After what seemed like a lifetime, It was Dean that spoke first.
"What the hell are you doin' all the way up there?"
It wasn't a challenging question, but Sam's mind was completely blank – or possibly broken or probably just plain screwed to shit. He should have been relieved to hear his brother speak coherently, except for the fact that the words that came out of Dean's mouth made him sound like he'd inhaled the entire contents of a Goodyear blimp.
"Um …" Sam's mouth worked wordlessly.
"Hey, Sasquatch; what's that bitch done to you?"
"Well, uh, Dean; see …" Sam groped for the right words; still they wouldn't come.
"Holy CRAP! Why am I freakin' naked?"
Sam, in his shock and confusion, had almost overlooked that one small fact, and watched as Dean snatched a crumpled, dusty paper napkin from under the pile of scattered pot-pourri, which really did smell like it had been visited by one of the cats that the witch appeared to love so much, and huffily wrapped it round his waist.
He sneezed as the sudden action dislodged a shower of dust from his bowed head.
"sonofa - freakin' - 'CHOOOOO!' bitch … *snif*
In the time it took Dean to make himself decent, Sam had finally managed to gather the tattered remains of his wits, and crouched down to be close to his brother; "uh Dean, we might have a bit of a problem."
Dean stood glaring up at his brother, hands on his paper wrapped hips.
"You don't say, Sherlock;" he snorted, "I wake up butt naked with you standin'over me like the Statue of freakin' Liberty with my goddamned clothes under your arm. Somethin' you wanna tell me bitch?"
Okay, so Dean's body may have shrunk but his attitude certainly hadn't.
Sam sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. He was just too befuddled for this.
"Dean, I wasn't talking about the nudity," Sam began nervously; "I was talking about this…" Unsure how to break the news to Dean, he settled for dangling one of Dean's socks in front of his tiny brother's face to illustrate his point.
Frowning up at the giant sock dangling in front of him, Dean cocked his head curiously.
Sam saw the moment that the penny dropped; not that it had that far to fall, he reflected.
Dean's eyes widened in horror; "oooooooooh shit …" he croaked.
Sam nodded sympathetically, "yeah dude, she didn't make me big; she shrunk you!"
Now it was Dean's turn to gape helplessly.
Sam took the opportunity to study his new, pocket sized brother. The little figure wasn't childlike, or compressed and wizened like a gnome, or even daintily petite like some little nursery rhyme fairy. This was a perfectly miniaturised replica of his brother complete with tiny broad shoulders, spiky dark blond hair, short as velcro, pinhead sized tattoo on his small but surprisingly solid chest and muscular bowed calves, now about the thickness of Sam's pinkie finger, emerging from under the tattered napkin which he clung to as if his life depended upon it.
Except that this wasn't a replica; this was the real deal, this was 100% Sam's big brother. The irony of the whole situation was breathtaking.
"Well, let's find the bitch," Dean squeaked, shaking his tiny fist in furious panic; "she might not be dead yet."
Sam reached out to try to calm the diminutive figure, getting his fingertip swatted away in the process; "dude, you blew the back of her head off," he sighed; "there's no way she survived."
Not convinced, Dean turned and started clambering over the rubble around him; "we could look," he gasped hopefully, "if she's not dead, we could make her put this right for me!"
Making a grab for his brother's retreating form, Sam's massive hands encircled the entirety of Dean's torso, and lifted him up so that the brothers were face to face.
Dean squirmed and thrashed angrily from between Sam's firm but gentle grip, little arms flailing wildly as he tried to land a punch on Sam's sympathetic face, his legs still pumping frantically in mid air.
"Dean, listen to me;" Sam adopted his calmest voice; "assuming by some miracle she did survive having her brains relocated across the kitchen wall, the fact remains you still tried to kill her, so she's not going to be in the mood to do you any favours."
Sam could feel his brother's heart fluttering wildly, a mixture of fury and fear driving it into a rapid and dizzying throb.
"Put me DOWN!"
"No Dean," Sam shook his head; "you're too small. I don't want you running around on the ground, I'm scared I might tread on you."
"PUT ME DOWN!"
Dean tried to effect his most commanding tone, and failed parlously, sounding less like a gruff big brother and more like an extra from Alvin and the Chipmunks. "If you look where you're putting your great sasquatch feet you won't freakin' tread on me."
Sam shook his head again, "not taking that chance bro', sorry."
Wilting in reluctant defeat, Dean's tiny body fell limp in Sam's careful grasp.
"But Sam, this is goddamned humiliating," he mumbled sulkily into his chest.
Sam smiled awkwardly, and patted Dean's shoulder with a free fingertip in a tender show of unity; "Dean, you're ten inches high and completely naked except for a green striped napkin that stinks of cats piss; I'm pretty sure there's not much I can do to humiliate you any more," he offered weakly.
Dean looked up at the huge face hovering above him, his eyes brimming with petulant tears.
"Not helping, Sam."
Sam decanted his brother onto a table which appeared to have escaped the worst of the mayhem.
"We need to approach this practically," Sam mused, rubbing his forehead; "we need to gather up as much of this witch's crap that we can; books, potions, amulets, anything we can find, and see if we can't make some sense of it to reverse the spell."
Dean shrugged, nodding unenthusiastically.
"Then we need to get our asses over to Bobby's place;" Sam reflected aloud.
Sam glanced down to see the animated figure jumping up and down on the table; "no, Bobby can't see me like this," Dean squawked; "I'll never hear the friggin' last of it!"
He smiled apologetically, "sorry dude, but we can't stay here; half the house has collapsed and that's gonna draw attention sooner or later."
Dean didn't look convinced.
"And anyway," Sam continued, "Bobby's dealt with more witches curses than we ever will. If anyone can unravel this mess, he will."
For the second time, Dean slumped miserably. Dropping onto his butt on the table, he drew his knees up to his chest and sat, hugging his bent legs like a sulking child, trying not to look at Sam.
Sam knelt down, lifting Dean's chin with his fingertip and looked directly at the glum little face in front of him.
"Hate this," Dean grumbled.
"I know dude," Sam commiserated; "and we'll do everything we can to fix this as soon as we can," he reassured.
Sam hesitated, breath hitching in alarm when he noticed Dean was shivering.
"Dude, you okay?"
Glancing down at his trembling body, Dean looked equally as alarmed and bewildered as Sam.
"Samm-mmy, wh-wha's wrong …" he slurred, eyes widening in alarm.
Reaching out to gather his brother up, Sam recoiled when he felt how cold Dean was.
"Jeez bro'," he gasped, pulling Dean up into his hands, and cradling him against his own warm chest. Dean's mumbled objections quieted as he burrowed against the comforting warmth of his brother's body.
Then it occurred to Sam.
He remembered his biology lessons from school; tiny bodies lose heat much faster than big bodies; that's why a shrew has to eat twice it's own bodyweight every day, and why a hamster's heart beats ten times faster than an elephant's.
Placing Dean back down on the table, Sam yanked off his voluminous overshirt, and piled it on top of his brother, wrapping the swathe of fabric tightly around him until Dean was completely swamped, only his head poking out of the crumpled mass of threadbare plaid which engulfed him.
He glared at Sam; "this really, really sucks."
Sam smiled, squaring his shoulders with a renewed sense of urgency.
"Right," he announced; " don't move Dean, I'm jus' …"
"I couldn't move if I freakin' wanted to," Dean interrupted from within his massive plaid merangue.
"Yeah, well … uh … you stay right there an …"
"That means the same as 'don't move'," snorted Dean.
Sam closed his eyes and counted to ten.
"I'm gonna gather up every bit of occult shit I can find in this dive," Sam explained; "and then we're gonna hit the road."
He looked up at the little pouting face that stared back at him; "and then the first thing I'm gonna do is find you some clothes!"