Dean Winchester, twenty years old, handsome as an Adonis, lady-killer extraordinaire, silver-tongued liar, veteran poker player and a lightening draw with his fancy silver-handled pistol.
For the times in which he lived, he was a young man of success but his brash confident exterior hid a hole in his heart as big and dry as the Nevada desert.
He was a man with a two-fold mission, one to find, and one to punish and when he found his target, it would pay in the most painful way his imagination could envisage and Dean Winchester was very very inventive.
He rode leisurely into the little township, his black stallion an extension of his own lean body.
At first glance, the backwater town was no different to countless others he'd passed through on his eternal trek around the sparsely populated back-country of the young USA; the dirt-paved main street, the Town Hall, Sheriff's office, hardware store, stables, and of course the omni-present saloon cum hotel, the establishments where Dean earned his living, relieving the men stupid enough to include him in their poker games, of their cash.
He headed for the Livery stables, his horse needed a good rub-down and a bag of oats, and his own dry throat was clamouring for a soothing drink.
Assuring himself that the black stallion would be well-cared for by making the stable boy's eyes bulge with his generous tip, and by simultaneously issuing a calm warning that if Impala wasn't given the best treatment available, he wouldn't be pleased.
Being the recipient of the cold glare from Winchester's hard green eyes, the stable boy hastily decided that no horse would be better cared for than this man's.
Dean nodded to the lad, aware that his message had been received and understood and turned towards the saloon; he just wanted a cool beer and a quiet corner in which to drink it.
He'd been in the saddle for hours, and as much as he loved his horse, his ass had breathed a sigh of relief to be off Impala's back for a while; his bow-legged gait testimony to the many hours he spent in the saddle.
The inside of the saloon was dark and shady giving him respite from the heat of the afternoon and he sipped gratefully at the beer; it wasn't particularly cool but at least it wet his parched throat with its thirst-quenching liquidity.
He took in his surroundings.
There were only a couple of old guys at the bar. There would be no action as far as poker was concerned until later on in the evening when the work load of the ranch-hands was over and they came in looking for whiskey and some fun.
He'd finish his beer and head on down to the bath-house he had seen on his way in. Wash off some of the ever-present dust.
A few hours later, refreshed, fed and ready to roll, Dean made his way along the street towards the saloon. He was about to cross over when his attention was taken by a wagon that passed by, coming to a halt outside the general store.
He continued to watch curiously while an older man and a teenage boy jumped down, tied up the horses and went inside.
It was an everyday occurrence; wagons stopped at stores all the time, so why were his instincts prodding him to pay attention to this particular one?
Dean was a man who lived by trusting his hunches; they had kept him out of a heap of trouble in the past and he had no excuse not to listen to them now.
For some unknown reason he felt his heart beating a little faster as he approached the doorway and looked inside.
The man and boy were standing at the counter where the store-keeper was piling up the items marked down on the list he held in his hand.
Dean pushed open the door and entered, three pairs of eyes turning to see who had come in.
The store-keeper's eyes were more than welcoming, a new customer meant more business but the intelligent grey eyes of the older man were scrutinizing him suspiciously, while the moss-green eyes of the teen were staring at him with a mix of curiosity and fear.
Dean found that odd.
Why should the youngster be afraid of a total stranger?
The answer could only be that the kid was afraid of ALL strangers, that he had experienced nothing good from them and didn't trust them one bit.
Somehow Dean felt a sudden protectiveness towards the unknown youth, a feeling that he'd experienced once upon a time for a much smaller child but that sense of protection had served for nothing, as that child had been taken from him.
"Be with you in a moment, Sir, after I finish with the two gentlemen here," the store owner declared, smiling at the new arrival.
"No problem," Dean replied, plastering an answering smile on his face. "I'll just have a look round while you're filling their order."
He saw the fear in the kid's eyes lessen, but the curiosity remained as he continued to stare at him.
The suspicion in the older man's eyes hadn't diminished a whit however, but he turned back towards the counter and to his purchases.
"Don't forget the bags of salt, Joe," the man grunted, "and the whiskey".
"Samuel Colt, I swear I don't know what the Hell you need all this salt for. You can't be putting it all in your soup."
"You're selling salt and I'm buyin' it. What I do with it is none of your darn business," the tall guy who obviously went by the name of Samuel, answered crustily.
Dean glanced back at the kid who averted his head quickly, not wanting to be caught staring, which was exactly what he'd been doing.
Dean returned the favour as he took in the unruly chestnut hair, wide puppy eyes and perky nose.
There was something about that face that was familiar, tugging at his memories. Memories of a similar face but much smaller and cuter as only that of a chubby six-year old's can be, a six-year old who had been very precious to him.
Dean latched weakly on to the counter as he tried to make sense of what he was seeing. Could it be that his search was finally at an end?
Ten years of hardship, hunger and despair as he scoured the country-side searching for his missing little brother. Was it possible that when he had nearly given up hope of ever finding him, he'd miraculously stumbled across him here, in this no-name dick-town.
He composed himself as well as he could and took a few steps towards the two men. He had to know!
"Don't come any closer, stranger," the tall guy warned, a gun suddenly appearing in his hand, pointed at Dean. "We wouldn't want any accidents to happen now, would we?"
"You got it all wrong, mister," Dean replied. "I don't want to harm you, I just want to ask a few questions. Look I'll drop my hardware onto the floor."
He extracted his gun from its holster as slowly as he could, keeping it well away from his body and dropping it on the wooden boards, kicking it away with his boot.
"Why so interested in us boy?" Samuel asked, calmer now that the stranger was less of a threat.
Dean hesitated, he didn't know how to begin.
He'd been disappointed more than once when he had thought to have traced his younger brother, and somehow he didn't want his heart to take another blow, though he was convinced this time he'd struck gold.
He glanced over at the kid once more.
The expression on his face was identical to that of his own little Sammy when he used to wait with bated breath for Dean to finish telling him a story; his younger self had loved stringing it out as long as possible, revelling in the expectant expression on his baby brother's face.
"I...I.. uh. The kid with you. He seems familiar. Um...I feel as if I've met him before," Dean stuttered, feeling all of ten years old again.
He saw the boy's eyes widen at his words, his forehead scrunching as he tried to imagine where he could have met this tall dark-haired stranger, but Dean no longer had any doubts.
His heart, mind, instinct and love told him this was without a doubt his little brother. He'd finally found him.
"Sammy...?" he whispered, his voice breaking.
As if a switch had been turned on in the kid's head, his expression took on a look of wonder and he pronounced a name he'd almost forgotten, buried deep amongst the memories of another life he barely remembered.
"De'n?" He said the name tentatively as if it was too important for his lips to utter.
Dean felt his lips curling up into an idiotic smile at the once familiar sound of his name spoken by his little brother, after years of lonely silence.
He took a step forward, oblivious to the gun still pointed at him. Even if he died now, he didn't care.
He'd found Sammy, heard his voice once again, seen that he was whole and healthy. But the gun didn't go off and Dean continued forward, his eyes never leaving his brother's face, drinking it in as a parched man laps at cool water.
"Dean," the teen repeated, hurling himself towards him, his head finding a resting place on his shoulder, arms thrown around his neck.
Dean's arms mirrored those of his baby brother, pulling him in close, tightening around him like a vice. Sam was no longer the five-year old of his memories, as tall as him now, but his scent was still that of baby Sammy.
Time and space lost their meaning, there was only Dean and Sam, bound in an eternal embrace. They'd been lost and now they were found. The time for explanations would come later.