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The Study of the Four 7

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Kneeling down, Sam settled on his knees next to the edge of the napkin, and let his satchel slide off his shoulder. He dug through it, finding a sheaf of filched aluminum foil pushed to the side. That, he could fold into a roughly-made spoon, and his own silver knife could do the rest.

Slicing carefully through the bacon, Sam portioned it into pieces small enough to eat, then did the same for the eggs. They were almost crumbs to John now, but perfect for Sam. He mixed them together, distantly remembering having something close to this, only called an ‘omelet’ and with cheese, and hoping to relive the memory.

The food was everything Sam remembered, and then some. He closed his eyes to savor the flavor as it exploded in his mouth, and let out a sigh. Warm food in his stomach had to be one of the best feelings in the world. It helped pushed away the chill in the air that he knew only existed because his skin was thinner than a human’s (though England was also a good deal colder than their native Kansas as well). “I’ve missed this,” he mumbled, wishing Dean wasn’t missing out.

John's eyes lit up as Sam tucked in, coming up with suitable utensils in no time at all. What had looked like such a small portion to John a moment ago seemed like a ton of food next to Sam. He reckoned that more was certainly better than less, and this way Sam might be able to take some home to Dean. The elder brother deserved the treat just as much as Sam.

"If there's any left over," John put in, though the idea of Sam being able to finish all that food by himself was borderline laughable, "I think we have some cling film lying around somewhere, could be good for… packaging. Just putting that out there." With a shrug, he took another forkful of eggs and bacon.

John almost slapped himself on the forehead as it hit him: he was neglecting to check up on his patient. "Er. You look well, Sam. How are the ribs doing?" he asked, his full attention on the kid.

“Oh… It’s feeling better,” Sam said, caught off guard again by so much attention-- and from such a large source-- all on him at once. Still, the feeling of being watched on his neck was subdued, and he gave John a reassuring smile. If more humans were like him, they might not have to hide all the time. The thought of being able to bring food back to Dean made Sam feel better inside as well, despite the scolding he knew he was in for no matter what. Dean would forgive him. He loved bacon.

Sam straightened in his seat, and gave the entrances to the kitchen, both the humans’ doorway and their crack in the wall, a brief look to make sure no one else was around, then lifted up his shirt to show John the bruises. He intently despised displaying his ribs, knowing just how thin he was and how much they stood out, stark against his skin, but it wasn’t so bad with just John around. Having Sherlock close by with that unnerving gaze would make it a thousand times worse. “It hurt more yesterday, but the bruise is still pretty dark,” he explained as he looked at John to gauge his reaction.

"Yeah, I heard you had a rough time of it," muttered John as he leaned forward a bit for a better look at the bruises. "It's coming along, though. Quicker than I'd expected. I'd be surprised if you weren't back at a hundred percent by the end of the week."

John sat back, returning the smile. It was a little tight, the memory of what Sherlock had done to the small lad still fresh in his memory, but he did his best to push past it so they could all move on.

"So, ah." The doctor set his plate aside on the table, lacing his fingers idly in his lap. "Since we're setting ground rules, I… I can't lie, I am insanely curious about you and your brother. But," he quickly added, "I don't want to make either of you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, so. For future reference, is there anything that I absolutely should not ask?"

Sam bowed his head, still nervous about all the attention on him. Somewhere deep inside he’d known these questions would come, but that didn’t make answering them any easier. “I-- I dunno,” he said lamely, wishing he had a better answer. “We never really talked to humans before, at least not since we were kids…” And humans ourselves, his mind helpfully supplied.

To distract himself, Sam nudged the bacon and eggs on his napkin around. Dean wouldn’t want him talking to John at all. Not without some backup, at least, and right now his backup was sleeping the morning away bundled up into a corner.

Dean already talked to John on his own, Sam reminded himself, still put out that his brother had risked his neck just for some ice, though it had helped him fall asleep. John was proving himself to be a better man than they’d dared hope, for so long worried about Sherlock’s experiments and the fact that a doctor would have all the skills needed to dissect them.

“I guess Dean won’t want anyone knowing where we are or where we live,” Sam reasoned, assuming that was why Dean had cut him off the other day when he was talking. “And he’s not a fan of telling Sherlock anything after getting dropped in a jar.”

John nodded. "Fair enough, I suppose," he half-chuckled, studying his hands for a moment.

There it was again. Another mention of Sam and Dean's childhood, possibly a history with other humans. Simply recalling Dean's reference to someone dislocating Sam's shoulder in their youth made John's half-full stomach turn, but it didn't take a detective to see that Sam was still quite shy and nervous around John, another human, so he filed that away for another time.

Something in him doubted 'another time' would ever come, and it was probably best not to dig up bad memories.

"Can I ask where you're from?" John ventured, trying to keep up a friendly tone. "It's just, the accent is a little…telling."

Sam had to laugh at that, as nervous as he was. It helped him relax where he was sitting, and he placed his makeshift spoon and silver knife down next to his food to let his stomach settle. It had been years since he’d had a meal so rich. “Yeah, we’re not exactly locals,” he said dryly, remembering Dean’s insistence on calling the biscuits cookies and his absolute offense when he found out french fries were called chips no matter what. Not just with “Fish and Chips.”

Brushing off his hands, he shifted his seat so his legs were in front of him, buying himself a moment to consider his answer. “We were born in Lawrence, Kansas,” was what Sam decided to go with. “The American Midwest.” He figured that was safe enough. “We lived on the road with our dad until I was ten, and… that’s when we ended up here.”

It took John a moment to recall what little he'd retained about American geography in his school days. The Midwest, Kansas… He was almost certain that was one of the square ones in the middle.

Apart from the notable gap in Sam’s story between growing up in America and 'ending up' in London, one thing stood out to John.

"Was it dangerous?" he asked, unable to keep the image of another small man wandering around Lawrence with two even smaller children. "I mean, traveling around, even with family, that must have been scary as a kid."

“Oh, no, not at all,” Sam said, warming to the subject as he recalled the happier years of his life roadtripping with his dad and brother. Back then, he didn’t know how good he had it. A family, his rightful size, people wouldn’t look down on him just because he was shorter than they were… Even the opportunity to go to school. That was sorely missed, though Dean had taught Sam everything he knew and they’d occasionally found vents to look out on the television to pick up more.

“I didn’t like roadtripping much when I was a kid,” Sam recalled. “I always wanted to go to school, even if it was just for one solid year, instead of switching to a new one every few months only to find them learning something completely different. It was easy to feel like everyone was smarter, since they had a head start on us. Dean hated it. And I guess if I knew what dad did for a living, I mighta been more scared, but we had each other, and we had the Impala.”

Sam’s eyes sparkled at that. “Dean could even fix the Impala up. Dad and Bobby taught him everything they knew about cars!”

Then, his words caught up to him along with his present circumstances. He wished again that they’d never been cursed as children. He could have even gone to college by now if he was just a normal kid. “I mean… it was nice,” he finished, his cheeks warm as he hoped Dean never found out how much he’d told John.

The more Sam spoke, the less John understood. There wasn't much context being given to him, but it sounded like Sam was referring to things John had assumed would be out of his reach. Schools and cars-- the image of Dean, shorter than John's finger, fixing up a car took him aback. By the end of it, John's head was spinning with more questions than ever.

Unless this was all in a scaled-down society, and he was seriously missing something going on in America.

"Okay…" he breathed at length, steeling himself with a hard blink and a hand run down his face. "Sorry, um. You might have to back up a minute, because I'm a bit confused."

“Oh, right,” Sam said, staring down at his hands and threading his fingers together into a knot. “Sorry. It’s been so long since everything changed now it’s easy to forget this wasn’t always normal.”

He looked around the kitchen, reminding himself of his actual scale to everything around him. Getting caught up in memories of the past did no one any good. He couldn’t open the door to the fridge now, he couldn’t lift a pan and place it on the oven. He could crack an egg, but the mess would go everywhere since he’d be punching in the shell.

Sam turned from the kitchen and met John’s eyes. “We weren’t always this size. We were just normal kids growing up.”

John's brow furrowed as concern started to bleed through in his confusion. It took a good long moment for the information to really sink in.

"That's--" John stopped himself before he could call the situation impossible, because Sam himself was clear, tangible proof that it wasn't. He let a few of Sam's anecdotes piece themselves together with this new insight before he got puzzled all over again.

"So… You're actually-- or, you used to be… human?" he inferred, trying to keep an open mind and accepting manner. "How-how does that even work?"

“W-well, that’s what happens when you get cursed,” Sam said as he tripped over his words, his ears aflame. “That’s what Dean called it when this lady broke into our room and hit us with this bright flash. Dad wasn’t around to stop her, and s-she took us away.”

He stumbled to his feet, trying to straighten his clothes in a hurry. “I-- I shouldn’t talk about it,” he said, worried he’d said too much. “There’s no use dwelling on the past and we can’t go back to what we used to be, so…”

And John was confused again.

Luckily, he couldn’t tumble down that rabbit hole, because Sam had closed the discussion. John nodded, understanding Sam's decision perfectly. The lad had divulged a lot of information, probably much more than he meant to.

"Yeah, I completely get it--"

Then John blinked when Sam was suddenly on the move.

Out of the corner of his eye, Sam had seen the saucer left out by Sherlock. A little heat rose to his face at the memory of the other human putting them in jars, and he decided to leave a message of his own. He squatted down next to it, crushing the cracker into crumbs.

John’s brow rose as he watched Sam work, mechanically working on a few more bites of his food. It didn't seem like Sam was taking anything, but John wasn't entirely sure what he was trying to do either. So he kept quiet, chewing as silently as he could.

Once Sam had the cracker crushed completely, he sliced up some bits from the mushroom. None of the food was bad, so he felt a little bad for wasting it. Not that he or Dean would ever take food left out in such an obvious ploy, but still.

Then again, Sherlock had it coming.

Sam carefully arranged the food, pushing the slices of mushroom to form straight edges and adding the raisin in for good effect. The crackers formed the curves, with the wheat cereal helping thicken the line, and for balance Sam used his knife to scrape off the mustard and add it to the design, highlighting the word with yellowy emphasis.

NO

No, they wouldn’t accept food left out like that. Sam thought it got his point across perfectly. He glanced over his shoulder at John, and his smile was a little easier this time. “Think he’ll get the point?”

As the small word began to take shape with every bit of food available to Sam, John's amused grin gradually grew. When it was done, he couldn't contain a mirthful laugh if he tried.

"Honestly, he just might be thick enough to not--"

A muffled thump from down the hall shut John right up. He recognized the sound well enough as Sherlock literally rolling out of bed.

"Shit," he hissed, shooting silently to his feet. Without hesitation, he opened a drawer below the counter and tore off a sizeable corner of cling film, setting it near what remained of Sam's bacon and eggs. It was more than large enough to hold the tiny meal.

"I can buy you a minute. Cheers!" John whispered, giving Sam an encouraging nod before hurrying down the hall to fend off the waking detective.

“T-thanks!” Sam said, too late to catch John as he ran. He blinked. Humans were fast.

All the more reason for Sam to get out of sight just as fast. He fell to his knees by his breakfast, quickly wiping the mustard from the blade. There was no way for him to get rid of the napkin as evidence to his presence in the kitchen, but he quickly shifted the bacon and eggs onto the cling wrap.

The food was still warm, which meant Sam might be able to bring his older brother a warm meal for the first time in over a decade. It would be a good way to help pay back Dean for looking after him. Sam was glad John had understood why he had such a hard time saying “Yes” to the offer, and gladder still that it hadn’t stopped him from letting Sam share. He hadn’t felt so full in years.

With the eggs and bacon bundled in his arms, Sam glanced briefly at the kitchen entrance as he slung his satchel over his shoulder. He wasted no time heading for the entrance in the walls, getting out of sight, hopefully out of mind.



John waited right outside Sherlock's bedroom door, glancing back toward the kitchen. His fingers twitched nervously as he worried about Sam, wondered if he made it out yet. The poor fella had been nervous enough around John until they got talking, seeing Sherlock again would definitely have given the kid a heart attack.

A moment later, Sherlock's door creaked open and his wild black bed-head poked out.

"You're up early," the detective remarked, his voice even deeper than usual from sleep.

John gave him an annoyed stare. "Seriously? A saucer? Did you really think that would work?"

Sherlock waggled his eyebrows at John. "Ah, you noticed that. Very observant of you." He made a move to walk past John but the doctor stepped in his way, keeping up his confrontational manner.

"I told you, Sherlock, no traps--"

"Oh, please," Sherlock groaned. "It’s not a trap, it’s an experiment. All things considered, it was the tamest thing I could have done on such short notice."

“ ‘Short notice,’ you make it sound like a bloody appointment,” scoffed John. Shaking his head, Sherlock pushed past his shorter friend and into the kitchen. John followed closely.

Sherlock ignored John's breakfast altogether, taking long strides to check on his saucer. His eyes immediately widened and his brow knit at the sight.

"John."

"What is it now?" John sighed, acting like he had no idea what Sam had done.

Sherlock swept aside the napkin near the plate, much to John's relief, and brought his face as close as he could to the message as he could without disturbing it. He rounded on John. "They've been here. Did you see this?"

John merely shrugged. "It wasn't there last I saw it."

"And when was that??" Sherlock demanded.

"I dunno, two minutes ago?"

Sherlock's brow furrowed and he looked back at the saucer. "Quick. Fascinating." Despite the faintest glimmer of interest in his eyes, he picked up the plate and deemed the experiment moot. "Dammit," he muttered, tossing his experiment in the bin, saucer and all before stalking into the main room.

John rolled his eyes, stooping to retrieve the perfectly good saucer from the trash. At least Sherlock had dismissed all the signs of Sam's presence, besides the obvious. However, he doubted any of them had heard the last of this.
CHAPTER 7: A Sign

Sam finds a new way to fight back at Sherlock, and opens up to John. Maybe a little more than he meant to

 
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Comments22
anonymous's avatar
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Phoenix-FireMage's avatar
"Unless this was all in a scaled-down society, and he was seriously missing something going on in America."

haha, yes. Good confusion.

Also Sherlock is a pouty child.
nightmares06's avatar
I always think of those little scaled down villages, and now have smols in them stuck in my mind/
LaEscritora's avatar
Sherlock, you pouty child. For a genius he sure is missing the point! Good thing Johns around. I have a feeling he's rather adopted Sam haha. That kid could sure use it.
nightmares06's avatar
:3 The brothers really do need a good father figure... too bad Dean would revolt if anyone tried with him XD Sam certainly likes having someone worth looking up to around.
LaEscritora's avatar
XD Dean is just naturally opposed to authority, which is hilarious considering he was daddy's little boy from day one. Sam, on the other hand, probably wouldn't have gotten along with their father, but he is ready for a father figure now. It's a twist to be sure!
nightmares06's avatar
XD John (watson) isn't forcing them to listen to him, so Sam's willing to pay attention. Meanwhile, Dean would see him as trying to replace their dad, so heavens would that go badly.
LaEscritora's avatar
Gods above, how dare. XD John (Watson) really is a kind hearted man though. I'm sure he'll win both of them over eventually.
nightmares06's avatar
He's so perfect for them XD Someone mellow to win the stubborn-ass Winchesters over
LaEscritora's avatar
With a lot of quiet patience. ^^
kimstaticchild's avatar
Oh my goodness ;v; Sam and John having a conversation is so fun to read~
nightmares06's avatar
I love those two so much when they're together. Sam's such a shy bby and John so good with him.
Weeglyfeesh's avatar
I honestly half-expected Sherlock to be listening in down the hallway. He's gonna feel so left out when he finds out about these private little chats. :D (Big Grin)
nightmares06's avatar
How DARE John have conversations with the tiny people in the walls!
TorchMLP's avatar
Sammy made art, how dare you throw it away, Sherlock!
nightmares06's avatar
I would frame it, or at least take a picture!
gabimello's avatar
Protect the Winchesters 2k17
nightmares06's avatar
Pls protect. They are smol and precious (and sassy)
kopelowitz's avatar
Sherlock is a little salty, but I have hope that he'll come around eventually.  
nightmares06's avatar
XD The Winchesters are too stubborn to move out (like regular borrowers should), so he's got time.
kopelowitz's avatar
Best of luck to everyone hehe
nightmares06's avatar
^^; So long as Dean and Sherlock both behave
kopelowitz's avatar
Too much sass, I don't think it'll work XD
anonymous's avatar
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