as if he hadn’t realized what he was doing when he pressed his hand over Sam. Dean sometimes forgot how fragile Sam was compared to him.

Sam shifted to the other side of the pocket. “No, I’m fine. You… just caught me off guard. I… I just hate not knowing what’s going on out there.”

The jacket moved again while he was talking, opening up. Dean's huge hand crowded in the pocket with Sam, effortlessly scooping him out. Once he was out of the jacket in the fresh air, Sam glared up at Dean, feeling rumpled. His hair was uncontrollably scattered every which way from being scrunched into the pocket so long. He took a deep breath the moment he was free of the jacket, trying to straighten out his pocket-hair.

Dean had a guilty look on his face once Sam got a clear view of his brother. “Look, man,” he said, voice softer now. “I know this whole situation sucks. But what other choice do we have? You can’t exactly sit on my shoulder when I’m with a vic."

Sam sighed, shifting uncomfortably on the open palm. He couldn't help wishing for some space from Dean after everything that had happened so far that day. “Whatever.”

Dean lifted his hand to his shoulder, letting Sam climb off. “Well, I didn’t get much from the sister, aside from it was definitely steps she heard. And, there’s almost no chance this was just some freak medical thing. This is definitely our type of job. You up for visiting Marie’s apartment?”

Sam sat back against Dean’s neck, stretching out his legs along the shoulder as he got comfortable. It was nice to be able to stretch out. “You know it.”

The apartment complex was only a few miles away from Sera's house. Dean pulled the Impala into the parking lot, taking one of the front spots. It was the middle of the day, so the majority of tenants were either at work or at school.

The building Marie had lived in was six stories tall, large and foreboding. Sam shielded his eyes from the sun, staring up at the monolithic building in front of them. It towered over the entire landscape, and at his size the effect became even more overblown, the top of the building so distant Sam had trouble making it out. Red bricks gave the building an older feel from the more modern apartments Sam had seen while traveling with his brother, but he remembered the complex had been built recently.

"Do you really think it could be an angry spirit?" he inquired curiously. "Six years just doesn't feel like enough time for a spirit to latch on to a building like this. How many violent deaths could have happened here?"

Dean shrugged absently, almost knocking Sam's balance off. Sam was given an abashed look while he answered. "It's possible, but not likely. Still, the way this thing's acting is more like a vengeful spirit than any monster I know about, so we'll start with that for now."

He got out of the Impala, leaving Sam on his shoulder for the moment. Opening the backdoor, Dean grabbed some supplies from his duffel. EMF meter, salt, the sawed-off shotgun he'd made... anything useful when going up against a spirit. Sam checked himself quickly, unintentionally mirroring his big brother's movements as he made sure he had his small silver knife tucked away. It was a pity he didn't have any iron small enough to wield... the silver knife wouldn't do him much good against a spirit. He still had his bag of salt tucked away with the knife from the last case they'd hunted a spirit. At his size, that was as good as it would get.

Dean was still tucking weapons away when Sam finished patting himself down. A handgun in the back of his pants, salt in a pocket, small container of lighter fluid, knife up a sleeve... Sam was always shocked that you couldn't tell that Dean had anything hidden on him, it was so masterfully done. It made Dean a dangerous man to have as your enemy, and never one to be underestimated. Soon his sawed-off shotgun, loaded with salt rounds, was the only visible weapon he was holding, and even that got tucked into the shirt in the end.

Dean stood straight, locking up the car. "I'm just gonna keep you in the pocket until we get to Marie's apartment, okay?" he asked, trying to catch a glimpse of Sam from the corner of his eye.

"Great," Sam muttered. More pocket travel.

It honestly wasn't bad in the other coats his brother owned... the chest pockets were the best to travel in. They were smaller, but he wasn't stifled or crushed when he hid in there. For some reason, the sound of Dean's heart beating behind him was calming as well. And the side pockets of the jackets were much larger, despite the way they swayed at Dean's slightest movement. He'd even started to find those pockets comforting to be in.

On the other hand, having to stay in the inside pocket was cramped, hot and uncomfortable. It was smaller, it was stifling, and he was trapped in there until Dean let him out. Dean could feel his slightest movement and neither of them had even the slightest modicum of personal space.

In the end he climbed willingly into Dean's offered hand. He didn't want to start anything, knowing Dean hated the idea as much as he did. Sometimes there just weren't any other options. The huge jacket swung effortlessly open in front of Sam as Dean lowered him down. Sam glanced up at his brother one last time before jumping into the pocket, landing at the bottom without a scratch.

The pocket shifted as Dean closed the jacket, coming to a rest with Sam leaning against the huge wall that Dean's chest formed behind him. There was a bit more movement as Dean fixed his suit up so it would be presentable, and made sure Sam was out of sight. One of the massive hands brushed gently over Sam's small form, making sure that he was alright before setting out.

The huge footsteps echoed up through the pocket, rattling Sam slightly from where he was curled up in a ball, in a corner of the pocket for support. Feeling the power in each step made him remember how easy it would be for him to get stepped on if he was ever on the ground.

It wasn't long before the cadence of the footsteps changed, the little light leaking in the jacket becoming dimmer. There was a sound from behind Dean of a door closing as his brother entered the apartment building.

Dean's voice echoed around Sam. "I'm gonna take the stairs, see if there's any EMF on our way up. You hold on in there, alright?"

"Yeah, got it." Sam called up. Putting action to words, he threaded his fingers through the coarse fabric on either side of him.

He remembered the last time going up stairs with Dean. It hadn't been a fun experience. And, when he felt Dean take that first step, he knew this time would be no better. At his size, he didn't weigh the jacket down at all. So each step Dean took shook the pocket, making Sam bounce up a few inches in the air. He gritted his teeth when his small body bounced off Dean's solid chest in time with the footsteps. There was no way he was getting out of this day without any bruises.

Luckily, not too long into the trip, Dean wrapped his hand around Sam, holding the pocket and his brother still with gentle insistence. Sam felt himself relax with the support from his brother, no longer bouncing with each step. Dean kept his hand there the rest of the way, even after he got out the EMF meter with his other hand and started scanning on the last flight of stairs before Marie's apartment.

Sam could hear the steady buzzing of Dean’s equipment, giving off no reaction as he finished climbing the stairs. The whole time, Dean didn't talk much, completely focused on the job at hand.

Once they reached the top of the stairs, Sam felt the jacket opened again as Dean dug out his lockpick. He was swung out as it was held open, holding tighter to the pocket when he remembered how high on the air he was suspended like this. Once it closed again, all he could hear was the steady clicks coming from the doorknob while Dean got it open.

Moments later they were in the apartment and Sam was taken out of the pocket at last. Dean held him out in front. “So, where do you wanna start?” he asked, arching his eyebrows at Sam.

Sam glanced around the apartment from his high perch, examining the rooms with his own unique take on it. They were standing in the kitchen next to the entrance. The entire space was wide open, appliances and counters lining the walls. He could see past the doorway that the next room had much more clutter, past a small dining room table. He thought for a moment as he took in all the detail. “How about the next room? Doesn’t look like many places in here that could be used to get into the walls.”

Their plan was to sweep the apartment, leaving no stone unturned. Dean would check out the girl's rooms and Sam would be able to check the walls and corners Dean couldn’t reach, since he was small enough. His size could come in handy for at least one thing.

Dean gently lowered him to the ground in the doorway between rooms, standing up once Sam was sure of his footing. Sam took one glance up at his brother from his angle on the floor, and turned quickly to the dining room. He didn’t mind standing on the floor, but it was still disconcerting to see how much Dean towered over him from down here. Sam didn’t even reach the top of Dean’s boots like this.

He made his way past the massive table and chairs that were in the room as quick as he could. He could hear (and feel) Dean’s boots thumping in the kitchen as he scanned the area for any EMF that would indicate a haunting. From what he could hear, Dean wasn’t having much luck.

Sam finally reached the far wall, gently touching a crack in the wall. The wallpaper peeled off, opening to the space between the walls. He peered into the dark, searching for signs that anyone his size had ever been there. If you knew what to look for, it was easy to tell if there was anyone making the walls their home. Unfortunately, all he found was dust bunnies and sawdust and a distinct lack of footsteps. So much for someone his size seeing the whole thing. That would just be too easy, wouldn't it?

Going deeper into the wall, a small amount of light filtered from the room beyond. Dean’s footsteps shook the dust around him as he came into the dining room to continue his own search. A brief shadow blocked out the light for a moment when Dean walked by the entrance, not realizing his little brother was inside.

Tearing himself away from the odd feeling of fear he got from the thought of his brother having no idea where he was, Sam made his way further into the walls. It was odd that he actually preferred to have a human know where he was after years being raised the complete opposite way. His way of thinking was slowly shifting from how he'd been raised.

Wood ply beams stretched over his head, held in place by screws as big as his head or larger. He took advantage of a beam that stretched up into the wall at an angle, using it to climb away from the ground.

He paused for a moment in his climbing, reassured by the closed walls around him. For so long now he’d been traveling with Dean he’d forgotten what it was like to be safely away from the human world. The darkness was  comfort, along with the knowledge that in here he was away from giant, prying eyes. He wouldn’t trade his life with Dean for the world, but sometimes it was nice to not have giant eyes on him all the time. As much as he trusted his brother (and even with the argument from that morning, he still trusted Dean with his life) his instincts, honed from years of avoiding humans, were always on edge around Dean.

From up in the air, he could see further into the dark recesses of the walls. There was no sign of any malicious presence. One of the main signs their dad had told them to check for was ectoplasm. It only appeared with the most powerful spirits, but it was a clear and easy to spot sign of a haunting. One of the only hard parts about finding it was it often only appeared in places that humans had a hard time getting into. Like the walls.

Another thing Dean had told him to check for was hexbags. A witch could easily have caused Marie's death. Because the spell could be tracked or stopped if you could find the hexbag they were always hidden in hard to reach areas. Walls, under sinks... small dark corners that were easily forgotten and overlooked.

Luckily for Dean, getting into the walls had become a lot easier with his miniature brother.

And it was nice to actually feel needed. Sam had a hard time being useful with certain types of hunts. Like vampires… what could he do to help out against a massive, overpowered killing machine? Dean would have to handle that type of hunt on his own. Sam would just be a liability in that situation. He'd be reduced to the research buddy.

Over the next ten minutes, Sam made his way through the walls, searching for ectoplasm and hexbags. He could hear Dean in the rooms beyond, the thumping of his boots making him easy to track. It was a constant reassurance to hear him thud throughout the apartment. Even when he tried to walk softly Sam could track him by the shaking floors.

Aside from what seemed to be a mouse nest made of lost fabrics and birdseed, Sam didn’t find anything remotely interesting. Nothing out of the ordinary was in the walls at all, making his search a bust. He made his way through the walls until he found another exit through the wallpaper, although this time he had to use his knife to make the opening big enough to fit through.

He found himself standing on a desk next to a tall computer in what had to be the girl's office. “Dean?” he called out, listening for his brother.

It was a few minutes before Dean found him there, still brandishing the EMF meter. “Any luck?” he asked as he came over to the desk, resting a hand near Sam.

Sam took the initiative and climbed up to Dean’s shoulder, gripping the thick fabric for support. It was easy enough, the way Dean kept himself motionless until Sam was settled. Dean was well used to Sam's antics when it came to being independent enough to get himself around. “Nothing in the walls. Just some sawdust and maybe a mouse nest. No mice though. You?”

“No, not even a blip. Whatever this is, it’s either gone or not a spirit. And if there are any witches in the area, they're either real good at hiding their work, or using magic I haven't seen yet.” Dean rubbed the back of his head. “We should check into the history of the apartment, what little there is. Who knows, maybe we’ll find a previous tenant that offed themselves in the stairwell if we're lucky.”

Sam cracked a smile. “So, more research?”

Even though he couldn’t see his brother’s eyes from where he was sitting, Sam knew Dean was rolling them. His lips twitched at Dean’s predictability. “Yeah, my favorite part,” Dean muttered dryly. “You hungry before we get back to the motel?”

“Uh, maybe a salad or something,” Sam said, “I’m not too hungry.”

“How can a salad possibly taste good? You’re pretty much eating leaves as big as you are,” Dean quipped.

“Better than all that grease you eat on those bacon cheeseburgers.”

“But at least I enjoy my food.” Dean walked out of the apartment with Sam still on his shoulder.

Sam held on to the collar for support as his seat swayed under him with Dean's steady gait. He sighed, wishing Dean could understand how much he loved fresh food. And why. How did you explain what it was like to live without any fresh food for most of your life to someone who’d always been able to eat what he wanted, when he wanted? “What makes you think I don’t enjoy salads? They taste a lot better than most things I eat like this. And I love how fresh they are.”

“Whatever you say.” Dean hit the button on the elevator.

While they were waiting, Sam brushed his hand over his arms, smoothing down the hairs. He felt on edge suddenly. Like he was being watched. But nothing was in there. Sam’s instincts with being seen were usually fantastic. It was a survival skill that had served him well. He decided not to mention anything when Dean had no reaction. Surely if there was anything around, a trained hunter would notice.

It took about a minute until the elevator dinged, opening up to let them in.

Seconds before the door opened all the way, Sam caught sight of a human standing inside. He dove under the collar of Dean’s jacket, flattening himself against the broad shoulder. Sam prayed she hadn’t seen him sitting out the open there. Of course - the one time he got to stay out of the pocket he almost gets spotted. Just my luck, he thought with annoyance.

Dean stiffened the moment he realized what was happening. Trying to play it cool he strode into the elevator, standing next to the girl. She had a small dog on a leash, sitting obediently at her feet. She was pretty, with shoulder length blond hair and flawless skin. If Dean had been alone he might have made a pass at her.

As things were, Sam's tiny body shook slightly against his shoulder, reminding him exactly how vulnerable his brother was in this type of everyday situation. Sam needed him to focus now more than ever.

Dean tried to ignore Sam, not wanting the girl to pick up on his own nervousness, compounded by Sam's fear. She eyed him up and down, curiosity in her eyes as she took in his suit.

“Are you here investigating Marie’s death?” she blurted out all at once as he came to stand next to her. Her blue eyes were suddenly wide and fearful.

“Uh, yeah. How’d you guess?” Dean asked, turning slightly towards her.

“We’ve just… had a lot of suits in checking out her place the last few days.” She stared down at her puppy. “She was so nervous the last days I saw her.”

The elevator came to a halt at the ground floor. Dean got out, waiting for the girl to follow. “What do you mean?” he asked.

“She… I saw her on and off the last few weeks,” she gazed into the distance as she spoke. Dean could feel Sam moving slightly on his shoulder, tiny hands searching for purchase. He was probably trying to get into a better position on the shoulder. As long as Sam remained out of sight and wasn't in any danger of falling off.

She continued on after a moment. “Every time I saw her, she seemed more nervous. Like… real jumpy. She asked me a few times if I heard anything ever following me up the stairs.”

She knelt down next to the puppy, rubbing its fluffy ears. It have a happy little groan, leaning into her touch. “When I walk Reagan, I used to take the stairs. He liked climbing up and down, and he gets really nervous when we’re in the elevator. But, ever since her death, I can’t bring myself to go down the stairs. It’s like…. something’s there, waiting.” Her lips trembled. “You probably think I’m crazy.”

The puppy jumped up, giving the girl a lick on the cheek and whined, trying to cheer her up. She smiled, pushing him down.

Dean, standing there with his four-inch brother hiding on his shoulder and an arsenal concealed on his body for hunting spirits, didn’t even blink. “We're investigating every lead we find. No matter how crazy it sounds,” he gave her a smile as she stood back up.

Dean was finally left alone with Sam as she went outside to walk her puppy. “You alright there, short stuff?” he reached up a hand to help Sam out from under the jacket.

“Ha ha ha, very funny,” came Sam’s tiny voice in his ear as he pulled himself free. He pushed away Dean's helpful hand. "I'm fine."

Dean smirked as a thought came to him. “So, Polly wanna cracker?”

Sam slapped the side of Dean's neck, grimacing when his hand stung more than it hurt Dean. “Jackass.”

Dean laughed. “Ow, that almost hurt! You been working out?” He walked out to the car, checking to make sure no one else was around to see his tiny brother sitting on his shoulder. Aside from the girl they’d seen on the elevator, no one was in sight, and she was busy watching her puppy play in the grass.

"You hear what she said?" Dean asked, focusing back on the case.

"Yeah, sounds like whatever this is, it's connected to the stairwell."

With that in mind, the Impala pulled out in the street, heading towards the nearest restaurant.
CHAPTER 2: Investigation

A bit of independence for little Sammy during investigation! 

A slightly related/unrelated note - I officially have over 200k words posted throughout my stories! :dance: :party:

Tomorrow we find out the winners of the contest ;)

Thanks for all the comments and reviews! They absolutely make my day!

Editing help came from GalaxyWitch. She's the best :) And I put her through a lot :lmao:

Story happens before Season 1: Episode 11 Scarecrow


Shadows and Reflections 1A/N: This is the fifth part of the Brothers Apart series, if you want to read the first four parts, links are found below.
It came again.
Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.
She froze on the stairs.
It stopped.
Heart racing, she peered over the railing, trying to see if there was anyone else in the stairwell with her. Some other reason that would cause the sound. Any other reason.
No one was there.
After moving into the her new fourth floor apartment a little over a month ago, she'd happily started climbing the stairs on a daily basis, determined to keep herself well exercised and physically fit, no matter how involved with her college studies she became. Taking the stairs each day she left home and each day she returned had seemed as good a place as any to start. Especially since her work kept her in the lab almost constantly, weighing out minute amounts of chemicals and studying the reactions with an intense concentration her peers envied.
She was on


Shadows and Reflections 3Later that night, Dean and Sam sat in the motel room, eating through the food Dean had picked up from a small diner earlier on.
Sam had waited in the car the entire time, wanting to keep out of sight. He’d been in a pocket for far too long that day already, he hadn’t wanted to come in if it meant sitting in the pocket even more.
Still, being alone in the car was almost just as bad. Jumping at every shadow that passed by, afraid someone would glance in and see him there. Sam was feeling far jumpier than normal after everything he’d gone through that day. Almost being seen, pissing off Dean with every little thing he did… it was like he couldn’t do anything right.
Now that they were in the room, it was a bit better. Dean was still giving him surreptitious looks out of the corner of his eye, guilt painted on his face whenever he met Sam’s eyes. Sam knew he felt awful for the way he’d acted in the morning, but Dean being Dean, he wouldn’t say

I do not own Sam, Dean or any part of Supernatural. The storyline and all other characters are mine. Please do not repost. :iconsambitchfaceplz:
© 2015 - 2023 nightmares06
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PeaceJoJo's avatar
I swear, this story is perfectly creepy for nighttime reading. :D

Littly Sammy climbing through the walls was a lot of fun. I always liked the idea of tinies exploring places that normal-sized people cannot.