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It's Only A Paper Moon

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Las Vegas' Undead Task Force is relatively new. Though it's only shy a couple of months from the Los Angeles branch due to the unexpected migratory power of zombies and the apparent undead love of the Strip's night life. Stiles is just getting a handle on adjusting to the city and his new partner when his captain throws another wrench in his life.

"Blood," barks Chief Finstock as the task force assembles in the bullpen. "It's a fluid that comes from the heart."

"Oh God," snorts Scott under his breath, rolling his chair next to Stiles. "He's brought out the pie charts."

"Now, when you're eighteen you can give it, and I know none of you are minors, despite your antics last week at the Bellagio - I'm talking to you especially Greenberg," the captain continues. "Blood donations are lower this month than ever, due to the latest string of bloodmobile hijackings. Now I want every one of you to give."

Chief Finstock's eyes track wildly around the room. "Every one of you. No weaseling out of it. McCall." His right index finger pointing over at Scott.

"Chief, I just don't do needles," Scott grins weakly.

"Oh really? Well, those who don't give will be on permanent desk duty. How's that fear of needles now, McCall?" glares Finstock, spittle flying from his mouth. A collective groan goes around the room. "The UTF in our sister city has record numbers. I won't have some nudist captain make a mockery of our department! Do I make myself clear?"

"YES, CHIEF!" booms the room.

"That's what I want to hear," beams the captain. "Now, you may have noticed the film crew holding up the wall behind me. They're part of a new Nevada tourism campaign to show that Vegas is safe. So make sure they come back alive or you'll be benched so hard your ass will feel it for months. All right, Martin, Bilinski - you're taking crew one with you on ride-a-long. Try not to kill the sound guy; this isn't the Valley, they don't grow on trees."

"Sir, my name's Stilinski," sighs Stiles, raising his right hand.

"That's what I said, Bilinski. Stop wasting my time," snaps Finstock. "Now Argent Arms is coming in to give their demo on crossbows, I expect you all to be on your best behavior."

Scott gives him a weak thumbs up before Lydia is grabbing his chair. "You heard the captain, we're on babysitting duty."


Rolling with Lydia is equal parts terrifying and awesome rolled into one. She's been on the UTF since it began and has the highest kill record on the force.

"So stay behind us at all times," she says, adjusting her tac vest. "I'd hate to fill out more paperwork because of you."

The sound guy is as pale as the moon hanging in the sky. "You don't think anything can really hurt us out there?"

"Oh, you're cute," she grins with her teeth. "But cute gets you killed, Jackson. So stay behind Stiles. M'kay?"

"You're all heart, Lydia," says Stiles, checking his clip.

"Oh, you're just sour that daddy dearest can watch you on TV now," she grins, giving a seductive smile to the camera lens. "Smile for the camera! I've heard so much about Beacon Hills."

"Hey, nothing wrong with that, I'm perfectly fine with it," Stiles shoots a hunted look at the camera. "ixnay alkingtay aboutway emay."

"What did I say about pig Latin, Stiles?"

"It's not a language?"

"Yes, but at least learn Latin. It comes in handy with Miranda rights for vamps. Some of them are older than dirt."

Stiles shares a look with the camera guy before following Lydia out of the car.


"It's a full moon, so we're out in full force to monitor the weres," says Lydia to the camera as they make their way down the dimly lit street. "Though we're walking with tranq guns."

"I thought it was city ordnance to have all werewolves locked down," says Jackson, adjusting his boom pole.

Stiles laughs. "Nah, you're confusing Vegas with LA. The were communities here are a lot older. Pack law governs most weres. Unless they're a lone wolf, we shouldn't have trouble. Kind of hard to pass an ordnance when half the city's government are wolves."

"Say what you will, they really cleaned up the streets," says Lydia, swinging her bat.

"If you don't count the zombies," grins Stiles.

"Can't let them have all the fun, rookie," Lydia smiles.

There's a distant howl that makes Jackson jump.

"Relax, that's just a coyote," says Stiles.

"Stiles here is a real expert," beams Lydia, nudging her partner. There's a crash from behind them; three zombies amble towards them. "Finally, some action."

The cameraman sidles up behind her but Jackson makes a break for it down the street.

"Seriously," groans Stiles, watching Jackson run away.

"Urgh, pretty boys always spook quickly. You corral the sound guy before he gets eaten. I'll deal with the slow walkers. We'll rendezvous at the Jamba Juice."

"How come you get the fun job?"

"Seniority's a bitch."

Stiles sighs but starts jogging after Jackson. It's after five blocks that Stiles slows down.

"Goddammit, Jackson. I so don't want to work overtime tracking you down," he half-mumbles to himself.

The area crosses into North Vegas. The houses are a lot swankier than his small studio apartment, high fences gating in mansions. He's about to circle back when he hears a shrill scream.

He gears up and veers to the left and vaults over a stone wall. He draws his gun as he falls and rolls roughly to his feet.

"Hands in the air, UT-fuck," he says when he has eyes on the situation at hand. On the bright side, he's found Jackson, nearly pissing himself in fright on the ground. On the downside, he's landed in a den of wolves.

In all his years of training, none really have prepared him for dealing with a pack of werewolves. Zombies and vamps are pretty easy: a swift double-tap or a shot from the UV gun and you're golden. But weres, they're on the no kill list but are ornery motherfuckers when it comes to territory. And it looks like he dropped in on a party despite the lack of music coming from the sound system.

"By order of the great state of Nevada, I'm here to retrieve this civilian," he says stonily. His eyes scan the crowd for the Alpha and all possible exits. His wolfsbane clips are in the patrol car. All he has on him are 15 rounds of tranquilizers and he's outnumbered by at least three times that.

None of the werewolves react as he moves forward, lowering his gun to the ground. "Up you get, Jackson," he urges, toeing Jackson's leg with his foot. "Sorry to interrupt your moon party, folks."

"The UTF can't use the door?" asks a rough voice from the far end of the yard.

Stiles glances up and his eyes lock with the red irises appraising him. The sea of weres parts as the Alpha makes his way to a still-blubbering Jackson.

The guy is built like a wall of muscle, with the typical Vegas flair: he's clad in a worn leather jacket and white ribbed tank top.

"Why use a door when you've got walls to scale? Officer Stilinski," grins Stiles candidly, giving a mock salute. "I'm sorry for the disruption."

The Alpha scents the air and let's out a low growl that has Jackson on his feet cowering behind Stiles. "Stilinski, was it? You're new to Vegas, aren't you?" he asks rhetorically before moving into Stiles personal space, his eyes widening in delight. Stiles refuses to back down and holds his ground. "You should stay, I'm sure the North Vegas pack would love to get to know the newest face to the UTF."

Stiles' shoulders stiffen uncomfortably at the penetrating gaze being affixed to him. The Alpha looks far more pleased meeting Stiles than any werewolf Stiles has ever encountered. Stiles can feel a flush creeping up his neck and he quickly reverts into professional mode before the night gets any weirder.

"Sorry, Mister-" Stiles begins, holstering his sidearm regretfully.

"Hale. Derek Hale," interrupts the Alpha with a grin that's far too playful for Stiles' liking.

"Hale. But I'm on duty. And need to rendezvous with my partner."

"That's too bad," Derek practically purrs, which sets off alarm bells in Stiles' head. "Maybe next full moon."

Stiles opens his mouth to respond but is cut off by the chatter on his radio.

"Stiles, stop dicking around. I've got an 1-15 in progress at the Golden Spoon. I need backup," crackles Lydia's irritated voice.

It seems to break whatever weird vibe is thrumming between Stiles and Derek. Stiles grabs his radio, ignoring the wolf in front of him.

"I'm on my way, Lydia. I found Jackson, thanks for asking," he snarks.

"Fine, I owe you a smoothie. Now get your ass over here."

Stiles looks back at Derek who's still giving him the thousand yard stare. Derek's bright red haloed eyes following his movement with rapt attention. Stiles coughs awkwardly. "Well, duty calls. Enjoy your wolfy evening."

"Oh I will. Let me show you the door. It'll be easier next time," Derek grins wolfishly, crowding into his personal space.

Stiles just squints at Derek before shaking his head. The moon must of gotten to him. That explains it. There's no way a werewolf is checking out his ass.