saberivojo (saberivojo) wrote in spn_bigpretzel,

Fic - Just Like John Wayne.

Title: Just Like John Wayne
Genre: Gen
Characters: John, Dean and Sam.
Summary: may7fic asked for cowboys so here is cowboys! Sort of.  It turns out John is not much of a cowboy. :)

“Just like John Wayne, eh Dad?”

John rolled his eyes.  This was not the way to travel.  He looked longingly at the Impala safely parked out in front of the ranch.

“I’m telling you, Mr. Winchester.” Lander was saying matter-of-factly, “The only way for you to get up in that high country is on horseback. ”

John looked speculatively at the large bay gelding standing hip cocked, lazily swishing his tail at what probably was a fly. It was dangerous.  Horses were inherently dangerous.  What if it wasn’t swishing at a fly? What if it was a bee?  A killer bee!

If the bee stung the horse that was probably not a good thing.  John had no contingency plan for a freaking-out horse.  There was just none available.

John liked contingency plans.

A nice rousing hike in the high country seemed like a great idea.

Lander furrowed a brow in John’s direction, “Now, Mr. Winchester, don’t even think about it.  Horses are the safest and fastest way to navigate that country.  You want your boys safe and sound right?”

Safe?  Horses didn’t seem to be safe. They were big ass unpredictable animals. Who was to say the damn horses wouldn’t throw them off?  Stomp them? Bite them with their big yellow teeth?

Out of the corner of his eye he saw a blur that he was pretty sure was number one son.

“Dean!” John shouted, but it was too late.

Dean had grabbed the saddle horn of a gray gelding and launched himself up and over the saddle in an athletic move that could probably never be duplicated again.  Except maybe a gymnast.  The horse oomphed quietly as the fifteen-year-old settled in the saddle.

“See, Dad! Piece of cake!”

“Dean! Get off that damn thing!”  John had visions of broken bones and horseshoe-shaped prints on Dean’s head.

Dean laughed, “How can we go on this hunting trip without the horse?”

John almost groaned.  The whole situation was fubar.  He decided that ignoring his oldest was the best bet.

“What’s its name?”  John gestured toward the bay horse whose lower lip was slack and eyes were slit in the early morning sun.

“That’s Fred.”

“Fred?”  That could not be a good name for a horse.

“Mr. Cowboy over there,” the rancher nodded to Dean, “Is on Buster.”

“And for your youngest, we have Candy.”  Lander nodded to a young girl who led a leopard appaloosa out of the barn.


The look on Sam’s stricken face was almost too much as the spotted mare was brought up to him.

“Shut up,” John growled at Dean.  He wished the kid was in smacking range.

“Aw, Candy’s not a clown horse, kid.  She’s an appaloosa.” The rancher smiled indulgently at both boys and peered up from under his cowboy hat.  Freakin’ cowboys – boots and ropes and cows and horses.  Give him an old-fashioned city thug any day.

Suddenly Sam brightened, “Yeah, I remember.  We talked about them in history class.  Appaloosas are associated with the Nez Perce Native Americans, right, Mr. Lander?”

“That’s right.  Candy’s an old school Indian horse.”

“Native American,” Sam corrected enthusiastically.

Mr. Lander laughed, “Yup, you’re right again!”

John looked at Lander, at his weathered jeans and tanned face, deeply lined with crinkles around his eyes.  Give the guy a fat gut and a white beard and he’d be Santa Claus.  Well, that and exchange the cowboy hat for the elf cap.

Lander was like a freaking elf in more ways than one.  The Christmas bullshit elves, not the fae elves that had been known to annoy the shit out of John. Case in point, this man was entirely too jolly as far as John was concerned.  Probably all the horse shit Lander had inhaled all of his life.  Either that or he was supernatural in some way.

John berated himself.  The guy was just an unnaturally happy dude.  Besides this was just a scouting mission.  They wouldn’t be gone too long, that is, unless he stumbled on the Black Dog

“Okay, kid.  Let me show you how to mount Candy.  And Dad? You can watch too.”

John curbed the impulse to hit the guy.

“Face the back of Candy, kind of… “ Landers grinned easy at Sam, “then gather her reins in your left hand. Place your left foot in the stirrup, give a hop and swing your right over her back. Easy!”

Sam listened to Lander with far more attention than he ever gave John, eyes bright with excitement.  A moment later Sam was sitting on Candy, million-watt smile shining bright.

“Okay, Dad.  Your turn!” Lander practically beamed.

John seriously wanted to kill him.

John looked at Fred who seemed to care less what John was doing now or had ever done in his entire life, for that matter.

John marched determinedly toward Fred.  He approximated Sam’s actions and went to pull himself up over the horse.

Suddenly he was lying on the ground gazing up at the underbelly of Fred.

“Mr. Winchester!”  Lander was leaning over concerned, “We hadn’t tightened the girth on Fred! Are you okay?  Can I give you a hand?”

“No!” John grumbled, deftly rolling out of the way of Fred’s lethal hooves.

Apparently though, Fred’s killer instincts were layered under years of domesticity.  Or maybe he was just really clever at concealing them. The horse didn’t so much as blink at John.  It did sigh though.  John didn’t think that horses sighed but he could swear this one did.  Then again, maybe it just burped.  Could horses burp?  John put both questions out of his mind and stood up with a bounce.

Once he was sufficiently sure he was not going to be trampled by Fred The Killer Horse, he turned his attention to the boys.  Dean was chuckling.  Low, it was true but John could see the barely contained merriment in the boy’s eyes.  Sam’s expression was a combination of horror and disbelief.

It occurred to John he should ground them both.

“Always check your saddle, Mr. Winchester.”  Lander spoke solemnly.

Lander then proceeded to school John on how to tighten and release the girth.  Following was a quick lesson on saddling and bridling and finally a short course on steering and stop and go.   The boys watched as carefully as John did.  Both boys turned the horses left and right and walked a few steps either way.  They pulled back the reins and the horses stopped like they knew what they were doing.  Despite John’s overall distrust of non-mechanical things, it appeared the boys were handling the horses just fine. Maybe this wouldn’t be too bad after all?

“These three horses are great trail horses. Just untack them and let them be.  They won’t wander, they’ll stay together – no need to picket or hobble them. “

John offered a brief thanks to whoever was listening.  Untack? Picket and hobble? That sounded incredibly sounded dangerous.

Or at least bloody.

He was thankful there was to be no tacking, picketing or hobbling.

“Okay Mr. Winchester.  You’re ready to go!   I’ve taken the liberty of packing a few provisions for you.”  Lander patted the saddlebag behind Fred’s saddle.

“Won’t need ‘em.”  John said gruffly, suddenly feeling the need to be in control of the situation. Lander nodded affably, “No worries…they are there if you want them.” John didn’t even bother to answer.  He walked over to Fred with a confidence he didn’t feel.  Horses could sense shit like that, he was pretty sure.

Besides, he was a Marine.  He’d fought in the jungles of Vietnam.  He was tough. He fought fugly things as a fucking job. He would not be outflanked by a damn horse.

John checked the girth, placed his left foot in the stirrup, hopped and swung his right leg over then settled his ass in the saddle.   Then he slid his right leg into the other stirrup.

It wasn’t as flashy as Dean’s mounting nor as joyful as Sammy’s but the horse didn’t groan when John’s considerable weight hit the saddle either.  It also didn’t start bucking.  John considered it a win.

John tentatively turned the horse toward the mountains that were his goal.  Fred obediently moved in that direction.  For a moment John thought it might work.

Suddenly there was a whoop and the sound of hooves from behind John.  Dean had managed to send Buster off in a cloud of dust, quickly followed by the circus horse.  The boys were ahead of him in no time at all yelling like a couple of banshees, except John didn’t think that banshees rode galloping horses.

“Boys!”  John barked, just as Fred, apparently taking that “staying together” speech to heart, took off after them, throttle up and in the red zone.  All John could do was grab the saddle horn, hold on and start praying.  If he survived, he was either going to kill the damn horse or the boys. Maybe both.

The last words he heard from Lander were, “Happy Trails, boys!”

Tags: author:saberivojo, dean, fic: gen, john, rating: g, sam, teenchesters

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