A/N: Sorry this took me so long. A lot of people on tumblr suggested that I wait until the season started. Even though what I have going on kind of has the same elements, I still plan on making this my own take on Teen Wolf, Braeden, and Derek. I'm going to try to remain as true to the characters as possible and I hope you guys like what I do.
Chapter Two: One Who Sees All
I nudged the kickstand down with my foot and parked my bike along the curb, taking my helmet off and shaking my hair out. There was something different about Beacon Hills now, a ringing in the air that seemed to resonate through my senses. My eyes flicked around, noticing my surroundings. The shadows were darker here, the corners more ominous. Was I afraid? No. I'd been in worst places with worse circumstances, but I was slightly on edge. Give me something I could shoot or stab and I was your girl all day.
Put me in an environment designed to kill me? Things could get chaotic.
Derek parked his Silver FJ Cruiser against the curb in front of my bike and killed the engine just as Morrell pulled up beside me. She was on the phone, I could see her through the window, and the look on her face was annoyed. I waited until she was done before I said anything.
She rolled down her window. "I have to go."
I figured. "What's up?"
"Apparently I have to take a trip," she said. "it's a part of the Council's probation."
She'd gotten in more trouble than I thought.
"Is there anything I can do?" I asked.
Morrell shook her head and reached over next to her. After a few seconds she produced a white envelop and passed it to me out of the window. It was heavy, very, and when I looked inside and ran my thumb over the bills, I counted fifty thousand in cash.
I didn't remember her stopping at a bank. "You came prepared."
"Ever the mercenary, you only saw the money." She shook her head. "The key to your apartment and your address are in there. There's something else, too. Open it when you're alone."
"Sounds like fun." I put the envelope in the inner pocket of my jacket. "You'll be okay, right?"
"I'll be fine," she gave me knowing smile. "Can you stay out of trouble?"
"Call me if you have questions."
I nodded. "Have fun."
She rolled her eyes and drove off.
When I turned, Derek was waiting patiently next to the entrance of his building. As I walked towards him, I noticed that while his eyes were open, he definitely wasn't looking at anything. His jaw kept clenching, his shoulders were tense, and the aloofness he tried to give off may have fooled someone else, but I knew better.
They man had issues.
He blinked himself back to reality when I stood in front of him. "Everything okay?"
"I don't know, is it?" I asked. "You seem pretty out of it."
He shook his head. "I'm fine. Can we talk inside?"
"In a second," I said. "Morrell didn't get to ask, so I will. How did you know where we were?"
"I went by her place to talk to her, but I'd just missed her. When I went outside to catch her, I saw two men following her. Figured it couldn't be good."
"Never pictured you for a savior."
The conviction in his words said a lot.
I moved on. "Why were you looking for Morrell?"
He gave me a half grin. "That can be answered inside."
"I don't make moves without information," I shrugged.
"And I don't discuss information outside for the world to hear."
I looked around. "We're the only people out here."
"You're not that naïve."
And he was right, I wasn't that naïve. Just because I couldn't see anyone didn't mean someone wasn't on a rooftop. As a matter of fact, I was well aware of what may be out here, I was just stalling to see how much I could get out of him without having to step foot inside of his flat. Most people would've followed him as soon as he asked, but you have to be smarter. People, I've learned, will tell you almost everything if you don't budge. Give an inch, get a foot, take a mile.
It was clear that Derek was saying all he was going to say out hear however.
I raised my eyebrows and turned on my heel, heading back towards my bike. On the side, strapped just below my seat was my pump action, sawed off, shotgun. I never left home without it. The only reason those assholes got the drop on us the way they did was because I'd tried to be a good girl and not scare the customers inside. I wouldn't let it happen again.
"Scared of something?" Derek asked as I walked over to him.
"No," I smirked, "Ready for anything."
Inside looked like the typical entrance to an apartment building, although this one seemed to be modeled more after industrial design. I followed him to the elevator, gun ready at my side, and entered it with him when the doors opened. He pressed the button for the top floor and folded his arms as the doors closed.
Standing next to Derek now, I could see things that maybe I hadn't appreciated from out last couple of meetings. He was definitely toned and muscled in his arms and shoulders with just the right amount of beefy in his chest. He stood with his back straight, but not uptight, just how he was. His hair managed to be a perfect chaos, easily as black tie as it was casual. His jeans fit him great in all the right places, snug on the waist, loose around the legs. I wouldn't discuss the perfection of his a-
The elevator doors opened and he stepped out, walking straight towards a big metal door. I watched as his hands moved quickly, doing things I may or may not have been permitted to see, before he grabbed the huge handle on the door and pulled hard to the right.
The loft was one of those industrial numbers with huge windows and open space. I looked around, taking mental pictures of everything and keeping track of where everything was. To my far right was a king sized bed with messy sheets, a nightstand with a stereo system on it, and a wall of clothes hung up neatly on a metal beam stretching almost the length of the wall. The furniture was scattered, but it was tasteful. Black leather couches faced the wooden table strewn with papers in front of the window. It fit the feel of the place, open and spacious, but still bachelor enough to get away with it. To my left was the kitchen, all stainless steel appliances, and a door I was pretty sure led to a bathroom.
And Peter Hale.
Every time I saw him, I marveled at the fact that he was alive. Normally I wouldn't use the word, but it was rare I saw a dead man walking. I couldn't count how many times his name had popped up next to a price in my email, or how many times I'd been tempted on the offer. The man had pissed off so many people in the supernatural community, people and things, it was almost like seeing a celebrity. The fact that every time I saw him and he managed to look even more unscathed bothered the killer in me.
He narrowed his eyes at me and opened his mouth to speak, but then turned to Derek.
Derek waited for me to step inside before he closed the huge door behind me. Personally I'd have rather kept it open and with my back to it, but I let it go. Besides, neither one of them could kill me. I had a gun full of silver shotgun shells, a silver blade, and a pocket full of mountain ash.
And that was just in case I couldn't get to my bike.
"Come in," Derek said as he moved into the loft.
Peter pinched the bridge of his nose between his fingers and sighed hard. "You know just when I think we've reached an understanding, you go a-and you hurt me like this Derek. Why?"
I walked down the steps, smiling. "Am I here to kill him? You can tell me if I am."
"You see this is why we don't do mercenaries! Right there! She's already threatening me."
"Oh no if I'm here to kill you, you'll die. That's a promise."
"It sounds like you want another set of scars." Peter tilted his head.
I aimed the shotgun low. "Sounds like you won't miss your balls."
Peter looked at Derek. "You're seriously not going to say anything?"
He shook his head slightly and grinned. "I kind of want to see where it goes."
Peter shook his head and looked me over. "Even if we did do mercenaries, which we don't, you couldn't have picked someone else? Someone more reliable and less for the highest bidder?"
"Maybe you should stop investing in v-necks and pick up a dictionary. It's what we do."
"And you don't see the problem with this?" Peter shook his head and threw up a hand. "Derek I worry about your judgment."
"I'm not interested in her because she's a mercenary." Derek said going over to the table in front of the window.
That was news to me.
But then the pieces started to come together like a puzzle, forming themselves out of reaches and assumptions. If Derek was interested in me period, then he wanted something from me. If he wanted something from me, he'd needed to know how to get in touch with me. If he wanted to know how to get in touch with me, he'd need to know the last person who had.
"That's why you went to see Morrell," I said, "You wanted to get in contact with me."
"I want to hire you."
"I don't." Peter said. "My nephews delusional."
Derek ignored him and walked to his bed, reaching under and pulling something from under it. It was a black box, an expensive one that he brought over to the table and sat down. I walked, never taking my eyes off Peter, over to the table and stood across from Derek. A few seconds passed before he did anything, and the he clicked the latches of the box down and lifted the top.
Nothing was in it.
I looked at him. "If this is a magic trick, you did it right."
He shook his head. "No tricks. The container in the mountain ash you helped us get that time, do you remember it?"
"Right after I saved you and should've left Peter for dead." I nodded.
"That's the one. I never told you what was in it, did I?"
No, but it wasn't like he needed to. My primary concern was getting in, getting them, and getting out. I'd double crossed a very vengeful group of werewolf hunters to do so, ones that probably had it out for me as I did everyone else. There was a price on my head, but it wasn't big enough for anyone to try. I still kept moving just in case someone did.
"My mother was the alpha of our pack, Talia Hale." He said.
"Deaton's Alpha." I said to him. "I remember."
"When a werewolf dies, when an Alpha dies, there's a way to get in touch with it on the other side. In some legends the pack keeps the ashes of the fallen Alpha and ingest them in cases of emergency to seek guidance. Sometimes that's how they keep the dead Alpha in control of the pack."
He was telling me what I already knew, but I let him go on anyway.
"But in more common tradition, an Alpha leaves their claws behind."
I nodded. "Which is what was in that container. Talia's claws."
Derek nodded. "Until about two weeks ago, they were inside this box. They aren't anymore and I need to get them back."
Now we were talking. "Not a problem, do you know who has them?"
"Oh he knows alright." I heard Peter murmur.
Derek glared at him and focused back on me. "Kate Argent."
I'd heard the name but couldn't place the face. "Something to Allison Argent?"
"Her aunt. The one he," Derek pointed at Peter, "Supposedly killed."
"In my defense she both looked and felt pretty dead." Peter held up his hands.
I rolled my eyes. "How did she take them?"
"She came in, shot me, and took them. She would've taken me too if she could've."
"That's one way to do it." I replied. "How did you get away?"
"Flung myself out of the window and off the balcony. Landed in the alley and got to my truck."
A boy after my own heart.
I looked around. "That's all she took?"
"That's all she needed from us." Derek answered.
"What do you mean from you?"
"And that," Peter said loudly, "Is all you need to know. Everything else is taken care of. Find the claws, we'll pay you, have a great night."
Derek looked ready to strangle Peter.
"First of all, cash up front." I said. "And secondly, you didn't go through all this trouble just for me to get claws back. You could've done that yourself."
"That's what I said!" Peter folded his arms.
I made eye contact with Derek. "It's not just the claws you want. You want Kate."
His jaw clenched again, just like it had outside, before he pushed some papers out of the way on the table and slid over a book. I stopped it with my fingers, just like I always did, and checked out the page he'd marked. There was Latin, which I skimmed, but I paid more attention to the drawing on the right page. There was a wolf's head on a man's body, surrounded in a circle by smaller drawings.
The first one was a hand with a cut on it, bleeding slightly. The second was more obvious, they were claws that had been removed from the hand of an alpha. The third was a woman, mouth open, hands clawing at her face eyes wide with terror. The fourth was something that looked oblong shaped, but when I brought it closer I could see that it was a heart. A weird looking one, but one all the same.
The last one was blurred.
"Plurium Lupum," I said, "Most Powerful Wolf."
"So you're assuming Kate took your mother's claws to do this?"
"When I came back here, she'd taken this same page out of another book. The only reason I remembered it was here is because I'd heard of the consequences."
I wanted to speculate further, but they weren't paying me to speculate. Actually when I looked at the situation, no one here had paid me at all. That snapped me right out of their world and thrust me back into my own.
"So you want me to find her and what?"
"I want you to help me find her."
I smirked. "I'm a solo act, Derek, but I'll bring her to you alive."
"Your job is to get the claws and lead me to Kate."
"My job isn't anything until you've paid me." I leaned on the gun. "And usually when someone hires me they have a good idea where to start."
Derek raised his eyebrows. "Are you saying you're not psychic anymore?"
I kept my face blank. "Who told you that?"
"Well, well," Peter said with a smile, "And the young Hale's plan comes to the light."
Derek's eyes were focused on mine. "You knew where Isaac was going to be, you left the mark on Lydia and Allison. Even me and Peter didn't know we were in Mexico until you showed up. You're Qui Omnia Videt, One Who Sees All."
It had been years since I'd heard the term, especially spoken to me. The last time had been around my thirteenth birthday when the reasons for all of the strange images in my head had finally been explained to me. Amongst the druids it was an extremely rare power. Even in my bloodline it was known to skip a generation or two. The fact that I'd gotten it was viewed as a gift.
The fact that I didn't want it made it a curse.
But in some cases, it was a curse worth using. I could anticipate when things were going to happen, I could know when or when not to take a job. I had a handle on it sometimes, but mostly it gave me a headache and was too cryptic to be much good when I needed it. Sometimes I'd spend a whole day just seeing things. Other times I wouldn't see things for weeks or months.
"You didn't want the mercenary. You wanted the Druid."
Derek shrugged slightly. "One came with the other."
And he could go fuck himself. "Not in the business of fortune telling. Hope it works out for you."
"And there it is Derek, what'd I tell you?" Peter shook his head.
Derek ignored Peter again. "We need you."
"We don't need anything." Peter replied. "Other than to find the bitch ourselves and scatter her along the coast."
"Shut up!" Derek growled, eyes glowing blue. He turned back to me. "Look I'll pay you whatever you want."
"Dance cards full." I told him and I was being honest. "Morrell has me here for two reasons already. Can't pick up your cause."
"What's your price?"
"Why does everyone ask me that when I say no?"
"Maybe I'm not the only one who needs to look up the word mercenary." Peter winked.
He was right. I wanted to shoot him for it.
"I'll tell you where the claws are. The rest you're doing on your own." I told Derek.
"I'll take that." He replied.
He slid the box over to me, but I didn't stop it like I had with the others. The energy coming off of it radiated in waves. It was waves beating against a shore the more I reached out to touch it, opening myself up to whatever it had in store. My fingertips touched the inside of the box.
The room disappeared.
Everything came in flashes. The claws were in a jar, a hand was holding the jar. I heard someone chuckle, and the face of a woman appeared. The same woman from the picture Morrell had shown me earlier. The hard smile on her lips and wild look in her eyes. I saw the page of Plurium Lupa laminated on a desk.
The vision shifted.
I saw a business suit and expensive shows, face hidden by shadows. I saw a wooden instrument being held by gloved hands. There was a strange sound, loud and piercing, and two massive figures stepped forward. They were dressed in the bones of animals and had sharp claws on their hands. A snap of the fingers, they rushed forward.
Someone roared loud in the distance.
"Scott." I whispered.
"Scott?" Peter's voice was like water from a bucket. "What the hell does he have to do with anything?"
I was back in the loft like I'd never left, fingers hovering just above the inside of the box. Peter didn't catch it, not immediately, but Derek did. I expected him to say something but he didn't. I blinked away the vision as quickly as I could and pulled myself together.
"Describe Kate to me." I said.
"Psychotic, murderous, bitch." Said Peter.
"Blonde, angular face, athletic figure."
That's who Morrell had shown me.
The good news is, I was earning my money by killing two birds with one stone. Finding Kate and getting rid of her, or letting Derek do it, while getting the claws definitely got her off the list. On the other hand, I still had someone called the Benefactor to worry about by way of Morrell.
I could still hear Scott's roar in my ears. Which meant at some point, I was going to have to talk to him too. If it was one thing my visions taught me, it's that there was always a purpose to them even if I didn't think so. If I heard Scott, then I needed to see him.
But first things first.
"Seventy five thousand." I said, meeting Derek's eyes.
"I'll work. Seventy five thousand."
"Absolutely n-what?" Peter stormed up. "Derek she's not worth it."
"Finding Kate isn't going to be easy and the resources I'm going to have to pull on are going to cost you. Getting the claws back and delivering her alive are extra. Seventy five."
"I'll pay you."
"You'll both pay me." I looked at Peter. "Won't you?"
Peter looked like he wanted to know what my insides looked like. Which, at this point in the night, he was more than welcome to try. My trigger finger was itching and my patience was waning. If he wanted a fight he'd get one.
"Glad we're in agreement." I said. "I start when you pay me."
Derek produced a pen and scribbled on a sheet of paper. It was his number.
"Text me your information."
I stared at the number for six seconds, all I needed, before walking away from the Hales. The night was starting to get to me and my body was starting to hurt. If I didn't get in hot water soon, I'd be a big ass bruise in the morning. Before I left though, I turned to them.
"I only have one rule, if I'm going to work for you."
"A killer with ethics." Peter said.
I ignored him. "Don't lie to me."
"I don't plan on it." Derek said.
"Even if you do, don't." I said with a cock of my head. "You won't like it when I find out."
In the elevator, I pulled out Morrell's envelop and found my new address. My apartment was in a building on commerce way which, when put into the GPS on my phone, wasn't too far away. Outside I grabbed my helmet, strapped my gun to my back, and tried to let the sound of my bike kill the sound of Scott's roar.
The apartment building I was in made Derek's loft look unkempt and undesirable. The walls were a gleaming white and the furniture in the lobby was plush and expensive looking. There was nobody up at this hour which was a good thing because no one could see the shotgun. Also inside the envelope, Morrell had given me a fake ID with her name on it and social security card, in case I needed anything from the building I guess. I didn't think I would, but at least she'd thought ahead.
From what my key said, my apartment was on the floor just below the penthouse. Back inside the elevator, I pulled out the envelope again, rummaging through it, and came up with a small memory card, one that would fit into the USB drive I plugged into my Mac. This must have been what she wanted me to look at alone. I sighed and put in back inside my pocket, pulling out my phone and programming Derek's number in it.
When it came time for me to type his name, I paused for a second. I thought over the latter part of my night and picked it apart piece by piece. I wasn't exactly sure about the history between Derek and Kate, but I knew it ran deep. I could see it in the way he talked about her. More than that, I knew that if he wanted her alive he wouldn't be able to do what he was planning. One thing about killing someone was that when you wanted someone dead, it wasn't emotional. The best revenge isn't a dish best served cold, it's the one that simmers until it's ready. Derek was boiling almost to the point of bubbling over and he was trying to keep a lid on it. Coming to me was probably the last resort.
A paycheck is a paycheck is a paycheck.
My apartment was D7, towards the end of the hall. I kept my eyes peeled and my ears trained, noticing everything in the hall. The plant by the window I was passing. The amount of doors I was walking by. The elevator was on its way back down and my footsteps barely made a sound in the hall. I grabbed my key with my right hand and opened the door, looking behind me one last time to make sure everything was clear. I stepped inside the apartment and closed the door.
A light clicked on.
The first thing I noticed, surprisingly, was that Morrell had gotten me furniture. A deep brown leather sofa with pintucks rested against the far right wall. Across from it was a flat screen and a coffee table. The area was small and quaint, perfect for watching television when you had shit else to do. There was also a matching chair with a rack full of books we both knew I'd never read. I appreciated the gesture.
The second thing I noticed was that the rest of the living room was less living room and more training studio. While there was another sofa there, the black punching bag that hung from the ceiling kind of drew attention away from it. On the wall behind the punching bag was a wall rack full of weapons. A Bo-Staff, knives, blades of every kind. The ceilings were high enough for me to practice the way I wanted to. There was a stereo in the right corner. The apartment was bare, but filled with everything I needed.
There was a man standing by the lamp.
He was older, early forties, with a tasteful amount of white blossoming in his beard. He was attractive, well built, with a no nonsense look in his eyes. He wasn't armed, not from what I could tell, but I knew just from how he was standing that he could fight if he needed to. His shoulders were loose but everything else was waiting.
And my shotgun was aimed.
"You should start talking." I said.
"I don't mean any harm."
"Breaking into my apartment doesn't exactly scream no harm."
"Me verbalizing it should." He replied.
"I'm not lowering the gun," I warned. "Who sent you?"
I pumped it. "I'm not asking again."
"Good, because I'd hate to give you the same answer twice." He answered. "You want to know who I am, try checking the directory. Technically, we're neighbors."
"Your wallet works too." I said. "Toss it."
He reached behind him slowly, lifting the expensive leather fold from his back pocket. He tossed it through the air and I caught it, shotgun never wavering. I flipped it open until the word California caught my eye. I eased the ID out with my thumb and let the wallet fall to the floor.
My eyes narrowed. "You're-"
"Chris Argent," He said. "And if you're here for the reason I think you are, Braeden, then we need to talk."
I lowered the shotgun slowly, taking my finger off the trigger and disarming it. I held it out to my side, ready if things went left. A part of me felt like this night would never end, but if all these people were looking for Kate then who was I to refuse a paycheck.
She was making me rich and she didn't even know it.
"I'm listening." I said.
A/N: It's a busy world when everyone wants the same thing, but I hope I captured the world of a mercenary pretty well lol. The main thing I wanted to do was to set up Braeden coming back to Beacon Hills and having an objective there. The villains for the most part are still the same, but the motives will not be. I know it's a slow burn, but work with me.
One of the things I grappled with in writing this chapter was just how many ways someone could want the same person. But logically when I looked back at the first chapter, Morrell told Braeden that Kate was coming back and that she was a problem that needed to be taken care of. Derek wants to find her for obvious reasons if you watch the show, and where I think Teen Wolf really dropped the ball is not making Chris an immediate factor in all of this. So that's what I'm doing.
My favorite girl is being pulled in a lot of directions.
But what is loyalty to others when you're a mercenary? Where does Braeden's loyalty lie? It's one of the elements I want to explore with her in this story, the effects of being pulled everywhere while trying to fulfill commitments she's made.
I really hope that came across and not just overly repetitive like it felt.
Another thing, Braeden still has her psychic abilities in this story and they will be used. I hate how they haven't been mentioned yet, but maybe there isn't a reason for them to be. However, in this story, she'll be psychic and she'll struggle with it.
I really hope this chapter didn't scare you off, I really hope I got Peter's sassiness down.
Let me know please. Like don't just tell me to update, let me know what you like, what I could do…shit like that.
Scott and the gang next chapter. See you then.
Also if you haven't done it yet, follow me on tumblr. Same screen name as on here and insert dots accordingly. You'll find out my update schedule, when I'm working on writing, and all that. Plus if you have anything to say to me, there's the place to do it.
Read and Review!