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The moonlight peeked occasionally through the overcast sky as the police cars pulled up at the edge of the forest, a soft mist hanging through the trees. Engines hummed as radios chattered. Police dogs whined, agitated, barking a few times as they were led into the forest by deputies that tried to ignore their own anxiety out here on a dark night. Nevertheless, they all had their torches ready as they pushed through, searching the forest floor, following their Sheriff who led them with a grim determination. The night was damp from rain, and it looked like there would be more soon, but they wouldn’t let it stop them. 

 

Across town, listening to music while threading his lacrosse pole, Scott McCall also wrestled with anxiety. He tested the net, perhaps a little more than necessary, then gently tossed the pole back and forth between his hands, switching his hold, checking his grip. 

 

“Scott!” Melissa, his mother, called from downstairs, “I’m off to work! Dinner is in the fridge!”

 

Scott went to practice a throw, swinging the pole back behind him, and immediately knocked over his lamp. He grimaced as it shattered on the floor.

 

“Aaaand glue is in the cabinet,” Melissa added, climbing the stairs. Scott sighed, beginning to pick up the pieces. Melissa poked her head in the doorway, assessing the scene. She noticed his lacrosse stick on the ground, next to the broken lamp.

 

“I thought you quit lacrosse,” she said.

 

“No,” Scott responded dejectedly without turning to look at her, “I just never really play.” She nodded.

 

“Have you thought about quitting?” she asked innocently, and now Scott did turn to her. She was wearing her colourful floral scrubs today.

 

Mum! ” He felt a little affronted.

 

“I just want you to be happy,” she said with a light laugh, watching as he picked up the stick again. “High school should be fun. You should be out chasing after girls.” Scott glanced back up at her.

 

“But not catching them,” she said sternly, with a hard glance “just chasing,” she finished quietly.

 

“Not having too much luck with that either…” Scott replied sullenly. 

 

“Okay, great, um…” Melissa started awkwardly, “I should probably go before I completely destroy your self esteem.” She slid her bag up over her shoulder, giving him a sympathetic smile.

 

“Okay,” Scott whispered, still in a sulk.

 

“Don’t worry,” Melissa said. “Sophomore year is always better, I promise.” She pointed at him like it was a fact he could be sure of. 

 

“Okay,” he muttered again as she walked away.

 

“Love you!” she called behind her. 

 

“You too.”

 

Scott continued his routine, doing some more pull ups, certain he hadn’t done enough over the break. He wanted to fit in as many as he could before bed without straining himself, but Scott knew he’d need to be well rested if he was going to be in good shape for tomorrow, and lowered himself back to the floor. He readied himself for bed, brushing his teeth and rinsing his mouth. He splashed his face with water, trying to clear the worries from his head, when a noise made him freeze. Scott slowly rose from the sink, catching his reflection in the mirror. He briefly wondered if he should trim his hair before the thought was pushed aside to focus on the strange sound. It was out of place, a creaking that was irregular for this time of night. Especially when he was the only one home. 

 

Scott threw on some clothes and snuck quietly down the stairs. He held a wooden baseball bat tightly in his hands, peering out onto the porch. It was cold out, and the hair on the back of his neck stood on end. The fog did nothing to comfort him as he looked around, head swivelling. Scott walked to the edge of his porch by the railing. The creeping plants hung low about, when a figure suddenly fell partially from the roof overhead, dangling upside down, nearly face to face with him. He screamed and raised the bat. The figure screamed too. They were both still screaming- and flailing- when Scott realised who it was. 

 

“Stiles, what the hell are you doing?!” he asked, still holding the bat tightly, his heart hammering in his chest. 

 

“You weren’t answering your phone!” Stiles retorted, his voice breaking over the last word as he looked at the bat in Scott’s hands. “Why do you have a bat?” 

 

Scott looked between the bat and Stiles, frustrated, before lowering it.

 

“I thought you were a predator!” he replied defensively. 

 

“A pre- pfft,” Stiles brought his hands to his head, amazed, and then let them swing down, “Look, I know it’s late but you gotta hear this.” Stiles said, quickly moving on. Scott took the chance to rest the bat on the ground, leaning on it a little as he caught his breath.

 

“I saw my dad leave twenty minutes ago,” Stiles continued, “Dispatch called. They’re bringing in every officer from the Beacon Department and even state police.” He had a gleam in his eye, excited.

 

“For what?” Scott asked, confused. Stiles grinned.

 

“Two joggers found a body in the woods.” He replied, before lowering himself from the roof with a light thud on the grass. Scott leaned over, shocked.

 

“A dead body?!” 

 

Stiles popped back up and leaned on the wooden railing.

 

“No, a body of water. Yes, dumbass, a dead body!” 

 

Scott stepped back as Stiles climbed over the rail and onto the porch. Scott stared at him, dumbfounded.

 

“You mean like... Murdered?”

 

“Nobody knows yet,” Stiles said, a little breathless as his hands came to rest on his hips. “Just that it was a girl, probably in her twenties.”

 

“Hold on,” Scott said, trying to follow where Stiles was leading, “if they found the body, then what are they looking for?” Stiles’ face lit up, gleeful.

 

“That’s the best part,” he said before looking up dramatically, “They only found half !” 

 

Scott’s eyebrows shot up, and Stiles started nodding. 

 

“We’re going,” he said, and his tone of voice told Scott that there was no way to argue with him. 

 

With a sigh, Scott looked across the grass to the trees, and the fog between them. He was not going to get a restful night of sleep, and the corners of his mouth pulled down in a slight pout. With a beaming smile, Stiles patted him on the shoulder, and slid his arms around Scott’s shoulders, guiding him towards his jeep. 

 

Soon enough they pulled up at a line of wooden posts. A slightly worn sign hung on a chain that prevented cars from following the road. BEACON HILLS RESERVE, the sign read, and slightly smaller underneath, NO ENTRY AFTER DARK. As they got out of the car, Scott pulled his hood up, trying to fight the chill setting in.

 

“We’re seriously doing this?” he asked, looking over at Stiles. His friend, buzzcut and all, swung his arms wide, looking so darn… Chipper. 

 

“You’re the one always bitching that nothing ever happens in this town!” Stiles retorted, patting him on the back before ducking under the chain, torch in hand. Scott felt a lump in his throat, and shrugged.

 

“I-I was trying to get a good night’s sleep before practice tomorrow…” He said, trying not to think about how bad his chances would be if he was yawning half the day. He felt a shiver down his spine that he tried to ignore as he followed Stiles.

 

“Right, ‘cause sitting on the bench is such a gruelling effort,” Stiles replied sarcastically, not turning back as he strode through the woods, pointing his torch at the ground. Scott huffed a little, feeling a bit breathless as he tried to keep up.

 

No , because I’m playing this year,” Scott tried to sound determined. It came out a little weak, but he didn’t do all those pull ups for nothing. He knew he had a shot, if he tried hard enough. “In fact,” he said, sounding a little more confident, “I’m making first line.” 

 

“Hey, that’s the spirit,” Stiles said, shooting a quick look and a smirk back at him. “Everyone should have a dream, even a pathetically unrealistic one.” 

 

Scott scoffed a laugh, shaking his head. “Just out of curiosity, which half of the body are we looking for?” he asked. Stiles halted briefly in his tracks.

 

“Huh… I didn’t even think about that,” he laughed a little, not turning around, and Scott rolled his eyes, grinning. He stuck his hands in his hoodie pockets, trudging along behind him.

 

“And, uh… What if whoever killed the body is still out here?” he continued. Stiles considered that for a moment.

 

“Also something I didn’t think about!” he said, sounding a little more concerned, but his pace still continued quickly. Scott wasn’t sure if Stiles could even walk slowly. He was always fast, and his hands were always moving. They came to a steep incline, crawling up as leaves and dirt fell away beneath their hands and feet. 

 

“It’s comforting to know you’ve planned this out with your usual attention to detail…” Scott panted.

 

“I know,” Stiles groaned as he climbed. Even though Scott joked, Stiles usually was planning things out more thoroughly than this. Tonight had happened to be an exception because Stiles had been more excited about something as interesting as a dead body being found in Beacon Hills.

 

Scott grabbed on to a tree for support, and leaned against it.

 

“Maybe the severe asthmatic should be holding the flash light, huh?” he wheezed, grabbing his inhaler from his pocket and shaking it before he pushed forward. Stiles stumbled to the top and fell to the ground on his stomach, quickly turning off the torch, and Scott tumbled down next to him. They saw the lights from the deputies through the trees. Stiles’ smile widened, and he jumped back up.

 

“Come on!” he said to Scott, who looked frantically between his friend and the torchlight. He could hear dogs barking.

 

Stiles! ” he hissed, and quickly shook his inhaler before taking a puff. He scrambled after the other boy, trying not to trip as he did so. “Wait up! Stiles!” Stiles was running low, keeping an eye on the deputies and their torches as he darted through the woods, Scott lagging behind.

 

“Stiles!” he called again, louder, and Stiles faltered in his tracks to wait for him, turning to shuffle backwards to see how far behind Scott was. A dog barked right behind him, and he turned, shouting in surprise to see a torchlight shining in his face. Stiles fell backwards, and a spooked deputy shouted down at him.

 

“Hold it right there!” The man cried, just barely holding back the dog who was trying to lunge at him, snapping. Scott swivelled, throwing his back against a tree to hide.

 

“Hang on, hang on,” a tired voice called. A man walked up, looking down at Stiles with a furrowed brow, “This little delinquent belongs to me.” Stiles slowly rose from the ground, a sheepish look on his face as he struggled to think of a way to talk himself out of the trouble he knew was coming. The dog whined a little, still barking as the deputy pulled away. 

 

“Dad,” Stiles said casually, “How are you doing?”

 

“So, do you, uh, listen in to all of my phone calls?” the sheriff asked, lips pursed in annoyance.

 

No! ” Stiles’ responded immediately, then sighed. “Not the boring ones.” Noah Stilinksi looked at his son for a moment, then nodded, looking out at the trees.

 

“Now, where’s your usual partner in crime?” he asked.

 

“Who, Scott?” Stiles asked, feigning innocence. “Scott’s home,” he continued dismissively, “Said he wanted to get a good night’s sleep for first day back at school tomorrow. It’s just me. In the woods. Alone.” He got quieter towards the end. He considered that if he had stopped talking a little sooner, then maybe he would have been more convincing. However, Noah knew his son, and he knew him well. He raised his torch, pointing out behind Stiles. Scott, who had leaned out to peek at Stiles and the Sheriff, quickly ducked back behind the tree.

 

“Scott, you out there?” Noah called. Stiles turned quickly to make sure his friend wasn’t visible. Scott was panting a little, considering whether or not to just walk out, let the sheriff take him home, and get some sleep. He just had to work up the courage to face Sheriff Stilinski and sit through a lecture and a stern look. 

 

“Scott?” the man called again. Scott stayed still. Noah dropped his torch and sighed.

 

“Well, young man,” he said, walking over to Stiles, who leaned away a little, “I’m gonna walk you back to your car,” he grabbed the back of Stiles’ neck and lead him a way, while Stiles made vague noises of protest, stumbling alongside him. “And you and I are gonna have a conversation about something called ‘invasion of privacy’.” 

 

Scott watched the two of them retreat into the dark, and mentally berated himself for not going with them, banging his head back on the tree. Without Stiles to drive him home, he would have to walk. He sighed. 

 

“Damn!” he muttered. He really wasn’t going to have a good night. 

 

Scott sighed, jumping a little as a crash of thunder sounded. He wandered back through the woods in the direction they had come. Maybe he could catch Stiles before he drove away, or hide nearby until Sheriff Stilinski left. Hopefully it would be before a storm started raining down on him. Scott looked up at the dark clouds above him, and secured his hoodie, stumbling as he walked. He watched as his breath puffed out in little clouds in the cold air, and realised before long that he didn’t know which way he was going. He stumbled through the woods, bumping into trees as he looked around, jumping at strange sounds. Was it an owl? A coyote? Scott jumped at the sound of wings above him. His head was on a swivel again, and a creeping feeling of dread was settling in his stomach. His pace slowed, until he came to a halt, the eerie silence around him. 

 

His brows pulled together as he stared through the trees, and his chest tightened. He shook his inhaler again, bringing it to his mouth, when something leapt at him, and he cried out, falling back as deer darted around him. The inhaler was knocked from his hand, and he tried to roll out of the way of their hooves crashing around him. Some stumbled as they tried to get past, and before he knew it they were gone. He panted, breathing hard as he looked around from the spot he had fallen, bewildered. 

 

“My inhaler,” he mumbled, groaning as he pushed himself up. The silence had fallen over the forest again. Scott dusted himself off, pulling his phone from his pockets to use the screen as a kind of torch. He leaned over, searching through the leaves, throwing some aside with his hand or foot. 

 

A few minutes passed with no luck, and he was just getting ready to give up, when his phone shone over a face, and Scott gasped.

 

It was a woman, and as he looked further, he saw it was only half of her. 

 

Blood covered her, coming from where she had been cut, or torn, in half. Scott staggered backwards, crying out as he tumbled down an incline. His back hit a tree, and he groaned in pain, feeling a crack before he kept falling. He rolled to a stop at the bottom, and crawled over to a fallen tree to help him up. He winced in pain, still panting, and vaulted over the tree. 

 

He looked around in the darkness as he walked, before a low, unnatural growl made him stop. It felt like all the air had been sucked out of him, and he turned slowly to see… Something… Moving in the dark, its eyes aglow. 

 

It only regarded him for a moment before it roared and lunged at him. 

 

Scott felt his eyes widen in fear, but it was already on him before he could react. He screamed as he fell to the ground, his arms reaching for something, a stick, before he was dragged away from it. It growled as it bit into him, and Scott screamed again, this time in pain. It threw him aside, and he rolled, rising quickly to run, tripping over himself as he did, but not stopping. He held his side, blood seeping between his fingers, as he frantically tore through the trees, trying to get away any way he could. He felt the branches whipping against him as he kept his head down and pushed forward. Before he knew where he was, he heard tires screeching, and a car horn. He looked up to see headlights, and he gasped, covering his face as he waited for the collision. 

 

The car swerved around him, swaying a bit as it tried to correct itself on the wet road, and sped off into the dark. Scott lowered his arms and watched the tail lights grow smaller before looking down at his side, pulling up his hoodie and shirt, now covered in dirt. Underneath was a bloody bite mark, painfully deep and aching. Blood dripped from it. How was he going to explain this to his mother?

 

Scott looked helplessly into the dark as the rain drizzled down on him. There was a howl, starting low and rising, distant in the trees, and Scott felt his heart rate pick up once again, and he darted off along the road. 

 

It took him a while to get home, and thankfully his mum still wasn’t back yet. He showered, washing off as much blood, sweat, and dirt as he could. The open wound in his side tingled, like pins and needles, through the aching. He had a vague idea of how to dress the wound thanks to his mum being a nurse, and from his job at the animal clinic, and he hoped it was enough to last through the night. 

 

By the time he actually got into bed, he was exhausted. His muscles ached, and his side hurt from the bite. He lay in bed, pulled up the covers, and the adrenaline ran out. He closed his eyes and slept. 

 

                        *******

 

When the morning came, he felt good. Really good. Energised. He could smell the eggs and toast from his bed, making his mouth water. His tummy gurgled. Scott bounded down the stairs, nearly bowling over Melissa, who had peeked her head around the corner to call up to him. She was still groggy, but smiled when she saw him, and gave him a kiss on the cheek.

 

“Have a good first day at school, honey,” she smiled. Scott ate quickly, wolfing the food down, before he darted upstairs to get ready. He was packing his backpack when he realised he hadn’t checked his phone. He noticed texts and missed calls from Stiles, a lot of them. He replied quickly, telling Stiles he was okay, but that he had a big bite from something in the woods. More texts came through in quick succession, but Scott put it away, knowing he would see Stiles at school soon anyway. 

 

He got dressed quickly, being careful not to touch the wound much. He wasn’t sure how long before he’d need to change it, so he left it for after school. He grabbed his lacrosse pole, hoping he would be able to push through the pain at practice today, put on his backpack, and jumped on his bike. The ride to school seemed easier than it had before, and thankfully it was a nice bright day. 

 

He dodged easily around other students in the parking lot as he pulled his bike up to the bike rack. As he was taking off his helmet, he felt something hit him from behind. He turned to see none other than Jackson Whittmore sliding out of his Porsche, slamming his door and getting in Scott’s face, angry. 

 

“Dude, watch the paint job,” he said. 

 

“Yo, Jackson! Let’s go bro!” a boy called. Jackson turned and nodded to the boy, before fixing Scott with a glare and turning away. He sent Scott another glare, just for good measure. Scott watched him walk away, confused. Hadn’t Jackson hit him with the door? He shrugged it off and went to find Stiles at the front entrance. He spotted the buzzcut easily, and saw him wearing a blue shirt with what looked like a target on it. Scott thought he could smell grease and paper. He glanced around, looking for the source.

 

“You’re alive!” Stiles cried, snapping Scott’s attention back to his friend, and Scott rolled his eyes with a laugh.

 

“Barely,” he joked.

 

“Okay, let’s see this thing,” Stiles said as Scott dropped his bag and pulled up his shirt, grunting a little. As Stiles moved closer, the scent of grease and books got stronger, mixed in with a slight touch of pine. 

 

“Ooh!” Stiles reached over to touch it, an impressed kind of grimace on his face as he peered at the dressing. A bit of blood had seeped through, and Scott flinched as Stiles’ fingers brushed against it.

 

“Yeah- Whoa!” He pulled his shirt back down, while Stiles made a face of disgust at the sheer size of the bite, and at the sight of the blood.

 

“You okay?” Scott asked, knowing Stiles was particularly queasy around blood. He had been known to faint. Stiles gave a quick nod, still staring for a moment at the spot on Scott’s shirt that covered the bite.

 

“So what was it?” Stiles asked.

 

“It was too dark to see much,” Scott said, leaning down awkwardly to pick up his bag, “But I’m pretty sure it was a wolf.” He and Stiles locked eyes briefly before they turned to walk into the school. Stiles’ eyebrows shot up.

 

“A wolf bit you?” he asked, almost amused. 

 

“Uh huh.”

 

“No, not a chance,” Stiles laughed. Scott looked at him.

 

“I heard a wolf howling,” he stated.

 

“No, you didn’t!” Stiles retorted. Scott looked at him, trying to gauge if he was serious, and huffed a laugh.

 

“What do you mean, “no, I didn’t”? How do you know what I heard?”

 

Stiles laughed again as he answered, “Because California doesn’t have wolves, okay?” He turned to Scott, stopping on the footpath, “Not in like, sixty years.” Scott considered that for a moment.

 

“Really?”

 

“Yes, really! There are no wolves in California,” Stiles stated. Scott was confused, but shook his head.

 

“All right, well, if you don’t believe me about the wolf, then you’re definitely not gonna believe me about when I tell you I found the body.” Stiles nearly jumped with excitement. 

 

“Wait, are you kidding me?” He asked eagerly.

 

“No, man, I wish, I’m gonna have nightmares for a month,” he muttered. He sniffed, thinking he could smell chamomile… And lilies? He shook his head, not sure what was happening to his sense of smell today. Stiles made a sound that Scott wasn’t quite sure if he was laughing or choking, but it seemed like a good sound.

 

“Oh, God, that is freaking awesome,” he began, beaming again. “I mean, this is seriously gonna be the best thing that’s happened to this town since-” his eyes darted to the side for a moment, then looked back fondly, “since the birth of Lydia Martin,” he said as the redhead strutted past them. The smell of lilies and chamomile was almost overwhelming to Scott, and he rubbed his nose. “Hey, Lydia, you look…” Stiles said, turning as she walked, though she did not acknowledge him, or slow down, talking to her friend instead, “like you’re gonna ignore me…” he twitched a little, agitated, before turning back to Scott. 

 

“You’re the cause of this, you know?” Stiles said, and Scott smirked.

 

“Uh huh,” he said, completely unconvinced.

 

“Dragging me down to your nerd depths,” Stiles continued, giving Scott an accusing glare.

 

“Uh huh,” Scott repeated, walking past him as the bell rang. Stiles turned to walk with him.

 

“I’m a nerd by association. I’ve been scarlet nerded by you.” Scott chuckled, remembering something vaguely about that from a book they read for school one year. He still wasn’t sure what it meant. 

 

They pushed through the crowd of students, Scott listening to Stiles pine over Lydia. He'd had a crush on her the moment he'd seen her in kindergarten. When they arrived at their lockers, side by side, Stiles threw his bag in with a deflated sigh, before quickly recovering and grabbing the books he needed. Scott smiled to himself, admiring how Stiles always seemed so impossibly upbeat. He wished he was more like that himself. The school bell rang again, and the pair made their way to class quickly, finding their seats. 

 

“As you all know,” their teacher began, writing on the whiteboard, “there indeed was a body found in the woods last night.” Scott and Stiles looked at each other, and Stiles winked, his leg jiggling as he tapped his foot absently, before stifling a laugh, and Scott turned back to the teacher grinning. 

 

“And I’m sure your eager little minds are coming up with various macabre scenarios as to what happened,” the teacher continued, though most students shifted in their seats, already bored before the class had even properly begun. One girl was using her chapstick, while others passed some notes. 

 

“But I am here to tell you,” he said, turning back to the class, “that the police have a suspect in custody,” Scott turned to Stiles, who looked just as confused as he felt. He shrugged and put his palms up, implying he didn’t know anything about it. Scott turned back to the teacher.

 

“Which means you can give your undivided attention to the syllabus, which is on your desk, outlining this semester.” 

 

They had all picked up the syllabus to give it a glance over, when Scott heard a phone ring. It was loud. Really loud. He flinched a little, and he looked around. No one had a phone out. No one was even… Reacting. Confused, he heard a girl answer it.

 

“Mum, three calls on my first day is a little overdoing it,” she said, but there was a light laugh in her words. Scott looked out the window, seeing a girl rummaging through her bag, a phone pressed to her ear with her shoulder. How could he hear her from here?

 

“Everything except a pen,” the girl huffed, “oh my god, I didn’t actually forget a pen?” She looked up as the principal approached her. 

 

“Okay, okay, I gotta go. Love you.” she hung up the phone and slung the bag over her shoulder.

 

“Sorry to keep you waiting,” the man said and she stood up to greet him. 

 

“So, San Francisco isn’t where you grew up, is that right?” Scott watched as they walked out of view, but he could still hear them clearly. 

 

“No,” the girl replied, “but we lived there for more than a year, which is unusual in my family.”

 

“Well, hopefully Beacon Hills will be your last stop for a while.” Scott listened as their footsteps grew closer, and wondered if maybe he was just imagining it all. The door opened, and the principal walked in, followed by the girl from outside. She looked a bit shy, but smiled in a way that said she had done this before. She was… Incredible. 

 

“Class, this is our new student, Allison Argent,” the principal stated, “please do your best to make her feel welcome.”

 

He left, and Allison beelined for the only available desk with her head down. Scott watched her, entranced, before picking up his spare pen, and nervously pulling his bottom lip into his mouth before turning and holding it up for her. She looked at it briefly, confused, before her face relaxed into a smile and her eyes found his.

 

“Thanks,” she said, gently accepting it from him. Scott found it difficult to look away, smiling as he did.

 

“We’ll begin with Kafka’s Metamorphosis on page one thirty-three,” the teacher began. 

 

Scott Looked at the paper in front of him, suddenly overcome by the scent of...vanilla? And something floral. He shook his head, and returned his attention to the syllabus.

 

Behind him, a curious Allison looked down at the pen, and briefly at the boy in front of her, wondering how he knew she needed one. 



                        ********

 

Scott spent the rest of the lesson feeling as high as a kite. The day passed in a kind of blur, and all Scott could think about was Allison, with her bright eyes and wavy hair. 

 

He stood at his locker, turning to see her put her books away. She closed it, turning to see him, and she smiled. He thought about going over there, talking to her… And then Lydia Martin appeared in front of her, and her eyes were pulled away from him. 

 

“That jacket is absolutely killer,” Lydia said, “Where’d you get it?” 

 

Allison looked hesitant for a moment, and then relaxed a little. “My mum was a buyer for a boutique back in San Francisco,” she explained. A slow smile stretched over Lydia’s face.

 

“And you are my new best friend!” she laughed. Jackson crept up behind her, grabbing her waist and turning her to him.

 

“Hey Jackson,” she said softly, kissing him. 

 

“Can someone tell me how new girl is here all of five minutes and she’s already hanging out with Lydia’s clique?” Harley asked, and Scott jumped. He hadn’t realised she was right here. He also realised Stiles was right here, but Stiles was looking over at Lydia.

 

“Because she’s hot,” Stiles supplied. Harley gave him a look, but Stiles just shrugged. “Beautiful people herd together.” Harley rolled her eyes, and Scott shifted his attention back to Allison.

 

“So! This weekend,” Lydia and Jackson leaned against each other, “There’s a party.”

 

“A party?” Allison asked.

 

“Yeah, Friday night,” Jackson said, “you should come.”

 

“Uh, I can’t, it’s family night this Friday…” Allison shrugged, “Thanks for asking.” 

 

Scott watched from across the hall, listening intently, completely oblivious to the sound of Stiles and Harley arguing right next to him, focusing keenly instead on Allison.

 

“You sure?” Jackson asked her, “I mean, everyone’s going after the scrimmage.”

 

“You mean like football?” Allison asked. Jackson laughed, leaning against the lockers, one arm around Lydia’s waist.

 

“Football’s a joke in Beacon. The sport here’s lacrosse,” he said matter-of-fact, and Lydia fixed his hair as he spoke. “We've won the state championship the past three years.” Allison’s eyes darted over to Scott, before turning back to Lydia and Jackson. 

 

“Because of a certain team captain,” Lydia said proudly. Allison cleared her throat, looking down as they continued their PDA.

 

“Well, we have practice in a few minutes,” Jackson offered, “That is, if you don’t have anything else to…” 

 

“Well, I was going to-”

“Perfect!” Lydia cut her off, “You’re coming.” She grabbed Allison’s hand, and Allison looked again briefly at Scott as she was pulled away. Scott turned his own attention back to Stiles and Harley, who had moved past the arguing, and were now discussing the body in the woods.

 

“Wait, you actually found it?” She asked. Stiles grinned.

 

“Scott did!” He wrapped his arm around Scott’s shoulders and patted him on the chest. Harley looked just as excited as Stiles.

 

“I love that you’re the Sheriff’s son.” She said to Stiles, and he laughed.

 

“Where else would you get your entertainment?” Stiles asked, and Harley smirked.

 

“Wait till I tell Erica, she’s gonna freak!” 

 

“Freak in a good way, or freak in a bad way?” Scott asked, worried. Stiles turned to him with a disbelieving look.

 

“It’s Erica, dude, she loves this stuff.” He said. 

 

“You know, I’m surprised you went looking, Stiles.” Harley mused.

 

“What? Why?” Stiles looked almost offended, and Scott smirked. Harley just raised an eyebrow and folded her arms. 

 

“Uh, maybe because you faint at the sight of blood?” she asked, “Or did you forget about that?” Stiles swallowed, and straightened his shirt, sniffing.

 

“Yeah, well… Okay, so maybe I forgot about that…” Harley and Scott shared an amused look. “You know what? Whatever. We’ve got practice to get to,” Stiles said, walking off, Scott close behind him. He turned to Harley.

 

“Are you coming?” he asked, and she grinned wickedly.

 

“Oh, there is no way I’m missing this.” 

 

                        *******

 

Scott and Stiles quickly changed into their lacrosse gear, struggling a little to put everything on. 

 

Jackson scoffed a little as he walked past them, already dressed. The locker room emptied rapidly, and eventually the two boys picked up their bags and sticks, darting out quickly to make it to practice in time.

 

“How are you going to play with your injury?” Stiles asked, out of breath. Scott was quiet. “Scott?”

 

“I’ll be okay,” Scott assured him, trying not to think too much about it. Stiles looked at him sceptically. 

 

“Are you actually going for first line?” He noticed that Scott seemed to be breathing evenly, which was a little odd. If Stiles was out of breath from the locker rooms to the field, usually Scott would be using his inhaler by now. Especially with a big chunk taken out of him.

 

“Yeah,” Scott nodded, determined. They could hear Coach blow his whistle.

 

“Alright, line up!” he said.

 

“But if you play, I’ll have no one to talk to on the bench,” Stiles protested, “Are you really gonna do that to your best friend?” 

 

He tried to play it off in a joking way, but he was genuinely worried. Scott didn’t always take care of himself, and Stiles felt often like it was his responsibility. Scott was like his brother.

 

“I can’t sit out again!” Scott replied, dropping his bag next to the steel bench on the edge of the field. “My whole life has been sitting on the sidelines. This season I make first line.” 

 

He walked out onto the field, glancing over at the small crowd of people gathering to watch at the bleachers. Allison and Lydia took their seats. The new girl locked eyes with him once again. A small smile crept onto her face, and he watched ardently as the light breeze tugged at her hair.

 

“McCall!” A shout next to him made him flinch, and he turned to see Coach standing before him.

 

“Yeah?” he asked.

 

“You’re in goal,” the man said, throwing a lacrosse pole with a larger net at him, forcing him to drop his own pole and some of his gear, before the man threw a helmet at him as well. Scott glanced at the goal, and back at Coach.

 

“Bu- I’ve never played,” he said, puzzled. 

 

“I know,” Coach said with a wicked grin, “Scoring some shots will give the boys a confidence boost. It’s a first day back thing,” he said, patting Scott’s shoulder hard. “Get them energised, fired up!” he said with a flourishing hand movement. Scott looked lost.

 

“What about me?” he asked.

 

“Try not to take any in the face,” Coach replied callously, gently slapping Scott’s cheek, before turning and clapping his hands together loudly. “Let’s go! Come on!”



Lydia and Allison watched as Scott moved awkwardly into position in front of the goal. Lydia’s eyes passed over each of the players, assessing, while Allison stayed glued to Scott, curious. 

 

Down below, Scott took a deep breath, rolling his shoulders back and trying to relax. He could do this, he just had to keep reminding himself of that.

 

“Who is that?” Allison asked Lydia, whose eyes shifted back to Scott.

 

“Him?” she asked, and Allison gave a quick nod of confirmation. Lydia thought for a moment, “I’m not sure who he is,” she said, and Scott turned to them, realising he could hear them. Lydia looked back at Allison. 

 

“Why?” she asked.

 

“He’s in my English class,” Allison replied. 

 

If she said anything else, Scott didn’t hear it over another whistle blow. It pierced his ears so suddenly, and he dropped the pole as he clutched to cover them through the helmet, attempting to muffle the sound. He tried to reorient himself, looking up just in time for a ball to hit the front of his helmet head on. He fell back against the net, grunting. Laughter erupted around him from the players, Coach, and spectators. He pushed himself up on his elbows.

 

“Hey, way to catch with your face McCall,” the boy who had thrown the ball shouted. Scott looked over at Stiles, forlorn, who was slouching on the bench and shaking his head sympathetically. Scott stood up, rolling his shoulders back, and trying to focus. The next player was tossed a ball. He caught it in his net, and turned, running, to throw it towards the goal… Or Scott. The player zigzagged, and Scott shuffled on his feet, trying to stay ready. 

 

The ball was thrown, and thumped against the net of Scott’s own pole. That he was holding. In his hands. Scott stared at it, confused. He had… Caught it? 

 

A surprised smile lit up his face, and he turned back to the other boy. The other players all leaned out to look at him, also shocked. Stiles’ mouth made a little ‘o’ over on the bench, and suddenly he was sitting up, surprised but impressed.

 

“Yeah!” he called, smiling. 

 

Coach stared at Scott, frozen, not quite processing what just happened. The assistant coach threw a ball to the next player, who ran a little faster, and threw the ball from his stick a little harder. Scott adjusted his grip on the pole, and moved. He caught it again. He heard Stiles give a kind of deranged laugh.

 

“Whoo hoo!” he cried from the bench, shooting a look over to where Harley sat with their friends Erica, Heather and Danielle. Harley looked at him incredulously, pointing at Scott, silently asking where this sudden improvement came from. Stiles just shrugged. He had no idea, but he was definitely happy with this new development. Coach looked like his jaw was ready to hit the floor as Scott caught throw after throw. He made it look effortless, smooth. 

 

“He seems like he’s pretty good,” Allison remarked, astounded.  

 

Lydia looked amazed, and wondered how she hadn’t taken any notice of this player before, and nodded. “Yeah, very good.” 

 

Scott bounced eagerly in the goal, grinning from ear to ear. Some of the players began inspecting their lacrosse sticks wondering if perhaps there was something amiss, before Jackson slammed his pole against the next player to go, taking his own place in front. He was fuming, unimpressed that a kid who had been sitting on the bench the entire last season was now showing up his teammates. 

 

Scott found himself a little nervous as Jackson stared him down, tightening his grip on the lacrosse pole as he got ready to throw a ball at Scott. 

 

“Oh, God…” Scott murmured, and Jackson pushed forward in a sprint. Coach and Lydia watched the team captain in eager anticipation. Allison’s eyes darted back between Scott and Jackson, suddenly concerned, and Stiles bit his nails anxiously. Scott felt his heart race as Jackson jumped and launched the ball at high speed. 

 

And Scott caught it. 

 

He stared at the ball cradled in the net of his stick in disbelief, and Stiles jumped up, whooping excitedly, almost falling over backwards as he did so. Lydia shot up too, an encouraging cry called between her hands before she clapped. She shared a brief, excited glance with Stiles before they both turned back to Scott, beaming over at his friend. Coach looked shaken, not sure what to make of what just happened. 

 

“That’s my friend!” Stiles cried proudly at the spectators, and saw all their friends were clapping. Lydia continued to whoop while Allison laughed. 

 

Jackson glared over at his girlfriend, trying to scold her from afar. Lydia noticed and fixed him with a look that told him she was not at all phased, turning back to cheer on Scott. She thought it was about time they had another good player on the team. 

 

Scott, feeling very good about himself, looked at the assistant coach. He turned so that his body was angled away, and tossed the ball over his shoulder. It landed in the assistant coach’s net, who flinched at the sudden sound and impact. The spectators continued cheering. Scott walked back over to Stiles who was laughing as he patted his friend on the back, ruffling his hair.

 

“That was amazing!” Stiles shouted, throwing his hands up in the air. Scott laughed, stealing another glance at Allison who was clapping and telling Lydia how cool that looked. Lydia agreed wholeheartedly. 

 

Coach seemed to recover a little, and started yelling different drills at them. He had someone else put in goal, and considerably more shots made it through. Scott watched, and ran through practice easily, and he knew that there was no doubt he would actually make first line this semester. 

 

Stiles was still struggling, but he was far less disheartened by practice today, still riding high off his pride in Scott. By the time practice ended, the two of them were buzzing.

 

“You’ve gotta show me where it was,” Stiles said, kind of in a whisper, but a bit too loud to actually be one. 

 

“Huh?”

 

“The body,” Stiles said, looking at Scott as though it were obvious.

 

“Oh, right,” Scott breathed a laugh. He had completely forgotten after all the excitement of the first day of school. Their friends ran over to them at the bench, Heather and Harley praising Scott excitedly.

 

“Since when did you get so good?!” Harley demanded, and looked accusingly at Stiles, who held his hands up.

 

“Hey, it shocked me too! Do not expect anything like that from me, mmkay?” He scratched the back of his head, but was still grinning at Scott.

 

“You been taking secret lessons or something, Scott?” Danielle asked, smirking. Scott just shrugged, at a loss for words.

 

“Yeah,” Erica spoke up softly, but her eyes were lit up, “That looked so cool, like a superhero or something.” The girls and Stiles nodded in agreement, and Scott laughed, bashful, ducking his head. 

 

“Come on, Scott,” Heather teased, “tell us your secrets.”

 

“Well, uh… I’ve been working out more,” he offered, not knowing what else to say. He had a feeling it was something to do with last night, but he wasn’t sure what. Maybe he was still on high alert after what happened. Stiles seemed to notice the shift in Scott’s demeanour, and quickly wrapped his arms around Scott’s shoulders, patting softly. 

 

“Okay ladies, the show is over,” he said to the girls, who all opened their mouths to protest, “uh uh uh, I’ve got to get this lacrosse star to work. Being an amazing goalie doesn’t pay the bills, you know? So off you go,” he dismissed them, and though they all looked disappointed, they did walk away. Scott gave a small, grateful smile, and his friend patted his shoulder gently once again. Stiles knew Scott better than anyone. Stiles and Scott headed for the locker room. They changed quickly, and grabbed their bags before heading back to the forest, Scott’s bike in the back of Stiles’ jeep. Scott was practically skipping through the woods, and Stiles followed lightly behind him.

 

“So where did all of those moves come from?” Stiles asked. Scott jumped in a stream, splashing loudly.

 

“I don’t- I don’t know what it was, it was like…” He turned to Stiles, talking quickly, excitedly, “like I had all the time in the world to catch the ball!” He turned around again to climb up another incline.

 

“And that’s not the only weird thing,” Scott continued, Stiles listening quietly. It wasn’t super often that Scott got on a roll like this. “I can hear stuff I shouldn’t be able to hear,” Scott said, ducking under a branch as he walked, “smell things!”

 

“Smell things?” Stiles asked, amused, “Like what?” he snickered. Scott turned and sniffed the air gently, still walking as he looked at Stiles.

 

“Like the Mint Mojito gum in your pocket,” he stated, annoyed a little that Stiles was teasing him. He was also a little annoyed that Stiles hadn’t offered him any gum. They always shared. Stiles reached into the pocket inside his jacket.

 

“I don’t even have any Mint Mojito…” he trailed off, feeling a wrapper and pulling out the bit of gum he hadn’t remembered was there. Scott threw his hands up when he saw he was right as Stiles gave him a strange look. He flopped his hands back down, shaking his head as he turned away, still walking through the trees. Stiles huffed a laugh and jogged after him to catch up. 

 

“So all this started with the bite?” he asked.

 

“What if it’s like an infection?” Scott asked, suddenly concerned, “Like my body’s flooding with adrenaline before I go into shock or something?” He was certain his mum had talked about things like that before. It sounded like something she had said. He felt the panic rising.

 

“You know what? I actually think I’ve heard of this,” Stiles replied, “It’s a specific kind of infection.” 

He shoved one hand in his pocket as Scott stopped, turning wide eyed to Stiles. 

 

“Are you serious?” Scott asked. Stiles' hands went to his hips and he nodded gravely.

 

“Yeah, I think it’s called… Lycanthropy.” There was a beat of silence.

 

“What’s that? Is that bad?” Scott asked, his throat felt tight. 

 

“Oh, yeah, it’s the worst,” Stiles continued, a strange tone in his voice, “But only once a month,” he shrugged. Scott tilted his head, confused. 

 

“Once a month?” he asked. Stiles nodded.

 

“Mm hmm. On the night of the full moon,” he said, waiting for Scott to understand. It took a moment, but Scott’s shoulders finally slumped, and Stiles made a little howl, 

 

“Ahooooo.” Scott shoved him in the chest, muttering as he started to walk away, and Stiles laughed.

 

“Hey, man,” he held his hands up, “you’re the one who heard a wolf howling.”

 

“Hey, there could be something seriously wrong with me,” Scott snapped back at him.

 

“I know! You’re a werewolf!” Stiles teased again. “Grrrrrrr” he growled, with his hands up like claws. Scott glared at him. Stiles looked at him a moment, his laughter fading a little, realising that Scott didn’t see the funny side to this.

 

“Okay,” he conceded, “obviously I’m kidding!” He glanced at Scott, who was still sulking a little as they trudged through the woods. 

 

“But, if you see me in shop class tryna melt all the silver I can find, it’s ‘cause Friday’s a full moon,” he remarked offhandedly. Scott paused in his steps, looking around. Something was wrong. 

 

“I could have sworn this was it,” he said, pointing at the ground, and Stiles, hands on his hips again, swivelled to look at the forest floor. “I saw the body, the deer came running…” Scott trailed off, looking around in the daylight. There was nothing here. “I dropped my inhaler,” he said, crouching to the ground, shifting a few leaves.

 

“Maybe the killer moved the body,” Stiles mused. Scott looked up at him, his frustration from only moments ago forgotten. It usually passed quickly, they were too close to ever really stay mad at each other.

 

“If he did, I hope he left my inhaler,” Scott said, “Those things are like eighty bucks…” His mum was going to be so mad… Again. Stiles snickered, opening his mouth to say something, when he suddenly slapped him on the shoulder, standing up straight and scratching the back of his neck. 

 

Scott looked up at him, then over his shoulder to follow Stiles’ gaze. There was someone standing in the woods, a few meters away, watching them. Scott stood up quickly. He stomped over towards them, his eyebrows pulled together in a frown. Scott couldn’t help but think how intimidating this person looked with his black clothes and leather jacket. 

 

“What are you doing here? Huh?” the stranger demanded. Scott felt frozen, and Stiles looked down, running his hand over his head. Scott could swear he heard the sound of Stiles’ heartbeat speed up.

 

“This is private property,” the stranger stated. Stiles was the first to speak.

 

“Uh, sorry, man, we didn’t know…” he said apologetically. He hesitated for a moment, his mouth going a bit dry. 

 

Scott found his own voice.

 

“Yeah, we were just looking for something, but…” Scott started, and the intensity of the stranger’s gaze made him falter. The stranger raised his eyebrows for a moment, waiting for him to continue. “Uh… Forget it.” he said. The stranger pulled something out of his pocket and threw it to Scott, who caught it quickly. His inhaler. The stranger stuffed his hands in his pockets, then turned away with a glare. Scott looked at Stiles, who stared after the stranger, his mouth hanging open slightly. 

 

“All right, come on, I gotta get to work,” Scott muttered, and went to walk past him.

 

“Dude!” Stiles put his hand out to stop him, “That was Derek Hale!” Scott looked at him, confused. “You remember, right?” Stiles continued, “He’s only like a few years older than us.” 

 

Stiles shot a quick glance at the retreating leather jacket. He tried to push away thoughts about the older boy, and that seemingly permanent frown. Stiles swallowed a lump in his throat.

 

“Remember what?” Scott asked, at a loss.

 

“His family,” Stiles said, as though that would help him, “They all burned to death in a fire, like… Three years ago.” Scott’s mouth fell open, and he looked at Derek’s retreating figure with Stiles.

“I wonder what he’s doing back,” Scott said, looking at Stiles. Stiles scoffed softly, standing there for a moment, before turning to leave.

 

“Come on,” he mumbled, and Scott looked back at Derek for a moment before he followed his friend. Their trip back was unusually quiet, and Scott could tell that Stiles had lots of thoughts and ideas running through his head. Scott had his own to consider as well, trying to figure out what was wrong with him, and why Derek would have had his inhaler.

 

When Stiles dropped him at work, the sky was already looking a little overcast, and by the time he locked up at the animal clinic, the thunder was already rumbling. 

 

Scott looked up at the sky as he turned the sign to say they were closed, and he thought he heard another wolf howling in the distance. He locked the door and quickly went about cleaning up. He made sure he was alone, taking the chance to look at his wound. Going to the bathroom, Scott pulled up his shirt. He saw the blood that had seeped through the dressing, and got the bottle of chemicals he had seen his boss, Deaton, use to clean wounds. He pulled his shirt up again, and pulled gently at the tape holding the dressing down. When he pulled it off, he was stunned. There was no bite. Not even a scratch. Scott slowly looked up at himself in the mirror, unsure if he was imagining it or not. He didn’t have a whole lot of time to think about it, so he focused on finishing his work for the night, putting the now unneeded medical supplies away. 

 

Scott took a deep breath, trying not to freak out, and instead threw his attention back into the tasks he needed to do before leaving. Deaton was trusting him more and more with the nightly duties, and Scott didn't want to do anything to make Deaton regret it. He decided to visit the cats. They always cheered him up. He grabbed a bag of kitty litter and dragged it into the room for the cat clinic.

 

“Hey, kitties,” he said fondly.

 

Immediately the cats began yeowling, hissing and screeching at him. They thrashed around in their cages, and Scott flinched as the room seemed to shake. They jumped against their bars, spitting at him. Scott hurried out of the room, closing the door behind him. They seemed to settle a little. A sudden knock on the front door pulled his attention away. The knocking on the glass was insistent, and he rushed over to see who it was. 

 

In the doorway, under the lamp, soaking wet and looking distressed, Allison was banging on the door. Scott opened it quickly. Before he could say anything, she was already talking, glancing back at her car as tears streamed down her face.

 

“I didn’t see it! I took my eyes off the road for, like, two seconds to change the song on my iPod, and then this dog, it just came out of nowhere,” she was sobbing, speaking quickly, barely taking a breath. 

 

“It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright,” Scott tried to soothe her, and she raised her hands to her head, agitated and upset, taking shaky gasps as she tried to catch her breath.

 

“Do you remember where it happened so I can send Animal Control to find it?” he asked.

 

“No!” she cried, then paused, “I mean, yes, I know where I hit it, but the dog is-” her hand jerked back.

 

“Where is it?” Scott asked.

 

“It’s in my car,” she said, and Scott followed her as she jogged to the boot, rain pelting down on them both. She lifted the boot and they were immediately greeted with a growl and a bark. Allison flinched, arms wrapped around herself as the dog kept barking. Scott put an arm around her to comfort her. She was trembling.

 

“You okay?” he asked, and she nodded briskly. He turned to the dog and looked back to Allison.

 

“She’s just frightened,” he explained, and Allison took a shaky breath.

 

“That makes two of us,” she admitted, shivering a little in the rain. Scott looked back at the dog.

 

“Let me see if I have any better luck,” he said, moving forward slowly. The dog barked again, and Scott crouched down, looking into her eyes. Something in him, he’s not sure what, felt like it rose up, instinctually. He looked into her eyes, and after a moment, the dog whimpered. She sniffed at his hand when he reached it out to her, and licked a few times. Allison huffed a laugh, letting out another shaky breath. Scott scooped up the dog, and Allison closed the boot before following him back into the clinic. He laid the dog down on the table, and looked her over. Allison watched, still tense, but still holding her arms around herself. 

 

“I think her leg is broken,” Scott explained, running his hands through the dog’s coat. Allison nodded, a pained look on her face. Still, a broken leg was better than dead. 

 

“I’ve seen the doctor do plenty of splints,” he said, looking at the leg, “I can do it myself and then give her a painkiller for now.” He turned back to Allison, who was rubbing her arms for warmth, but nodding at what he was saying. Scott realised she was cold.

 

“I have a shirt in my bag,” he said. She was probably freezing. He hadn’t thought of it sooner because he felt so warm, the cold rain had been barely noticeable to him. Allison smiled but waved a hand.

 

“Oh, I don’t want to trouble you,” she said, but he was already turning to get it for her. 

 

“Here,” he smiled as he handed it to her, and after a second, she smiled back, accepting it. She retreated to the other room to change. Scott went back to patting the dog, and looked up for a moment, realising he could see Allison's bare back as she changed through the window in the door. The dog whined and sat up a little, looking at him with an accusatory stare. Scott quickly looked back at the dog, who fixed him with a look before she lay back down.

 

“What?” Scott asked defensively, trying to resist the urge to look back, “I didn’t see anything.” He got to work quickly on the splint, happy to finally have practice doing this. Allison returned when he was almost done, and sighed, giving him a quick smile.

 

“Thank you for doing this,” she said, “I feel really stupid.” She looked down at the dog, twisting her fingers around the sleeves of his sweatshirt she wore, and Scott laughed lightly as he looked over at her. 

 

“How come?” he asked softly. 

 

“I don’t know... ‘cause I freaked out like a total child?” she said. Scott smirked.

 

“You’re not a child,” he said. Allison smiled a little. “How did you want to react?” he asked.

 

“Tougher than that,” she said, “Which I thought I was…” she said, looking a little sad.

 

“Hey, I’d be freaked out, too,” he said, “in fact, I’d probably cry,” he admitted. He didn’t think he would handle hitting a dog with a car, or any animal really. “And not like a man, either, like… The biggest child ever.” Allison laughed softly. “It’d be pathetic,” he said.

 

“Yeah, right,” Allison teased, grinning, and Scott smiled as he looked back down at the dog. 

 

“So,” he started, “it looks like she’s gonna live,” he said, and Allison nodded, “And I’m pretty sure she’ll even let you pet her now if you want…” Allison shot him a look. Scott thought he heard her heartbeat quicken. She seemed nervous.

 

“I don’t think so,” she said, and while she smiled, there was still a bit of guilt on her face. She shook her head a little. 

 

“Oh, come on,” Scott continued, teasingly, “You don’t want her to sue. I hear this breed is very litigious.” Allison shot him a look, then looked back at the dog, conflicted. She considered for a moment, then moved closer, reached her hand out, and petted along the dog’s side gently. The dog didn’t flinch, just lay there relaxed as Allison’s hand gently stroked her side. Scott smiled a little, looking shyly back up at Allison’s face. 

 

“You see?” he asked, taking in Allison’s features, “She likes you.” Allison’s mouth tugged at the corner, and she slowly turned back to look at him.

 

“What?” she asked softly as he stared at her. Scott shook his head, looking back down at the dog. 

 

“Uh, sorry,” he hazarded a glance back up at her, “You have an eyelash on your cheek.”

 

“Oh,” she laughed softly, “It’s from the crying.” she reached up a hand and rubbed her cheek with the fabric of his sweatshirt. Somehow, she missed it, and as she looked back down at the dog, Scott reached up a hand, almost apologetically, and ran his thumb over her cheek, removing the eyelash. Allison smiled, leaning a little into the touch, and he thought his heart might melt with how cute her dimples looked.

 

“Thanks,” she said earnestly. They both looked back down at the dog. The smile was glued to Scott’s face as his eyes continued to wander back to hers. After a few more minutes of her quietly patting the dog, and Scott making sure the dog was okay on the amount of painkillers he gave her, Allison took a deep breath.

 

“Well, uh, I should get going,” she said, collecting her wet t shirt. Scott stood up, perhaps a little too quickly. “My parents will be worried,” she said, a little sheepishly. Scott nodded.

 

“Y-yeah, of course,” he walked with her to the door, opening it for her. She paused for a moment, looking at him, then quickly stepped through with a small smile. She walked with him at an easy pace, clearly not rushing to get back. Scott had his hands buried in his pockets, trying to work up the courage to speak before she left. She opened the car door, tossing her wet top on the passenger seat, about to get inside herself.

 

“So, um, I was wondering,” he blurted out quickly, and she turned back towards him, curious, “I mean…” he tried to find the words, and she stepped a little closer to him. “Is it really family night on Friday, or do you think maybe you’d like to go to that party with me?”

 

Allison brushed her hair over her ear mindlessly, a few emotions flickering over her face, confusion being the most predominant, but it settled on something else he couldn’t quite read.

“Family night was a total lie,” she admitted slowly, and Scott huffed a slight laugh, not really sure what that admission meant.

 

“So is that a yes, you’ll go?” he asked. She grinned at him, nodding slightly.

 

“Definitely yes,” she said, and they smiled at each other a moment longer before she got into her car. Scott felt like his heart would leap out of his chest, and even as she started her car, they still glanced at each other, smiling, softly giggling. 

 

As she drove away, Scott took a moment to bounce happily before going back inside. He got the dog comfortable in her own cage, with some food and water, and then he locked everything up and headed home. By the time he got to bed, he felt like he was soaring, still chuckling to himself, unable to keep the smile from his face. 

 

He flopped back on the bed, looking upside down out the window at the moon. It looked huge, almost full. It was beautiful. As he stared, sleep gradually overcame him, and his eyelids slowly closed. He rolled over in his bed, and felt something strange beneath his hand. He looked up, grabbing it. It was a leaf. He looked below him and saw he was lying on the floor…of a forest. 

 

Dressed in only his boxer shorts. 

 

Pushing himself up on one arm, he looked around, seeing he was under a rock, slanted above him. He pulled himself up, looking down at a river below. Disoriented, wondering how he got here, he trudged through the forest, not sure where he was going. It was foggy, making it hard to see clearly through the trees. He looked around, hearing faint sounds of the wind, leaves rustling, twigs snapping. He looked towards a sound that was closer, and strained his eyes to see. 

 

Something moved in the fog, just beside one of the trees. Scott flinched back for a moment, that sense of dread taking over him once more. The hulking figure, whatever it was, saw him, and growled a little. Scott couldn’t make it out clearly, and started walking, parallel to it. Its eyes seemed to glow as it ran along on all fours. Scott began running too. Its raspy breath echoed loudly, and Scott began to pick up the pace, panicked. He darted through the trees, and still this, this… Creature, ran along beside him. 

 

Scott climbed up a hill, quickly looking behind him to see what the creature was, but he couldn’t see it. He came to a fence, and vaulted over quickly. More panic set in when he fell into water, and he desperately swam for the surface. He looked around, taking a deep breath, watching the trees, gasping. His head whirled around as his eyes searched, and came to a stop on a balcony. He looked down and saw a man staring at him, shocked. He held a hose as he watered his garden, but his eyes were glued to Scott. Scott realised he had just fallen into someone’s pool, and apologetically swam to the edge.

 

“Good morning,” he said, but the man continued to stare, dumbfounded. Scott, jumping out, took another look over his shoulder at the forest just behind the fence. There was nothing there. 

 

He quickly made his way back home, dressed in only drenched boxer shorts, and after he climbed up through the window, hoping his mum wouldn’t hear him, he jumped into the shower. 

 

He draped his boxers over the towel rack to dry. He was so embarrassed, but the fear of how he ended up in the woods with whatever that was overrode it for a while. He tried to shake it off, and just focus on getting to school. Stiles would have to listen to him about this. Something weird was going on, and he didn’t know what to do. Then he realised.

 

“Shit!” he hissed, stumbling out of the shower and getting dressed quickly. Today was lacrosse elimination. He scrambled to get dressed, his troubles from earlier not forgotten, but pushed aside for a moment. 

 

He scoffed down some cereal, slung his backpack over his shoulders, and rode to school quickly. Regardless of what was happening to him, he didn’t want it to get in the way of his goal for first line. 

 

When he got there, he searched for Stiles. The jeep wasn’t in the parking lot yet, and Scott sighed, feeling his shoulders slump. He needed to talk about this to someone, and Stiles was the only one he ever felt comfortable sharing with. Even if he was constantly sarcastic and made jokes all the time. Stiles was always there, he had been since they were little kids. They told each other everything. Scott resigned himself to the fact that it would just have to wait, and went inside to his locker. 

 

The halls were empty, it was early in the morning, and the only people here were already waiting by the field for the elimination to begin. Scott unzipped his bag a little so that he could grab his books easier later, and put it in his locker. He was just about to close it, when a hand slammed it shut for him, and he flinched back, seeing Jackson right there.

 

“Alright, little man,” Jackson said, clenching his jaw as he scanned Scott up and down, “How about you tell me where you’re getting your juice.” Scott tried to calm his breathing as he processed Jackson’s words. 

 

“What?”

 

“Where are you getting your juice?” Jackson asked slowly, enunciating each word clearly so that Scott would understand. Scott stared at him. Juice? Was Jackson thirsty? Did he have a juice fixation? Scott hadn’t brought any juice with him to school. 

 

“My mum does all the grocery shopping,” Scott replied, and he had no idea if they even had any juice at home. Jackson looked at him for a moment, wondering what the hell he was talking about.

 

“No, listen, McCall,” he started again, “you’re gonna tell me exactly what it is and who you’re buying it from because there’s no way in hell you’re out there kicking ass on the field like that without some sort of chemical boost.” He seemed angry, and in that moment it occurred to Scott what Jackson was actually talking about.

 

“Oh, you mean steroids!” Scott said, happy that he finally understood. Then he frowned, looking Jackson over. “Are you on steroids?” he asked, flabbergasted. Jackson shoved him against the lockers, fist gripped firmly on the collar of Scott’s jersey.

 

“What the hell is going on with you, McCall?!” Jackson demanded, fed up with the direction the conversation was headed. 

 

“What’s going on with me?” Scott asked, also frustrated, and Jackson nodded, “You really wanna know?” Jackson shoved him back, but let go of him. 

 

“Well, so would I!” Scott was almost yelling now. “Because I can see, hear, and smell things that I shouldn’t be able to see, hear, and smell,” he continued, the words tumbling out of his mouth quicker than he could think, “I do things that should be impossible! I’m sleepwalking three miles into the middle of the woods, and I’m pretty much convinced that I’m totally out of my freaking mind!” he took in a shaky breath, sighing as he released it, feeling a weight lift after he got it all off of his chest. He leaned his head back against the lockers, and Jackson stared at him with an incredulous look on his face. Then he scoffed. 

 

“You think you’re funny, don’t you, McCall?” Jackson asked, calmly. “I know you’re hiding something. I’m gonna find out what it is,” he said with a sneer, “I don’t care how long it takes.” He emphasised his point by slamming the bottom of his fist against the locker next to Scott’s face, who flinched again. Jackson slapped his shoulder roughly as he walked away, glaring one last time before turning. 

 

Scott sighed again, wishing that he could go one day without being frightened, threatened, or scared. He shook his head, and tried to focus again on lacrosse, heading out to the field, careful not to follow too close to Jackson. When he got out there, he saw that Stiles still wasn’t there, and it made him tense. He checked the gear he was wearing, and his net, and started putting on his gloves.

 

“Scott!” a voice squealed from behind him, and he turned to see Stiles scrambling desperately towards him. “Scott, wait up!” he said, in a slightly deeper voice, breathless. 

 

“Stiles, I’m playing the first elimination, man. Can it wait?” Scott asked, already stressed and not wanting to waste any more time. 

 

“Just hold on, okay? I overheard my dad on the phone,” Stiles started, and Scott looked out to the field where the other players were beginning to gather. Stiles put his hands on Scott’s shoulders to get him to focus on what he was saying. “The fibre analysis came back from the lab in LA. They found animal hairs on the body from the woods!” Scott picked up his pole and helmet, jogging out to Coach.

 

“Stiles, I gotta go,” he said, not taking in what he was saying. Stiles stumbled after him.

 

“Wait, no! Scott! You’re not gonna believe what the animal was!” he called, panting, and sighing when Scott continued jogging, not hearing him. “It was a wolf,” he breathed.

 

                        *******

 

Coach blew the whistle.

 

“Let’s go! Gather round! Bring it in, come on! Come on!” he beckoned them all impatiently with his hands. 

 

All the boys trying out for lacrosse surrounded him. Scott noticed he stood amongst some of the others who had been on the bench last semester, like himself. He turned to see Isaac standing close by, who shot him a brief smile. They had sat silently on the bench together a lot. Scott smiled back, and turned to look at the crowd of spectators gathering across the field. Allison caught his eye, and a smile lit up her face immediately, giving him a little wave. Scott raised his hand to wave back instantly.

 

“Got a question, McCall?” Coach asked. Scott faltered, lowering his hand. 

 

“What?” he asked.

 

“You raised your hand, do you have a question?” Coach asked patiently. All the boys turned to him. Stiles gave him a concerned look. 

 

“Oh, no, I was just, uh…” he looked at Allison, then back to Coach, “nothing, sorry.”

 

Coach accepted that silently, and moved on quickly.

 

“Okay. You know how this goes,” he began, addressing all of the players, who began nodding, “if you don’t make the cut, you’re most likely sitting on the bench for the rest of the season.” He tapped one of the boys’ stomachs with the back of his hand. Jackson smirked, while the rest of the players looked a little nervous. 

 

“You make the cut, you play ,” he emphasised the last word like it was magical, walking around and locking eyes with each of them, “Your parents are proud, your girlfriend loves ya!” he grabbed one boy’s helmet and shook it excitedly, slapping his shoulders. “Huh?”

 

“Everything else, is, uh,” he threw his hand back dismissively, coming to stand in front of Scott “cream cheese. Now, get out there, and show me what you got! Come on!” He cried, trying to get them pumped up. Jackson quickly followed suit.

 

“Let’s go! Let’s go!” he yelled, clapping, shoving others towards their positions gently. Coach blew the whistle a few times and they all scattered to their places. They began playing, and Scott jumped in nervous excitement, shifting his weight from one foot to the other. It wasn’t long before someone tossed the ball to him. He caught it and began running, eager to show Coach what he could do. He narrowly dodged one person, only to be promptly shoved to the ground from behind with a grunt. He looked up to see Jackson lift his helmet, glaring at him before running off with a smug smile on his face, lowering his helmet once again. Scott felt an anger overtake him, and he damn near snarled as he pushed himself back up off the ground. 

 

Coach blew the whistle and told the two of them to begin the next playthrough. The ball was placed between them, and as they crouched down on either side, Jackson glowered at him. Scott had never gone head to head with the team captain before, and the anxiety crept back in, especially after his run ins with Jackson lately. Like the guy was out to get him. 

 

Scott didn’t really understand why Jackson was like this, but he didn’t understand a lot of things. He didn’t want to let that get in the way of his goals. So when Coach blew the whistle, Scott took the ball and dashed around him quicker than Jackson could react. He turned, stunned, and watched as Scott dodged around people, headed for the goal, before he followed quickly, annoyed. The spectators began cheering again, wanting an encore of what Scott had done just yesterday. Scott spun and jumped around the other boys trying to get in his way with ease, and Coach, more prepared today, watched in amazement. 

 

Stiles and Isaac were sitting on the bench now, watching. Isaac, though his eyes were glued to Scott, wondered why Stiles was so quiet today. Scott’s friend watched with a tense kind 

of energy. Isaac made no comment about it though. He just watched in awe as Scott crossed the field in a matter of seconds. 

 

A few players, guarding the goal, tried to block him, three of them huddled together. Everyone’s eyebrows shot up when Scott didn’t slow down, and instead did a flip over the top of them, landing on his feet. Without wasting time, he threw the ball and made the goal. Everyone cheered as the whistle blew, and Scott stared in astonishment, not quite believing he had just done it. 

 

Jackson had barely made it a few feet when he was chasing after him, and he stood in place, shock and anger on his face. 

 

Scott smiled, proud of himself, turning back to the crowd, raising his arms in triumph. Players ran to him, cheering him on and patting his back, while Allison and many other spectators jumped up to applaud him. Jackson took a few steps forward, fuming at the way everyone ran to Scott. One of the boys shoved past Jackson, not noticing him, and he scowled as he took off his helmet, seething as he watched some of the kids hug and jump around Scott. 

 

“McCall! Get over here!” Coach yelled, waving his finger. Scott took his helmet off as he walked over, still a bit breathless.

 

“What in God’s name was that?” Coach demanded, and Scott felt confused, coming down from his high. “This is a lacrosse field,” Coach continued, his arm waving vaguely outwards, “What, are you trying out for the gymnastics team?” Coach asked. Scott started to feel abashed.

 

“No, Coach,” he answered quickly. 

 

“What the hell was that?” Coach demanded again.

 

“I-I don’t know, I was just trying to make the shot,” he said, confused as to why he was getting in trouble for doing well.

 

“Yeah, well, you made the shot,” Coach stated briskly, “and guess what?” There was a pause, and Scott waited for the bad news. Coach slapped his shoulder. “You’re starting, buddy,” he said with a smile. Scott stared at him, hoping he wasn’t misunderstanding. Coach put his hands on both Scott’s shoulders, grinning. “You made first line,” Coach gently patted his cheek and started clapping, “Come on!”

 

The crowd cheered, hearing the news. Scott turned to them, smiling, amazed and a little lost, but still happy. 

 

“First line!” One of the boys shouted, and Scott was bouncing in excitement. He saw Harley, Danielle, Heather, and Erica sitting with Boyd. The girls all jumped up, applauding for him, Harley putting her fingers in her mouth as she whistled. Boyd didn’t jump up, but he was smiling, clapping gently for him. Scott searched for Allison, who was cheering and jumping up with Lydia at her side doing the same. Jackson and Stiles were the only ones not celebrating, and Stiles watched his friend, worried, rubbing his chin. 

 

                        ******** 

 

Stiles thought about trying to talk to Scott about what he found after the game, through the day, but all Scott wanted to talk about was the elimination, how he made first line. It’s also what everyone else wanted to talk about. Over lunch, as they sat in the cafeteria with their friends, Harley and Heather asked endless questions and gave constant praise. Stiles understood why they were excited, Scott had wanted this badly for a long time. Scott was also very quiet usually, and it was one of the few times he seemed to come out of his shell a bit more around others, to actually be proud of himself. It was usually something that only happened when it was just the two of them. Stiles wanted to enjoy it as much as the others, but concerns were playing on his mind. 

 

While Danielle ruffled Scott’s hair, making more proud comments about how well he did, Stiles felt something nudge his foot. He looked up to see Erica sitting across from him, giving him a concerned look.

 

“Hey, what’s up?” she asked. Stiles’ cheeks puffed as he blew out a big sigh, and shrugged. He didn’t know how to tell her the whole story, and anyone would just laugh at him for thinking that his friend had truly potentially become a werewolf the other night. Erica was nice, and Stiles knew she would listen, but the werewolf part was a stretch for even the most understanding of people. He fiddled with his fingers.

 

“Just wanted to do better at the elimination today,” he said. It was believable. He had wanted to do better, but it wasn’t really the main thing on his mind right now. Erica gave him a sympathetic smile, and nodded.

 

“It’s okay, you’ll do better next time,” she said, reaching out and holding his hand. Stiles smiled up at her. He appreciated that she was trying to make him feel better.

 

“And hey, maybe Scott can help you get better now that he’s a superstar,” she teased lightly. 

 

Stiles snickered, and her smile brightened. She briefly looked back over at the others, noting a sly smile from Harley, and she quickly pulled her hand back. Stiles didn’t notice, looking at Scott thoughtfully. 

 

                        ********

 

When the school day finished, he grabbed some books from the library, racing back to his locker.

 

“Hey, Scott!” He called, seeing his friend at his locker. He skidded to a halt next to him as Scott turned cheerily, “Scotty.”

 

“Hey Stiles! Guess who’s taking Allison to the party tonight?” Scott beamed. Stiles felt like his concern was manifesting as a lump in his throat.

 

“You’re going to that?” Stiles asked. Scott nodded.

 

“Allison changed her mind when I asked her,” Scott said, looking like he was floating on a cloud. Stiles laughed nervously.

 

“You really like her, don’t you?” Stiles asked. Scott nodded eagerly. Stiles winced a little, thinking about how talking to Scott might be bursting his happy little bubble. 

“Listen, Scotty,” Stiles scratched the back of his head, “can you come over to my place after school?” Scott looked at him.

 

“Well I’ve got to get ready for the party and pick up Allison…” Scott said hesitantly.

 

“It’ll just be for a little while,” Stiles insisted, “I need to show you something.” Scott nodded slowly.

 

“Yeah, okay… I’ll meet you there.” Stiles breathed a sigh of relief.

 

“Great! Thank you! See you soon!” he called, walking backwards quickly as he gave Scott two thumbs up. Scott laughed softly, shaking his head fondly as he turned back to his locker. 

 

Stiles raced home, turning on his laptop and getting to work right away. He started searching the internet for anything related to werewolves, trying to sift through what could be a potential fact. 

 

Bites from a wolf and silver bullets came up in almost every search, and eventually he stumbled across a myth of origin. Lycaon, a Greek myth about a man who angered the gods and was turned into a wolf. There were so many variations on the details, but the result was usually the same. Stiles looked over the pictures intently, human-like figures with the face of a wolf, and continued his search. 

 

Another topic that came up in his search frequently was wolfsbane, a flower that could be used to hurt or kill werewolves. He picked up one of the books he had borrowed, ‘The History of Lycanthropy’, reading the words quickly, but thoroughly. He searched the internet for keywords he found in the book, coming across things like hunters, people who dedicated their lives to finding and killing werewolves. With every new thing he found, the more his stress increased. 

 

What if Scott was in danger? What if Scott was going to lose control? What if Scott accidentally hurt someone? How would Stiles even be able to protect him? 

 

A quick knock at his door startled him, and he jumped in his seat. He quickly closed his laptop, looking around at the mess of papers, things he had printed out to compile together. He stood up, hoping his dad wouldn’t look at them too closely, and opened his door. He saw Scott and his dopey smile, and he sighed in relief. 

 

“Get in,” he said quickly, and Scott shuffled in, Stiles closing the door behind him. “You gotta see this, dude. I was up all night, reading websites, books! All this information.” His hands were a flurry of movement, and he was speaking quickly. He moved back to his desk, sitting down, pulling up some of the papers he had printed, while Scott just watched with growing concern. 

 

“How much Adderall have you had today?” Scott asked. Stiles turned, considering.

 

“A lot,” he admitted, and Scott laughed, “doesn’t matter, okay, just listen.”

 

“Is this about the body?” Scott asked, dumping his bag on Stiles’ bed as he sat down. “Did they find out who did it?”

 

“No,” Stiles rolled his chair closer to Scott, “they’re still questioning people, even Derek Hale.”

 

“Oh, the guy in the woods that we saw the other day,” Scott remarked. Stiles’ hands flew around in impatience.

 

“Yeah! Yes. But that’s not it, okay?” He was trying to get his words out quickly. He just wanted to skip to the explaining what was happening to Scott part. Scott looked lost, smiling because he didn’t understand the gravity of what Stiles was about to tell him.

 

“What, then?” he asked.

 

“Remember the joke from the other day,” Stiles said, wheezing a little laugh, suddenly losing a little confidence in his explanation, “Not a joke anymore.” Scott blinked, not understanding.

 

“The wolf. The bite in the woods,” Stiles said, hoping Scott would get it, would know what he meant. “I started doing all this reading- Do you even know why a wolf howls?” he stood up suddenly, his tone shifting. He had too many things running through his head, everything trying to get out all at once.

 

“Should I?” Scott asked, trying to keep up with him.

 

“It’s a signal, okay? When a wolf’s alone, it howls to signal its location to the rest of the pack,” he said, his voice breaking a little. Scott took in this information, not knowing what it meant. “So if you heard a wolf howling, th-that means others could have been nearby, maybe even a whole pack of them.” He squinted as he looked at Scott, a little lost in his own thought process as he spoke. He knew what it sounded like, but he needed Scott to believe him.

 

“A whole pack of wolves?” Scott asked, worried. 

 

“No,” Stiles exhaled, “werewolves.” Scott stared at him in shock for a moment.

 

“Are you seriously wasting my time with this?” he asked, standing up. He scoffed, and picked up his bag, “You know I’m picking up Allison in an hour.” Stiles rushed to stop him from leaving, quickly putting his hands briefly on him, grabbing his shoulder gently.

 

“I saw you on the field today, Scott,” he said, “Okay, w-what you did today wasn’t just amazing, alright? It was impossible,” he laughed a little, hoping the levity would remind Scott how ridiculous it was that he did a backflip over someone. Scott looked like he knew that.

 

“Yeah, so I made a good shot,” he muttered, and went to leave again.

 

“No,” Stiles said with his voice raised, gently pushing Scott back and putting his bag back down on the bed, “you made an incredible shot. I mean, the way you moved, your speed, your reflexes? People can’t just suddenly do that overnight.” Scott looked down at his feet, but Stiles continued. “And then there’s the vision and the senses, and- don’t even think I don’t notice that you don’t need your inhaler anymore!” It was true, Scott hadn’t used it once since he got it back, despite what would have been a strain on his lungs the last twenty-four hours. 

 

“Okay! Dude, I can’t think about this now,” Scott said angrily, then softened a little, “We’ll talk tomorrow.” Stiles' eyes nearly popped out of his head.

 

“Tomorrow? What?! No! The full moon’s tonight, don’t you get it?” Stiles exploded, and Scott’s guard went back up again.

 

“What are you trying to do?” Scott demanded, “I-I just made first line, I-I got a date with a girl who I can’t believe wants to go out with me.” He felt the frustration of the last few days building. He was getting the things he wanted, despite dealing with a wild animal attack, Jackson threatening him, and now Stiles trying to convince him he was a monster. Stiles made a face, rolling his eyes before turning and sitting back down, searching through the papers for something specific.

“Everything in my life is somehow perfect, why are you trying to ruin it?” Scott demanded. Stiles turned with one of the papers in his hands. 

 

“I’m trying to help,” he said, looking up at Scott earnestly, who took a slight step back, “You’re cursed, Scott.” Scott stared at him, his anger not seeming to subside. He had never felt like this, but this creeping feeling of injustice was coming over him, like his friend was trying to somehow deny him something by pranking him.

 

“You know, and it’s not just the- the moon will cause you to physically change, it also just happens to be when your blood lust will be at its peak,” Stiles said dryly.

 

“Blood lust?” Scott asked, exasperated.

 

“Yeah,” Stiles said, “your urge to kill.”

 

“I’m already starting to feel an urge to kill, Stiles,” Scott said, vexxed.

 

“You gotta hear this,” Stiles said quickly, unphased, turning to his desk and reaching for the book he’d been reading. He’d left it on a specific page. “‘The change can be caused by anger, or anything that raises your pulse,’” Stiles turned back to Scott, nodding as if that proved his point, “alright? I haven’t seen anyone raise your pulse like Allison does. You gotta cancel this date,” Stiles said, standing up and walking to the bed, gently pushing past Scott to go through his bag, “I’m gonna call her right now.”

 

“What are you doing?” Scott asked tiredly.

 

“I’m cancelling the date,” Stiles said, walking past him again, holding Scott’s phone.

 

“No!” Scott said, lunging at him, “give it to me!” His voice took on an almost roar like quality as he threw Stiles against the wall. Stiles hit it with a thud, his eyes squeezed shut as Scott held his shirt and raised his fist. He had a brief moment of clarity before he turned and roared as he knocked over Stiles' chair, releasing his grip. He was breathing heavily when he turned back to Stiles, and it dawned on him suddenly what he had just done, and what he’d almost done. Stiles looked a little rattled, not meeting his eye for long.

 

“I’m sorry,” Scott breathed, and turned back to look at the chair, backing away, “I-I gotta go get ready f-for th-that party.” He turned, grabbed his bag, phone in hand, glancing back at Stiles when he reached the door. Stiles didn’t shift from his place against the wall, still not meeting Scott’s eye.

 

“I’m sorry,” Scott said again, and left. 

 

Stiles banged his head back against the wall, sniffing. After a moment, he went over and picked up his chair, and froze. He turned it so that the back of the seat was more in the light, and saw the claw marks that had cut clean through the material. He looked at his door, which Scott had closed behind him, and tried to figure out how to stop his friend from hurting anyone. The thought occurred to him that it was Lydia’s party that Scott was going to, and while he was worried before, the real panic began to set in at that moment. 

 

                        *******



Scott grabbed his bike and went home, the ride a bit of a blur.

 

He tried not to think about… Well, everything. He wanted to focus on Allison. He saw her smile in his mind, those bright eyes. She had changed her mind about not going to a party, just because he asked her. He grinned to himself.

 

When he rode up to his house, he quickly put his bike away and vaulted up the stairs. He jumped in the shower, trying to wash away the dirt, along with everything else that clung to him. The hot water helped to soothe him, and he stood there for a while, just letting it run over him. 

 

When he jumped out, he wrapped a towel around his waist and ran his hands through his wet hair, shaking it out a little. He walked back out of the bathroom, and jumped when Melissa was standing right by the doorway. A hand went to his towel to make sure it wouldn’t fall. 

 

“Mum!” he gasped, and she laughed a little and he adjusted his towel slightly. 

 

“Is this a party, or a date?” she asked. Of course she knew, Scott thought to himself. She knew everything. 

 

“Maybe both,” Scott admitted with an embarrassed smile. She nodded, smiling.

 

“And her name is?”

 

“Allison,” Scott said softly. Melissa’s smile grew. 

 

“Allison,” she said, sounding out the name, “nice.” She held up her hand, the keys to the car extended between her index and middle finger. Scott’s face lit up as he reached for them, accepting them gratefully with both hands together around them.

 

“Thank you,” he said in a quiet kind of sing-song. Melissa nodded and looked at him with her version of a stern face.

 

“We don’t need to have a talk, do we?” she asked. Scott looked at her and the smile disappeared.

 

“Mum, I’m not having the safe sex talk with you,” he said, uncomfortable. Melissa laughed in surprise.

 

“Oh, my god, no!” she exclaimed, mortified, “I meant about keeping the tank full! Give me those back!” she grabbed the keys out of his hand.

 

“Are you serious?” Scott asked, dismayed. Melissa folded her arms across her waist.

 

“You bet your ass I am serious,” she retorted, and pushed herself off the wall to scold him, “I am not gonna end up on some reality television show with a pregnant sixteen year old! Come on!”

 

“I promise that won’t happen!” Scott tried to soothe her.

 

“Oh, it better not, Mister!” she pointed a finger in his face. Scott laughed a little, and hugged her.

 

“No pregnant sixteen year olds, promise,” he said. Melissa huffed a laugh and hugged him back.

 

“Is there a special occasion for this party?” Melissa asked as they pulled away. She knew just as well as he did that he wasn’t often going to parties. Scott laughed and ducked his head a little, scratching the back of his neck.

 

“Uh, yeah, actually,” he began, smiling. Melissa looked at him curiously.

 

“Well? What is it?” 

 

“I, uh… I made first line today,” his mouth stretched into a grin as Melissa gasped in surprise.

 

“What?! That’s amazing! Oh my goodness, Scott!” she put her hands over his cheeks and shook his face gently. “I’m so proud of you!” Scott laughed as she went through a few emotions. She gasped again.

 

“I am so sorry I told you to quit the other day,” she said, horrified at herself. Scott laughed again.

 

“It’s okay, mum, I’ve trained more, and I did better this time,” he beamed, and Melissa beamed right back. She slowly handed him the keys again, but gave him a pointed look.

 

“No pregnancies?” she asked, very sternly this time. Scott reached up again and nodded.

 

“No pregnancies,” he repeated solemnly. Melissa nodded once, and let him continue getting ready. He got dressed quickly, and put on some deodorant and aftershave. The aftershave stung his nose, and he coughed, pulling the window of his room up to air it out a little. It took a while, but he finally adjusted to it. 

 

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

 

Scott pulled up at Allison’s house. He waited nervously in the driveway, tapping his fingers on the steering wheel. It didn’t take long before the front door opened, and he looked up to see her in the doorway, looking incredible. He felt like the air had been knocked out of him. 

 

She smiled at him, brushing some hair over her ear. Allison closed the door behind her and walked towards him. She was halfway to the car when Scott realised he should be opening the door for her. He jumped out quickly, and she waited for him to come around the other side. 

 

“Hey, sorry,” he laughed, and she chuckled. He opened the door and she got in. He closed it softly behind her and walked quickly, breathing deeply to remind himself to calm down. Just the sight of her, her being so close, had his heart beating loudly in his ears. He pulled out of the driveway and headed to Lydia’s house. The car ride was silent for a while, and Allison looked over at him occasionally.

 

“Is it okay if I turn on the radio?” she asked quickly.

 

“Yeah,” Scott breathed, smiling, before he realised, “oh, you can’t.” He reached out a hand to stop her, but pulled it back, and she looked over at him curiously.

 

“S-sorry, i-it’s broken,” he explained, a little embarrassed, turning back to the road. Allison sat back, smiling, trying not to laugh. “Been meaning to get it fixed.” She hummed.

 

“No worries,” she said, pulling out her phone, “do you mind if I put on some music anyway?” He looked at her, then down at the phone, and shook his head. She found a song, and pressed play, putting it up on the dashboard. Scott listened to it, bobbing his head a little as the music filled the car. 

 

“Nice taste in music,” he remarked, and Allison smirked as she turned to him.

 

“What, you think all girls listen to Lady Gaga?” she asked, teasing, but with a kind of edge in her voice that was a little defensive. Scott turned to the road, looking abashed.

 

“I listen to Lady Gaga,” he said in a soft, light tone. Allison stared at him for a moment, worried she upset him, then giggled. Scott turned to her, mock offence on his face, and Allison sat back with another hum. Scott noted that she looked more relaxed now.

 

“So do I,” she admitted, and they both laughed.

 

Allison offered him directions, but she actually hadn’t been to Lydia’s house yet herself, so they took a few wrong turns. Allison and Scott both scrambled to grab her phone as it slid across the dashboard, making both of them laugh, and Scott felt himself relax more.When they arrived at the party, they pulled up down the road a little, an excess of cars filling the street, and Scott raced around to open the door for Allison again. 

 

He held out a hand to help her up, which she accepted with a shy smile. As they walked the short distance to Lydia’s house, they gently bumped their shoulders against each other, stealing glances before looking away again, trying and failing to hide their grins. Scott thought about holding her hand, which was just inches from hers. The idea made him feel a little embarrassed, and he flexed his fingers for a moment, but decided not to rush it. When they reached the front door, Scott knocked gently. After a moment, someone that Scott was sure he had seen at school before at some point opened the door for them. 

 

Scott was a little shocked at how packed the house was, but then again, it was Lydia Martin. She was notorious for throwing the best parties, and lots of people went to them. Allison began looking around, taking a few steps away from him, and Scott watched her back, alarmed. She turned back to him.

 

“Come on,” she said smiling, nodding her head towards the backyard. Scott relaxed a little, and followed closely behind. He was not used to parties, and he definitely didn’t want to be alone at one. 

 

In this kind of setting, he usually stuck to Stiles like glue. He followed behind Allison as they stepped outside, looking out across the sea of dancing, drinking teenagers. Allison bopped softly where she stood, taking a moment to enjoy the light atmosphere, and Scott did the same. 

 

His eyes moved across the crowd, and froze on a figure alone at the back gate, standing behind a small bricked off fire pit. Scott recognised Derek Hale, and was not at all comforted by the ominous picture he made, glaring at him across the pool that lay between them. Scott felt like he had a lump in his throat. A dog behind the gate began growling, barking at Derek, who turned, seemingly unphased. He glanced at the dog, who recoiled, whining, and fell silent. Derek turned back to face him, and Scott found himself feeling a kind of defensive tension rise in him.

 

“You okay?” Allison asked.

 

“What?” Scott asked, turning to her, feeling like he just snapped out of a dream, “Yeah. I’m fine.” 

 

He tried to sound earnest, but she still gave him a concerned gaze. He looked back to where Derek had stood, and found the older boy gone. A flicker of movement in the corner of his vision had Scott looking up at the roof. The movement disappeared over the other side of it, and Scott was momentarily entranced by a cloud shifting to reveal the full moon. 



Allison gazed at Scott, finding herself a little entranced as well, and held her hand out near his, wiggling her fingers. The thought had crossed her mind that maybe Scott was anxious at parties, and maybe having her to hold on to would make him feel less worried. That, and she just really wanted to hold his hand.    

 

Scott looked down, a pleased smile slowly spreading on his face, and he took her hand bashfully, letting her lead him wherever she wanted to go. The thought crossed his mind that he might let her lead him wherever she wanted to go forever, if he could. She found a space with enough room, and turned to him, dancing. 

 

They found their hands wandering, unsure where to rest, as they moved to the music. Hers roamed from his shoulders to his chest, while Scott’s drifted from her waist to her hair. 

 

There was something about her hair that made him want to run his fingers through it constantly, to play with it gently. Her hands slid up around his neck, her fingers gently running through his own hair, and Scott wasn’t sure there was a better feeling in the world. 

 

For a brief second, he worried that the moment might be ruined, and checked to see if Derek was still nearby. His eyes, instead, found Lydia, pressed against a pillar, with Jackson. She clung to her boyfriend as he kissed her neck, but her eyes were on Scott and Allison. Scott realised that her eyes weren’t actually meeting his. She was just staring at Allison. Perhaps Scott wasn’t the only one feeling mesmerised by the new girl. 

 

She wrapped her arms around Jacksons’ back, sighing a little as his hands roamed over her. Scott watched her a second in confusion, but quickly turned back to Allison, whose face was getting rather close to his. Her nose gently bumped against his, and her big brown eyes looked into his eyes. Scott felt like all the air in his lungs had disappeared, his heart ready to burst out of his chest. She leaned in, her lips almost meeting his... Then he felt something more visceral rising up within. His hands gripped the back of her shirt tightly, and his fingertips began to ache. A sudden flash of pain through his head and teeth made him wince, and he flinched back, his eyes squeezed shut.

 

“Are you okay?” Allison asked, concerned. Scott panted a little. He looked at Allison, and felt his heart drop a little.

 

“I’ll be right back,” he muttered, trying to mask the agony he felt, and shuffled away slowly, pushing through the crowd. 

 

Everything seemed to blur, and he felt like he was burning up, sweat starting to bead all over his face. His breaths came out in short, shallow bursts, and he hesitated when he smelled something familiar. Grease and paper and pine. Something he associated with comfort and safety. Stiles, looked over from where he stood, talking with some of their classmates. 

 

“Yo, Scott, you good?” Stiles asked, at his friend’s side in an instant. A pang of guilt ran through Scott, and he raised a hand to his head, the pain not subsiding. He pushed through, needing to get away. Allison wasn’t far behind, calling out to him. She saw Stiles, and ran over.

 

“Something’s wrong,” she said. Stiles glanced at her, then back to Scott.

 

“Uh, yeah, okay… Just… I’ll take care of him,” he said, chasing after his friend. Allison followed closely. Scott kept walking, seeing Harley as he staggered through the house.

 

“Are you okay?” she asked, but he didn’t stop to respond. She watched as Stiles and Allison quickly brushed past her, following. Scott needed air, and space. The pain began to worsen, and he hurried out the front door, roughly banging into people as he went. He didn’t take notice of the annoyed shouts, keeling over against the car when he finally managed to reach it. He rummaged desperately in his pocket for the keys.

 

“Scott!” Stiles called, running after him, Allison at his heels. Scott got in the car, and drove off quickly as Stiles and Allison watched. When Stiles turned around to see her standing there, lost and confused, he sniffed, trying to think of a way to explain Scott’s behaviour. 

 

“What just happened?” she asked, before he could talk. Her voice was full of concern and a bit of frustration.

 

“Allison,” a voice called from behind her, and she turned to see Derek standing there. Stiles’ eyes bulged for a moment, and Derek’s eyes quickly glanced over him, before returning to Allison’s. 

 

“I’m a friend of Scott’s,” Derek continued amiably, taking a step towards her, and Stiles felt himself move forward protectively, “My name’s Derek.” Allison glanced over her shoulder to the car disappearing around a bend, and then glanced at Stiles. Stiles looked between the two of them, uncertain, and Derek nodded towards the road.

 

“You go check on Scott,” he said to Stiles, locking eyes with him, “I’ll make sure Allison gets home okay.” There was something in his tone that put Stiles at ease. After a moment of deliberation, he nodded, and darted back inside to get his jacket. 

 

                        *************



Scott was speeding, but he didn’t care. He needed to get home. He pulled the car into the drive roughly, on an angle. He slammed the door a little too hard when he got out, trying to walk in a straight line to the front door of his house. He made it inside and up the stairs somehow, and as he pushed the door of his room open, he fumbled, almost falling. He pushed the door closed behind him, holding on to the doorknob as he sank to the floor. He panted, the sweat drenching his clothes and face. He stared out the window to see the full moon shining brightly behind it. He forced himself up, across the floor to the bathroom. He peeled off his jacket and t-shirt, turning on the hot water and sinking down to sit in the bath. He didn’t have the energy to take off his jeans or underwear. The water pelted down on his back, but the flashes of pain didn’t cease. He gritted his teeth, clamping his hands over his face. He gripped the edge of the bathtub, trying to ride out the hurting. 

 

He didn’t know how long he was there for, pulling at his hair, keeling over again. The ache in his fingertips worsened, and as he stared at them, claws began to push their way out where his nails had been. Scott’s eyes widened in panic. 

 

He got out of the bath and stood at the sink, gripping it tightly. He wiped the mirror to see his eyes. They looked the same. He wiped lower to see his mouth. Fangs were protruding from his teeth, growing, two at the top and two at the bottom. Pained, he looked back at his eyes, which shone a bright yellow. The door pounded with a few quick knocks, and Scott winced, the sound piercing his ears abruptly, like knocking on his own eardrums. 

 

“Go away,” he muttered weakly. 

 

“Scott? It’s me,” Stiles called from behind the door. Scott staggered over to his door swiftly, leaning against it, unlocking the bolt. Stiles tried to push it open, but only got part way before Scott pushed back. Stiles huffed. “Let me in, Scott, I can help!” He emphasised it with another attempt to push the door open. The door barely budged. 

 

“No,” Scott breathed, resting his head against the door. He felt nauseous. The light from the hallway hurt his eyes. 

 

“Listen, you gotta find Allison,” he panted, flashes of Derek watching him with her at the party playing in his mind. 

 

“She’s fine, alright? I saw her get a ride from the party,” Stiles tried to sound calm, soothing to his friend, but he knew he was speaking a little too quickly, “She’s- she’s totally fine, alright?”

 

“No, I think I know who it is!” Scott’s voice was thick with pain and fear. Stiles’ was getting scared himself.

 

“You- Just let me in, we can tal-”

 

“It’s Derek! Derek Hale is the werewolf, he’s the one that bit me, he’s the one that killed the girl in the woods,” Scott took a shaky breath again, trying to make himself feel less tense, less sick. Stiles was silent for a moment on the other side of the door. 

 

“Scott,” he started hesitantly, a million thoughts going through his head, “Derek’s the one who drove Allison from the party.” The door slammed shut and Stiles pushed against it desperately, slapping against the wood. 

 

“Scott?” he called. 

 

Scott vaulted himself out of his window onto the roof before he fell heavily to the ground in a crouch. Water and leaves splashed up around him as a low growl rumbled in his throat. His ears tingled as they grew out, more pointed, and more hair formed on his body. He rose with a trembling fury, and roared at the sky.

 

Stiles raced downstairs, trying to keep up, but by the time he got there, all he could see was Scott on all fours, moving extraordinarily fast. Stiles cursed under his breath, then jumped in his car and followed after him.

 

                    **************

 

Scott found a black car, Derek's car he assumed, at the edge of the reserve, the same place Stiles had brought them that night. The night Scott was bitten. 

 

He jumped on top of it, climbing across to the windshield. When he looked inside, the car was empty. His panting breath was raspy, and the primal fury he felt within him felt animalistic, like a growl waiting just below his throat with every exhale. He charged into the woods, blind with rage. There were no rational thoughts guiding him now, only scent. Allison’s scent. 

 

                    **************



Stiles lost sight of Scott almost immediately. He cursed again, flustered as he tried to decide what to do, and where to go. The only idea that his mind could give him was to talk to Allison’s parents. Maybe they could help him search for Derek and Allison? Hopefully they would have a better idea about what to do… After all, Stiles was just a teenager, and he felt immediately like he was in over his head. 

 

He drove there quickly, having known where the house had been for sale before the Argents had moved in. His dad may not like it, but Stiles took note of most newcomers in town, in the hopes that it would mean someone exciting. This situation, however, was not what he’d had in mind. That said, Stiles would be lying if he said he wasn’t excited, somewhere far back in his mind. 

 

The jeep screeched to a halt in the driveway, and Stiles tumbled out of the car, tripping over himself as he ran to the door. He jumped over the steps, and rang the doorbell insistently. He waited for perhaps a second before he was banging on the wood with his palm. 

 

“Come on, come on, come on,” he panted impatiently. 

 

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



Scott tore through the trees, alternating between running on two legs and running on four. He paused for a moment, sniffing the air. He could smell her, he could smell Allison. Like soft vanilla and some kind of flower. There was another scent with it, leather and rain and dust, a scent that Scott knew to be Derek. He curled his lip, baring his fangs, and dashed through the trees once again. 

 

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

 

The door opened as Stiles was banging on it again, Allison’s mother looking alarmed.

 

“Hi! Mrs. Argent, um…” Stiles hadn’t thought about how he would explain this, and now that the moment was here, he felt like all of his coherent thoughts were disappearing quickly. Mrs Argent looked at him expectantly, and Stiles realised she had never seen him before.

 

“You have no idea who I am, I’m a friend of your daughter’s,” he quickly explained, then decided to just launch into the rest, “Uh, look, this is gonna sound kind of crazy, um, really crazy, actually. You know what? Crazy doesn’t-”

 

“Allison!” Mrs Argent interrupted, turning and calling up to the second floor overlooking the doorway, “It’s for you!” 

 

Stiles looked up as Allison appeared. She looked at him in confusion for a moment, then leaned on the railing, a friendly smile on her face. Stiles felt his mouth drop, and while he tried to process that she was home, safe and sound, he also desperately clawed for an explanation as to why he would be here.

 

“Stiles,” Allison said warmly, and made a hand gesture for him to come up. Mrs. Argent looked back at him, the corners of her mouth pulling up in a polite smile that didn’t reach her eyes as she watched him with that piercing gaze, waiting for him to walk inside. He did so awkwardly, clearing his throat lightly, and followed Allison to her room. 

 

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

 

Scott froze when he found the source of Allison’s scent. The jacket she had been wearing at the party was hanging from a tree branch in the middle of the forest. There was a slight rustling sound, and Scott tilted his head, glowering as he searched for the source. He knew Derek was here, but there were so many sounds through the forest, and his mind felt addled. 

 

“Where is she?” he called out, his voice sounded gravelly, guttural. 

 

“She’s safe,” Derek said softly, and Scott’s head twirled around, looking for him, “From you.” 

 

Scott looked over his shoulder just in time to see Derek lunge at him, and they both tumbled as they grappled with each other. Derek rolled them to a tree, and shoved his hand against Scott’s chest, pinning him there. 

 

“What did you do with her?” Scott demanded.

 

“Shh! Quiet,” Derek hissed, looking through the trees, crouched low and defensively. Scott sat there, trying to listen, but not sure how to focus it.

 

“Too late,” Derek whispered through gritted teeth, then looked into Scott’s eyes, “They’re already here. Run!” 

 

Derek disappeared into the darkness, and Scott sat bewildered for a moment. Then he heard it. Footsteps, heavy ones. He pushed himself to his feet and ran. 

 

Something flew past his head and he threw his arms up protectively. It hit the tree beside him, smoke and blinding light emanating from it. Scott felt disoriented, trying to shield his eyes. Something else flew through the trees at him, and struck him in the arm, pinning him to the tree. He screamed in agony, the sound torn from his throat. An arrow. He whipped his head around, peering into the dark it had come from and three figures emerged in the dark, sporting crossbows and guns. They lowered their weapons as one figure stepped forward, and Scott could see his face clearly in the moonlight. He seemed to consider Scott for a moment.



Derek cursed under his breath, doubling back and crouching low, assessing the situation Scott was in. He knew he would have to fight, but he had to be smart about it. He moved quickly. 

 

“Take him,” the man said, and one of the others stepped forward. Scott gasped, tugging at the arrow. The man who had stepped forward was suddenly flung backwards, rolling across the ground with heavy thuds and grunts. The two remaining men flinched, and another was tossed aside swiftly. The last man, the leader Scott assumed, quickly pulled out a handgun, and searched the trees for movement. He was turned away from Scott, which made it easy for Derek to dart past, snapping the arrow off so that Scott could pull himself free with a groan. He followed closely on Derek’s heels, watching as the man turned, only to find his prey gone.

 

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

 

“So,” Allison sat down on her bed with a light bounce, “did you find Scott?” She asked casually, but Stiles could see the shielded concern in her eyes. 

 

“Yeah, yeah, I found him,” Stiles looked around, considering if he should sit down, “he’s uh, he’s fine.” He waved a hand, looking between the desk chair and the beanbag in the corner. Allison huffed.

 

“Oh, he’s fine?” she asked, an edge of sarcasm in her voice. “Well, that’s good.”

 

Stiles looked at her for a moment and sighed, feeling bad for her.

 

“Look, I know that him running out sucked, okay?” he said, and Allison glanced back up at him. “It’s just that sometimes Scott gets a little overwhelmed. He wasn’t trying to run away from you or anything.” Allison’s mouth pulled to the side as she thought about what Stiles was saying. They were silent for a moment.

 

“So it’s not because he doesn’t like me or anything?” she asked. She tried to play it off as a joke, but it was obvious to both of them that it wasn’t.

 

“Doesn’t like you?!” Stiles asked incredulously, “Allison, he’s crazy about you!” As soon as the words were out of his mouth he slammed his mouth shut, swallowing his lips. Allison raised her eyebrows as Stiles looked at the ground, wishing he had kept his mouth shut.

 

“Crazy about me?” she asked, but there was a smile on her face. Stiles paused a moment before he nodded.

 

“Okay, yes, but you cannot tell him I told you that, okay?” he said earnestly. Allison had a look on her face that was almost smug, but she mimed zipping her lips.

 

“My lips are sealed,” she said. Stiles sighed in relief. 

 

“Do you want to sit down?” Allison asked, gesturing to the desk chair. Stiles considered it a moment, then sat down slowly. They regarded each other for a moment.

 

“Scott gets a little anxious sometimes, doesn’t he?” Allison asked. Stiles nodded.

 

“He doesn’t do so great in crowds,” Stiles explained. 

 

“Is that why your friend was there?” she asked.

 

“Who- Oh, Derek? Uh,” Stiles scratched his head, trying to think what he should tell her, “yeah, I guess so,” He looked down at his feet, remembering the strange intensity of the eye contact they had shared.  Allison studied him for a moment.

 

“Oh my god, do you like Derek?” she asked, amazed. Stiles shot an astonished look at her.

 

“What?! No!” He cried. Allison began laughing.

 

“Oh my god, you do!” she covered her mouth as she giggled. Stiles scoffed a few times, trying to come up with a good retort, a reason she was wrong.

 

“I do not!” he stated, with less conviction than he would have liked, so he added something he was sure about, “I’m in love with Lydia!” Allison’s laughter stopped, and she looked at him stunned. Stiles realised what he had just said to Lydia Martin’s new friend. He opened his mouth a few times, but wasn’t sure how to dig himself out of this particular hole he had put himself in. 

 

“Can we just rewind and pretend I just… Didn’t speak at all?” he asked. Allison gave him a sympathetic smile, and tried not to laugh.

 

“I’m sorry,” she said, covering her mouth again. Stiles shrugged and sighed.

 

“It’s fine, I’ll just live vicariously through you and Scott,” he joked, and Allison laughed again.

 

“Sounds good,” she said.

 

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



Scott felt like his lungs were burning as he ran, fear driving him more than the anger he had felt just minutes ago. He passed Derek quickly, only slowing when he heard the older boy’s pace fall into a light jog. Scott staggered then, leaning on a tree as he fell to his knees, gasping for air. He looked around, panicked, and rolled to lean his back against the tree as Derek stood over him, scanning the trees cautiously. The pain returned to Scott now that he had stopped running, and he winced.

 

“Who were they?” he asked, his voice breaking. Derek turned back to him.

 

“Hunters,” he said, then looked up again, still alert, “The kind who have been hunting us for centuries.”

 

“Us?!” Scott demanded, his fear pushing him back to fury. “You mean you, ” he yelled, pushing himself up, “You did this to me!” 

 

Derek blinked at him, surprised. Then that frown set back in that seemed to be on his face at all times as though that were his resting expression.

 

“Is it really so bad, Scott?” he asked, walking towards him. “That you can see better?” Scott looked up at him, exhausted, “Hear more clearly, move faster than any human could ever hope?” 

 

Scott clenched his jaw as Derek paused a moment to let it all sink in before he continued. “You’ve been given something that most people would kill for,” he said, and Scott lowered his head, “The bite is a gift.” Scott scowled as he looked back up at Derek.

 

“I don’t want it,” he muttered. Derek regarded him for a moment.

 

“You will,” he said simply, “and you’re gonna need me if you want to learn how to control it. So you and me, Scott?” Derek leaned in close, putting a hand on Scott’s shoulder, and Scott shifted away as much as he could, “We’re brothers now.” 

 

Scott felt himself glaring. Even between the fear and shock and adrenaline, Scott felt a resentment, a hatred towards the other boy. Derek pushed off his shoulder gently, and walked back into the dark and the fog. Scott sunk to the ground, pressing his hand tightly to the wound on his arm, resting his head against the tree. 

 

                        ******

 

It took him hours, but when he was finally certain he couldn’t hear the hunters anymore, he rose to his feet, and wandered through the forest. When he finally came to a road, he walked along it, still keeping pressure on his wound. It tingled a little, and he could see it healing, just as the bite had. 

 

The sky gradually grew lighter, and he felt beat as he shuffled along. After a while, he heard a car. He turned to see the jeep, and Stiles behind the wheel. He brought the car to a stop next to his friend. Scott felt more shame wash over him, but climbed inside nonetheless. Stiles silently handed him his jacket. They were quiet for a while, and then Scott felt all of his emotions bursting out of him. 

 

He told Stiles everything that had happened. The jacket, Derek, the Hunters, everything. Stiles sat quietly, taking it all in. When Scott finished, he rested his head against the car door, sorrowful. Stiles glanced over at him, concerned, but unsure how to comfort his friend after all of that.

 

“You know what actually worries me the most?” he said, and Stiles raised his eyebrows in anticipation of his own frustration.

 

“If you say Allison, I’m gonna punch you in the head,” he said, looking at Scott. Scott moaned.

 

“She probably hates me now,” he whined, and Stiles groaned in frustration. 

 

“Ugh… I doubt that,” he said, “but you might want to come up with a pretty amazing apology. Or, you know, you could just tell her the truth, and… Revel in the awesomeness of the fact that you’re a fricking werewolf!” Scott looked at Stiles with trepidation. Stiles looked back at him, evaluating the look on Scott’s face, then nodded a little.

 

“Okay, bad idea,” he conceded softly. Scott sighed quietly, looking down and shaking his head. Stiles patted his shoulder.

 

“Hey, we’ll get through this,” he said confidently, “Come on, if I have to, I’ll chain you up myself on full moon nights and feed you live mice,” Scott looked over at him, staring, and Stiles continued, “I had a live boa once, I could do it.” He nodded assuredly. Scott huffed a little laugh, and Stiles grinned, happy that his friend wasn’t completely inconsolable. 

 

                        *******

 

The whole weekend, Scott tried to think of a way to apologise to Allison. It mostly just ended up making him more anxious. When Monday finally came around, he couldn’t find the courage to talk to her during the day, especially not with Lydia and Jackson by her side. He decided to wait until the last bell rang. When it did, he waited on a bench out front, knowing Allison had walked this way after school for the short time she had been here. Scott’s knee twitched anxiously, and he fiddled with his backpack. He was so caught up that when she walked by he jumped.

 

“So, what happened?” she asked, eyes ahead, her tone annoyed, “You left me stranded at the party.”

 

She had heard Stiles' explanation, but when Scott hadn’t texted her all weekend to offer an apology, she wanted to hear from Scott’s own mouth properly.

 

“Yeah, I-I-I know, I’m really sorry,” he began, and she looked over her shoulder at him, “I am.” He fell into step beside her. “...But, you’re gonna have to trust that I had a really good reason.” She looked away a moment, then back at his face.

 

“Did you get sick?” she asked. Scott thought for a moment.

 

“I definitely had an attack of something,” he mused, a little bitterly. Allison stopped, turning to face him fully, displeased. 

 

“Am I gonna get an explanation?” she demanded gently. 

 

“Can you just find it in your heart to trust me on this one?” he asked. Allison sighed.

 

“Am I gonna regret this?” She asked.

 

“Probably,” Scott admitted with a slight smile. Allison laughed. He took a step closer to her.

 

“So is that a yes on a second chance?” he asked.

 

“Definitely yes,” she replied, tilting her chin up and shifting a little closer. A car beeped twice quickly, and she looked over. “That’s my dad,” she sighed, “I better go.” She gave him another brief smile, then walked away.

 

Scott’s head fell, disappointed, and he turned to walk to lacrosse practice. As he did, something made him freeze. He sniffed the air, and turned quickly. A man closed the door behind Allison, turning to look at Scott. He recognised the face instantly. It was the Hunter, the man that had said to take Scott. Allison’s dad smiled at him, almost knowingly, and Scott’s eyes bulged. His throat felt dry as he raised a hand in a small, polite wave. Allison smiled sweetly at him from her seat. Then her father got in, and they drove away. 

 

Chapter Text

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.