Standing in the stinking mud at the foot of the tower, the brothers craned their necks upwards staring at the seemingly endless expanse of ugly, black lichen-scarred bricks that soared like Jacob's Ladder into an angry grey sky.
"We can't climb it," mused Dean, scanning the hulking tower from side to side and top to bottom; "nothing to attach the rope to."
Sam shook his head solemnly and rubbed the back of his neck in frustration, "what if Grimwald knows we're here?" He mused, glancing around cautiously; "perhaps he knows those swamp goblins didn't kill us."
Behind them, Beauty stood patiently with Not-Bobby hovering above her back. They stared at the two deliberating Winchesters for several moments before the little faerie swooped down to stand on the mare's head; "are that pair for real?" he muttered in exasperation.
Beauty snorted in agreement and switched her tail irritably.
Eventually, Not-Bobby couldn't hold his frustration any longer.
"Have you pair of numbskulls finished?"
Two pairs of enquiring eyes turned to look round at the little figure who bobbed over the air currents in front of them, his huffed out cheeks gradually turning as pink as his dress.
"The freakin' bean, y'idjits," he snorted; "plant the goddamn bean … jeez, I gotta think of everything around here?"
A glance passed between the brothers before the flash of inspiration hit.
"BEANSTALK!" Sam grinned, nudging Dean in the shoulder; "Dean, the bean," he grinned pointing at the mule's stuffed saddlebag; we plant ourselves a beanstalk – grow our own ladder." He turned to their little eye-rolling companion as Dean began to rummage through the mule's baggage; "hey, Bobb ... uh ... faerie ... um ... whatever, you're a genius," he gushed.
"Compared to you two yahoos, that friggin' mule's a genius," Not-Bobby snorted, noticing that said mule, clearly far too idle to be affronted, didn't even bother glancing up from a sparse patch of gorse it had discovered.
An hour had passed when Dean wiped his sweaty brow and patted down the marshy peat with the back of the shovel that he had lifted from the mule's laden haunches. Blowing out a long breath, he turned to Sam. "Why the heck am I, the brave and handsome knight, diggin' goddamn holes an' burying beans while my squire stands and watches?"
Sam shrugged, "Because you're so good at it, Sir-I'm-Scared-Of-My-Horse-And-Got-My-Bu
"Kiss it," snorted Dean; "I'm not scared of my horse." He hesitated, glancing slyly at Beauty; "well, not all the time."
They stood and stared idly down at the ground where the bean lay buried, totally failing to notice Not-Bobby who along with Beauty was slowly backing away from their immediate vicinity.
"So," sighed Dean; "how long do we waaaaaaAAAAAIIIIIIIIII …"
Not-Bobby patted Beauty's softly arched neck and watched as the enormous beanstalk, preceded by a menacing rumble, erupted from the earth like an Apollo launch and propelled both Winchesters, clinging white-knuckled to it's unravelling vines, skyward.
"Not long," he grunted as the two figures' terrified cries receded into the ether.
Clinging grimly to the massive uncoiling stem of the beanstalk, Dean's legs wheeled furiously as he tried to gain some purchase on the fibrous vines which coiled and writhed like a living thing, growing and multiplying beneath him. He had given up screaming now; every fibre of his being was concentrating on the iron grip which was all that stood between him and a lethal nose-dive into the swamp a dizzyingly long way beneath him.
A little way below him, Sam was clinging, bug-eyed and open-mouthed, to the broadening stem, arms and legs wrapped around it like a baby koala clinging to its mother.
He felt giant leaves beginning to sprout all over the beanstalk, bursting open like a mass of parachutes around him, under him and above him, until before long all sight of Sam was lost, hidden behind a lush green wall of giant leaves. Dean observed, however, he could no longer see the ground and how far away it was either, so it wasn't all bad.
Sam was not going to open his eyes again, not ever. When he'd opened them a few seconds ago, he was hovering fifty million miles off the ground, clinging to a giant creeper with Dean's ass in his face. Not a good place to be on all counts.
What he was going to do, however, if he ever managed to get back onto solid earth without breaking every bone in his body, was that he was going to find Not-Bobby, the little pink sparkly asshole and stamp on him.
Then he was going to peel the resulting pink pancake up off the ground and fling it, frisbee-like, as far away as he possibly could; far enough that he would never have to see it again.
Not-Bobby was going to regret not warning him and Dean that this damn freaky beanstalk was going to explode in their faces.
That is of course assuming he didn't plummet to a terrifying and unthinkably messy death beforehand, because that would, really, just royally suck.
For one beautiful moment, it felt as if the beanstalk might have stopped growing. Sam's stomach was making a concerted effort to catch up with the rest of him, and the rushing air had stopped whooshing past his face, stilling to a soft breeze.
"How far up are we?" he yelled up to Dean.
"No. Freakin. Idea." Dean replied through clenched teeth, face mashed against the stalk.
Sam sighed; ah yes, the brave and handsome knight who's scared to death of heights ...
Cautiously pushing a giant leaf to one side, Sam tried to ascertain some idea of their position, and promptly wished he hadn't. Okay, make that the faithful squire who's not too keen on heights too.
The dark castellated top edge of the tower wall was way, way below them; nothing more than a tiny black circle etched against the dank, grey landscape of the Bleaklands and Sam found himself, frozen in shock peering helplessly down into the grim, dilatory courtyard within the tower, its tiny building and fences set out below him like a child's toy.
His stomach which had struggled so manfully to regain its rightful place, quivered and dropped helplessly into his boots with a pathetic little plop.
"Dean," he croaked; "we must be at least a hundred feet up."
"Don't. Wanna. Know," Dean ground out hoarsely, burying his face way further under his arm than should be normal.
Brief moments passed, during which Sam pondered the brothers' next move, until they heard an ominous creak.
Sam froze; "Dean, tell me that was your back …"
Reluctantly extricating his face from his armpit, Dean was about to reply when another long, groaning creak juddered through the beanstalk, preceding a violent lurch sideways. Sam swallowed sharply, and suddenly had the awful feeling that any decision about their next move was about to be made for them.
"Sam, what the hell …?" Dean gasped, as the great beanstalk listed sideways. Scrambling to maintain his grip, Dean felt himself slipping ominously down the stem, his progress only halted as his ass and Sam's face made violent contact.
"It's toppling over," Sam mumbled through a mouthful of grubby leather breeches; "it can't hold up its own weight."
Listing further and further over, the beanstalk eventually came to rest against the wall of the tower, buckling over the ramparts until its top half began to sag down into the Castle's courtyard.
Fighting the relentless pull of gravity, the panic-stricken Winchesters struggled to maintain their grip as the beanstalk subsided further and further down into the castle, sending them plunging down its length, tangling through branches and bouncing off explosively sprouting beans, grasping and clinging on to anything that came to hand in a frantic effort to slow their descent; foliage, beans, curling tendrils … even each other.
Finally, the top end of the beanstalk had dropped as far as it could drop and came to a gently swaying halt, hanging limply down the inside wall of the tower, leaving the dazed and breathless Winchesters dangling helplessly from it by their various bruised and battered body parts, about ten feet above the ground.
Yep, Sam pondered as he hung upside down by one ankle from a curling leaf-bud that was bigger than him, he was not just going to stamp on Not-Bobby, that little sparkly pink dick, he was going to freakin'-well dance on him; perform a jig of utter joy as he relished the sweet, resonant crunch of soon-to-be-flat faerie beneath the sole of his size thirteen boot.
His happy imaginings were rudely interrupted by a snap and a heavy rustle right above his foot and Dean tumbled out from underneath a cluster of enormous beans, loosing a yelped oath as he plummeted past Sam, dragging the two of them down into a final rapid and painful descent to the ground.
Rolling onto his back, Sam let out a groaning gasp as the full weight of his great lunk of a brother, complete with armour, landed on top of him, no doubt snapping every one of Sam's ribs in the process, and rolled over, off of Sam and straight into a steaming pile of horse dung.
"Ah, crap," Dean sighed, panting harshly as his shocked body tried to take stock of the ordeal it had just endured; "I bet this never happened to Sir Galahad."