( Putting these together since the one without a character came in first and I had already planned to throw Jacob at that one )
AU: Giant Jacob AU
Timeline: Before the story begins
Twigs and leaves crunched under a heavy boot as Jacob hiked among the trees, staring around avidly. The pines, straight and tall, stretched high overhead, deep green needles hiding the darkening sky from sight. The air was filled with the fresh scent of those pines, as well as distant maples, and the crisp aroma of a mountain lake. Even as the day came to a close, birds and squirrels bustled about on the branches, chasing each other or holding conversations in their squeaks and chirps. There was a slant to the world that came as an unfamiliar obstacle to Jacob, a native of the flat lands of Iowa.
It was the perfect terrain for hiking. Despite Colorado coming with more chill than he was used to, and thinner air than he usually breathed, it was well worth the trip.
Back at the campsite, his friends were less enthusiastic about the wild outdoors themselves. Camping was a time of relaxation, they’d say. To Jacob, hiking in the trees was relaxing. A chance to get away, take it all in, and live in his own thoughts.
A faint twinge on his back, little more than an itch, prompted Jacob to stop in his tracks. He shifted his backpack around, and then glanced up once more. The evening was getting darker. Knowing his friends, they’d need help getting a fire started.
He turned back towards the campsite, using the slope of the earth and a natural sense of direction to point him in the right direction. He didn’t want to be caught out here when it grew too dark to find his way between the trees.
He didn’t make it three steps before a strange tugging sensation clenched in his middle. With a wince, Jacob stopped again and shut his eyes tight. The thin air around him became thinner and his heart pounded in his ears as though he was suddenly underwater. There was a prickling at his arms and chest, and the sound of more twigs breaking.
Did I fall down a hill?
He opened his eyes, and then closed them again in confusion. When he opened them once more, the scene before him was just as confusing. Jacob stared around him, with the waning sky a canopy overhead, ringed by the mountain range that created a wall across the country.
He could see the sky.
He was taller than the trees.
“What the fuck,” he muttered, his face a mask of shock. His voice, quiet to him, rumbled out of his now-massive chest and made the tips of the trees quiver. They didn’t rise past his shoulders.
The prickling on his arms came from the branches that now poked into him like twigs. Now, an entire pine branch felt like what a pine needle should feel like. He brushed a hand over one branch with his brow furrowed, and flinched when the spindly wood creaked and then snapped from his touch.
“I need help,” he murmured, and now bird and squirrels could be heard scolding him from safely below the tree level where he couldn’t see them. He looked straight down. Past a chest broader than a house and jean-clad legs that towered over some apartment buildings, his boots were planted on the ground, crushing undergrowth that moments ago he’d need to push aside or navigate around.
If Jacob were to guess with his severely-confused senses, he was over a hundred feet tall.
It wasn’t possible. He had to have hit his head on something. It was a hallucination, taking the sensations of the forest around and warping them. He could still smell the maple and the pine, and the mountain lake, he could still feel the chill in the air, but it all took a backseat.
Jacob’s heart did flips as the confusion grew, and he took a lurching, dizzy step. It was clumsy, and he nearly dropped down to his knees in the confusion and vertigo. He was up to high. Jacob had to blink lightheadedness away that could be from the thin air or from the soaring sensation that came with just one step.
People didn’t just grow like this all of a sudden.
He needed to find someone. He took another step with a grimace, and the strange height didn’t go away. If he could just get back to the others, he might be able to find out what had happened to make him grow.
Small dots of flickering orange led him back. Jacob didn’t need his sense of direction as much, now that he stood taller than the trees. He walked towards the campgrounds, glancing down with every step. If there was another hiker down there …
He didn’t want to think about that.
The trees shook as he walked, and many branches snapped against him before he even noticed he was brushing against them. He was too big, the fabric of his hoodie and jeans too thick.
As he walked, more lights flickered to life in the treeless patch that was the main campground park. Jacob could just make out the tiny squares of light that came out of RV windows, and the tiny stars that wavered to and fro near the campfires. Flashlights. He’d probably barely be able to hold one in his fingers if he really was big.
He just needed to find his friends and their tent. They’d get a park ranger to use a phone with signal on it and call for help or something. Then he’d be fine.
Since he was in a hurry and he could hear people talking ahead, Jacob took longer strides to get back. His boots crushed more saplings and left huge indents in the ground, and he didn’t realize until it was too late that a lot of those voices were screaming.
He reached out to push at one tall pine tree, leaning it aside with a prolonged creak, and found the campgrounds in chaos. The fires weren’t surrounded by happy people talking and laughing. The flashlight beams wavered because people were running, shouting to each other.
While he was so preoccupied with how confused he was, Jacob had never considered how frightened they’d be.
“Wait, wait,” he said, his voice booming over the campers that now stood no taller than his fingers. Fuck. I did this wrong. “Please!”
His words didn’t reach them. No one stopped their panic. Tents collapsed as people tore themselves out of them, and belongings were scattered in the pandemonium. Already, some of the fastest runners had reached their cars and the engines roared to life with an urgency that mimicked the shouts from the people.
“No, no, please,” Jacob said again. He let go of the tree and shuffled forward only a step, then lowered himself down. One hand reached for the ground to brace himself, and he hoped that making himself less towering might help.
A boom echoed over the chaos, a loud one, and suddenly a spray of stinging pain lit up in his arm. Jacob jerked his hand back and, in one fluid motion, pushed his sleeve up in surprise. His arm sported several tiny pinpricks of red.
Another shot rang out, and the spray of buckshot from the gun hit his other arm this time. “Ow!” Jacob yelped, falling backwards to a seat. The forest shook, pine needles fell, and more people screamed.
They’re terrified of me, he realized. There was another shot, and he flinched. This one missed him somehow. Despite being the size of one of the nearby hills, someone had missed him.
Because they were so scared they couldn’t see straight.
Jacob’s heart sank and he scrambled back with his hands until he could stumble to his feet. His backpack, now giant along with him, broke the top half off of a younger tree as he whirled around and ran. He couldn’t stay there while everyone was in a panic. Not while he could barely see the ground. Not while they were shooting at him.
He could try again later. Someone had to be able to help him.