Special thanks to sasha_dragon and metallidean_grl for giving this a once-over for me!
Big thanks to siennavie for this fic's amazing artwork, be sure to go here and give her lots of love; and thanks also to candygramme for a fun prompt that really got my creative juices flowing!
Original Prompt: The Fairies fight back ...
Warnings/Spoilers (if applicable): This story is spoiler-heavy for 6.09 - 'Clap Your Hands if You Believe', but it is not strictly canon as Sam is not soulless, and there is no specific reference to general goings on the the show's timeline at that point.
Summary: Apparently, fairies get very, very cross when you microwave their friends; oh, and Oberon really doesn't like being rejected ...
Characters: Dean Winchester, Sam Winchester, brief cameo by Bobby.
Rating: T for sauce. Gen.
More wonderful art under the cut ...
THE CURIOUS CASE OF THE MAN AND THE MICROWAVE
Dean extracted his hot pocket from the microwave and dropped the steaming snack onto a motel-issue plate, its faded lime green glaze crisscrossed with decades-worth of cracks. He loosed a muttered oath as he blew on his scorched fingers.
It wasn't exactly haute cuisine as breakfasts went; a paltry rectangle of limp pseudo-pastry filled with vaguely cheese-flavoured molten lava, but all things considered, it was nice to actually have a microwave again after he'd left the one at the last motel skanked up with fairy-splurge.
He couldn’t honestly say that he was sorry either. Okay, the little being may have been pretty and hot with her shiny blonde hair and tiny curves and nipples and all, but the fact was that fairies were just dicks with wings; glowy, fluttery, twee little dicks - every bit as bad as angels.
What hurt the most, however, was that the tiny wee fairy had battered a part of Dean that would take a long time to heal; his pride.
Nope, fairy fondue, that’s what the little sparkly assholes got for kidnapping him and spiriting him off to their freaky fairy world to ‘service’ Oberon, their King.
Dean snorted irritably. Heck, he considered himself a broadminded guy; straight but not narrow as the saying went, but he wasn’t pitching for the other team for any dude, any how. Fairy King or not.
He grinned a hamster-cheeked, cheese-stuffed grin as he disposed of half his hot-pocket in one massive bite.
Yep, Dean Winchester, badass mofo and fairy slayer; they’d know better than to mess with him again.
Finishing up the last morsels of his hot pocket, Dean wiped his greasy fingers on his still sleep-crumpled sweatpants and placed the soiled plate in the sink ready for when Sam did the dishes later – what? Sam always did the dishes; he had to earn his keep somehow.
Dean yawned and stretched, and was absently scratching his ass when his train of thought was rudely and abruptly interrupted on hearing a sharp rattle at the door.
At first he thought it was Sam emerging from the bathroom after washing his hair or shaving his legs or whatever else girly crap he got up to in there, but any thoughts in that direction were swiftly dispelled when the room’s main door burst open and three strange bright lights swooped through it, heading straight toward him.
Strange they may have been, but Dean’s heart hammered in his chest as he realised he’d seen something like this before …
And microwaved it.
He recoiled as the largest of the three stopped and hovered only inches from his face. Squinting through the brilliant incandescence that emanated from the creature, he stared into an intensely pretty face, framed with bouncing golden ringlets. Rosy of cheek, her exquisite visage was set with two big, sparkling blue eyes which were currently fixed on the bewildered green eyes staring back at her.
She was a fairy.
The delicate figure couldn’t have been more than eighteen inches tall and she wore a soft floating gown of yellow gauze which fluttered and floated around her tiny curvaceous form as she bobbed around on the air currents which drifted through the room.
Canting her head, she smiled sweetly at the mesmerised human who stood gaping in awe at her.
“My name is Sugar Plum,” she announced with a tinkling lilt.
Then she socked him in the face.
“What the …?”
As Dean stumbled sideways, clutching his bleeding lip, another, slightly smaller figure homed in, her brilliant beating wings little more than a glistening arc of silver above her back. Her unruly red hair fluttered in the breeze and she giggled coquettishly as she grabbed him by the ear and began to drag him across the room toward the open door.
“Woun’ an’ woun’ the motel,” she sing-songed in her lyrical tinkling voice;
“Like a teddy bear,”
“Let me goo-OOOOW!” Dean yelped as he stumbled after her, flapping arms blindly trying to dislodge a grip which would have been more suited to an enraged grizzly than an twelve inch high fairy.
“One step,” she giggled, giving Dean’s ear a spiteful tug;
Dean didn’t even have a moment to consider what might be coming before he found himself on the receiving end of a punch on the nose worthy of a world heavyweight champion.
“Smack you right up there!”
As he slammed backwards against the wall, over the ringing in his ears, he could hear shrieking laughter and whoops of joyful hilarity from the three little creatures looping and soaring around the room, their slipstreams painting curlicues of golden light through the air as they bounced wildly from wall to wall like the world’s freakiest pinball machine.
Through all the chaos, Dean staggered forward, clutching his bloodied nose and cursing a treat.
Unseen, one of the fairies pushed him toward the door, trilling with laughter as he tripped over the doorstep and fell into a sprawl across the asphalt.
“What the … ACK!”
“SAM,” he yelled as the three beings homed in on him, their tiny pretty faces twisted with a determined purpose which Dean was quite sure couldn’t be in any way benevolent or pleasant.
As he curled up on the ground, trying to protect himself from the wild onslaught, he saw the third fairy. Much smaller than the others, she was naked, just like the little creature he had dispatched at the last motel.
He just managed to catch a glimpse of her tiny face with its delicate upturned nose pressed right against his before she blew a puff of something sparkly into his face.
It stung like a bitch, but Dean really wouldn’t have minded if that had been the only unpleasant effect it had on him.
It was at that moment that Sam emerged from the bathroom after hearing the commotion. Still dripping wet from his shower, and clad in just a threadbare blue towel, he stood and gaped stupidly as he watched his panic-stricken brother, a writhing tangle of flailing limbs, twinkling with fairy dust, rising rapidly into the sky.
“SAAAAAAAAAAM ….” Dean floated further up into the ether, frantically grasping out in vain towards tree branches, roof gutters or anything else solid he could find to halt his ascent.
“FAIRIES,” he howled; “Sugar Plum Fairy an’ the Tooth Fairy an’ Tinkerbelle, they’ve come after me; you gotta fight those fairies … SAAAAAAAAAA …”
Sam blinked as Dean, rudely cut off mid-scream, vanished into a blinding white flash.
“What the …?” Completely oblivious to his state of undress, Sam ran to the door and stared out into the ugly grey expanse of the parking lot, his brain still steadfastly refusing to process what he had just seen.
He turned as he felt a sharp poke between his shoulder blades.
There before him was a little sweet thing hovering right in front of his face; her delicate pink gown, a perfect match for the masses of wavy red hair that tumbled across her back. She smiled a little toothy grin at him.
“Hewwo,” she sing-songed sweetly to the giant human standing before her, gaping open-mouthed at the vision he couldn’t quite believe he was seeing. “You have weally nice teeth,” she continued.
Sam’s eyes rolled back into his head and he keeled over sideways as everything went black.
“Fairies, yeah Bobby, that’s what I said,” Sam snapped; “goddamn fairies.”
As he sat at the motel’s one rickety table, speaking into his cellphone, Sam pressed a cold facecloth against his face, gingerly nursing the bloodied lip and bruised, swollen cheekbone that his fairy encounter had earned him.
“They’ve taken Dean again,” he sighed; “I need to get after him, Bobby, but I don’t know how – they say only first born sons can enter Fairyland.”
“Well, he managed to get away last time …” Bobby offered in an attempt to instil some hope into the younger Winchester.
“I don’t think they’ll let him go so easily this time Bobby, they seemed really determined. I don’t think he’s going to be able to fight his way out this time.”
Bobby huffed in frustration down the phone.
“They pasted the hell out of me, Bobby,” Sam groaned; “I’m black and blue.”
Sam could almost see the older man’s eyes widen at the other end of the line.
“What the hell did they send?” Bobby snorted; “a troll? a redcap?”
Hesitating, Sam wilted slightly when he suddenly realised there were no words in the English language that could make this sound good.
“The Sugar Plum Fairy,” he mumbled in a small voice.
The loaded silence on the other end of the line said more than any words.
Sam frowned. “I’m not joking Bobby, there were three of them; she had the Tooth Fairy and Tinkerbelle with her too.”
He got the overwhelming feeling that the silent man on the end of the line wasn’t impressed.
“I was outnumbered,” he added in a laughably unsuccessful attempt to sound a little bit less like a complete pussy.
Sam hung up with Bobby’s parting words, ‘okay, I’ll see what I can do,’ ringing in his ears. He groaned long and deep as his abused jaw made its presence felt, and an aching molar gave a foreboding creak.
Slumping down at the table, he opened his laptop, steeling himself for a night of fairy research.
It was stupid o’clock in the middle of the night when Bobby called back. Sam was sprawled across the table asleep, face down in his keyboard.
“Bobby,” he croaked, frowning as he glanced into the dust-coated mirror adorning the wall beside him and noticed ASDFGHJ imprinted across his forehead.
“Got you a ticket to Fairyland,” Bobby announced. Pausing, he added; “okay, that’s probably the weirdest thing I’ve ever said sober.”
“Only first born sons can enter Fairyland of their own volition or at fairy invitation - or abduction,” Bobby explained; “but other people can enter if they are given passage by someone who has the ability to commune with the fairies.”
“And who would that be?” Sam grunted, running his fingers through the tangled mass of sleep-muzzed hair drooping in his eyes.
“I know just the guy,” Bobby announced.
Rhadamanthus Turpin was a seventh son of a seventh son and was someone that Sam instantly believed would comfortably qualify as a complete weirdo.
With a long salt and pepper grey beard that hung halfway down his chest and not a single lonely hair to be found on his bald pate, he squinted at the tall stranger on his sagging wooden doorstep through spectacles that were so thick he must have had outstanding eyesight to be able to see through them.
His house exuded a musty aroma of incense and cats and Sam was determined not to accept anything edible or drinkable from the man on the evidence of the jars he could see stacked up on the kitchen dresser, or more specifically what he could see floating in them.
But all in all, the thing about the fantastically odd Mr Turpin that terrified Sam the most was the knowledge that somewhere out there in the world were six more like him.
Four hours later, Sam left his odd ally armed with a tongue-twisting incantation, a drink involving dew, nettles, hare spleens and toadspawn that smelled even worse than it looked and directions to the nearest fairy ring where he was supposed to drink said concoction after reciting the incantation (presumably whilst trying not to hurl at the same time).
Instructed by the strange Mr Turpin and armed according to his own, somewhat limited, knowledge of fairy lore, Sam approached the fairy ring. It was a broad, almost perfect circle of toadstools nestled within a dense wooded copse miles from anywhere. He was heartened by its secluded location; at least there would be no-one around to ask awkward questions.
Pulling the paper and the tiny sealed flask from his pocket, Sam began to read. That was the easy part. His nose wrinkled in disgust as he uncapped the flask and lifted it to his lips. Perhaps it wouldn’t be as disgusting as he thought.
Sighing, he tipped his head back and took a deep draught, guzzling the slick liquid down in one gulp.
Nope, he was totally wrong. It sucked ass.
Shuddering violently, he dropped the flask to the ground moments before sinking to his hands and knees and lavishly vomiting the foul drink back up the way it came, noting that it tasted even worse, insofar as that were actually possible, when travelling in this direction.
He groaned as his spinning head gradually sunk into the cool grass, and he tried to disregard the fact that he was lying face down in what he’d just deposited there.
When Sam came to, he was lying in the grass, but he wasn’t inside a ring of toadstools in a heavily wooded copse. He was in an open, sun-dappled meadow beside a crystal-bright stream.
One thing he did note was that he didn’t appear to be lying in his own puke anymore which, all things considered, had to be one positive of the whole experience.
Clambering to his feet, he swayed woozily and swallowed back a residual nausea before he felt sure enough to be able to stretch the stiffness out of his bones and take a look around.
This must be Fairyland.
Scanning the horizons on all sides, he studied the meadow in which he stood, and the stream beside him, noticing distant trees in his peripheral vision and a cornflower blue sky above him, heavy with tumbling white clouds.
It was all kind of … well, ordinary.
Sam almost felt disappointed. He really didn’t know what to expect of Fairyland, but he was imagining more along the lines of shining castles, talking animals and centaurs. He’d obviously watched far too many Disney movies.
This looked like a sunny day in New England.
As his wits gradually rearranged themselves back into a state resembling conscious thought, Sam realised he could hear something over the sound of the stream which rushed and babbled alongside him.
They were nothing loud, or threatening; just the soft susurration of distant voices in conversation.
Without even a second’s consideration, Sam headed toward the sound.
He felt like he’d been walking for miles through nothing but dense woods and rippling grasslands. Here and there, bluebells and primroses; tiny spots of colour, dotted the ground beneath his determined footfalls. Sam sighed; it was all very pretty and nice to look at but on the whole, Fairyland so far had been one big fat disappointment.
The mysterious voices, by degree, had been becoming louder, and eventually Sam’s mission to follow them took him along a narrow path between two huge oaks. He stepped between them – and froze.
Suddenly Fairyland didn’t seem like such a disappointment any more.
Sam was standing at the edge of a spacious, almost perfectly round glade. Heavily wooded all around, it appeared to be fortified on all sides by the trunks of horse chestnut and birch, with the sprawling green boughs of a massive Cedar tree forming a roof of sorts.
At one end of the glade, beneath the giant Cedar, Sam observed two figures, magnificently garbed and seated on ornately carved thrones; a man and a woman.
The man, broodingly dark, and with the kind of regally handsome features that speak of centuries’ worth of noble breeding, sat draped casually over his throne staring across the glade with an almost arrogant indifference.
The woman beside him, on the other hand, was almost as pale as her companion was dark. Her golden hair cascaded over her shoulders, framing a face so delicate and fair that it could have been carved of ivory. Unlike her companion she sat ramrod-straight, sea-green eyes roving the glade with her hands clasped demurely across her lap, attentive and clearly interested in whatever was going on.
An ethereal glow exuded from both of them, illuminating the deep shadows beneath the Cedar’s broad canopy enough for Sam to see thin coronets encircling their high, shapely brows.
It seemed he was in the presence of some kind of royalty; fairy royalty.
Alongside the two seated figures, three shimmering dots of various sizes zipped and cavorted through the air, chattering and giggling excitedly as they loop-the-looped around each other. Sam immediately recognised them as the three fairies who had abducted Dean back at the motel.
It was then that Sam saw him. Still barefoot and wearing the faded grey T-shirt and sweatpants he had been wearing at the time of his abduction. He was seated on a fallen tree trunk at the opposite end of the glade, hunched over and huddled, with cold or fear - unable to see his brother’s downturned face, Sam couldn’t tell.
Dean was securely restrained in a heavy gold chain. Golden handcuffs forced his arms behind his back, while heavy gilt shackles hobbled his ankles. Beside him, holding the loose end of the golden chain, stood a relatively human sized fairy; standing guard judging by the long, savage looking pikestaff that he held.
Wearing only a loincloth of leaves, the sinewy figure stood to attention alongside Dean. Two tiny horns protruded from his tightly curled, slightly green hairline and Sam shuddered as he stared into the figure’s intensely dark eyes, taking in his pointed ears and sharp features which gave him an air of cruel coldness.
Sam recognised him instantly as Puck.
Behind the pair of them stood one other figure; it was a figure that Sam had to look up at and in the brothers’ experience that had never been a good thing.
Towering over Puck and his huddled captive, the man’s rheumy ice-blue eyes stared out from under massive shaggy brows, clinging, like two ginger ferrets, to his leathery, face; a face which was devoid of any expression whatsoever.
But Sam wasn’t looking at his face.
Sam was looking at what he was holding in his two huge, shovel-like hands.
But not just any axe; a giant axe. Its roughly-hewn handle was as thick as Sam’s neck and longer than he was tall. The gleaming, curved blade was equally mammoth; a viciously keen-edged iron crescent easily the width of a man’s shoulders.
Sam’s heart lurched when he realised he had only ever seen an axe like that once before; many years ago in school, a picture in a book about King Henry the Eighth.
It was an executioner’s axe.
“And who is our guest?” The man on the throne languidly waved a hand in Sam’s direction.
Sam was so immersed in his thoughts and observations, he jolted in shock when he realised he’d been spotted skulking in the shadows between the two massive trees. He cautiously stepped forward.
For the first time Dean looked up and his battered face gaped in shock. He made an attempt to stand, but weighed down and unbalanced by his chains, stumbled forward; recoiling when he suddenly found himself with the blunt end of Puck’s pikestaff thrust fiercely into his breadbasket.
“Be still, man of earth,” Puck snapped in a voice that was as sharp and waspish as the rest of his features.
“Sonofa …” Dean gasped, doubled over in winded pain. Shooting the glowering fairy a snarl of pure venom, he hesitated for a long moment before he clumsily shuffled backward and slowly lowered his butt back down onto the log.
“I’m Sam … his brother,” Sam mumbled as humbly as he could manage, his eyes flitting warily between Dean and the resplendent figure on the throne before him
“Welcome, Sam,” the man replied in a deep, lyrical voice which seemed to fill the entire glade; “My name is Oberon, these people call me their King, and this fine lady is my queen, Titania.”
For the first time in his life, choking on his tongue became a very real possibility for Sam. “O-Oberon and Titania, really?”
“What brings you to our realm, my young friend?” Oberon asked, a warm smile playing across his handsome face.
"Well, I - uh, I came, be-because - uh - you, well, you took my brother," Sam stammered in reply, pointing across to Dean.
Oberon nodded slowly, an expression of intense regret crossing his elegant face. "An unfortunate happenstance my young one," he sighed; "but your brother has inflicted grievous harm upon one of my own and he must face the judgement of my people." He turned and gestured theatrically to the three chittering fairies hovering alongside him.
The Tooth Fairy scowled across at Sam and shook her tiny fist.
Oberon's dark, depthless eyes bored into Sam, making him squirm. "Your brother was brought to our realm once before but chose to be a most ingracious guest."
"He said you abducted him and he fought his way out," Sam replied, working hard to keep the quiver out of his voice; after all it wasn’t every day, he reflected, that he engaged in a discussion with the King of the Fairies. Was he supposed to curtsey or something?
Reaching into his pocket, Sam took a deep breath, feeling slightly more reassured as his finger slid across the secreted weapon nestling there.
"He said ‘abducted’?" Oberon replied calmly; "I prefer ‘invited’."
"Well, whatever you call it, you took him. How can you snatch someone away against their will and not expect them to try to escape?" Sam replied sharply; “Your – uh, Majesty,” he added contritely, suddenly aware that Dean’s welfare may be dependent on the goodwill of this character.
Oberon glanced back at Titania with a loving smile and then back across to Dean, where his smile took on a more predatory edge; "but he was to be my honoured guest; I desired him," he stated bluntly.
Sam’s jaw dropped. He remembered what the odd lady back in Elwood had said about 'servicing Oberon, King of the Fairies,’ and he'd assumed she’d just been inhaling one recreational drug too many. He felt a deep blush spread across his face as he glanced across at his outraged brother who, in response, ducked his head and steadfastly refused to look Sam in the eye.
Blowing out his cheeks in disbelief, Sam blinked hard in an attempt to bleach his brain of the images generated by what he’d just heard; no wonder Dean had been infuriatingly silent on what had happened during the time he was away with the fairies.
He kept his eyes trained on his squirming brother. "Did you, uh … ?” Absently rubbing the back of his neck, he wilted as he gave up trying to find the appropriate words.
"No I freakin’ didn’t," Dean yelped furiously, leaping to his feet and receiving the handle of Puck's pikestaff in his ribcage for his trouble.
Oberon shook his head regretfully.
“I am saddened that he so rudely refused our hospitality,” he sighed; “he did not seem to appreciate that it is an unparalleled honour for one from your bestial race to be chosen for such a purpose.”
“I told you, asshat, I don’t swing that way,” Dean growled, defiantly shrugging Puck’s threatening weapon away.
Oberon turned back to Sam who shook his head; “he doesn’t,” he confirmed.
“It is of no consequence to the people of the fae,” Oberon smiled; “we appreciate beauty in all its wondrous forms.”
Sam glanced across at Dean who sat meekly back down, blushing puce. If the circumstances hadn’t been quite so terrifyingly freaky, he’d have been ripping the crap out of his ‘beautiful’ brother right now.
“But that is not the reason why we are here,” Oberon spoke up again, this time gazing straight across the glade at Dean; “we are here because you must answer a grievous charge.”
Dean finally looked up at Sam, the expression beneath the bruises that marred his face, an unreadable mix of bemusement and apprehension.
“You are here to answer the charge that you did murder one of my people by melting her in your wicked fire box.”
“She deserved it,” yelled Dean, aggressively shrugging his shoulders in the absence of being able to gesticulate; “she hit m…”
Dean was abruptly silenced by a backhanded slap across the face by Puck who had seemingly given up on his pikestaff, given its complete failure to silence his prisoner.
“Wait,” Sam ventured hesitantly; “is this a courtroom?”
“Why yes,” Titania spoke up quietly but with authority; “your brother must answer the charges against him to our fairy tribunal.”
“Then Dean needs legal representation,” Sam countered; “I volunteer.”
“Sam, no …” Dean shouted, leaping to his feet and earning himself another smack round the face. He rounded aggressively on the willowy fairy; “I swear if you hit me one more time, you pointy-eared dickwad, I’m gonna shove that goddamn stick right up your leafy green …”
Calmly ignoring the fracas, Oberon clapped his hands enthusiastically.
“What an excellent idea,” he announced; “I am keen to show that we of the fair realm are a just and equitable people. Sam, my fine young friend, you may be a voice to represent your brother.” He gestured toward the log where Dean sat stewing moodily beside his po-faced guard.
Sam hesitantly crossed the glade toward Dean, nervously eyeing the frowning Giant, Wayland Smith, and more specifically, his ridiculously large axe. Given that Smith was about nine feet tall and equally as wide, Sam couldn’t even console himself that the man was probably compensating for something.
He stiffly lowered himself onto the log beside Dean, and cast a nervous glance toward his bruised and battered brother.
“What the hell are you doing here?” Dean hissed.
“Saving your stupid ass,” Sam replied.
“This fairy tribunal is in session,” Oberon’s resonant voice cut the air before Dean had a chance to respond.
“The man of earth stands accused of melting one of our own in his evil box of fire,” he began; “how does he plead?”
Dean opened his mouth to tell Oberon exactly how he pleaded when Sam shut him up, clamping his hand tightly over his brother’s smart mouth; “uh, your Majesty” he began, as clearly as he could; “my brother admits that there was an incident involving him and a fairy, but would ask that you …”
“The prisoner pleads guilty,” Oberon exclaimed, gesturing expansively toward the brothers; “sentence will be passed.”
Sam sat in open-mouthed astonishment; “but …I mean, let me … I haven’t … wait … uh?”
His voice was drowned out by the shrieking exultation of the three tiny harridans that were flinging themselves in gleeful abandon around the glade.
“Nice work Perry Mason,” Dean grumbled to his crestfallen brother.
“Chop … chop … here comes a candle to light you to bed,” they sang as they joined hands and fluttered gaily around the glade; “here comes a chopper to chop off your head!”
“choppity chop, chop,” taunted Sugar Plum buzzing gaily around the two perplexed men; “the last man’s …” Tooth fairy trilled, “DEAD!”
“Wayland Smith,” Oberon’s voice commanded silence once again; “my friend, at sunrise you will do your duty.”
Sam leapt to his feet. Fumbling in his pocket, he knew the moment had come for him to unleash his secret weapon; it was all he had left to save Dean.
“Wayland Smith can kiss my ass and count this before he does his duty,” Sam yelled, hurling the small pouch of salt he had brought with him to the ground. He watched in satisfaction as it burst, scattering a myriad twinkling grains across the glade.
The brothers shared a nervous glance, but within moments Sam’s heart began to sink as he realised the glade wasn’t suddenly covered with fairies scrambling around frantically counting the salt grains.
His thoughts were interrupted by a familiar voice.
“My dear Sam,” Oberon announced casually, gazing at Sam with an expression that hovered somewhere between curiosity and pity; “I applaud your ingenuity, but you should know that this trick works in your world. Not ours.”
He stood, and without another word, strode away, in doing so drawing the tribunal and Sam’s last rescue attempt to a close.
Titania stood after him, giving a last wistful look at the two men, and followed her husband into the forest.
Before either brother could even rationalise what was happening, Dean found himself being dragged away by Puck. The freaky, pointy-eared sonofabitch was way stronger than a stringy squirt like him should ever be.
Sam took off to wrestle Dean away from him but stumbled to an abrupt halt as his way was barred by Wayland Smith stepping in front of him. The giant man planted himself before Sam, with a force that shook the ground and folded his vast meaty arms across his mighty chest.
Standing helplessly in the man’s immense shadow, Sam looked up at his weatherbeaten face, largely hidden under a fiery red beard. What little of it Sam could see brooked no argument; it was abundantly clear that Sam was going nowhere.
That was the last Sam saw of Dean.
Lost in his despairing thoughts, he could hear the Tooth Fairy behind him excitedly chattering about how she wanted to get Dean’s nice shiny teeth before his appointment with Wayland Smith in case they got damaged when his head rolled across the floor.
Where was a microwave when you needed one?
The cave was dank and cold.
In a strange kind of way, Dean was glad for that because it meant he could convince himself, as he sat here, shackled to the wall in the damp, gloomy confines, that his shivering was borne of the cold and not of fear.
The narrow mouth of the cave was covered by a heavy wooden grating, serving as a door, which didn’t allow much light through. What little light was able to penetrate the blackness only served to highlight the fact that Dean’s means of escape were nil and his situation was hopeless.
He knew Sam had been prevented from following him, and he desperately hoped that the younger Winchester hadn’t tried anything stupid. With luck, the fairies had simply transported him back safe to the real world. He’d tried asking Puck but got nothing except a contemptuous sneer in return.
So now all he could do was hope.
Through the criss-crossed gaps in the door he could see the back of Puck, still standing on guard, bolt-upright in his dutiful attentiveness, and still hugging his precious pikestaff; the tight-assed douchebag.
Dean sat in glum silence. His shoulders had long since gone numb from the strain of having his arms forced behind his back for so long. He’d tried taking his mind off the discomfort by hurling some pretty imaginative (well, Dean thought so anyway) abuse at Puck, but the humourless dick hadn’t so much as blinked, and so now, he guessed, it was the time to resign himself to the inevitable.
He had to concede, getting his head lopped off by a Fairy Blacksmith with an axe bigger than he was, was a spectacular finale, even by hunters’ standards. It was just a damn shame he wouldn’t be around afterward to brag about it.
The words didn’t exist for how much fairies sucked.
Dean turned as he heard the jingle of keys. Was this it? Were they already coming for him?
The door swung open with a heavy rumble, but where he was expecting to see that vindictive little asshat, Puck, or maybe even that great ginger troll, Wayland Smith, the figure that stepped through the door was the last one in creation that Dean expected to see.
Standing before him was Titania.
He squinted, recoiling away from the vivid light that seemed to exude from within her, flooding the darkness around him.
“I come to offer a solution to this most unsatisfactory situation,” she explained quietly in a voice that sounded like the sweetest music Dean had ever heard.
“Wha … uh, how?” he stammered stupidly, trying to rise on legs stiffened by the damp chill; “why are … where’s Sam?” He eventually managed to blurt.
Titania smiled and her face lifted into a sublime expression that made her even more beautiful than she already was; “you have my word that your brother is safe and undamaged; he is back in your world.”
Somehow, against his better judgement, Dean was satisfied that she was telling the truth; he looked up at the peerless beauty and blinked vacantly.
“Why d’y want to help me?” Dean croaked.
“You see, it is not just Oberon my King that desires you,” she continued, a look of intense sadness crossing her exquisite face; “I cannot bear to think of such a head being struck from such shoulders.
Tears welled in the sparkling sea-green depths of her eyes.
“If you do not desire Oberon my King, could you desire me?”
Dean gulped. “Uh …”
She pointed an elegant fingertip in Dean’s direction and he felt the handcuffs binding his wrists drop away, clattering into the cushiony moss that coated the cave’s floor, to join the shackles that had fallen limply away from his ankles.
“I can offer you passage from my world and protection for both you and your brother. My touch will make you and by extension, your brother, invisible to my people; never again will you be troubled by the fair folk.”
“Well, I erm …” Dean manfully struggled to regain the power of coherent speech as he stood before the magnificent queen rubbing his aching wrists.
“But what about him?” He gestured with his thumb toward Puck’s station beside the door.
“I have my methods,” Titania replied cryptically.
In the moment of silence that followed her words, Dean heard soft snores emanating from beyond the mouth of the cave.
“Oh,” he replied; “cool trick.”
“Of course,” a wanton smile played over Titania’s perfect lips as the tip of her delicate tongue peeked out to moisten them; “it follows that the more extensive my touch, the more extensive the protection would be …”
Dean’s eyes rolled back into his head as his knees began to buckle; “I guess it’d be rude not to,” he groaned.
Titania nodded sagely; “you are wise, man of earth; most wise.” Dean barely noticed as she effortlessly pushed the door closed behind her.
It was six hours later when the door opened and the magnificent figure of the fairy queen swept out of the cave, smoothing her brocade gown about her slender hips, leaving a dishevelled, sweat-drenched figure sprawled in glorious, debauched abandon across the mossy floor.
With a click of her nimble fingers, her spent and utterly exhausted companion disappeared in a vivid flash of light.
Yes, Wayland Smith would be disappointed tomorrow morning and Puck would be disgraced for allowing his prisoner to escape. She smiled as she looked back to Dean’s crumpled clothing, long since abandoned; and right about now Sam would be sitting in their scabby motel room being confronted with an image that would haunt his dreams for weeks.
As she walked calmly away from the cave, she paused, taking deep breath. Gradually her whole shape began to blur and morph, twisting, stretching and transforming until finally she was standing once more in her true form.
Oberon, King of the Fairies, will always have his way.