The Winchesters reluctantly team up with a teenager to fight evil.
A creepy mansion somewhere outside San Francisco.
September 28, 2015
It's a scary mansion. Two stories tall, but three times wider than most houses and wrapping around a central circular driveway. In the middle of the driveway is a big fountain, dried out, cracked and covered in black fungus in places. The windows still bear some of the old curtains, ghostly pale and scarcely hanging on, they flutter in the wind carried through broken glass.
In that darkness, the shadows are stirring. Recent events, a murder or two of peculiar circumstances in town would have brought a hunter eventually.
And it's probably a hunter that's arriving now, a bronze Toyota Camry rolling to a stop in front of the mansion. His brakes squealing, Darius brings his car to a stop on the driveway out front and looks up at the decaying edifice.
There's already a car there, though. A really gorgeous vintage Impala, and that car looks like it's one of the best-maintained in the world. It looks new!
Which means inside, there's a Dean Winchester, armed to the teeth and ready for action. Some kind of action. He's not sure exactly what the action mentioned might be, but he's one hundred percent sure it's here. Even though Sam's finally back with him recently, he's decided to take this case on alone. Sam's got research to do, serious looking about a weird mystery, and Dean knows he can't be much help with that until they actually go to the place.
Dean scans the room with his flashlight, searching for any indications. He's got some suspicions. This isn't just some kind of weird-ass ghost. Definitely not a vampire. Maybe a wraith, possibly a ghoul, maybe cursed human in some way? In any case, he's here to redeem 'em if possible and if not, at least to give 'em a peaceful rest.
Craning his neck, Darius stares through his dirty windshield, and only after several seconds of looking does he convince himself to go inside. It's then that he notices the nice car. It's not a nice car, he realizes as he gets out of his shit-mobile, it's a masterpiece. It's like a work of art for all men with a pulse. Pretty girls get less attention than he gives the Impala as he climbs out of the Camry and rises, camera in hand. Instead of filming the mansion, he points it at the Impala and holds the camera on it as he walks around it, peering in through the windows as he takes a circle.
"So, viewers, we've rolled up to that haunted place I mentioned in my last video, and instead of finding a ghostly hearse or something, we've got this uh.. Xzibit level pimped out ride," he begins the video and then lifts the camera dramatically up toward the mansion. "And there's our destination, but I thought you guys might dig the car."
He falls silent then, but keeps the camera on and turns on the light on it. Sending out a big beam of light, Darius starts up toward the mansion. Which, in hindsight, isn't all that unsurprisingly unlocked. Slipping inside, he pans the camera back and forth.
"There is a slight hint of a smell of maybe sulfur or something," he remarks to the camera as he walks, shouldering open a few doors as he walks along, offering the occasional commentary. "I don't see much sign of our other visitor, but they might have gone in a different way," he says to the camera, turning it back toward his face, the light shining on his big blonde face.
Dean would be charmed to chest-puffing pride if he could only hear Darius and his words about the car. Even more than himself, Dean takes great care to make sure his Baby is maintained. Actually, way more than himself, his brother would probably point out. The car is his life. The car is practically their home on wheels! It has been for a long time.
Wait, Dean says to himself. What's that? What is that sound? Well, it doesn't sound like a wraith, but he's pretty sure there's someone else here. So he cautiously goes out into the hallway, circles around the corner and takes a look. At first, the light shining on the man's face looks like something of a ghost, or some sort of spirit or entity, mainly because it's so dark inside and that light isn't very big.
By the time Dean actually gets there, he's fairly hidden by the fact that he's behind the glare of the light. He purses his lips and clears his throat, folding his arms over his chest and looking for all the world like he really belongs in the house, like maybe he owns the property or something.
Whatever the case, Dean definitely is expecting something from Darius by way of explanation.
Loaded to the gills as Darius may be with power, he isn't hard to sneak up on, especially when he is talking to himself and staring into a bright camera light. Even as Dean approaches however, he can hear the teen explaining to the camera, "… so if we pay attention to the smell, that might mean something, or it could just mean that there was a bad case of eggs, or a gas leak." He points the camera ahead, and just as it settles again when he senses weapons.
A sawed off with salt filled shells, stakes made of wood, a knife or two, three in fact, and a well maintained .45, nickel plated, a bit showy, but clean, maintained, unmodified. Each in their place on the person carrying them. Weapon sense tingling, he Spideysenses on them, and turns slowly in his place, bringing the camera low as he does. Avoiding shining that spot-light level camera light in the face of the man behind him.
"Cool car, dude," he says by way of introduction, and lowers the camera a bit more until it points at the ground. To the appraising eye of an experienced hunter, Darius doesn't give off any overt supernatural look. He's tall, well muscled, and carries himself like a fighter, but he doesn't have any obvious weapons on him. Or claws, or fangs, or funny eyes. Standing there, he looks at a loss for words.
Dean gives Darius a look-over. He's kind of appraising the other guy, to get an idea of whether he's a threat or not. In his line of work, it never pays to underestimate anyone else, especially when they're in the middle of a potential danger zone.
Still, as the Impala is a point of intense pride for Dean, he starts to smile almost immediately. "Yeah? I work pretty much all the time to keep her lookin' her best. She rides like a magic carpet. You should hear her engine, she--"
Then he catches himself again. Dean glances back to the door, and then the opposite direction, into the house again. "You sure you wanna be here? This ain't a safe place, if you catch my drift."
And then a black 2006 SRT8 Dodge Charger pulls up and parks beside the Impala, and Sam Winchester hops out, grabbing his bag as he does. "You left without me," he complains, approaching Dean with a frown. He pauses, brows drawing together as he looks Darius over. "Hello."
Weapon sense tingling as another person enters the house, Darius turns back on the camera and points it in the direction of Sam. "Someone with similar weapons over--" he tails off when Sam starts speaking and looks back in the direction of Dean. The big teen shakes his head a little at the question. "Honestly, I'm not even sure what I want to eat after this, but I wouldn't be here if I were afraid of whatever it is," he points out, being honest, including a small wry shrug.
Turning his full attention to Sammy then, he nods at the other man.
"Hello, I'm Darius, you guys are some sort of occult hunters, I guess? Salt shells, stakes, silver rounds in your trunk," he lets the cat out of the bag. Though most might conclude that he's a young Sherlock Holmes and not in fact able to sense weaponry, as that's rather a very peculiar and single power. "Sorry to just whip it out, but I thought we'd skip the part where you try to convince me that I'm going to be eaten."
That kind of surprises Dean. And then Sam surprises Dean as he pulls up in a car of his own. He frowns at once, disturbed from his car-bragging by Darius and his weird weapon sense.
But that's not Dean's first thought. "You broke into my car?" It's clear that he was about to explain to his brother, but this click of his mental process derails that explanation. It will have to wait until after Darius makes one himself. If Dean doesn't just tackle him to the ground or something.
Sam Winchester frowns again, reaching out to place a firm hand on Dean's shoulder. "Hang on, let him explain." He lifts his chin at Darius, eyes narrowing a little. "Why were you snooping around in our car? What're you even doing here?"
A cough. Darius reminds himself not to tell people about the weapons again in the future, he was getting too familiar with strangers lately. A brief pause then as he thinks of the appropriate response. "Uh.. no breaking, nothing taken, but you don't survive walking into a place like this by ignoring the only other car in the driveway. I could have found a body in the trunk, or something, right? Don't be mad, dude, it's in the condition you left it." That makes sense, right?
Holding up the camera then, he wiggles it a little, and then lowers it again, making sure that it's turned off. He doesn't need footage of this.
"It's for my Youtube channel, I go to haunted places, try to catch the boogies on film. Try not to come across like a douche," he explains. "But you know, if there'd been a body in the car, that'd just mean the scary stories were because of serial killer problems, not spooks, and that would have been reason for me to go the other way." Explanation given.
Dean is at least somewhat calmed by Sam, which is a good thing since otherwise Dean can be a bit of a loose cannon. Especially where his car is concerned. Dangerous territory.
What Darius says as a follow-up doesn't help too much. "Now that's funny," Dean smiles, with absolutely no humor at all in his expression. "Because I'm pretty sure I left that trunk locked up tighter'n Fort Knox. So, you mind explaining? Unless you got some kinda x-ray eyes or something."
At least they can be sure Darius isn't certain types of beings the two would like to avoid at the moment, given the precautions that have been taken for their trunk arsenal. Dean's still waiting for his explanation. At least Sam's there to keep him from just exploding.
Sam Winchester gives Dean's shoulder a light squeeze, still watching Darius closely. "Youtube, right. You're some sort of paranormal videographer?" He glances skeptically at Dean, giving his head a shake, then fixes his gaze on the young blond again. "Why don't you just go home, kid? Poking around in derelict mansions, never a good idea. You could...uh...get tetanus."
Sigh. Big mouth. Darius shakes his head at himself a little, and just beats himself up for not keeping his mouth shut. He could have handled the talking-down-to, it would have been fine. He just had to show off. He decides not to explain how he 'exactly' got into the trunk, as Sam seems to have bought the initial explanation as inassofar as not pushing him to explain how he knows how to pick a lock or whatever it might have taken to get the trunk open.
"Tetanus? Really? Vampires, or demons, or whatever it is that lives here.. or un-lives here, and I'm going to worry about tetanus?" he jokes back at Sam, and looks between the two. He feels like he should be responding differently, but he can't help but smile a little at that.
Taking the camera, he points it off the direction he'd been headed.
"I take it you checked that way, is there a basement?" he asks, and turns the camera back on, flicking on the light on the top of the camera. It sends a beam of light down the empty hallway. Decrepit old mansion, creaking in the breeze. "Always the basement. Creepy uncle basements in particular."
"Nothin' in the basement," Dean answers in short order. "Listen. My brother's right. Whatever's here is too much to worry about some kid who broke into my car somehow and is shootin' a video for youtube!" That much makes Dean pause though, and he narrows his eyes, shifting to look over at Sam. "That sounds like a porno site. Is that a porno site?"
Sam Winchester sighs and rolls his eyes in Dean's direction. "No, you're thinking of RedTube." Wait, how does Sam know about...Nevermind! Turning his attention back to Darius, Sam says, "Vampires and demons, really? I thought you were looking for ghosts. Seriously though, this is no place for a kid. Let the professionals handle whatever's here. Why don't you go grab Betty and Veronica and have a malted down at Pop Tate's?"
Darius looks around, and wonders for a second, then he nods at the two. "You're right. Cool car though," he admits, adding that again to Dean, hoping to balm the wound of the 'breaking in' again. Then he turns and walks out the door. Not giving any explanation.
"Oh. Right." Dean answers Sam, and he seems satisfied at this explanation. And then he suddenly looks right at Sam. Wait, how does he know that?! Mr. All-American College Boy Book-Learning Blah-Blah-Blah Sam "Bitchface" Winchester ain't supposed to know porno sites! Except maybe the ones Dean leaves open on his laptop because he thought shutting the laptop would just turn it off and make everything go away.
But he's learned from his mistakes! Dean now understands the fundamentals of erasing the history. Which is kind of a sure-fire tell too, and it still annoys Sam. Oh well. Better than locking up the computer and getting the even more impassioned "don't touch my stuff, Dean" lecture.
When they're left alone, Dean seems satisfied. "Okay Sammy, let's gank this whatever-it-is and get the hell outta here. I already wasted enough time in this dump." He leads back to where he had been investigating before. Not much to produce though, unfortunately. But he's sure there's something. Unquestionably. "Betty and Veronica? Really? That's cute."
Sam Winchester frowns in Dean's direction again, shrugging one shoulder as he pulls out his EMF reader and flicks it on. "Any idea what we're looking for?" he asks, waving the small device around slowly as he follows Dean. He glances over his shoulder in the direction Darius went. "Poor kid has no idea what he's doing. He should be chasing cheerleaders, not ghosts. Hey, how do you think he got in the car, anyway?"
The tall blonde teenager, Darius, is only gone for a minute. Moving quickly right back out the front door. But the expedience of his return probably serves not to trigger any alarms. This time, the youth isn't carrying a camera however, he's carrying an assault rifle. Slung over his shoulder, he is working the action as he walks. He has also put on a vest of solid black over his deep blue ironic t-shirt, and in that vest are a handful of magazines and a nine-inch bowie knife that looks like it means business, and a few honest-to-goodness grenades of some sort. Cannisters of something, anyway.
"AK-47, the very best there is. When you absolutely, positively, got to kill every motherfucker in the room; accept no substitutes," he quotes Jackie Brown.
Then he flicks the safety, and smiles.
He isn't pointing it at the boys, of course, not that it really needs to be said. He just likes that he got to use the quote in a semi-relevant situation. Though the gun isn't even Russian made, let alone an AK.
"Don't know, but he ain't gonna get a second chance." Dean puts on a sour face now, training his flashlight around the room. He seems to spot something and starts towards it, then stops as they're joined again, this time by a much better-prepared...Archie? The elder Winchester brother sets his jaw and points with the hand holding the flashlight. "You ain't Pam Grier, and that ain't a toy. You trained with all that crap, or did you just put it on daddy's credit card?"
Dean does start to get the distinct impression that, whatever happens, they're pretty much stuck with Darius for this case.
Sam Winchester spins at the sound of a round being chambered in the rifle, eyes narrowed at Darius. "What do you think you're doing, kid? This isn't a video game. Where did you ever get that?" He glances at Dean when his brother asks essentially the same question, then frowns darkly at Darius. "This is nuts. You're going to get yourself hurt, or worse, one of us."
"I'll be fine, just watch out for each other," Darius replies plainly, and doesn't justify the question of his skill or where he got the gun with anything more than a snort. "Are you two the only ones who get to have illegal firearms?" A pause. "Your car is pretty cool too by the way, but his is cooler," he says to Sam then, favoring the Impala as a classic. Shouldering the weapon, he looks up and down the hallway and asks, "So where haven't you checked yet?"
Dean puts Darius under some pretty intense scrutiny. But even his stubbornness has to relent slightly in the circumstances. "Yeah, okay. But stay frosty." Turning back to where he was headed to before the interruption, he walks to the corner of the room, kneeling down to pick something up and holding it up in front of the beam of his flashlight. It's a scrap of cloth, pretty standard stuff. But there's something odd about it, definitely.
"I got this floor done now, but..." Dean trails off slightly, motioning with his head to Sam. "Don't go upstairs yet. We go all together or we don't go at all, understood?"
If the Winchesters are just blowing smoke up Darius's ass, they're at least selling the potential threat. But it doesn't look that way. It seems more like Dean, at least, really is convinced there's a serious problem here, and it's one that maybe even assault rifles and grenades aren't going to be able to solve.
Sam Winchester moves closer to Dean, checking the EMF readings of the small scrap of cloth. "What is it?" he asks softly, glancing over to Darius again. "Are we really letting this child tag along with us? What is it with kids following us around lately? First those two at the Bay, now this one. When did we become magnets for the cartoon brigade?"
The teen holds up under scrutiny, Darius has a pretty good frosty demeanor most of the time anyway. Until he is caught snooping in other people's cars, but hopefully they forget about that.
"Condescending much?" he whispers sotto-voce, and eyerolls. Flicking the flashlight attached to the muzzle of the weapon on, he sends the tight beam in the direction indicated and then glances over again at the weird strip of cloth. Part of the curtains, probably. "But yes, sir, I'm Darius by the way, I think I already said that, but you two haven't said what I should call you. Mulder and Scully? Something something Van Helsing?" he jokes, trying to get the guys to stop seeing him as baggage they are hauling. He isn't baggage.
"Dean," the elder brother answers. "This is Sam."
His eyes don't stray from the cloth. Not really any EMF, so it's not ghostly at least. Dean's conclusions seem to be held up by these results: whatever's here definitely isn't some kind of spectral manifestation. He hands the cloth over to Sam. Whatever it is, it's definitely not from the curtains. It seems to be clean, at least from supernatural effects that can be measured by the instruments they have.
"We ain't got a choice. We keep wasting time, whatever's around here is gonna strike again. I'd rather be ready for it and not just bitching about...First Blood over there." Dean offers Darius a smile, and it is pretty charming, although of course it doesn't exactly wipe away their previous interactions. Then his face just goes back to all business. "Hold up the rear, Darius. Don't shoot me. Don't shoot Sammy."
"And try not to shoot yourself," Sam adds, giving Darius a stern look, as he fingers the scrap, then tucks it into a pocket. Continuing to wave the EMF around, he follows Dean's lead, muttering, "And don't call me 'Sammy'." He taps the device on the side a couple of times, just to make sure it's working properly.
Darius watches the action with the EMF, and his eyes narrow. That's an interesting toy. He can probably find directions for how to make one on the internet, that'd be handy. He could maybe even put one on his battle-webbing. Though that might give him away, if he were prowling. Moving over to the far wall, he points the weapon in the direction they'll be headed, flicks a glance, and then backpedals two-feet as he starts moving all.. special-forces like. He doesn't act like he's going to hip-fire, but like he knows how to operate the weapon. Like a professional.
"Righteous, lead the way, Dean-o. You got it Sam," he confirms and has his back to the direction they'll be headed. Playing rear-guard, he doesn't even throw a fit about being at the back of the bus.
Dean has decided to just play the hand he's been dealt, as with so many things in his life. It's easier that way. Usually better in general. So he reaches into his jacket and pulls out the shotgun, taking time to quickly make sure it's loaded with salt shells. Can't be too careful. Just as he turns around to check and make sure Sam and Darius are keeping up behind him okay, he feels like there's some sort of ironic reminder coming to keep his eyes on his fries.
And there it is. A screaming mass of undead, rotting flesh lurches for him. Dean opens with both barrels, stumbling back in the opposite direction from it. Which slows it down, makes it stumble back too, but it definitely doesn't stop it. It's going to take more than salt shells to put this thing down.
Sam Winchester swiftly pockets the EMF device and whips out his stainless steel Taurus PT-92 9mm pistol, aiming at the thing's forehead before squeezing the trigger. "What the hell?" he shouts, glancing to Dean. "That's no ghost."
The teen with the assault rifle doesn't even turn around at the sound of gun-fire, his entire posture remains oriented in the direction they'd come from, Darius just flicks a glance over his shoulder and utters a quick, "Ugh.. That's a whole lotta ugly." Then he goes back to watching his direction and spares occasional glances over his shoulder so that he can be certain that the boys don't end up in trouble, or more importantly, trample him if they are trying to backpedal too quickly.
When Dean starts to reload the shotgun, Darius moves swiftly to fill the gap, and finally opens fire, with three controlled bursts, aiming for heads only. The rapid rat-tat-tat of the assault rifle accompanied by the repetitive flash of the heavy weapon discharging a lot of lead in rapid succession.
"Take their heads?" he asks, keeping frosty.
"That'll help!" Dean calls out. Once he has the shotgun loaded again, he looks around and back to the creature in the hallway before them. It's struggling from Sam's fire, and then Darius adds to that. Headless, though, it keeps coming. Even when a second joins it, with Darius able to pop its head before it gets too close...that only seems to slow it down. They're still coming, even if they have to drag themselves along the floor to try.
"We gotta incinerate 'em. That's the only thing that'll get rid of 'em." Dean helpfully adds, looking around to make sure there aren't more waiting somewhere. He covered the floor, though! Even the basement. They must have come from somewhere else. "Hey, uh...wait a sec." The gears turn in his head. "Let's get these two lit up. Outside though, so we don't catch the house on fire. Then I'm gonna have a closer look at that last room."
Sam Winchester starts backing down the corridor again, firing repeatedly at the oncoming undead. "What're you thinking, necomancy? Some sort of dark ritual? We need to find the altar." He fires twice more, then quickly loads a fresh clip into his pistol.
"Got it," Darius replies hastily and moves out of Dean's way, resuming his post as rear-guard, and now pointman as he starts to lead the way to the closest door. The door through what looks like a servant's kitchen, he rapidly sweeps the room ahead of them and then calls back, "Clear through the kitchen, they'll follow," and holds his location at the door to the kitchen, not leaving their backs unguarded.
Once the wonder-twins are close enough, he steps into the kitchen and the sound of the door to the exterior can be heard, maybe only faintly over the gunfire, as it is kicked off its hinges and the big blonde teen follows it out onto the back lawn, clearing the path ahead of the guys.
"Sammy!" Dean barks. "This way." He leads his brother in the direction Darius goes first. At least the two zombies they've encountered won't be much of a threat with one headless and the other basically on the floor for now. But they keep coming -- that's the thing about zombies. They always keep coming, until they're reduced to ashes on the breeze.
Dean keeps his gun trained on the creatures, making sure that Sam's out before he is. He won't let his baby brother be put in danger by these monsters. "Yeah, I'm thinkin' with our little disturbance, I missed a secret door. Probably got some forgotten altar behind it. We get rid of that, we can finish this business."
Sam Winchester nods to Dean, backing through the door to the kitchen, then dashing across to the exit and outside. "I'll get the gasoline," he calls, running around the corner of the building to make his way back to the car. "Lead them as far away from the house as you can!"
"I might have incendiary stuff--" Darius starts to explain, when the brothers emerge from the house, but stops quickly enough. Sam already gone. The tall boy has apparently found the backyard suitably without threat, because he stands there with the gun hanging at his side. The tall teen looks as cool as a cucumber. Not a bead of sweat, not even a bit of shock on his face. This is not his first rodeo. He looks at Dean and nods at his explanation. He has no idea how to deal with that sort of thing, but 'burning things' is always his answer to such problems.
Moving over to stand by Dean, he removes the magazine from his gun and swaps it for a fresh one.
"Have you dealt with something like this before?"
"Yep." Dean looks Darius over as Sam cuts away to grab the gas. "Looks like you ain't too shaken up." Maybe this kid isn't exactly new to the whole thing as he seemed when he was waving around a camera. Either way, Dean keeps his eyes on the door. The zombies should be just about there.
And there they are. They keep making those inhuman sounds -- but still unsettlingly human, in their own way -- as they drag themselves along the ground. They have the scent of the hunters. They won't stop before they get them.
"Nah," Darius replies and thinks for a second, and then unclips the assault rifle from the sling around his neck and offers it over. "Here, try this," he suggests, like they're at a shooting range. He holds it out, like he doesn't intend to pull it back until it has been accepted. Staring at the crawling mounds of flesh as they emerge from the house, his eyes narrow a little. "Yep, no less ugly without their heads."
Dean considers it, then takes the rifle, weighs it in his hands, looks it over, and brings it up. Controlled shots, he's either used one before or is trained enough in firearms to know how to use it well, once he has it. It can't hurt to slow them down even more. That'll give Sam enough time to get back with the gas, and then...then they can fix at least the first part of the problem. Hopefully the second won't be that hard either.
Sam Winchester comes jogging back with a small plastic can of gasoline, frowning when he sees Dean playing with the assault rifle. "You didn't immobilize them?" he asks, letting out an exasperated sound. Uncapping the can, he cautiously approaches the crawling undead, starting to splash them with gas, while keeping just out of reach.
When Sam moves over to start pouring gas on them, Darius draws out huge knife out of his webbing. "I forgot my bear traps at home," he quips. He can think of ways he could immobilize dragging dead, but all of those would involve him collapsing the house on the undead, or throwing a tree at them, perhaps. He might also be able to do it with a spear or something, he supposes, or a..
... he comes back to the problem at hand, and does his best to stay central so that the undead crawl after them in a straight line, not all over the dried out California lawn.
"Well I sure ain't gonna carry them out here!" Dean points out, lowering the rifle with a huff of indignation. "They're doin' just fine on their own. We can torch 'em and then make sure they don't go anywhere. Unless you wanna give 'em piggyback rides. I hear they like big beefy guys." Which is clearly a kind of light ribbing at how Sam is so tall and seems to just get more well-built by the day. Though then Dean thinks again and glances to Darius, who is also built really well. Then again, Dean's no marshmallow. Oh well, it seemed funny when he thought of it, so he said it. Just like he always does.
Once the zombies are close enough and suitably soaked in gasoline, he circles around them -- Darius is drawing them steadily on -- and lights the trail of gas behind them. They go up like old kindling. It's over in seconds, leaving the bones burning afterwards. And those are so old, they'll probably do just fine without anything extra.
"Okay! Let's find what we came for and get this over with." Dean turns and walks back into the house. He's a little bowlegged. What's up with that? Maybe he moonlights as a cowboy.
Sam Winchester recaps the gas can and leaves it on the back steps, as he follows Dean back into the house, taking out his pistol again and glancing back at Darius. Pulling out the cloth again, he looks at it more closely, eyes narrowed. "What makes you think there's a secret room?" he asks his brother, turning the scrap over in his hand. "It have something to do with this?" Unlike Dean, his own gait is relatively normal, though he does have a tendency to duck his head slightly as he walks, probably because he's so tall.
Flipping the knife in his hand, Darius doesn't follow Dean when he moves to help with the torch-lighting ceremony. He just keeps drawing the deadites on, and backs a few more steps, stepping in once or twice to give their burning stumps a kick and keep the blown off-bits from crawling off away from the larger chunks. He also seems to be paying attention that the grass doesn't catch. Eventually he glances up at Dean and nods his head.
He smirks at the joke about beefy guys, but he doesn't seem to think this applies to him, he just snerks and watches the burning chunks.
He moves over to follow the brothers back into the house, and agrees with the assessment, "That fits with standard horror movie rules. Rich people always have secret rooms where they worship demons and make sacrifices to get more money." He's probably just joking.
"Yeah," Dean answers his brother. "I thought I saw more of that cloth caught in the wall. But before I could really take a look, Rambo arrived and--" He stops himself and turns, presenting Darius with his gun again. "Thanks."
Then they're back in the room, and Dean makes a beeline for the corner he neglected before. Taking out his flashlight, he runs it up and down the seam of the wall, where the two meet. And sure enough, there's some kind of a draft...and more of the scrap cloth caught in the corner. It's almost invisible. It's nothing short of amazing that he noticed it. "Okay. We gotta jimmy this open or find the switch."
Sam Winchester pats at his jacket a few times, then pulls out a small crowbar, passing it to Dean. "There's probably a secret lever or switch somewhere," he says, looking around slowly. He casts another glance at Darius, appraising the kid, before returning to his search. "A sconce to twist or something like that. That's how it works in the movies, right?"
New nickname: Rambo. He doesn't even mind that Dean calls him that, he just goes along with the flow, and even smirks a little as he takes back the gun and clips it again onto the sling around his neck. Flipping the knife again, he sees what Dean is talking about and agrees with the assessment. Putting the knife away, he looks around for anything nearby that might somehow be connected. "Or a lightswitch, though if it's electric, it won't work," he guesses and considers just throwing the opening open.
Siding with caution, he flips the knife one last time and puts it back into the sheathe on his chest.
"Let's just force it," he concludes and walks over to the wall, he appears to find some sort of opening there, as suddenly his fingers grab onto the edge and with a great scraping motion, the forces the hidden passage open. "Open 'sesame.'"
Dean helps! With the crowbar Sam gave him. Once he works it into the corner, with as much of a gap as he can work with, he gets it open enough for Darius to get his fingers around the edge. The two of them manage to open the passage, though Dean makes a face and coughs a few times. Dusty. Musty. And pretty unpleasant. Even if it hasn't been sealed, as such, it still holds the ripe smell of death and decay. The inside is a corridor that terminates in a door, although at least this one is just a plain door like all the others in the place, even if it is less worn down by the elements since it hasn't really been exposed to them.
"Uh, guys?" Sam says, turning a decorative bit on the front of the nearby fireplace until there's a click. That secret door would have been a lot easier to open if they'd looked for this unlocking mechanism first. Shaking his head, he digs a flashlight out of his pocket and flicks it on, moving to stand near the others. "Let's get this over with and get out of here. This place is seriously giving me the creeps.
"Passage leading to creepy door. Yep," Rambo confirms with Sam, "This whole place has one of those creepy uncle vibes I mentioned," Darius confirms and steps back pulling the flashlight off of his gun with a loud audible click. Holding that up, he lets the gun hang at his side, and looks to the other two. He isn't going to ask if they want him to take the lead, and he isn't about to start some sort of problem here, by pushing the issue and just going first.
When Sam finds the switch, he gets a little sheepish. He would have been fine to just wait and see, he should try to remember to be more cautious in the future.
"But, agreed. I don't want to linger here. In case someone heard the gunshots." Though he doubts that.
Dean grins a little sheepishly to Sam and shrugs. It's his way of operating. Big strong man! Crowbar and elbow grease! He holds the mini-crowbar out to Sam, for him to put back in his own wearable, portable arsenal as Dean goes for his own and takes out his shotgun again. He leads the way, careful to look around him, just in case there are traps in the walls or trick walls that will collapse and cover them in zombies or something. But it's not like zombies are exactly easy to manufacture, so he's pretty sure the two are it. He reaches for the doorknob with his free hand. "You ready?" He asks the others, looking to them.
Sam Winchester tucks away the crowbar, nodding as he cocks his pistol and shines the flashlight onto the doorknob, then up to the middle of the door, so it will light the room beyond when opened. "Let's do this," he says, glancing back to Darius again. "If you were old enough to drink, I'd offer to buy you a beer after this is over."
Snapping the flashlight back onto his gun while the crowbar is passed around, Darius nods his head from the back. With two swift motions he replaces the magazine in his assault rifle. "Good to go," he confirms and turns his back to them for a moment as he looks one way down the hallway, and then the other before he nods to them. The coast is clear here. They aren't going to immediately be trapped by zombies, anyway. "Thanks! I never turn down free food," he mentions.
"Eh." Dean reaches out and turns the knob, pushing the door inwards. "What's a beer between friends?"
Before anyone can answer, though, there's an inhuman screech from inside. It's some...well...it's obviously undead, and it looks like a really decayed zombie. Like, advanced decay, almost down to the "barely a skeleton that can move" level. It goes for Dean immediately, of course, and he lets off both barrels again. That doesn't stop it long, and soon he's grappling hand-to-hand with it. It's remarkably fast for something that decrepit!
And this is the altar room, small and round, with the altar at one end, piled high with macabre artifacts. It'll be easy enough to demolish.
"Just -- go, Sammy! The altar!" Dean calls out, trying to make sure this thing doesn't strangle him with its bony fingers.
"Crap!" Sam shouts, squeezing past Dean and into the small room, heaving the altar up, then dumping it over on its side, scattering the bizarre collection of grisly artifacts across the floor. Spinning back, he pockets his pistol and draws out a large, silvered hunting dagger, bringing it down hard against the top of the undead creature's head.
Leaving 'Sammy' to the task of getting the altar, Darius moves over to help Dean with the bare-bones zombie. Letting the gun fall back from his side, he doesn't risk shooting it in those close quarters, surrounded by concrete and whatever else. It's too risky to shoot, too many possible ricochets and flailing limbs. Instead, he moves over to grab onto the spinal column of the skeleton, he pulls it back and actually sort of raises the whole zombie up into the strike of Sam's descending dagger.
It's great, because Darius and Sam manage to put an end to the third creature, though the destruction of the altar seems to have a hand in that. The effect ripples out and, by the time the dagger sinks into it, it just sort of bursts into ash and scatters into nothing but a dusty cloud that quickly dissipates.
Dean goes to pick up his shotgun, checking it for any damage, and replaces it inside his jacket, looking satisfied to Sam and Darius. "Job well done. So! Sammy, you're buyin'. It's time for beer."
Sam Winchester stumbles back a step, catching his breath. "That's it? We don't even know who made the altar, or why, or if they'll be back." He slides the dagger into its sheath, looking Darius over again. "Are you even old enough to shave?" He clears his throat once or twice, glancing at Dean. "Beer time sounds fine to me. But if we're boozing the kid up, we can't do it in a bar."
"I need to get a fake ID," Darius decides, when for the second time in several days he is faced with a situation where it might come in handy. He nods then at the question from Sam and looks a bit indignant, "I'm not that young, dude," and then walks over to the altar and seems to be contemplating the whole 'if they'll be back to do it again' scenario. Dragging his finger across the disturbed altar, he lifts up a dusty finger. "They haven't been back here in a long time. I think this is some old mojo," he says, but shrugs, he isn't exactly a professional at the mojo part of it. He gets the whole monster killing part just fine, though.
Dean gestures to where the skeletal one was just a minute before. "You want my thoughts on this? That altar belonged to ol' Dusty here, the people who came out here were in real estate and were surveying the property, and they ended up zombie chow. Dusty stuck in here. They ain't gonna be back." He starts to walk down the hall again, back to the now open secret door. "If you wanna be sure and torch the place, I don't have a problem with it. Anyway, more important matters. Beer."
Dean turns to make sure the others are following him out. Maybe Sam decided to grab a magical item or two. They're just there for the taking anyway. Might be good for research. "I say we just get a big pack and drink under the stars. Nice night."
Sam Winchester looks over the spilled altar contents, a quick shudder running up his spine. "Yeah, sounds fine to me. I just need to return that car to...uh...where I got it. Probably not a good idea to torch the house though, what with the wildfires problem California's been having." He follows Dean down the short corridor and back into the open again, glancing once more at Darius. "What you need is a military ID. Servicemen are legal to drink at any age. Probably hafta cut your hair though."
Taking a moment to look the place over as they exit, Darius walks over to his car and nods over toward Dean from the back of his shitty bronze Toyota Camry. Popping the trunk, there is an open hard-case he must have been keeping the assault rifle in. He takes a few minutes to put everything away, and doesn't bother the others, save to respond to that suggestion of the military ID, "That's.. that's genius, and yeah, the hair. I need to cut it anyway, I just sorta feel like Samson after this long, like I'll lose my secret mojo," he says as he drops the webbing into the trunk next to the hardcase.
Taking a step back from the car, he lets his keys jangle in his hand. "I'll follow you guys."
Dean waves a hand. "Just get a regular fake ID, man. Rock whatever look you want." He crosses to the Impala, opening the trunk and inspecting it closely for any sign of forced entry. He glances back at Darius. There's something weird about this, but he doesn't know exactly what. Still, he's not going to leap into another mystery. It's beer time. "Sammy! We should get something to eat too. While we drink." Knowing Dean, he's in the mood for something especially good-tasting but bad for him.
Sam Winchester aims the key-remote at his 'borrowed' Charger, switching off the alarm and unlocking the doors. "Let me guess -- pizza or cheeseburgers?" He pulls open the driver's door, then looks over to Darius. "If you get lost, we're at the Tiki Inn, room two. And hey, I think your hair looks fine, for what it's worth." Without waiting for a reply, he climbs in and starts the engine.
"Got it," Darius confirms and waves off the discussion of his hair with a few head-shakes and hand movements. His hair needs to go, he has been thinking it for a few weeks now anyway. He doesn't want to discuss his hair with the machoest guy he has met in a long time, not standing so near the Impala. It's not a manly thing to discuss. Instead he just jumps in his car, and with a great grinding whine the old piece of junk gets started, whirring as it gets going.
Turning on the lights, he rolls down the window and leans out, looking back and forth to see who he is going to be following.
Since Sam has to take his car back before it's missed, Dean's just going to follow Sam, pick him up, and then they'll pick up beer and greasy, wonderful junk food for the impromptu beer garden they're setting up. The Impala purrs as he starts the car, and then she roars into action as he pulls out, maybe showing off just a little bit for Darius. Because Dean's very, very proud of his car.