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Rules for Challenges

Know When To Hold 'Em

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Summary: Crossover with Burn Notice, and a Supernatural cameo. Mike and Sam are hired when a young man thinks his sister has joined a gang. Or worse, a cult.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > Burn NoticeVampireConfuserFR1811,6554242,41623 Mar 0823 Mar 08Yes
There's an old country song that goes, “you've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, know when you run”. The song's advice is about the life of a gambler, but part of the point is that it applies to almost any walk of life. Especially that of a spy, or a private investigator.

It's important to know what you can handle, and when you're about to get in over your head.

“Mike this is Joel,” Sam introduced the young man.


“My lady friend's nephew, she's hoping we can handle his problem.”

“What seems to be the problem?”

“I think my sister's joining a gang. Or maybe a cult.” Joel said uncertainly.

There's typically two types of gangs. One can be fairly easy to deal with, they're after turf, and money, and generally are just folks trying to get by. The other kind is made up of mostly psychopaths who do things even terrorists would be horrified by. This second kind, would fall into the category of, things you don't want to try to handle. Not without a bit of an army at your back and anyone you care about on another continent.

Cults...can be trickier to figure out.

“Well let's hope it's the former.” Mike sighed. “Now what's made you come to this conclusion?”

“Well, a few months ago she started hanging out with this really shady looking girl. Really pretty, but she looked kinda, dangerous. And she's started coming home later and later, and looking like she's getting into fights.”

“Those might be signs of that yeah.” Mike said thoughtfully. With Sam's urging, they took the case. The money wouldn't be bad, given the resources at the family's disposal.

When dealing with gangs, the earlier you get to a new member, the better. The longer they're in, the deeper they're in and it gets harder to get them out. It's a good idea however, to know which gang you're dealing with first.

“That's her.” Sam pointed. A young woman was exiting the apartment complex and heading for her car.


“Well if she's getting into fights she's got the right build for it.” Fiona said, leaning up from the back seat, studying the girl. “She's walking like she's got a purpose too.” She snatched the binoculars from Sam, ignoring his protest, and watched as she got into the car. “But she's scared.”

“You can get all that from one look?” Sam asked incredulously.

“I recognize the signs.” Fi shrugged.

“All right, we follow and see what's going on. But no contact, not yet. Fi, search her apartment, see what you can find. We'll meet back at my place in two hours.”

When you're a spy, you can come into all sorts of knowledge that ordinary people don't get. Most wouldn't want it anyway. Like the fact that sometimes, a gang isn't just a gang, but something much bigger.

“Well now those, are some very formidable looking girls.” Sam breathed. “How many do you count Mike?”

“Three, maybe four.” Mike said seriously. “They don't look like a gang. They look more like a hit squad.”

Sam chewed his lip. “What do you want to do?”

“Get a closer look.” he decided. He checked the clip on his gun. “You armed?”

“Yep. Got more stuff in the trunk if we need it.”

“I'm not planning on doing much shooting. If trouble hits, we get back to the car.”


The two men got out of the vehicle, Sam pulling a shotgun from the trunk before they headed into the cluster of ware houses.

“Sam,” Mike said, in a questioning tone. “What did I just say?”

“Warehouses at night Mike, I just got a feeling.”

“Fine, but remember. Trouble, run, car.”

“I got it Mike, I got it.”

“Fine. Let's go.”

They followed at a discreet distance, until they were deep inside the complex.

“Well well, what do we have here?” a mocking voice asked from the shadows. “We finally find a restaurant that delivers?”

The best information to have by far, is information that no one expects you to have.

Two thugs in leather jackets emerged from concealment, their faces deformed, and fanged mouths grinning.

Like for instance, the existence of, and how to deal with Vampires.

“Sam?” Mike said, grinning tightly.

“Yeah Mike?”

“That feeling you had?”

“Yeah Mike?”

“This was it wasn't it.”

“Yeah Mike.”

The Vampires closed in, ignoring the guns.

“You brought something?”

“I did.”

“Good. Go.”

When dealing with any situation, be it natural, or supernatural, you always want to know what you can handle. Most monsters, you're best recourse is to run, and find someone better equipped to deal with it. Vampires on the other hand, are relatively easy.

Sam fired the shot gun from the hip completely blowing the top of one Vampire's head off. That kind of freaked out the other one.

Typically a gunshot wound will only slightly hurt them. Vampires can be killed by decapitation. This effect can actually be achieved with some firearms at the right range. You have to get the entire head though. Taking only part of the head is very effective at disabling him however. Shooting out the eyes, knees, or ankles are also highly effective ways of using a firearm to disable a Vampire.

Mike fired two quick shots, and the remaining Vampire threw it's hands up to it's now empty eye sockets.

Now Vampires have very acute senses of smell and hearing, but typically without some sort of prior training, it'll take them a moment to get their bearings. This is time you can use to stake them.

“I'll kill gut you you bastard!” The Vampire shrieked in horror and fury.

“Marco,” he mocked it.

“Mike!” Sam called, tossing a stake to his friend. The former spy caught it easily and drove it into the heart of the blinded Vamp, while Sam used another stake on his own opponent. Really with the top third of it's head gone, it was a mercy killing.

Once the echoes of their fight faded, they could hear the sounds of a battle from where the girls had gone.

“Sam let's get back to the car.”

Knowing when you're in over your head, is important. It also helps to know just who to turn the situation over to.

“You think those girls are-”

“Yes Sam I do.”

Mike was blindsided by another Vampire, and quickly snapped it's neck.

Moves that would kill a normal person, can often be used to temporarily take a Vampire, or other demon out of the fight. Long enough to kill them, or get away, sometimes.

“Son of a-!” the Vampire flailed, but still managed to block Mike's stake.

“Sam get back to the car! Now!”

Vampires are stronger than you, and usually faster. But with the right training, you can hold your own in a one on one fight.

The Vampire righted it's head, snarled, and lunged for Mike, who danced aside, driving his knee into the things throat.

Sam meanwhile got back to his car, just in time to see Fiona pull up in the charger. “She's not in a gang!” she shouted as she got out of the car, pulling her 45.

“We know. How'd you know where we were?”

“She's new. Forgot to erase the messages on her machine. Where's Mike?”

A one on one fight is one thing. When there's more than one Vampire, and only one of you however, you're at a serious disadvantage.

“Slayers!” the leader of the Vampires gloated. “Throw down your weapons, or we'll kill your mortal sidekick!”


Faith blinked. “Uh, anyone know that guy?”

“I don't think so.” Margaret said doubtfully. “Maybe if he didn't have blood all over his face.”

Mike heard a low rumbling.

When you have the advantage of numbers, try to spread them out a bit. Clustering them all together only makes one big target.

The charger, true to it's name, hit the scene, charging the biggest cluster of Vampires, and mowing them down.

The leader, a young woman with red hair, standing about 6'5'', swore, and tossed Mike to the side. Faith and her slayers made short work of the remaining vampires, but the leader seemed untouchable.

“Wore yourselves out on my friends didn't you, you little-”

The roar of the chainsaw cut her off, as the blade of the saw did the same to her legs. Fiona, sitting at the wheel of the charger actually looked shocked, as Sam, covered in the Vampire's blood, finished her off.


“Yeah Mike?”

“Why do you have a chainsaw?”

“It was in my trunk.”


“You know, in case of emergencies.”

“Who are you guys?” Susan demanded. Faith though, had eyes only for the charger.

“I love your car.”

Sometimes, the philosophy of being prepared can be carried to extremes.

“I thought there was only supposed to be one Slayer at a time.” Sam said, wiping the blood from his face.

“No that changed a few years ago.” Faith explained.

“You really thought I was in a gang?” Susan asked her brother, looking guilty.

“Uhm, yeah. I'm not sure I'm all that reassured though.

Two days later...

“Nice work.” Mike said, looking at the id in his hand. He smiled approvingly at Dean. “You do this yourself?”

“Sir are you implying that our park ranger id's are less than genuine?” Dean smirked.

“So what brings you boys to town?” Sam asked, handing Sammy a beer.

“Lizard Men in the Everglades.” Dean answered. “You want to come?”

Sam chuckled. “Oh my boy demon hunting is a game for the young and those with superpowers.” He took out his wallet and removed Faith's card. “Tell you who could probably help though...”

Like the song says, you've got to know when to hold 'em, and know when to fold 'em.

The End

The End

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