Warnings/Spoilers: Crack! Abuse of proper terminology about horses (all I know I learned reading The Black Stallion books!)
Summary: This is purely melagan's fault. She's planning on moving to Texas and then there was talk about a porn academy and then a dude ranch and it went downhill from there. This is what happened next.
And for squidgiepdx's SGA Spring Fling Meme! And read the other pretties that are there!
It was a warm spring day and Rodney could feel himself starting to shed. He hated shedding because most of the Cowboys didn't dig in deep when they groomed him and it itched. Which made him roll in his stall or rub against the boards. Neither which did much good. But being out loose in the corral on a sunny day always felt good.
Rodney raised his head from the hay he was lipping as he heard the gate open.
"Git in there!" he heard Cowboy say. (They were all Cowboy and they changed so often he never bothered to learn their names. His name was more important, anyway.)
Interesting. A new stallion. Rodney watched as the black moved slowly into the corral. He was almost delicate -- maybe Arabian? -- and had a smooth gait, almost slinky, Rodney observed. And was in obvious need of grooming, based on the way his forelock stood up in places. Definitely not a working horse like Rodney and the rest of the herd.
The gate slammed shut and the black stood there for a moment. Rodney watched him watch the group, evaluating. He pawed the ground once then stood still.
"Oh, do we have to play these games?" Rodney muttered peevishly. He walked over to the black.
"Hey!" he said.
"Hey," the black drawled. Then a glimmer of a grin. "Although it should be hay," he said.
Rodney rolled his eyes, "Like no one ever thought of that before." Well, he had thought it but no one else ever got it. Most of the rest of the herd was pretty stupid, or at least he thought so.
"John," the stallion said.
"Rodney," Rodney introduced himself.
John looked around. "You in charge?" John asked.
"Yeah." Rodney learned long ago not to give newcomers any room to debate that. He had scars to prove it. Although, up close, he could see John had his share of scars. They were mostly hidden by the black coat.
"Cool." John's quick acceptance was startling. Rodney always had to enforce his leadership.
John must have seen Rodney's startled reaction because he (s)nickered, "Being in charge is too much like work. That's all."
"How'd you end up here?" Rodney asked, curious.
John shifted in place slightly. "Was doing some racing but there was a barn fire one night."
Rodney shivered slightly at that. He had been in a small fire once and it had been terrifying.
John nodded understanding and continued, "Yeah. Really bad. Lost some friends that night. Don't know what really happened but after some time at a vet's place got shipped out to a holding place. Then here." He looked around. "Doesn't look like a racing place."
Rodney snorted. "Racing? Only when the Cowboys are looking for fun," he replied. "We get People in and out of here on a regular basis who seem to be pretending to be Cowboys. Some of them aren't very good riders but most of them are nice. And it's a good place to live."
"Glad to hear it," John answered.
They kind of hung out together the rest of the day, Rodney introducing John to the others in the corral and pointing to the corral where the mares were. "Most of the others don't seem to care about mares but they keep us separate anyway," he offered.
John could see a couple of the mares eyeing him up and he backed away from the fence. "Umm... good thing, I guess," he replied.
At the end of the day, the Cowboys herded them into their stalls and, after a moment of hesitation, John scooted into Rodney's box stall. A Cowboy reached for John's lead but John backed closer to Rodney.
"Lookee here," the Cowboy called to the others. "Meredith's got a new friend."
Rodney stamped a foot. "I hate being called Meredith," he snarled.
The Cowboy backed out of the stall. "Okay, okay," he held his hands up. "You two can share. Just don't cause any trouble."
The stall door shut and he and John were closed in together.
"They'll groom us in the morning," Rodney explained. "There's fresh food and water in the corner, although I don't know if there's enough for both of us since they probably planned to put you somewhere else."
John looked around. "Nice space," he said. "I got fed earlier so I'm not too hungry. Go ahead and eat what you want."
"Okay," Rodney was good with that. He'd gotten used to his meal time.
The Cowboy came back later with some apples and handed one each of them. He rubbed John briskly just above the muzzle as John chewed the treat. "Looks like you've settled in," he said.
As the lights dimmed for the evening, Rodney admitted, "I've never shared a stall before."
John moved quietly next to him, "I haven't either. Just seemed the thing to do."
John's warm body next to his was comforting and Rodney fell asleep thinking This is nice...