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Fic: Cowboy Dreams (Supernatural, PG)

Title: Cowboy Dreams
Fandom: Supernatural
Characters: Dean Winchester
Genre: Gen
Rating: PG
Word Count: 1072
Warnings/Spoilers: None
Disclaimer: Fanfic, for fun, not profit.
Summary/Notes: Written for the tvrealm challenge Don't Stop Believing where you were to listen to 10 different, random songs and create something for them. I chose to write, minimum word count was 50. I'm linking the song because you may never have heard it -- or just would like to hear it again!

Country Bumpkin – Cal Smith


Cowboy Dreams

It was the middle of June and the Winchesters were in some dusty western Arizona town that was so small that the single motel didn’t even have air conditioning. Dad was working at the local garage trying to earn enough to pay for repairs to the Impala, so six-year-old Dean was left sitting under the feeble shade of the mostly leafless trees that lined the parking lot of their motel, playing with some old toy soldiers and trying to keep Sammy entertained in the playpen that they had set up. It was a losing battle and Sammy had spent most of the morning crying his fool head off despite everything Dean did to try and distract him.

It was to the sound of Sammy’s incessant wailing that Dean watched a small speck move closer and closer as it slowly made it’s way down the road. Of all the things Dean imagined it being, a horse wasn’t one of them. And he certainly didn’t envision an old-fashioned cowboy, complete with Stetson and chaps, to be riding it.

Dean watched as the cowboy slowly rode past, the smell of horse, leather and sweat following with him. Sammy’s cries were the only sound and Dean almost thought that the man didn’t even know they were there, until the cowboy reined to a stop and swung around to look at them. Dean immediately stood and moved between the cowboy and Sammy.

“Howdy.” The word was drawled out slow and musical. The horse snorted and for a second Dean almost believed that the animal was echoing the greeting. “Don’t reckon you know if the general store is open?”

Dean nodded. “They’re open every day until six.” Dean knew this because when his dad got off at five, they always went there to get food for supper. He nodded toward main street. “It’s just a couple blocks that way.” He paused. “I didn’t know you could take horses into town.”

The cowboy shrugged. “Maybe not in the big city, but ‘round here they don’t much care. As long as the horse behaves.” He patted the horse on the neck and then swung out of the saddle in one smooth motion that was all grace and creaking leather. “Ole Buck here likes comin’ to town once and a while, so he behaves himself just fine.”

The horse dropped its head and sniffed at the ground, back leg cocked and swatting lazily at flies with its tail, seeming to ignore everything. Dean couldn’t imagine it ever misbehaving. Sammy, tired of being ignored, gave out a mighty scream and pulled at the playpens walls, but the horse barely twitched an ear his way.

The cowboy glanced over, however. “You watchin’ over the baby?”

“Sammy’s my brother. He’s two.” Dean turned to Sammy and tried to calm him with one of the stuffed toys littered in the bottom of the pen. “I look after him. It’s my job.” Dean bit his lip and wished his brother would just stop crying for a minute. Something about the quiet cowboy made Dean want to prove he was a good big brother. “I just don’t know what’s wrong with him today.”

“It’s a hard job, partner.” The cowboy smiled with tobacco stained teeth. “And I can tell you’re good at it, but maybe you need something new.” He reached up and pulled the hat off his head. Dust fell off it while he fiddled with something on the brim. A moment later he unwound a long sting of leather with a silver medallion attached to the end of it. It sparkled in the bright sun and Sammy stopped crying as his eyes followed it.

“All youngin’s like shiny things. They’re like crows that way.” He put the hat back on his head and held the hatband out toward them. Sammy obviously wanted to take it, but he didn’t reach of it, instead he looked at Dean.

The cowboy laughed. “Look at that. He knows who’s lookin’ out for him.” He instead offered the trinket to Dean. “Do you reckon your little brother would like a new shiny to play with?”

Dean hesitated a moment, and then took it from him. The leather was old and the medallion was merely a stamped metal oval with a design etched into it. Sammy reached out for it. “De’n? Yes?”

Dean sighed. “I’m sure he would, but I can’t take charity.” He offered the hatband back.

“I don’t suppose you could,” the cowboy agreed. “How ‘bout we make a trade?”

Dean frowned. “Trade what?”

“Well,” the cowboy drawled, “it just so happens that I’m missing a man or two from my collection of toy soldiers. I think that it’d be a fair exchange if you’d give me two of your soldiers for that little bit o’ shiny.”

Dean studied the cowboy’s face for a moment, trying to see if he was teasing him. But the old man just stared back at him, impassive, patient. Sammy kept reaching for the headband and Dean finally gave in. “All right,” he said. He crouched down and quickly sorted through his collection. “These are the two best ones,” he said, once he selected two of them. “Sammy hasn’t even chewed on them yet.” He held them out.

The cowboy took each one and inspected them. Finally, he nodded. “These will do just fine.” He pulled out a handkerchief from his pocked and carefully wrapped the two soldiers in it.

When he turned to put them in the leather bags tied behind the saddle, Dean handed the hatband to Sammy. Sammy laughed and dropped to the floor of the pen, eyes only for his new toy. When Dean looked back, the cowboy had gathered the reins. Dean impulsively held out his hand to shake. “Thank you for the trade, sir,” he said.

The cowboy laughed, a deep throaty chuckle that somehow seemed out of place in the craggy seriousness of his face. “Well, I’ll be,” he said. “The pleasure was all mine. Now you take care of your brother, you hear? And yourself, too.”

“Yes, sir,” Dean responded, automatically standing a little straighter. “I will.”

Dean watched as the cowboy swung back onto his horse. The man gave a slow wave goodbye and then rode off. When he finally turned the corner and went out of sight, Dean looked back at Sammy who was still playing with the ‘shiny’.

“You know what, Sammy,” he said. “When I grow up, I’m gonna be a cowboy!”

Comments

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catsintheattic
Apr. 14th, 2013 06:22 am (UTC)
This had a slightly surreal feeling to it, and yet the conversation was completely believable. Love it, and love your explanation of Dean's fascination with cowboys!
boysinperil
Apr. 14th, 2013 04:20 pm (UTC)
I love that song!! And the story you've crafted from it is lovely.
roxymissrose
Apr. 15th, 2013 08:05 pm (UTC)
This was a great story, fun and a little sad. It's every little boy's fantasy to meet and *be* a cowboy but we know what little chance there is of Dean's dream come true--then again, it did sort of, didn't it? :)
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