A World of Secrets

(Story 1 of the Brothers Unexpected series)

Cowritten by @nightmares06 and @neonwrite

After being attacked, Sam wakes up in a dark place, surrounded by strangers. He escapes them only to find that his life won’t be going back to normal any time soon…

Characters: Sam Winchester, Walt Watch, Jacob Andris, Mariana Andris, Nicholas Andris, Dean Winchester

Archive of Our Own || Fanfiction || Deviantart


Artwork by @creatorofuniverses!

May 23rd excerpt:

Jacob stumbled out of Dean’s grasp, halting where he stood as he took in the scene. To one side, a fork and knife more than twice his body length stretched out on a folded napkin. Jacob could see countless nicks and scratches in the metal from years of use. On the other, the laminated menu with occasional pictures of what the restaurant had to offer filled up plenty of space. The table expanded beyond that, shiny finish on polished wood adding to the atmosphere.

Above, a deer head mounted to the wall watched the rest of the room with glassy eyes from a better vantage point than Jacob had. He could hear other humans chatting, dishes clinking together, the chiming of the bell as yet more customers wandered in.

December 19th excerpt:

Moira tried to steel her heart. Dean was in trouble, and she needed to get him out of that human’s hands, now. Then once Dean woke up they could escape and find Sam, wherever he was, even if the human had him trapped somewhere else.

“I’m Moira,” she snapped defiantly, the pin wobbling slightly in her grasp. His voice was so huge and booming, like it could overpower hers without any effort. Just another thing to drill his size in, as though she could miss it.

Moira’s lip curled, and she glared up at the human. “You’re that human doctor, aren’tcha?” Her voice dripped with disdain from all the stories she’d heard of others like her and Dean being experimented on, often by these ‘doctors.’ “I won’t let you run tests on our Dean!”


artwork by @mogadeer

September 16th excerpt:

Te rogamus. Adios! ”

“It’s adinos,” came a wry correction from the left.

Dean rolled his eyes with an utterly put-upon sigh. “Te rogamus. Adinos! ” he repeated.

“Okay, now from the top.”

Calling John Bonham (4 of 5)

A short story of Brothers Apart

On the other end, Jacob’s eyebrows shot up. He glanced over to Bowman, who wore the biggest, smuggest I told you so expression Jacob had ever seen on that tiny face. The name matched what he’d said, and the rest of his story most likely would fall into place more or less like he’d told it.

Bowman, meanwhile, could see Jacob working things out for himself in a brief pause. Sam’s voice was softer than Dean’s gruff greeting, and it was because he was smaller like a sprite, not because they had a bad connection like Jacob had first thought. That had to be the ‘sprite-sized’ brother.

Bowman drifted forward with his arms crossed. “I told you,” he said proudly, jolting Jacob out of his short pause.

“Uh, hi, Dean,” Jacob replied. “I got the number off a card my friend had. He said you guys worked with him a month or so ago,” he explained. Jacob felt so strange speaking cryptically like that, but the thought of talking plainly about the sprites when their society was so vulnerable made him nervous. Until he could be sure, he wouldn’t risk them. “You guys know Bowman?”

Dean’s eyebrows shot straight up, and even Sam focused on the phone more than his predicament. “Of course we do,” Dean said, narrowing his eyes with his own familiar suspicion. The sprites were just as vulnerable as Sam’s people. “He gave us some help on a case.”

Sam arranged his blanket so it wasn’t dangling off the edge and took up the conversation. “I don’t think we could have finished the case without him,” he said warmly, remembering their time in the Wellwood forest fondly. It was a rare opportunity to spend time with people his own size, and Sam missed those sprites. Rischa and Vel, along with Bowman and all his griping. “What’s going on? Is there trouble?” He remembered Dean giving the business card out in case any other emergencies arose, since they knew that a supernatural community like that might draw in other dangers, both supernatural and mundane.

“There’s no trouble,” Bowman interrupted, taking a perch on Jacob’s shoulder so he could address the device in his massive hand. It took a lot of convincing for him to truly believe that phones worked so well that conversations could be held between people continents apart. Sam and Dean could be anywhere out there, according to Jacob, but apparently they would be able to hear him talking.

“Unless you count Jacob not believing what happened here as trouble,” Bowman continued, pointedly nudging at Jacob’s neck with a wing. The shoulder beneath him twitched. “I was saying how you guys came and took me away but then helped us and he didn’t believe that there were zom-bees.”

“Okay, but you gotta admit, zombie wolves are kind of out there,” Jacob defended, unable to stop himself. Then, remembering that he was talking to a pair of guys that apparently spent all their time hunting things like that, he asked “They are, aren’t they?”

Dean chuckled, feeling some of the tension leave at the sound of Bowman’s voice, hale and hearty and as annoyed as ever. “They are definitely not your run-of-the-mill monster, that’s for sure. Hell, we never knew there were sprites living on earth until we had a run in with Bowman. It was a weird case all around.”

“So, you’re Bowman’s friend?” Sam asked eagerly. It wasn’t often he got to talk to safe humans like Dean and Bobby. “He mentioned you when we were working together. We don’t run into too many people that know about people… Bowman’s size.” He stumbled over his words, almost slipping up and saying my size.

Jacob grinned, bemused by the thought of Bowman telling other people about him. Hopefully the stories were good. “Yeah, I guess the sprites keep themselves pretty hidden all over the place,” he replied.

“Because most of you humans are giants,” Bowman cut in pointedly. The fact that he could find an easy perch on a shoulder of all things spoke to how ridiculously big humans were.

Bowman’s use of the phrase ‘most of you’ reminded Jacob yet again what else he’d heard about Sam. “Yeah, we’re unfair about it, alright,” he replied. Before Bowman could gripe at him for his comment, he went on. “But I’m guessing you’re Sam? Bowman’s been telling me about both of you guys, and says you kept your brother from being too troublesome with him. I’m impressed because, well, I’m betting you know by now how easily he talks himself into trouble.”

“Climb a dead tree, Jacob!” Bowman protested. This time, his wing smacked at the hand with the phone, and a rustle of wings could be heard through the microphone.

Sam heard the wingslap, and was reminded of all the ways Dean and Bowman had poked at each other throughout the case. Those memories were temporarily overridden, though, and he felt heat rise to his cheeks. He’d forgotten Bowman would probably tell his friend about him.

“Uh, yeah. I’m Sam,” Sam introduced himself shyly. He could count on one hand the number of humans he knew and interacted with on a friendly basis, so this was a little out of his depth. “I help Dean on hunts.”

“You’re a hunter like Dean,” Dean corrected sternly, nudging his little brother in the shoulder before he tilted the phone and let Sam slide off into a hand of his own where he could safely untangle himself from the blanket. “And no one will ever say differently while I’m around.”

Calling John Bonham (3 of 5)

A short story of Brothers Apart

Shifting the line of books out of the way, Dean opened up Sam’s little haven to the open air and revealing the tiny desk Dean had bought him along with the little hunter himself, sprawled out in his bed and cozy under his blankets.

“Hey, Sam,” Dean said, reaching forward and nudging at one of the tiny shoulders. He almost held his breath, making sure he didn’t nudge Sam hard enough to leave bruises behind. His little brother might be full of confidence in his ability to interact and survive in the human world, but Dean knew better than anyone how simple it was for Sam to get a broken arm or leg if a person was one iota too rough.

Sam didn’t react more than to draw his blankets closer, going from sprawled out to a little ball of hunter under the nightstand.

Dean smirked, entertained by the sight and wishing he could save a picture of that for blackmail. It wasn’t safe to have pictures of any of the little people, or Dean definitely would. For now, he held the phone next to Sam’s bed and nudged him again. “Hey, pint-size, how the hell do I answer this thing?”

Sam groaned, then flinched as the phone rang, filling his nightstand haven with a loud guitar riff. “Dudewhatthehell,” he mumbled, all of his words mashed together in his exhaustion. He blinked open tired hazel eyes, trying to rub them so he could see the screen clearly. It was so bright he nearly had to shade his eyes, and he leaned out of bed to swipe the password and get rid of Dean so he could sink back into sleep.

The last part of the code was on the far side of the phone, so Sam had to stretch to reach it, and before he knew it he was falling out of bed. Vertigo struck as Sam tried to piece together what was happening, the phone lifting from under the nightstand, and the next sight he saw was Dean’s smirk, larger than life as his older brother tried to hold in a snicker at the sight.

Sam, thanks to his unexpected tumble, was still curled up in his blanket, flopped over the touch screen.

And that of course was when Sam accidentally hit Answer for the phone call. The icon changed to green to let them know the call connected, and all Sam could think to say was a sleepy “Hello?” while Dean cracked up, trying to stifle his laughter behind his other hand. Not how Sam had planned his morning to go.

There was a pause as Jacob contained his surprise that the number was actually good. He’d thought that maybe Bowman saved some litter to help with his story. “Uh, yeah, hi,” he greeted. Bowman’s wings left a light gust of air as the sprite took to the air again.

“Can they actually hear you? Is that Dean?” the sprite asked in a hushed voice, staring at the phone in Jacob’s hand. Jacob only spared him a glance as he hovered overhead.

“My name is Jacob Andris and I’m told that this number is for a Dean Winchester, is that right?” Jacob asked, his deep voice coming through the speakers so near where Sam lay tangled in his blankets.

“Uh… yeah, this is Dean’s phone,” Sam said, somehow managing to piece together a coherent reply despite how flustered he felt. There was a human on the other end, and clearly not someone Sam was familiar with, based on the voice. He glanced up at Dean, fairly desperate to be rescued from the awkward conversation. Right now he felt more like Dean’s secretary, answering his phone for him.

It took a moment more for Dean to recover from the sight of his baby brother bundled up in his blankets like a little burrito and collapsed on the phone screen. The phone was taller than Sam was, so Sam barely took up a third of the screen while he was curled up. Dean gently nudged a tiny foot so it wasn’t covering up the receiver and got a bitchface in return for not helping Sam off.

It was just too funny to see, and Dean wanted to enjoy every minute. It isn’t every day your four inch brother falls onto your phone during a call.

Dean held the phone closer to his face as he leaned back against his bed. “This is Dean Winchester. How did you get this number?”

September 14th excerpt:

Dean brushed a hand over Jacob’s glass of water, gathering some of the condensation to clean his hands with. To his satisfaction, he was slightly taller than the salt and pepper shakers. Some days it felt like everything was taller than he was.

Calling John Bonham (2 of 5)

A short story of Brothers Apart

Bowman returned ten minutes later, flying far less gracefully than when he’d left. Jacob raised his eyebrows at the sight; Bowman was indeed carrying something in his arms, something almost as long as his tiny body was tall. Jacob realized with a smile that it was a business card. “No shit,” he said as Bowman closed the distance between them.

“Ha! Now you gotta believe me, Dean said the numbers on it can be used to call him,” Bowman announced smugly, right before letting the card fall. Jacob had to fumble to catch it before it fluttered to the ground. He lifted it up, privately eager to see some confirmation of what Bowman told him.

“Bowman …” Jacob said, reading the card.

What now?! I got you proof and everything!” Bowman complained, taking a perch on top of Jacob’s head while they both stared at the name and phone number on the card.

“The name on it is ‘John Bonham,’ Bowman.”

“What?! But his name is Dean! Dean … Winchester!” Bowman protested, punctuating it with a small whap from one of his wings on Jacob’s head.

Jacob thought for a moment. It wasn’t likely that Bowman would have made up a name like ‘Winchester’ on his own. “Hey, I’ll still give the number a try, how about that?” Jacob dug his phone from his pocket, his eyes pointed upward even though he couldn’t see the sprite perched on him. “What do you say?”

The motel room was a peaceful sight in the morning after the Winchesters latest successful hunt. Slits of sunlight made it through the curtains Dean had drawn across the massive windows that bordered the front of their room, covered up so it would be safe for Sam to be out and about in the room if he wanted to be, and they wouldn’t have to worry about him being spotted by any curious onlookers, innocent or dangerous.

They’d had enough problems with dangerous humans in the past. No one wanted a repeat of Sam’s kidnapping.

Dean was lying flat on his back, slow breaths making his chest rise and fall with a steady rhythm. After so long spent with Sam, and having his pocket used as a bed when Sam needed a place to stay, it was habit to lie like that. The small hunter never asked, but Dean made sure he didn’t have to. Sam shouldn’t have to ask for somewhere safe to sleep.

Sam himself slept on his own bed, under the nightstand that stood between the two queen beds that made up their room. Dean had set it up when they got in, and until late the night before it was all but forgotten. A successful vengeful spirit hunt combined with a night of celebratory drinking resulted in neither brother hitting the sack until at least 2 am.

So the phone going off around 11 am found a room full of sleeping Winchesters.

Dean groaned, rubbing a hand down his face and blinking rapidly to clear up his vision. Normally he wouldn’t have such a hard time waking, as used to being constantly on guard as he was, but their night of celebrating had gone on longer than he expected, both brothers feeling the release of stress after such a simple in- and out- case finished.

He glanced to the side, sleepily groping on the nightstand table to grab his phone. It took a time or two, and he squinted as the number scrolled across the screen. He didn’t recognize it.

This might normally be the point where Dean would answer the phone and demand to know who was calling and how did they get his number, but his urge to growl at the caller was thoroughly thwarted by one simple fact.

He didn’t know how to unlock the new phone.

The damn thing was a smartphone, one of the first around. Sam was hyped up with excitement over having a phone that could connect to the internet without ever having to go on the computer. They could get directions, just like a GPS, and never have to open a map to find their way to the next town over. Sam would have a much easier time navigating maps on a phone a little bigger than he was compared to the mass of paper maps that could cover the entire back seat of the Impala.

Dean was still learning how to use the phone, and the friggin’ password wasn’t words or numbers like normal, but rather a design on the touchscreen that he had to swipe his fingers across and he didn’t have time for this shit.

As the phone reached the third ring, Dean swung his legs out of bed and knelt on the floor. Sam had programmed the damn thing, he could figure out how to answer it.

September 13th excerpt:

Dean found himself glancing around the diner, going so far as to lean around the menu so he could see the full layout of the restaurant. It was his first time in one since being cursed, and there was a huge change from what he remembered in his childhood.

Simple tables and chairs had transformed to looming structures he or Sam would have to scale up to reach. The faint murmur of voices was louder, and if there were more people around could change to a thunderous roar. Footsteps became earthquakes, and Dean glanced down at the scuffed table under his boots, knowing he would notice anyone walking around that way instantly. The problem was, people meandered back and forth from their tables to the bathroom and to the kitchen, so it was hard to know if people were coming their way.

That didn’t stop Dean from being enamored of the diner, glad to finally revisit another part of his childhood he’d missed for years. Because of this, Sam ended up physically dragging him over to the laptop and breaking his trance.

“What’s the big idea?” Dean griped, tugging his arm free.

Calling John Bohnam (1 of 5)

A short story of Brothers Apart

(It’s been a long time since the last BA update, and we miss them as much as you do! So enjoy this short update from the series from when Jacob discovered exactly what, and who, he missed during the events of A Lich of Sense!)

Jacob Andris sat in what the wood sprites of Wellwood had dubbed “his” clearing. He’d been back to visit as many times as he could manage since he first wandered deep into the forest with his friends and discovered that an entire village of tiny little winged beings lived out there. They remained so isolated from the world that they barely knew humans existed before Jacob and his friends, Bobby and Chase, showed up.

Now, in an autumn a little over a year after he first met Bowman Leafwing, Jacob was back again, watching his small friend wheel about in the air. Bowman’s vibrant green wings contrasted with the trees around them, which were showing their reds and oranges with the turning of the seasons. Soon they would drop to the ground, and winter would be upon the woods.

Bowman was agitated over a long story he’d spent the last several minutes recounting. Jacob knew better than to interrupt even the more outrageous claims from the sprite, so he simply watched, nodding when appropriate. Some parts had the sprite so riled that he nearly derailed his train of thought to grouse about them.

More than once, Jacob had to wonder if there was some kind of special mushroom out in the woods here that might have inspired Bowman’s imaginative tale.

At the same time, a lot of it seemed so plausible. Especially the part about a human catching Bowman and taking him out of the forest. Jacob had to prompt Bowman to move on from describing the many corners found in a human dwelling as the sprite was driven to distraction by the foreign thought.

Bowman’s story also included zombies, of all things. Zombie wolves, raised by a zombie magic user of some kind, that was there to claim sprites for some purpose of which the mere memory made Bowman shudder. If it all really happened, Jacob was loathe to think about the fact that he hadn’t been around to help. His best friend might have faced something straight out of an intense nightmare and he was alone for it.

“So,” Jacob finally interjected when Bowman’s story was winding down, “this Dean guy. After he brought you back to the woods and fought the … life-sick things, he’s an ally now? Him and his sprite-sized brother Sam?” It was one of the more intriguing parts of the story, the possibility of a human who stood the same height as Bowman paired up with a man who fought zombie wolves without flinching.

Bowman flew in a tight spiral, diving downwards so he could stop to hover at Jacob’s eye level. “Yes. He started out blasted rude, grabbing me and keeping me in a pocket. Which, by the way, if you ever try that, I will kick you in the face.”

Jacob held up his hands in surrender. “Wouldn’t dream of it,” he assured the sprite.

Bowman nodded in approval, but he still seemed cynical of something. “You don’t believe me, do you?” he said, narrowing his eyes at Jacob’s face.

Jacob offered him a sheepish grin. “I … well, it’s just pretty out there, is all,” he admitted.

Bowman rolled his eyes. “You always said no one knows the sprites exist, but here I am. Existing.”

“Okay, yeah, but zombies, Bowman?” Jacob shot back, trying to hold back a smirk. At this point, Bowman would be riled up either way. He might as well get some entertainment out of it.

Bowman pointed at him. “They called them that, too,” he insisted. “Zom-bees.” Jacob gave him a skeptical look, and Bowman scowled. “Whatever!” He flew in a wide circle around Jacob’s head, wings rustling. “Do you believe me or not?!” he asked.

“Okay, okay, say I believe something happened,” Jacob conceded. “Did those guys say they’d come back?”

Bowman stopped with a faint rustle of his wings as they shifted to hover. “No, they had to go fight more monsters,” he answered. To Jacob’s continued disbelieving look, Bowman frowned and added hastily “But they left a piece of paper with numbers on it and said I could use it to contact them if we needed help ever again!”

With that announcement, Bowman darted out of the clearing, determination carrying him off like a shot. Jacob flinched from the sudden exit, and then relaxed again. He was intrigued by the promise of solid proof, so he waited.