The hunters entered loudly through the back entrance of Jim's farmhouse. At the lights went on as Jim and fifteen year old Sam came down the stairs looking alert at the early time.
They had remained behind while the three hunters went to
John, Caleb and Dean tumbled in with dirt, twigs and blood covering their clothes. "Hey Runt, you may be right about that whole respecting the forest." Reaves said as he wiped his forehead, marking it with more dirt. "Who would have known a bunch of Dryads could get that pissed off."
Sam had researched the Dryads for the trio. They normally did not
humans unless they were forced. The youngest
Pastor Jim relaxed. There was no emergency or wounded to deal with, although he saw some of the blood coming from various shallow cuts. The returning hunters were standing in the kitchen, having a conversation like they were returning from watching a football game. "Each Dryad is born with a certain tree over which she watches - she comes into existence with it and often lives in a tree." Murphy shared his knowledge about the woodland creatures. He and Sam had the same discussion over dinner.
"Yeah, and they don’t like people carving initials. . ." Dean interjected, picking off some twigs from his clothes.
"A little more than carving initials, Dean." John said as he shrugged out of his shirt.
"The degenerate population in
"I told you that you can't use the outdoors as your own personal litter box." Sam gestured to his brother.
Dean shrugged his shoulders in response.
"I think he'll think twice about it now. The Dryads got their own vengeance with maiming and torturing those people." John winced as he examined a rip in his long sleeve t-shirt.
"Do we need the medical kit?" Jim asked, noticing the men were shedding debris in his kitchen. Debris he would have to clean in the morning.
"Caleb and Dad need some suturing." Dean commented.
"Everyone get cleaned up and I'll get things ready down here." The men shuffled forward, but Jim stopped them. "Boots off. You will not track up my home."
They complied with a grumble. Dean was first to get his boots off with a hop.
"Don't even think about using all the hot water, Deuce." Caleb called out as he sat down to pull off his work boots.
Dean snorted. "Why 'cause you plan to?"
"No, I am." John said as he calmly untied his boots.
The nineteen year old went up the stairs, stopping in his room to grab some track pants and another shirt. He went into the shower, quickly rinsing off most of soil, and watching the water turn gray. He toweled off, picking up the clothes he had worn on the hunt and the towel.
Caleb was already waiting outside the door.
Dean jutted his chin at the other hunter's grimy clothing. "Leave your shit outside the door and I'll toss it in the washer."
Reaves smiled. "Damn, you're a good house bitch."
Dean returned the insult with his middle finger. He went downstairs, and saw that Jim had set up the kitchen table with towels, preparing to do some suturing. "Bring Caleb's and Dad's clothes downstairs." He asked his brother who was sitting at the table.
Sam shuffled his feet, but eventually stood and did what was asked of him. Dean started the wash cycle and the brothers returned upstairs.
The nineteen year old took some of the supplies Jim had set up and moved them closer.
"I'll take Dad if you can work with Damien."
Caleb straddled the seat in front of Pastor Jim, stretching out his arm. "His stitches are better than yours."
John sat so his shoulder was easily accessible to his son.
"Mine are smaller and quicker." Dean laughed.
Jim looked up from where he had been disinfecting Caleb's wound. He frowned at the young hunter. "Older and more experienced."
Dean shrugged, then raised an eyebrow up in taunt.
Jim grinned and lifted the needle he was about to use. Dean did the same.
Sam saw the challenge being thrown between the two. "You're racing to stitch them up?"
"No-" Dean and Jim answered at the same time.
"Ouch!" Caleb grimaced, and tried to pull his arm back.
"Stop being so sensitive, Caleb." Jim admonished the dark haired hunter.
John frowned at his son, not liking the idea of a suturing race. "Dean, those stitches better be straight. . ."
Dean waved of the warning. "They look good, Dad." The blond concentrated on the stitches, the easy in and out of the needle into the skin. One more stitch and he was done. He cut the thread. "Done!" He yelled out and looked at Jim, noticing he had not finished. "Yes!" Dean threw his arms up in victory.
"He let you win." Caleb groused, as Jim made a few more stitches and then tied off the thread.
The pastor shook his head. "No, Dean won." He glanced at John. "How are the stitches?"
John had already rolled down his sleeve. "Look good to me."
"Samuel, please get the Tylenol." He asked the young teen. "Then we'll get these boys to bed."
Caleb was studying his stitches and didn't look satisfied. But a shake of John's head told him not to say a word. He headed up the stairs in silence, following Sam and John.
"I'll clean up here, Pastor Jim. The clothes aren’t finished yet." Dean said as he picked up the bandage wrappers.
"Alright, my boy." Jim gave the younger man a pat on the shoulder.
Dean watched as the pastor went up the stairs. The young hunter cleaned up the table, only setting aside some things he would need. When the house was quiet once more, he unbuttoned the side of his black track pant. The blood from the cut on his thigh had smudged on his skin. It had started bleeding again. Dean prepped the injury in order to stitch it up.
He could hear the washing machine still running. By the time he finished it would be done and he would head to bed. He didn’t want to ask for help with the stitches. He could handle them himself. It was always easier to do things for himself.
He made the stitch, then the second and then heard the stairs creak. Dean stopped and folded the track pants over to cover what he was doing.
The pastor poked his head down the stairwell.
"Hey, Jim." Dean greeted the man
"I forgot my reading glasses. . ." Jim explained with a sheepish smile. He looked at Dean, and the suturing supplies before him. He then noticed the open pant leg. "What are you doing?"
Dean shrugged his shoulders, and pushed away the bandages in front of him. "Nothing, just . . ."
Jim pulled the track pant and revealed the two inch injury. "Why didn’t you say anything?"
"No big deal. My own fault," Dean started to explain as Jim sat down, and put on his reading glasses. "Twigs are kinda sharp when the Dryad is using it as a sword." Dean swallowed as Jim picked up the needle. "I can handle it myself."
Jim smiled at the young man. "Nonsense, I obviously need the practice."
Dean moved to a more comfortable position. "I thought you let me win?"
Jim shook his head. "No, you won. I would never take the honor of a win away from you."
The younger hunter looked down, not meeting the older man's eyes. He was uncomfortable with the praise. Jim began stitching the cut. "Did Sammy finish his project? I know he was hoping you would help him."
"Yes, I was surprised a public school allowed him to do a project about the Islamic religion for history class. I was glad to help. The poster is in my den." Jim had tried to give the teen some interesting side notes to garner Sam an A.
"Cool." Dean nodded. "I didn’t want him falling behind on his homework. He's doing really well in school." The nineteen year old said with pride in his voice.
"He's a smart boy, like his brother." Jim commented, concentrating on nice even stitches. He owed this boy his best. For so long Dean had to keep himself sewn up, bracing himself from what life would throw at him. With five more and he would be finished, and for awhile Dean would be whole. "All done." He stated, and showed Dean his work. "What do you think-your professional opinion of course?"
Dean narrowed his eyes. "I don’t think I could have done better, Jim." He smiled at the older man. "Thanks."
"Why don't you get some sleep? I think the washing machine has finished." The pastor pulled the boy to a standing position and gestured to the stairs.
"Alright. 'Night, Jim." Dean went gingerly up the stairs.
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