FREE SPIRIT

A/N: Of all the stories I've ever written, the one that has given me the most personal pleasure was 'Wish You Were Here', and I have been considering bringing back an original female character from that story ever since I wrote it.

But I wanted, at all costs, to avoid some kind of soppy, romcom-style schmaltz-fest, so I have waited until I could think of a plot with a little more meat on its bones. And I think (I hope) this is it.

It will be a fair amount of angst and drama, my usual dose of humour and banter, a little bit of hurty comfort, and a dash of romance. It would help if you had read 'Wish You Were Here' beforehand, but I will try to make this so that it can stand alone.

Warning: Could be interpreted as a death!fic (not the boys) or equally could be interpreted as a happy ending. Guess that depends on whether your glass is half empty or half full!

Usual rules apply; not canon, no spoilers, rated T for a few naughty words.

Summary: The weather Channel never forecasted this; a series of freak wind gusts seemingly picking off individuals? Sounds like a case for … no, not the Winchesters, but a blast from their past. Since when have those boys ever needed any encouragement to lend a hand?

Disclaimer: I don't own them, I'm just harmlessly deluded.

xxxxx

Chapter 1 - Prologue

Two years after 'Wish You Were Here' – Sam's POV

One thing Dean has never been remotely interested in is the weather.

It could be blazing sunshine, a howling gale, six feet of snow or lashing rain, but the job was the job. We'd be out on the hunt, or stuck in some stuffy library or skeevy motel room and Dean didn't care. It made no difference to where we pitched up – I mean, that's what heating and a/c is for, right? It made no difference to what we did.

When you've been cold and muddy and wet as much as we have, you get kinda indifferent to it; it becomes a part of your everyday existence, as much as the air that you breathe. You take it for granted and don't give it a thought.

In fact the only time I ever heard Dean get the slightest bit animated about the weather was when he's ever had to wash mud or road salt off the Impala. Oh yeah, and the time a mini-tornado in Oklahoma dropped a barn door on top of her; he got pretty vocal then.

So, yeah, Dean wasn't exactly one to bother about catching the weather forecast.

But after that awful day a year ago, it all changed.

xxxxx

Now Dean can't wait to be outside, savouring the fresh air.

Whether it be a summer breeze or a winter squall, he loves to feel the wind on his face, and I've become quite used to sitting in the impala with the window wound down, arriving at our destination looking like I've been blown to kingdom come.

Whenever we arrive in a new motel, the window gets opened even before the TV gets turned on.

Sometimes, I swear I can catch a scent on the air. Sometimes it's sweet and fragrant like rose petals, other times it's sharper, fresher; more like limes or pine trees. I don't tell Dean because I know if I can smell it, so can he.

But mostly I'll catch him occasionally, smiling quietly with a faraway look in his eye, letting the breeze ruffle his hair. He loves to watch birds ride the air currents, soaring wild and free; to watch fat white clouds tumbling across a blue sky; to listen to the sound of the wind in the trees, and watch the grass waving and rippling as the wind combs through it.

And I don't disturb him.

xxxxx

tbc

Sorry this is only a teeny, tiny chapter – just a little scene-setter to kick things off.