Grown Down- Chapter 1
Dean gets regressed by an angry witch with a spell that is designed to make him grow younger and younger until he ceases to exist.
Don't own 'em, just love 'em. Wished ta hell I worked for Kripke.
Just because of the freakin' witches spell Sam wouldn't let him handle the knives or shoot a gun or drive the freakin' car. 'Come on!' Dean fumed to himself as he rode shotgun, 'I've been drivin' M'baby since I was thirteen (with dad) and sixteen by myself so what's the big deal with me being only fourteen in size right now?' He crossed his arms and blurted out, "I'm almost my adult size, my feet can still reach the pedals and I've driven her blind with whiskey or blind with pain so what the hell man?"
By way of an answer Sam gave him a sideways glance and gripped the wheel a bit tighter as they sped on down the road to Bobby's.
What brought Dean Winchester to his presently pissed condition was a hunt gone bad. And one snarky comment too many on his part had earned him a "lesson" from the witch they'd cornered. She had a tricksters penchant for casting spells with a poetic spin to them. And when they got her dead to rights she had argued the Pros for that as her justification but Dean had snapped at her "Oh grow Up!" Her face had turned purple with anger at first then suddenly softened into a malicious smirk. She gave Dean a steady look and said way too softly, "Nooo you grow... DOWN!"
And poof just like that Sam saw this look of wonder come over Dean's face, his eyes went all big and surprised and his mouth formed a perfect "O" and then the heavy flame thrower slipped from his grip and fell right onto his foot. "OW!" Dean crumpled into a ball clutching his injury and Sam watched in disbelief as his stronger than steel older brother's lower lip quivered and he started to cry.
The scene before him momentarily distracted the younger Winchester he took precious seconds to assess his brother was not mortally wounded then quickly focused on facing the witch with his own weapon but she had begun to vanish and all but her words hung in the air:
"From this moment decades fly
youth be re- visited until you die
for every day more years stolen back,
until all power this one will lack
and come the seventh morning rose
t'will be as if he never was ."
It happened so fast she began to fade, fading, fading and then just GONE!
Sam was left staring at a whole lotta nothing. Until... this unfamiliar sound caused him to turn around and look down. The sounds were coming from his brother, lying on the ground, curled in on himself. And it wrenched his heart to see Dean wracked with sobs and making tiny sup..sup" sounds trying to quell his tears by choking out, "Sup..sup..freaking...sup...witches...sup...sup."
It had taken them a few days and several clothes changes later before they had gotten back to Bobby's. As Sam drove up the long dirt road leading into Bobby Singers yard Dean was passed out in the passengers seat from exhaustion. He had been physically getting younger with every day but his mind was still as sharp as the same old Dean ever was. Which just made the trip that much harder...for the both of them. During most of the ride he had been alternately manic then depressive over the situation then mid rant about 50 mi out from the salvage yard he'd just passed out. Sam guessed kids tire easily.
When Sam called ahead Bobby took the news that Dean had been on the wrong side of an angry witch's spell rather well...considering. The older man stood on the porch and watched the small boy as he groggily limped up the front steps and entered the room. Dean squinted up at him and rubbed his eyes.
Bobby asked him, "You... what... about eight years old now?"
Dean smacked his lips and yawned reaching up in an elaborate stretch, "Sumptin' like that. You got anything to eat?"
Bobby shook his head and turned to Sam, "Well some things don't change, hope we don't go through puberty again coz your brother'll eat me out of house and home!"
Dean scowled back, "Didn't before."
"The hell you didn't, I couldn't keep a box of cereal in this house no matter how many I bought aheada time."
Dean looked down and rubbed the toe of his boot on the floor saying, "It was good ...and I didn't think you were counting anyways."
The sagged shoulders and the downcast eyes were not the behavior of the Dean Winchester he knew, it was...it was downright...embarrasin' Then the boy standing in front of him looked up at him and Bobby saw a face he'd never seen on Dean before... this 'kicked pup' expression, all soulful eyes and pushed out lower lip and despite himself it pinched the older man's heart. It wasn't the boys fault, he had to remind himself, it was part of the spell that was causing him to behave this way. And Bobby shook his head and sighed. "It's ok boy." He reached out and put an arm around Dean's shoulders to lead him into the kitchen and while they walked together he could feel Dean's slight limp as he steered him toward a chair by the table.
When they got through the kitchen door way Bobby told Sam, "Why don't you fix your brother a bowl of cereal."
Sam looked at him a moment then nodded, "Sure Bobby, I can do that." And Dean plunked himself down glumly on to the kitchen chair. "So you're not mad I got hexed?" he asked.
"Of course I'm mad!" Bobby started to bark at him but the tone made the child at the table flinch and Bobby dialed it down a bit. "I'm not mad at you, ya idjit, I'm mad for you...you could be a...a... frog sitting there right now and I'm fresh outta flies."
Over by the counter Sam snickered as he poured the milk into the bowl.
Bobby heard that and rounded on the younger man behind him, "And where were you when all this happened? Didja even notice that yer brother's limpin?"
Sam stood up straighter and looked down at Dean's little boot, "I...erm...was right there but she vanished right after she cast the spell." Sam put the cereal in front of Dean and said to him, "I should probably get that boot off ya before the swelling gets too bad huh?"
Bobby ran his hand down his face then nodded toward Dean's sore foot and asked, "Didya at least see how that happened?"
Sam sighed and said, "he dropped the flame thrower right on it after she cast the spell."
"Of course he did." Bobby huffed.
"It got heavy." said Dean who still had that big eyed waif expression on his face.
Bobby closed his eyes and shook his head then turned to Dean and said, "after yer finished it's off to bed with ya."
"Awwwweee." the older Winchester whined. ( although he'd never admit to it later)
"I don't want any of yer lip ya idjit, there's no telling what kind of toll this 'back to yer childhood' is havin' on your constitution right now, so you better take all the rest you can git until we can figure out a way to reverse it."
Dean sat dejectedly over the bowl of cereal and thought murderous thoughts toward witches and their twisted sense of humor.
Bobby turned and went back out to his study to check some research and muttered, "It's been a long time since I had to child proof this place and that boy can reach everything now." Then he shouted over his shoulder, "Sam! You better go out to the car and bring in your stuff. It's gonna be a long week."
Grown Down-Chapter 2
After Sam had gotten their stuff settled in the guest room, which had become over the years their default recuperation center, he came around the corner of Bobby's kitchen doorway to check in on his older brother and found him sitting all hang dog at the table. He noticed he still hadn't taken a bite. "Dean, whatza matter you haven't touched your food and it's your favorite- Captain Krunch!"
"Not hungry." came the petulant reply.
"Look you have to eat," Sam pulled a chair over and sat down next to his big brother.
"Bobby's mad," Dean growled, or as well as an eight year old can growl, "and now you gotta babysit me, an all acoz some damn witch made me a kid... and right now I'm pouty ...I'm godammed pouty Sam!" Dean complained to him over the bowl. Even with his growl Sam could hear a bucket load of frustration and an unfamiliar edge of fear in Dean's voice.
"It's ok Dean, you took the hit...you're always taking the hit for me. Sam tried to sooth. "So it's about time I watched over you-huh?"
Dean rolled his eyes and looked back down at his cereal.
"That the best bitchface you got?" teased Sam. And Dean smirked just a little.
"Ok then," his younger brother continued, "for now... let's just take this one step at a time-ok?"
Sam got up and stood in front of his brother, "Okay, now let me see yer foot."
"S'fine!" Snapped Dean.
"Dean, don't make this more difficult than it has to be." said Sam as he bent down on one knee to untie the laces.
"Nooooooooo!" yelped Dean and pulled his foot in under the table.
"Com'on man don't be a..."
"Baby!" yelled Dean, "That's what you wanna say!"
"I was gonna say whiner." Sighed Sam and thought 'I hadn't factored in the emotional swings kids have.'
"Not a whiner! You're the the whiner. You're a whiny, whiner that whines!" his brother yelled back then suddenly caught himself, "Did I just say that?" he asked wide eyed sounding totally surprised that that came outta him.
Sam stood up and looked at Dean it seemed like the regression was stepping up it's pace and sapping Dean's energy and maturity level too. And Sam reasoned that last bit ,for Dean, would be a short ride.
The younger man put his hand on his older brothers shoulder and said, "Have a couple of bites of cereal, it will make you feel better, your blood sugar's probably running low and then I'm gonna take a look at that foot."
"Right," Dean nodded, "Just my blood sugar, ok, sorry, Sam. I dunno what came over me...is this gonna happen a lot?"
"Probably." replied Sam who was back down on one knee as he united the boot.
"Whiskey has a lot of sugar in it?" Dean bargained.
"No Alcohol, you're a minor now." said Sam then he pulled the boot off as carefully as he could but he could feel Dean tense coz of the pain.
His brother pressed his lips together then hissed out, "Whiskey'd dull the pain."
Sam sighed. Then tried the stern approach, "I'm not hearing any crunching noises up there!" as he slid the sock off as carefully as he could. But he winced when it was removed and he saw the blossoming bruise that covered Dean's foot. It was at the very least deep tissue damage, maybe even torn tendons.
With a mouthful of crunchy goodness Dean asked, "Fo you gunna kiss it an bak it bedder?"
Sam stood up and tried to lighten the news by telling him, "It's real pretty Dean...every color in the rainbow's in there, s'gonna be a doozy of a bruise. I'm gonna have you soak it in warm water and Epsom salts and then we need to get an Ice pack on it and keep it elevated ok?
"Can I at least have root beer and lay on the couch in the room with the TV?" Dean asked grinning up at him hopefully.
"Yeah, that's the only kind of beer you'll be having for a while until this..." and the younger Winchester gestured up and down, "get's fixed."
Even as Sam said this he was struck by the innocent expression on his older brothers face, it was...adorable...and that was not a word he'd ever thought would come to mind when he thought of Dean. Dean was at times gruff, crass, bullying, full of swagger and bluff, stubborn, pig headed and recklessly brave but 'adorable' was a trait that had never been on the list before...or maybe, Sam paused to consider, maybe it had been there but he'd just never seen it because Dean had always been "Older" in his eyes.
The little boy kept talking, "I'd sit real quiet, for like... hours!" Dean promised, "and if I had a blanket and pillow I could sleep there too!" Sam was amazed to see how Dean managed to make his eyes even wider with the unspoken "Please?" in them.
'Whew' He thought,'with that look you'll be havin' Bobby get you a puppy next! But if we can buy Dean's good behavior with a trade off of TV and root beer that would be great!' and he smiled saying, "Don't see why not."
With Dean still grinning up at him like a child that was told there would be a Christmas after all, Sam stood there and fought the impulse to ruffle his older brothers spiky hair. He decided instead to get the supplies for Dean's foot soak and to run the idea of him convalescing down on the couch by Bobby. "Now finish yer food while I get the soak go'in" Sam said over his shoulder as he left he room.
Grown Down- Chapter 3
It was no surprise that Bobby was all for it. He and Sam set Dean up with his foot bath on the couch. A bowl of pop corn, a can of root beer and the remote all within easy reach of the eight year old, then they adjourned to the study to do the research for getting him out of this latest mess.
Bobby reached up to the shelf one down from the top and pulled out a dusty tome. "I remember a job about twenty years back involving a voodoo priestess spell to de-age women, a few years to decades and this must be a rabid form of that spell." He said as he blew the dust off the top of the book.
"It better be," Sam said as he grabbed some books down from the shelf, "we only have a day, two at most to find a reversal spell or Dean...' He glanced back into the living room at the child soaking his foot and laughing at the TV, "It just better be."
An hour or two passed then Sam exclaimed, "I think this is it!" pointing at a ritual in the book he'd just opened. Bobby got up from the pile of books he'd been going over at his end of the table and stiffly walked over to skim the words of the spell and preparations to make it happen.
"You think you got every thing here we need?" Sam asked the older hunter nervously. Time was of the essence now.
"Pretty much, " Bobby assured him, "What we don't got I can run out and pick up, as you can see there's nothin' exotic listed in the ingredients for the potion."
Sam ran his hand down his face and nodded, "Good, that's real good." Then he stretched and yawned.
Bobby put his hand up on the taller Winchester's shoulder, "You should get yerself some rest boy."
"Yee...ah," yawned Sam again. "I'll just go check on Dean, it sounds quiet, maybe he went to sleep."
As Sam walked into the living room he could see the sleeping form of his "little" big brother by the dim flickering light of the TV. Dean was sprawled on his back with his sore foot sticking out from under the blanket they'd given him.
Sam walked over and inspected the little foot. Amazingly it didn't look as bad as it had earlier. However this spell worked it seemed to speed up the healing process as it sped up the regression. So he gently lifted the blanket and covering the exposed foot paused to glance down at Dean's face. His brother never looked so much at peace and so innocent, he felt a wave of protectiveness come over him and bent down to plant a light kiss on the kids forehead. He stood back up and whispered, "That's for tucking me in all those times and not being a jerk about having to do it. I'll get you out of this Dean, I promise."
The younger Winchester left the room only to return with a bed roll, pillow and blanket of his own so that he could lay down on the floor by the couch. He resolved that he was going to sleep there tonight, just in case Dean needed a glass of water...or woke up and needed to be reassured where he was...or they'd miscalculated the timing of the spell's running out. Sam just wanted to be there.
As he settled himself on his bedroll Sam muttered before he went to sleep, "Just don't go anywhere without me...kay?"
Grown Down- Chapter 4
The next morning Sam was having a great dream of bringing a newly washed Impala back to Dean to see him smile when two tiny bare feet landed on his stomach "Ooof!" followed by a 25lb toddler landing bare butt onto his midsection, "Arrrruph!"
He woke up to feel two chubby hands on either side of his face and see two wide green eyes staring into his, "B'eckfass?" Asked the child.
Sam groaned and put his giant hands around the little guys middle and using his elbows moved to sit up.
The child pulled a corner of his blanket up into his mouth and chewed on the fabric, then smiling a gummy grin shouted, "Eat!"
"Dean?" The naked little kid making himself comfortable on his lap was no more than 2 or 3 years old.
"S' me!" the toddler answered adding, "gotta pee."
That got Sam up and moving, he grabbed his brother by the waist-facing him outward- and rushed to the downstairs bathroom with his brother in outstretched arms.
Balancing Dean's little pudgy feel on the seat and facing him toward the bowl he said, "Go ahead- big boy style!" And breathed a sigh of relief that his brother still knew what that meant.
After the toilet flushed Sam's mind raced, they had no diapers, no clothes to fit Dean's current grown down size. So he picked his brother up and marched into the room where he'd thrown the duffles last night and with one hand pulled out one of Dean's flannel shirts while holding his brother tight against his side football style with the other.
Sam spread the shirt out onto the bed, placed his brother on it, flipped the tail of the shirt over the kids midsection and began to tie the arms around his waist to keep it on him. But not with out a struggle.
"No!" squirmed the kid resisting having the shirt wrapped around him like a plaid loin cloth.
Sam had to move fast to get the flannel tied in place all the while listening to Dean complain, "Not iss! Use t'other, it has a hole, not ISS!"
'Whew' thought Sam as he stood up and checked out the garment for soundness.
His brother sat on the bed in a pout, little fingers trying to untie all the knots while glaring back at him.
"Look," Sam placated, "It's only temporary, we'll have you cured by tomorrow and I'll buy you a new shirt-ok?"
Dean gave up wrestling with the waist of the makeshift diaper and flopped over on his belly to slide off the bed muttering, "better not let me poop in iss!"
Sam followed slowly behind him, "I won't."
"Hafta burn it after." Came the little voice from around Sam's knees.
"I will." Sam said tiredly as he followed Dean into the kitchen.
Once they were in the kitchen Sam looked at the table and chairs realizing they had no place to make his brother comfortable. But that didn't stop Dean from trying. The little boy tried to climb up onto one of the chairs but couldn't get enough leverage to pull himself up.
Panting he looked up at Sam and said, "Lil' hep?" but that nearly tipped him over backwards because looking ALL the way up Sam's tall body threw his balance off since his head was about 40% of his body weight right now.
"Whoa!" said Sam in alarm as he rushed to grab his brother before he banged his head against the chair. "Tell ya what," we can have breakfast in the living room on the couch ok? What da ya want?" he asked.
"Feel 'ike 'take n'eggs!" the boy chirped.
"Wait, do you even have teeth?" asked Sam.
Dean let his tongue run around his inner mouth then scrunched up his face and his lower lip began to wibble.
Sam sighed and took a deep breath, "how about scrambled eggs and PB&J?"
His brother leaked out one fat tear that slowly rolled down his puffy cheek but brightened at the idea of jelly.
"Canna have exta' gwape jelly?"
This time Sam did riffle his hand through his brothers blond locks before Dean could make a swipe against his hand to stop it, "Sure." he smiled down.
When Bobby came downstairs and out of the kitchen he strolled into the living room with his cup of coffee and nearly spit out an arc of caffeine when he saw the toddler sitting next to Sam on the couch. "Dean?"
Which got him a jelly filled grin.
Sam asked him, "What do you think this does to our timetable?"
"Nothin' good," said the older hunter pulling up a chair and sitting down with a stunned look on his face.
The little boy rolled himself off the couch and toddled over to him with a very serious look upon such a young face. The plaid diaper making his gait even more bow legged as he tried to make his little legs walk with all that material between them. When he reached the older hunters knees he wrapped his arms around them, looked up into Bobby's worried face and said, "Don't worry Unca Bobby, Sammy said he can fix iss." And he patted a pudgy hand on the jean clad knee cap of their mentor and friend.
Bobby reached down and patted the boy's shoulder then looked at him quizzically, "Boy what the hell you wearing between your legs?"
Dean pointed his dimpled little finger at his brother on the couch and glared accusingly, "Sammy diapered me wit my bestest shirt!"
Sam returned the injured tone with, "I told you I'd buy you a new one!"
Bobby put his cup down and picked up the little hot head at his knee saying, "Cut it out you two!" Sam looked down to hide his bitch face and huffed, thinking 'even grown down his big brother could still push his buttons.'
Dean squirmed on the older hunter's lap for a moment until Bobby turned him around to face him. Then Bobby squinted his eyes in worried frustration, "So it's obvious your loss of height hasn't cut your 'idjit' factor down any"...then after a beat he sighed too and added, " how you feelin' anyway?
Dean sat himself up to his full 'new' height and pouted, " 'ike a man in a pwaid diaper!"
Which made Bobby clear his throat so he wouldn't laugh out loud and wound Dean's pride even more. "I can see that son," he said keeping the amusement out of his voice, "what I meant was physically...you got any aches and pains we should know of?"
Dean thought for a bit then said sadly, "I got no teef."
Bobby patted him gently on the back and said, "Hang in there Tiger we'll get you a thick steak as soon as we have you back to your ol' self." Then he lifted the child off his leg and put him down saying, "Why don't you finish up with yer breakfast while I get myself sumthin' and yer brother an me will gather the stuff up we need to set this straight?"
"K" said the older Winchester and turned back toward the couch with as much dignity as he could muster while he tried to walk and at the same time hold up the bunched material between his legs.
When he reached the couch he put his arms up and told Sam, "Hep me up Sascotch!" Sam rolled his eyes but reached down and lifted his older brother up because in times of duress he was an awesome little brother.
Bobby watched the exchange as he got up from his chair. Shaking his head he turned and headed into the kitchen, he'd just about reached the door when he heard Sam gasp and the unmistakable sounds of a baby crying.
Rushing back he saw a panicky Sam cradling a baby in his arms that was wrapped in plaid swaddling.
"He's turned!" Sam yelped. "It's happening too soon...Bobby we gotta do this NOW!"
"I'll get the stuff, you put him back on the couch and barricade him in with the cushions so he don't roll off, then pull back the rug and paint the sigil on the floor!"
"Right," said Sam and made a nest for baby Dean amongst the cushions. Then he ripped back the throw rug and ran into the study for the paint they'd laid out last night. He came back and gave one more peek at his brother who seemed happy enough to be sucking on his fist. "Don't worry, we're doing this now" he cooed to the happy bundle. Dean took his plump fist out of his mouth and blew a wet raspberry at him.
Sam frowned, "Right, I'm on it." And turned back to the bare floor to set to work copying the sigil on it from the book of spells.
He could hear Bobby cussing and opening and slamming cupboard doors as he fetched and mixed ingredients into the crucible. Then a moment of silence and then "Balls!"
Bobby came tearing out of the kitchen, "I need Goat weed!" he said as he dashed out the door, "There's got to be some in the weed patch by the shed. You get your brother and sit in the middle of the sigil!"
Sam ran over to the baby and gently lifted him up into his arms. "Dean, it's ok we're just about done." The baby looked into his eyes and reached out a pudgy little hand and pointed up at Sam then gurgled and smiled. He seemed happy in that moment but then suddenly scrunched up his tiny face and started to cry. "Dean, shhhhh...shhhhh" Sam soothed as he gently bounced the baby up and down in his arms, "It's gonna be alright, Bobby'll be right back and then we'll fix this."
With the crying baby in his arms Sam sat down in the middle of the of the painted design on the floor and tried to hush his distressed brother. But he was just as upset as the child he was trying to quiet, "BOBBY! he yelled.
The older hunter came back inside and broke into a run to the kitchen yelling, "Start saying the invocation you idjit!"
"Yeah, well hurry..." Said Sam. He took a deep breath to steady himself while the baby writhed in his arms then he spoke the words from the book on the floor.
Dean stiffened in his arms. "BOBBY! get in here! Sam yelled in between stanzas, "He's either changing or gonna take a dump...HURRY!"
Bobby ran in with the potion, poured it on the baby's head and with a nod to Sam they both repeated the last stanza of the reversal spell in unison.
At first nothing happened. Then the baby began to appear fuzzy around the edges like a hologram and suddenly there was a blinding light and a loud "POP" and Sam felt a huge weight push him back onto the floor.
"Umph!" Sam grunted.
"What the hell?" Dean said having found himself lying in the middle of Bobby's living room, piled on top of Sam and wearing nothing but a flannel loin cloth to boot!
"Did I loose a game of strip twister... again?" He asked woozily as he stood up and reached his hand down to help Sam to his feet.
Sam mouthed, "Again?"
But Bobby reached in and hugged the older Winchester embarrassedly tight. "God damned good to see ya all growed up boy!" he said but as he pulled himself away he took his baseball cap off and smacked him on top of the head.
"Ow?" Dean said as he stepped back out of the older man's reach.
Bobby glared briefly at the man in the plaid diaper before him and told him, "How many times have I got to tell you DON"T TAUNT THE WITCHES!" Then he put his cap back on his head with an extra tug and told them, "Now, you two clean this mess up! And Dean, Chinese food's on you tonight."
Dean looked around the room at the painted sigil on the floor then touched his head where it felt wet pulled his fingers away and saw a disgusting green slime coating them. Then he looked down at what he was wearing. "Dude!" he yelled at Sam, "you owe me a new shirt!"
"I know, I know..." Said Sam tiredly, "and I've gotta burn that one."
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