A/N: I am trying my hand at AU-fic and own absolutely nothing. Name of the story is from Dustin Lynch's Cowboys and Angels. Forest County is not based on anywhere in particular, and any similarities to any one place are unintentional. Reviews and the like = awesome!
The fair opened for the first day of the season July 1st. Herds of people flocked to the county's biggest event of the year, riding roller coasters, drinking too much beer under the hot sun, looking at arts and crafts and animals, and attending performances on the dozens of stages scattered about the grounds. While the turnout was incredible, the biggest attraction – the Annual Forest County Horse Show- wouldn't start until July 5th, and by then, even more people would be expected.
In one of the three horse barns, Dean and Sam Winchester were grooming their horses after practicing for their upcoming barrel racing competitions. Both were dressed in lightweight button-up shirts, faded jeans, and cowboy boots and hats. They smelled pungently of horses and sweat, and were covered in thin layers of dust. After a great practice, both boys were feeling a pleasant mix of tired and confident.
"You think Impala's going to do better than Dodge?" Sam scoffed, calling through the bars separating the two horses' stalls. "She's going to be a hundred years old this year."
"Shut up, bitch," Dean scowled, tossing a clump of sawdust at his brother.
"Jerk." Sam stuck out his tongue, and laughed as the sawdust fell harmlessly to the ground. "We're going to kick their asses, Dodge."
Sam's horse, a sleek, powerful-looking black quarter horse, ignored him and continuing munching on his hay. Sam patted the horse's neck affectionately. He was so blessed to have Dodge. Dean's and his trainer was an old family friend, Bobby Singer, a curmudgeonly, but ultimately soft-hearted man, who had had a terrible car accident leaving his legs paralyzed. When their mother had died in a barn fire, along with most of their horses, Bobby had hired on their father as his farm manager and when their father had too passed on, had basically become their surrogate father. After the accident had cut his competitive career short, Bobby had given Sam Dodge, a horse so well-bred and full of potential, that Sam never would have been able to afford him otherwise. While Sam hated charity, he wouldn't look this gift horse in the mouth.
Dean's horse, on the other hand, was somewhat of an eyesore. When Impala was younger, she had carried Dean and Sam's father to victory hundreds of times. Since the mare had turned out to be infertile, their father had considered her worthless for his and Bobby's business, but loved her too much to sell her. Instead, he gave her to Dean so he could learn to ride and get invested in the family business – breeding, training, and competing Quarter Horses. The old mare wasn't much to look at, with an overly long neck and back, short legs, and a bulky head. Yet, she still had those powerful Quarter Horse hindquarters, and, as their father had put it, "the kind of good breeding you don't see anymore.
"I wonder if anyone's ever going to claim those stalls," Sam said, noticing the empty row of stalls across the barn aisle. "Shouldn't they be here by now?"
"I heard it's one of those fancy, rich-kid stables," Dean muttered. "You know, fifty thousand dollar horses, engraved tack boxes, stable hands to do the chores."
"Ugh, I'm so sick of them," Sam groaned. "How much do you want to bet they don't ride Western? You know, they wear those awful, tan tights instead of jeans?"
"Yeah, a bunch of whiny, spoiled rich girls and their neurotic horses," Dean said. "Hey, speak of the devil."
He gestured to the barn doors, where a large horse trailer had just parked. Two men, obviously hired stablehands, were unlatching the trailer door. A few girls jumped out of a nearby truck and began unloading their gear. The boys couldn't help but watch in horror as the girls began hanging up expensive-looking horse cooling sheets. Each was monogrammed with the letters P.F. in fancy cursive and each one probably cost more than Dean and Sam's monthly living expenses. The girls next began decorating the stalls with elegant, velvety banners that read: "Paradise Farms – breeding and training Heaven's Horses since 1950." Each rider had a custom-made T-shirt with the same words on the fronts and little angel wings emblazoned on the backs.
"Those have got to be the gayest things I've ever seen," Dean chuckled. "Imagine a dude wearing one."
"Excuse me?" a voice called icily from the aisle. The speaker was a striking guy, about Sam's age, with piercing blue eyes and a body that looking surprisingly good in his winged shirt. He was leading a well-groomed black and white Appaloosa, who also had eerily blue eyes.
"Ignore them," a boy behind him said. This boy was shorter, with golden-brown hair that matched his horse's coat. The horse was not particularly tall or muscular for a Quarter Horse, but he had a look in his eye that suggested these features belied his true abilities. "Just get Jimmy in his stall so we can get out of here."
The blue-eyed boy muttered under his breath, but led his horse away. He put his horse away in an empty stall and hung up a small banner, which read, "Jimmy, owned by Castiel Novak."
Dean slipped out of Impala's stall, flustered and hoping to get a chance to apologize, but the shorter boy stopped and turned to face him before he could. "You have good taste, Brokeback, but he's taken," he added, with a wink, before leading his horse away. The boy put his horse in a stall adjacent to Jimmy's, and tacked up a similar banner, which read, "Loki, owned by Gabriel Novak."
Sam quickly stowed their brushes in their ancient tack box, and pulled Dean after him. "Come on. We should probably go talk to Bobby about our rides."