Scott turned over the metal canister in his hands. He liked the sound of the shotgun shells against the sides, like water on stones yet more solid. It grounded him as he thought over everything that had happened in the last year. Whenever he had moments to himself, he couldn't help but slip into his memories. Perhaps this was just him vying for something to do. It was weird; he had been reading more stories about war vets, and how they couldn't stand civilian life. They needed danger, they needed that rush. A distraction, something normal. This lull in activity, it had him pacing the cage. His wolf wanted to do something. He knew Isaac felt the same way.
Scott jumped when Stiles fell into the spot next to him. He had texted Stiles and Lydia to come meet him at the park. He spent a lot of time here. After work, in the early mornings, in the middle of the nights, and the long afternoons when nothing made sense. He breathed in slowly. Stiles musky cologne enveloped his senses. Scott looked to Stiles who was looking at him. He felt grounded, with his brother, a member of his pack. He sighed, and the tension in his shoulders relaxed a bit. He turned to face the parking lot again, from the bench they sat on. Stiles had parked next to his bike. He wondered why he didn't notice. Too lost in his thoughts, he supposed.
"What's up, man?" Stiles asked, leaning forward to rest his elbows on his knees, even as one leg bounced. Stiles always had extra energy. Scott didn't know where to start, though. What's up? What wasn't up? What wasn't happening? Everything and yet nothing. Scott shrugged. He needed to wait until Lydia came to reveal the story he had. So he put the canister down between his feet and leaned back, putting one arm on the back of the bench and stared straight ahead. He needed to tell someone. He wondered if Stiles felt it? Isaac leaving..
"We gotta wait for Lyds," he said, almost dumbly. He felt like everyone was leaving and yet everyone was staying. He knew he couldn't cling to people, and trapping Isaac would've been an act of inhumane cruelty. Isaac couldn't be caged anymore. Scott just didn't want to lose anyone else was all. Stiles nodded, licking his lips. His thumb rubbed over his lower lip and Scott knew he would launch into some topic about something. Scott needed to tell Stiles, though. Lydia would know, he thinks. Being a banshee with a two-way phone line with the universe and all. "Isaac left this morning." Scott blurted, effectively derailing Stiles' train of thoughts.
"Oh." Stiles said.
Scott sighed and rubbed the back of his neck. He knew Isaac and Stiles didn't get along very well, but there was just so much...tension between everyone. He knew, had they had a proper chance to get to know one another they could've been friends. At least. Scott sighed a bit. He was tired. His bones felt old, everything seemed old. Life seemed desaturated. He needed something to do. His leg started to bounce in sync with Stiles'. "Yeah. Chris squared away the papers last week and they got the first straight through flight to Nice, France."
"Bastard." Scott frowned, looking at Stiles, who sighed and looked at the ground. "He ran away."
"Yeah...yeah." Scott didn't know what to say to that. Isaac did run, but Scott didn't blame him for it. He wanted strength, not fear. He wanted a life, not to see more and more dead bodies.
"I hope he's happy." Stiles said and Scott smiled a bit, nodding in agreement. "Maybe he'll find someone, you know. A hot French boy or something." Scott shook his head and rolled his eyes at Stiles' waggling eyebrows. "Teach him a thing or two about what Frenching really is-"
"Are you two being disgusting?" Lydia said, making Stiles jump as she approached from behind him. She was in wedges and a dress, and her sweet, floral perfume enveloped Scott. He wanted to smile, ask how she was, but he couldn't. Now they both were there, he needed to get down to business.
"What, no, Lyds, come on, now." Stiles flailed. Lydia gave her best "you're a liar and I know it" face to him before sitting down next to Scott, crossing her ankles and looking at him expectantly. Scott picked up the canister, rolling it into his hands as he considered what was happening. Or not happening.
"I haven't seen or heard from Derek." He said, looking between his two friends. Lydia's mouth pursed a bit, her eyes scanning the dying grass in front of them, beyond the sidewalk. Stiles' brow furrowed.
"Ok, so how long has it been?"
"Weeks. He hasn't gotten back to any of my texts." Scott sighed, rummaging for his phone and pulling up the conversation with Derek. Though it wasn't much of a conversation. He scrolled through it, frowning. Nothing...
"Has Derek ever returned your texts?" Stiles asked. Scott shrugged.
"Once, okay, definitely once. But, I don't know guys, this time felt different," he said, looking between them again before leaning back, letting his hands cradle the canister in his lap as he looked ahead even as he felt their eyes on him. "So I went to the loft. The alarm was on, everything looked okay. But then..." he frowned, eyes looking at the canister before he pried the lid off and reached in to grab a handful of bullets. Lydia instantly cupped her hands and he dumped them into her palms, holding onto one that he showed them. "I found these. So I sent a picture of it to Deaton. That mark, there?" He said, turning the shotgun shells just so, so the light would catch the etching of a skull into the side, "He said it's the mark of a family of hunters based out of Mexico. The Calaveras."
Stiles looked puzzled as he took the bullet Scott held, turning it over in his fingers before putting it in Lydia's hands with the others. She rolled them around on her skin, watching as they glinted in the afternoon sunlight. "What would they want with Derek? You don't think they killed him, do you?" Stiles asked with a frown. Scott shrugged before looking at Lydia.
"That's why you're here..." He said. Lydia looked up at him before sighing. She closed her hands around the bullets, feeling the cool metal against her skin. She bit her lower lip, concentrating on the metal, imagining the hum of it. Then, she dropped them on the concrete sidewalk. She flinched slightly at the sounds of gunshots and men screaming in the night, the bullets rolling on the concrete. Some stood up, other just stilled, and some managed to find their way into the grass.
"Lydia, what? Is he dead?"
She shook her head. "No," she said, tilting her head to try and listen to the hums of the bullets. There was nothing else that was anything useful. She opened her eyes, focusing them on the boys next to her. "But I'm not sure he's alive either."
"What does that mean?"
She shrugged, frowning. "I don't know." Stiles sighed, running his hands over his hair and mussing it up. Lydia raised an eyebrow at him before continuing. "There's something not right. I just...I don't know." Stiles sighed anything, thinking as Lydia and Scott gathered up the bullets, putting them back in the canister.
"So if the Calaveras have him, how do we find them?" Stiles asked, looking at Scott, who was now standing on the sidewalk, facing the bench and pushing the lid back onto the canister. The alpha looked up, eyes glinting barely in the sunlight, a sheer overlay of red.