Setting Fire to the Nest

They stood outside the mansion where Sam told them the vampire they were hunting was last located. It didn't look like much. It was your typical run down building with an unkempt lawn, a dodgy letterbox that was leaning over enough that it almost touched the ground, and there were a scattering of trees and an old shed down the side.

The fence was high, but there was an opening big enough for a person to pass through without any trouble. It was through this gap that they moved, River sneaking through first, followed by Dean.

"Queen of the castle," River murmured. "She knows we're here."

"Good. Makes things more interesting if she knows," Dean said. "You wanna hold back til Sam gets here? I'll go in alone."

River shook her head. "You need me."

"Ha." Dean laughed her off and then edged closer to the house. He was skilful in his movements, quiet and unseen, and yet the vampire inside knew where he was at every moment. River could sense it in her thoughts. "Shh," he said suddenly, putting a hand over her mouth.

She glared at him. He was the one who had been talking. She knew very well when to be quiet and when to be nice (a girl) and she knew when it was time to fight (the weapon). River prepared herself to fight, while remaining silent and still.

Dean slowly removed his hand from her face. "I thought I heard a-"

The vampire lunged at them without warning, knocking Dean to the ground. His instincts kicked in a split second later. He kicked at the creature. Punched her. Blood ran from her nose. Dean rolled and got to his feet and aimed another kick; the vampire easily pushed him to the side where he lay, groaning in pain. "Foolish one, you are. You think you can take me on and live?"

"You think you can take me on and live?" Dean shot back. Cringing, he climbed to his feet.

River rolled her eyes. "Sam is nearly here," she said to no one in particular.

The vampire turned her attention on River. Her eyes were steel blue and her hair a dark menace around her shoulders. "Your friend is very welcome to come here," she said, smirking. "I'm quite hungry tonight."

Staring blankly at the vampire, River said nothing more. She simply stood and watched.

The vampire seemed to grow tired of her and returned her attention to Dean, who had managed to dig out a stake from the leg of his jeans. She moved aside in time to avoid his attack.

Dean tried again and the vampire dodged him another time. "So what's your name then?" he asked, biding for time. "I like to know who I'm up against."

"Thyone," she replied. "It means-"

"Inspired frenzy," Sam filled in, frowning slightly. He had an axe in his left hand and a bottle of holy water in the other. To River and Dean, he said, "Hey guys. Miss me?"

"Took you long enough getting here!" Dean said. He ran one hand down the back of his jeans, nursing the section he had landed on.

"I was watching the Queen beat on him like a kitty cat," River added.

"Oh, shut it. You weren't that helpful yourself."

There was a glint in River's eyes. She tilted her head to the side and stared at the vampire called Thyone. "We're not alone."

"Quite right, little one."

Sam scrunched up his nose, cocked his head to the side for a moment, straightened and then sighed. "It's a nest."

"What?" Dean said. "You told me this was just one vamp, man! Now it's a nest?"

"How many of you are there?" Sam said, ignoring Dean. He wet his lips with his tongue.

"More than you three can handle. And oh, look. I think that's them now." She gestured out front where a scruffy-looking ute was pulling into the drive. It parked, there was a moment of silence in which nobody moved, and then the doors swung open. Out stepped two grown men, a woman and a girl young enough to still be in high school. All walked with inhuman grace toward them.

"Man, that is just wrong." Dean scowled. "So wrong. How could you not know this is a nest we're walking into?"

"Dean, get it together. Yell at me when this is over."

Dean gave a short laugh. "When this is over, we'll be dead."

"Or undead," Sam added, unhelpfully. He frowned.

"You're beginning to understand," Thyone said. She clasped her hands together and grinned cheerily at them. Just as quickly, she dropped her hands to her sides and her expression went serious. "Good."

As they continued to exchange remarks, River watched the approaching vampires, her features still blank. Waiting. Soon it would be time to release her inner self. The weapon. She could feel it twist inside of her in anticipation (impossible as it was; the change from girl to weapon was always instantaneous, and the girl and the weapon didn't mix in her body beyond the fact that they shared her body).

A silence overcame her and as Dean and Sam left their bickering to finally pay attention to the vampires that were gaining ground on them, she felt the quick transformation. The weapon took over.