Main Characters: Vin, with Buck and JD
Summary: Vin is horse and house sitting at Chrisis and finds a mystery.
Authors Notes: Thank you to TAE for the beta and Blackraptor for the home.
Vin yawned and stretched as he got out of bed. It had been almost a year since he had hesitantly accepted a lateral transfer from the Marshall's to the ATF and moved to Denver. It was the best move he had ever made. He had been able to get a horse of his own, and had found a family of friends. Life just did not get better than this.
Looking at the time, he realized that if he was going be ready when Buck and JD came by for the ride they all had planed, he had best hurry. Chris was gone for a week at a training seminar, so he was house and critter sitting.
Scratching Soot, Chris's black lab, on the ears as he passed, he headed to the window that looked out over the pasture. He would see if he could shower quick or if something needed immediate attention.
He stared. He blinked. He closed his eyes and opened them. Nope, he had not been dreaming. Buck's gray mare, Willow, was happily grazing while a black foal, at least it looked black from here, was getting breakfast from her. That was just not possible! Buck and JD both had mares, but the rest of the horses were all geldings. None of the mares had been near a stallion.
"Aw, hell," Vin muttered as he hurriedly threw a pair of faded jeans on over his boxers and headed for the door. So much for showering before tending horses. Their horses were all good tempered, but geldings could get nasty with a foal so it was best to move Willow and the baby out of the main pasture.
+ + + + + + +
As he neared the corral, all the horses trotted over, knowing that he was generous with treats. With the goodies doled out, the horses began wandering off. Vin blinked as another black head peeked at him from behind JD's mare, Dancer. Okay, this was nuts! When had the mares ever been near a stallion? He would have known if his friends had decided to breed their mares.
From the silvering around the edges of Buck's foal, it would likely be gray as an adult. Thankfully, Willow was fine and being a model mother, and the baby, a filly, looked healthy as well. She was the dominant mare in the herd and from the way the boys had hustled away from her and Dancer they had been warned off the babies. Still, safer to move the mothers and babies out until the foals were a little older. He had a harder time getting a look at Dancer's youngster, due to her constantly moving between them. He had seen it was a colt and black. It would be interesting to see if it would stay pure black or turn into a faded black over time.
Well, he had best let Buck and JD know what had happened. He just wished he could figure out who had fathered the little tykes. He quickly caught the mothers and lead them to the smaller paddock with the youngster following along. He grinned as he watched the pair sniffing and working their jaws in the equine sign for 'please don't hurt me.'. The little girl was already batting her eyes at the colt. The colt, like most foals, was not willing to leave mom but he was checking out everything around him. They sure were cute. Somehow he didn't think Buck and JD would mind, just be shocked out of their socks was all.
Still shaking his head, Vin headed in to feed the dog and call the owners of the new horses. They had been born sometime last night and horses had a gestation of eleven months. They must have gotten loose or something right before he had come. There was no way the guys had known or they would have been camping out by the horses and checking on them every hour.
Before Vin could stop him, Soot ran into the pasture to greet his equine buddies. Vin waited, certain what was coming. The dog saw all horses as his friends and was about to get a lesson in maternal protectiveness. Yelping, Soot double-timed it out of the paddock. His sniffing the colt had brought the wrath of Dancer down on him.
Patting the offended dog, Vin sat on the top porch step and pulled out his cell phone.
"Hey, Vin," Buck's exuberant voice came over the line.
"Got a question for ya, You ever breed Willow?" Vin asked, grinning as the filly started playing catch the tail with her mother.
"No. Thought about it once or twice, but never have. It's not like she's got a fancy pedigree or anything," Buck answered slowly.
"Reckon you and JD both have two horses now. Willow and Dancer had foals last night," Vin told him.
"WHAT! That's just not possible," Buck sputtered.
"I'm watching 'em right now playing with their mamas."
"Are they all okay?" Buck asked quickly.
"Look to be fine. Ya gotta nice filly and JD's got a colt. Both black, but yours'll turn gray," Vin assured him. "Put 'em in the paddock just in case some of the boys started getting nasty."
"I'll tell JD and we'll be right out," Buck said, hanging up almost before he was done.
Vin got up and headed in. Hopefully, when the guys got here, they would be able to figure out how this had happened. Well, he knew how it had happened, just, not how it could have happened. The only new horse they had met at that time was Peso, and he was a gelding.
Vin looked out of the living room window at his horse. The black was peacefully grazing near Pony, Chris's horse.
Chris. He had best call him and let him know that he had two more horses in his care.
"Hey, Cowboy," Vin began as the line was picked up.
"Something wrong?" Chris asked. Direct and to the point as always.
"Thought you should know that you have two more horses out here," Vin replied.
"You trying to start your own herd?" the blonde asked.
"Nope, still just got the one. Buck and JD each have a new one."
"Okay," Chris said drawing it out. "What's the rest?"
"Got up this morning, the mares had babies," Vin explained.
"The horses never got out and I've never had a stallion get in," Chris said.
"Trying to figure that one out myself," Vin told him. "Only new horse back then was Peso, and he ain't got the equipment to do that."
"You bought him right after you came to Denver right?" Chris asked after a moment.
"Yep, always wanted a horse so first thing I did was to get one," Vin informed him.
"How long had he been cut before you got him? He's the only one that makes sense."
"Didn't ask. I'll see if I can find out," Vin said. It was nuts, but it was the only thing that seemed to fit. Like Sherlock Holmes said, when you eliminate the impossible, the only thing left, however improbable, is the truth.
"Let me know what you find out," Chris instructed.
"I will," Vin agreed and they ended the call. Thankfully, Chris hadn't sounded upset.
Vin filled the dog's bowl and headed up to shower and dress. This was certainly turning into an eventful morning.
+ + + + + + +
Passing the kitchen, Vin checked to see that the steaks were in the fridge. Something told him that the ride was not going to be happening, now. The foals would likely just follow their mothers if they went, but Vin wasn't sure if Buck and JD would want to chance it.
Seeing the familiar red truck in the driveway, he stepped out. Buck and JD were both at the fence watching the newest members of the herd.
"We decided it had to be the immaculate conception since they had never been near a stallion," Buck said as Vin joined them.
"Guess I'm owing you two an apology. Called the guy I got Peso from. Seemed he cut him a week before I bought him. Never thought to find out how long he had been gelded," Vin confessed.
Buck laughed until he had tears.
JD looked from one man to the other.
"Gelding ain't safe around mares for two months after cutting him," Vin explained.
"And since you and Chris didn't know, you just turned him out with the other horses," JD said, suddenly comprehending.
JD smirked. It wasn't often that Vin and Chris goofed.
"He certainly made the most of his opportunity," Buck grinned.
"Reckon he did," Vin agreed.
"Got a name for yours?" JD asked Buck excitedly.
"Thinking I'll call her Dove," Buck grinned. "How about you?"
"Is there such a things as a half peso?" JD asked, eagerly.
"There's was a peseta, or little peso, until a couple of years ago," Vin told him.
"Perfect! Peseta," JD said, grinning broadly.
Buck chuckled as the colt bravely took a few steps from mama to investigate a bit. He was already to take on the big bad world.
"He's a little Peso," Buck chuckled.
"I still can't believe we have foals sired by a gelding," JD chuckled.
"It is something you don't see everyday," Buck agreed.
Vin grinned and watched as the foals scampered back to their mothers, before once more heading to explore as long as they were with mom.
Looking over at the pasture he saw a familiar black horse with a white blaze watching them. Leave it to Peso to have pulled off something like this. He could swear that horse was smirking.