Finish Lines

smalltrolven

The Wanting Comes In Waves

All Sam/Dean, All The Time


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smalltrolven

fic: Terms of Venery (Sam/Dean, NC-17, Part 2 of 4)

Back to Part One

!~*@~*!

Later that evening Sam was down in the cookhouse, drinking his fill of mead, celebrating amongst all the others who looked strangely at him. He should have been mourning his loss, but no, Sam had a silly grin on his face he couldn’t get rid of, didn’t want to, because Dean had put it there. Finally someone joined him on his bench furthest away from the group by the fire.

“Heya, Sam, you’re looking pretty happy for having lost today.”

“Oh, hey, Brady, yeah, guess so.”

“You gonna shoot in the next contest? The one tomorrow, Forester John just announced it, the Duke is even going to be here to watch.”

“Maybe, not sure there’s much point,” Sam answered, returning to near-glumness even though his entire body still thrummed with its new song of DeanDeanDean.

“I hear this time it’s gonna be for a position as his son-in-law,” Brady said with a smirk.

“For the hand of his son? Why would he do that to Dean?” Sam asked.

“Why not? Wouldn’t you want to win? If I wasn’t already wed, I’d sell my soul for a match like that. You’d have money and position, you could get out of these dull and dreary huts.”

“You shouldn’t talk like that, Brady, it’ll bring up Old Scratch before you know it,” Sam warned.

“I wouldn’t care, bring him on. I’ll talk to him again, make him another deal,” Brady boasted as he drained his mug.

“What do you mean another deal?” Sam asked, looking at him closely to see if Brady was joking.

“Just that, already made one. Wanna see what I mean? It might be something you could use in the tournament tomorrow.”

“Uh, sure I guess,” Sam said.

Brady dug in the pocket of his greatcoat and pulled out a small handful of newly made bullets shining, unmarred, glowing in the dim light from the fire.

“What about them? They’re just bullets,” Sam asked, not very interested as his mind revolved around thoughts of Dean being wed to whoever won this arbitrary contest tomorrow. All his thoughts stopped on the possibility of it being anyone other than himself, it couldn’t happen, not after tonight and all they’d shared.

“Not just bullets, Sam, my man. These are bullets that can’t ever miss and I know how to make more of ‘em,” Brady bragged.

“Really? How’s that possible?” Sam asked.

“Learned it from the Black Hunter,” Brady said with a proud shake of his shoulders.

“You’ve actually met him?” Sam asked with an undignified squeak he instantly regretted.

Brady smirked at him. “Actually, it’s a her. And she’s awesome, and yeah. I’m not kidding you they work.”

“So that’s why you’re looking so well-fed these days, huh?” Sam asked.

“Yep, keeping my family fed and then some,” Brady said, sounding even more proud of himself.

“Can you show me how to make them?” Sam asked, reluctantly deciding that he need any advantage to win Dean’s hand tomorrow. The stakes couldn’t be higher, and he’d utterly failed today.

“Sure, let’s go outside,” Brady said, standing and sweeping the bullets back into his pocket with a metallic jangle.

Sam followed Brady out into the night, all of his thoughts returned to Dean as he watched Brady shoot an owl out of the pitch-dark night sky. It suddenly seemed within his grasp that he could win the contest, and Dean. “I thought you were kidding me. So they can’t miss, huh?”

“Yep, I’ll show ya how to make some if you want.”

“Really? You’d do that?” Sam asked.

“Sure, you’ve always been a nice kid, and I’ve never forgotten the time you gave my family those rabbits when I was away so they didn’t go hungry. So, here, you try it. Just think really hard about what you want to hit.”

“Uh, okay,” Sam took a bullet from Brady’s outstretched hand and loaded it into his own pistol. He heard something flying overhead, it sounded large but far away. He concentrated on hitting whatever it was and fired. A sharp raptor’s cry was cutoff abruptly and there was a large crashing sound through the trees as whatever bird it was fell to the ground.

Brady took up a torch from the front of the cookhouse building and walked into the woods in the direction of the sound. Sam followed, wondering at the impossible accuracy. “An eagle, Sam! You’ve hit a freaking eagle.”

“Oh…oh my, I didn’t mean to, I shouldn’t have,” Sam stuttered, eagles were for noblemen to shoot down out of the sky, not a mere peasant like him.

“This is amazing! See, they really do work! You believe me now, Sam?” Brady crowed, holding the eagle up by its limp talons.

“Can I use some of these tomorrow?” Sam asked.

“I don’t think there’s enough left for a whole contest’s worth of shooting. Meet me tonight at midnight, and we’ll go up to the Glen to make some more of them.”

“Thank you, Brady, you don’t know what this means to me,” Sam said, shaking Brady’s hand. He couldn’t imagine life without Dean or more importantly Dean living a life with someone else. But he had real hope now, that he could win tomorrow and then all would be better than he’d ever dreamed possible.

“You have no idea what it means to me to be able to help you,” Brady replied, with a sideways grin that momentarily made Sam wonder if he didn’t quite mean it.

Sam left to go rest up until their rendezvous that night, leaving Brady out in the yard dressing the eagle.

!~*@~*!

Brady chuckled to himself in triumph as Sam disappeared back into the bunkhouse. “This might work, the kid actually fell for it! I might get out of the deal completely, or be able to bargain for a few more years. If Meg will take Sam’s soul to the Devil instead of mine, then it will all be worth it. No one will miss Sam, he has no family depending upon him like I do. This is the only way.”

!~*@~*!

After he left Sam, Dean had quickly made his way far enough down the path to holler to his father that he was all right, just taking a walk. That seemed to be enough to satisfy him, for now. He set to wandering without a real purpose, just needing some time to himself before going back to the Forester’s Lodge. He loved his father, but sometimes it was tough to live with John day in and day out. If he went back now, John would know right away that something had happened, something that he hadn’t approved of in advance, and he’d be angry.

“He shouldn’t be angry at you for following your heart, boy,” a strong woman’s voice came out of the dark forest to his right.

“Who’s there?” Dean asked, startled to hear another person was here on the mountain with him in the dark night.

“I’m just an old woman of the forest, name’s Missouri. Come with me boy, need to have a talk with you,” she said, stepping into the small clearing.  Dean could see she was short and round all over, her close-cropped hair very dark in the moonlight. She gestured towards a small path and he followed her for a little ways along it, remaining silent. Missouri led him into her small hut and silently served him a cup of herb tea. She studied his face and nodded to herself.

“Dean, there is a great peril that will be visited upon you on the morrow. The only chance you have is to be wearing the bridal wreath when the shooting starts tomorrow. It will be given to you some time tonight. No matter how stupid you think it looks, you wear that thing, right on your head, you hear me, Dean?”

“Whatever lady, I’m not sure as hell not getting married tomorrow, so I’m not gonna have any sort of  wreath,” Dean scoffed, finishing the tea off so that he could make a hasty exit. He stood and handed her the cup. “I appreciate your hospitality, Missouri, but it is late and my father will be searching for me by now.”

Missouri reached out and grabbed one of Dean’s wrists. “Dean, wear your wreath, please. Otherwise you will break Sam’s heart.”

“What do you know about Sam?” Dean growled, feeling a sudden wave of protectiveness crash over him.

Missouri smiled at his response. “He is yours, you are his, that is what I know. So you best be wearing your wreath, boy.” She dropped his wrist and pushed him towards the door.

Dean took the hint and quickly left through the door made of tanned hide. The rest of the way down the mountain her words echoed through him, wear your wreath, he is yours, you are his until he felt his whole body vibrating with the acceptance of this obvious truth.

!~*@~*!

Dean was back in his room with his cousin, Jo. She sat on his bed cuddling him, there was no other word for it. He was upset to hear the news that there was to be a shooting contest tomorrow for his hand in marriage. “I can’t believe my father would do this to me. I thought, god, I really thought he’d let me decide. And to be offered up like some prize bull! I’ll never forgive him, Jo, never.”

“It surprised me when I heard him announce it right after Gordon got the winner’s wreath today. But you weren’t even there to hear it, where were you?” Jo asked, stroking his back in a comforting circle.

“I was, uh, well, no I wasn’t there. I was up on the mountain, falling in love,” Dean confessed. Jo was the only person he would trust with this, the only one who could possibly understand.

“Ooh, what? Really? You tell me everything, right now, Dean,” Jo demanded, eyes alight with an interested fire.

“He works for my father, his name’s Sam, and I don’t know, it was like magic or something. The trees led me to him and made sure that we found each other, and you know me, I listen to the trees.”

“Sam, huh? I never would have guessed, otherwise I would have introduced you right when you got here. Glad you found each other. Guess you have the trees to thank, huh?”

“Yeah, I did thank them, on the way back tonight, through the forest. But, hey, I was gonna ask you about the lady who lives out there, she’s short and kinda round, black as the night sky. She said her name was Missouri. Do you know her?”

“Uh huh, she’s the hermit. She never talks to anyone though, we all just leave her food and don’t bug her. Why, what happened?”

“She had me in to her hut for a cup of tea and a chat. That’s what she called it, but it was more like a whup upside the head and a lecture. She said all this crazy stuff about me getting married and having to wear a bridal wreath to save my life tomorrow. It freaked me out, especially now that you tell me, thanks to Dad and this stupid shooting contest, the married thing might actually be happening.”

“Oh it’s happening, Dean, like it or not, they’ve even ordered the flowers for the wreath. I heard Ellen talking to Ash about them.”

“So this might be my last night as an unmarried man, huh? And all I can think about is Sam, my Sammy, that’s what I called him and he liked it and it felt so right and—damn, Jo, what if someone else wins the contest? I mean, I know he’s a good shot, but Sam lost, just today, to that peasant named Gordon.”

“Thank god he didn’t win the contest for your hand tomorrow, Gordon’s awful, not right in the head if you know what I mean. He’s always going on about bloodsuckers and how they’re coming to turn us all into evil denizens of the night.”

“Sounds like I dodged a bullet on that one,” Dean joked, instantly regretting it. Just even thinking for a moment about becoming Gordon’s husband instead of Sam’s turned his stomach.

“Oh ha ha, that’s hilarious. Don’t joke, Dean. Who knows, he might come back and shoot again tomorrow.”

“Sam will win, I know he will. He has to, Jo. We have to be together, it’s just what’s supposed to happen.”

“According to who?” Jo asked.

“The trees, my heart, I don’t know, everything. Missouri even said it, he’s mine, I’m his. God, why’s this all happening at once, I can’t stand it.” Dean complained, flopping back on the bed and covering his eyes with his arm.

A knock sounded at the door.

Jo jumped up to answer it, taking delivery of a large covered basket. She set it on the table. “So, uh, your bridal wreath is here. That’s strange that it came at night.”

“I’m not wearing a goddamned wreath, Jo,” Dean growled from the bed.

“It’s tradition for someone of your station, and so, yeah, you’re going to, it’ll look nice, I bet Sam will love it.”

“All right, let’s see this thing,” Dean grumped, standing up slowly and opening the basket. He pulled the covering off and stared at the dark wreath in the basket. It had shiny evergreen leaves, dark blue flowers of all kinds, and even some purples that were near black. It was very fragrant with deep green bay leaves woven throughout.

“Hmm, that’s a funeral wreath, why’d they send you that?” Jo asked.

“I don’t know, but I guess I’m wearing it one way or the other. At least it’s got bits from all my favorite trees, and it’s not all fancy and bright.” Dean set it on his brow and spun around. Jo giggled and pushed him towards the mirror.

Jo pressed her nose into his back and stared into the mirror over his shoulder. “Your eyes, Dean. Gosh, they’re so beautiful.”

“Thanks cousin. You’re not shooting tomorrow are you?” Dean teased, spinning and grabbing her around the waist.

Jo laughed and pushed him away. “No, I’m already pledged to another anyway, you know that!”

“Kidding, I kid. So what do I have to wear, or is that up to me? And why has my dad conveniently left the building so he doesn’t have to deal with me and this whole stupid wedding thing?” Dean took the wreath off his head and laid it back inside the basket.

“There was something about a hunting party for a bear, but I think it was just all the revelry after today’s contest, he’s gone, so you can decide what to think about it all on your own. I say, wear something clean, and that you like. How about that green shirt with the darker green vest?”

“Fine, but only if I can borrow your red scarf,” Dean said, pulling the shirt and vest out of his cupboard and hanging it on the hook next to the mirror.

“I’ll go get it out of my chest and air it out tonight. See you tomorrow, cousin,” Jo said, blowing Dean a kiss across the room.

“Thank you, Jo,” Dean answered, flopping back onto the bed and staring up at the ceiling, thinking hard about Sam, and his lips and his hands and oh god how good he’d felt in his arms, the trees surrounding them in protection, their blissful union at the edge of the forest. A soft knock interrupted his thoughts, thinking it was Jo coming back because she’d forgotten something, he yelled, “Enter!”

!~*@~*!


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