Red Dragon Inn - Room 29
April 4, 2011 - 9 AM...
Dean woke earlier than usual and snuck downstairs to rustle up some breakfast for himself and Sam, careful to avoid "the stew". He was careful as he climbed the stairs and let himself back in, the smell of bacon and eggs wafting through Room 29 of the Red Dragon Inn.
Sam was still sleeping until the smell of bacon reached his nose. Bacon? That meant no grilled cheese. He wondered if his brother had found a greasy spoon, or more importantly who made breakfast. He woke up, rolling to look in the direction of Dean.
Okay, so the bacon was a little overdone and the eggs a bit runny, but it still smelled good. And there was a glass of orange juice on the tray, to boot. "Wake up, sleepy head. Your breakfast is here," Dean said setting the tray down on the table.
"Hey, Dean." Sam sat up, rubbing his eyes. "Where'd you get that?" It did smell good, but after seeing the food, he knew his brother was trying his hand at being the next Galloping Gourmet.
"I made it," Dean grinned from ear to ear, clearly proud of his achievement. ?Did you sleep okay?"
"You?" He tried not to sound shocked that he made something more than grilled cheese. "For me?"
"Do you see anyone else in here, Sleeping Beauty?" At fifteen, Dean was just starting to learn the art of snark.
"Well no, and you aren't Charming." He picked up a piece of the bacon and crunched on it. "It's good." He picked a piece from his teeth, not touching the eggs yet. "Why are you up so early? Been down there with that girl?"
Dean dropped back onto the bed, crossing his feet at the ankles and folding his arms behind his head. "What girl?" he asked, feigning innocence.
"That one from last night," he eyed his brother then. "YOU WERE!"
"No, I wasn't! She isn't here! It's..." Dean looked at his watch, which oddly didn't want to work right in Rhydin. "It's like nine o'clock in the morning."
"I wish we had a TV," he sighed. Missing cartoons for like the fifth day.
"Did you read all those comic books already?" Dean asked, lifting his head to look around the room for the pile of comic books he'd "borrowed" for Sam to read.
"Well, some of them, yes, but they are out of order," whining slightly.
Dean sighed and laid his head back against his folded arms again. "Stop whining and eat your breakfast."
"I mean it goes from X-Men to a crossover with X-Factor, and there is no X-Factor," he picked up a fork to poke at the eggs, then sampled one bite.
Dean closed his eyes. "I don't know why you read that s***. The only superhero you need to read about is Batman. He's the only one that counts.? Yes, at fifteen, he was also acquiring a pottymouth.
"Batman?" Sam sighed. "Wolverine could kill him in the blink of an eye."
"Don't diss the Bat," Dean warned.
He laughed. "YOU are the Batfan."
Dean grinned from ear to ear. "Damn straight I am."
"When's Dad going to find us?" He took another bite, as it wasn't as bad as it looked.
There went the grin, disappearing as quickly as it had appeared. "I don't know. I think we might be on our own."
He frowned at that idea. "You think he's looking?"
"I know he's looking, but how's he gonna know to look here?"
He shrugged. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to bring you down." Somewhere he'd heard that, maybe in his Dad's classic rock collection.
Dean sat up suddenly and scooted over to the edge of the bed, leaning forward and resting his arms against his knees. "Sammy, haven't you noticed anything weird? I mean..." He rolled his eyes. "Besides dragons and witches and werewolves and stuff?"
"My jeans are shorter," he offered.
Dean looked his little brother over a moment and then nodded toward the mirror. "Go look in the mirror." He had obviously gotten older, but maybe Sam didn't notice it because he'd gotten older, too.
He moved the breakfast tray away, since he was done anyway, and went to peer into the mirror. "Uh," he lifted his hand to be sure it was him. Then made a face to be doubly sure. "What happened? Why do I look different, Dean?" he was about to go into panic meltdown.
Dean got off the bed and went over to his brother, standing behind him and sliding an arm around his shoulder, looking at them both in the mirror. "You're older."
"How am I older, Dean? I don't want to be OLDER!"
Dean got down on one knee and turned his brother to face him. He was practically towering over Sam now, and he still hadn't reached his full height. One day, though, Sam would catch up and overtake him. He laid his hands on Sam's shoulders and looked his squarely in the eyes. "You're a year older, Sam. We're both a year older. I think we're aging about a year a day."
"How?" It wasn't something he could wrap his head around as calmly as Dean had.
"I don't know, Sam. I can't explain it. Some kind of spell, I think. But I don't think it's an accident that we're here."
"It is, we were just opening that door, and fell in!"
Dean reached up and swept some of Sammy's hair back from his face. "I think we're here for a reason, Sam. I just haven't figured out what it is yet. I don't think we're the only ones under the spell. You remember that girl last night? The redhead? I think she is, too, and there might be others."
How could he forget her, she was too close to his ear! He was nodding, but it wasn't making sense, yet.
"Her name is Lilli." Dean smiled. "I think she likes me."
"She said she does," he nodded. "I was going to tell you, Dean."
He let go of his brother, his mind distracted once again with thoughts of the little red-haired girl. He dropped onto a chair and snagged a slice of Sam's bacon. "What else did she say?"
"She just said she liked you, and that you should respect your family," He frowned then. "She doesn't know what you do for me, I suppose." He was still staring in the mirror.
Dean frowned over at his brother, feeling a little pang of guilt. He really did love Sam more than anyone in the world and he didn't mean to treat him badly. "I'm sorry I elbowed you."
"It's okay," He smiled. "I just told her you shoved me off the stool."
"I didn't mean to. I got excited, I guess."
"Over a girl," he made a face. "So if we age a year every day... if we are here a month we are going to be 31?"
Dean furrowed his brows at his brother's question. He hadn't done the math yet, but that sounded about right. "I'm fifteen. I know I'm fifteen because..." Dean paused, unsure how to explain. "What do you remember about our lives, Sam?"
"The thing in the closet... Dad gave me his pistol, or one of them."
"Dad taught me to drive."
"You and Dad were gone from time to time, leaving me with that woman," he couldn't remember her name.
"Missouri," Dean filled in the blanks.
"Yeah, Missouri," he looked at Dean, "Why didn't I know this yesterday?"
"Because yesterday you were ten."
"I don't get it, Dean."
Dean shrugged his shoulders. "I don't get it either, but it seems we're aging one year a day and as we age, we... regain our memories up to that age." He wondered if that made sense. The only thing he wasn't sure of was how old they'd get before the spell was broken.
"I don't want to be forty, Dean."
Dean frowned, worriedly. He didn't want to get old either. He was only fifteen. He had his whole life ahead of him. "We'll figure out a way to break the spell, Sammy. I promise."
"Break it? You think we could?" He looked like he was about to cry.
Dean reached for his brother and pulled him close, hands on his shoulders again. "Have I ever broken a promise before?"
"No," he leaned into his brotherly hug. "I don't want it to start here."
"Everything's going to be okay, Sam. I promise." Dean wrapped his arms around his brother and pulled him into a hug. "Dad will find us, like he always does, and take us home."
"I hope so, Dean." He returned the hug tightly, trying not to cry.
Dean had his doubts about his father finding them. He wasn't really sure what exactly was going on, but he wasn't going to tell Sam that. He was the big brother. He'd promised always to take care of Sam and he wasn't going to break that promise now or ever.
(Note: Dean is age 15, and Sam is 11 in this scene.)