Teenager Dean dove out of the way when the leafy glider buzzed past him, and the other Dean followed suit as Sam caught the air again, flying so close to him they brushed against the spike of hair on his head. By the time they leveled out, a few feet lower in the air than when they’d started, both Deans were sitting up on the floor, looking dazed.
“Gotcha!” younger Sam called to his older brother from where he was strapped in.
Bowman had to pull to a stop to hover while he and Oscar both let out surprised laughs. Even Jacob had flinched back, though he had been spared from the Sam attack. There might be nothing more satisfying than the sight of actual giants flinching away from a divebomb.
If Oscar wasn’t already so nervous, Bowman would probably make an attempt at a second round for them. They had their eyes on the glider and would never see it coming.
As it was, he dove at a much friendlier pace. Even then, Oscar tensed up.
Bowman banked in a wide circle around the fallen Deans and smirked. “Look at that, Oscar,” he pointed out. “That’s why Sam’s a knight back home. He can take down even the biggest giants!”
Oscar was breathless from all the excitement, but there was still a sheepish grin on his face. He eyed up his own Dean to make sure he hadn’t gotten hurt when he fell over, and then chanced a short wave at him. “Sam’s s-so fast! I thought he was gonna fall!”
Bowman smirked at Dean, flitting away before the human could get any ideas, and caught up with the glider. “Sam uses dives like that all the time in the forest, too. Keeps the glider moving fast, since he can’t flap his wings like me.”
“And I gotta be fast to keep up with the fastest wings in Wellwood!” Sam called over to the others. He circled the table, giving both Deans a wide berth as he sought a landing spot.
“Do we have to land?” Sam asked from behind him, sounding disappointed.
Sam grinned. “Don’t worry, we’ll be sure to fly around again,” he reassured him. “I think Dean’s heart needs a few minutes to calm down after that last attack, though.”
The teenager Dean gave them a flat look as he picked himself off the ground, but he couldn’t hide a smile at how excited Sam was for the flight. “What’d ya think?” he asked as Sam dipped the glider’s wings right as they passed him.
“This is great! ” Sam laughed, loosening his grip around Sam’s neck. “I want to go again!”
“Maybe later,” the older Dean grumbled from the floor. His younger counterpart offered him a hand.
While the Deans collected themselves, Bowman snickered and flitted alongside the glider. This might not be the forest, but he still had to help Sam find a safe landing in case the wind changed. “What’d you think, Oscar?” he asked as they slowly angled around to pull in for a landing.
Oscar was shivering, but more from sheer adrenaline than terror. “I-I didn’t fall,” he announced happily. “It’s kinda fun but maybe I’ll watch next time…”
Bowman ruffled the kid’s hair as they swooped in to land. “You did good helping me keep an eye on them,” he pointed out. Then, his boots hit the table and he stumbled forward with the extra weight before coming to a stop.
Jacob, still sitting at the table thanks to Sam not diving at him, leaned down to offer a smile. “Have fun?” Bowman certainly seemed proud.
Oscar fidgeted as the sprite untied him. “Yeah,” he admitted. As soon as his feet hit solid ground, though, he wobbled and stumbled away from Bowman. The dizziness from swooping and flitting to and fro with Bowman hit him all at once, and Oscar finally plopped down to sit right where he was.
Sam’s landing was smooth, and he quickly unbelted himself. His younger self waited with eager impatience, unable to keep still after all the excitement of flying.
When he was free at last, he ran over to Dean. “Didja see us?” he asked, bouncing on his heels. “We went allll the way around the room!”
“You bet I did,” Dean said, unable to resist Sam’s excitement. He reached around, lightly wrapping a finger around Oscar to keep him on his feet.
Spritely Sam watched them fondly, a bit of sadness in his eyes to see a version of his older brother acting so supportive of him.
“You’ll find him,” came a voice from behind.
Sam looked to see his other self, dressed in the drab colors that would blend into the room, standing there and smiling. “Dean’s out there, I know it,” the original Sam reassured him. “He always finds his way home.”
“You’re acting like I’m some lost puppy,” Dean griped to the side, also keeping an eye on the kids to make sure they were fine after their flight.
Spritely Sam had to smile. “Ain’t you?”
On the screen above the bar, the words The Study of the Four rippled into existence.