The city had its history. It had its history in vice, blood, tragedy and achievement. It was the kind of city that one could get lost in and not be found. Suarez surveyed the city from his perch on top of the Sears tower. He loved this town.
Suarez heaved a sigh as he looked down on the pitiful meals on legs that lived in the night. They thought they had a tough life. It was nothing more than a short fragile one. They were prey and he was the predator, well one of many that sought the ultimate food: blood. Down there rivers of it and he could practically smell it. It was a gift of his age.
Suarez was an old vampire. Through the centuries, he was known by hunters for his barbaric treatment of the corpses he left behind and was in fact famous for it. He had come across one too many young hunters thinking to bag themselves a legend. They failed in one of two ways: death by him or they scampered back to their clans with their tails between their legs. No one had the gall to stand up to him… except her and she wasn’t a hunter.
Instinctively, Suarez placed a hand on his upper arm near his shoulder and rubbed it. It was sometime during the Mexican-American war. He managed to blend in on the side of the Mexicans. It was war and a good cover for a little bit of indulging. It was easy to make it look like the enemy did it. He was on one of his more lucrative hunts for a meal when he saw her. He recognized her from the cantina where she played coy for money. She had followed him and stated that she was sent to end his reign of bloodshed.
He had seriously underestimated her. She knew how to use a sword and she bloody shot him with a cavalry pistol. He had become pissed and tried to grab a hold of her to break her neck. It was then he saw her eyes. They glowed and he knew that there was only one kind of being that did that and he hated them with a vengeance. His attacks became fiercer, with him trying to run her through with his blade. She countered with her own blade.
He had cut her a few times and he nearly had her. It was when he had her at his mercy that she somehow managed to come up on top and jam that blade of hers into his arm. It burned like hell, like he was burning from the inside out. She pulled it out as he punched her away. He barely managed to escape and the wound left a distinct scar. Occasionally it ached, as if it never healed. He vowed that if they ever crossed paths, he would kill her.
Suarez smiled as he was reminded of his vow while staring out at the city. He knew she would come but she will be powerless to stop it. The ritual was nearly ready to get underway. Just a few more meatbags and he could summon what he needed to bridge the gulf between his kind and the day-walkers. She could come and try to hunt him but he would see to it that she would join the pile of corpses. She would pay.
Standing up, he walked over towards the door that led to the stairwell. He was joined by his right hand man. Together they went towards the elevators. They were joined by a very pretty woman finished for the day. Suarez looked at his partner and gave a slight nod. The night was still young.
Angela leaned towards the open window as she drove the car. She loved the feeling of the wind blowing on her face and through her hair. It never failed to produce a calm when she drove. It was calming her now as she barreled down the empty highway towards the windy city. It was dark and the only source of light came from the car’s headlights but she kept a steady 70mph.
Akira sat in the passenger side of the car saying nothing but observing her companion. Ever since they left Brendan’s place and hit the road, Angela had said nothing. She had this hardened look that she only got when she was on the hunt. Akira debated on what to say of anything. She hadn’t known Angela very long but the experiences they had together could be the equivalent of a lifetime… if they were human. As it stood, Angela was the eldest and thus knew more than Akira ever could. Yet Angela always welcomed any input from Akira when they were on the hunt and it was just as well since the Ancient Mysteries was her specialty.
Akira wasn’t worried about Angela’s ability to drive in the manner she was. Angela’s reflexes defied the possible at times. She looked over just as she heard Angela sigh. She asked, “So you want to talk about it?”
“About what Princess?”
Akira fought the urge to punch Angela in the arm. “About what happened, at Brendan’s… Bitch.”
Angela gave a short laugh. Whenever she and Akira talked and were annoyed, they always resorted to name calling. It was actually fun since Angela never had a sibling. She then replied, “What do you want me to say? Yes, I know the Winchesters. I knew their parents.”
“So what’s the problem?”
Angela said nothing but instead turned on the stereo. She popped in one of her CDs and cranked it up. The speakers came to life blaring out the best hits of Kansas. She grinned as one of her favorite songs came on and she cranked up the volume to near ear splitting levels. She then started belting out lyrics.
Akira merely shook her head and bore with the music in silence. Angela always retreated when someone got to close to that part that was her soul. Many members of the Centurion respected Angela for her abilities but Akira heard the whispers. They often said that Angela was a cold hearted bitch. She did the job but she didn’t care about the mission. Akira knew that wasn’t true and when she heard that, she told them that Angela did care about the mission. They looked at her as if she were stupid. Akira realized that what Angela showed her was a rare privilege. She looked at her friend singing away and wondered what caused her friend to be the way she was.
Angela was aware that she was being studied and ignored it. She knew Akira wanted to know about her association with the Winchesters and why she was reluctant to go on this job and actually see them. It was complicated and was compounded by the fact that she felt responsible for everything that happened in their lives. She tapered off her singing as she drifted back into thought.
She watched as a little boy ran around the front yard playing a game. He was happy and it showed on his face. His mother came out holding the baby and called to the boy to come in for lunch. She watched with a slight smile at the happiness of the mother. Mary had been a good friend and deserved happiness and she would keep her word and stay away but she would also keep the secret promise of watching out for Mary.
The memory flashed forward. She was driving through Kansas on a job when it hit her like a jolt. She sensed something and it startled her enough to jerk the wheel. She thought it would go away the longer she stayed away. It was unavoidable that she come to Kansas. She thought to check up on them and then move on. Plain and simple. The sudden feeling was one of fear and it was from… Sam? It perplexed her since she hadn’t been by in months. She could not ignore it and she wasn’t far and she knew she wouldn’t forgive herself if she didn’t know if Mary was all right. She floored the engine and shot off into the night.
It was too late when she got there but she had to try. The house was ablaze and the fire fighters were trying to quench the flames. As she pulled up, she knew this was not a normal fire. She snuck into the house and raced through the flames. She went to the source, the nursery. She looked around and up and saw Mary. A laugh made her turn around and she saw him. She started forward and he warned her back. He said, “I warned you. You follow and you reap the consequences.” Then he was gone.
She stood in the middle of the burning room and stared up at Mary. Something inside broke. She knew. Everything good that came her way was ruined. She walked over to the window and peered out. She saw the boys with their father. She watched and she knew. She ruined their lives.
Years passed and the boys were adults. John called her and told her he found the demon and he wanted her to join in on the hunt. She didn’t know why but she said she would help out. They pursued the demon. She was almost too late but she managed to make it to the shack. The demon was gone but Dean and John needed a hospital. They never saw her as she slipped away but she followed. She kept Dean breathing until the medical team came after the accident. Later John called her in. When she looked at his face, she knew what he was planning yet she listened to him. He asked her the most difficult thing he could ask of her.
She listened to John. She tried to get out of it citing that he couldn’t possibly understand what he was asking. It was useless to say it when he already knew what he was getting into. He then told her that he knew that she knew Mary and that she cared about her. He then told her that she could come up whatever reason she did it but he wanted her to do it. He then told her that even though he didn’t know her as well as Mary did, he trusted her with the lives of his most precious treasure. She sucked in her breath. Trust was a fragile thing for her. As far as she was concerned she didn’t deserve the trust John was placing on her. Yet she felt a tug on her heart. Slowly she said, “I will watch over them for you.”
The look John gave her was one of relief in the knowledge that his sons would be looked after. He then said, “I know you want this demon. Just make the boys your priority.”
She knew that but she knew that John needed to hear it. “They will be watched over but I won’t interfere. I—I can’t interfere. It’s a long story.”
“I know. Just remember that I trust you as Mary trusted you.”
That was the last she saw of John. She knew the deal had been made when she walked by Dean’s room and he was up and breathing. She smiled at the sight of the two brothers together but it was a sad smile. She wondered why she was worming her way into their lives and meddling even further. Deep down she knew she could only bring them more pain because she was unclean. Everything she touched gets ruined…
Angela drove steadily ahead listening to the music. She had missed Akira’s question all together until Akira broke rule number one and reached over and turned off the music. Angela looked over with a scowl on her face and was met by an equally intimidating scowl. Akira said, “I was asking if you wanted me to drive. I can drive you know.”
“Only if I’m stoned,” Angela replied curtly.
“You mean when you’re not being an ass,” Akira replied. She then sighed, “Angie, going on this hunt is bothering you more than you care to admit. I want to know if it is going to be a problem. I know you’ve had run ins with Suarez and his coven and that could be considered a vendetta in of itself. When Brendan mentioned the hunters you nearly fainted. Obviously it is something big and you don’t have to tell me. I just want to know if you’ll be focused.”
Angela sighed. She wasn’t being fair with the one person who was treading on dangerous ground in terms of breaking the emotional defenses she had built up over the years and only let down little by little around her. “I will be focused for the job. Thing is I don’t know if I will be able to stand it if we meet face to face.”
“Just be nice,” Akira offered with a slight smile. “If you want the honest truth, they’ll probably hold their sawed off shotguns filled with salt rounds at us thinking that we’re demons since we’re probably going to show up with our powers revealed like a strip tease.”
“Maybe. I never met them but I’ve watched them often enough.”
“Not so,” Angela retorted with a slight smile. “I guess I’ll worry about it then. We’ve got about two hundred miles left to go. Need a break?”
Akira gave a slight nod. It was the bare minimum but it was acceptable. She knew Angela was big on keeping her word. It would do.
The bar was like any one of the dives that they went to. It carried that signature smell of beer and cigarettes. Sam sat across from his brother, watching him down the greasiest bacon cheeseburger he had ever seen. He gave a slight shake of his head as he picked at his plate which had some semblance of healthy in it. He hadn’t been able to stop thinking about the woman in his dream. He had to know if she was a real person or just a figment of his imagination. He believed it was a vision. Looking up, he saw his brother looking at him, chewing his food. He said, “I’m fine Dean.”
“Look you don’t want to hear it Dean. I think it is a vision and maybe we’ll run into her.”
Dean continued to chew his food with a complete disregard for his lack of table manners. He stared at Sam trying to see if his brother was going off the deep end with this. He replied, spraying bits of food, “Then again it could be nothing. Let’s just focus on the job Sam.”
“Maybe you could focus on your table manners,” Sam muttered as he began digging into his dinner.
“I like my cheeseburgers and a brewski,” Dean gave a grin as he took a drink of his beer. The look on his face was priceless as he tried to figure out why his beer tasted so flaming hot. He looked at his brother who was trying to look innocent as he ate. “You didn’t.”
Sam sat back in his seat and pulled out a bottle of Tabasco sauce and grinned. “Oh yes.” He then began laughing. “Payback for the Twinkie.”
Dean scowled at his brother as he reached for a glass of water. He couldn’t be that mad though since it did have Sam laughing. Having Sam laugh meant that his mind was off of whatever he was brooding about. Still this was war. “Just wait and you’ll get yours.”
Sam continued to laugh as he finished his dinner. As much as it annoyed him that their pranks tended to escalate, he enjoyed getting back at Dean. This time it took his mind off the dream. Of course he was going to have to watch his things since there were at least twenty things he could name that Dean could do just to his clothing alone.
Sam was still laughing about it when they arrived at the motel they found for the night. He tried to be alert while he paid for the room with one of the fake credit cards the business called for. So far Dean hadn’t seen fit to try anything though his brother was pretty good at pulling the wool over the eyes and he always did it when you least expected it. Sam had picked up a few of Dean’s tricks but he had to come up with a few of his own. Once the room was paid for and the keys issued, the two brothers headed for their room. Sam slipped the ‘do not disturb’ sign on the knob and locked the door. Dean was pulling out the covers, on one of the beds. He paused and looked at Sam, “What Sasquatch?”
“Nothing.” Sam went to the table and placed his laptop bag on the table provided and pulled out his laptop. When he flipped it on, he was bombarded with images from a busty Asian babe website. He tried removing it and found that it had been frozen. He scowled, “Dean.”
“What?” Dean walked over and looked at the laptop with a nonchalant look. “Hey she’s hot.”
“You froze my computer.”
“So? You’ll fix it.”
Sam didn’t bother to argue. No matter what he said Dean would always get on his computer and go to the porn sites. Every time he did it, the computer froze and Sam would have to spend hours fixing it. With nothing else to do, Sam got to work and began toying with the idea that he should have a password lock put on the laptop. It was late by the time he fixed everything and Dean was asleep snoring. With a tired sigh, he closed the laptop and sat for a while drifting back onto his thoughts until sleep overtook him.
Sam woke up to find himself in a room that was decorated with emphasis on quality. He looked around and found that he had fallen asleep at a table covered with papers. He looked around in confusion trying to figure out why he wasn’t in the motel room and where his brother was. He stood up and looked around the room. It was obviously a study since there were shelves of books. Taking one out, Sam found it to be written in a strange language along with pictures of things that looked like something out of a fantasy nightmare. He put the book back when he heard something come from outside. He walked over towards the window and pulled back the curtains.
All he saw was a quiet street. Occasionally a car drove down it at a slow pace. Sam could see children playing in the small lawns and the streets. Looking out, he could make out the skyscrapers in the background. Recognizing a few, he was glad that he was still in Chicago but where the hell was Dean? Something downstairs caught his attention. How did he know that it came from downstairs? It was all too confusing but Sam had to know what was going on. He strode purposely to the door and pulled it open.
It was pitch black outside and the rain was pouring down. Sam looked around wondering how he managed to get outside from that one room. It then occurred to him: he was dreaming but this was different. It felt different. He looked around, trying to see if anyone or anything was going to come out swinging and trying to kill him. Dean was nowhere around so it got Sam thinking that maybe it was a dream.
Sam continued walking through the pouring rain aware that he was on some dark street, possibly and alley. Suddenly something swooped down and knocked him over, snarling in his ear. He felt hot breath and tried to get up but this thing was too strong. It flipped Sam over knocking the wind out of him. It grabbed him by the throat and looked at him. He recognized the thing a vampire and struggled but it only added pressure to his windpipe. It brought its mouth down towards his neck when suddenly it was yanked off with such force that it dragged Sam along the ground.
Sam felt the scrapes on his palms and took deep breaths glad to be alive. Once he got control of himself, he looked up to see someone battling the vampire. It was hard to tell since his rescuer was wearing a dark trench coat and the back was facing him. He watched, aware that he was getting drenched in the puddle he had landed. This was similar to his dream but there were differences. Instead of a whole football team of vampires, there was just the one. Sam didn’t have time to ponder much on the numbers since the vampire launched itself forward only to be grabbed by his rescuer in a headlock and then with minimal effort, the head was ripped off.
The movement shouldn’t have shocked Sam but it did. The first thing that crossed his mind was that his rescuer was a demon. He got to his feet, feeling the pain from the scrapes in his palms and stood there looking at his rescuer looking down at the decapitated body. The person looked like they were barely breathing. Sam called out, “Hey.” When the person didn’t respond, he took a step forward, his foot splashing in the puddle.
Suddenly Sam saw flying black coat and was nearly pushed out of the way. He saw a flash of silver and right where he had been standing was another vampire with something sticking out of its chest. The vampire writhed on the ground as if burning from the blade until it was still. The trench coat walked over and pulled it out to reveal a knife of some sort. The trench coat turned to show its face to Sam.
Sam was stunned. It was her! His other dreams he was not in it. It was like a distorted lens but here now he was physically in front of her. He called out again, “Hey, are you real?”
The woman looked at him with a stern glance but something trickled in her eyes. Suddenly the rain stopped to give Sam a better look at her. She was shorter than he was but complemented his height. Athletic build with olive toned skin with dark brown hair and peering in the darkness, he could make out the tawny eyes. She looked at him holding the strange blade before she walked over, “Yes. I had to be pulled into dream walking again. Bloody dream king.”
Sam looked around confused as she walked past him. He then began chasing after her, “Wait. What are you talking about?”
“Dream walking… and I’m pissed.” The woman paced up and down the alley looking for signs of something.
Sam kept up easily. He had no idea what she meant by dream walking yet he wanted answers. He continued, “So then what are we doing here?”
“No idea unless the Dream King wants to play a joke and make my life a living hell.”
Sam resisted the urge to chuckle. The woman was like a feminine version of Dean though he got the feeling that she would be a lot more volatile than Dean if given the chance. It didn’t answer his questions though and only seemed to form more. “Dream King?”
“Ruler of the Dreamworld… well the nightmare portion at least. Likes to take the dreams that pass from the Queen’s realm and draw in sleepers to live in twisted versions. The most sensitive ones become dream walkers in his realm and he toys with them.”
“So you’re going to kill him?”
“Can’t. Ancient god thing. Dreams and nightmares must exist. It’s the bastards like the demons that manipulate the natural order that have to be stopped.” The woman paused in her search as if she realized something. She then slowly looked at Sam with a piercing gaze. “What are you doing here?”
Sam immediately went on the defensive, “Hey I woke up here. So this should be my dream and in fact it is except you were surrounded by more of those vampires. So the question is why are you here?” He crossed his arms for good measure. He had no idea why he was here but he had a gut feeling that this woman knew the answers and she was being stubborn about it. He looked at her with a look that said he wasn’t going to budge.
The woman glared at him and retorted, “I dream walk but not by choice… stupid boy.” Suddenly she looked around as if she heard something. “Did you do anything else besides follow me?”
Sam looked at the woman with a confused expression. “No. I woke up here.”
“Then we have to get you out. You shouldn’t be here.” The woman reached into her pocket and pulled out a marker. She grabbed Sam’s hand and began to draw on his right forearm something. She didn’t know what but she went with it. “This will force you out of this realm and back to your body. They should also be able to keep you out until the job is finished.”
Sam watched as she drew a series of symbols on his forearm. “What are you talking about?”
“There are forces that many hunters don’t know about that are old and near forgotten. The one who pulled you here is trying to kill you and your brother.” The woman finished scribbling her sigils on his forearm. “Now I’m going to send you back. Once back I suggest you and your brother leave but if you stay… be careful.”
Sam had many other questions but was restrained from answering them. The woman started chanting in a language that he wasn’t familiar with. He was suddenly enveloped by swirling wind and a bright light came into vision. He heard the final words of the woman and he felt himself careening backwards.
Sam woke up and found that he was back in the motel room still sitting at the table where he had been working on his laptop. Looking down, he saw the pile of drool on the case and wiped it up with a frown. A noise from the bathroom told him that Dean was up and it was confirmed by him coming out and saying, “Rise and shine Sasquatch.”Sam groaned slightly as he stretched. As he reached up to rub his face, his eye caught something black. He rolled up his shirt sleeve on his right arm and rotated it to see his forearm. There plain as day were the same sigils the woman drew on him in the dream. He then said, “Dean.”