At Not-Bobby's shout, Sam's eyes slowly tilted skyward with a terrible sense of impending dread.
As his equilibrium shifted, he heard the muffled trickling sound of him emptying his bladder over the mossy contours of the tree trunk to the harsher spattering sound of him emptying his bladder over the toe of his left boot.
He stumbled backwards with a cry of alarm, rapidly and damply packing himself away as the tree-trunk which wasn't a tree trunk at all but was in fact a leg, lifted and shook itself irritably. The action was accompanied by a harsh wordless moan from way above their heads.
"Holy crap," Not-Bobby gasped, his little crumpled face paling as he stared wide-eyed up at a massive stooping figure emerging through the tree canopy, bearing down on Sam's, for once, diminutive form which stood helplessly between its feet, paralysed with fear.
"Yeah, what you said," Dean snapped, lurching forward and grabbing Sam unceremoniously by the remaining sleeve of his jerkin, trying to drag him away; "c'mon we gotta go."
The little band turned and ran; even the mule seemed to have sensed the urgency of the situation and was cantering clumsily after them, a cacophony of rattling pots, pans and assorted armaments clattering merrily along with every inelegant hoofbeat.
Behind them, they could hear massive, heavy footfalls, crashing through the forest and scattering trees like matchwood. The ground shook like an earthquake rolling along behind them and although the sound was terrifying; what was even more frightening was the fact that it was undoubtedly gaining on them.
Dean barely had time to blink in shock as a huge hand reached down and grasped Sam, engulfing him from chest to knees. All he could do was stand and watch helplessly as his brother's terrified face receded up through the tree canopy.
"SAM" he cried in vain.
Sam writhed and fought within the grip of the huge fingers that encircled him, wildly pummelling them with his fists before he realised that here, some thirty feet above the ground, being held was probably marginally preferable to being let go.
He took a deep breath to calm himself. Beneath him, he could hear Dean, bringing a new and highly vocal definition to the phrase 'going berserk', and Not-Bobby trying frantically, and with limited success it seemed, to convince the cursing and raging Winchester that stabbing the giant through the foot with a pikestaff was probably not a great idea given Sam's current situation.
Sam was inclined to agree. He was wrapped up in a colossal hand that could squish him in a heartbeat; he had to handle this carefully if he wanted to be handled carefully himself, and his case wasn't going to be helped by a full-on Dean conniption.
He craned his head around to sneak a look into the face of his abductor. If someone was going to grind his bones to make their bread, he reckoned was entitled to get a look at them.
It was not the sort of face he had been expecting at all. Rosy complexioned and round, its huge, blue eyes regarded him suspiciously. Full, rosebud lips clenched in a puzzled pout as the creature canted its head, studying him so closely its eyes crossed and Sam felt his cheeks colour under the scrutiny.
A long wisp of unruly blonde hair tumbled down over its forehead and curled across the bridge of its upturned nose.
The undeniably female face was not unpleasant; massive, sure, terrifying, definitely; but surprisingly pretty in a rustic, flaxen-haired milkmaid kind of way.
Sam stared back up at the face, shifting slightly and pulling in a shallow, gasping breath as the grip around his chest tightened.
A lady giant … a giantess.
This put a whole new perspective on the situation.
Sam wasn't beneath playing dirty, and he immediately switched on the puppydog face. Not just any old puppydog face; not the one that worked on Dean, not even the one that worked on Bobby, but the ten-thousand megawatt, hi-octane kicked puppydog face with pitifully sad, tear-bright eyes, slightly apologetic smile and cavernous dimples.
The giantess cocked her head as she regarded the little being in her hand and her vast pink lips quirked upwards into the faintest of smiles.
"I'm really very sorry, Ma'am," he began contritely, fighting to keep his voice from quivering; "I really didn't mean to, well, you know …"
A breathy giggle erupted in his face, and Sam recoiled as a massive huff of hot breath blew his hated cap off his head.
"If there's anything I can do to make amends," he continued, blinking spit out of his eyes; "of course, you only have to ask."
A gargantuan fingertip smoothed back the hair on top of his head.
"I'm on my way across the Bleaklands," Sam stammered; "I'm sure we can find a laundry or something," he babbled, cringing as he listened to the crap that was tumbling out of his mouth; "I mean, they're such nice stockings … that, um, muddy sorta brown really suits you, and it'd be a shame to, um …"
Sam gave up.
The fingertip continued on its path downward, stroking the side of his face.
"Hey, get a friggin' room you two." Sam flinched as he heard Not-Bobby's voice; he hadn't even realised the little faerie had flown up to find him.
Clearly besotted with her prize, the giantess was oblivious to the tiny pink dot that fluttered busily around her head.
"L-look," Sam pleaded, hoping to capitalise on his captor's apparent warmth toward him; "please put me down; my brother and I have got to cross the Bleaklands to the castle of Grimwald. There's someone there who needs our help; someone who's very lonely and frightened."
Sam's entire world was taken up with two huge cornflower blue eyes which regarded him intently from under thick golden lashes with a combination of affection and something else; something that could have been sadness.
Sam stared back into the face, hearing the faint buzz of Not-Bobby's wings behind his head. As the giantess didn't seem in any way troubled by the idea of the brothers invading Grimwald's castle, he took a hopeful guess that she might turn out to be one of the good guys, and continued cautiously.
"Grimwald's real evil," Sam ventured; "we want to rescue this lady who needs our help, and if that means we have to kill him, we'll do it; we know stuff that other knights don't know."
Pausing for a moment, Sam stared into the intense gaze that held him in its sky blue embrace. "Perhaps I can take some of his gold to replace your stockings," he added eagerly.
Not-Bobby palmed his face with a groan; he was pretty sure the giantess had gone way beyond being interested in her stupid stockings any more.
The sad blue eyes widened, and Sam felt himself being studied and evaluated even more closely. He squirmed, feeling like a bug in a child's jam jar.
Before he knew what was happening, Sam suddenly found himself squashed lavishly against the giant's enormous pillowy bosom, gasping for breath as it rose with a sigh. He considered briefly that Dean would probably get so much more out of this experience if it were him and not Sam up here being bosomed to death by Miss Lovey-Dovey Giantess.
He felt the world swing nauseously as the giantess turned and began stomping through the forest, still gripping the object of her affection tightly to her heaving bosom.
"Hang in there son," Not-Bobby whispered, buzzing around the back of Sam's head.
Extricating his face from a cleavage which ensured that he would never again be able to say the words 'Grand Canyon' without shuddering, Sam glared at the little faerie; "don't have much choice, do I?
"I think she's taking you to the Bleaklands."
It took about an hours' crashing through the Wildwoods before Sam realised that they had reached the edge of the forest and were staring across the Bleaklands.
The Bleaklands were perfectly named; a barren expanse of rocks and dust covered with a sparse stubble of shrivelled gorse which was dotted with a small number of stunted, skeletal tree carcasses.
Soupy grey clouds tumbled overhead as if even the sky was cursed in this godforsaken place.
Scanning the horizon, Sam's curious eyes settled on the one thing that broke the vast haunting emptiness that stretched out before him. A great stone hulk; possibly the ugliest castle he'd ever seen.
He looked down to see Dean and Beauty emerge from the forest way below him, both gasping and coated in sweat from their exertions of keeping up with the giantess.
Finally the mule trotted up behind them and dipped his head, scanning the Bleaklands menu disapprovingly.
"Damnit Sam can you get your girlfriend to slow down?" Dean snorted, sliding bonelessly down out of Beauty's saddle. He stooped, leaning heavily against his panting horse and timidly kneaded his backside; "Beauty needs a breather and my freakin' ass is skinned."
Sam looked down on his brother's flushed, sweat-dampened face.
"Trust me dude," he snorted, "the ride's no smoother up here."
The little band stood silently staring over the empty grey nothingness that lay before them, blinking as a harsh wind scuttled across the ground, whipping up a cloud of dust.
"There it is boys," Not-Bobby muttered softly, almost as if he was afraid of being heard; "the princess is in that goddamn ruin over there."
He glanced across at Dean and then up at Sam.
"We got three days, and then she dies."