Bobby groaned woozily as he sat slumped at the kitchen table, pressing an ice pack to the spectacular lump that had sprouted on his forehead following his inelegant faceplant. He glared at Sam who stared timidly back at him from over the top of half a loaf of toast coated in Bobby's entire stock of peanut butter.
"What in hell happened to him?" Bobby asked, still not quite rationalizing the sight of mini-Dean sitting, legs akimbo, on the table, tucking voraciously into a little square of Sam's toast and seemingly wearing more of the peanut butter than he was managing to get down his gullet.
Sam shrugged; "she shrunk him," he mumbled wetly around a mammoth mouthful.
"I can friggin' SEE she shrunk him," roared Bobby; "what the hell for? How?"
"Don't know," Sam shrugged again, biting off half a slice in one go; "we were kinda hoping you might have some ideas."
They both turned abruptly as Dean let out a burp that completely belied his diminutive size.
Bobby raised an eyebrow; "I see his table manners haven't improved."
Sam sighed, as he turned his eyes away from the tiny figure; "we've brought all her 'witchy' stuff with us, there must be something in there to give us some clues."
They both glanced across to Dean, who was now sitting between them, making short work of a grape and clearly enjoying himself immensely.
"Why's he dressed like freakin' Stormin' Norman?"
"It's all I could find to fit him," explained Sam; "you see, when the witch shrunk him, she didn't shrink his clothes so I had to pay a visit to a local toy shop, and my only options were either to dress him like Barbie's dodgy husband, GI Joe, or have him running around naked."
Sam cringed at the disturbing memory of his toy shop ordeal, wincing as his nipple gave a psychosomatic twinge.
Dean suddenly snapped out of his grape-induced bliss and looked up to join the conversation which had been drifting back and forth above his head.
"Hey, quit talkin' about me like I'm not here," he snapped; "I might be little, but I'm not a freakin' moron!
The two men looked down at the tiny indignant face which was liberally coated in peanut butter and sticky red grape juice.
"You sure about that shortass?" asked Bobby.
Bobby sighed as he placed the ice pack on the table in front of him, and heaved himself cautiously out of his chair.
"Goin' to get some aspirins."
Sam nodded as he licked the last traces of his feast off his fingers.
"Sam, you better get yer ass in gear and start bringin' all the witch's crap in," he sighed, and looked down at Dean; "an' clean him up, will ya? He looks like he's had a friggin' PBJ facial."
The sun had begun to dip toward the horizon when Bobby sat down to start the onerous task of sifting his way through the mountains of books, parchments and assorted junk that Sam had liberated from the dead witch's house.
Sam marched back and forth, heaving and hefting armfuls of assorted junk, fetching and carrying, amazed that he'd managed to wedge so much stuff into the poor overloaded Impala.
Of course, not having a giant, long-legged lump of a brother sprawled across half of the front seat next to him helped enormously.
With both his companions busy, Dean had little to do but sit on the arm of the sofa and watch the comings and goings. Fresh from a dip in the bathroom basin, he was fed up, and he was cranky.
He'd tried explaining to Sam that 'real' men don't have baths; even if they are only the same height as a garden gnome. Only women have baths – baths full of stinky flowery pink bubbles and candles accompanied by Michael Bolton ballads and all that shit.
How could Sam be so gay as to not know that?
'Real' men have showers, and he just didn't get why Sam had got it into his great bitch-faced gay cranium that letting Dean have a shower was too dangerous.
Dean had argued his case eloquently; "I wanna shower, bitch!"
In the end, the whole episode had ended rather anticlimactically when Sam had just filled the basin with warm water, picked Dean up, yanked his clothes off and dumped him unceremoniously in it.
Dean's pride was still smarting and it was just another entry on his growing 'revenge' list for when he was full size again.
Jeez, Sam and his pansyass worrying was going to drive Dean to drink.
Except, somehow, drinking a drain of something out of Bobby's thimble didn't hit the spot the same way as a nice long icy draught out of a nice long pint glass.
He stared at the miniscule drain of cold coffee in the bottom of said receptacle and sighed. Who would have known the old goat did his own clothing repairs!
Dean slumped, returning his gaze to Bobby's back which was hunched over the table, clearly deep in thought.
Sonofabitch; this crap could go on for days. Dean's heart raced in despair at the thought.
Dean knew he had to regain whatever shred of independence he could before he went completely stir crazy, and he was going to start right now.
He would go outside to take a leak and he would do it without Sam's grabby hands all over him. Heck, the man had no concept of personal space!
When they had been on the road, on the way to Bobby's, the only time Sam had allowed his brother on the ground (although not necessarily out of his sight, much to Dean's annoyance); was to empty his bladder which, at its current proportions, didn't take a lot of filling.
Arrangements at Bobby's were somewhat less flexible, and it was a fight that hadn't yet been resolved. Sam's instruction for Dean to let him know when he needed to go had been met with an (admittedly very small) brick wall of protest, and Dean was adamant this was one minor inconvenience of his current situation that he was going to sort out on his own terms, thank you very much.
Bobby's yard wasn't exactly a verdant Eden, but Dean guessed there must be some poor, shrivelled bit of something that used to be a plant somewhere that he could secrete himself behind to answer nature's call.
Glancing back at Bobby, Dean knew the older man was absorbed enough that he probably wouldn't notice a herd of giraffes walk through the room, never mind Dean's currently miniscule form making a break for freedom, so he confidently made his move, sliding down off of the couch and making his way covertly toward the open door where Sam was still collecting a few last armfuls of junk from the Impala.
He slyly slipped across the threshold and hopped down the steps, scurrying along the side of the house toward a sorry looking gorse bush.
Stationing himself behind the bush he fumbled with his fly briefly before he remembered; "ah yeah, GI friggin' Joe," he sighed in frustration; "you might be all hard man, but you still have to piss like a girl because you don't have a dick or an emergency escape hatch in your pants to stick it through!"
Sam carried last pile of books into the house, kicking the door closed behind him.
"That's the lot Bobby," he called, dragging a forearm across his sweat dampened brow.
Bobby grunted an acknowledgement.
"Yeah," came the response from over the dusty pages of an ancient book.
Sam hesitated, and looked over to the couch where he had left Dean sitting with his last cup of coffee.
His head swivelled, chest clenching in panic; "Bobby, where's Dean?"
Bobby looked up, eyes widening in horror when he saw the couch was unoccupied.
"Crap," Bobby gasped; "the little idjit slipped by me!"
Gyrating his way back into his pants after taking care of business, Dean paused on hearing a deep rumble beside him.
What was that? The Impala? Was Sam going somewhere?
He turned, and looked straight up into a pair of dark brown eyes.
The menacing rumble turned into a deep, rattling growl, and the meaty odour of dog's breath caught him square across the face.
For once in his life Dean wasn't pleased to see Rumsfeldt.
"Hey boy, it's me .." he gasped, backing away nervously; "c'mon Rums, you know me."
Rumsfeld's lip curled menacingly; he had heard the voice, but he was deaf to everything but his raw instinct; here was a small, swiftly moving creature which just needed to be torn apart.
Dean turned, stumbling backwards and snagging his arm on the gorse bush, and ran.
He heard the spray of gravel as Rumsfeld span and raced, snarling and barking, after him.
"Saaaaaaaaaam … Bobbbbbbbby…" Dean cried, panting for breath as he tore along the side of the house, blind panic giving him wings; the sting of the gorse scratches on his arm barely registering over the terrible burn of the hot, spittle that peppered his back, and the threatening growl that filled his head.
Suddenly the dog lunged forward, and he felt the jolt as the jaws snapped closed behind him, scraping his back and knocking the wind out of him.
Although it was only the fabric of Dean's T shirt that was caught between Rumsfeld's teeth, there was still enough force to take him of his feet, and shake him viciously. He flailed frantically, his flying elbow catching Rumsfeld's wet nose, before his T shirt gave out with a loud rip, and he was flung against the wall of the house.
Scrambling to his feet, he clutched his chest and staggered giddily as he stumbled forward trying to catch his breath; Rumsfeldt lunged again, and he managed to throw himself out of his way, watching in wide-eyed terror as the dog butted the wall where he had been only a second before.
"Saaaaaaammm …" realising he couldn't outrun Rumsfeldt, he burrowed deep into a crumbling corner between the house and the steps, curling into a panting, trembling ball and waiting for those huge slavering jaws to clamp down on him and shake the life out of him like the rat that Rumsfeld obviously thought he was.
What a stupid way to die.
Still, at least Sam wouldn't have to build a very big pyre.
"Rumsfeldt – git yer ass HERE!" Bobby's voice was harsh with panic and fury.
"DEAN!" Sam's was laced with horror.
Cowering against the wall, Dean flinched as something large encircled him, but it wasn't Rumsfeldt's jaws. It was Sam's hand, lifting him up and cradling him against the warm safety of his chest.
Below him, Bobby had grabbed the snarling dog's collar, and was using all his strength to hold him fast as Rumsfeld strained and tugged, barking and snapping and jumping up at Sam to reach the prey he had been cheated of.
"He okay?" Bobby asked Sam in concern.
Sam looked down at the tiny bloodied figure burrowed into the crook of his arm, heart pounding faster than a drum-roll; "don't know," Sam replied, turning urgently toward the house; "gonna get him inside and take a look."
Bobby bent and snatched up a dead branch lying in the yard, throwing it across toward the barn.
"There y'go y' idjit mutt - you wanna chase something, you chase that."
Sam dabbed a tiny wad of cotton wool across Dean's back and arm, spreading cool, soothing antiseptic cream onto the numerous grazes and scratches there.
The left side of Dean's body and face was mottled with darkening bruises where he was thrown against the wall, but all things considered; Sam looked down sadly at the little moon and stars T shirt, torn to shreds by the dog's attack; it could have been a whole lot worse.
But he couldn't find it within himself to be angry with his brother.
"I know you think I'm a pain in the ass Dean," Sam spoke gently as he worked; "and I know it's annoying you – heck, it would annoy me too, but you just can't go down on the ground on your own. It's way too dangerous." He rubbed a fingertip down Dean's uninjured arm in a gesture of sympathy; "this little body's just too fragile. It can't take the sort of punishment you can take when you're full sized."
Dean at least had the good grace to nod, albeit miserably.
Sam and Bobby could both see he was still shocked, still shaking so hard, he could barely see straight when he looked up at the two men who stood over him with faces still pale with shock.
"Please help me Sam," he pleaded; "I want this to be over."