The standard disclaimers...I don't own anything from Supernatural...rest is all mine. And thanks ahead of time for any reviews.
i Horses burst into the clearing. Their shadows long and eerie in the twilight. There were two, galloping breakneck across the expanse of long grass, away from the forest. It seemed to be winter, only the pines were covered, the other trees bare. The first horse was a deep red, with creamy tail rippling the air in his wake. The second a deep tan, black legs.
Sam squinted at the riders, but couldn't make out their faces. Only that the lead horse carried a woman. She reined the horse in letting the second rider overtake her. Breath from the galloping horses puffed a lead trail of big, white clouds. Something or rather several somethings flickered and jerked, skimming the ground.
Fleeing the riders.
Someone, on foot flashed in from another direction just out of Sam's vision. A taller man stood blocking the path of the apparitions. He ran at the specters.
Taking the reins in one hand the male rider raised the other, revolver held firm, and fired.
One apparition gone.
The runner stopped, took aim………another apparition bit the afterworld dust. A split second later the man was running again, the blood-colored horse was slowed even more, direction changed to the runner. She approached, held out an arm. The man grasped hers firmly, bounced two steps and leapt onto the horse behind her. Immediately the animal sped up, catching the male rider. The taller of the runners waited. The blood horse, now traveling a relaxed canter circled him once then stopped, his second rider dropping to the ground.
…Dean /i !
"Dean." The shout in Sam's vision was nothing more than a mere wheeze in reality. Jackhammers hopped around the inside of Sam's head enthusiastically. Thumbs ground against his forehead, and in some distant sort of way he wondered why he bothered, nothing made the pain go until it was damn good and ready to go.
The car had stopped, Sam was vaguely aware of that. He nearly fell out when the door beside him vanished. "Arrgghhh…" Yeah, that was an intelligent response.
Gratefully the door somehow had been magically replaced by hands. Familiar, reassuring, not terribly steady hands. With a bit of help from the hands he was able to swing his legs out, so he could lean over, rest his elbows on his knees. Dizziness slammed into him. Sam knew it would, but that didn't lessen the impact any. He reached out, knowing there'd be something to grab, balled his fist in soft leather and groaned louder.
Dean had to shift his weight quick to avoid being slammed face first into his car when Sam grabbed his jacket and lurched at him. One hand firmly on Sam's shoulder, his other shot out then connected with the car with a loud 'thwank.'
"Whoa, Sam…..don't beat up the car, dude."
Dean let out the breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding in. Once he started getting responses from Sam, Dean knew the vision was fading away. He also knew exactly what that jerking his brother's body abruptly started meant. Dean sidestepped just in time to avoid having the contents of Sam's stomach land on his boots.
Still holding Sam's shoulder, Dean dropped his other hand lightly on top of Sam's head and cautiously moved directly in front of Sam again. "It's going away, just another few minutes."
Dean moved deftly to one side. More heaving, but bile this time. Sam had a moment of panic when Dean's hands, and presence suddenly just vanished. He'd barely had time to process the thought, when his brother was back. This was just friggin' freaky.
"Hey." Dean's voice was soft, gentle. One hand back Sam's shoulder. "Look at me."
Sam moved his head slowly till he could look into his brother's eyes. A water bottle floated between him and his brother. Grateful, Sam took it. The first gulp he swished around his mouth and spit it out. The rest he drank.
"Uh…no, not too fast. You'll just puke again." Dean held the other end of the bottle, tipping it away from Sam just a bit. Dean squatted in front of him, one hand against his shoulder, propping him up, the other now resting on his knee. After another minute Dean's hand left his knee, hooked under his chin and lifted his head to look directly into his eyes. "A little less glazed. Vision gone?"
Sam nodded weakly.
In the past year or so he'd been having these visions Dean, defender of the universe—well Sam's universe, had devised what he cheerfully called Shinning first aid. It became routine. The after effects were lessened if Sam could be stayed still. This generally wasn't too difficult since it was a rare vision that allowed Sam to continue walking and talking. Dean learned quickly to get him somewhere easily cleaned since Sam would almost always throw up at some point. Dean's only choice was to wait out the vision. Something Sam knew was the most difficult for his older brother. Dean hated that part more than anything. Standing there, watching, feeling useless. Though Sam had told him time and time again, his presence was by and far the single most important thing to Sam when those visions struck.
Dean stood, gazed at their surroundings and rubbed the back of Sam's neck. The road was thankfully deserted. "How ya doing kiddo?"
Sam took a few deep breaths, slowly straightening. "Better."
Dean eyed him carefully, then spread his hands wide, cocked his head to one side and raised his eyebrows.
Sam smiled and held up one hand. "Dude, I intend to tell you, just give me a minute. Unless you want me to hurl at you again?"
"Better not jerk."
"Bitch." Sam came back with half a laugh. "Maybe we could not talk about this in front of a puddle of vomit?"
Dean shrugged, helped him swing around back into the car then jogged to the driver's side. A few miles further they found a rest stop. It was a cool, sunny June afternoon. The place was mostly empty and there were picnic tables. Dean went inside and grabbed some ginger ale for Sam, coke and M&M's for himself. Sam had settled himself at one of the tables by the time his brother returned.
"Thanks." He took the offered can of pop. "Dean, that vision, it was…." He groped for the right word, finding none he just settled for the one foremost in his muddied brain. "Weird."
The hand holding Dean's pop stopped halfway to his mouth. He arched one eyebrow and snorted a laugh. "Cause all the other visions are so normal."
"No, I meant, not a normal vision. There were two people, in a clearing, on galloping horses. Chasing something, a few somethings, spirits of some kind I think. There were two other men with them, on foot, but I couldn't see their faces, any of their faces. I don't know what they look like. One guy, one on foot reminded me of you, but I'm not sure it was you. And nothing about the scenery stood out."
Dean nodded thoughtfully, "so what happened to them, what killed them?"
"Nothing." Sam took another drink. "That's part of it being weird. Whatever they were fighting, Dean….. i they won /i !"
"Well, that's good… new… but good." He held out the bag of M&M's.
"One of the riders used a revolver to kill a spirit." Sam waved off the candy, wouldn't that look pretty regurgitated? "And, dude, they were hunters, like us, I'm sure. But they were on horses."
"Maybe a connection to the Colt? Dad said there had been hunters back then, on horses. Maybe it was the gun your vision was really about, not the people?"
Sam shook his head, then wished he hadn't. "No. This was now, modern clothes, their other weapons were modern. It wasn't the Colt. And one wasn't a man."
Dean grinned a positively wicked grin, his eyes lit up. "Was she hot?"
"I don't know!" Sam's voice cracked a bit.
"Well, damn Sammy," Dean's hand thumped the table, "the best vision you've had yet. A hot hunter chick on a horse. So, how do we find her….them?"
"I don't know. I never saw a face. And how many horses do you suppose we see in a week?"
"What did the horses look like?"
"One was dark red, almost blood colored, and had a whitish mane and tail…." He shivered a bit at the thought. "A blood horse."
Dean cut in, "liver chestnut with flaxen mane."
Sam stared at him a moment, then continued when Dean poked his arm. "The other had black legs and the rest of him was tan, almost gold."
"Buckskin." Dean grinned even more, downed the rest of his pop, stuffed the bag of M&M's in his pocket and stood up. " i Bonanza. /i That was Ben Cartwright's horse, a buckskin." He shrugged a bit. "So I like westerns. Never know what you'll learn from them." He swung one long leg, then the other over the table seat, reached across the table and thumped happily on Sam's shoulder. "Come on, we need to find us a couple of horses with a hot chick."
They looked for the horses for weeks. The vision never repeated, and horses matching the ones Sam had seen were never found. It faded from Sam's memory, and after a month or so, with no way to track any of it down, he'd all but forgotten it.
But Dean didn't forget. Not one of Sam's visions did he ever forget.