Dean and Sam go back to their dad's storage locker where the elder Winchester goes on an unexpected trip. Set late season seven.
The storage room was exactly as they'd left it last time they'd passed through, when they'd brought back some curse boxes confiscated from an antique dealer who hadn't known what mortally dangerous items he was selling.
The room was liberally decorated with hanging spider webs, and the stuffy air was still tainted with musty metallic smell of old dried blood leaked from the wounds of a long deceased thief who had come up with the bad idea of stealing a curse box containing a harmless looking rabbit's foot.
Dean smiled despite himself, at the memory of his little brother's idiot antics when he in turn had been cursed by the foot.
The ridiculously tender image of the helpless five-year old that Sam had painted when he'd lost his shoe down a drain in the roadway, just never got old.
"What are you chuckling at, Dean?" the voice of said brother bitched in his ear.
"Best you don't know, Sammy.I wouldn't want to offend my little brother's feelings now, would I?" he smirked, clapping a hand on Sam's wide shoulder.
"That means you WERE laughing at me, doesn't it? Probably when I was cursed with that damn rabbit's foot," Sam scowled.
"You weren't too smart yourself when you let Bela run off with our winning scratch cards, now were you!" he added, giving back as good as he got!
"Huh. She took a shot at you Sammy. What a bitch! What's with the freaking bad guys anyway? Whenever they want to stop the awesome Dean Winchester they target your girly ass, Sam! As if that would stop me," Dean grinned staring Sam fully in the face, conscious of having told a blatant lie.
Sam stonily returned the stare.
"Right, because that never works, does it?" he commented, shaking his head; but well aware that if there was one unwritten constant that he could be sure of in the whole of Creation, it was that Dean would never stop protecting him from everyone and everything; and though his big brother's over-protectiveness pissed him off at times, he felt it gathered around him like a warm blanket, privileged to be that one person who would always be first in Dean's heart and soul.
Sam turned away, his eyes misting over. Don't be such a girl, he chided himself silently. We're here to check out the place not to flood it with touchy-feely moments.
"Hey, look over here," Dean called as he rummaged at the back of the room. "What the heck is this?"
He bent down to pull out the glistening object that must have fallen and lain hidden behind the shelves, and the last thing he heard as he fell senseless to the floor was Sam's voice warning him to be careful about touching stuff that he didn't recognise.
Too late, bro, was Dean's last coherent thought.
"Hey, mister, are you okay?" he heard a young concerned voice asking, as he tried to open his eyes.
What the hell just happened, Dean wondered.
He had gone to lift something off the floor of the storage unit. He remembered Sam shouting out to be careful about touching anything and then he must have passed out.
Trust Sam to be right every time. There should be a law against know-it-all little brothers!
He should have been more careful, but if all he got for his trouble was a headache like the one he had now, that would be getting off lightly.
Strange though, he mused. We were inside the storage unit and now I'm lying in the open air.
"Mister," the voice repeated. "Are you okay?"
He attempted to focus his eyes on the face that was bending over him. It should have been Sam's but it wasn't; for a start it seemed way smaller than his ginormous brother.
"Yeah, I think I'm okay," he answered carefully, pulling himself up into a sitting position.
"You scared me there for a minute," the voice continued "You just sorta went down like a ton of bricks. You're lucky you didn't crack your head on the side-walk, man."
Up until now he hadn't really paid any attention to the person who was hovering over him, intent on wondering what the hell had happened, but as his eyes studied the kid kneeling next to him, he almost fainted ( in a manly way of course), for the eyes looking down at him were very familiar, as was the face and the mop of tousled chestnut hair, only it was in no way ginormous yet; if anything it was skinny and pale, but it was certainly Sammy's!
At the sight of the mini-Sammy, Dean's senses came sharply into play. He pulled himself to his feet and revelled in the long-forgotten sensation of towering over his little brother.
His heart gave a sentimental squee as he drank in the sight. Sammy had to be thirteen or thereabouts.
"Err, " he began, trying to articulate his words over the lump in his throat, as he was reminded of just what a cute kid his brother had been.
Just then a phone rang and the kid pulled out an old-fashioned cell from his pocket.
"Excuse me a second, I gotta take this," mini-Sam said moving away, but Dean clearly heard the conversation.
"Yeah, Dean, I'm doing my best! I'm going to the library, Yeah. I'll get on to it right away. I know, I know. I'll get back to you, Dean, okay."
Dean looked around, he was standing in a park.
He saw a red-brick building in the distance that was presumably the library, but he certainly didn't recognise the place. If he was really in some kind of weird past, then this must have been a place Sammy had staked out on his own.
"Uh. Thanks," he said, as the boy came back, pushing the phone into his back-pack. "Thanks for giving me hand to pick myself up"
" It was nothing," the kid smiled, a smile identical to the beaming one that had always warmed his heart, and still did.
The saw the puppy eyes slit in concentration.
"Have we ever met before? You look kinda familiar," the kid said, a confused frown lining his forehead.
"Na! Don't think so," Dean replied, though there was nothing more he would rather have done than pull his little brother to his chest and give him a rib-breaking hug.
The Dean of this time would be around seventeen, very different from how he now looked, and he would still be wearing Dad's cast off leather jacket.
Yeah, very different!
"Okay, then. I gotta go. If you're sure you're all right…. ?" Sammy added.
Dean just nodded and watched as Sam made his way toward the building, stopping to look back at him before pushing through the library doors.
What to do now, Dean wondered?
He had no friggin' idea how to get back to his own Sammy; he'd just have wait and see if his brother could fix things from his end. The only thing he'd done was to pick up that shitty object, and he certainly wasn't holding it now.
In the meanwhile he'd go and keep an eye on little Sammy. His baby brother could always find trouble even in the most run-of –the-mill places, so while he was here, he'd look out for him.
He pushed through the library doors and wandered around the shelves keeping the boy in sight. He smirked when he saw him trying to talk to the cute girl sitting at a nearby table; nearly laughing out loud as Sammy asked his younger self via phone, how to talk to girls.
Dean felt a like a stalker, but it was heart-warming to be able to get this unexpected glimpse of Sammy when he was still a kid.
Eventually Dean realised just where he was.
The young girl Sammy had defended from the two thugs ( making Dean's heart burst with pride ) was Amy, the Kitsune that Dean himself had killed, causing a painful rift between the brothers.
He stalked the kid until he saw the Impala draw up, and after much arm-waving and explanation on Sammy's part, he got in back and the Impala took off.
As it passed him by, Dean glimpsed his Dad at the wheel, with his younger self in the passenger seat, body twisted round studying Sam.
Dean remembered that day; dad had accepted the fact that the Kitsune must have escaped, for they never found head nor hair of her but he'd been able to read Sammy like a book even then, and the kid had been hiding something, but John had believed they'd lost her, and what John said was law.
As he watched the Impala drive off, he felt himself losing his senses again, only this time to wake up to his Sam hovering over him, distraughtly calling his name.
"Dean, thank God," Sam breathed, his voice hoarse. "I saw you collapse and I…..."
"It's al right, Sam. I'm fine, I think anyway," he soothed, as Sam pulled him shakily to his feet.
"What happened, man?" Dean asked.
"When you picked that thing up," Sam explained, pointing to the hourglass shaped object lying a few feet away on the ground, "you fell to the floor. I thought it had killed you straight out but your breathing was regular and so I tried to pull it from your hand without touching it myself. I got the two thick pairs of gloves we keep in the Impala and I tried to pry it open. I had to practically break your fingers to get you to release it, but as soon as you let go, you woke up."
"Ow! That's why my hand feels as if it went though a friggin' wood-chipper," Dean complained as he cradled the pulsing extremity.
"Sorry, Dean," Sam apologised. "But at one point I thought I might have to chop it off."
"You're kidding me!" Dean burst out, searching his brother's face for a smirk, but Sam's expression remained stoically serious. "You're not kidding!"
Sam shrugged and picked up the offending object, placing it into an empty box he had found on the shelf.
"Its own box had crumbled away, termites or something, and it must have slid out, ending up on the floor where you picked up," Sam huffed, his anger and worry at his brother's carelessness coming to the forefront now that Dean was safe and sound.
"Did anything happen when you were unconscious?" he asked, curiosity kicking in.
Dean smiled enigmatically and patted his brother's back. "If you buy me a coffee, I'll tell you all about it. A story about a kid who wanted to pick up a cute girl, who wasn't quite what she seemed, and how he defended her 'honour'."
Sam turned his head back to glance suspiciously at him.
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"Come on, Sasquatch, let's get the hell outta here before we trip over anything else," Dean grinned, as he pushed his big little brother towards the door.