Sam tried not to cry out in pain while his attacker was fiddling with whatever was stuck in his side. He gritted his teeth and braced himself when the blows came. It was excruciating pain. He had been punched by a vampire before and this was ten times worse. It was like these blood suckers were turbo charged. He looked over towards his brother but could barely see him. He struggled to get up but was pushed hard into the ground by a foot followed by the full body weight of his attacker. He felt the breath of his attacker close to his ear and heard him whisper, “You and your brother are prime meat. I see you are marked. A treat for the boss.”
Whatever was going to happen never came. The weight was suddenly gone and the appearance of a pair of female legs came into Sam’s line of vision. Sam squinted to see who his rescuer was. He felt his vision start to blacken but he forced himself to stay awake.
She faced off with the vampire, her stance indicating that she was there to kill. Sam watched as she dodged and punched with the same ferocity as the vampire. He winced when he saw her get a backhand across the face but she didn’t go down. Instead she gave a growl and Sam thought he saw something in her eyes. She jumped forward and sprung away to reveal the vampire brandishing a knife.
She grinned and laughed while her hand went to her belt. She quickly pulled out her own blade and twirled it. They clash happened so quick that it was over when Sam caught a glimpse of the flash of silver and the vampire was stuck with a look of surprise as the blade went through his head and he slumped over dead. She stood looking over the body as if to make sure that it didn’t move before reaching into her pocket and pulled out something. She uncapped it and poured what was in it over the body.
Sam blinked a couple of times as he watched her talk to her partner. She said, “Check him. I’ll check the other.”
The next thing Sam knew, he was being rolled over and her face was over his. She asked him, “Can you understand me?”
Sam gave a nod. Briefly he heard another voice shout, “He’s alive.”
The woman over him looked back at him and said, “He’s fine Sam. I need you to tell me where it hurts and how bad.”
It took Sam a minute before he realized she had said his name. He never even told her his name. He tried to talk but she shushed him as she examined him. He grunted when she gave slight pressure on his torso and even louder when she touched whatever punctured him. He thought he could detect her hissing under her breath. Suddenly she looked up as if she heard something. She then said, “Get Dean. We gotta get out of here.”
Suddenly Sam felt himself lifted up which surprised him since he knew that he was not a lightweight. He grunted in pain and he heard her whisper, “I’m sorry.”
It became too much to bear and he blacked out. He managed to gain some consciousness and look around. He saw his brother passed out next to him, leaning against the window. Listening he recognized the engine of the Impala roaring. Looking at the driver, he saw her driving. He started to feel darkness creep on him. The last thing he thought was how pissed Dean was going to be if he found out some stranger touched the car.
The pain was sharp and Dean awoke with a start. He jerked upright and looked for a weapon only to find he couldn’t move one of his arms and it hurt to breath. He did notice that he was in a bed and it became clear as he remembered. “Sam?”
“Stop moving. Your brother is fine.”
Dean turned to look at the owner of the voice. He spotted her in the corner lounging back with her legs crossed. She was reading a book obviously but it was near pitch dark. That was a new one. He stared at her and demanded in a hoarse voice, “Who are you? Where is Sam?”
The woman got up and placed her book on the table. She picked up something and walked towards him. Dean realized it was a glass of water and took it greedily. She then said, “Sam’s fine. He’s in the bed next to you. Now stop moving or you’ll disrupt the healing wards.”
Dean looked over and saw Sam asleep. He looked a little pale. Dean’s eyes drifted down to the white wrapped around Sam’s waist and the dark streak that was there. Dean went into a panic, “Sam?” He tried to get up and winced when he tried.
“Don’t move. Stay within the wards,” the woman spoke forcefully.
“That’s my brother.”
“And he’s fine because of the healing wards. Stay within yours.”
“Not until you tell me who you are.” Dean started getting up wincing from his ribs. His arm felt numb. He was almost upright when she was suddenly in front of him. “What the…”
Dean felt the touch of her fingers on his forehead. He suddenly slumped over thinking that this woman was a bitch. He didn’t feel himself being carried over back to the bed. His mind drifted into a deep sleep.
Dean felt the warmth of the sun on his face and slowly opened his eyes. Frowning he sat up slowly. He was surprised when instead of intense pain there was a dull throbbing. He gingerly touched his arm and tried to move it. It was still broken but it was still healing. He glanced over at Sam who was still asleep and breathing normally. His coloring was good too. Then Dean felt it: the rumble of his stomach and he smelt something cooking and it smelled like bacon.
Following the call of his stomach, Dean got up and gingerly pulled on the shirt that had been pulled off of him. He did a quick search and found that his gun was missing. He cursed under his breath and slowly walked out the door. He followed the smell of food stopping only to grab something that would act as a weapon. He made his way down the stairs slowly and went towards the kitchen.
It was too quiet but he could hear the clatter of plates being set at a table. He pushed open the door slowly to find a dark haired chick setting the table. He raised the statuette that he found to use as a weapon, ready to strike when the woman said, “Hitting a woman with a rare statue of the goddess of the immortals is not a good idea.” She then turned around and smiled, “Morning Dean.”
Dean lowered his weapon slightly but didn’t back down. He looked at the woman and said, “You know my name?”
The woman smirked at him as she crossed her arms in amusement. Dean took a moment to take in her dark hair and dark brown eyes. She was rather quite pretty. She said, “It’s pretty hard not to know given my hearing.”
Dean frowned in confusion. When he looked up, he noticed that her eyes gave a strange sort of flicker. He raised the statuette again ready to strike. “Alright what are you?”
She was quick and had the statuette out of his hand before he got the idea to even swing. Dean watched in confusion as she breathed a sigh of relief and carefully set the statuette on a nearby countertop. She then said, “Whew. Can’t have the goddess being used as a bat now.” She then motioned to a chair, “Sit Dean. I can tell you must be starving.”
“Did you just… yank that out of my hand?”
The woman merely smiled, “Genetics. Now sit. You look like you’re going to fall over.”
Dean moved but warily, his eyes never leaving her. It was comical since she followed his movement, her smile never wavering. He sat down stiffly in the seat offered and looked at her expectantly. He watched as the woman went to the counter and grabbed a pitcher and poured orange juice into a glass and set it in front of him. “Uh… thanks?”
“You’re welcome. How’s your arm?”
Before Dean could answer, a door opened and another chick came out. She had light brown hair and tawny eyes and olive toned skin. If anything she was more attractive than her weird friend dishing up what was cooking. She paused in the doorway and looked at him before walking over and took his chin with her hand and gave a look over on his face. He protested when she took his arm that had been broken and gently turned it over. “Looks like the wards did their job. You’ll be back to normal by nightfall.”
She then released his arm and looked over at the countertop at the statuette. She looked at Dean with a raised brow. She shook her head and took the statuette and left to replace it where Dean had taken it.
“Don’t mind Angela. She’s all business.”
“I heard that Princess.”
Dean didn’t know if he was going insane listening to the two women bicker much like he and Sam did or to the fact that the one called Angela actually heard what the other one said from upstairs. Trying to sort his thoughts, he did the only thing that seemed less crazy to do. He took the glass of orange juice and took a gulp. Feeling some semblance of calm, he said, “So uh… you have a name?”
“Okay. Family name?”
“Something like that. My father thought to be clever with my name when I was born. He wasn’t too far off the mark.”
“So uh what does it mean?”
Akira turned to look at Dean with tolerant expression. “You don’t have to play nice. Once your brother is up we’ll explain. Just accept that for now you two are safe here.” She gave a slight smile and went back to whatever she was doing.
“I’ll buy that for now.” Dean said nothing else but drank his juice thinking best how to get out of this.
Sam groaned and opened his eyes. Seeing ceiling above him that wasn’t that of the motel had him bolt upright. He winced and pressed a hand to his abdomen.
“That was rather foolish.”
Sam looked towards the door of the room and saw the woman from his dreams leaning against the doorjamb. The pain forgotten, the memories of the fight came back. He said, “It was you, wasn’t it?”
The woman stood up straight and walked in the room. She got close enough for Sam to see a slight bruise on her face. He remembered that she had gotten a harder hit than that. There should have been a bigger welt on her face. He watched as she gripped his chin and moved his head as if to examine him. “How’s the ribs?” She asked the question, completely ignoring his question.
Sam frowned as he moved slightly. He found that his ribs were not as painful as they were before. It was a dull throb. His abdomen though stung still. “Fine. Hardly feel anything except…”
“Well stab wounds for some reason take longer than broken bones with healing wards,” the woman replied while she checked the bandage. Reaching over to the nightstand, she pulled fresh gauze to re-dress the wound. “You were lucky though.”
Sam watched her re-dress his injury. She was fast and deliberate and the touch was gentle. “Thanks.”
“Don’t thank me. You should have listened to me the first time.” The woman finished and taking the used bandages, she wadded them up and threw them in the trash can. “You and your brother are stubborn gits.”
Sam detected a faint accent while the woman spoke. She sounded stern but her voice had a gentle timbre to it. He listened as she chuckled at her own assessment of him and Dean. He asked, “Is that so bad?”
The woman had walked to a wardrobe and pulled out a shirt and tossed it at him, hitting him square on the chest with it. “In most cases no. That should fit.”
Sam pulled on the shirt slowly so as not to disturb his bandages. He then swung his legs over to stand up. He found his shoes and put them on. “So you mind telling me your name? You know mine.”
When Sam finished, he walked looked over to find that Angela was waiting, leaning on the doorjamb once more with her arms crossed. Sam shook his shoulders, “What now?”
“Follow me. Your brother is already downstairs. Let’s hope there’s food left.” Angela then turned and led the way down the hall and down the stairs.
The smell of food made Sam realize how hungry he was. Still he had more manners than Dean and went where he was shown. He found his brother looking warily at a woman at the stove and drinking… orange juice? Sam slid into the seat next to his brother. He was startled when the woman who was by the stove set a glass of juice in front of him and them went to set glasses at the other two places before sitting at one of the remaining empty chairs. Sam leaned over and whispered, “Dean, what’s wrong?”
“Then why are you acting like a scared girl?”
“Shut up Sam.”
“Your brother is right to be wary, Sam,” Angela spoke up. “For all you know, we could be some of the things you hunt.”
Dean managed to get back to his usual self, “Well are you?”
Angela turned around balancing four plates on her arms. Ignoring Dean’s question, she placed plates full of food down for everyone. Sam took a look and saw that it was something that would make Dean happy as well as him. He did manage to notice that she had rather piled it on hers and the other girl’s plate. When Angela sat at the table, she and the other started eating leaving Sam and Dean to stare at them.
It must have been about a full two minutes before Angela looked up and said, “It’s considered rude for a guest to not eat what is set before him.”
Sam looked at Dean. Dean was starving, and giving a shrug of his shoulders, he picked up the fork and started digging in, stuffing the food into his mouth. They could trust them just through the meal… for now. Sam rolled his eyes and picked up his fork and took more polite bites. Looking up, he saw Angela watching them with a bemused expression on her face. The other was just eating making a point to ignore everything. It was Dean who spoke, with his mouth full, “This is good.”
“Glad you like it Dean. Anything to say Sam?”
“It’s good Angela,” Sam replied.
“Glad you like it,” Angela replied and resumed eating.
When everyone was finished, meaning Dean packed away a huge second helping, and everything was put away, Dean asked, “Alright so is one of you going to tell us what the hell is going on? And where’s my car?”
“Relax Dean. The Impala’s parked in the driveway behind my car,” Angela said as she ushered them into the front sitting room. She leaned against the wall behind the chair Akira took. She then said, “What do you want to know besides the fact that you both had your asses kicked by vampires?”
“How about telling us who the hell you are,” Dean demanded, “Or better yet what you are.”
Angela gave a rather coy smile, “And what is it do you think we are?” For some reason she felt like being an irritating bitch.
“Obviously some kind of demon or something.”
“And how did you come to that conclusion, Genius?”
Sam watched as his brother got increasingly angry with Angela. Dean retorted, “Your friend Akira here went all freaky on the eyes.” He pointed at the girl sitting in the chair.
“And you have proof of that?”
Before Dean could do anything foolish, Sam intervened, “Look, we just want to know who you are and why you helped us in that alley? Please?”
Angela stared at the brothers. She disliked being interrogated like that. She had always known that she and Dean would rub the wrong way if they ever met. It was in both their natures to be that way. It was also the only way she could think of to keep herself at arms distance from them. Yet she found that she couldn’t completely do that. Sam made that near impossible. Still she maintained the posture and replied, “Since you’re asking nicely. I’m Angela and my partner is Akira and we were there because we are on assignment from the order we work for.”
“So you are hunters then?” Sam asked.
“You could say that,” Angela replied. She glanced at the back of Akira’s head for a moment before returning her gaze towards the brothers.
Akira then said, “We are… rather unusual.”
“You could say that,” Dean muttered.
“As well as the vampires that jumped you,” Akira added, her gaze capturing Dean’s. “They are unusual because they were once one of those that were born.” Seeing the look of puzzlement on the boys’ faces, she went into an explanation, “This is going to sound like beyond crazy but the vampires you two have killed before are one of three kinds. There are those that are born, those that are made and those that dance in the shadows.”
Sam took a moment to study the library on the second floor. The shelves were full of books organized by content. He scanned the shelves and found one book that held his interest and pulled it off the shelf. The sound of keys tapping caused him to turn his head. He spotted Akira sitting at the table tapping away on a portable laptop. She had a couple of books spread open around her and occasionally she would glance at one as if to cross reference and look back on her screen. He silently debated on whether or not to go over and see what she was doing, still a bit nervous from what she had told them earlier about herself and Angela. Yet he knew they were telling the truth.
Slowly he walked over to where Akira was working and asked, “So uh what are you working on?”
Akira didn’t divert her gaze from the screen but she replied, “Trying to work out the translation for a ritual. The vampires have not just been taking blood, but souls.”
Sam took a seat by her to take a look. When he saw the screen, he asked, “Is that the GX translator program running?”
“Yes. Specifically designed to take a single document in a language not yet translated and cross reference with multiple languages to translate into a readable language. It was specifically designed for any documents and texts written in languages no longer in use. Actually spoken version of these languages is being developed.”
“How do you know that?”
“I worked on the translator. Ancient Mysteries is my specialty.”
Sam could feel his jaw drop. “You’re Akira Kuran, top researcher of the supernatural.”
“Ancient Mysteries,” Akira automatically corrected. “You humans are simple minded.” She grinned as she said it since she knew Sam was the academic. “Humans and demons used to practice these rites long before written history. The world is pretty old Sam.”
Sam was watching the translation until he flipped open the book that he had picked, He thumbed through the pages until he stopped. He then rotated his arm to look at the tattoos and back at the book. He then said, “Um… Akira.”
Akira looked away from her work and saw Sam looking at a book and his arm. She frowned slightly and peered at the page he was gazing at. When she found it she said in almost a nonchalant voice, “Oh so that is what she used to force you out. Interesting.” Then seeing the look on Sam’s face, she explained, “The sigils are protection sigils as well as repelling ones. Used in combination of each other, they can force a dreamer out of the dream realm and prevent them from coming back.”
“But they followed me back.”
“Until the job is done,” Akira replied nodding. She knew Sam was not prone to panicking but she got the idea that this was bothering him. She continued, “This is interesting because Angela doesn’t read these. She can but she doesn’t and this is of the Old Religion. Very, very old stuff back to the days between the war between the Ancients and the Champions. Very old stuff.”
Sam looked at the tattoos on his forearm and back at Akira who was taking an interest in them. She was purely the academic but she must be a fighter given that she and Angela saved him and Dean against those vampires she explained about. She was also the one who preferred to take the back seat on discussions until she was called to and she did it with a knowing expression. “So this will go away when the job is done?”
“These kinds of things are as permanent as the caster makes them. So when Angie considers the job done, they’ll go away. It’s not the end of the world so don’t worry. Though I would keep it covered. Those that recognize the sigils know that you are under the protection of someone and since it is not hard to scan for the caster’s aura...”
Sam frowned as he listened to Akira talk. He got the feeling that she knew quite a bit but she was conflicted on what to tell him. He was also interested in the woman who gave him the tattoos in the first place. He asked, “So… how did you and Angela meet?”
Akira raised her brow at Sam. She was curious as to why he was interested in her. Angie mentioned only meeting him in the dream realm and forcing him out but nothing else. Whatever secrets you keep, I will protect but you have to eventually tell them. Akira was good at saying much but not revealing much. She gave a slight smile, “I left college teaching and became a professor at Roslyn Academy. That’s where I met her. She’s a guest lecturer.”