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    Donated Oct 31, 2014, 3:57:30 PM
  • :iconcewilson5:
    Donated Jun 13, 2013, 9:41:01 PM




"NO!" Horrorstruck, Dean threw himself forward, hand outstretched. Not fast enough.

The teeny black car faded, like it was being pulled out of this dimension. Then it flickered out of sight, and Dean's hand landed on the empty space it once occupied. There was a faint tinkling of eerie laughter that faded away, signaling the permanence of the disappearance.

No. He seized the comforter, searching it as if Sam might be just within its folds.

"No, no, no..." Dean dropped to the floor, his stomach twisted in knots. He peered under the bed, under the table... Behind the nightstand and even in the mini fridge. Backpedaling to the center of the room, Dean looked all around him, listening for life of any kind.


The silence that followed was positively crushing.  

Dean shut his eyes wearily.  "Fuck."

He sat there at the side of the bed, stewing in his own self-loathing and abject dread for ten minutes. Furious tears he wouldn't admit to stirring up glistened in his eyes, unshed. When he got his hands on that little demon girl, he was going to mince her up like an onion. He had zero leads on where to find Sam in this dump of a town, zero leads on how to kill whatever that little thing was that had cursed him... and just as much on how to restore Sam to his proper height.

The familiar guitar riff of his ringtone called out for his attention. Dean scrambled to snatch the cell off the nightstand, catching sight of the caller ID. Sam had managed to keep hold of his cell phone during all this. Small blessings.

"Where are you?" he greeted urgently, unable to keep the surprise out of his voice as he cut right to the point.

Sam groaned as he picked himself off of the seat of the car, clutching his head. Whatever had hit him had had more oomph than the last time he'd been zapped. Or maybe being asleep had offset the teleport hangover the other times.

Patting himself down to make sure everything was intact, he glanced out the window of the Impala, afraid of what he'd see. After what he'd been put through in just the last 12 hours, anything could be out there.

Instead of an immediate threat, the outside world seemed... deceptively peaceful. Birdsong floated over to him, a gentle breeze shifted through the open drivers side door. Tall stalks of grass stretched over the Impala to one side, a jagged grey river ran on the other side. Despite the strangeness of everything, Sam recognized a concrete path, winding its way through the grass.

Above everything else, stretching to towering heights, were massive oak trees. Sam could have sworn they stretched thousands of feet in the air, massive branches overshadowing the entire area around him. He'd thought Dean was big, but his older brother, as tall as he was right now, had nothing on these monoliths. They were so tall that from his perspective the tops of the branches faded out of sight.

Blinking a few times, he pulled himself away from the scenery and back to his own personal problems. From what he could tell, he was sitting in the Impala, on a path through the woods. Very descriptive, he thought to himself, annoyed. What the hell use would that be in finding his way out?

The sun had edged its way above the horizon, sending the first rays of a new day across the land. The wildlife was starting to come to life more the longer he sat here. Sam decided that his survival was probably best served by getting the hell out of dodge. Even a chipmunk could kick his ass right now, never mind a cat or dog.

Patting himself down, he was relieved to find the keys still safely in his pocket, after all the tumbling he'd gone through the night before during the demonic girl's 'games.' He started up the Impala, switching into drive quickly and starting off. The sidewalk he was on was rough and jagged under the tires, and he didn't want to know what damage it was doing to Dean's precious car, but it was drivable.

After only a minute on the rough road,Sam realized he could feel a rhythmic thudding echoing up through the car. For some reason it seemed to remind him of something he'd felt before. Then it hit him.

Dean's footsteps.

But his brother was assumably back in the motel room. For all Sam knew he was miles away from there now. So, whoever's footsteps was approaching had no idea that Sam was here, might not even spot the car... he floored it. Glancing in the rearview mirror, he spotted a pair of tennis shoes... definitely not Dean... running at an even keel. Naturally, since the Impala was smaller than either foot, the person was catching up to him without a problem.

His pulse started to race as he lost ground steadily. The Impala just wasn't meant to outrun giants. Memories briefly flashed in his mind of how easily Dean had grabbed the Impala, covering all the ground Sam had gone in less than a second. Fear hitched his breath.

How could you fight against that?

What the hell kind of game were they playing? How the hell could they expect to win when they didn't even know the rules?

He was starting to feel like the demonic girl was toying with them, a cat with her own captive mice. She didn't need to eat them, but she loved to poke and prod them in whatever direction she wanted. If they wanted to come out of this game on top they were going to have to start thinking ahead, try and outmaneuver her. Somehow.

Huge, booming footsteps slammed into the ground less than a foot away from Sam and the Impala, the person running not even taking note of the car he'd almost stepped on. The shoes passed Sam, still running at the same pace.

He started to calm down for a few seconds. He needed Dean. Every fiber of him hated to admit his vulnerability, but there was no way he'd make it without his brother. It was just a fact. There was nothing you could do to defend yourself when you're barely over two inches tall. One wrong step, one slight mistake from anyone and he was a goner. Him and the Impala.

Sam took advantage of the brief moment of peace. He could see other joggers now in the distance, out to catch the chill dawn air before the world hearted up properly. He'd done it himself on occasion, enjoying the freedom he found out in the open air, away from the stifling confines of a motel room or car.

Shifting the car into park for a brief moment, Sam gave the Impala a well deserved break. He dug around the seat, searching for his phone. The last place he'd had it had been in the car, but considering he'd been tossed around at the time, he'd lost track of it sometime before tumbling out of the door. With any luck it was in the car and not sitting near Dean’s miniscule duffel bag on the bed, dumped out by his brother with the other items. Completely useless.

He finally found it tucked underneath the seat of the car, against the passenger door. Flipping it open, he dialed Dean’s number in record time.

Before he could even say a word, Dean’s voice filled the air, desperation clear in his voice. Guess I’m not the only one panicked here, Sam thought wryly before focusing back on the problem. He needed to get out of here before more people came around. His eyes flicked around his surroundings, searching for anything distinctive. “Uh… trees… sidewalk. There’s a bench nearby and I think I’m parked near a trashcan. Dean, I have no idea where I am, I can’t tell anything from down here. Even the grass is taller than the Impala. Some guy already almost stepped on the car, and I can see more joggers out now. Dean… I don’t know what to do.”

"Told you jogging was bad for you," Dean pointed out with a brief smirk at the irony.

The slim hope that maybe the little bitch had at least switched tactics was dashed. Sam was still bite-sized, and to Dean's horror, currently a wide open target for a quick and painful death by jogger or who knew what else.

"Get off the sidewalk for starters,” he said, marching for the door with the phone to his ear. He doubled back to the bed to scoop up the tiny duffle bag and its contents as an afterthought. At this point, he wasn't sure whether it would come in handy or not. "Is there anywhere nearby you can take cover? Under a bench, maybe? Tree roots?"

Dean felt like he was betraying his precious car by telling him to go off-road and risk straining suspension... But if he didn't, there was a solid chance he'd be left with little but a bloodstained piece of crushed metal. It was a small price to pay for Sam's safety.

Dean slammed the motel door behind him, not bothering the waste the time in locking it. It wasn't like he had anything valuable in there.

"I'm on my way. Just... keep your head down until I get there."

"O-okay," Sam kept the phone by his ear as he shifted the car back into drive. His eyes landed on the immense bench, less than a quarter of a mile away. "Gotcha." He didn't hang up the phone, almost afraid to lose the only lifeline to his brother he had while he was trapped out here alone.

Pushing down on the accelerator, Sam set out for the bench. Thank god he had the Impala with him, he couldn't imagine how screwed he'd be without it. Just the thought of trying to escape on foot... he glanced out the back of the car. He'd have to get on the other side of the sidewalk to reach the bench... at least he should be safe once he got there. Another jogger passed him by, this one on the other side of the concrete, their massive, crushing feet nowhere near the car. This person gave the tiny vehicle a sidelong glance, as though he was confused what it was doing there.

The moment the path was clear again, Sam floored it, getting past the danger zone as fast as he could. It only took him a few moments until he reached the other side, the car jumping in the air when it careened off the edge of the sidewalk. Tiny pebbles bounced under the wheels as the Impala determinedly pushed her way through the grass. At one point, Sam caught sight of a beetle the size of a dog, and a small army of ants marching alongside the ar. He sped up, determined to stay away from any of the creepy crawlies down here. They were enough of a nuisance to a regular sized human, he didn't want to know how dangerous they'd be while he was this small.

"I'm almost there, Dean... the bench is only a little bit away."

Sam glanced around his surroundings, checking on the distance he had from the sidewalk. He'd gone decently far in the car, but realized that to a normal sized person, he was only a few steps away. Out of the corner of his eye, he spotted a mother walking with her little boy's hand in hers, and a dog keeping pace alongside them.

The dog sniffed the air, its head turning in Sam's direction.


Dean froze where he stood outside the motel check-in area, rifling through the tourist brochures and flyers for any parks in the area.

"What?" he barked. "Sam, what's-- what the hell is that?" His question turned more insistent as a static-ridden scuffling began to overwhelm the sound of Sam's voice on the other line. It was impossible to tell what it was from his end of the line. To Dean, it sounded like a dragon prepping to lay waste to a village. He hastily scanned through the pamphlets-- closest park was a cute little place called Wallaby Park. He held open the map for a few seconds to try and get his bearings. But as the scuffling got louder on the phone, his luxury of time was cut down even further.

"Oh fuck it," Dean muttered, shoving the map in his back pocket. He took off at a desperate sprint, missing his baby more than ever.

Ian wasn't exactly the most excited seven year old that morning. He was grounded from TV and his mom was making him go on a stupid walk without bringing his transformer toy or phone or anything. She said he had to ‘appreciate nature’ and ‘take responsibility of his pet.’

Pfft. Whatever.

"Oh, Ian honey. Did you see that Cardinal back there?" his mom said cheerfully, looking over her shoulder at a majestic oak. "It was making a nest!"

Ian said nothing, grumpily remaining silent. His mom sighed. "There's just as much to enjoy out here in God's green earth as there is in your video games."

"No there's not," Ian huffed. He let his beagle's lease go slack, ambling along the sidewalk. Without warning, the leash ran taut. "Urrrgh, Odin!" Ian grunted, pulling back on the leash. Odin whined, trying to crawl closer on his belly. Relenting, Ian walked over with him, giving him the necessary slack to keep sniffing around the bench area. The beagle was insistent on his search, his ears perking up when he finally found his treasure.

"What'd you find?" Ian asked, his curiosity peaked when he saw his dog's wet nose rock something shiny and black under the shadow of the bench.

"Ian, let's keep going!" His mom beckoned him impatiently.

"Hang on!" Ian called back.

Odin snorted from the confusing smell, unsure whether to growl or whimper. Luckily, his owner stepped in to continue inspection. Ian reached in and picked up the toy car. He turned it around in his hands, looking over every detail. It felt like one of the nice model cars- made of metal, not plastic. Even the tires felt like they were road worthy.  

"Whoa..." He looked around for any kids playing around the area, then grinned. "Good boy, Odin! Free toy!"

"Ian!" His mother started to march over. He spun around, clutching his prize victoriously.

"Look! Somebody left this! You were right mom, nature is great."

His mom raised an eyebrow as he held up the miniature vintage Impala. She softened. It was nice to see something so harmless perk up her little boy's mood again. She took a seat on the bench, getting Odin to sit while Ian took up playing with his new find.

    Sylvia opened her eyes, squinting drowsily at the faint morning light. But that wasn’t what woke her up; thudding footsteps had reached her ears. As her vision adjusted, she caught sight of Jon exiting the living room.

    She tried to sit up and stretch, but found herself pinned by Cliff’s lax fingers. Using more energy than she would have liked after just waking up, she squirmed and pulled herself forward until she was out from under Cliff's hand. She look towards his head, but could only see the underside of his jaw. Fast asleep, he hadn’t even budged. Seeing as she had put all that effort into getting up, she figured she could give Jon some company.

    Crawling forward, she slipped down from Cliff's shoulder to the couch cushion. Painfully reminded of how much she yearned for flight, she descended to the floor by gripping the couch's fabric.

    Trying not to be too intimidated by the apartment's daunting size, she found her way to the hall. She headed toward the bedroom when she found the kitchen empty. As she neared the doorway, she hesitated.

    "Hey, Jon?" she called out as loudly as her groggy voice would allow. "You there?"

    When no answer came, she hesitantly walked past the ajar door. She could hear the definite movement of a human, but she realized her voice didn't carry to him. She stopped in her tracks when the sound of running water came from behind a closed bathroom door in the bedroom. Clearly, he was busy.

    She lingered near the bedroom doorway that led back to the hall, unsure what to do with herself. Sighing, she leaned against the door frame and resigned herself to waiting.

    After half an hour, she was beginning to feel a little strange, just sitting there listening to him showering. But what else could she do? Without her wings to carry her, she couldn’t navigate a home meant for giants without the help of the giants in question. Jon was awake, which was more than she could say for Cliff, still snoozing in the living room.

    Sylvia straightened up when the door to the bathroom opened at long last. She craned her neck as Jon entered the bedroom, trying to ignore the incessant fluttering of her heartbeat. At least he remembered his clothes this time.

    Indeed, she suspected he’d been up for quite some time before her. Jon wore a variation of the same thing he’d worn the day before: jeans and a navy blue shirt. Only thing missing was his shoes, which he straightaway retrieved from under the bed. Without a glance towards where Sylvia stood, Jon sat down by the bed to tug at the laces of his boots.

    Being overlooked couldn’t burst Sylvia’s pleasant mood. Smiling brightly, she approached where he sat.

    "Morning! How did you sleep—“ She stopped midway between him and the door, smile fading into a concerned frown. She had failed to notice the deeply troubled expression on his face. Taking a step back, she tilted her head. "Are you alright?"

    Jon nearly jumped out of his skin, his wide eyes only relaxing when they honed in on her diminutive figure standing not even two feet away from him.

    "You… You're awake!" he sputtered, stating the obvious. "Me? I… I'm fine. Did you climb down the couch to get here?"

    "Why yes, I did," Sylvia said, crossing her arms and smirking despite her concern. "This may come as a shock, but I am capable of doing a thing or two without my wings." She eyed his attire and frowned again, taking a few cautious steps forward. "And you didn't look fine just now. Are you going somewhere?"

    "I was thinking about going for a walk. Fresh air and all that," Jon admitted with a shrug. "Saw you snuggled up in the living room... Didn't want to disturb you. You two looked pretty comfortable together.”

    Her eyebrows shot up at his tone. In turn, she felt a twinge of guilt and annoyance, though she couldn't find any rational reason to. Compelled to explain herself, her voice came out more defensive than intended.

    "Well, I didn't plan on falling asleep like that. I'm pretty sure he was trying to comfort me after what happened last night. You know, the life-changing decision to leave the only home I've ever had." Jon seemed disconnected, like the night before. If she had went on sleeping, he would have simply left without a word. She couldn’t figure out why that bothered her. Backing towards the door, she attempted a more neutral expression. "So, you want to be alone?"

    Jon looked up, shifting his booted feet so he could watch her retreat. "For a while, yeah. You want a lift back to the couch?"

    Sylvia paused in her step, unable to bring herself to turn him down despite his strange behavior. If it were anyone else, she would have told them that she was perfectly capable of walking.

    "If you insist," she conceded, feigning exasperation and strolling forward instead of backpedaling.

    He laid out a hand for her on the hardwood floor. He no longer tensed when her feet pressed down into his skin, or when she got comfortable. He carried her back to the living room, lowered her to the arm of the couch, and waited for her to step off.

    "I won't be gone too long. Just half an hour or so,” Jon said.

    "I think I’ll be able to handle it," she teased. Still wondering why he would need alone time, she sat cross-legged on the armrest and looked up at him with a faint smile.

    "Right. I’ll, uh, see you soon then." Jon smiled back, though there was an ever-present unease that tainted its natural warmth.

    Sylvia got one more look thrown over his shoulder at her. Then he was gone.

    The crisp autumn air was a blessing. With every step along the minor shops that mirrored their apartment complex, the notion of having a crush on a fairy seemed more and more far-fetched. Now if he could just get Sylvia’s face out of mind, maybe he’d be on the straight and narrow once more.

    Jon bought himself a tall coffee and sat outside the providing cafe, dialing a familiar number on his cell. It rang a discouraging number of times before the machine took mercy on him and cut to voicemail: "This is Leeana! I'm not available to talk right now, but leave a message and I'll be happy to ring you back, ASAP."

    Jon sighed. "Hey Ana, it's me. I know you probably don't want to hear this right now, but I was just hoping to talk with you. It’s been almost a month now. I’d appreciate a call."

    Jon clamped the phone shut and dropped it in his pocket. He took a longer drag of the coffee than necessary, praying dearly that a generous dose of caffeine would help rid his mind of strange, wandering thoughts.  

    Sylvia hugged her legs to her chest and rested her chin on her knees. She stared at the TV screen without really seeing it, without really listening. Even Cliff’s wind-like breathing, so close, faded into mere background noise.

    What a mess. She'd never had a problem sorting out her feelings. Humans were so confusing. Jon, at least. But with him away, the weight of last night’s decision suddenly hit her. She had abandoned her home. Her family. All familiarity in her life was lost, replaced by a couple of giants and a giant apartment that she couldn’t navigate properly without flight.

    But why was it suddenly bothering her now? Wetness slid down her cheek. Huffing, she swiped the tears away angrily.

    "Nnmm..." Cliff finally stirred at the sound of a particularly exclamatory show about fishing in Icelandic villages. Sylvia whipped her head in his direction. His fingers curled around empty air on his chest, alerting him to a small fairy's absence. He didn’t have to look far, however.

    "Hey,” he greeted, turning onto his side to peer up at her. His groggy smile vanished in moments. Cliff swiftly sat up, leaning over her. Sylvia flinched, reacting too late to hide the evidence of fresh tears on her face.

    "What happened?” Cliff demanded. “Are you hurt? Oh shit, I didn’t squish you, did I?"

    She turned her face away, eyes wide with humiliation and guilt that he thought he had hurt her. "N-Nothing! It's nothing. I'm fine. Just... I dunno.” Everything. She laughed rigidly and dared to peer up at him. “I’ll be over it in a second. Don't worry about it. I'm fine."

    He frowned, unconvinced. Cliff cupped a hand behind her, a wall of warmth for support. "Hey, I know what it means when you say you're okay but you don't mean it." Her folded wings flickered against skin as his hand inched closer. "I'm not saying you have to tell me, but... At least let me hold you."

    She resisted the urge to brush him off, pressing her lips into a thin line. So much for holding it in. Her shoulders heaved. She leaned into his hand, curling against his open palm. She buried her face, trying in vain to hold back sobs. A second hand came in and covered her from behind, gathering the small being between them and lifting her close to him. He didn't try to hush or silence her. He just held her and provided a sturdy, caring foundation on which to be reminded that she was no longer alone.

    The tremors that shook through her body gradually died down after a few good minutes of crying. As she pulled herself together, she dried her face. To her surprise, she felt better.

    A weary sigh made her tense shoulders droop as she looked straight up. "S-Sorry... And thank you. I needed that. Don’t know why that hit me all the sudden."

    "No worries." Cliff brushed it off as casually as if she had sneezed. "You've got one crazy life right now." He smiled kindly at her. Then he stood up with a slight noise of protest from his stiff muscles. "You know what you need? Some sugar."

    She laughed, and it was genuine. "Definitely won't argue with that. Gimme some.”The awful weight of sorrow lifted from her chest for the time being. She was more than happy to accept Cliff’s kindness, even if he was the last person she would expect it from. The confusion of before seemed distant.

    Seeing as Cliff was apparently cooking-handicapped, he made them a breakfast of pop-tarts again, showing Sylvia how the thing he called a microwave worked, and by extension, how delicious they tasted heated up.

    "Mm, I think I'm going to go into a sugar coma,” he said under his breath as he went to retrieve the last of the milk.

    "The only coma I’d like to be in," she said through a full mouth, savoring the warm fruit filling of her pop-tart. She looked up, tilting her head at the sight of the white liquid. She wiped her lips with the back of her hand. "You put that in your cereal last night. What is it?"

    "Milk?" He looked up sharply. "Boy, you got a lot of catching up to do."

    He introduced the white liquid to her in a shot glass. "Not sure you wanna know where it comes from, so don't ask."

    "I think I’ve got the gist of it," she said, wrinkling her nose as she spotted a picture of a cow on the carton and made the connection. She glanced up at him with narrowed eyes. "I'm trusting you with this. If I vomit, it's your fault." She leaned down and sipped off the top. Straightening up, she paused thoughtfully, and then smiled reluctantly. "Alright, you win this one."

    He gave her a smug look and replaced the bottle in the fridge. He glanced out to the hallway, into the open doorway of their bedroom.

    "Hey, do you know if Jon's up?" he asked, taking his seat again.

    Her easy expression became stony in record time. "Uh, yeah. He headed out just before you got up. Said he wanted to be alone." She sighed and looked down, crossing her arms tightly. Before she could stop herself, she asked, "Do you know if I did anything to make him mad, or something?"

    Cliff raised his eyebrows at her, smiling like she wasn't in on the big joke. "He's totally got the hots for you, if that's what you mean."

    She raised her head and blinked up at him, shocked into dropping her arms to her sides. His tone gave her a hint at what he meant, but she couldn't be sure. He couldn't mean that. And even if he did, he had was joking.

    "Excuse me, he totally has the what for me?” She scoffed. “What’s that supposed to mean?"

    He snorted a short burst of laughter. "It means your pretty little face gets him in a tizzy. He wants to—what would you call it—‘court' you? Come on, you haven't noticed the way he stares at you sometimes?" Cliff shook his head, smiling wider.

    She let out a startled laugh, although something brightened in her eyes. But denial rose to her lips. "He looks at me because I'm smaller than his hand and have wings. Not because of... that." She fought a smile. Ridiculous. "You're just seeing things."

    "You think you know him so well after a few days, huh?" Cliff gave her a look, reminding her that he had known the man for years. "Trust me, he'll be back soon, and you're the first thing he's gonna go for."

    Not ten minutes later, there was a rap on the door.

    Cliff grinned. "Am I good or what?"

    Sylvia threw him a confused look as he got up and strode away from the table. Couldn’t Jon unlock the door for himself? She took a few steps back, the door barely in her line of sight. Her uncertainty became full-blown panic when he opened the door to reveal a young woman with long, honey-colored waves and soft features that seemed to have an edge of mystique to them.

    Cliff’s smile dropped clean away. "Leeana!"

    Sylvia went even more rigid at the name. Something utterly new flare up in her. First, it was raw jealousy. And then a fearful instinct kicked in; there was an unfamiliar human nearby, and Sylvia stood exposed. Her wings burst open, but she knew they would be no help. Every nerve told her to run and hide, but her legs locked disobediently.

    "Don't tell me Jon had you move in already. I've only been gone a month." Leeana brushed past Cliff with a suitcase in tow. He pushed the door and rushed to stay ahead of her. She stopped in the hallway, looking around the apartment.

    "Someone had to help with the rent." Cliff hastened to the kitchen with Leeana not far behind. He pretended to gather up garbage in one hand, then turned around, his free hand behind his back, fingers curling inward in an invitation to Sylvia.

    The fairy broke out of her stupor when she saw her chance to escape. Keeping a wary eye out, she stepped forward into Cliff’s grasp without hesitation. It wasn't until she was settled that she realized she was trembling. Sturdy fingers clasped around her securely, shoving her into his pants pocket just as Leeana’s footsteps caught up.

    "Well, I see you've left your personal touch already,” she said snidely, looking at the stack of dirty dishes yet to be washed in the sink.

    Cliff adjusted his grip around Sylvia when she squirmed to fold her wings properly. "Yeah, well you didn’t exactly leave him in a good state of mind. You’re really here to berate me about chores?"

    His voice rumbled above her and through her from the closer than close proximity. Sylvia groaned under her breath at the strain on her wings. The still-healing hole only added to the discomfort. She tried to hold still, but the need to draw her wings behind her in the small space was natural. Even as she shifted, she listened and found herself disliking Leeana from the way she spoke to Cliff. Even worse, it seemed she had hurt Jon.

    "Mm, yeah. I see you've been taking real good care of him." Leeana smiled and shook her head, taking off her heels on the way to the bedroom.

    Cliff glared at her back, wanting nothing more than to fling her knock-off Louis Vuitton suitcase out the second story window.

    "Where is he?" she asked, stacking her things together by the couch. She looked liked she’d stepped right off the plane into

    "Out." Cliff answered briskly.

    "Where 'out'?"

    "Didn't say."

    Leeana sighed and pulled her hair back with an elastic, beginning to push aside discarded jackets on the floor that hadn’t quite made it to the coat closet.

    "Don't touch my clothes, Lee."

    Leeana continued regardless. "You two may be able to live like this, but I can't."

    Cliff gave a start. Sylvia resisted the urge to groan as his fingers reflexively coiled a little tighter around her. There was no room in the pocket as it was!

     "You think you can just move back in like nothing happened?" he demanded.

    "Not up to you, Cliff,” Leeana reminded him in a sing-song voice.

    Sylvia scowled, biting down hard on her lip. What could Jon see in that woman? She knew it was jealousy clouding her initial judgment, but even Cliff had a blatant disdain for Leeana.

    Curiosity took hold of Sylvia. Her brief look at the woman had been too brief. Fuming from what she'd heard, she squirmed upward, trying to slip by Cliff's fingers to see over the top of the pocket. Cliff’s hand reacted immediately, tightening as if to keep her stuffed down. But Sylvia wouldn’t have it. She kicked at his ring finger in the limited space, finally getting him to loosen up enough to get her arms out over the rim of his jeans pocket. Her first sight overhead was Cliff glaring down at her.

    "What are you doing?" he mouthed fiercely.

    "Trying to see," she mouthed back, glowering as she craned her neck up to see his face. She leveled her gaze to see the woman and suddenly felt cold. The light hair that fell down Leeana's back was silky and beautiful. Even without seeing her face, Sylvia could tell she was gorgeous.

    "What're you doing now, Cliff?" Leeana asked, not glancing up from tidying up the place.

    "You mean other than watch you suck up to your ex?"

    Leeana bristled. "He's not my ex. We just... took some time off. I'm here to apologize."

    Sylvia clenched her fists, fingers digging into Cliff's hand. She had no idea what had happened between Jon and Leeana, but Cliff thought it was bad enough for them to be finished as a couple... Yet Jon had still mentioned Leeana was his girlfriend.

    Feeling the icy sensation worsen, she let herself slide back into the pocket. The unwelcome feelings of confusion returned with a vengeance.

    Jon jiggled the key in the lock. The landlord really needed to get maintenance to fix their sticky hinges. He paused, frowning when he heard another voice with Cliff's—but it wasn't Sylvia's.  

    "Leeana?" He walked into the apartment cautiously. Her honey-blonde hair whipped around when she turned.

    "Jon!" She exclaimed, quickly drying her hands of dish soap and padding over to him. She was smart enough to see he wasn't ready for a hug just yet. He was guarded. She bit her lip expectantly as Jon surveyed his surroundings, taking into account Cliff's expression.

    "What are you doing here?" Jon asked, stunned by her unannounced presence. “You’re… cleaning?”

    Wait—where's Sylvia? He wandered around, looking behind mundane objects discreetly.

    “I used to help out around this dump before.” she dismissed his confusion with an easy smile. "I didn't think I would, but I… I missed you, babe. I just needed time to think." She stepped closer, following him. "Jon, what are you looking for?"

    “Nothing!” Jon looked up from the floor by the couch to see Leeana looking at him strangely. He stood up. “I tried to call you—”

    She held up a dead cell phone. "Four hour flights really kill your battery."

    She set the phone aside and stepped right up to him. Jon looked down—their chests were mere inches apart.

    "So..." she started.


    An unexpected flood of warmth had spread through Sylvia at the sound of Jon's voice. It faded just as quickly when she remembered the situation. The voices became softer as Cliff walked away. The fairy buried her face in her hands, wishing she could make the yearning to talk to Jon go away.

    "Will he take her back?" She pushed her torso out of the pocket when they were out of earshot. "Will she... make you leave?"

    Cliff shut the bedroom door behind him. "I don't think so." He pinched under her arms with a finger and thumb and hoisted her out the rest of the way. He set her down on her feet atop his nightstand. "Besides, he'll talk to me about it first."

    Sylvia paced along the edge of the nightstand, running her hands up and down her arms, hugging herself restlessly. Cliff's words made her feel better, but only a bit. She needed to know for sure. Leeana’s return was seriously throwing a wrench into an already complicated situation. She stopped and looked up at him with a frown. "What did she do to Jon? Why is she needing to try so hard to get him back?"

    Cliff sank down on the edge of the bed with a sigh.

    "She's not too big on the monogamy thing. She was flirting with other guys. Practically right in front of him,” he explained. "Jon confronted her about it, and she got defensive. Said he was stifling her and she wanted some fresh air or crap like that. So... she left."  

    He looked towards the door. The estranged couple's voices had lowered. "That was the worst part—leaving him stuck here, not knowing what the hell she did want.” Cliff continued, in a quieter voice. “I swear, dating that chick is like dragging an iron barbell behind you."

    Sylvia stared at him with disbelief. She began pacing again and made effort to keep her voice down, which was difficult.

    "So, she doesn't appreciate him and expects him to deal with that? How could she not appreciate him? He doesn't deserve to be treated like that, not when he's so kind. If I was lucky enough to be with someone that caring, I can't imagine anyone even being capable of doing that." She lowered herself to sit with her legs hanging over the edge of the nightstand, rubbing her eyes wearily. "I swear, if she's not out of here in the next five minutes, I’m going to lose it."

    Cliff smiled, likely finding her fit adorable. But the look in his eyes was a look Sylvia recognized; the kind that came only when one had experienced the sting of loss firsthand.

He gave her a tense smile. "Jealousy's a bitch, ain't it?"
"If the girls ask, this never happened, but uh..." Jared stooped down close. He hovered a hand hesitantly around Sean before deciding to clap him gingerly on the back, letting his thumb brush his squared shoulder in an amicable rub. "You're a good guy, Sean. I'm glad you stuck around."

Sean's breath caught in his throat for a second when Jared's hand came near. He didn't get grabbed like he'd expected, which was a pleasant surprise. Even so, he pursed his lips in a perplexed frown for a second or two at what did happen, swaying slightly after the contact of a giant hand on his back.

No way I'd ever tell the chicks we're apparently buddies now, Sean mused with a smirk. Still, a pat on the back, even a gigantic one, was much more pleasant than getting snatched up by the back of his shirt or swatted aside like some common pest. "Oh, now you're just teasing me," he joked, a dry chuckle following the words.

After a pause, Sean suddenly remember something he'd told Kaye, back in Neburn's lab. "Y'know, Jared, I told Kaye I'd teach her some hand-to-hand techniques, since you guys are on the run now," he began, his gaze flickering to the side to regard the man. "Frankly, you could use a lesson or two in that as well. Besides, it's not like she can practice with me," he offered.

Jared chuckled, pulling his hand away back to his lap.

"You calling me flimsy?" He asked in mock indignance. But when Sean looked up, the man was grinning. "Heh... I wouldn't be surprised if you managed to kick her ass anyway. She'd be too scared to lay a finger on you. Maybe we can record you on a Holotech. You, know... Like a video on all sides." He added an explanation. It was becoming more natural in conversations with Elise and Sean now. Even after weeks together, there was still so much they were in the dark about the others' culture.

"I've seen a Holotech before," Sean replied with a nod. He rolled his eyes at the surprised look on Jared's face. "Lab rat, remember?" Of course, at the time, he'd been quite confused about what the giants were actually doing. He never saw the recording itself until weeks later, and had been floored by the accuracy. It was one of the first displays of terrifying advancement that he'd witnessed from the Tessirans.

"Guess that'd work well enough," he conceded, actually thinking about it now. It felt kind of good, to think about something he knew, even something as relatively simple as combat training.

He smirked again. "And hey, I never said you were flimsy." And he really couldn't call Jared that, even as a civilian. "You got a solid punch but it's not trained, at all, and anyone who ever took a lesson would be able to see that." It wasn't a particularly derisive comment, and Sean even managed to keep most of his usual mean edge from his voice as he said it. But it was true; if Jared had had more training, he might not have been dispatched so easily by that attack squad ... Sean was just a little too late to fix that mistake, but maybe he could prevent the next one.

Jared pursed his lips, bobbing his head in reluctant agreement. "Fair point." He replied.

It was hard to let his ego deflate a bit on that point. Sure, he'd always known that all his stunts on this adventure had been powered by mere adrenaline, not training. But it had sure felt good to have Kaye and Elise rave about him kicking butt when the opportunity had come about.

"Sucks to think that I might actually need to fight for my life again after this. All of us." Jared sighed, his broad shoulders slumping a bit as he cast a gaze out the darkened exterior of the plains outside. "Somehow, I doubt Ambron has clocked out of this chase yet."

Sean smirked grimly. Of course Ambron wouldn't give up. She wasn't going to give up until they were all dead or captured, and clearly it didn't matter to her which happened first at this point. "Well. Just so you know, I wouldn't offer if I didn't think you have some talent to work with," he replied. "Obviously you do, or we wouldn't have gotten this far in the first place." And, really, if Sean hadn't led them right into that trap, Jared may well have done just fine without until they found a safe haven.

Sean couldn't help but think about how everybody Ambron sent their way would be well-trained. He really wouldn't have the time to get Kaye and Jared to comparable skill levels. But, he could definitely teach them a few tricks, tricks that no attack squad or hulking bodyguard could expect out of a pair of civilians.

"I'd have figured you got used to fighting for your life by now," he quipped with a dry chuckle. They had all probably gotten used to some things that they'd never expected. "At least next time it won't matter if they have a gun and you don't." He glanced up at Jared with a confident smirk in his eyes.

Jared raised his eyebrows, mulling over the concept. A grim satisfaction clouded his features. "Taking out armed forces with my bare hands?" Jared chuckled. "Yeah, sign me up."

He brought his legs closer, rubbing absently at the caked mud and dust that had ruined the nice sheen of his old black boots. "It's funny, isn't it? How being on the run, fighting for ever second... It makes you realize you're not who you thought you were before."

Sean eyed the gigantic boots that had dragged across the floor with such ease. He had been on the planet for what felt like forever, and he still couldn't get over the fact that a shoe bigger than a minivan was so easy to lift. At least, it was easy to Jared and the other Tessirans.

"I guess," he muttered in reply. He tilted his head, thinking about the fact that being on the run and fighting were two major tasks in his chosen job. "I used to like it," he admitted. The thrill, the intrigue, even the stupid damn conspiracies all these governments cooked up, they brought a certain quality to his life that Sean had always relished. Even so, after all this ... retirement sounded nicer and nicer.

"And who did you think you were before?" he asked, watching Jared's expression and wondering how the question would go over.

The giant quirked a speculative eyebrow at the question, turning introspective.

"I dunno. Certainly not this," Jared flexed his hands as if the cumulative damage he'd dealt was hidden within the lines on his palms. "I mean, I was just another tech on a team of hundreds. My biggest life goals were getting that room around the corner from Zeebre's Bar downtown. I never went looking for fights. I never even parked in the reserved slots at work." He admitted sheepishly, feeling like this was a very schoolboy accomplishment compared to Sean's cutting edge lifestyle in espionage. His smile wilted a bit, as he replayed more recent events in his mind's eye.

"I can't think about stuff like apartments or promotions the same way now if I tried." Jared said, keeping his voice low and reserved between the two of them. "I've never felt so strongly about anything in my life. This... burn inside me to protect something."

Or someone, his inner monologue tacked on.

While Jared spoke, Sean remembered reading his file. After forcing the stupid collar onto his neck, Ambron had briefed the spy on everything they knew about the fugitives he was meant to track. He remembered thinking how ridiculous it sounded, that a guy with such a squeaky clean record had done all that Jared had done. Frankly, civilians amazed Sean sometimes with their seemingly-random bursts of tenacity.

"Whatever changed your mind, I can't complain," he answered. If Jared hadn't hardened his resolve to help Elise, and made that knee-jerk decision to carry her to safety, Sean would still be in captivity. Jared would still be going to work, and Elise would be welcomed by the scientists like a brand new toy at Christmas.

"When they told me about the mission here, I thought there was no way that giant aliens that didn't even know about space travel could be that dangerous. But I've been here for years, and you guys still aren't running short on surprises." This conversation, in fact, was just about enough to floor the hardened spy. He'd never expected to have a conversation with Jared that didn't run a risk of him pissing the guy off and getting grabbed.

Jared snorted. "Wait, wait. Let me get this straight." He held up a hand. "You heard about a planet of Giants, and that part didn't worry you?" He shook his head, smiling broadly down at Sean. "Damn, they raise 'em stiff on Earth."

Sean's eyebrows arched almost smugly as a smirk turned up the corners of his mouth. He hadn't expected the praise, but he sure as hell welcomed it. "I'm a master of stealth, man. Even the most dangerous enemy isn't worth his boots if he can't see me." It was just his rotten luck that he'd been found out and cornered before he could get over the exhaustion of a shaky landing.

"I did think the tech would be a little simpler here," he admitted. They'd had a very outdated idea of what things were like on Tessira. All they had were several old satellite pictures of some cities, which noted the fondness for glass in most structures. Even the pod systems snaking across the open country side were hard to get a good look at. That was why Sean was there, after all. To assess the sophistication of the Tessirans, to learn about their systems. He never questioned why; that wasn't his place.

Jared's smile became a bit more subdued. He couldn't count the times he'd seen that look of silent awe on Elise's face. Like she was staring into bright future itself. The thought made him ache for her presence, even though they'd hardly been fifteen apart. She was like a drug he couldn't get enough of.

"Sorry to disappoint." Jared said with a shrug of his shoulders. "Maybe we can send you guys some souvenirs back." He rubbed his chin thoughtfully, scratching idly at his four-o-clock shadow. "Course, I guess the challenge would be fitting it into your shuttle..."

He let the thought trail off, slapping his hands on his knees and pushing himself to his feet. He glanced down at Sean only briefly, both men wearing similar expressions of discomfort from the sudden spike in height difference.

"I'm gonna head back. I got a girl waiting for me." Jared smirked at this thought, stepping around Sean carefully to pass back through the dusty shelves. "Stay inside." He called back

"You're the boss," Sean muttered. He planted his hands on the floor, feeling the tremors as Jared walked away. Now that the conversation was over, he could think about how it had gone. Of all the things he'd have expected, he never thought he'd have a damn-near pleasant chat with Jared. He knew the guy was a good person, of course. But after all their less-than-friendly conversations before and after the brainwashing, he thought they'd be stuck in a state of mutual respect and dislike for each other.

Back by the campfire, Elise and Kaye had managed to find a few topics to make small talk. However, their conversation had lulled on occasion to listen to the murmur of the guys talking somewhere behind the shelves. The girls had mused a little about what they might have been discussing back there, curious about whether it'd go well.

At least no raised voices carried over from the other side of the room. And when Jared came back into view, Elise sat up straigher and smiled warmly. She could hardly believe she'd be so happy to see someone who'd only stepped away less than an hour ago. Jared had moved into her heart, and Elise couldn't imagine him ever leaving it.

"Hello again," she greeted, tilting her head back to meet his eyes. "It looks like things went well?"

"I can't believe I'm saying it, but yeah." Jared answered. "Didn't know he could go any less than two-hundred percent sarcasm at any given moment."

Jared took a seat back on his mat. It was several Tessiran feet away from Elise, but the look he gave her was more than welcoming. Whether they were in love or not... He couldn't imagine it was pleasant, having a humongous shoe land so close to you. He let her come to him at her own leisure instead.

"I see you girls got on without us just fine." He added, cocking his head at her.

Elise got to her feet and brushed herself off. She smiled faintly, thinking of the most recent idle gossip they had discussed. "Kaye was just telling me about Leona Reeves and the recent scandal with KennaTek Records. She sounds like a really interesting woman to have on the news all the time," Elise explained, making her way towards Jared.

With a helpful boost from one of his strong hands, Elise settled herself onto Jared's lap, leaning comfortably against his abdomen. It struck her that she was holding a casual conversation about local trivia with people that could hold her in one hand. The culture shock alone was amazing, and yet she found it so easy to talk to Jared and Kaye.

It was so easy to love the fact that she could feel his pulse, a faint drum beat behind his shirt. And, though she had noticed it before, Elise couldn't help but notice the tone of the muscles she leaned against.

"I'm glad you and Sean got along, though. I guess he was feeling civil for once." She smiled over at Kaye. "We were just about ready to take bets on when he'd start yelling at you." The confession came with a look straight upwards, showing him her smile so Jared would know she was only joking.

Jared chuckled and gave her a playful nudge. "Hey, don't jinx it. I got no promises on how that's gonna hold up." He raised his eyes to Kaye, giving her a reproachful look. "What were you doing telling her about KennaTek, anyway? You trying to scare her off all over?"

Kaye gave him a flat look. "Unless she was planning on investing in their bond security, I think we're good."

Jared smiled again, taking any opportunity to look down at the beautiful woman in his lap. Kaye followed his gaze, drinking in the two of them as a couple, live and in-person.

"So, I guess we're not beating around the bush anymore, huh?" Kaye said, her voice slightly stiff. "You two are an item now?"

Jared paused, his fingertips tracing a mindless pattern on Elise's lap. They shared a look that communicated without words. A soft, pleased smile came to his face as he took account of the unconditional love reflected in her little green eyes.

"We never really stopped to talk about it," Jared said, finding it hard to tear his gaze away from Elise. "But yeah. You could say that."

Elise wanted to keep looking up. Jared's warm hazel gaze captivated her so easily. And the gentle touch of his hand made her feel like she was just where she belonged. Close to him, looking at his beautiful eyes and handsome face. Knowing that he looked back at her with the same amount of love in him.

But she couldn't ignore the tone she'd heard in Kaye's voice. A hint of wary cynicism. She supposed she ought to have expected it. After all, Elise and Jared being so close, enjoying the simple pleasure of physical contact with one another, being in love ... it was strange. Different. Elise was an alien, a tiny one.

But, she wasn't sure how much time was left before she had to flee. And Elise wasn't about to waste it. She had been discreet before. When she wasn't sure if Jared would recover. But now that he had, and he was hers again, she didn't want to let go. She didn't want to try to be "professional" about it. She was acting as a rogue agent here anyway, trying to escape on her own without the backing of her own government.

"We are," she affirmed, tearing her gaze away from Jared to regard Kaye with a smile, a hopeful expression. "Love doesn't often work in ways that you'd expect. But we've been through a lot together," she explained softly. She placed one of her hands on Jared's thumb while his index finger continued to trace back and forth on her leg, leaving a trail of electricity in its wake. C'est l'amour.

"I ... I understand if it seems strange to you," she admitted. "But as someone who has traveled between galaxies and met so many different kinds of people and seen so many different planets, I can assure you that strange is rarely bad."

All his life, Jared had underestimated just how powerful love could be. It wasn't bravery or raw courage that had powered him through escape and torture... It was that tiny woman with her hand on his thumb. Her words renewed him, taught him how to stay strong. It wasn't anything that could be measured, but it was the most concrete thing in his life.

As if to punctuate her articulate speech, Jared shifted his hand to pick her up and kiss her on the lips.

"Definitely not bad." He murmured. He thumbed a lock of her hair before tucking her onto his shoulder.

Kaye's expression had softened somewhat. "N-no, I'm not criticizing. Just..." Her brown eyes lingered on Jared, as if urging him to see what she saw. His Hazel eyes narrowed slightly, no revelation appearing in their depths. Whatever was on her mind, she let it drop for the sake of pleasant conversation. "I guess I just want to wish you luck."

Jared gave her a strange look but throwing on a smile and following her lead. "Thanks," he said, giving his shoulder a slight shrug so Elise slid into his neck and the side of his face.

Elise chuckled quietly, leaning into Jared's affection with ease. Her cheek rested against him and she ran a hand along his jaw. It was amazing, that her hand was so small to him, barely a tickle, and he still so readily accepted her touch. She loved every detail: the slope of his jaw, the faint stubble growing there, the heat radiating from his skin. Everything about Jared was magnified, and Elise couldn't believe how lucky that made her feel.

"Thank you so much, Kaye," Elise said with a nod, crossing her legs at the ankle and looking completely relaxed perched on Jared's shoulder. "You've been an amazing help since I got here." They'd had their rough patch, but Kaye had made up for it over and over. Elise was glad to have the Tessiran's understanding.

Kaye shrugged off the sweet remarks with a downturned smile. "Can't shake me off at this point. I'm with you till the end of this mess."

The moment was interrupted by an escalated humming noise, the sound of a small computer at work. Jared frowned faintly, exchanging a look with both women. A light blinked insistently inside the the padded case for Elise's shuttle.

"This thing is moody as a baby," Kaye huffed, unzipping the case. "Been humming all night like a swarm of Tazlor bugs."

She flipped open the lid and removed the thin layer of padding strewn on top. Through the glassy windshield, a startling light was protected forth. There were words scattered across the screen, blinking and sliding to deliver a message. The words were backwards and minuscule to the Tessirians, but it was clear as day.

"That's new," Kaye murmured.

With the utmost care, she lifted the shuttle from its case and set it on top of her makeshift pillow. Jared turned his head to the side, getting Elise in his peripherals.

"This mean something to you?" He asked.

Elise frowned faintly, just as confused by the ship's strange behavior as Kaye and Jared. "It doesn't," she replied, glancing aside to meet Jared's eye. She knew so little about how ships worked even when they were in complete repair, let alone when they'd been patched together by a giant alien.

"I'd need to read that message that's coming up," Elise added. Only moments later, she was on Jared's palm again, lowering towards the hatch in the side of the space vehicle. Elise had to strain a little to pull the door open; ever since the crash, it had been very stubborn. Soon enough she ducked inside the darkened ship.

Things were at an odd angle thanks to the way the ship rested on its padding. Elise walked carefully over to the main console to read the insistent message scrolling past.

In the default, Sans-serif font, the ship's computer provided a home screen of messages. what might have been an organized panel once was now overflowing with alerts from every icon. It was hard to know where to look first. Its resilience was impressive, considering it still intended to serve its original purpose even after being stripped down and put back together like Humpty Dumpty.

In red, smaller text hovered in the upper right hand corner of the windshield: SCAN COMPLETE. FOUR AREAS OUT OF PROTOCOL.

Jared tried to give her space, but he just couldn't help himself. The entire shuttle shook lightly as the man got down on his stomach beside the hatch. He folded his arms to cradle his head and peered over Elise's shoulder with one large Hazel eye.

The cabin was now illuminated by the windshield's projected glow. It was astonishing to finally see the spacecraft in a functioning form, not looking like a broken toy any longer.

"Elise, hang on." Jared squinted. "Is that..." The message icon was lit up bright green, with a little number four in superscript above the icon. Jared couldn't believe his eyes. "I'll be damned. Someone tried to contact you."
Starcrossed || Fifty

Next: Monday!

Co-written by :iconpl1:
Commission Pricing - 2015 update by Obsess-Confess
Commission Pricing - 2015 update
It was about time I updated this! I didn't realize how busy my last year was, art-wise! 

If interested please note me. :heart:


Obsess-Confess's Profile Picture
Little Miss Maggie
Artist | Student | Varied
United States
:iconrequestsopen: :icontradesopen:
Finally uploaded a pic of myself!
I'm a college student, majoring in character animation. My dream is to work at Pixar Animation Studios.
I love to draw people. The human body is a master piece in and of itself. I don't have a lot of my serious art on this account, but that might change.
I gravitate towards romantic subjects, or very emotional things. I like feeling something when I create. In a weird way, the mood of the piece possesses me while I make it.
I love art, writing, and discovering new ideas. I'm always up for a GT roleplay, or doing sketch trades.




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nikafargos Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank U so much for so many faves and for the watch! Bunny Emoji-72 (Heart Wink) [V2]  I'm honored!
Obsess-Confess Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Student General Artist
lol thanks for sharing your art! :iconsupertighthugplz:
LennyGrosskopf Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2015  Student Digital Artist
thanks again for faving some pics from me again *v*
Obsess-Confess Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2015  Student General Artist
Sure thing! ;)
Scrawl-NG Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Happy Birthday! Make sure to observe safe mixed scale party practices!
Obsess-Confess Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2015  Student General Artist
thank you!! Haha, don't worry I'm always practicing safe G/t lifestyle choices ;D
Bazzkorg Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2015
Happy birthday! 
Obsess-Confess Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2015  Student General Artist
Bazzkorg Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2015
Sure thing :) Hope it was a good one 
hoshirozu Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
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