It’s been three weeks of mosquitoes, blinding sunshine, pouring rain, and silence. Dean doesn’t mind that last one so much because he can fill that easy enough with his cassette tapes. But the boredom is starting to reach critical levels. His sensors haven’t picked up anything more than local wildlife and it’s not a damn deer that he’s wasting away in a trailer for. There’s only so many times he can clean his guns; take apart, polish, and put back together the harpoons for his devana; rewatch his Star Trek DVDs on the tiny, shitty TV; and jerk off to his Busty Asian Beauties magazines before everything just gets old.
Dean’s in bumfuck nowhere. A good ten miles outside of some National Park in Idaho– and not the good ‘outside’. He’s in the complete opposite direction of all things civilization. Which loosely translates to there being no chance of getting any sort of internet connection. His pockets aren’t nearly deep enough to afford one of those fancy ‘internet everywhere’ satellite sticks Bobby always talks about. All the funds he gets from pool sharking goes to gas for his baby, food for his belly, and a motel room - when he’s not borrowing the couch in Bobby’s living room.
Dean’s got his satellite phone so he can check in with Bobby once a week. He kinda hates that he didn’t find the signs and figure out the location all on his own. But it feels good knowing that even his old man is acting off a tip from Bobby too. They’d gotten the phone call a month ago, that Bobby’s network had come up with two possible targets; one down south toward Louisiana (getting pretty close to Benny’s hunting grounds) and one in southern Idaho, up in the Rockies.
It’s where Dean drove his baby as far as the roads would let him while hauling Bobby’s damn near ancient aluminum can he calls a trailer. If he hadn’t practically grown up under Bobby’s careful eye, Dean probably would have had to actually rent the fucking thing from him. At least it has a functioning AC, a heater for the colder nights, an honest to God bathroom – which is far too close to the little kitchen for his liking – and one of those tables that he has to convert into a bed if he wants to sleep. Which he doesn’t even bother with because all his equipment is set up on that. Instead he just takes the cushions off the benches, spreads them out on the floor and unrolls his sleeping bag on them.
So, in the end, it’s all thanks to Bobby that he’s out here. If it wasn’t for him, Dean probably wouldn’t have found out about this secluded ass end of the mountains. He might have figured it out eventually – but if Bobby hadn’t given John the two tips, Dean wouldn’t be out on his first solo hunt. Jesus, the waiting never seemed this boring when he hunted with his dad.
It would help if he could manage to get some sleep most nights. Even after three weeks he’s still too wired to really sleep. What if one of the sensors goes off and he snores right through it? If he doesn’t get to the grove fast, the trap could kill his prey before he can – or worse, it might escape. Dean suppresses a shiver. That grove had been freaky as fuck and at least eighty-nine percent of that ‘freaky’ is because of the trees.
There is a well-used animal trail going through that copse, heading up from the lake and further into the mountains. It would be just like his quarry to use a game trial to hide their signs. And going through that creepy grove helps hide their presence too, even though they apparently haven’t just kept to the grove. Those weird ass trees spread out in a pretty obvious line through the woods. The trees are twisted. Terrifying in a way that any superstitious redneck who managed to wander out this far would probably turn tail and run from, only to go home and spread rumours of some kind of haunted forest – which would keep even more people away.
And that’s just another sneaky trick.
But it’s not one that’s going to fool Dean. He knows that those trees were fucking grown like that. Grown to have clawed branches, bent like grabbing hands with broken, warped trunks that somehow almost make them look alive. And they weren’t carved to look like that. It’s not even something that could be carved by Humans, let alone something that actually happens normally in nature.
But that’s the whole reason he’s here, isn’t it? He’s not out here hunting Humans. He’s not even hunting deer, or bears, or anything else that featured in Bambi. He’s out here, freezing his nuts off every night, because he’s hunting Angels.
Sometimes Dean wishes that Angels were like how they’re described in the Bible. How people from time too old for him to care much about thought Angels were messengers and warriors of God, protectors of Humans. He knows that how they’re really described in the Bible is actually pretty terrifying, but at least they were told by God that they’re supposed to love Humans, right?
That’s a thousand times better than what Angels really turned out to be. At least the Angels in the Bible aren’t hateful, jealous sons of bitches with the only goal in life to be the eradication of the Human race. And, of fucking course, it’s the creatures with the shitty notions of world domination that get the super powers. Specifically speaking, the ticking time bombs got the power to control – of all things – nature.
Typhoons, tornadoes, tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanoes – whatever you name, you can bet damn good money that Angels are the ones behind it. The fuckers basically live to mess up everything that Humans have going. Oh, your culture is thriving? Let’s sink your island into the sea. (Yes, he is basically ninety-nine percent sure that is exactly what happened to Atlantis.)
The whole reason that he’s out here is because, according to Bobby’s tip, all the signs point to ‘yes’. There’s at least one Angel in these woods. Local legends going back a good hundred years or more claim that a spirit walks these woods; healing animals, growing plants and flowers that normally don’t take root in this part of America – let alone this part of the world – and ‘purifying’ (whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean) the lakes and rivers in the area. The locals (and Dean uses that term very loosely) don’t bother the ‘forest spirit’. They stay the hell away from this place, and who could really blame them with those creepy fucking trees.
But all these signs point to Angels.
Dean has no idea how many of them are out there, but they don’t seem to be spreading their good cheer much farther past that line of fucked up trees and those lakes and rivers. Rather than press on into foreign territory without knowing how many enemies might be lying in wait, Dean has done what he does best. He’s put out traps just like he always did for his dad. There’s one glaring difference between this time and all of those. This time he isn’t just trapping them, wearing them down for John to get in the last hit. This is going to be the first time that he gets to finish an Angel off himself.
His traps are centered on that grove, but he’s spread them up the path and out through the woods in all directions. There are nets, bear traps, spring loaded harpoons, and about a half dozen other things – most of which Dean made himself. Not that John ever used them, or complimented him about them or anything – but hey, he’s not bitter. Bobby’s taken a few of the prototypes that worked out well enough and he’s made more, shared them with other hunters. That’s pretty flattering, actually.
Each of his traps has a built in sensor and they’re all radio-waved straight into the three laptops he’s got hooked up on the table and eating away at their batteries. Thank God he’s got a solar powered charger to keep everything charged. He’s got a few extra canisters of gas stored for the generator whenever he needs to cook, or take a shower, or whatever the hell else this rusty can needs for it to run. It only kicks in whenever he uses something that needs it.
More than once some poor sap of an animal has set off one of the traps. Dean doesn’t like killing animals unnecessarily and thankfully he hasn’t needed to. Most of his traps are designed to incapacitate instead of kill. It’s kind of hunter code to take down an Angel yourself.
To be honest, it’s the part he’s least looking forward to.
The Angels he and John have taken down before were known Human haters. But these ones? Dean doesn’t know. There’s nothing bad about them that he’s heard, and no news reports in the area have mentioned anything about Humans dying in any ways that weren’t natural or weather related – beyond that whole ‘got lost in the woods’ gambit. Not even Bobby’s research said anything bad about them. And that doesn’t sit well with Dean.
Maybe that’s why he’s having trouble sleeping.
Dean turns over, bumping his knee on the cabinet under the sink. Fucking tiny spaces. He’s too big for this tin can. He misses sleeping in a normal bed and having Sam within pillow-throwing range. It’s been a few months since he spoke to him and it’s bugging him. Dean always tries to make the effort to talk to him at least once a month. Before he got this job, there had been something about exams that Sam was too busy with and Dean had been on a pretty tough hunt with John – not that Sam even wants to talk when John is around.
Those two haven’t spoken to each other in over three years. Not since Sam announced he doesn’t believe in hunting Angels and that he wants to go to law school instead. And to top it all off - to piss John off even more - Sam said he was going to law school for Angel Rights. Jesus, the fight that came out of that little declaration still makes Dean’s stomach twist and his chest gets tight.
The fight, Angel Rights, and basically everything having to do with what Dean does are topics that he and Sam try to avoid at all costs. Any mention of either usually results in a screaming match that threatens to blow out the speakers on both their phones. It doesn’t matter that Sam was a baby when their mom died. So what if he didn’t know her like John and Dean did. Mary was still his mom and Sam should still want to get back at the fuckers who took her from them.
His alarm clock is blinking too-fucking-early o’clock and he maybe dozed a couple hours worth of sleep throughout the night. It’s too early in spring for the sun to be more than peaking over the horizon, but with the mountains and trees, he’ll be lucky if he sees anything for another hour. There had still been a bit of snow on the ground when Dean had come up here, but it cleared up a week and a half ago. Though there’s still that crisp spring-cold at night. If he’s going to be out here much longer, he’s going to need to get another blanket on his next venture to the nearest town.
His provisions last about two weeks before he has to make a trip to the closest convenience store. It’s a helluva drive and takes the better part of a day to get there and back. He usually spends the entire trip paranoid out of his mind that an Angel is going to set off one of the traps and Dean will end up missing them entirely.
Luckily, he’s got about another week to go before he has to make that trip again. As for now, he might as well get up, fry some bacon and eggs, toast some bread and spend another eighteen hours bored out of his goddamn mind. Maybe he’ll make a stop at a bookstore, get some Vonnegut or Bukowski. Pick up one he hasn’t read in a while. Either way, he needs something more than spank bank material. You can only read so many of the articles in Busty Asian Beauties before you’re sick of basically everything to do with them.
Maybe he’ll make a weekend out of it - damn the traps for the time being - and find a pool hall. He can line his pockets and maybe find a little tail for the evening. It’s been weeks since he’s gotten his game on and Not-So-Mini-Dean has an itch that needs scratching.
He groans and pulls his pillow over his head. That’s the last thing he needs to think about right now. Lack of sleep doesn’t at all help any form of morning wood - which he hasn’t had in too long and he’s starting to think something might be wrong downstairs. Jesus, he needs to get out and stretch his legs, see some people, do something. Dean may not be a social butterfly, but even he can’t stand being alone for three weeks straight.
Dean crawls out of bed backwards, the blanket going over his head as he drags himself to his knees and groans loudly – like there’s anyone around to care – as he gets to his feet. He shuffles to the bathroom for his morning ritual - minus teeth brushing because he sure as hell isn’t eating anything after making his mouth taste all minty fresh. That is reserved for after breakfast. And if he decides to brave cooking bacon shirtless, it’s because he’s a manly man and he likes the thrill. But mostly it’s because the trailer is pretty toasty and he should turn the damn heater off and just tough out the chill with a sweater and socks.
Any thoughts of breakfast go out the damn window right around the time Dean is pulling on his jeans. He falls over, cracking his elbow on the little shit contraption that passes for a stove. Dean barely notices the shot of pain up his arm because one of those fucking laptops is going insane. And that means one thing and one thing only.
One of the traps has been set off.