The stench was overpowering and enough to wake the dead. Sam slowly opened his eyes trying to ignore the throbbing in his head. He found that he had been tied to a chair and very tightly. Blinking to ease the throbbing he looked around and found himself in an empty room and winced slightly. His stab wound was still sore even though he had been assured that it was healed. A closer look revealed that it was like a holding cell in a jail. The walls were rust stained and there was the unmistakable sound of dripping water coming from somewhere. Sam started struggling to try and get free when a sound came to his right.
A door opened and one of the demons walked in. It was followed by two others and they were dragging something between them. The leader opened the cell next to Sam’s and said, “In here.”
Sam watched as they dragged in Angela and dropped her on the floor of the cell. Her hair had come completely undone and was hiding her face. One of them asked, “Tie up?”
“No. Jensen hit her pretty good. She’ll be out for a while and when she comes too, she’ll have one hell of a headache.”
Sam gritted his teeth in anger, “What do you want with us?”
The demon who had been talking looked at Sam with a smile and motioned for the others to get out. He locked the cell and went over to Sam’s cell. He unlocked it and with a quick movement was in front of Sam with a predatory gleam in his eye. The demon said, “It’s not me that wants you Sammy. You see there are three prize catches among the more intelligent of the things you hunt. You and your brother are two and the third…” He then made a sweeping gesture towards the unconscious Angela. “There are others that people want but you three are… unique.”
Sam listened. It wasn’t the first time that someone told him that he was special. Hell he and Dean were after the yellow eyed demon, the one who said that he had plans for him and others like him. The fact that Dean was included in this job with was somewhat of a pause. He replied, “And why is that?”
“Aside from being a pain in the ass for my boss… I don’t know. I’m not paid to answer your stupid questions Sammy.”
Sam and the demon turned to look at the person who spoke. Sam looked on in concern as Angela gave a slight moan as she lifted her head. She looked at the demon and repeated, “The name is Sam… bloody demon.”
The demon gave a predator’s grin before replying, “Alright. Sam it is.” He then gave a hard punch to Sam’s chest. The demon laughed when he heard Angela curse in her native tongue. It had been years since he heard her speak that language and she only did so when extremely emotional.
Sam thought he heard a crack and the pain was excruciating. He grunted and gritted his teeth trying hard not to cry out. He struggled against his bonds. His chin was then grabbed by the demon and he was forced to look the demon in the eye. He took heaving breaths as he looked at the demon. He said, “Bastard.”
The demon replied, “Such anger. This could be fun. Well enjoy your accommodations.” The demon released Sam’s chin and walked out of the cell. It motioned for the other two to follow and they left with the door shutting with a clang.
Sam watched until they left. When they were gone he looked over to see that Angela was still face down but her head was in her hands. Sam gave a frown of concern. “Are you all right?” When she didn’t answer, Sam tried to move to see her face. She didn’t move. “Angela?”
She still didn’t answer. Sam thought that her response earlier might have been a fluke and she might have a concussion. He made shuffling movements to get his chair closer to her cell. He was winded by the time he got there and his chest hurt more than his abdomen. He paused to take a few moments to catch his breath. It was then she said, “Your chest okay?”
Sam looked at her and saw that she managed to lift her head. She was still holding it in her hands but she had managed to turn it to look at him. Her hair partially obscured her face but Sam managed to see a massive bruise forming across her left cheek. Sam tried not to wince. That Jensen demon really hit her hard. She was looking at him so he replied, “I think he cracked a few.”
Angela gave a slight murmur. She then said, “You got off easy. Most contracts… they kill.”
Sam gave a slight shake of his head. “Well that certainly shines a light on things.” He continued twisting his wrists and felt the rope burn. He looked at Angela. She was still facing him but her eyes were closed. “Angela, are you okay?”
Angela gave a slight curse in what Sam could determine to be Italian. She then said, “Just a massive headache. Shadow Chasers can take quite a bit of punishment but our bodies are still human so crap like this really hurts.”
Sam turned to look forward. He wasn’t sure if he wanted to know. Heck he wasn’t even sure if he should ask. He waged the internal debate for a few minutes before sighing. He then asked, “H--have you been hurt that bad often?”
“You going soft on me?”
Sam looked at Angela as she managed a smile. He couldn’t resist smiling with her. “I thought Dean and I were bad about talking.”
The chuckle he heard from her he considered a good sign. She said, “Too many years hunting alone.” She then grunted and gave a slight moan.
Sam looked to see Angela turn herself over onto her back. Her hair fell back to reveal the bruise on her face in its entirety and it was a nasty one. Sam noticed her feet and they were remarkably unharmed even though she ran several block and managed to kick demon ass barefooted. The dress had gotten dirty but was not badly off. In fact the only part of her showing any kind of damage was her head. He asked, “Your kind heal pretty fast?”
Angela was staring up at the ceiling and she had one of her arms flung across her forehead. She debated on whether or not to keep up with the back and forth. Her head felt so muddled that she felt she could reveal everything if she wasn’t careful. Still sooner or later the brothers will come across another Chaser. The more they knew, the less likely they would make a mistake if the Chaser was a renegade. She replied, “Part of the vampire package. That includes enhanced vision and hearing, strength, and reflexes that make us like Chinese acrobats.”
“Do you drink blood?”
Angela paused and sighed deeply. “We have fangs that appear in the form of elongated eye teeth. We don’t need blood to live but… if we suffer severe blood loss from injury, it… is necessary.” She looked up, avoiding Sam’s gaze. It was always this way when she told the truth. It was the disgusting part and it brought back memories that she wanted left buried. She could feel the familiar burn of tears forming in one of her eyes and she squeezed it shut to try and stop.
Sam had no idea what to think. Akira told him and Dean that they had vampire genes in them. It never occurred to either of them to ask about the need for blood. Here Angela laid it bare and almost as if she was ashamed of it. She did say that they didn’t need it to live. He looked at Angela lying on the floor. He frowned at the expression that she was making. He tried leaning over to see her clearly. It didn’t help that the lighting was terrible and his position made it hard to do anything. Still he made the effort. Was she… crying? “Hey, is something wrong? You hurt anywhere else?”
Angela cursed herself. He had noticed. Still looking up at the ceiling, she replied, “I’m fine. I just feel like crap. When I get out of here, I’m going to rip Suarez’s head off.”
“I’m sure you will but that’s not what I was asking about.”
“No chick flick moments Sam.”
Sam gave an exasperated sigh. He swore it was like talking to Dean. “Angela, I know something’s bothering you.”
“Don’t push it Sam.” Angela then looked over at Sam and saw that he was giving her a look. She didn’t know that it was what Dean called the bitch face. At the moment she felt like hitting something out of frustration. The look Sam was giving her made it die down. She relented… a little. “You know there are times that I hate being who I am. I hate myself for being born with these abilities. That’s why I’m so good at hunting especially vampires. I hate them because on some level… I hate myself. At least what you and your brother do is more honorable.”
Sam paused a moment to think. He then frowned, “You think vengeance is honorable?”
“The demon killed your mother and God knows how many others. Besides you and your brother care about those that are affected. You see the shades of grey.” Angela felt the headache recede enough and attempted to sit up. She was used to being hit across the head so she was ready for the slight dizzy spell and took her time. Finally in an upright position, she scooted to lean against the bars for support. She drew her legs up and wrapped her arms around them and she rested her head on her knees. Now she contemplated on possible plans of escape.
Sam noticed her movements and shuffled his seat to a better position. He still hadn’t figured out how to loosen the ropes since they were tied pretty tight. After giving up in frustration, he said, “I’ve met my fair share of hunters who didn’t care. You’re nothing like them.”
“Thanks but don’t expect me to indulge in a chick flick moment. Twice in one sitting would kill me.”
Sam couldn’t help but laugh. “Alright. I suppose you’re thinking of a plan?”
“Working on it.”
Before Sam could answer, there was a little chirping sound. He looked around peering into the badly lit room. The sound came again and he tried to find the direction it came in. He then felt a sudden weight on his knee and he looked down. Standing on his knee was the kachina that had taken a liking to Dean. It was looking at him intently and gave an inquiring chirp. “I think we may have some help.” He then asked the kachina, “What are you doing here?”
Angela turned to look at Sam and spotted the kachina. She managed a smile. “Looks like it.”
The kachina began speaking in its language and scampered up to stand on Sam’s shoulder. Sam followed its movements and asked, “You think you can loosen the knots?”
It chirped and slid down to work on them. The work was interrupted by Angela saying, “We should send it back to the house. Get Dean and Akira to follow it back here.”
Sam looked over at Angela, “What?”
“They’re not going to do anything to us. We’re wanted alive… more or less. It will buy time for your brother and Akira to get here wherever here is.”
The kachina chirped in a questioning manner. It then let off a series of exasperated sounds that had had Angela grimace in a smile. She then said, “Hey I may not understand Anasazi but I recognize that tone. Don’t pretend to be my mother. It’s the best option we have.”
Sam was chuckling and it threatened to be a full blown laugh. He sobered quickly and asked, “You’re serious aren’t you?”
Angela looked at him, her tawny eyes glittering in the bad light. “Scoping out with what I can see, there are probably more barriers like this between here and freedom. Our best bet is to wait until they decide to take us to Suarez. It would be easy to make a break from there.” She then sighed. “That’s just my thoughts. Feel free to give your own while I indulge in mental self-flagellation.” She then put her head down to think some more.
The kachina continued to watch Angela before looking at Sam. Sam looked over at Angela who hadn’t moved from the position she assumed. He considered saying something to her but decided against it. She had given her advice and that was where she was going to leave it for the time being. Sam wracked his brain for an idea. If he knew Dean, his brother would be planning on busting in with his whole arsenal that is if he knew where to look. Dean always looked after him to point of being an overprotective watchdog yet it was the most comforting thought Sam had. His mind made up he looked at the kachina and said, “Find Dean.”
The kachina gave a slight scold and nipped his ear before jumping down and taking off into the darkness. Sam watched the kachina go before reverting into silence. He looked at Angela and then back on the floor. There was nothing else to do and his eyes started to feel heavy.
Sam was lying on the bed when he felt the drip on his forehead. He frowned and placed a hand to finger the wetness. He looked at it on his fingers and then he looked up. Jess was on the ceiling, looking at him.
Sam screamed as he watched her burst into flames…
Sam jerked his head upright as he woke up from his nightmare. It had been awhile since he dreamed of Jessica dying. The last few times included a dream walking and dreaming about Angela dying. It didn’t make any sense yet Sam couldn’t help but think that maybe the demon had something to do with it. He glanced over at Angela who was trembling. She had been sitting as he had last seen her but now she was visibly shaking as one of her arms tightened across her head. Maybe she has a concussion and doesn’t want to say anything.
Angela was not having a good time of it. She had dropped off into a doze and she started to dream. At one point she was dreaming of fighting Suarez when all of a sudden he had stopped and looked at her. He then began to talk to her. He said, “You know it doesn’t have to be this way.”
Angela narrowed her eyes once she realized that she was pulled into a dream walker state. She replied, “You know I can’t allow you to become a day walker. You will drink the earth dry with the spirit of the Ancient in you.”
“Please. How wrong is it to become a god? If anything your precious mortals should bow down to us.” Suarez started circling her.
Angela followed Suarez’s movements. She could not let him get to her. “We already have the gods. You will just violate the natural order.”
“Oh yes and war between my armies and your so called order. The Centurion is obsolete and they will fall.” Suarez gave her a patronizing look.
“They will remain as long as your kind remains,” Angela spat with venom.
“Why do you hate our kind so much?” Suarez asked in a mocking look of puzzlement. “Could it be that you hate what you are; that you are a traitor to the very races that gave birth to your kind?”
Angela gritted her teeth. He baited her this way the last time. She could not fall for it again. She said nothing and continued to stare at her enemy.
Suarez watched her. He had tried this before and had gotten her to lash out before. He was confident he could do it again. “I don’t blame you. After all to have one parent a bloodsucker and one a human… it’s got to be rough being the odd one out. Of course that time you were caught… that was something else.”
Angela quivered in rage. She knew what Suarez was getting at. It was something she had lived with every day of her life and nothing pissed her off more than having someone drag it out and through the mud making more of it than what it really was. She gritted her teeth as her tawny eyes flashed dangerously, “I curse the gift yes because in order to have these abilities, there is a price. There is always a price.”
“And you would know plenty about that now would you?”
“As well as you. You’re walking right into it and you don’t even care,” Angela replied with a shrug of her shoulders in a similar manner that Sam would have done.
“You don’t care either. If anything you volunteered for the little anti-ritual.”
“I know plenty,” Angela retorted. “Besides another will be the Champion.”
Suarez let out a laugh. “Unlikely story. Out of your pathetic little team, you are the only one with the age and experience to handle such power.”
“It’s the younger Winchester,” Angela bluffed. It was wrong but if she could divert attention away from her, it would give her a chance when the time came.
Suarez looked at her in surprise. “You’re bluffing. Humans can’t tolerate the raw power of a true Champion. Unless… unless there is something you know about the youngest Winchester.” He searched her face to see if he could get some semblance of truth from her.
Angela knew it was wrong to use what she knew about Sam. It was something she had discussed with John once. She had asked him if he was ever going to tell his son what he knew about the demon. Why the demon chose Sam.
John was standing there looking almost lost but the determination was there. She said, “It isn’t right that you are keeping this from him. From the both of them.” She crossed her arms over her chest for good measure.
“It’s for their protection,” John replied. “This is bigger than they know. You know that.”
“You aren’t protecting them by not telling them. Eventually they will figure it out. Eventually the demon will push; push at Sam to get him to break. That is what he does.” Angela narrowed her eyes for good measure, trying to look stern.
“God you sound like Mary,” John replied chuckling weakly. He then sobered, “But all the more reason not to include them in on this. Not yet.”
“You can’t wait forever, John. This life you live… life is short and take it from someone who has had a lengthy lifespan and more than a lifetime of regrets.”
“I know. That’s why I searched for you. I made inquiries…”
“You found me and I helped you as much as I could. Don’t let this wait.”
Of course he did wait and then at the last moment, he dumped the burden on Dean. It had pissed her off when she found out his plan when she paid him a visit. Yet she couldn’t deny him. She saw the love he had for his sons in his face. And I had to go meddle some more. No wonder I prefer self-deprecation. Angela looked at Suarez defiantly. She wouldn’t say anything. She could own up and say eventually that it was she that would host the Champion. She answered his question, “I do know things but I would rather keep them to myself. Besides you know the rule about Champions. Humans can be them too. It is all about them being chosen.” Saying nothing more, Angela started chanting the phrase that forced her out of the dream realm.
Angela felt the rush as she jerked her head upwards. She cradled her head in one of her palms before moving to stretch her stiff limbs. Slowly she lowered her legs and took a couple of breaths.
Angela looked over at Sam and realized that he had been watching her. He looked like he had a nightmare himself. How long had they been in that dump? Slowly she flexed her limbs and bent her legs. She then stood up slowly and began to stretch. Her headache was gone… well reduced to a bearable throb. Finishing she walked over to the bars and tested her reach. She was close enough to get to the ropes binding Sam’s wrists behind him and began working with them. She replied, “I’m fine. It was just a little dream walking.”
“You were pulled in.”
“More or less,” Angela replied as she tried to unpick the knots. She ignored the pain the slivers of rope that splintered into her fingers as she worked with them. It was a minor thing. “Suarez was trying to goad me into a fight. He did that the last time.”
“You resisted right?”
“This time. That time… no.” Angela briefly paused to study her progress. The knot was a tight one and it would take time. At that moment, she wished that she had a knife but she plunged forward. She explained, “I didn’t resist the last time. We fought and it nearly killed me. To be killed in the dream realm means you die here. The mind can’t live without the body.”
Sam listened while he felt her hands tugging on the ropes. She gave a slight curse but she continued working on the ropes. Finally Sam felt them loosen and they fell away. Once his hands were free, he bent over to untie his legs. Once free he stood up and pushed the chair slightly away. The chair could be a potential weapon. He looked around for possibilities when he looked over at Angela who was staring at her palm with a peculiar expression on her face. He followed her gaze and saw that she had cut herself, possibly from the rope.
Angela stared at the red pool that was forming in her palm. The cut wasn’t too deep but it was enough to draw blood. She watched as it oozed out of her wound. The dark red spoke of oxygen and life. Suddenly she could hear the small pulse, the beating as it pumped through her veins. She could smell the power in it. One taste couldn’t hurt. It had been so long… Her hand moved slightly but she resisted. Yet it was calling to her.
Suddenly her hand was grasped in a pair of larger hands. Angela’s concentration had been broken as she watched the pair of hands took a piece of shirt that had been torn off and wrapped up her hand. She could hear the pulse recede in her mind. It had been too close. The pair of hands held hers for a moment before releasing them. By then her normal faculties were under control. She looked up and saw a pair of mossy greens looking at her with concern. Slowly she said the first thing that came to her, “Thanks… Sasquatch.”
Sam had seen her look at her hand as if she didn’t know what to do with it. He noticed that the cut wasn’t deep but it was bleeding. He quickly tore a strip off the shirt he was wearing and reached through the bars to grasp her hand and wrap it. It wasn’t ideal since he had no antiseptic or water to clean it but as long it was covered, it should be fine. When he was finished, he slowly released her hand and waited her for to say something. When she finally did gave an annoyed look at her and replied, “At least your sense of humor is still intact.”
Angela gave a slight chuckle. She then looked at her hand and put it down. She then looked around the room. She had no idea of what to do but seeing the free chair gave her and idea. She said, “Well in this line of work you need one. I think I have an idea but I’m not sure if it will work.”
Sam didn’t say anything about her sudden change in demeanor. Instead he focused on the possibility of escape. “Shoot."