"Scott," he told Lydia. "Just Scott."
"Are you sure?" Lydia asked, her brow crinkling in concern. "You just woke up this morning. Scott will understand if you want to take it slow right now."
"Lydia, please," Stiles' voice verged on begging. "Just go get Scott. I need to talk to Scott. I have to tell him." His breath got caught in his throat and he began to cough.
"Alright, alright, calm down," Lydia tried to sooth, but her face betrayed her. "I'll get him, hold on. She crossed to the door and called softly into the hallway.
Scott looked up from the bench where he was sitting with Allison. "What? What's wrong?"
"Stiles wants to talk to you."
Scott's eyebrows shot up. "He does?" He jumped to his feet and pushed past Lydia without any further question. He looked at her over his shoulder. "Are you coming too?"
She pursed her lips and shook her head. "He wants you right now, not me. I'll stay out here with Allison." She sighed through her nose. "I need to talk to her about that horrific necklace anyway."
Scott closed the door quietly behind him. He felt as though his heart was beating in his throat. Now that he was alone with Stiles, he was suddenly hyperaware of every sound his body made as he walked over to Lydia's vacated seat. Not for the first time, Scott was conscious of how fragile Stiles was.
Stiles stared at Scott as he sat down next to the bed, his chest heaving as he tried to get his breathing under control. Scott could see sweat beading up on his friend's pale forehead. His eyes were still ringed with dark shadows and his eyelids were slightly puffy and red as if he had recently been crying.
"Stiles?" Scott asked cautiously as he lowered himself into the chair, careful not to make any sudden movements as to avoid spooking the boy. "Are you okay to talk to me now? I mean, you're not going to have another panic attack, are you?"
"'m fnnn" Stiles mumbled, his voice hitching. It's fine, he told himself. It's just Scott. You talk to Scott every day. Everything's going to be okay. He didn't find himself very convincing.
Stiles cleared his throat. "I'm fine," he repeated more clearly, though Scott could hear his voice shaking.
"Really? 'Cause you don't have to be. I mean," Scott backtracked, "you will be fine, like, eventually. Wait, not eventually. I mean, soon. But you don't need to push yourself right now, you know?"
Stiles ignored him. "Scott," he tried again. "I have to tell– I have to tell you. I can't talk to my dad. He's too…" he trailed off, unsure of how to finish. "But you have to know. You have to find him."
"Stiles, calm down." Scott moved to sit on the edge of the bed. Stiles jerked back subtly but didn't panic enough for Scott to regret the change. He slid his hand into his friend's. "I can't do anything if you don't calm down. Your nurse is going to kick me out if I upset you again."
"It's okay," Stiles wheezed. The pain medication he hadn't realized he was on was wearing off and he was beginning to feel the sharp pain his broken ribs had inflicted on his lungs. He tried taking shorter breaths.
"Hey, um," Scott rubbed the back of his neck. "I wanted to apologize for earlier." Stiles looked confused. "You know, when I, uh, got mad and yelled at you. I'm so sorry, I was just stressed out."
"It's okay," Stiles gasped. "Not your fault."
"Dude, are you sure you're okay?" What small amount of color Stiles had regained had drained from his face and the sweat that had been steadily beading on his forehead was beginning to drip down his temples. His breathing adopted a subtle wheeze as he tried to control his breath. "I can call a nurse if you want me to."
"No," Stiles protested though his voice was strained to remain level. "I need to tell you what happened. I have to tell someone. Brett's still out there." Stiles' throat constricted, limiting his already scarce intake of breath.
"Stiles, stop!" Scott stood, alarmed. He reached over the rail of Stiles' bed and quickly pressed the call button. "You're hyperventilating. You need to calm down or you'll pass out. I called the nurse, so just hold on. Here," he pressed Stiles' palm to his chest. "Breathe with me, okay? Calm down and focus on me." Scott took an exaggerated breath. Stiles struggled to do the same.
They stayed like that, with Stiles staring up into Scott's face while his breath came in slowing yet still painful gasps and Scott holding Stiles' hand against his chest, until Tori came in with Stiles' next dose of morphine.
Brett paced back and forth in the limited space of the hospital bathroom. He couldn't stand sitting in the parking lot for a moment longer. He needed to move around, to think. He had gotten the phone call from his boss more than three hours ago, and yet he still wasn't sure what to do. Brett had never disobeyed a direct order before, so why should he start now? But, he had never been ordered to kill a human before. Stiles was the most human person he had ever met. Not just a human, a boy, a child. How could he honestly be expected to execute a kid? And yet, how could he not? What other choice did he have? He had killed before, of course. It was part of his job. But those had been werewolves, monsters, and menaces to society. The world was better off without them. However, to the untrained, uninformed eye, all those hunts looked like murders. His boss was his protection. If Brett didn't do what he was supposed to, he would be on his own, forced to run from the law.
He yanked on the bathroom door to make sure it was locked. Coming into the hospital was a huge risk and a largely stupid move. He still wasn't sure what he was going to do, but after sitting in the parking lot for hours, he was starting to get paranoid. There were hospital guards posted in the ER. Surely, one of them would have noticed that he was just sitting in his car. It would have been more suspicious for me to stay in the parked car than to come in, Brett reasoned. In truth, he felt safer in the hospital where he was at least relatively sure that his boss couldn't spy on him than he did in the unprotected parking lot.
However, he couldn't stay in the bathroom forever. Eventually some maintenance worker would unlock the door and find him in there like a crazy person. He needed to make a decision. Unfortunately, none of his options looked all that great. The safest option would be to just buckle down, grit his teeth, and do what he was being paid to. He could kill Stiles. He hadn't known him long enough to get attached to the little shit, right? The next best possibility was to run from both the law and the boss. That option featured much less savory possible endings. If the police didn't catch him, his boss would. Besides, where would he go? He had no friends. Those bridges had been burned long ago. The last thing he could think of was to confront his boss. That would end in certain death, but maybe he would feel better about himself.
Well, no matter was his decision was, he couldn't stay in the men's room much longer. He glanced in the mirror before he went to the door. He looked scared. His face was uncharacteristically pale and his eyes looked frightened.
He rubbed his clammy hands on his jeans. "Get ahold of yourself, man," he told himself as he left. He stumbled as he crossed the threshold and slammed into a passing nurse. "Oh, sorry, dear," he muttered, not making eye contact.
"No sweat," he thought he heard her say, but he was already almost out the door. He couldn't stand idle anymore.
Scott and Allison stepped out of the elevator onto the first floor. Stiles fell asleep not long after Tori administered his morphine, so Scott sat with him for a while before getting up to see what the girls were doing. They sat out in the hallway before Lydia decided to go to school. She was still trying to avoid any more absences, whereas Scott and Allison didn't care that much. Scott had already missed so many days in a row that one more wouldn't make much of a difference and Allison was smart enough to make up any work she missed without any problems. Stiles woke up a little while ago, but he was scheduled for therapy at 2 with Dr. Watkins, so Scott and Allison decided to see if Melissa wanted to eat a late lunch with them.
"So what do you think Dr. Watkins is going to talk to Stiles about?" Allison asked as they approached the nurses' station.
"I don't know, I've never had to go to therapy, have you?"
"I think Stiles has though," Scott remembered. "I think his dad made him go after his mom died."
"Oh. I'm sorry," Allison said, blushing.
"You didn't know that?"
"No. I mean, I knew she wasn't in the picture anymore, but I figured it was just a nasty divorce or something."
"Yeah, it's not something he likes to talk about, but at least he knows more of what to expect now, right?"
"Yeah, I guess so." It still sounded awful to her. "You don't think they're going to make him talk about whatever happened to him yet, do you? If he just woke up today? They're probably going to have him take it slow for now."
Allison looked over when Scott didn't answer. All of a sudden, he wasn't right beside her. He was standing frozen a few feet behind her, his mouth hanging open slightly and his eyes wide.
"Scott? Are you okay?"
He stared at her for a moment, his eyes still wide with shock. "You don't smell that?"
She looked around and saw that Scott had come to a stop in front of the men's room. "Ew, no. Gross, Scott."
"You don't smell anything?" Scott sniffed the air deeply.
"Oh, my God, you have to stop," Allison checked to make sure no one was watching Scott be so embarrassing.
Scott held the bathroom door open, letting the air and whatever smell was in there out into the hall. "You can't smell that?"
"It's a men's room. I'm trying to not smell anything."
"What? No, not that. The other smell." He took another deep breath.
"I'm not sniffing the men's room, Scott. Get out of there before someone sees you acting like an idiot."
"What?" Allison asked, totally nonplussed. "What's him?"
"That smell. It's him, the guy who kidnapped Stiles!"
"Are you serious? You can tell from…" she nodded towards the restroom. "You know."
"What? Oh," Scott finally realized what Allison meant. "Oh, no. That's gross. It's just his scent."
"'His scent.' So, he was in there?" Allison took a step closer to the bathroom. "He was in the hospital? When, today?"
"Yeah, yeah, I think so." Scott fished his phone out of pocket and quickly dialed a number.
"Who are you calling?"
Scott ignored her, waiting for the line to pick up. "Derek? I need you to get to the hospital."
"Why? Is Stiles okay?"
"Yeah. I need you to smell this bathroom."
"… Are you kidding me?"
"No. I think whoever took Stiles was in there. I recognized his scent from the warehouse. I need you to tell me how long ago he was in there."
It took Derek only five minutes to get to the hospital, where Scott led him to the bathroom in question. "It's in here," Scott said, pushing the door open for the alpha. Allison was leaning against the wall outside the restroom, simultaneously keeping watch and listening to what Derek and Scott were doing. No matter how much Scott insisted that no one would care or even see if she went in the bathroom with them, she refused to step foot in the men's room, especially if they were going in to smell things.
Derek's nose flared as he took a deep breath, trying to get a whiff of the kidnapper's scent. "The scent's there. It's faint, but you're right. He was definitely here."
"Is he still in the hospital?" Allison called from outside.
"No," Derek answered. "He left at least two hours. He's long gone by now."
"He's gone?" Scott couldn't help but feel shocked. He had been right here! They had been in the same building and Scott hadn't even noticed. What was the point of being a werewolf if your powers didn't do anything for you. If only he had gone downstairs earlier. "So, what? Knowing he was here doesn't do anything."
"We can still track him," Derek said calmly. "We know he was here. He's two hours ahead of us but we're still faster."
"Yeah, maybe on foot," Scott insisted. "But he has a car! How much horse power do you have, Derek?"
Derek scowled at him but held his tongue. Scott had a point.
Angry, Scott left the bathroom in a huff, Allison trailing after him. It seemed unthinkable the Stiles' assailant had been so close and yet he still had nothing.
"Hi Ms. Melissa," Allison greeted. Scott had been too wrapped up in his disappointment to notice his mom coming across the hall.
"Hey Allison. Scott, what's up with you?" she asked, reading her son's foul mood. "Is that bathroom really that bad? I can have someone clean up in there. You're the second person I've seen today come out of there looking more upset than when you went in."
"Wait, what did you say?" If someone had actually seen the kidnapper, they still had a chance.
"Yeah, some guy came out of there and physically ran into me a couple of hours ago. He was so out of it I guess he didn't see me coming at him."
"You remember this guy?" Scott pressed. "You know what he looks like and everything."
Melissa looked her son strangely. "Yeah, of course I remember him. He ran into me. He called me 'my dear.' Why? What's wrong?"
"We're pretty sure whoever bumped into you was the guy who attacked Stiles," Allison explained.
"What?" Melissa gasped. "What makes you think that?"
Allison shot a glance at Scott out of the corner of her eye. "I just know, okay?" Scott insisted. "I can sense it."
"Scott, you're not making any sense," Melissa tried to reason. "What on earth is in that restroom that makes you think the guy who did this to Stiles was in there?"
"I don't know, Mom," Scott lied. It's not like he could tell her that he could smell Stiles' attacker. "But I'm really, really sure about this." Melissa stared at him critically, her eyes slightly squinted as she tried to make sense of the situation. "Please. I know this sounds crazy, but I know he was here. He was the same guy you saw, I can feel it. Please, Mom."
Melissa looked at her son, really looked at him, for a moment longer. The past week had aged him beyond his years. His tiredness was bone deep, she could see it. He had a dull sheen to his usually bright eyes and his skin was grayish. She knew he hadn't really slept or eaten since Stiles disappeared. His entire being was focused around returning his friend to safety and finding whoever was responsible at the cost of his own wellbeing. She had seen this, and yet she had remained silent for as long as she could. But now, she could see the determination in his face and the conviction sharpening his dull eyes. No matter how insane he sounded right now, he was absolutely confidant in his belief.
"Okay." She found herself nodding. "Okay. I believe you." She reached into her pocket and got her phone.
"What are you doing?" Scott questioned.
"I'm calling the police."
"You can't ignore me forever, Stiles," Dr. Watkins said calmly. "We're going to have to talk about something eventually." The doctor sat very still in her seat next to Stiles' bed. He supposed she was trying to avoid making any sudden movements so she wouldn't accidentally spook him, but it was making him more nervous. He fiddled with his bed's remote, the mattress creaking as it moved up and down. As long he stayed focused on something else, maybe Dr. Watkins would leave him alone.
"I'm not ignoring you," Stiles insisted, still moving the bed up and down noisily. "I just don't particularly like answering stupid questions all the time, which I already have to do on a regular basis, so…"
He hated therapy. Therapists never addressed any of the questions they were trying to ask. Instead, they asked about school and his dad and what his friends liked to do. Dr. Watkins in particular was annoying. She was young and kept twisting her short blonde hair around her finger whenever she asked him a question. She was obviously used to working with younger kids and his resistance was irritating her. Their time was nearly up, and the young doctor still hadn't been able to get much out of Stiles. He was avoiding her questions through a combination of repeatedly changing the subject and blatant refusal.
"I'm just trying to get a basis to go on." Dr. Watkins' professional exterior was thawing quickly as their time ran out. "At this point, I'd be happy if you told me anything. Just give me something."
"The Empire Strikes Back is my favorite Star Wars movie," Stiles offered. "Return of the Jedi seems like the more obvious answer but I feel it doesn't have the same quality as the second installment, what do you think?"
Dr. Watkins was staring at him blank-faced and frustrated when the door opened.
"I'm sorry, you can't come in here right now, Sheriff Stilinski," Dr. Watkins clipped her words. "This is a closed session. We'll be done in a few minutes, then you'll be more than welcome to come back."
"Sorry, doctor," the sheriff watched his son toy with the remote, avoiding his gaze. "Can I speak to you for a moment?"
"Our hour's almost over," the therapist argued.
"Please. It will only take a moment. Is that okay with you, Stiles?"
Stiles' eyes flickered to his father's face, making reluctant eye contact before dropping his attention back to the remote in his hand. He shrugged noncommittally. Taking that as permission, Stilinski held the door open for the doctor. With no other option, Dr. Watkins stood up and stiffly followed him out into the hall.
"The schedule's been moved up," the sheriff said before the blonde doctor had a chance to voice her protests. "The kidnapper was seen leaving the Emergency Room by one of the nurses."
Dr. Watkin's hand flew to her mouth.
"He left several hours ago," Stilinski ignored her shock. We've added security to the hospital, but I seriously doubt he'd come here twice in one day. The problem now is that we know he's close, or that he was a few hours ago, but we don't know anything about him."
"You want me to get him to talk about what happened to him," Dr. Watkins said. It wasn't a question.
Stilinski crossed his arms over his chest. "I don't like it either, but I don't know what other options we have at this point. I'll be damned if I let that son of a bitch go when he's so close."
Dr. Watkins nodded apprehensively. "I'll do what I can."
He really should be going somewhere, even if he didn't know where. Or what he would do when he got there. Or if he should go at all. Actually, maybe he should stay. Brett slammed his hands on the steering wheel in frustration, accidentally honking the horn. The older woman driving the gold Honda ahead of him shot him a dirty look through her rearview mirror. Brett gave a little half-wave as the woman sped up to get away from him.
Brett had left the hospital several hours ago, but still was no closer to an answer about what he should do. He found himself driving around in circles leading slowly out away from the hospital. As much as he didn't agree with what he was being asked to do, he still wasn't ready to blatantly disobey a direct order. The more he stewed on the possibilities, the more conflicted he became. He couldn't just kill the kid. He had never been ordered to kill a child before, let alone an innocent human child like Stiles.
As much as he tried to distance himself from the deed (both mentally and physically), he couldn't stop thinking about how Stiles had acted while they were in the storage unit. Brett had been a hunter for a long time, all of his adult life and much of his teenage years, but he'd never had a target act quite like Stiles Stilinski. Though Brett could tell that he was scared, Stiles never begged for mercy. He remained sarcastic and witty throughout his entire stay. Brett had dealt with grown men who couldn't keep their composure as well as this teenage boy. It seemed like such a shame to kill a kid who had put up such a strong fight, especially when that kid was still hospitalized.
Brett made a random right turn. He had no idea where he was going or what he would do when he got there. Maybe he should just run, get out of town and worry about what he would do when he found a place to end up. He didn't have any friends or family or acquaintances who would identify him or send the police after him. Of course, that meant he didn't have anyone he could rely on to help him, but he had been taking care of himself his entire life. He had gotten good at it. He could live off the land and avoid people all together. Go up to somewhere obscure, like Montana. He could build himself a cabin in the woods and never have to kill anyone again unless he wanted to. He wouldn't have any money, but there were always things to eat in the woods, rivers for water, and lumber for building materials and firewood.
But that was ridiculous, of course. Brett berated himself as his car hummed as it idled at a vacant stop light. There was no way his boss would let him get as far as Montana. He doubted he could even get out of California before his boss caught up with him. This wasn't some children's adventure book, this was his life. No matter how much he wanted to, he couldn't simply run away from his responsibilities. But at the same time, he couldn't kill a child. How had his life gotten so out of hand that he was even having to make this decision?
The ringing phone tore Brett away from his inner turmoil. He didn't have to look at the ID to know it was his boss calling to demand why he hadn't done his job yet. He had no more time to deliberate; he needed to make a decision now.
Scott had done far too much waiting in the past week. It seemed like he spent more of his time sitting on one of the hospital benches than actually getting anything accomplished. He hated it. He needed to be up and doing something. Unfortunately, he once again found himself with no other choice but to wait. Originally, Scott had agreed with his mother's decision to call the police. There was a good chance that the kidnapper was still in the area or at least within a reachable distance. The more people there were out looking for him, the better chance they had of finding him quickly.
However, the police did not work nearly as fast as Scott would have liked. Stilinski had gone along with Scott's advice about the man having been in the hospital bathroom being Stiles' attacker without any evidence Scott could reveal, a miracle within itself. However, in order to keep the investigation in adherence to protocol as much as possible, the sheriff had to do more research and paperwork than Scott would have thought possible. The kidnapper had been out of the hospital for ages and the police were still milling around the hospital. Under the sheriff's leadership, the officers had managed to pull up the security camera footage to try to identify the man who bumped into Melissa. Whoever he was, he either knew the layout of the camera detail in the hospital or he was very experienced in dodging security lenses.
Though the kidnapper had been able to avoid the camera getting a full-face image of him, the security system had managed to pick up a profile view of his face. It was possible that this would be enough for Stiles to positively identify him as his kidnapper, but Stilinski was very reluctant to get his son involved with the investigation. Stiles was not the best at taking care of himself even on his best day. Stilinski didn't want to stress him out even more, especially not while he was already in the hospital.
Scott did his best appreciate everything the police were doing, but he was getting antsier the longer he waited. Allison did her best to distract him, mostly so he wouldn't do anything stupid but also to keep him from continuously pacing around the hallway in front of her. It was a bad habit of his she hadn't noticed before Stiles went missing, but now she was constantly being reminded of it. Any time she stopped talking to Scott for any length of time, he would instantly start back at it. It was a bit after 5 and she was still trying to distract her ex-boyfriend when her phone rang.
"Hey," Chris said. "Is everything okay at the hospital?"
"The police are still getting everything together before they actually go to look for the guy," Allison answered. "I'm sure they're going as fast as they can, but Scott's getting fidgety."
"What?" Scott looked up from his pacing at the sound of his name. "I am not!"
"Can you get here?" Chris asked. The tense tone of his voice put Allison on edge.
"Why? What's going on?" Allison turned away from Scott to hear her father better.
"I have to go to a meeting in a few minutes. Gerard has been acting fine all day, but if he does have something to do with whoever took Stiles, he's going to be under to most amount of stress when the police leave to go look for the kidnapper. I can't put off my appointment and somebody needs to watch him, just in case."
"Right, I'll leave in just a minute," Allison said, tucking the phone against her shoulder and gathering up her belongings. "Do you honestly think he has something to do with it?"
"I wouldn't be surprised," Chris sighed. "The way he's been acting lately, ignoring the code, killing rather than capturing, it's very possible. I would like to think that he wouldn't have done something like this, but I can't be sure anymore. Even if he does know something, I doubt that he would show it."
"But in case he does…" Allison prompted.
"You or I should be here," Chris finished.
Allison hung up and tossed her phone into her bag. "I have to go. Are you going to be okay here by yourself?"
"I'm not a child, I can be by myself for a little bit," Scott complained. "Besides, I think Derek is still around here somewhere."
"Is he still here? I haven't seen him for a couple of hours, have you?"
"No, but if the kidnapper was here or is still in the area, so is Derek," Scott said confidently. "He wouldn't leave now that we're so close. So, what's going on at your house?" He gestured to Allison's now shouldered bag.
"Nothing yet," Allison said as the couple moved toward the exit. "My dad has to leave the house and he's not comfortable leaving Gerard alone now that things are heating up."
Allison had only been gone for a few minutes before Lydia showed up.
"I thought you were at school today," Scott asked as Lydia breezed past him.
"It's after 5, Scott," Lydia said, raising her eyebrows in a judging fashion. "Where have you been?"
"Wait, it's after 5?" Scott groaned.
"Yeah, why? Also, what's with all the police? Is Stiles okay?"
"The kidnapper guy was here earlier today. He already left," he said quickly to prevent Lydia from asking. "But we found out about it three hours ago and the police still haven't done anything!"
"But Stiles is okay, right?"
"Yeah, he's fine. I mean, I think so. I haven't seen him since therapy."
"And the police aren't doing anything about it?" Lydia asked skeptically.
"Then what are they all doing here? I saw at least a dozen officers when I came in just now and they all looked busy to me."
"They're dusting for fingerprints or something. I don't know," Scott said dismissively. "But they're taking forever! They are spending so much time here instead of actually going out and searching for this guy. He's already like, six hours ahead of us."
"You do realize these things take time," Lydia tried to explain. "The police aren't going to just go out there and wing it like you probably would. This is a pretty monumental thing. If they're going to accuse someone of the abduction and attempted murder of a minor, especially when that minor is the sheriff's son, they're going to have to be sure in their conviction. The police can't afford to spend so much time and effort and manpower unless they're sure that this is the guy they're looking for."
Scott took a moment to consider this. "I know, but it still feels like they could have already caught the guy if they'd actually started going out and looking for him."
"It's not that simple, Scott," Lydia rolled her eyes. "That may actually be one of the worst things they could do."
"How?" Scott demanded defensively.
"If the police actually are dusting for finger prints or trying to find camera footage of him, it means they're trying to ID him."
"So, instead of just going out there blind, if they have his identity, they could find out more about him and figure out where his destination would be and head him off there rather than wandering around in the woods for who knows how long."
"I don't know." Lydia did have a point, Scott had to admit. But even so, his conscious would be much more at ease if he could physically see what progress Stilinski and the police were making. "I hate sitting here and waiting for something to happen."
"That's because you're a doer, not a thinker, which explains your position on the lacrosse team and your F in history." She seated herself gracefully in one of the softer waiting room seats across from Scott.
"And where would you thinkers be without us doers?" he teased.
"We'd have a flourishing Mars colony by now."
"This is taking too long," Derek said coldly.
Scott and Lydia had talked for a while after she managed to calm him down. Lydia tried to explain to Scott what he missed in his classes, but that only lasted for half an hour before she realized how futile the effort was. Instead, Lydia decided to see if she could go in to visit Stiles once he was done talking to the doctor. Derek appeared not long after Lydia excused herself. He, too, was getting sick of waiting.
"We have to wait," Scott answered in a monotone. He was trying his best to take into account everything Lydia had told him about the facets of the police investigation, but every bit of him longed to be out looking for his friend's attacker rather than sitting in the hospital waiting room.
"This is pointless," Derek argued. "We could have found him by now. We know it's the right person and he's getting away."
"We have to wait," Scott repeated. "We can't do anything without the police." Derek's idea was very tempting, though Scott tried hard to remain patient and calm. When Lydia had been telling him about what the police were doing, it made sense to him as to why everything was taking such a long time, but as the hours wore on, it was becoming harder and harder to ignore Derek's complaints. The kidnapper could be well out of the state by now!
The only factor that was keeping Scott in his seat and out of the woods was Sheriff Stilinski. He had trusted Scott's word that the kidnapper had indeed been the man coming out of the bathroom that bumped into Melissa. There was no real proof for the sheriff's department to go by, only Scott's word that it was the right person. Stilinski had trusted him enough to take his word despite their rocky relationship over the past week, and so Scott was trying to be respectful of the sheriff and let him do his job. The police had handled situations like this before using the same methods, so surely they knew what they were doing more than he did. Or at least that's what he told himself.
"I am tired of waiting!" Derek said angrily, rising to his feet. "All I've done this last week is wait. Wait for the kanima to attack, wait for the hunter to slip up, wait for my pack to be mature enough to be left on their own without having to worry about them killing anyone! You may have to wait, Scott, but I don't."
"No!" A nurse glanced over at the two of them from her desk with a look of mixed concern and annoyance. "No," Scott said quieter, pushing Derek back into his seat. "Give them a chance. Not everyone has supersonic hearing and smell and everything. They know what they're doing."
Derek glowered up at the beta fiercely. "They have half an hour. I don't care what you do, but if they're not ready by then, I'm going without them."
Scott leaned against the wall, his phone pressed to his ear as Derek waited for him by the exit. Half an hour had passed the police were still getting everything assembled. True to his word, Derek got up from his seat the moment the 30 minutes he had allowed passed and looked to Scott to see if he too had made a decision. Despite his best effort, he couldn't fight the urge to look for the kidnapper himself, regardless of the police and even Stilinski. He simply could not sit idle any longer.
He waited for a long moment before Allison picked up on the other end.
"Hello?" she whispered. "Scott? Is everything okay?"
"Yeah," Scott whispered back automatically. "What's going on with you? Why are we whispering?"
"I'm watching Gerard, remember?" Allison hissed, annoyed. Scott heard a slight shuffling on her end. "He's in his office right now. I just moved down the hall so he couldn't hear me. What's up?"
"I'm going to look for him, for the kidnapper."
"What?" Allison forgot to whisper. "Scott, no! You said you were going to let the police handle this one."
"I know, but I can't sit around and wait all night for something to happen when I've already sat here all day doing nothing. He has such a huge head start, I don't know if we'll be able to find anything now, but I have to do something."
"No, Scott, please stay with the police. Something is going on with Gerard."
"What?" Scott asked, surprised. He had started to dismiss the idea of Gerard being involved at all since they had been watching him for so long and getting no response. "He's involved after all? What's he doing?"
"I don't know anything for sure yet, but he's been really agitated all evening. He keeps making phone calls. I asked him if he wanted me to get him anything for dinner and he said he was too busy with work. He's eaten with the family every night since he's been here. I don't know, but something's wrong."
Scott sighed and ran his hand over his face. "That's all the more reason why I have to do this. If Gerard's involved with this guy, I need to find him before your grandfather does or else we may never find him."
"You don't understand," Allison's voice got louder with desperation. "If you come between Gerard and this hunter, Gerard will kill you, Scott. No matter what understand you may think you have with him, you don't know my grandfather like I do. You're still a werewolf. He won't hesitate just because you're a teenager. He isn't going to let you stand in his way, that's a promise."
"Look, we don't even know for sure that Gerard really is involved with any of this or not yet," Scott tried to reason. "The point is that I can't let Stiles' attacker just get away with this. It isn't right. Not if Derek and I can stop him. And if Gerard does have something to do with it, I need to go now before he starts hunting too."
Allison was quiet for a moment, her heavy breathing the only sound Scott could hear. "Okay," she said after a moment. "Just be careful, okay? Hold on," she said suddenly. "I don't hear Gerard."
"What?" Scott's alarmed question was met by a series of faint rustling sounds as Allison slowly crept back down the hall to her grandfather's office.
Seconds later, Allison was back. "He's gone."
With that, Derek and Scott were out the door.
Finally, everything was ready. The man Scott had insisted was the kidnapper had been identified as Brett Harris, though Stilinski wouldn't be surprised if that was a fake identity as the kidnapper's records only dated back to a couple years ago. The best police force he could muster was ready and standing by.
Stilinski was almost out the door when he got the call.
"We found a body in the forest, sir. He's dead."
A/N: We're so sorry it has taken so long to update! One of us has been in the process of finding a new job and the other one has been busy going back to school as well as working three jobs. Thank you so much for your patience. We have one chapter left to go so please don't give up on us yet. As always, read and review if you have time. We really do appreciate hearing from all of you. Thanks!