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Scott staggered numbly toward the field, his helmet hanging limply as he dragged his lacrosse pole on the ground behind him. His mouth felt dry.

Allison’s father was a hunter.

Not only that, but he seemed to be the leader, at least of the group that had attacked Scott and Derek last night. There was a slight twinge in his right arm, recalling the feeling of an arrow ripping through it.

With heavy steps, he found Stiles sitting on the bench. It was where he always seemed to find himself. He sank down beside his best friend, vaguely aware that Coach was running drills on the field before them.

Stiles looked up cheerfully as he slid on his elbow pads.

“Hey!” he greeted, then froze when he saw Scott’s face, which stared glumly at the ground. “You talk to Allison?”

Scott nodded slowly. “Yeah,” he sighed. Stiles continued adjusting his gear.

“You apologise?” he asked softly.

“Yeah,” Scott huffed another sigh.

“So is she giving you a second chance, or...?”

“Yeah,” Scott nodded a little, staring into the distance. Stiles shrugged.

“Yeah? Alright! So everything’s good!” he said with a little laugh.

“No,” Scott said quietly, and Stiles’ smile fell.

“No?” he asked.

“No,” Scott repeated. Stiles shook his head in frustration.

“Okay, help me out here, Scott,” Stiles began, trying to be patient, “incredibly hot chick you ditched the other night is willing to give you a second date and that’s not good?” Scott finally turned to him.

“Not when her father’s trying to kill me!” He felt like he was about to start hyperventilating.

Shock was the first thing to hit Stiles’ face, followed suddenly by a ball. He almost fell back off the seat with a groan, which turned into an annoyed cry. Scott shot up, momentarily distracted from his thoughts, and looked across the field to see who had thrown the ball. Isaac was looking at them apologetically amongst a few other boys, who grimaced. Stiles fumbled his way back upright, hands flying around furiously.

“I’m trying to talk to my friend here!” he shouted, his voice breaking a little. Isaac raised a hand, and Scott could hear him mutter a soft, distant apology. Stiles waved his hand once more, angrily, sighing. “Wow,” he breathed, then focused back on Scott, “what do you mean 'trying to kill you'?”

“Remember the hunters that I told you about? Allison’s dad is one of them,” Scott said. Stiles’ eyes bulged.

“What?!” he hissed, “her dad?”

“Shot me,” Scott continued numbly, looking back at the ground.

“Allison’s father?!” Stiles asked incredulously.

“With a crossbow...” Scott trailed off quietly. They sat in silence for a moment as Stiles tried to process this information.

“Allison’s fa-”

“Yes, her father!” Scott snapped loudly, making Stiles flinch as he slammed his mouth shut. Scott’s eyes went wide as panic overcame him. “Oh my god, oh my god,” he tried to catch his breath, swallowing down little gasps that didn't seem to give him enough air.

“No, Scott! Come on! Snap out of it,” Stiles gently patted his face as Scott groaned, almost sobbing. “Hey, alright, he didn’t recognise you, right?” Scott thought for a moment.

“No, no, no, I don’t think so-” he was tripping over his own words.

“Does she know about him?” Stiles asked. Scott looked at him, shaken.

“I-I don’t know,” he said, “What if she does?” his face crumpled. Stiles heard Coach blow the whistle and call all of the players to round up.

“This is gonna kill me, man…” Scott whined, preoccupied.

Stiles grit his teeth, trying to figure out a way to help his friend that would not result in Coach screaming at them. Distracting Scott was the only idea that came to mind, so Stiles picked up Scott’s helmet and stick, pushing them firmly against his friend's chest.

“Okay, just... Focus on lacrosse, okay? Here, Scott, take this,” he pulled Scott’s hands up to grab his equipment, “take this!” he repeated a little more firmly as Scott whined again. “Just focus on lacrosse for now, okay? That’s all you gotta do, yeah?” Stiles urged. The distant look in Scott’s eyes returned.

“Lacrosse,” he muttered, and Stiles slapped his shoulder in a desperate attempt to hype him up for practice.

“Here we go!” Stiles said, punctuating each word with a slap as he rose from the bench and walked towards Coach. His worried eyes never left Scott, who followed slowly. The sound of the whistle blew sharply.

“Let’s go! One-on-ones from up top!” Coach called, standing atop a bench.

“Jackson,” he said, turning to see the team captain picking up a lacrosse stick, “take a long stick today.” Jackson nodded, doing as he was told. “Attaboy.”

Jackson took his place defending the goal, where Scott himself had stood a few days ago. There was a kind of resting smugness on his face, a crude kind of confidence in his abilities that could only be called arrogance. Coach blew the whistle again as he tossed a ball out to one of the other players, who scooped it up and ran for the goal.

The aim in today’s practice was to get past Jackson, and score a shot. Most boys found themselves thrown to the ground quickly, the bruising of their bodies and ego not an uncommon thing at practice. Coach goaded Jackson on as the team captain relentlessly took down one after another.

“That’s how you do it, Jackson, that’s how you do it,” Coach praised. One of the boys sighed as he picked himself up from the ground. “Greenberg!” Coach called, and the boy jogged over.

“That was a pathetic display of amateur ability. Take a lap,” Coach scoffed at him, “let’s go.” Greenberg’s shoulders slumped as he took off around the field. Coach blew the whistle again. “Faster, Greenberg!”

Scott had made his way in line - with a little help from Stiles - and stood there in a daze.

“Let’s go,” Coach called “McCall! What are you waiting for? Let’s go!”

Scott snapped out of his daze enough to realise it was his turn, and locked eyes with Jackson in front of him. Jackson was shifting his weight from foot to foot anxiously, and Scott felt himself move forward. He scooped up the ball into the pocket of his lacrosse pole and dashed towards the captain.

His pace was cut short quickly when Jackson’s shoulder shoved into his chest and knocked him on his back.

Stiles flinched. “Ow,” he whispered.

“Watch the slashing, Jackson,” Coach began to laugh as he moved towards Scott. “Hey, McCall!” he called.

Scott felt winded, and he looked up to see Jackson smirking down at him.
“You sure you still wanna be first line, McCall?” Jackson asked, walking away. Scott pulled himself up, fuming, and bent over, holding his stomach. Coach leaned down next to him, still chuckling.

“My grandmother can move faster than that,” Coach began lightly, “and she’s dead!”

Stiles chewed on his lip anxiously. He could tell by the way that Scott was hunched that his friend was angry.

“You think you can move faster than the lifeless corpse of my dead grandmother?” Coach asked sarcastically, and Scott grit his teeth, struggling to keep from lashing out. He kept his gaze angled down, away from Coach, knowing his eyes were already glowing yellow. Jackson watched with a pleased grin on his face.

“Yes, Coach,” Scott managed to force out.

“I can’t hear you,” Coach whispered, and Scott had to hold back a snarl.

“Yes, Coach!” he managed again, louder.

“Then do it again,” Coach said in a hard voice, close to his ear. He patted Scott on the back as the boy jogged back to the front of the line.

“McCall’s gonna do it again! McCall’s gonna do it again!” Coach called gleefully to the other boys.

“Is he okay?” Isaac whispered in Stiles’ ear, and Stiles jumped. He’d been so focused on Scott, he hadn’t noticed the other boy right behind him. He shot Isaac a look, who lowered his gaze apologetically.

“Uh, yeah,” Stiles said after a moment, eyes on Scott’s back. He noticed the way his friend’s grip tightened around the lacrosse stick he was holding, and Stiles’ brows furrowed. “Yeah, he’ll be fine… Just a rough day, you know?” He forced a quick smile as he looked at Isaac. The other boy nodded in understanding.

Scott and Jackson stared each other down, and any anxiety Scott thought he saw in the team captain before had vanished. Instead, Scott could practically smell the sense of superiority, the arrogance, rolling off of him. The self-satisfied smirk on Jackson’s face fueled Scott’s building fury even more.

Coach tossed the ball to Scott and blew the whistle. Scott rushed forward again. He wasn’t thinking about the goal, he was only thinking about wiping that stupid smirk off of Jackson’s face. Right before they collided, Jackson’s eyes flashed with panic as Scott threw himself at the other boy, and Jackson was not quick enough to protect himself as he landed. There was a kind of popping sound, and Jackson’s hand shot up to his shoulder as he groaned in pain.

Scott stood for a moment, his hands going to his helmet. He felt dizzy. Suddenly he was on his knees.

Stiles gasped, pulling off his helmet as he ran over to his friend while Coach and some other boys rushed to Jackson.

“Scott?” he almost stumbled over his friend who was now panting.

Coach held his hands up as he knelt beside Jackson.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa,” he said gently to the other boys, making sure Jackson had space and air. The assistant coach knelt down beside the injured boy as the others looked to see if anything was broken.

“I can’t control it, Stiles,” Scott wheezed, “it’s happening!”

“What? Right here? Now?!” Stiles demanded, shaking his friend’s shoulders. He glanced over at Coach and the other players. They seemed distracted enough. “Come on, get up, come on,” he pulled Scott up, slinging his friend’s arm over his shoulders, and helped him away from the field quickly.

He was too focused on getting Scott away from the others, he didn’t notice Derek Hale watching them.

********

“Come on, here we go,” Stiles said as the two stumbled into the locker rooms, barely through the door before Scott sank to his knees again, his breathing ragged.

“Scott? You okay?” Stiles asked, kneeling in front of him.

“Get away from me!” Scott screamed up at Stiles with a growl, who stumbled back. Scott’s eyes blazed yellow, fangs coming out of his mouth. Stiles tried to slide himself away, but Scott lunged at him. Stiles scooted himself back until he could turn around, and he ran behind some lockers. Scott jumped on top of them, snarling down at him. Stiles fell back again, and fumbled to get away.

Scott growled as he watched Stiles race around. His vision had gone red, and all rational thought had left him. All he could feel was rage. He climbed up onto the overhanging beams above the locker room, watching his prey from above.

Stiles watched Scott for a moment, trying to keep his eyes on him while maintaining a safe distance. He stumbled around the locker rooms as Scott jumped around above him. He felt turned around, disoriented, and fumbled his way for the door quickly, holding on to lockers to keep himself from falling. He whirled around, trying not to let Scott sneak up behind him. Stiles felt his back bump against something metal, and he saw the fire extinguisher right there. He grabbed it as Scott jumped down on top of one of the lockers, roaring at him. Stiles struggled with the hose, and just as Scott jumped down from the locker, readying his claws to lunge at Stiles, he found the latch to release the gas. He pointed it desperately at Scott, who growled as he swung his arms around.

Scott fell back, and Stiles quickly backed out the door, pressing his back up against the wall just beside it. Breathless, he clung the fire extinguisher to his chest.

Scott steadied himself on a bench, panting. He pulled his helmet off, trying to focus on where he was, what was happening.

“Stiles?” he called faintly.

Stiles was panting, but reacted quickly to his name being called. He cautiously peered around the doorway at Scott. His eyes were no longer glowing, instead a deep brown, and he was covered in sweat. He looked confused.

“What happened?”

Stiles dropped the fire extinguisher, still panting. He sighed in both relief and frustration. He pulled a glove off and threw it at the ground, looking at Scott.
“You tried to kill me,” he said, a touch annoyed. He pulled off the other, and sat down in front of Scott. His friend looked out of it. “It’s like I told you before,” Stiles continued, sighing, “It’s the anger, it’s your pulse rising. It’s a trigger.”

“But that’s lacrosse,” Scott objected softly, “it’s a pretty violent game, if you hadn’t noticed.”

“Well, it’s gonna be a lot more violent if you end up killing someone on the field,” Stiles retorted gravely, “you can’t play Saturday. You’re gonna have to get out of the game.” He knew how much this meant to Scott, but killing someone would be far worse than any crushed dreams.

“But I’m first line,” Scott replied. Stiles sighed.

“Not anymore.”

They sat in silence for a moment, Scott staring at his feet.
“Stiles?”

“Yeah, buddy?”

“...I’m sorry,” Scott gulped, and he felt his lip begin to tremble. He realised he was scared. Scared of what was taking over him, what he was becoming. Scared of hurting his friend. Scared his friend would leave him. He couldn’t meet Stiles’ eyes.

Stiles sighed, and sat up on the bench beside Scott, putting his arms around him.
“I know, buddy,” he said softly, and held him for a while as silent sobs wracked Scott’s body.

Outside the locker room, down the hall, Derek retracted his claws, and turned to walk away.

His pace was brisk, and as he turned a corner, he bumped roughly into someone. She gasped as she fell back. Derek reached out quickly to catch her.

She blinked, staring up at him as his hands clutched her waist tightly.

“Sorry,” he said quietly, letting her go when she was back on her feet. A small, curious smile crept onto her face. There was something about her that caught him off guard.

“Thank you,” Lydia said. Derek gave her a brief smile and nod before he went to leave again, but a scent caught his attention.

“Hey, uh, you’re friends with Allison, right?” he asked, and Lydia tensed a little, settling into a defensively fake smile.

“Why yes, I am. I’m Lydia Martin, and you are?” Her eyes travelled over him, analytical and precise. She clearly wasn’t the most trusting person. Her guarded nature was something that Derek could relate to. Trying to look easy going, he smiled so that she would relax a little. He could smell the wariness on her, though it seemed as though it might always be there.

“I’m Derek Hale,” he held out a hand to her. He could see the gleam of interest in her eye as she shook it.

“I remember,” she said, assessing him in a different way now, “You used to go here, right?” Derek nodded. “And why are you looking for Allison, Mister Hale?” Lydia asked, flirtatiously. Her wariness was still there, but the curiosity was winning out. He smirked.

“I, uh, have her jacket,” he said, holding it up, “from when I dropped her home after the party the other night.”

Lydia’s eyes scanned over it.

“I was going to return it to her,” he continued, “but, uh… I don’t know where her locker is,” he chuckled softly, trying to look a little embarrassed. Lydia gave him a genuine smile, and gently took it from him. Derek cleared his throat gently, smiling as he looked away from her eyes. Something about them seemed to look into him.

“I’ll make sure it gets back to her,” she said.

“Thank you,” he replied, “I’ll see you around, Lydia Martin.”

“Oh, I hope so, Mister Hale,” she turned and walked away.

************

Scott’s feet were dragging as he opened his bedroom door. He dropped his backpack just inside, and fell with a soft thud on the end of his bed. Melissa knocked gently on the door frame.

“Hey, late shift again for me,” she shrugged, “but I’m taking a night off to see your first game.” She swung her foot absently, giving him an enthusiastic smile.

“No, Mum, you can’t,” Scott’s voice was muffled against the bedsheets. He was drained, and disappointed. He didn’t know how to muster enough energy to think up an excuse for why he wasn’t going to be playing in the game over the weekend.

“Oh, no, I can and I will,” Melissa stated simply, walking into his room, “Come on, one shift won’t break us... Completely.” She said the last part quietly, and Scott closed his eyes, feeling a bit guilty. Melissa looked down at him. “Hey, what’s wrong with your eyes?”

Scott looked up at her, panicked. She folded her arms, a crease of concern between her eyebrows. “You look like you haven’t slept in days!”

“Oh, uh, It’s nothing,” Scott said, relaxing, “I’m just... stressed.” It wasn’t really a lie, he was stressed. He just couldn’t tell her why. Even though it did feel like lying.

“Just stress?” Melissa asked, trying to seem casual, “Nothing else?”

“Homework,” Scott added, remembering that he had been falling behind with that as well.

“I mean, it’s not like you’re on drugs or anything, right?” she laughed a little as she asked, and Scott raised his eyebrows.

“Right now?”

“‘Right now?’” Melissa repeated, incredulously, “I’m sorry, what do you mean ‘right now?’ Have you ever taken drugs?” she insisted softly.

“Have you?” Scott asked. Melissa stared at him a moment, amazed, then backed out of his room.

“Get some sleep,” she said with a gentle sternness, and left the room.

Scott sighed again, letting his head fall back on the bed. He lay there a while, going over everything in his head, letting his thoughts run away with him. What if Allison’s father tried to kill him again? What if he lost control on the field again and attacked someone? What if everyone found out what he was? What if he had hurt Stiles?

The last thought stuck in his head for a moment, and his guilt hit him at full force. His best friend, the boy that had been like a brother to him for as long as he could remember… Scott had attacked him again. He had been so close to hurting Stiles, and Stiles was still there to help him.

Scott pushed himself up off the bed with a groan and opened his laptop on his desk. Stiles had told him that he would video call him after he was done with his homework, giving him an update on anything he had missed. After Scott had calmed down in the locker room, Stiles had sent him straight home, promising to explain his absence to Coach.

While he waited for the computer to boot up, he went downstairs to heat up the leftovers his mum had put on a plate for him in the microwave. It seemed like they were living off leftovers more often than not these days.

When his food was done, Scott gulped it down quickly, washing the dish as soon as it was empty. He tried to clean the dishes, and do other chores, as often as possible, so that Melissa wouldn’t have to worry about it after spending all night at the hospital, or after a double shift.

Scott headed back upstairs, leaning over his chair as he logged into his computer. As if on queue, Stiles began ringing him via video call, and Scott sat down heavily as he answered it, rubbing his eyes tiredly.

Stiles, on the other hand, was wide awake, and whirled around firing a toy gun at the screen with a child-like grin. Scott took a deep breath.

“What’d you find out?” he asked, ignoring the toy gun. He gently moved his chair side to side.

“Well, it’s bad,” Stiles stated frankly, “Jackson’s got a separated shoulder.”

“Because of me?”

“Because he’s a tool,” Stiles corrected unsympathetically.

“But is he going to play?” Scott asked, worried he had cost the team their best player.

“They don’t know yet,” Stiles admitted, “now they’re all counting on you for Saturday…”

Scott closed his eyes and sighed. This whole situation was not getting easier. He hung his head, shaking it, and looked back up at Stiles. His friend’s eyes narrowed, and he leaned into the screen a little, looking at something. Scott sat back a little.

“What?”

The video began to freeze, looking a little more pixelated as Stiles looked back at Scott. He came in and out of focus as he began to type something.

“It looks like” the letters came up as Stiles was writing, but then the video froze completely, buffering.

“Looks like what?” Scott asked, the video frozen on Stiles looking at him intently. He waited, but the buffering continued. He sighed, and clicked around the screen. “Come on… Dammit,” he whispered to himself.

“Someone's behind you” popped up and Stiles began to move again, still silently staring.

“What?” Scott breathed, and clicked on his own video, enlarging it. Over his shoulder, standing in the doorway, a figure. Scott jumped and turned around just as the person lunged at him.

“Scott?!” Stiles yelled from the laptop. Scott gasped in fear as Derek Hale picked him up and threw him, face first, against a wall and held him there.

“I saw you on the field,” Derek whispered fiercely in his ear. His arm was pressed into the back of Scott’s neck, gripping the back of his shirt.

“Wha- What are you talking about?!” Scott cried.

“Scott?! What’s happening?!” Stiles called from his laptop.

“You shifted in front of them,” Derek yelled, and Scott winced. “If they find out what you are, they find out about me. About all of us. Then it’s not just hunters after us. It’s everyone,” Derek explained, a little softer, but still harsh.

“Derek! Don’t hurt him!” Stiles shouted from the laptop. It didn’t seem to do anything to deter the older boy.

“They didn’t see anything, I s-swear!”

“And they won’t!” Derek snapped, “Because if you even try to play that game Saturday…” Derek paused, and shoved him a little harder against the wall, “I’m gonna kill you myself.” He held Scott there for another moment, and then was gone.

Scott waited a second before turning around, panting as he looked around the room. His eyes fell on the open window at the top of his bed.

“Scott?!” Stiles' voice cracked a little.

“I’m okay,” Scott called back, and he heard Stiles sigh in relief.

“We have got to werewolf-proof your house,” he muttered.

********

 

“What do you mean you can’t play the game tomorrow night?” Coach asked as Scott followed him into his office. Scott closed the door behind him.

“I mean I can’t play the game tomorrow night,” Scott repeated, a little hesitantly. Coach leaned back on his desk, folding his arms over his chest.

“You can’t wait to play the game tomorrow night?” Coach asked, trying to correct him, a look of annoyance on his face.

“No, Coach, I can’t play the game tomorrow night,” Scott repeated again. He couldn’t risk it, couldn’t risk hurting someone. Couldn’t risk Derek… Scott tried to hold in a shudder.

Coach squinted at Scott, “I’m not following.” Scott sighed, his shoulders slumped. He knew talking to Coach wasn’t going to be easy.

“I’m having some personal issues,” he said, trying to think of a good enough reason.

“Is it a girl?” Coach asked, almost amused.

“No,” Scott said after a moment.

“Is it a guy?” Coach asked. Before Scott could even shake his head, Coach continued, “You know our goalie Danny is gay.” Coach nodded, like he was being helpful.

“Yeah, I know, Coach,” Scott began, wondering where this was going, “But that’s not it.”

“You don’t think Danny’s a... good looking guy?” Coach asked.

“I… Think he’s good looking…” Scott began, wondering how they even got on to this topic, “But I don’t like him like that! And that’s not it anyway! I-I-”

“What? Is it drugs? Are you doing meth?” Coach asked, and Scott blinked, “‘Cause I had a brother that was addicted to meth. You should have seen what it did to his teeth, they were all cracked and rotted. It was... It was disgusting!”

“Oh my god… What happened to him?” Scott asked, shocked.

“He got veneers,” Coach stated, as though it were obvious, “Is- is that what… This is about? Are you afraid of getting hurt, McCall?” Coach almost laughed, astonished.

“No,” Scott replied quickly, though he felt a bit defensive at the idea, “I’m having some issues dealing with... aggression,” Scott said slowly, trying not to sound like he was scrambling for an excuse.

“Well, here’s the good news,” Coach said quickly with a big smile, before his demeanour changed completely, becoming intense, “that’s why you play lacrosse! Problem solved.”

“Coach, I can’t play the game tomorrow night,” Scott repeated firmly.

“Listen, McCall,” Coach began, exasperated, “Part of playing first line... is taking on the responsibility of being the first line.” He stood up, moving close to Scott. “Now, if you can’t shoulder that responsibility then you’re back on the bench until you’re ready.”

“If I don’t play the game you’re taking me off first line?” Scott asked, trying not to let his voice break, hoping Coach was kidding.

“McCall,” Coach looked at him without a hint of amusement, “play the game.” Coach patted his shoulder and walked past him, leaving Scott alone.

He stood there for a moment, feeling like he wanted to scream. Why couldn’t anything be easy? Scott walked out into the hall feeling tired. He had no idea how he was going to get out of this without losing his place on the team. His phone buzzed, snapping him out of his thoughts. It was his mum.

Got the night off! Coming to see you play! So excited!!

It was quickly followed by another:

What does LMFAO mean?

Scott thought about how to respond, but if he was honest, he wasn’t entirely sure himself. He hummed when the scent of flowers and vanilla caught his attention.

“Hey,” Allison said brightly.

“Hey,” he replied, beaming at her. She had a way of making him forget all his troubles.

“Busy?” she asked, looking down at the phone in his hands.

“No, no, it’s just my mum, she’s nothing,” he said, and Allison’s smile fell. Scott quickly tried to correct himself, “I mean it’s nothing. I’m never too busy for you.”

Allison's smile returned as she considered what he said.

“I like the sound of that,” she said, and they both shared a small, shy laugh. “Um, I have to run to French class but I wanted you to know that I’m coming to see you play tomorrow.”

“You are?” Scott asked, alarmed.

“And we’re all going out afterwards,” she continued, grinning, “You, me, Lydia, Jackson. It’s going to be great.” Scott stared at her, having some trouble trying to find his voice. “Tell Stiles to come, too!” She glanced down at her watch, and walked past him, giving him an apologetic look. “Uh, save me a seat at lunch. I gotta go.”

Scott watched her go.

“Oh god, I am so screwed,” he muttered, and wondered what new thing would be thrown at him today to make this even more difficult. The bell rang and he dragged his feet towards Math class.

Allison rushed to her locker, mentally berating herself for running late. She should have just carried her french textbooks with her. The halls emptied quickly as she opened the lock. She swung the locker open and frowned, seeing the jacket she had worn and lost at Lydia’s party inside. She pulled it out, looking it over. She felt the hairs on her neck stand up, and she glanced around, feeling like she was being watched. The halls were completely empty.

The second bell for class rang, and she jumped, gasping. Allison laughed quietly at herself, sighing as she put the jacket back in her locker, and picked up her books, quickly closing the locker door.

*************

Scott stood at the blackboard at the front of the classroom, trying to solve the problem his teacher had asked him. Lydia stood beside him, the chalk she held moving rapidly as she worked.

“Why is there a rumour going around that you’re not playing tomorrow?” she asked without looking at him. The clacking of her chalk against the board didn’t stop. Scott glanced at her out of the corner of his eye, surprised that she had found out so quickly, and he shrugged a little.

“‘Cause I’m sort of not,” he said softly, disappointed. Lydia’s chalk stopped, and she looked at him. The soft scent of lilies and chamomile wafted gently off of her.

“I think you sort of are,” she said, eyeing him, “Especially when you brutally injure my boyfriend by ramming into him.” She turned back to the board.

Scott looked at her, feeling indignant.

“He brutally injured himself ramming into me,” he retorted, remembering to lower his voice at the end because they were in class. Lydia pursed her lips for a moment, then turned back to Scott.

“Jackson’s going to play tomorrow, but he’s not going to be at his peak,” she said, glancing Scott over, “and I prefer my boyfriend at peak performance.” She emphasised it by running her eyes up and down Scott again. Scott was confused. Didn’t everyone prefer their school team to be at peak performance? Especially the team captain?

“Okay…” Scott shook his head as he tried to focus again on his math problem.

“I date the captain of a winning lacrosse team,” Lydia continued, “and if they start off the season losing, I date the captain of a losing lacrosse team. I don’t date losers.”

“Losing one game isn’t going to kill anyone,” Scott retorted, looking into her eyes. She snickered, and turned back to the board. “In fact, it might even save someone,” Scott murmured.

“Fine,” Lydia said, “Don’t play. We’ll probably win anyway. And we’ll go out after like we’re planning, and I’ll introduce Allison to all the hot players on the team,” she said coolly. Scott’s eyes widened, and his hand stopped. He looked at Lydia as she continued her math problem with ease. “And Scott McCall can stay home surfing the net for porn.” She added the solution to the math problem and dusted her hands as she sauntered away, smiling sweetly at the teacher.

The teacher smiled back at her, pleased with her work, and he assessed Scott’s progress.

“Mister McCall, you’re not even close to solving your problem,” he said.

“Tell me about it,” Scott muttered to himself, sighing.

**********
Stiles was on his way to his locker when he saw his father speaking to the vice principal, a deputy at his side. Stiles knew he couldn’t get closer without the sheriff or the deputy seeing him, and he glanced over to see Scott, albeit a little weary, standing at his locker. He raced over, grabbing Scott, who looked up in confusion, and pulled him towards the corner they could hide behind while he listened in.

“Hey, come here, come here,” Stiles whispered.

“What?” Scott asked, annoyed.

He pointed around the corner, down the hall to where the three men stood, speaking quietly, grave looks on their faces.

“Tell me what they’re saying,” Stiles said, leaning on Scott’s shoulder. Scott looked over at the men, thinking they were too far away. Then he remembered he was a werewolf now, and he could hear them if he focused. Scott stared at them for a moment, trying to filter out all the other noises around them.

“Can you hear them?” Stiles asked, and Scott shushed him quickly.

“We want everyone under the age of eighteen to be in their homes by 9:30 p.m.,” Noah said to the Vice Principal, who nodded, folding his arms. “We’d like to institute the curfew effective immediately.”

“A curfew because of the body,” Scott said softly, and Stiles shook his head, frustrated, patting Scott’s arm gently.

“Unbelievable! My Dad’s out looking for a rabid animal while the jerkoff who actually killed the girl is just hanging out doing whatever he wants,” Stiles commented dryly.

“You can’t exactly tell your Dad the truth about Derek,” Scott replied.

“I can do something,” Stiles insisted.

“Like what?” Scott asked sardonically, leaning back against the wall, tired already from the day.

“Like find the other half of the body,” Stiles suggested. He walked away before Scott even had a chance to respond. He straightened quickly, watching Stiles leave.

“Are you kidding?!” he called after him, but Stiles didn’t falter, seeming intent. Scott sighed, his shoulders slumped, and the sight of Allison down the hall caught his attention. She was shaking hands with one of the other lacrosse players, smiling. Lydia stood beside the other player.

“She’s the new girl, she just moved here,” she said. Allison ducked her head, a little embarrassed, and Lydia brushed her fingers down Allison’s arm.

“It’s okay,” she said lightly, “I’ll only introduce you to nice people, I promise.” She winked at the player, and caught Scott’s eye as he walked towards them. “But unfortunately we have to get going. I’ll see you soon, Allison?”

“Of course,” Allison said to Lydia, “It was nice meeting you,” she smiled at the boy as Lydia gently pulled him away.

“So Lydia’s introducing you to everyone?” Scott asked as Allison turned around.

“She’s been so unbelievably nice to me,” Allison said, a kind of excitement in her face. Scott looked over at the redhead down the hall.

“I wonder why,” he muttered. Allison considered the look on Scott’s face.

“Maybe she gets how much being the New Girl can suck,” she offered. Scott scoffed.

“Not Lydia.”

Allison frowned at him.

“Well, she is one of the few people that has put in the effort to be nice to me,” Allison said, feeling a kind of protective defensiveness. “And spend time with me,” she added a little quieter.

Scott looked back at Allison, a flicker of guilt on his face. He opened his mouth to respond, then noticed the jacket over her arm. The jacket from the party. The jacket Derek had taken into the woods that night.

“Where did you get that?” Scott demanded softly. Allison glanced down at it.

“My jacket? It was in my locker. I think Lydia brought it back from the party. She has my combination, so-”

“Did she say she brought it back, or did somebody give her the jacket?” Scott cut her off.

“Like who?” Allison asked, confused.

“Like Derek,” he stated flatly.

“Your friend?”

“He’s not my friend,” Scott said briskly, “How much did you talk to him when he drove you home?”

“Mmm… Not much at all,” Allison said, eyeing Scott cautiously. He was acting strange, had a kind of aggression about him.

“What did you say?” he insisted, his brows furrowed.

“I... Gotta get to class,” she said, backing away, “I gotta go.”

“Allison-” Scott called after her, taking a step forward.

“No, I really have to go,” she held a hand up, stopping him. She walked away quickly, and Scott felt his jaw clench. He huffed out a shallow breath, trembling in anger.

**********

“Are you okay?” Lydia asked.

Allison sank down next to her with a slight sigh.
“Uh, yeah,” she said, forcing a brief smile before she looked back down at her books.

Lydia raised her eyebrows, swivelling in her chair to look at Allison, resting her chin on one hand. Allison paused for a moment, feeling her friend’s gaze burning into her.

“Seriously, Lydia, I’m fine,” Allison tried to laugh it off as she glanced back at Lydia. She wasn’t buying it. She squinted at Allison.

“It’s Scott, isn’t it?” Lydia asked, leaning forward, “He was being weird again, wasn’t he?” Allison sighed.

“It’s just… Hard to know where we stand, you know?” Allison said. Lydia nodded, reaching out to rub her shoulder gently. “One minute he seems so sweet, and the next… He can be a bit… I don’t know, intense?” She was at a loss. Lydia considered that for a moment.

“There is definitely something strange going on with that boy,” she agreed. Lydia thought for a moment that it would just be easier to encourage Allison to cut her losses and try with someone else. If Allison and Scott were already off to a rocky start, then it wasn’t a good sign to continue the relationship. “You already know what I think,” she sighed, shaking her head and turning back to the front of the classroom.

“Thanks, but I’m not interested in any of the boys you’ve presented to me,” Allison said with a smirk. Lydia smiled, and shrugged.

“You’re right, none of them could ever measure up to me,” she said sweetly. Allison laughed. The two girls shared a small smile before their eyes turned to the teacher.

***********

Scott didn’t wait for the end of the school day. He grabbed his things, hopped on his bike, and made for the forest. It didn’t take him long to find the scent he was looking for, and he sped through the woods, finding the dirt road that led to the old, burnt building. The Hale house - what remained of it.

He dropped his bike and ripped off his helmet in one motion, not bothering to slow down.

“Derek!” he shouted, dropping his backpack as well. “Derek!” he screamed at the house, when a smell caught his attention. Scott looked over to the side of the house, seeing a mound of freshly dug dirt. He looked back to the front of the house, Derek standing on the porch, watching him. Scott flinched, and he felt uncertain about being here for a moment. Then the look on Allison’s face, the way she recoiled, walked away from him quickly, floated into his mind. The rage returned.

“Stay away from her,” he yelled, and Derek began towards him, dropping from the porch lightly, “She doesn’t know anything.”

“Yeah?” Derek asked casually, still walking towards him, “What if she does? You think your little buddy Stiles can Google werewolves and now you’ve got all the answers, is that it?”

Scott felt himself begin to tremble, taking a few slight steps back. Something in Derek’s face softened, and he stopped where he was.

“You don’t get it yet, Scott, but I’m looking out for you,” he said earnestly, then took a few more steps forward. “Think about what could happen. You’re out on the field, the aggression takes over, and you shift in front of everyone,” he looked down and saw Scott’s backpack at his feet. He leaned down and picked up the lacrosse stick.

Scott was still trembling, and almost reached out to stop him, but couldn’t find the courage. Derek’s demeanour became cold once again.

“Allison, your mother, your friends,” Derek continued, twisting the pole in his hands, “And when they see you,” he poked it at Scott, who swatted it away quickly. Derek looked him in the eye, then tore through the pocket.

“Everything falls apart,” he said gravely. He tossed it to Scott.

Scott inspected the torn threads sadly, and when he looked up again, Derek was gone.

***********

 

Stiles tumbled through the front door of Scott’s house, almost falling as he did, not bothering to close the door behind him. It didn’t slow him down, and he sprinted through the hall and up the stairs, his arms briefly pushing off walls and gripping the rail to keep himself upright. He tumbled through as he opened Scott’s door, and almost fell on his face. Scott looked up in surprise, relaxing when he realised it was Stiles.

“What did you find? How did you find it? Where did you find it?” he demanded, coming to a halt right next to Scott, puffing a little, “And yes, I’ve had a lot of Adderall, so...” He blinked a few times quickly, shaking off the dizzy feeling.

“I found something at Derek Hale’s,” Scott said, looking up from his lacrosse stick that he was rethreading once again.

“Are you kidding? What?” Stiles asked, intrigued.

“Something’s buried there, I could smell blood,” Scott said, his nose wrinkling a little in disgust.

“That’s awesome!” Stiles said, his voice breaking in excitement a little before he realised how that sounded and tried to correct himself, “I mean that’s terrible. Whose blood?”

Scott stood up, “I don’t know,” he shrugged, “But when we do, your dad nails Derek for the murder. And then you help me figure out how to play lacrosse without changing.” He picked up his lacrosse stick and tightened the thread. “Because there’s no way I’m not playing that game.”

Stiles stared at him, stunned, and Scott tossed the pole onto his bed. A slow smile spread across Stiles’ face, proud that his friend seemed not only out of his slump, but also because for the first time, Scott seemed to be leading.

For as long as Stiles had known Scott, Stiles was the one dragging them into crazy situations, investigating suspicious activity. This time, Scott had come to him with a plan, and it sounded like a good plan.

Scott smiled back at Stiles as they walked out of the room together.

********

Scott and Stiles walked through the sliding doors of Beacon Hills Hospital stiffly, looking around and trying not to seem suspicious. It would be easy enough to excuse their presence here as visiting Scott’s mother, Melissa, but they still weren’t quite used to sneaking around where they shouldn’t be.

The hospital was bustling with people, and thankfully the two boys didn’t stand out that much.

Stiles spotted the sign for the morgue. “Hey,” he said quietly, pointing at the door. Scott looked at it a little nervously.

“Okay,” he said, building up the nerve to just walk in. Stiles looked at him, shrugging.

“Good luck, I guess?” he said as Scott reached for the handle, looking over his shoulder to make sure no one noticed him.

“Yeah,” he replied absently, and slipped through.

Stiles walked over to the front desk, still attempting to look innocuous, when he noticed Lydia sitting in one of the chairs. He froze and did a double take. She looked bored, legs crossed, resting her head against her hand, occasionally looking at her phone.

Stiles leaned against the front desk, feeling like the air had been knocked out of him, as he always felt when he saw Lydia.

“Oh my god,” he whispered to himself, rubbing his face. He stood back up and took a deep breath.

“Hey, Lydia!” he said, walking over to her, and she looked up, shaking the hair out of her face. Stiles leaned against the wall, one hand on his hip, trying to look casual as he smiled at her. “You probably don’t remember me, um, I sit behind you in biology?”

Lydia twirled her hair, still looking a little bored, looking around the waiting room.

“Uh, anyway,” Stiles continued, “I always thought that we just had this kind of connection,” he said, and Lydia blinked at him. “You know, unspoken, of course,” he laughed a little, and Lydia smiled, quietly laughing too.
“Maybe, it’d be kind of cool to uh, get to know each other a little better,” he suggested.

“Hold on,” Lydia said, shaking her head and brushing her hair out of her face, “give me a second.” She turned to reveal an earpiece, pulling it out of her ear before she looked back up at Stiles with a slightly irritated smile.

“Yeah, I didn’t get any of what you just said, is it worth repeating?” she asked impatiently.

Stiles chuckled nervously, the lump in his throat growing by the second, and he tried to clear it, swallowing hard.

“Uhm, haha, no… Sorry…” he shuffled back awkwardly as Lydia huffed an uncomfortable laugh. “I’m gonna sit- you don’t care,” he said, moving back around the corner.

“Okay,” Lydia said with a forced smile before putting her earpiece back in.

**********

Scott walked through the empty hallway towards the morgue, thankful that his mum hadn’t seen him walk in. A door opened and Scott twirled as an intern looked up at him curiously. Scott inspected the wall intently before the intern looked back down at his file, walking away.

Scott pulled a face, wondering how the heck he had been able to make it this far without someone stopping him. He found the morgue, and quickly closed the door behind him.

It was dark, empty. A shiver went down Scott’s spine as he looked at the tools, the metal slab, before he slowly approached the wall of marked hatches. It was cold here, and even though he had been running warmer since the bite, the idea of the bodies lying behind a barcode on a piece of paper still chilled him to the bone. His gaze flew over the names quickly, pausing over one in particular.

JANE DOE - PARTIAL
POLICE EVIDENCE
DO NOT TAMPER

Scott took a deep breath, slowly reaching up to the handle, and yanking the freezer cabinet open. He gasped a little, seeing the white sheet laying over the body… Half of it at least. He felt panic setting in, panting as he pushed himself to slowly pull the tray out of the cabinet. He wasn’t sure what compelled him, as he took those deep lungfuls of breath, but he pulled back the sheet over the feet, seeing the tag over one toe that read the same as the sign over the hatch. The legs had unmistakeable wounds on them. Bite marks.

Scott saw the blood from the middle of the body had seeped through the white sheet, and as his eyes widened, he could smell the scent. It was muted in here, with the bodies kept cold, but there was no mistaking it. It was the same scent he had caught at the Hale house. He pushed the body back in quickly, closing the hatch.

*************

Jackson rubbed his shoulder as he trudged down the hall towards Lydia. She stood up quickly.

“Did he do it?” she asked, glancing at it.

“He said not to make a habit of it, but one cortisone shot won’t kill me,” Jackson said, an air of annoyance hanging on him as he clenched his jaw. Stiles glanced over from the pamphlet -something about the menstrual cycle- he was reading, listening silently.

“You should get one right before the game, too,” Lydia said. Jackson dropped his hand, giving her a look. “What? The pros do it all the time.” Jackson shook his head, looking away from her. She folded her arms over her chest. “You can’t play if you’re in pain, Jackson. Don’t you want to play?” She leaned into him, smiling as she kissed him.

Stiles watched in fascination and jealousy as they stood there for a while, kissing. Jackson leaned back, smiling at her, and they walked away, her thumb rubbing gently over Jackson’s shoulder. Stiles sneered to himself, rolling his eyes, wondering why Lydia would support a guy like Jackson. He flinched when the pamphlet was torn from his hands.

“Holy- God!” He relaxed when he looked up to see Scott.

“The scent was the same,” Scott said, not wasting a second.

“Are you sure?” Stiles asked, standing up.

“Yes,” Scott replied adamantly. Stiles sighed.

“So he did bury the other half of the body on his property,” Stiles said.

“Which means we have proof he killed the girl,” Scott continued.

“I say we use it,” Stiles nodded, turning to walk away. Scott watched him.

“How?”

“Tell me something first,” Stiles said, turning back to Scott. “Are you doing this because you want to stop Derek, or because you want to play in the game and he said you couldn’t?”

“There were bite marks on the legs, Stiles. Bite marks.”

Stiles nodded, “Okay. Then we’re going to need a shovel.” He patted Scott’s shoulder and moved him towards the front doors.

**********

It was dark out as Derek Hale fixed his leather jacket. He slid into his shiny black car and it thrummed to life, gently pulling away from the house. As soon as he was gone, Stiles pulled his jeep up out the front, keeping the lights off so that Derek wouldn’t see them and turn back.

Scott and Stiles moved quickly, grabbing their shovels, torches, and backpacks. Scott looked around. Something made him uneasy, but he couldn’t place it. They clicked on their torches and Stiles glanced over the ruins of the Hale house, swallowing hard.

“Wait, something’s different,” Scott frowned as he walked towards the pile of dirt.

“Different how?” Stiles asked.

“I don’t know…” Scott tried to focus, but still couldn’t pin down what was wrong. He sighed, “Let’s just get this over with.” He began digging. Stiles put down his backpack and torch, angling it to give them some light, then joined in.

Time seemed to drag as the two of them dug down. Scott could tell Stiles was tiring much faster than him, but he made no complaints. The idea of discovering half of the body, helping to solve a crime, was a great motivator for his friend, and Scott knew it. Still, he felt agitated, glancing around frequently.

“This is taking way too long,” Scott rubbed his face.

“Just keep going,” Stiles replied, not halting.

“What if he comes back?” Scott insisted.

“Then we get the hell out of here,” Stiles countered without missing a beat. He wasn’t a stranger to Scott’s anxiety about everything.

“What if he catches us?” Scott asked, still not satisfied. Stiles shrugged.

“I have a plan for that.”

“Which is?”

Stiles paused his digging, looking at Scott, “You run one way. I run the other. Whoever he catches first, too bad.” He resumed digging.

Scott looked at Stiles incredulously, “I hate that plan.” Stiles snickered, and Scott begrudgingly resumed digging. “He’d catch you first, anyway,” Scott muttered. Stiles grinned, still not looking up.

“What a way to die,” Stiles breathed, and Scott looked up at him, shocked. Stiles glanced over with a bashful amusement, and Scott’s shock turned into laughter. He shoved Stiles’ shoulder and the two boys chuckled. Then Stiles’ shovel hit something in the dirt.

“Alright, stop, stop, stop!” He reached out a hand to Scott’s arm, and put down his shovel. The two crouched down, pulling away dirt. Their fingers found some thin ropes tied around something.

“Hurry,” Scott said as Stiles tried to untie it.

“I’m trying. Did he have to tie the thing in nine hundred knots?” he asked, pulling some of the rope apart. Scott huffed.

“I’ll do it,” he said, pulling at another piece of rope, though he didn’t seem to have an easier time than Stiles. The ropes finally came undone, and they pulled back some cloth. They peered down in the dark to see an animal, or half of one, buried underneath. They both jumped back, screaming, out of the hole.

“What the hell is that?!” Stiles demanded, pointing down into the hole. Scott inspected it, repulsed.

“It’s a wolf,” He replied, confused.

“Yeah, I can see that!” Stiles looked at Scott. “I thought you said you smelled blood? As in human blood?”

Scott looked at him, shrugging, “I told you something was different.” Stiles stared back down into the hole.

“This doesn’t make sense,” he said, waving his hand.

“We gotta get out of here,” Scott said quietly.

“Yeah, okay, help me cover this up,” Stiles moved to grab his shovel and looked up. He froze. Scott looked up at him, worried.

“What’s wrong?”

“Do you see that flower?” Stiles asked, pointing at a purple flower a meter or so away from the hole.

“What about it?” Scott asked.

“I think it’s Wolfsbane,” Stiles said, dropping the shovel. Scott looked back at him.

“What’s that?” Scott asked, confused.

Stiles opened his mouth to speak, and then looked back at Scott, “Haven’t you ever seen The Wolf Man?” he asked. Scott shook his head. “Lon Chaney Jr.? Claude Rains?!” Stiles continued, and Scott shook his head again, rolling his eyes. “The original classic werewolf movie?”

“No, what?!” Scott demanded again. Stiles sighed.

“You are so unprepared for this,” he muttered, and pushed off the ground, moving towards the flower. Scott watched in uncertainty as Stiles picked it, revealing a rope tied to the wolfsbane, buried in the ground.

Stiles began to pull at it, following the trail. The rope had a bit of wolfsbane every few inches or so, evenly spread. Stiles pulled the rope from the dirt, spiralled around the hole they had dug. Scott watched him with interest, glancing back down into the hole for a moment. His mouth dropped open, and he stood up quickly.

“Stiles,” he breathed, and his friend quickly rushed to his side, looking down.

“Oh!” He stumbled back a step. The wolf was gone, and in its place, half a human body. The dead eyes of a girl, the girl Scott had seen the other night when he was bitten, stared up at them.

************

The boys didn’t go straight to the police station. Scott and Stiles went home first, but only to shower and get rid of the grave dirt that covered them and change into fresh clothes. Melissa, thankfully, was still working, and wasn’t home to ask Scott why his clothes were filthy so late at night. He could probably pass it off as lacrosse practice with Stiles if she had asked, but he didn’t want to lie again.

After that, they went to the police, explaining everything to the Sheriff. He called a few deputies to go with him to arrest Derek. The boys followed in the jeep. When they arrived, Stiles and Scott showed them the hole. Scott wasn’t sure if he was happy or sad that the girl was still there, looking lifelessly up at the sky.

The early dawn was just starting to light up the sky, and deputies buzzed around the property. Scott walked back to the jeep, trying to distance himself from the smell a little. It wasn’t long before the hole had evidence tape around it, and a deputy walked Derek out the front door in handcuffs, Sheriff Stilinski not far behind him.

Derek looked over at Scott, angry. Scott lowered his gaze, feeling a kind of guilt over sending someone to jail, even if he was a murderer. The sheriff followed one of the deputies over to the hole. There were pictures being taken, and evidence bags being filled. Scott spotted Stiles casually walking over to the police car Derek was in, and panicked. He hadn’t even realised that Stiles had left his side.

Stiles looked over to Scott, seeing him shake his head, whispering what he could only assume was something like “don’t” or “no.” Stiles crouched down, checking to see no one else was nearby, and quickly slipped into the front passenger seat.

Scott turned away, covering his mouth in disbelief, hoping Stiles didn’t get caught.

Stiles closed the door behind him, looking cautiously out the window before he turned to look at Derek behind the grate that separated the front and back seats.

“Okay, just so you know, I’m not afraid of you,” he said confidently.

Derek sat slouched in the back seat, glancing up at Stiles, still fuming. As he glared he saw Stiles visibly recoil. Derek felt himself almost smile. Almost.

“Okay, maybe I am,” Stiles admitted, with considerably less confidence before he bounced back, “Doesn’t matter. I just want to know something. The girl you killed, she was a werewolf. But she was a different kind, wasn’t she?” Stiles asked, studying Derek’s face. It gave nothing away.

“I mean, she could turn herself into an actual wolf. I know Scott can’t do that, and I don’t think you can either. Is that why you killed her?” Stiles waited. Derek seemed to assess him, those green eyes piercing his. Stiles sighed, rolling his eyes. “If you have a good reason-”

“Why are you so worried about me when it’s your friend who’s the problem?” Derek cut him off, quickly nodding his head out the window towards Scott. Stiles moved back a little. “When he shifts on the field, what do you think they’re going to do? Huh? Just keep cheering him on?” he asked rhetorically. Stiles swallowed.

“I can’t stop him from playing, but you can,” Derek continued, and then leaned up close to the grate. And trust me... You want to.” His eyes looked into Stiles’ intently, and Stiles frowned.

“...Are you really trying to help him?” Stiles asked softly, leaning closer to the grate. Derek’s frown relaxed a little, his gaze travelling over Stiles’ face, and Stiles felt like he knew the answer.

Stiles felt a shiver run up his spine, and he glanced down for the briefest moment at Derek’s lips before he felt himself get pulled from the car.

“Hey! Ow!” Stiles protested as his dad pulled him to his feet and closed the car door quickly, dragging Stiles away.

“There, stand,” he said, furious. Stiles looked at his dad and sighed deeply. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

“Just trying to help,” Stiles replied quickly. Noah stared at him.

“Uh-huh. Okay, well, how about you help me understand exactly how you came across this?” The sheriff eyed his son expectantly. Stiles sighed again.

“We were looking for Scott’s inhaler,” Stiles said simply.

“Which he dropped when?” Sheriff Stilinski asked.

“The other night,” Stiles shrugged.

“The other night when you came out to look for the first half of the body?” Noah asked casually.

“Yes,” Stiles replied snarkily.

“The night when you told me you were out alone and Scott was home?” he asked again.

“Yes,” Stiles replied as though it were obvious, then looked at his dad. Realisation hit. “No! Oh, crap.”

“So you lied to me?” the sheriff asked.

“That depends on how you define lying,” Stiles replied.

“Well, I define it as not telling the truth. How do you define it?” he asked, curious to see what his son would come up with this time. He could see the wheels turning in Stiles’ head as he searched for a different definition, blowing raspberries as he thought.

“Reclining your body in a horizontal position?” He used his hands to show what he meant by horizontal, before they found their way to his hips. Noah stared at him for a moment.

“Get the hell out of here,” he said.

“Absolutely,” Stiles replied, already walking away, scratching his head awkwardly. The boy glanced back at the car, at Derek, before he ducked his head again.

Noah watched him walk over to Scott as they quietly argued with each other before jumping into the car and driving away. He turned back to the police car, seeing that he wasn't the only one whose eyes had been trained on the jeep.

***********

Stiles sped down the driveway and onto the road. Scott scanned the pages of the book Stiles had been using for research impatiently.
“I can’t find anything about Wolfsbane being used for burial,” he murmured. He felt itchy, nauseous. Something wasn’t feeling right.

“Just keep looking,” Stiles replied, and Scott’s head fell back against the seat, frustrated. “Maybe it’s like a ritual, or something. Like, maybe they bury you as a wolf. Or maybe it’s like a special skill, you know? Like something you have to learn.”

Scott side-eyed him and looked back down at the book, “Yeah, I’ll put it on my to-do list. Right underneath: Figure out how the hell I’m playing this game tonight.”

“Maybe it’s different for girl werewolves,” Stiles mused, looking like he was trying to solve a puzzle.

“Okay, stop it!” Scott snapped. Stiles glanced at him.

“Stop what?” he asked quietly, at a loss.

“Stop saying ‘werewolves’! Stop enjoying this so much!”

“...Are you okay?” Stiles asked carefully.

“No!” Scott snapped again, looking like he was in pain, “No, I’m not! I’m so far from being okay!” He winced, and Stiles could see that he was starting to sweat.

“You’re going to have to accept this, Scott,” Stiles said, “Sooner or later.” Sooner, he hoped. Every passing day seemed more and more overwhelming, and seeing Scott stressing every time something to do with werewolves happened was not going to make it any easier for either of them.

“I can’t-” Scott panted.

“Well, you’re gonna have to,” Stiles replied.

“No,” Scott interjected, “I can’t breathe!” He slammed his hand up against the roof of the jeep, grunting.

“Whoa!” Stiles swerved on the road, “whoa, whoa, whoa!”

“Pull over!” Scott growled through gritted teeth.

“Why? What’s happening?” Stiles asked, glancing between Scott and the road as he straightened up. Scott looked down at his feet, seeing some rope peek out of Stiles’ backpack. He tore it open, seeing the wolfsbane covered rope Stiles had pulled out of the ground.

“You kept it?!” he demanded.

“What was I supposed to do with it?” Stiles cried back. Scott groaned in pained frustration.

“Stop the car!” he roared. His eyes shone bright yellow as he glowered at Stiles, who screeched to a halt. He grabbed the backpack, tumbling out of the car with it and ran, tossing the bag as far as he could. He panted, sighing, turning back to the car.

“Okay, we’re good, you-” he froze when he saw Scott was gone. “Scott?” The passenger side door swung shut, but there was no sign of the other boy. “Scott?”

There was no sign of him. Stiles cursed under his breath. He went and grabbed his backpack again, careful to zip it up properly and put it in the back of the car. That way if he found Scott, he hopefully had more time before his friend wolfed out on him.

Stiles knew he should probably throw away the wolfsbane, but if there were werewolves around Beacon Hills, he was reluctant to throw away something that could be used as protection. If he figured it out, that is.

He jumped back in the driver’s seat, speeding back down the road, scanning the trees for any sign of Scott. The more time passed, the more agitated he got, and eventually he grabbed his phone, flicking through the contacts quickly. The phone began to ring.

“911, what’s your emergency?” Susan, the emergency dispatcher answered.

“Susan! Hey!”

“Stiles, you know you can’t call the dispatch line when I’m on duty,” Susan replied with an exasperated sigh. Stiles had called the dispatch line perhaps a little too frequently.

“I just need to know if you’ve gotten any odd calls,” he said quickly.

“Odd how?” she asked impatiently.

“Uh, like- like an odd person or, uh, dog-like individual roaming the streets?” he asked hopefully.

“I’m hanging up on you now,” Susan replied, disinterested.

“No, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait!”

“Goodbye,” she said, and the line clicked. Stiles grit his teeth, throwing his phone down on the passenger seat.

**********

Lydia flicked her hair over her shoulder and rang the doorbell. It didn’t take long before the door swung open with a wary Victoria Argent behind it. Lydia smiled sweetly.

“Good morning, Mrs Argent,” she said brightly.

“Lydia,” Victoria said politely, “what are you doing here so early?”

“I’m taking Allison to the mall today,” she replied, curious why Allison hadn’t told her parents. As if on cue, Allison appeared at the railing overlooking the front door, toothbrush in her mouth. Lydia wiggled her fingers in a little wave, and Allison smiled back. She said something, but it was muffled by the toothbrush, and she disappeared once again.

Victoria smirked at Lydia, and gestured for her to come inside. Lydia gratefully stepped over the threshold, out of the cold morning air.

“Would you like a drink?” Victoria asked, headed for the kitchen, and Lydia followed, appreciating the progress the Argents had made in unpacking since she had last been here.

“A tea, please,” she said, and Victoria smiled, pulling out two mugs, dropping a teabag in each.

“So what are you two looking for today?” she asked, flicking on the kettle. Lydia sat down on one of the stools by the kitchen bench.

“Nothing in particular,” Lydia shrugged, “I just want to help get Allison a little better acquainted with what Beacon Hills has to offer.”

Victoria smiled warmly at her, “Thank you, Lydia. I appreciate how welcoming you’ve been.”

“Of course,” Lydia waved a hand dismissively. Victoria regarded her a moment longer.

“You know,” she began, “I haven’t had a chance to see the stores they have here yet either…”

Lydia worried for a moment that Allison’s mother was about to ask if she could come with them.

“Would you be able to write some recommendations down for me?” the woman asked instead. Lydia grinned.

“Absolutely!” she pulled a notepad and pen out of her handbag. When Victoria raised an eyebrow, Lydia shrugged, “sometimes when I’m bored I like to draw little scribbles.”

By the time she had finished writing down places to go - and places to definitely avoid - the kettle whistled. Victoria poured the tea.

“Milk? Sugar?” she asked.

“Just milk, please,” Lydia said, sliding the list across the bench towards her.

Allison rushed into the kitchen breathless.

“I’m ready,” she panted. Lydia and Victoria smirked.

“Sit down and wait until your friend is done with her tea,” Victoria said, taking a sip of her own. Allison sighed, but took a seat next to Lydia, bumping her shoulder playfully as she did. A small smile spread across both of their lips as they shared a brief moment of eye contact before Lydia quickly looked back down at her tea.

“So what are you going to do today, mum?” Allison asked. Victoria hummed, thinking.

“I might get back to work contacting some of the boutiques, might do a few sketches later,” she shrugged, “We’ll see.” Lydia put down her tea.

“Wait… Mrs Argent, do you also design clothes?” she asked slowly. Allison looked at her mother, amused, and Victoria chuckled.

“I’ve started just recently,” she explained, “it’s more a hobby than anything at the moment.” Lydia’s jaw dropped, and she looked between Allison and Victoria.

“Well,” she said, sipping her tea again, “if you ever need a model…” she batted her eyelashes. Allison snorted, and they all laughed.

They sat a while longer, even after Lydia had finished her tea. It was nice to just sit and talk, and she found herself reluctant to leave. Eventually Allison's mother pushed them out the door, still managing to beat most of the traffic for a Saturday morning.

They walked arm in arm as Lydia pointed out the stores she liked to visit. Allison laughed at Lydia’s jokes, and eventually started to make a few of her own.

Allison knew she didn’t warm up to places quickly, thinking she would leave them behind soon enough anyway, but it was somehow easier here, with Lydia's arm in hers.

Suddenly, Lydia gasped, and grabbed Allison’s hand as she ran forward, and Allison felt her heart race. Something about Lydia’s excitement was contagious. They came to a stop in front of an ice cream shop. Allison raised an eyebrow, but Lydia smiled mischievously.

“Just a little treat,” she said, “this is the best ice cream in town. You’ll love it!”

Allison laughed as Lydia dragged her inside. They looked at their options, and Allison appreciated the way Lydia’s eyes lit up. She got the sense that Lydia didn’t have many other friends she felt comfortable coming in here with. It made this feel special.

“Hi,” a face appeared next to Lydia, and Allison noted the way Lydia’s smile fell. The way she slid into a cold, disinterested demeanour. Allison frowned. “What’s your name, gorgeous?”

“Not interested, thank you,” Lydia said, not looking away from the ice cream. The man that stood beside her scowled.

“You haven’t even given me a chance,” he said, reaching to touch her shoulder. Allison quickly slid her own hands around Lydia and swapped their positions.

“She said no, maybe you can go harass someone else,” she was far less polite than Lydia was, and she was loud. Lydia’s eyes widened in shock, and she clung to the back of Allison’s jacket, worried.

“Allison, it’s okay,” she whispered, but Allison shook her head. Some customers and the staff behind the counter were now all looking at them. The man was angry, but he glanced around. He turned back at Allison, and scoffed.

“Whatever,” he said, stomping away. Allison smiled, pleased, as she turned back to Lydia. She was pale, glancing back at the man.

“What if he had done something?” she whispered. Allison shrugged.

“I feel like I could take him. No one harasses my friends.”

Lydia stared at her like she was an anomaly. After a moment she shook her head and laughed.

“You’re crazy,” she breathed, and Allison gently tapped her nose.

“Only when someone gets between me and ice cream,” she replied, and Lydia laughed again. She slipped her arm around Allison’s once again, hugging it close.

“What can I get you ladies?” the server asked warmly, “and the first one is free.”

“Why?” Allison asked, confused.

“That guy comes in occasionally and we usually have to chase him off,” the server explained, “my manager wants to thank you for saving us the trouble.”

Lydia looked at Allison, impressed, and Allison grinned.

“In that case, we’ll have two servings.”

They spent the next few hours at the mall, and if Lydia refused to let go of Allison’s hand, Allison didn’t mention it.

**********

When Allison finally got back home, the sky was beginning to get dark. Settling in, she put on her music and sat at her desk, taking in the boxes still scattered around her room with a sigh. Slowly, she pulled old keepsakes out of one of the boxes, a bittersweet smile on her face as she reminisced about friends she had had in other places.

Outside her window, Scott crawled along the roof, crouching low as he watched her. His claws and fangs were out, ears pointed, hair grown. In his wild state of instinct, eventually thoughts of her still found their way through, and he was pulled to her. Allison. He watched as she smiled at some pictures.

After a moment, she stood up and walked to the window, pulling the curtains shut. With the lights outside the Argent house, Scott was confronted with his own reflection in the window. He flinched back, seeing his eyes glowing. The idea that he was here, just outside her window, a monster, disgusted him. He jumped down off the roof lightly, and went to run across the driveway.

A car hit him, screeching to a halt as Scott was thrown to the ground. Chris Argent jumped out of the car, rushing over to him.

“Oh my God…” the man whispered, and crouched down to see if Scott was okay.

“Dad?” Allison called from the doorway. Scott turned over, looking up at Chris. His wolf-like features were gone, and he felt more clear-headed… If still in pain.

“Dad? What the hell are you doing?” Allison asked, closer now. Chris looked at her as she ran over.

“He-he came out of nowhere, Allison,” he began, shocked, at a loss for words. Allison knelt down next to Scott.

“Are you trying to kill him?” she asked rhetorically, but Scott shot a look over at Chris, hoping the answer was no.

“No, no, of course not,” Chris replied, “he just… He just ran out into the driveway.”

“I-I’m sorry!” Scott panted, looking up into Allison’s eyes as she leaned over him, checking him, “It’s my fault, I’m sorry.” He winced a little, lying back on the grass.

“Are you okay?” she asked softly, and he nodded, not wanting to look away from her face.

“Yeah, yeah, I’m fine,” he liked the way she ran her fingers over the side of his face, through his hair, “I swear.” Chris watched them carefully.

“Sorry I hit your car,” Scott said, addressing him, and Chris shook his head, not at all worried about the car, “I was just coming to say hi,” Scott looked back to Allison, who huffed a small laugh.

Chris watched them both. He’d never seen Allison like this with a boy before.

“You sure you’re okay?” Chris asked, holding a hand out for Scott, helping him up.

“Yeah,” Scott grunted, “Yeah, completely.” He turned back to Allison, the crease of concern in her eyebrows still there. “I should go. I’ve got a lacrosse game to get to. You’re still coming? Right?”

Chris watched the way she smiled at Scott, the way her eyes lit up, and the way Scott seemed mesmerised by her every expression.

“Of course, I’m coming,” Allison grinned, leaning close to him. The teenagers gazed into each other’s eyes for a moment.

Chris wasn’t sure if it was him being overprotective, or maybe he was just curious what made Scott so special to Allison that she looked at him like that. Either way, Chris felt as though he should be at this game as well.

“We both are,” Chris chimed in with a smile. Allison and Scott turned to him, shocked. He patted some dirt off Scott’s shoulder. Allison’s smile fell, and Scott quietly cleared his throat, nodding. Great.

*********

Scott was changing into his lacrosse gear in the locker room, hanging his backpack up next to his other clothes. He had a headache, feeling a little woozy since his car ride with Stiles. The slamming of locker doors made him flinch every time, feeling like he was getting hit in the head.

He heard fragments of a conversation, some words that caught his attention, and he turned to see Jackson speaking intently to some of the other players in a hushed tone. Scott tried to focus his hearing, but it just seemed to amplify everything around him. Jackson nodded his head over at Scott, glancing his way for a second. A sick feeling started to creep into Scott’s stomach. He sighed, shaking his head as he grabbed his knee pads. He sat down, putting them on, when Stiles walked past. They looked at each other, and Stiles smiled.

He was relieved that Scott was okay… And that he hadn’t heard any police reports about anyone getting attacked or mauled.

“You going to try to convince me not to play?” Scott asked, looking back down.

“I just hope you know what you’re doing,” Stiles replied seriously.

“If I don’t play, I lose first line and Allison,” Scott still couldn’t meet Stiles’ eyes. He knew this was a risk, especially with how many times he had nearly lost control and hurt someone. Even when he had hurt someone.

“Allison’s not going anywhere,” Stiles replied confidently, “And it’s one game which you don’t need to play.”

“I want to play!” Scott insisted, looking at Stiles now, “I want to be on the team, I want to go out with Allison. I want a semi-freaking normal life. Do you get that?”

“I get it,” Stiles said quietly. Scott looked back down at his feet, and Stiles sat down beside him, sighing.

“Just try not to worry too much while you’re out there, okay?” Stiles said in a lighter tone, “or get too angry.”

Scott nodded, “I got it.”

“Or stressed,” Stiles added.

“Yeah, I got it,” Scott nodded again.

“Don't worry about Allison being in the stands,” Stiles continued, “Or that her father is trying to kill you.” Scott sat up a little, swallowing. “Or that Derek’s trying to kill you. Or the girl he killed,” Stiles rambled, his speech getting faster, and Scott looked at him incredulously, “Or that you might kill someone. If a hunter doesn't kill you first- I’m sorry, I’ll stop.”

The two stared at each other for a moment, then Scott continued to put his knee pads on, feeling considerably more stressed. Stiles smacked his lips. “Good luck,” he said dryly.

The crowd cheered as the players all ran out to the field, finishing their last minute equipment checkups. People were still finding their seats, and Scott saw Melissa wave at him, a huge smile on her face. Allison sat down next to her father, a similar smile on her face.

“Scott!” Lydia scared him, pulling him close to her. Stiles stepped back, watching them in amazement. “I just want you to remember one thing for tonight.” Scott glanced down, uncomfortable with her hand gripped on the front of his shirt.

“Uh… Winning isn’t everything?” he asked. Lydia forced a short laugh, and dusted off his shoulder. Scott wondered why people kept doing that to him. How did his shoulder always get dirty? Lydia looked into his eyes.

“Nobody likes a loser,” she clarified, patting his chest as she walked back to the bleachers. Scott stood there, perplexed, and shrugged at the suspicious look Stiles was giving him from the bench.

On Stiles’ other side, Coach sat down beside Jackson, patting the team captain’s leg.

“How’s the shoulder?” he asked.

“It’s fine,” Jackson shrugged, trying to sound casual.

“Feel any pain?” Coach asked.

“No,” Jackson shook his head, again attempting to sound unperturbed.

“What if I gave it a big ol’ punch,” Coach asked, miming it at Jackson’s shoulder, making the boy flinch, “would you feel any pain then?”

“...Maybe,” Jackson nodded, staring back out at the field, suddenly concerned.

“Listen, just go out there, just give it your best,” Coach said, encouraging him, then paused, “if you feel any pain, just- you just…”

“Just keep playing?” Jackson asked slowly, taking a wild guess at what Coach was getting at. Coach smiled.

“That’s my boy,” he said, then stood up as the referee blew the whistle. The players of both teams all shot up, running to their positions on the field. Scott looked around, huffing a sigh.

“Please let this be okay,” he murmured, “please.”

Stiles sat on the bench, nervously chewing on his glove, when his dad came up behind him and patted him on the shoulder.

“Hey kid,” he smiled, looking out at the field.

“Hey,” Stiles said, trying to hide how anxious he was.

“So, you think you’ll see any action tonight?” his father asked.

“Action?” Stiles asked, and the different scenarios of how terribly wrong this game could go ran through his head, “maybe.”

Scott continued whispering little prayers to himself that nothing went wrong, and suddenly the whistle blew, and the game had begun. Scott ran along the field, waving that he was open.

Stiles watched, nearly tearing through his glove with his teeth.

The ball flew back and forth between players, but never to Scott. When some players collided, the ball fell to the ground. Scott saw an opening and dashed for it. Jackson watched him, his nostrils flared, and he raced to shove Scott out of the way as he scooped up the ball himself.

Scott heard a few people boo from the stands, but more were cheering as Jackson scored a goal. He high-fived a few players as Coach cheered him on.

“That’s it Jackson! Get fired up! Fired up!”

Melissa pursed her lips, and clapped begrudgingly.

Jackson looked at Scott smugly.

Stiles rolled his eyes as the crowd continued cheering.

Lydia bounced excitedly next to Allison, then leaned in close to whisper something. Allison smiled and nodded, helping her hold up a sign.

We luv u Jackson!

Scott glanced over, then did a double take. Stiles noticed, and turned to see the sign, wincing a little.

“Brutal,” he whispered. Scott shook his head, embittered, and Stiles watched him trudge across the field angrily. “Oh, this is not going to be good.”

Jackson and a few other players grouped together.

“Only to me,” Jackson insisted.

“But what if he’s open?” Danny asked, Jackson’s best friend.

“Who’s the captain? You or me?”

“Jackson, come on, dude. I just want to win,” Danny sighed.

“We will win,” Jackson assured him.

“But-”

“What did I say?” Jackson cut him off, and Danny sighed again, “What. Did. I. Say?”

“Don’t pass to McCall,” Danny said, resigned. Jackson patted him on the chest, and the group split. Scott watched, his eyes beginning to glow as he felt anger fill him once again.

The game continued, and the more he was bypassed, the angrier Scott became. Especially when their team started to fall behind.

He growled a little as he got back into position, and the referee halted for a moment as he walked past.

“You okay, kid?” he asked. Scott nodded slowly. Jackson watched him from across the field. The low growling had the referee walking away a little faster, and the opposing players near Scott shifted nervously, backing up a few steps.

Stiles rubbed his neck, his leg bouncing, hoping Scott could control himself long enough to finish the game.

“Which one is Scott again?” Chris asked, as Allison held a hand to her mouth, worried.

“Number Eleven,” Lydia replied, watching Scott closely, “Otherwise known as the one who hasn’t caught a single ball this entire game.”

“I hope he’s okay,” Allison whispered.

“I hope we’re okay,” Lydia said standing up with the sign turned the other way, “We need to win this. Allison? Little help here?”

Allison looked up at her friend, and sighed, helping her hold it up. Scott looked over at them, and the less than enthused look on Allison’s face.

JACKSON IS #1!!

He squinted angrily, and turned back to the game.

The whistle blew, and the ball flew through the air. Scott spotted it, and bolted towards it, pushing off one of the opposing team players to launch himself into the air.

Stiles watched in awe as Scott caught the ball, landed on the ground, and dodged through the opposition to get to the goal.

Melissa jumped excitedly, cheering him on. Allison rocked on her toes, excited. He threw the ball.

He scored.

Everyone jumped up, cheering. Stiles whooped, and high-fived Isaac who was sitting beside him on the bench.

Jackson stood gobsmacked, puffing angrily as Scott was congratulated by some of the other players.

Lydia clapped reluctantly.

“To McCall! Pass to McCall!” Coach shouted to the players, and Stiles followed behind him, echoing him excitedly.

Jackson shook his head in annoyance, and raced back to position.

The next round began, and as the ball flew, an opposing team player caught it. He was about to run with it when he saw Scott before him, fangs out, eyes glowing. The boy trembled, and quickly passed the ball to Scott, who dashed past him quickly.

Stiles was still chewing on his glove when Coach touched his shoulder and sat down next to him.

“Did the opposing team just deliberately pass us the ball?”

“Yes, I believe so, Coach,” Stiles replied, eyes glued to Scott.

“Interesting,” Coach said.

Scott threw the ball hard at the goal. The goalie put up his net, but the ball tore right through. Everyone jumped up again, cheering louder. The scores were now tied.

“Yes! Yes!” Stiles continued to whoop beside Coach, who was clapping enthusiastically.

Melissa laughed a little, perplexed as to how that shot had even been possible. She glanced over her shoulder, smiling. Chris caught her eye, and she shrugged as she clapped. Chris smiled back at her.

Scott felt himself starting to lose control. He felt his fangs jutting out of his mouth. He crouched down, panting, hoping no one saw his face.

The other team’s coach started arguing with Coach, who had Stiles behind him also arguing.

“The ball’s in the net!” They both insisted. The referee came over, and agreed that the ball was in the net.

“We got it!” Coach blew his whistle. The next round began.

The referee blew his own whistle and placed the ball between the two team captains.

“What the hell’s up with your teammate, man? What’s he on?” The other boy asked.

“I don’t know,” Jackson admitted, “Yet.” He looked over at Scott.

The referee blew the whistle again, and the round began. The ball flew towards him, and Scott scooped it up, running for the goal again. He became disoriented, his vision blurred, and everything looked red. He looked at the players around him.

Stiles stood up slowly, watching his friend. “No, Scott, no, no…”

The opposing teammates around Scott looked at each other nervously as Scott began to growl at them. There were seventeen seconds left on the clock.

Melissa clutched her hands together, “Come on, come on, come on,” she whispered.

“You can do it, Scott,” Allison said softly behind her.

Chris glanced at his daughter, then back at the boy out on the field.

Scott heard Allison’s voice cut through all the clamour. It was like the chime of a bell, and it cleared his mind. He remembered where he was. Her soft words of encouragement brought him back to himself, and he glanced at the time they had left. Six seconds. He looked at the nervous goalie. Two of the other players decided to charge at him, to stop him from making the goal. Scott swung quickly, launching the ball.

It hit the back of the net, and the whistle went off.

Everyone cheered again, louder than they had all night. Beacon Hills had won.

Stiles fist-pumped the air. “Yes! Yes! Oh my god!” He laughed. Scott had made it through the whole game, and won it, and no one had been hurt. Relief washed over him, and he let out a breath.

Scott pulled off his glove, dropping it to look down at his clawed hand. The crowd ran out onto the field, and Scott ran for the locker rooms.

Allison looked around the field for him, and saw him running off into the dark. Chris followed behind her slowly, stopping to watch as she chased after him.

Stiles sat breathless on the bench. Despite not playing at all, he felt like he had just run a marathon. His father stood close by, on the phone.

“Uh-huh,” he said quietly. Stiles looked over at him, and the look on his face was not a happy one.

“Dad? What’s wrong?” Stiles asked. Noah held up a finger, but it didn’t look like good news.

Scott ran through the dark halls of the school, panting and groaning. He clutched at his helmet, pulling it off.

Allison rounded the corner, seeing his helmet roll on the ground. She paused, listening for Scott.

Scott ran to the sink, looking at himself in the mirror. The monster he saw there, the one out of control, the violent one. It made him angrier. He didn’t recognise himself anymore. He cried out as he punched the mirror, shattering it completely, glass flying.

“Scott?” Allison called from the doorway, walking in quickly. “Scott, are you here?” She looked around in the dark locker room, searching. She halted when she found the broken glass. She held her beret tightly in her hands. The hairs stood up on the back of her neck, and she felt like she was being watched again.

Scott hid up on the beams above the locker room, peering down. He crawled quietly, following her steps.

Allison heard a slight rustling, and glanced up, looking around. She felt herself shift into a kind of defensive mode, and she put her back to some of the lockers so nothing could creep up behind her. She flinched when she heard a distant locker slam. Her breathing started to quicken.

“Scott?” she called again, softly. She peered around some of the lockers, towards the showers. She walked towards them slowly, the only light coming through the high windows. “Scott?” she said a little louder, glancing over her shoulder. As she walked into the showers, she saw Scott hunched over against the wall.

“Hey, are you okay?” she said, putting a hand on his shoulder, “Scott?”

He whirled around to look at her, as if caught by surprise.

“You scared me,” she laughed a little, looking him up and down to make sure he didn’t have any injuries, “Are you all right?”

He was sweating, trembling.

“Yeah,” he breathed with a slight smile, “Sorry… I just got kind of light-headed for a sec.”

“Maybe it’s the adrenaline,” she offered, “You were pretty amazing out there.”

He smiled a little at her, then looked at her contritely.

“I’m sorry for acting really weird today,” he said earnestly. Allison shrugged, unconcerned.

“It’s okay,” she said, smacking her lips, “I can handle weird.” She smiled at him.

“To be totally honest, you, uh, make me kind of nervous,” he admitted.

“I do?” she asked, surprised.

“Yeah, kind of, like, really nervous,” Scott chuckled a little. Allison laughed as well. “I just... I want to make sure I get my second chance,” he said sincerely. Allison looked at him.

“You already have it,” she said, and Scott grinned, “I’m just waiting for you to take it.”

She smirked as she backed away from him, wanting him to follow. He did.

“Well, maybe I need to learn to take more chances,” he said slowly.

“Maybe you do,” Allison agreed, swaying a little. Scott moved in closer, holding her, and her eyes met his. He moved in slowly, hoping he wasn’t misreading what was happening. She smiled, and tilted her head towards his. He waited, letting her lean in first to make sure this is what she wanted, and then they were kissing.

Scott thought his heart might explode. Or his head. He wasn’t sure which. They stood there for a while, just kissing, but Scott thought it might be the greatest feeling in the world.

Stiles jogged into the locker room, opening his mouth to call out for Scott, when he saw the two of them in the showers. He halted, and walked back for a moment, not wanting to interrupt.

Allison pulled away first, giggling a little.

“Um…” she glanced away, bashful, and Scott thought it was the cutest thing he had ever seen, “I gotta get back to my Dad.” Scott just stared at her, a dazed grin on his face. After a moment he nodded, still staring. She bit her lip, still smiling, and kissed his cheek quickly. They held hands for a moment before she pulled away, walking out.
“Oh, and uh,” she turned back to him, “don’t worry about coming out tonight with Jackson and Lydia.” Scott blinked, and he chuckled nervously, but Allison just smirked. “I think we can skip that one for tonight.” Scott nodded gratefully, and Allison turned around again to leave.

She saw Stiles, and gave him a funny look and a wave as she left, “Hey, Stiles.”

“Hey, yeah,” he replied awkwardly, returning her wave with a slight laugh. He watched her leave as he walked over to Scott.

Scott shuffled over to meet him, looking like he was in a dream. Stiles smirked at his friend.

“I kissed her,” Scott breathed contently.

“I saw,” Stiles agreed, happy for him.

“She kissed me,” Scott continued.

“I saw that too,” Stiles nodded, amused. Scott stood there with that for a moment. “It’s pretty good, huh?” Stiles asked. Scott huffed, smiling.

“I-I-I don’t know how, but I controlled it. I pulled it back,” Scott said, amazed, hopeful, “Maybe I can do this. Maybe it’s not that bad.”

“Yeah,” Stiles agreed awkwardly, “We should talk later then.” He patted Scott’s shoulder and went to walk away, but Scott grabbed him.

“What?” Scott asked softly.

Stiles sighed, disappointed that he had to ruin Scott’s high once again.

“The, uh, medical examiner looked at the other half of the body we found,” Stiles began.

“And?” Scott prompted.

“Well, I’ll keep it simple,” he said bluntly, “Medical Examiner determines killer of girl to be animal, not human. Derek’s human, not animal. Derek not killer. Derek let out of jail.”

“Are you kidding?” Scott demanded.

“No, and here’s the bigger kick in the ass,” Stiles said dryly, “My Dad ID’d the dead girl. Both halves. Her name was Laura Hale.”

“Hale?!” Scott cried, trying to process all this.

“Derek’s sister,” Stiles huffed. Scott blanched.

************

Out on the field, Jackson picked up Scott’s glove. There were holes in the fingertips, the fabric frayed. Jackson stared at them intently, trying to figure out what it meant. He looked around and saw a figure standing across the field, watching him.

Derek Hale.

They stared at each other for a moment, and then Derek turned, and just walked away.