Dizzojay's Dean Dreams (dizzojay) wrote,
Dizzojay's Dean Dreams
dizzojay

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Way out West part 1 of 3 - massive scary spoilers for 6.18 Frontierland


One of my lovely and treasured readers on FF.net asked me if I would write a multi-chapter fic revolving around our scrumptious boys coming a cropper in the wild wild west.

After some consideration, cogitation and contemplation, I was happy to oblige with some 19th century whumping and schmoop (it's basically the same as 21st century whumping and schmoop only doesn't smell so good.
 

Step this way ...
 

WAY OUT WEST - big, big spoilers for 6.18, Frontierland

Rating: T
Genre: Hurt/Comfort/Angst/Humour (bit of everything really)
Word Count: 17,500 (in 3 parts)

xxxxx

What if Bobby's soul couldn't mend Castiel completely after the angel was attacked ...?

What if it was going to take a long time for Castiel to regain his strength ...?

What if he couldn't get the boys back ...?

What if I stop rambling and just get on with the story ..?

xxxxx

 

 

Chapter 1

Sunrise, Wyoming. 1861

Standing silently beside the smoking embers of the phoenix, the brothers stared at each other. Job done; they had found the colt and ganked the phoenix, gathering it's ashes as necessary, but the twenty four hours allocated to them by Castiel when he had sent them back one hundred and fifty years had ticked down some minutes ago and yet here they were, still standing amidst the dust and horse dung of 1861.

Dean squinted up into the cloudless sky; "c'mon Cas, shake your angel ass, we're all done here."

Sam watched his brother, a look of fear gradually creeping across his face.

"Dean, something's wrong."

Scraping a hand over his forehead, Dean fidgeted nervously as he spoke; "he's a freakin' angel, what the hell could possibly go wrong?" The look on his face, however, suggested that he didn't believe his own reassuring words any more than Sam did.

xxxxx

A pall of silence had settled over Bobby's house as the two occupants nursed their respective hurts. The pallid angel lay on the couch, nursing the stab wound in his stomach, blood still seeping thickly through the bandage that Bobby had applied after he had stumbled, bleeding profusely, through the door.

Bobby sat slumped limply across his desk. Allowing Castiel to touch his soul in order to heal himself had left the older man debilitated to the point that he was barely functioning.

He held his head in his hands, not wanting to hear the news that the angel had just imparted; "whad'ya mean you can't get them back?" he groaned.

"Your soul was not potent enough to fully heal me;" Castiel replied bluntly.

Looking up slowly, Bobby's heavy lidded eyes bored dangerously into the angel's melancholy face; "an' what's the matter with my damn soul?"

Castiel took a deep breath; "I am sorry, it is … um …"

The glare from the older hunter was making the angel squirm; "is … what?" he snarled.

Castiel shrunk into the couch as he responded in a small voice; "… old."

Bobby's glare darkened; "choose your next friggin' words carefully, otherwise this 'old' soul is gonna kick your holy damned ass all the way back to Heaven."

"It no longer has the spirit and energy that I require to heal me fully." Castiel looked down at his bandaged stomach. "I am very sorry."

Bobby tried and failed to stand up; "you mean you've been rootin' around in my damned innards for nothin'?" he roared.

"Not for nothing;" replied Castiel, "your soul has ensured that I will now survive and I will recover, but it will take time. I will heal at an almost human pace."

Shaking his head, Bobby grumbled quietly as he cleared his thoughts; "well, it looks like you an' me are both gonna be outta commission for a while; where does that leave the boys?"

The angel's piercing blue eyes took on a heartbreakingly solemn expression. "I will not be able to retrieve them until I am fully recovered."

"Well how long's it likely to take?" Bobby asked impatiently.

"Days, weeks? I do not know how long it would take a human to recover from a stab wound;" the angel replied with a sigh.

The older hunter's head slumped again.

"We can't leave them there to fend for themselves for that long;" snapped Bobby, not even trying to hide his irritation, "with Dean's smart mouth that boy could drop himself into a whole heap o' trouble in no time at all."

Castiel groaned, wincing as he tried to sit up; "but he does that all the time."

"Yeah, but unlike now, back then you could get yer neck stretched for sayin' the wrong damn thing!"

xxxxx

"Cas!" Dean stomped up and down the main street, waving his arms furiously, "Cas you sonofabitch …" he roared at the sky, "we're freakin' ready; get your freakin' feathery ass down here an' get us back."

Sam watched his agitated brother as he stormed and raged, gesticulating wildly at the sky, reflecting that Dean's love affair with the wild west seemed to have ended rather abruptly.

He placed a hand on his furious brother's shoulder.

"Dean, I think we need to work on the assumption that something's gone wrong." He hesitated for a moment, staring into Dean's penetrating green glare; "we might be stuck here."

"Oh, brilliant deduction Holmes," Dean snapped, rounding on Sam; "what the hell are we supposed to do, then?"

Sam shook his head, doing his best to remain calm as Dean began, by degrees, to implode; "don't know bro'; we'll just have to try to figure something out."

"And how do we do that, Einstein?" Dean aggressively jabbed Sam in the chest, "in case it's escaped your notice, there's no library, no internet, no sonofabitch cellphone signal … do I need to go on?"

Sam shrugged, "we'll just have to talk to folk round here."

Dean was, by now, hyperventilating slightly; "I don't think that would be such a good idea, Sam;" he muttered, glancing around shiftily, "whatever we do, I don't think we can stay in this town. "

Sam looked quizzically at his brother.

"Dude, I've just incinerated a man with a single bullet, and we're getting some very weird looks from the locals;" he took a deep breath which appeared to calm him slightly, and leaned into Sam, lowering his voice.

"These are god-fearing people, they're real twitchy about stuff that they view as witchcraft or black magic."

Now it was Sam's turn to look uneasy; he hadn't noticed it before but there were indeed a number of townsfolk timidly approaching the smoking ash pile and giving the Winchesters the kind of looks reserved for people with two heads.

"We stay here, an' if we're not careful, we'll wake up tomorrow mornin' friggin' murdered in our sleep," Dean snorted without taking his eyes off the milling townsfolk.

Sam blinked, "uh dude, we can't wake up if …"

"Shuddup."

"but … they wouldn't do anything, would they?" Sam whispered, "I mean, you're the sherriff."

"D'y think that matters to them, Sam?" Dean whispered frantically, "how do you think I got the job?"

"Ah!" Sam nodded.

Dean caught the eye of one old timer who was warily eyeing him, and rewarded him with his best shitfaced grin, seemingly unnerving the old man even further.

The brothers began to slowly back away from the encroaching townsfolk who were now actively poking at the ashes and pointing menacingly at them.

"Split?" whispered Sam.

"Split," nodded Dean.

The Winchesters cheerfully tipped their hats to the nervous population of Sunrise, Wyoming.

Then turned and hightailed it out of town.

xxxxx

"Well, I ain't gonna sit here with my thumb up my ass, waiting for weeks until your angel juice is back up an' runnin;" Bobby growled, "I've gotta try and do something for 'em."

He rose from his chair on shaking legs, and leaned heavily on the desk. "Jeez, what the hell d'you do? Feel like my insides have been scrambled."

"I am truly sorry," Castiel tried to sit up again, rubbing the unfamiliar rough fabric of the bandage around his middle through his open shirt; "I will offer any assistance I can give you."

Bobby rolled his eyes at the angel's pitiful attempts to rise; "never mind, ya dying swan; park y'ass an' rest up; need you to get better to get them boys back, 'case I can't find nothin'." Huffing and grumbling, he stumbled slowly toward his study. Castiel was sure he heard the words 'friggin' angels' as he watched the older man shuffle painfully on his way out of the room.

xxxxx

Puffing and panting, the brothers skidded to a halt as they passed the blacksmith's forge, spying two horses tethered outside. A knowing look passed between the two men.

The blacksmith, busy at his forge, didn't see the two hunched figures creep round beside the hitching rail to untie the horses, surreptitiously leading them away.

Nervously glancing behind him for fear of seeing pursuing townsfolk, Sam swung a leg over the back of the larger horse, a massive wall-eyed pinto, and swiftly settled into the saddle. He looked across at Dean, one foot planted in the stirrup, hopping around in increasingly irate circles as the second horse, a skittish appaloosa wheeled around, shying and fretting, dragging Dean along for the ride.

"Keep still ya friggin' brainless haybag ..."

"Uh Dean," Sam offered,

"shuddap," Dean grunted, fighting to still the snorting animal.

"But Dean ..."

"Sam, can it!" Dean tugged on the reins, finally managing to pull the agitated horse into angry submission and heaved himself inelegantly up into the saddle.

"Dean, you should …"

Sam cringed on hearing a startled squawk as the saddle suddenly sunk down to the horses belly heavily decanting it's unsettled rider into a heap on the floor.

"… tighten the girth"

Dean scrambled to his hands and knees as the appaloosa reared and took off, kicking a cloud of tawny dust into Dean's scowling face.

Watching the spectacle from his seat on the giant pinto's back, Sam hesitated.

"Y'ok dude?"

Dean coughed through the swirling dust and stumbled to his feet, brushing off his jeans; " jus' friggin' peachy," he grunted.

Sam reached out a hand, "c'mon Dean, we shouldn't hang around; we don't know who's following us."

Dean looked up at Sam and his shoulders slumped.

"C'mon," Sam encouraged, more urgently this time; "the blacksmith's gonna realise his customers are missing any time."

"Oh, man!" Dean sighed, and put a foot into the stirrup Sam had released to heave himself into the saddle behind his brother.

The horse snorted, tossing it's head at the extra burden which planted itself heavily behind it's rider.

"Hang on;" Sam instructed, waiting momentarily as Dean's arms reluctantly tightened around his waist.

He kicked the horse into a laboured, tottering canter at exactly the same time an outraged yell emanated from within the forge.

Neither brother looked back as Sunrise receded into the dust behind them.

xxxxx

Chapter 2

A good couple of hours passed before Castiel opened his eyes, gradually realising he had fallen asleep. Blinking in confusion, he looked around the darkened room, unsure of what to do next.

Eventually, after much deliberation and knowing Bobby was in his study, for want of anything else to do Castiel decided to join him.

He hauled himself to his feet, and gasped at the unfamiliar and spectacularly unpleasant human sensation of pain ripping through his abdomen as his laboured attempts to rise pulled on the wound.

Stooping painfully he cautiously made his way through to Bobby's study finding the older man asleep, slumped over his desk and snoring heartily into the dusty pages of an ancient grimoire.

Castiel leaned heavily on the desk watching the sleeping man; Should he leave him alone to sleep? Should he wake him? He wiped a cuff across his sweat beaded forehead, and thought back to what he had seen the brothers do for each other when one of them was hurt or tired.

Timidly shrugging off his trenchcoat, he gently spread it over Bobby's hunched shoulders, and taking an armful of books, he lowered himself tentatively into a sagging armchair and began to read …

xxxxx

The brothers had been riding across miles of flat, featureless emptiness for about an hour before they both dismounted, concerned that the struggling horse might actually keel over under their combined weight. They walked in silence for a while, either side of the exhausted animal which Dean had taken it upon himself to call Lars.

"I'm surprised no-one's come after us;" Sam broke the silence looking at Dean over the tall black shoulder bobbing along between them.

"Nah," Dean shook his head, "they know I've got 'that' gun with me, if they're gonna come after us they'll do it later on when they think they can catch us off guard without it."

Sam continued, It doesn't look good dude, does it?" He sighed, "black magic, horse stealing; we haven't exactly created a good first impression here."

Dean nodded, ruffling Lars' sweaty mane; "they're probably already printing up the wanted posters."

"According to the map, there's a small town called Possum Creek about eighty miles north of Sunrise;" Sam suggested hopefully, "that might be far enough away to give us a bit of breathing space. I reckon we could do it in two days if we don't overload the hor - Lars."

Dean squinted through the late afternoon sunlight as he scanned the landscape; a wide expanse of sun-bronzed rocky nothingness peppered by banks of shimmering scrubby grasses and a few forlornly shrivelled bushes.

"Great;" grunted Dean, "two days in the ass end of beyond;" he groaned miserably, "I've already got dust in places I don't even wanna friggin' think about."

Sam grimaced, he didn't want to think about them either.

"Have you taken into account the fact we don't have any provisions?" Dean continued with an irritable snort, peering over Lars' shaggy mane; "unless we eat Lars here," he whispered, as if he expected the horse to be outraged by his suggestion.

"Well, according to the map, there's a creek about two miles west running the best part of the distance between Sunrise and Possum Creek, so we should be okay for water," Sam replied, "but food - that's another matter."

Dean scowled, "but I'm already hungry." He rubbed his stomach as a petulant gurgle erupted from it so violently, that Lars shied.

Sam shrugged, "sorry dude, don't know what to suggest."

They trudged in silence for a few more minutes.

"I'm tired too."

"Dean…"

"An' sweaty."

Sam's fingers tightened on the reins.

"Where's this friggin' creek then?"

"Let's find it," Sam sighed, silently embracing thoughts of drowning Dean in it.

Together the little band of three turned slightly westwards and continued their long, dusty trek as the sun dipped below the horizon before them.

xxxxx

Bobby's tired eyes drifted open and scanned hazily across the room as the early dawn light filtered weakly through the grimy window pane.

He took in the usual sights that greeted him every morning when he awoke; dust, cobwebs, piles of mildew-stained books, ramshackle furniture, sleeping angel, frayed rug, faded upholstery …

... sleeping angel?

He turned back to stare at the figure untidily slumped in the chair, open book draped across it's bloostained chest.

Whoever would have thought that angels snored?

xxxxx

Sam sat huddled beside an sorry looking outcrop of straggling gorse bushes, poking the small fire he had managed to light. Not that they had anything to cook on it as Dean had pointed out to him on numerous occasions; but, Sam reflected, at least it would keep them warm later on when twilight gave over to darkness.

From the other side of the bushes, Sam could hear Lars whittering softly, and the uncomfortably close trickling sounds of Dean answering nature's call.

Staring unblinking through the twilight Sam watched the flames flicker and dance around a little pot of creek water he had put on the fire to boil. He didn't actually know why he was boiling the water; it wasn't like they had anything to put in it to turn it into anything remotely interesting like coffee or soup, but on the plus side it was a welcome distraction from the muttering and zipping sounds behind him.

He closed his eyes, rubbing his temples as he tried to rationalise exactly how much trouble the Winchesters had gotten themselves into this time. Somewhere … sometime ... whatever, Bobby and Castiel were still where they'd left them. Were they trying to get the boys back? Did they even realise they were trapped?

Sam groaned.

And now here he was sitting in the dark in the middle of nowhere, boiling a pot of water on a camp fire for no apparent reason and listening to Dean moaning for possibly the ten thousandth time about being hungry while emptying his bladder about eighteen inches from the back of Sam's head.

The word doesn't exist to describe how much this sucked.

He was abruptly jolted out of his musings by a sudden fracas of rustling, stomping, yelling activity behind him;

"Sammy…" Dean snorted excitedly, dashing past Lars from around the bush; "look, supper!"

Sam's jaw dropped as Dean stood before him beaming in triumph and clutching a wriggling jackrabbit.

"What the hell?" Sam looked up at the terrified animal, it's huge eyes bulging partly in terror and partly from being squeezed so tightly as Dean held it out towards Sam like a sacrificial offering.

"We can eat this;" Dean grinned, "stupid li'l guy ran right across in fron' of me!"

Sam stared in disbelief at the quivering animal; "well, you'd better kill it first."

Dean's smile faded.

"well yeah … I know that," he muttered looking down at the trembling little creature squirming in his hands.

Sam waited ...

"... Something wrong?"

"No," Dean snapped irritably.

"Well if you want to cook and eat it you've got to finish it off first, so get on and break it's neck, that's the kindest way."

Dean looked down at the rabbit again, cringing as It stared up at him with huge bulging eyes, white rimmed with fear.

"Quit lookin' at me, Bugs;" Dean snorted.

"Dad told us what to do; remember when he showed us how to kill and skin a rabbit on that camping trip in the Appalachians?"

Dean shrugged, "uh, yeah …"

"You threw up."

"Yeah, thank you for the friggin' recap, bitch; I know how to kill a damn rabbit."

"… well?"

"I'm just buildin' up to it."

He bit his lip as he looked down at the little shivering animal which peered back up at him from within his vice-like grip with huge, pebble-round chocolate brown eyes; It twitched it's nose.

Sam broke into a grin; "You don' want to kill the liddle-bitty fluffy bunny wabbit, you big girl."

It twitched it's nose again, and Dean's fragile resolve crumbled entirely.

"Alright smartass, you kill it;" he snorted, thrusting the rabbit into Sam's hands, "well, go on then Mr. freakin' hard man, break it's neck … it's easy," Dean huffed, folding his arms triumphantly.

Sam looked briefly stunned; "no, you caught it, you kill it." He rapidly shoved the bewildered animal back into Dean's arms as if it were a ticking bomb.

"I don' want it," snapped Dean, almost throwing it back to Sam in his haste.

"Well, I don't want it either," Sam pushed the rabbit back into Dean's chest.

Dean gave a deep sigh, as he lifted the little quivering, traumatised bundle and stared it straight in the eyes.

"You are one lucky little sonofabitch;" he gently put the rabbit down on the ground and watched it frantically scurry away.

"Oh God, we're pathetic;" Sam shook his head.

Dean sat heavily in front of the fire and crossed his legs.

"Rabbit sucks anyway; tastes like crap." he sighed glumly.

xxxxx

The angel's blue eyes flickered open and his first sight was a steaming mug of coffee hovering in front of his face.

"I don't know if angels drink coffee," muttered Bobby, handing the mug to his guest.

Taking the mug nervously, Castiel murmured his hesitant thanks, sitting up with a groan as the book across his chest slid to the floor.

Bobby sat heavily at his desk and took a long swig of the coffee, "take it from me, if you ain't got ya angel mojo up an' runnin', caffeine's the next best thing."

Without further words, he pulled a book across the desk towards him and began to pore silently through it's musty pages.

Castiel took a tentative sniff of the steaming black liquid and wrinkled his nose in disgust.

That'll be why angels don't drink coffee then.

xxxxx

Sitting on the dusty ground, hypnotised by the chirruping of crickets and the contented munching of Lars as he systematically dismantled of the gorse bushes beside them, the Winchesters stared dully into the dying embers of their little fire.

"Dean?"

"What?"

"I'm hungry."

xxxxx

in case any one is unsure, Lars is, of course, named after Lars Ulrich, the drummer from Metallica.

Chapter 3

The late afternoon sun was well into it's descent when then brothers trudged over the crest of what Dean had called 'the seven millionth hill in this whole frickin' shithole,' and caught their first sight of Possum Creek about three miles ahead.

Under normal circumstances the small, dismal huddle of dust-stained wooden buildings would have been depressingly underwhelming but to the two exhausted, sweat-soaked, filthy, ravenously starving and footsore Winchesters it looked like the most beautiful sight on earth.

It had been two and a half days since either of them had eaten. Subsisting on only water from the creek, the boys were practically delirious with hunger, clutching their painfully empty bellies as thoughts of food tormented their every waking moment.

In fact the only member of the small party who seemed to have done well out the journey was Lars who had admirably disposed of almost everything vaguely green he had found on the way and as a consequence was positively glowing with radiant satisfaction.

The approach to Possum Creek saw Dean taking his turn in riding the horse, Sam trudging closely alongside them, leaning into the reassuring pressure of his brother's knee against his arm as he walked, almost as an incentive to stay upright.

Dean reached down and removed his sherriff's badge to avoid drawing attention to himself and dropped it into a pocket; "I swear to God, Sammy; If we can't find any food in this dive, I'm gonna eat you," he muttered.

Sam looked indignant; "what about the horse?"

Dean shook his head, "nah, he earns his keep, he stays."

He was rewarded by a sharp elbow in the shin.

xxxxx

Dean dismounted under the sign that welcomed them to Possum Creek, swaying precariously as his feet touched ground, and together they began to traipse through the desolate town; the few townsfolk that were milling around among the dust and tumbleweed eyed them with a sullen curiosity but made no move to approach them which suited the boys just fine.

"Saloon!"

Sam didn't have to say another word as he pointed to the tallest building in the street. Within a minute Lars found himself tethered to the town trough watching his two riders heading towards the ramshackle building with more energy than they had been able to muster for most of the last two days.

Stumbling through the swing doors, the brothers approached the bar behind which stood a cadaverous, sour-faced figure; his thin, heavily oiled hair slicked down and sporting a vicious centre parting that looked like it had been cut with a knife and fork.

Leaning on the bar, Dean tried to look as casual as his sunburned, unshaven, bleary eyed appearance would allow.

"Wan' a room and somethin' to eat," he drawled confidently.

"Got a room," the figure responded flatly; "it's only got one bed." He glanced between the brothers with a smirk.

Dean glared. "Has it got a floor?"

"Yup."

"He can sleep on that then," Dean replied, pointing his thumb at Sam and returning the smirk.

Sam fired an indignant elbow into his brother's ribs.

The bartender spoke again; "ain't got no food, only liquor." Customer service was clearly not high on his list of priorities.

Concerned that Dean's fragile veneer of control was about to crack, and foreseeing the very real possibility of being hustled out of another town with the law on their ass, Sam pushed past his scowling brother and stepped forward to rescue the situation.

"Look mister; me and my brother were robbed on the way here; outlaws from over Sunrise way. They took all our money, but they missed this." He placed his pocket watch on the counter; "this is a good watch; it's yours for a couple of nights in your room, some food and shelter for our horse and some decent chow for us.

The bartender looked down at the watch and up at the two men standing in front of him. It was clear he didn't believe a word of Sam's story; it was also clear that he thought the Winchesters in their starved, dishevelled state, were clearly too big and too desperate to be messed with.

And besides, it WAS a good watch.

"Two nights in the room, ma boy will stable ya horse an' ma wife will warm y'up some stew for tonight. I c'n give you some bread an' coffee in the morning."

"Thanks;" Sam smiled, almost wilting with relief. Dean's fractious belly growled it's own gurgling thanks.

The brothers turned and ambled across the dimly-lit room, their footsteps echoing across the sticky wooden floor, and settled themselves at a table as far into the corner of the saloon as they could find. The place was almost deserted, the only signs of life apart from the Winchesters and Mister Happy the Bartender, being a massive spider clinging to a web which actually enhanced the scant décor of the wall behind their table and two guys so engrossed in a poker game that the entire US cavalry could have galloped through the bar and they wouldn't have noticed. It was a state of affairs which pleased the Winchesters greatly.

Sam glanced across the room to see two girls standing on the staircase; one of them was fairy-tale pretty, the other bore a startling resemblance to Lars. The pretty one was slowly gyrating her hips against the bannisters and advertising her wares in a way which would normally have Dean shoving dollar bills down her cleavage with glee. Instead, Sam observed with concern, he probably hadn't even noticed the girls and was just slumped in the chair staring blankly into his lap, slowly blinking as his glassy, shadowed eyes betrayed his crushing exhaustion. Sam guessed that Dean, being the one with the bigger appetite, would also be the one who would be worst affected by enforced fasting.

"Feel like shit Sammy." Dean scrubbed a trembling hand across his drawn, stubbled face, and groaned. The hand migrated south, and kneaded his stomach through the gnawing hunger pains as he looked up at Sam. "Y'ok?"

Sam rolled his shoulders and let out mirthless laugh. "I'm filthy, unshaven, trapped 150 years from home in downtown redneck central, I don't think I've ever been so tired and hungry;" he shrugged, "I'm awesome."

xxxxx

Moments passed in silence before Sam looked up over Dean's bowed head and his weary features lifted into a smile as he patted Dean's wrist; "hey, chow time dude, stew's on it's way."

The smile dropped almost as soon as it had appeared when the Bartender deposited two bowls of steaming brown sludge on the table in front of them. Extracting his thumb from Sam's stew he walked wordlessly away, sucking the gravy off of it.

The brothers stared silently into their bowls until Dean looked up at Sam.

"Looks like …"

"I know what it looks like, man."

Dean leaned cautiously over his bowl.

"Smells like it too."

"Just eat it, already!"

"Sam, I've puked up stuff that looks more appetising than that."

Sam swallowed back a rising nausea and took a deep breath, deciding to lead by example. Picking up his spoon, he dug into the brown goo.

Nose wrinkling in disgust, his eyes watered as he fought to suppress the gag reflex, it took a moment but eventually he composed himself enough to swallow.

Blinking through a haze of tears he could see Dean staring at him.

"S'good;" he croaked unconvincingly, swallowing back the overwhelming urge to hurl, "dig in."

Dean grimaced, and shovelled a spoonful of the muddy slop into his mouth.

He froze, hamster-cheeked for a moment as the gluey muck stubbornly refused to move however hard he tried to swallow, until eventually with a snort and a gasp, gravity did it's work, and he choked it down.

He doubled over coughing and spluttering, then looked up at Sam through watering, slightly crossed eyes; what the hell kind of meat was that?"

Sam shrugged, "I dunno, but I know one thing ... I haven't seen any rats around since we got here, have you?"

Dean grimaced. "Man, that's freakin' disgustin'."

"It's the only food we're gonna get, so you'd better get it down you one way or the other," Sam sighed and steeled himself for another mouthful.

xxxxx

Keeping themselves going by their shared belief that they would eventually develop a taste for it (they didn't), and it would, therefore, start to taste better as they went on (it didn't); between them, the Winchesters managed to choke down their meal.

Dean was on his fifth whisky in an attempt to bleach his mouth of it's taste.

"My belly feels like it's about to explode," he groaned.

Sam lifted his head out of his hands, "I think mine dissolved."

Hearing footsteps behind them, they both looked round; it was the pretty girl. Her peach-soft face was ringed with blonde curls which pooled around her slim shoulders. She stood next to the boys and smiled a demure, tight-lipped smile at them as she swayed her hips provocatively in their direction.

Dean smiled for the first time in what seemed like an age as he looked up into the girl's sparkling blue eyes; she eyed his dust-stained, unshaven face hungrily, the tip of a tiny pink tongue moistening her rosebud lips. Dean's own lips curled into a smirk, "hey baby," he growled, his voice harsh with dust, whisky and evil stew; "are you included with the meal?"

Sam smiled, shaking his head, reassured that Dean must be feeling better.

She sauntered around to the other side of the table, tracing Dean's jaw line with a feather-light fingertip as she moved.

"Depends how hungry you are, handsome;" she replied with a broad grin.

It wasn't just the fact that she only had one tooth that shocked Dean into falling backwards off the chair, it wasn't even the fact that the one tooth she did possess was in pretty ropey condition, but the fact that when she lunged at him with a kiss like a sink plunger his life really did flash before his eyes as his body began to shut down through lack of oxygen.

He scrambled to his feet, "Sam," he panted, "time to go."

Sam nodded courteously to the bewildered girl as he watched his brother charge frantically up the stairs. "It's been a long day," he smiled awkwardly, tipping his hat at the girl before following Dean up the stairs two at a time.

Xxxxx

The haphazard pile of empty coffee mugs and whisky tumblers was building up on Bobby's desk as between them he and Castiel ploughed through page after page of obscure lore, charms and histories. They skimmed through endless tedious volumes of latin enchantments and occult sorcery until their minds were scrambled, their bodies exhausted, and their eyes about to fall out of their heads.

"Our task is proving difficult because time travel is a theoretical impossibility; there is no evidence, empirical or anecdotal that any human has ever travelled or will ever travel in time;" Castiel sighed, closing the largest book on his pile. "Our chances of finding anything helpful are almost zero."

Bobby yawned, rubbing red-rimmed eyes, and fired a withering glare at the angel; "I tell ya what; just keep that sort of crap, to yourself, huh?"

Castiel canted his head curiously; "it is advisable to understand your criteria for success and failure before undertaking any challenge, is it not?"

Bobby's death glare darkened; "it's advisable to understand that if you don't shut ya trap right now, I'll shove a friggin' book in it."

Looking down sheepishly, the angel sighed; "I will continue to read."

Bobby snorted; "you do that!"

xxxxx

tbc


Tags: appendicitis, bobby singer, castiel, dean winchester, fan fiction, horseback riding, humour, hurt comfort, sam winchester, stomach pain, supernatural
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