Disclaimer: I do not own Smallville, Superman, Teen Wolf, or Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

AN: Again, thanks to xoverfiend for help on this chapter. It's always great to have a second pair of eyes going over things.


Allison sent another flashbang arrow at the werewolves below. She focused her shots on the Alpha Pack, successfully forcing the twins to split from their super form. Unfortunately, the loud sounds and bright lights would still disorient her friends too, though hopefully significantly less. She could already see the Hale pack gathering on one side of the floor.

They needed to run soon before she ran out of her specialty arrows. She saw Scott reengage Ennis despite her previous interference. For a brief moment during their clash, Allison swore Scott's eyes shone red like an alpha's. They were even equally matched for a second. When that second ended, Ennis brutally threw her friend into a nearby concrete wall. The hunter fired another flashbang arrow in retaliation.

Before the ringing from its explosion completely subsided, a loud clapping echoed throughout the abandoned mall. A brunette dressed in skin-tight leather pants casually strolled into the middle of their battlefield. Her white tank top left little to the imagination, but the sword strapped to her back was what drew Allison's attention.

The intruder took in the scene and whistled loudly.

"Seems like I'm late to the party," she said in a husky voice.

Everyone was either still recovering from the flashbangs or too shocked to react. Deucalion was the only one who looked well enough to respond, but he stayed silent.

"Really? Nothing? Man, I was promised some action," the woman said with a pout.

Allison felt an irrational twinge of jealousy at the intruder's ability to add that level of sex appeal to a simple pout. She then felt irritated with herself. The thought was nowhere near important at the moment.

The woman gave Derek a once over, "How about you hot stuff? If there ain't any more fighting, you and me could do for some fun."

Her proposition knocked Derek out of his stupour. He backed up to where his pack gathered and adopted a protective position in front of them.

"Who the hell are you?" he demanded.

"I agree with Hale for once," said Kali, clearly unhappy with the intrusion, "Who the hell are you?"

The woman shrugged her shoulders, "I'm just a regular girl."

Allison didn't buy it. Something about the words and how they were said felt familiar to the hunter.

None of the werewolves bought it either.

"Bullshit," snarled Derek.

"You better get out of here little girl, before you hurt yourself with that toy of yours," threatened Kali.

The leather-lady smirked and shrugged her shoulder to remove her sheathed sword. Laying the sword against a nearby pillar, the woman turned to Kali. The intruder raised her hand and gave the werewolf the 'come hither' hand motion.

"Bring it on doggy, or should I say… bitch," the woman mocked.

Kali growled in fury and launched herself at the other brunette. The werewolf attempted to deliver a vicious kick to the leather fighter's chest. The woman sidestepped and allowed the blow to pass by her before throwing out a devastating counter.

Allison's eyes widened in shock when Kali went flying backwards several feet. This was no ordinary woman.

Deucalion, sitting back down on his perch on the nearby escalator, cocked his head in interest. He did however continue to remain silent.

Kali staggered to her feet and spat out a mouthful of blood.

"Nice hit girly. Now it's my turn," the werewolf ground out.

"Bored," her opponent faked a yawn.

Allison recognized that the fighter was trying to rile up Kali. Maybe she was trying to reduce the werewolf's fighting ability and focus. If that was her plan, it may have backfired.

Kali growled angrily, but seemed in complete control of her actions. The werewolf unleashed a devastating flurry of kicks. If anything, she appeared to hyper focus and became even more lethal. If any of the blows landed they could easily spell the end of someone's life.

Her opponent wasn't just anyone though and she nimbly dodged every single one.

"Do you have a foot fetish or something?" the leather-clad fighter asked calmly. She kept dodging the kicks with ease, "Cause I have to say, your feet are real ugly motherfuckers. Smell like ass too. Don't want them close to my face."

To emphasize her point, the brunette blocked the next kick with both arms before grabbing the werewolf's foot. In a quick motion, she threw it upwards, sending the back of Kali's head hurtling towards the ground. The crack of Kali's skull against the concrete reverberated throughout the abandoned mall.

Allison winced in sympathy. She'd be out cold if that happened to her. Maybe dead.

More physically durable, Kali managed to struggle to her feet. Shaking her head, the alpha stumbled forward into a sloppy follow-up attack. She made a swipe with her claws, still disoriented.

Her opponent snorted before dodging under the blow and punching Kali in the gut. The werewolf staggered back several feet before regaining her balance. She gripped her stomach in pain, but managed to remain standing.

"She smells a bit like him," Ennis commented, interrupting the fight.

The twins, who finally recovered from the flashbang to the face, looked at him startled. Kali sniffed the air and her aggressive, albeit shaky, stance changed into a more cautious one.

Deucalion raised an eyebrow, "You mean his scent is on her."

The Hale pack didn't seem to know what the Alpha Pack was talking about. To be fair, their faces were covered in their own blood. Allison imagined it would be hard to smell anything through all that. Broken noses weren't conducive to airflow either.

"I forget how good your noses can be. Pretty wicked if you ask me," the woman commented with a grin, "Then again, I wouldn't want shit to smell like super-shit."

Pointing her thumb at Kali, she turned to the twins, "How do you handle those feet?"

Despite the seriousness of the situation, several werewolves laughed. Some were even from the Alpha Pack.

Kali was not as amused. She switched back to a more aggressive posture. Allison suspected imminent violence.

"Why are you here Slayer?" Deucalion's voice cut through the air.

For the first time since she'd arrived, the intruder looked unsettled. Allison almost dropped her bow in surprise. If this woman was the Slayer… she had a good idea who Ennis meant by him.

The Slayer was nothing like Allison expected. She practically oozed sex appeal even when fighting. In fact, she might have been sexier when she fought. Allison almost flushed at the idea. If this really was Faith, Clark's taste in woman was far more adventurous than she expected.

"A little birdy told me I might find a party here," the Slayer replied. She shrugged her shoulders, "I needed to scratch an itch."

"By little birdy, I assume in reality you mean a certain large friend," Deucalion said in good humour.

"Definitely big," she shot back with a salacious smile. Even if Deucalion was blind, there was no missing her meaning.

Allison actually flushed this time. The Slayer couldn't seriously be talking about Clark's anatomy in the middle of a life or death situation.

Deucalion chuckled before adopting a more serious demeanour, "What are you doing here Slayer? The Council leaves us alone so long as we avoid unnecessary human deaths. They let us resolve our own politics."

Derek who was struggling to recall the term Slayer jerked suddenly. Apparently he recognized 'the Council'. Allison herself already knew a fair amount thanks to her father.

"Those assholes have sticks so far up their asses they can't even walk right," the Slayer retorted, "Naw, I'm here for a friend."

"I was under the impression he didn't want to get involved in werewolf politics. We leave humans alone and he leaves us alone," Deucalion replied deliberately.

The werewolf showed his impatience for the first time by tapping his cane against the escalator.

The brunette shrugged, "He ain't here right? He never said he wouldn't ask someone else. He really doesn't like anyone dying."

"I see. Has he reconsidered our offer by any chance?" Deucalion asked curiously.

The question left Allison startled once again. She had no idea Clark had even met the Alpha Pack never mind that they were interested in him.

The brunette laughed, "He told me to tell you to take your offer and shove it up your furry little asses."

"I doubt he said anything so crass," Deucalion said with a frown.

"He didn't say it that way exactly," the Slayer admitted.

"So…" the werewolf gestured towards her and let his implied question hang in the air.

"Faith."

Allison called it. She still struggled to imagine Clark with this woman despite having several minutes to process it. They were opposites like night and day. Maybe it was a case of opposites attract?

"Well Faith, it seems like we're at an impasse," stated Deucalion.

Kali snarled, annoyed by their prolonged conversation, "Let's get this going already."

"Patience Kali," the other alpha said soothingly, "Faith was about to say what she wanted."

"No one dead and then we're five-by-five."

The werewolves' responses ranged from warily receptive to carefully neutral expressions. Only Kali and Ennis showed any outrage at the suggestion.

Deucalion frowned, "That won't do. I am willing to offer a compromise, however. A gesture of goodwill. I will allow everyone to walk away if you ask him to reconsider."

Everyone looked at the werewolf in surprise.

"He'll probably say the same thing, but the only thing he said was stop anyone from dying," Faith said with a shrug of her shoulders.

Deucalion turned to Derek and his pack, "You're free to go this time."

Allison mentally urged the pack to take the opportunity and leave.

Thankfully, Scott talked some sense into Derek and the pack began to back away.

"No!"

Surprisingly, it wasn't Kali who broke the peace, but Ennis. With a roar, he charged at the other pack.

As Faith started to move, Deucalion appeared at her side. He clamped a firm, clawed hand on her shoulder.

"I promised safe passage from me. Unfortunately, we are all alphas with wills of our own. Do not worry, I will settle the matter with Ennis later," the werewolf said.

The fact Faith was intimidated into inaction worried Allison. It would take something really scary to make someone like Faith back down.

The Slayer fidgeted as Scott leapt forward to engage Ennis, but didn't leave her spot.

Allison watched Scott get clawed viciously across his torso before Derek replaced him in the fight. Tensing, Allison swung up her bow, but she never got a clean shot.

The two werewolves wrestled towards a large opening in the floor. In a burst of motion, Scott intervened and managed to sever the tendons in one of Ennis' calves with a desperate lunge. Derek took the opportunity to spin and throw the other werewolf. Unfortunately, Derek was overbalanced enough for Ennis to grab onto him.

To everyone's horror, both werewolves plummeted down the hole before crashing onto the escalator far below. They lay on the steps, unmoving, like a pair of broken ragdolls.

In the silence that followed, Deucalion released Faith.

"Leave," he commanded.

The remaining members of Derek's pack slinked away reluctantly. Soon only Allison, Scott and Faith remained with the Alpha pack. Allison wasn't going to leave without Scott and Scott was transfixed by Derek's distant body.

Faith understood and took charge of the situation at a glance. She walked over to Scott and knocked him unconscious with a sudden blow to the back of his head before he could protest. She threw the werewolf over her shoulder, picking up her sword after.

Faith looked up and signaled for Allison to leave. The Slayer left with Scott slung over her shoulder, never looking back.

Reluctantly, Allison left the mall as well.

"Incongruous," Stiles said, helping Scott with his vocabulary practice, "The new guy joining the team is incongruous."

The bus jumped, causing Scott to wince in pain. His wound from the fight with the Alpha Pack wasn't healing and the sudden movements of the bus weren't helping.

"I don't trust him," the werewolf repeated for the hundredth time.

"Of course you don't. Allison likes him," Stiles replied with a roll of his eyes.

"It's more than that," Scott protested, "He smells funny."

"Allison said he checks out, remember?" his best friend pointed out.

"And how does she know that? She barely knows the guy, but won't say why she trusts him. For all we know, he could be messing with her head," said Scott.

Clark had been suspicious from the very beginning and nothing Scott saw changed his mind. Stiles needed to see that.

"He did show up the same time the animals went bananas," Stiles admitted reluctantly.

"Exactly," Scott agreed.

"I just don't see him as our serial killing dark druid," Stiles countered.

Scott frowned in consideration. Clark did really give off a reserved and altruistic vibe. He watched some landscape pass by through the window. Unfortunately the fascinating dirt didn't provide any new insights.

"I can't see it either," he conceded. He continued, "We've been wrong before though."

"We probably need to keep an eye on him just in case," Stiles offered.

"Yeah."

Scott stared at the newcomer near the front of the bus. Clark had talked with the coach and gotten added to the cross-country team at the last minute. He performed a private tryout for Mr. Finstock and the next thing anyone knew, he was on the trip with the rest of the team.

"Now that you mention it, him joining the team right before your fight with the Alpha Pack is really suspicious," Stiles added thoughtfully.

"Too many coincidences," Scott agreed, "We'll just keep our suspicions from Allison until we have proof."

"Tell me about the hot leather chick again," Stiles leaned forward excitedly as he changed the subject.

Scott sighed. Of course that's what Stiles focused on even though Derek was dead. Scott probably murdered the alpha of his pack, but his best friend was more excited by the sexy stranger who'd interrupted their fight with the Alpha Pack.

"She showed up and broke up our fight. She kicked Kali's ass and then I killed Derek," the werewolf recapped succinctly.

His friend winced, "Dude, you attacked Ennis and he grabbed Derek. That's not your fault. Ennis pulled him into the hole, not you."

"Mhmm," Scott made an obligatory sound in response.

"More details on Xena. You already told me that stuff earlier," demanded Stiles jokingly. He was clearly trying to distract his friend this time.

"She fought better than an alpha wolf. She was faster and maybe stronger than the twins. She had some serious moves and her kung-fu was stronger than Kali's," Scott said with a weak smile.

"Did you just make a bad joke?" his friend asked in mock surprise.

"Shut up," Scott shot back.

He gently hit his friend in the shoulder. His wound protested and he let out a hiss.

"Dude you're bleeding again," Stiles observed.

"I'm fine," the Scott claimed.

"It's not healing," Stiles commented with a frown.

"Maybe because I was hurt by an alpha," The werewolf suggested.

Stiles shook his head in the negative, "Boyd and Isaac are fine now. Something else is going on."

Scott noticed that Ethan, the werewolf twin actually allowed on the trip, was sitting with his head cocked.

"He's listening in," Scott motioned towards the alpha.

"There's not much we can do," Stiles said with a shrug, "It's not like he's going to do anything with Danny there."

"Yeah, we can't do anything with everyone here," the werewolf agreed, "We need a better time or place."

"Hopefully Boyd and Isaac feel the same way," said Stiles.

The bus had been slow for a while, but it came to a stop. Isaac moved to the seat beside them. He looked stir-crazy.

"There's an accident down the road," he explained, "We might be here for a while."

Stiles sighed, "Just great."

"Not here. Calm down," a voice hissed urgently.

Scott saw that Clark moved and was sitting beside Boyd. Boyd was hunched over and the seat in front of him bore several deep scratches. Not good. Scott quickly excused himself and made his way over to the other werewolf's seat.

As he walked, he heard Clark and Boyd talking.

"You need to calm down. There's other people here," Clark repeated, "I know you're angry, but now is not the time."

Boyd growled, "You don't even know what's going on. He needs to pay. He deserves it."

Clark seemed to struggle with his words until Scott arrived. Clark let out a breath of relief and gave Scott a thankful look.

"Talk to him please," he requested.

Scott narrowed his eyes. The other teen clearly knew about the pack. Either Allison told him, which was unlikely, or there was definitely more to the teen than met the eye.

As though he knew what Scott was thinking, Clark said, "Boyd first. Suspicions later."

The teen moved across the aisle so Scott could sit beside Boyd. Isaac sat in the seat behind them: he'd followed Scott at the first sign of trouble.

"Think about what's going to happen if you wolf out here," Scott said urgently, "You won't be able to go to school ever again."

"I don't care," Boyd bit out, his teeth lengthening.

"But I do," Scott countered, "If you don't want to stop for yourself, do it for me."

Boyd snarled and tried to get out of the seat. Scott blocked him and Isaac moved into the aisle to help. Things could get ugly really fast. Physically restraining Boyd, Scott hoped for the best.

"You want to get Ethan too," Boyd said to Isaac over Scott's shoulder.

Scott felt the other beta's hesitation, but was glad when he felt Isaac steady himself. Isaac had his back if anything happened.

"You're bleeding," Clark interrupted their stalemate.

His eyes were full of worry as he examined Scott. A dark stain was slowly spreading across his shirt. Boyd reverted to his human form in shock and Isaac looked at Scott in concern.

"It's not that bad," the bleeding teen brushed off their worry.

It was normal to feel lightheaded after some blood-loss.

He capitalized on the other betas' attention, "Please, give me a chance to come up with a plan. I don't want anyone else dying. No one else needs to die."

Isaac nodded firmly while Boyd lowered his eyes in submission.

"Ok," Boyd said after a few seconds.

"I'll stay here," added Isaac.

It looked like he regretted leaving Boyd alone and was resolved to stay in his seat to help keep his friend in check.

Scott nodded and made his way back to Stiles. When Clark began following him down the aisle, Scott turned and gave his shadow a glare. Clark ignored it. Instead, the other teen indicated Scott's old seat.

Reluctantly, Scott moved to his shared seat with Stiles and sat down.

Stiles whispered and kept his eyes on Clark, whom sat down beside them, "Everything ok?"

"Yeah, Boyd's calm for now," Scott's eyes never left Clark either, "What do you want?"

Clark shrugged his shoulders, "I just wanted to thank you for calming down Boyd. It was good."

"How did you know he was transforming?" Stiles asked curiously. He was less open with his suspicions.

"A friend asked me to keep an eye on you guys, in case anything happened," Clark explained.

"Who?" Scott demanded with narrowed eyes.

"I'm good friends with Faith," Clark supplied.

Scott startled, but Stiles didn't know who Faith was. Well, he didn't know that he knew about her.

"Who's Faith?" he asked.

"Hot leather chick," Scott answered for Clark.

Stiles whipped his head back to Scott. His jaw dropped in surprise. He turned back to Clark in excitement.

"You know hot leather chick?" Stiles demanded.

Clark looked somewhat sheepish, "I'll let her know you guys think that."

"Really? Wait, no. Will she be insulted by that? Flattered? Only tell her if she'd like it. Please don't if she won't," Stiles said as his mouth outran his brain.

Clark laughed at his ramble, "You remind me of my cousin and don't worry, Faith would take it well."

"Well good," Stiles sighed in relief, "I don't need someone who can turn me into a pretzel angry at me."

"You're funny," Clark said in good humour. He nodded to his seat near the front of the bus.

Stiles noticed with mild jealousy that Clark pulled off the slightly tousled hair with ease. He also realized he was admiring another boy's hair. Next thing he knew, he'd be thinking about the teen's pretty green eyes. Wait. What.

"I'm going to head back to my seat," Clark said. Looking to Scott he added, "Thanks again. I wouldn't have known what to do."

Both Stiles and Scott nodded in acknowledgment. After Clark reached his seat, Scott turned to his friend.

"What happened to being suspicious?" the werewolf asked.

"He knows hot leather chick and thinks I'm funny. Besides, I can be nice and keep an eye on him. He also has nice hair," Stiles defended. Then he asked, "Wait, why are you so calm about this?"

"I'm not sure, but I'm pretty sure he told us the truth," Scott admitted, "But I still say he smells funny."

"Maybe he needs deodorant. I'm more worried about Ethan anyways. He's been checking his phone nonstop. He's definitely up to something," Stiles said.

Scott frowned, "I don't like the sound of that."

"I've texted Danny to investigate, but he doesn't want to," complained Stiles.

"Well they are… kind of… together?" Scott justified. He frowned, "Even if we don't like it."

"We need to be sure though. He's probably up to something eeeevil. I can recognize evil a mile off," his friend responded. Even though he was being serious, he stretched out the 'e' comically.

Stiles resumed his rapid texts to Danny hoping to pester the teen into responding. After a literal several dozen texts, Danny finally caved. Apparently Ennis was alive though in critical condition.

Unfortunately Scott's status was approaching a similar condition as the bus ride progressed. His injury was going from bad to worse and he felt his attention waning. The werewolf tried to contact Dr. Deaton, but none of his calls connected.

Stiles suggested trying the girls.

Lydia and Allison had been following the bus pretty much since Beacon Hills. It was both sad and endearing that, when worried about her ex, Allison's first instinct was to stalk him. Very hunter-like. Only staying two to three cars back though, was very very sloppy.

While Stiles considered himself observant, spotting their car was laughably easy.

After the girls' initial denials, they held a short council. They needed to convince Coach Finstock to stop so they would have the opportunity to do so. Unfortunately, the coach was his usual receptive self and Stiles sat back down after half a minute of attempted conversation. He caved after the dozenth blown whistle made the rest of his head ring like his ears.

Stiles began hatching a convoluted plan to stop the bus which involved inducing vomiting in a sick team member, but stopped when Clark approached the coach. At first he received the same response as Stiles. Stiles winced in sympathy while Clark refused to budge. He kept calmly talking to the Coach and motioned towards their ill teammate.

Coach Finstock was furious and used his whistle to interrupt the teen over a dozen times. Clark kept repeating himself with steadfast patience and calm. Stiles looked on in amazement as the other teen weaved his magic spell. Sorcery was the only thing that would have made the coach back down the way he did. Possibly dark mind magicks.

Maybe Scott was right after all.

Finally listening to Clark, Coach gave the teen a grudging nod. He walked to the front to talk to the bus driver. Clark went back to his seat looking quite satisfied.

A few seconds later, Stiles received a text from Lydia.

It read, "Clark convinced Coach to stop. C u soon."

Surprised, Stiles looked up from his phone to look at Clark. The other teen looked back at him and gave him a small nod. Stiles nodded back, confused. He had several questions. For example, when did Clark get to know Lydia? When did he get her number? Did he just text Allison instead? Also, did he use any hair product? That hair bounce though.

Dismissing his internal musings, Stiles passed on the good news to Scott. They'd be pulling over soon and they could deal with his injury then. Stiles decided to keep Clark's involvement to himself until after Scott was treated. No need for an unnecessary argument.

When they finally pulled into the rest stop, Stiles helped Scott off the bus and across the parking lot. Clark followed closely behind the pair. The werewolf didn't have the energy to complain.

Clark stepped forward to Scott's side when the werewolf stumbled and Stiles struggled to support him singlehandedly.

"Why are you helping us?" Stiles asked with one of Scott's arms over his shoulder.

"Allison asked me to keep an eye on you guys. She was worried," Clark admitted taking most of Scott's weight.

"Wait, did you join the team because Allison asked you to?" Scott asked. His voice was weak.

"Let's get to the washroom," Clark's avoidance of the question was an answer on its own.

Stiles agreed, "We need to take a look at your chest."

They almost made it to the washroom before both girls met up with them.

"How are you doing?" Allison asked Scott worriedly.

He didn't have the energy to fake it, "Not good."

Everyone shared a grimace. If Scott was beyond pretending he was okay, things were bad. With a great sense of urgency, they hurried him into the restroom. They cut open his soaked shirt to get at the blood-soaked bandage. The bandage was peeled off to reveal a horribly ugly wound underneath.

Dark blood oozed from the large gashes and let out a putrid smell. If the odour didn't convey enough the seriousness of the injury, the black network of lines radiating outwards from the wound definitely did. Over half his torso was covered by it.

"Oh my god," Stiles said in shock.

"That's really bad," Clark said. His brows were furrowed in thought.

Allison looked at Scott, "Why didn't you tell us it was this bad?"

"Sorry," the werewolf replied softly. His eyes were unfocused.

The brunette turned to the others, "I've seen him heal from worse than this. It doesn't make any sense. He has werewolf healing."

She fidgeted with her hair as she paced in worry. It was a little dizzying for Stiles to watch. Or the smell coming off Scott's wound could be responsible for his rising nausea.

"What if we cauterized the wound? It could stop the bleeding," Clark asked quietly.

Stiles tried to tell if Clark was serious or not. He couldn't.

"With what? Do you have a blowtorch in your pocket?" Lydia demanded incredulously, "Besides, it might stop his werewolf healing. And then there's risk of infection."

"Better than him bleeding out," countered Clark.

"Stop it guys. This isn't helping. We're wasting time," Allison interjected. Panic was creeping into her voice.

Scott's groan emphasized her point beautifully.

"So do we call the ambulance?" Stiles asked. He was starting to freak out too.

"They might not know what to do. Werewolf and supernatural wound," Clark pointed out.

"Or get here in time," added Allison, "The highway is barely crawling."

"Then what do we do?" Stiles demanded. He was going to complete freak soon. He didn't do black, smelly, oozing blood.

"It might be psychological," Lydia offered.

"What do you mean, like, psychosomatic?" Stiles asked.

"Somatoformic," the strawberry blonde corrected.

Clark looked surprised, "Som—"

Lydia cut him off, "A physical illness from a psychogenic cause. Yes, it's all in his head."

Clark opened his mouth to speak.

"All in his head? Because of Derek. He's not letting himself heal 'cause Derek died," Stiles concluded. It made sense in a morbid self-flagellant sort of way.

Right up Scott's alley unfortunately.

"That's not how somatoformic illness presents," Clark argued, "Somatoform disorder does not prevent an open wound from healing."

"It could stop a werewolf's supernatural healing," Lydia countered, "His guilt could be reducing his healing capabilities."

"Maybe," Clark said reluctantly, "It still seems like a jump."

"It's the best idea we've got," Allison said impatiently. She looked at Lydia, "What do we do?"

"We stitch him up. Maybe if he thinks he's healing, he will," the teen suggested. She fished into her purse and pulled out her sewing kit.

"It could stem the bleeding at least," admitted Clark.

The other teens shared glances for a moment. Allison hurriedly grabbed the sewing kit and pulled out a needle. Taking out her lighter, she began heating the needle. Clark watched her work with a high degree of scrutiny.

Stiles was almost offended on Allison's behalf. She obviously knew how to sterilize a needle.

"He's gonna need another shirt. Where's his bag?" Allison asked, satisfied with her work.

Stiles was glad for an excuse to leave before things got even more nasty, "Um, I'm gonna get it. I hate needles anyway. You've got this right?"

"Yeah, my father taught me," Allison replied with shaky confidence.

She reached into the sewing kit for some thread, only for her hand to be intercepted by Clark's. The larger teen sighed and held his other hand out, palm up facing upwards.

"Give me the needle," Clark said calmly.

"Woah dude, no offense, but Allison knows what she's doing," Stiles interjected for her.

"Her hands are shaking, she's sweaty, and she doesn't have any practical experience. She didn't even wash her hands," replied Clark flatly.

Stiles turned to Allison and saw that Clark was kind of right. The hunter's concern was clear. Her hands were trembling slightly, but she seemed to have some control over it as she slowed her breathing. Stiles thought the hunter was their best bet.

Allison didn't seem to agree. She handed Clark the needle and thread. He offered her the briefest of smiles before examining Scott's wound. After his short examination, Clark went to the nearest sink to wash his hands.

On his way back to Scott, Stiles intervened.

"Not that I don't trust you dude, but don't take this the wrong way… I don't trust you," he said.

"Well that made sense," Lydia snarked. She'd been uncharacteristically quiet.

"I've stitched Faith up several times," Clark said trying to convince Stiles.

"Just do it."

Everyone looked down at Scott. He was still surprisingly semi-coherent.

"Allison trusts you," he mumbled.

Stiles nodded reluctantly, "How long will you take? The bus could leave. Coach might just leave us behind. I should make sure it doesn't leave."

"I can help," Lydia offered.

Clark waved them off, already beginning to focus on his task.

The two of them left when Clark stitched the first suture with extraordinary competence. Neither of them was eager watch the procedure. The last thing they saw was Allison crouched over Scott, talking to keep him awake.

"So what the hell was that?" Stiles demanded on the way to the bus.

"You're going to have to be a little more specific," Lydia commented with a quirked brow.

"I know the new guy and Allison were getting close, but not that close. I mean, she just let him start stitching Scott. And since when does Xena need to be stitched up? Someone who can kick alpha werewolf ass doesn't need to be stitched up. Even if she did, why Clark?" Stiles ranted.

The whole situation was extremely stressful and he was really just venting. His friend potentially dying just a few dozen yards away was playing havoc with his emotions.

"Are you done?" Lydia asked. Her tone was far less scathing than her words.

Stiles blew out a large breath of air, "Yeah I'm done."

They climbed onto the bus and Stiles began searching through Scott's things.

"Okay then. They've met up a few times outside of school, she trusts him, Faith probably fought things worse than werewolves, and Clark's her ex," Lydia listed off, addressing all of his questions and concerns.

"Fine, I get it, they're getting pretty close and there are things worse than werewolves," Stiles conceded.

He found a rumpled shirt and pulled it out of the bag.

"Wait, Clark used to date hot leather chick?" he spluttered out. His eyes were wide in astonishment, "No way. You've got to be kidding me."

Lydia laughed, "Hot leather chick? And is it really that hard to believe? Have you seen him?"

"That's just what me and Scott call her. And Clark's just so… polite, while Faith sounds like a complete badass," Stiles defended.

Scott's shirt flopped over in his hand when he used it for emphasis.

"Well, apparently he's got something going for him, because it was serious," Lydia replied. She looked thoughtful, "I'm almost jealous of Allison."

"Why, are they actually a thing now?" Stiles asked. Scott was going to be crushed.

"Maybe? I don't know. Allison's been very quiet about Clark. She barely tells me anything," griped Lydia.

"He could be mind-controlling her," Stiles suggested, remembering his earlier discussion with Scott.

"Clark? Really? You can't be serious," she gave him an odd look.

"Okay, not really, but did you know Allison asked him to join the team to keep an eye on us?" he asked.

"Good for her. Whipping him into shape before they really get going," Lydia said with approval.

"I thought Allison didn't tell you anything," Stiles choked out. Scott really wouldn't like that.

He was pretty much desensitized to Lydia's 'you're an idiot' look.

"I can read between the lines. Allison hasn't gotten that far with Clark yet. They probably haven't even kissed yet," Lydia said voicing her opinion.

"And this guy dated hot leather chick?" demanded Stiles, "How the hell did that happen?"

Lydia shrugged, "No idea. And hot leather chick? You know her name Stiles."

"Clark said she wouldn't mind," he defended again as they made their way off the bus.

"Here, give this to Allison, I need to make sure the bus doesn't leave," Stiles said at the bottom of the bus stairs.

"Ok," Lydia agreed. The reminder of Scott's condition was sobering.

She made her way back to the washroom across the parking lot. When she got close, she was surprised to see Clark standing outside the door.

"What's wrong? Is everything ok?" Lydia asked worriedly.

"Yeah. He healed like you said he might. I'm just giving them a little privacy," Clark explained. He saw the shirt in her hands, "I can bring that shirt in if you want."

"That was really fast," Lydia commented, too relieved to brag.

When Clark reached for the T-shirt, the redhead pulled it back.

"I've got it," she said.

Clark nodded and returned to looking out at the parking lot. He wasn't even trying to listen in on Allison and Scott's conversation. The teen just stood there with a melancholic smile on his face, doing absolutely nothing.

"Aren't you the tiniest bit jealous?" Lydia asked.

Clark raised an eyebrow, but didn't answer aloud. Rolling her eyes in exasperation, Lydia walked into the washroom.

Inside, Allison stood there hugging Scott with wet tracks running down her face. Her hair was a mess and her mascara ran a little. Scott on the other hand, looked much better. His wound was healed over and the only evidence of its former existence was the stitches he hadn't removed yet.

Lydia coughed into her hand. The two sprang apart like startled rabbits. Scott's eyes were wide while Allison's face was flushed. They both looked at Lydia in embarrassment. She rolled her eyes for the second time and tossed the shirt at Scott.

"Glad to see you're ok. Put that on," she commanded.

Scott obliged while Allison wiped the tears off her face. She took several deep breaths to regain control of her emotions.

"Where's Stiles?" Scott asked when he was fully dressed.

"Stalling Coach," Lydia replied. She turned to Allison, "Your car is still empty. We need gas,"

"I'm not leaving him," the brunette protested.

"Then we have to leave your car," her friend pointed out.

Allison didn't even think, "Sounds good."

"What? That wasn't an actual suggestion… Ah, screw it," Lydia recognized that look on her friend's face, "By the way, the boy scout's still out there waiting."

Allison briefly looked ashamed. Scott didn't look happy. Surprisingly, he didn't look too unhappy either, only thoughtful.

"We should get back to the bus," he said finally.

They opened the door and Clark turned to greet them. He gave them all a warm smile.

"Good to see you're feeling better," Clark said to Scott, "You really gave us a scare back there."

The werewolf looked decidedly uncomfortable, "Uh... thanks for, uh, basically saving my life."

"Don't worry about it. You'd have done the same," Clark replied. He turned towards the bus, "Coach is probably going to kill Stiles soon if we don't get back."

"Yeah, sure," Scott said awkwardly.

The two teammates walked towards the bus leaving both girls just outside the washroom.

"He can't be real," Lydia said in disbelief, "He has to be special in the head or something."

Allison laughed softly, "He is definitely special."

The two rushed over to the bus when they heard shouting.

Isaac aggressively pummeled Ethan, surrounded by a crowd near the bus. Coach Finstock was yelling at Isaac to stop to no avail. The beta ignored him, his rage overpowering any reason. On the other hand, Ethan remained in complete control and didn't fight back.

"Isaac stop!" Scott yelled.

The other werewolf turned at his command. Isaac was frozen in shock as he took in Scott's appearance.

"You're okay."

Scott nodded, "Yeah. I'm fine."

Without another word, Isaac walked away from Ethan's prone form. He stepped up to Scott in worry. Only the crowd's eyes prevented Isaac from touching the other beta's chest to reaffirm his friend's health.

Stiles and Boyd joined the pair and altogether they walked past the dispersing crowd. They held a private conference to the side the bus.

Glaring around, Coach grumbled angrily about troublesome, violent teens and all their crazy hormones. He also mentioned the negative impact of violent video games before stomping back onto the bus.

"Ethan!" Clark shouted suddenly.

He stepped between the alpha and Isaac's unprotected back. Ethan froze.

They stared each other down until Ethan broke eye contact and spat out some blood. With a dismissive look, he walked on to the bus, making sure to give Clark a wide berth.

"Thanks for that," Isaac said to his defender awkwardly.

"You're no better than he is," Clark opined angrily.

Both Boyd and Isaac bristled at his sanctimonious reply. Before they could do anything, Scott got their attention.

"Come on guys, let's get on the bus. Leave it."

Reluctantly, the two followed him onto the vehicle. They both gave Clark a dirty look before stepping onto the staircase.

Allison walked up to Clark and whispered something in his ear. He visibly relaxed and offered her a tired smile. They made their way onto the bus, leaving Lydia with the gobsmacked Stiles.

After a moment, the strawberry blonde sighed as she walked up and swatted Stiles behind the head. He shook his head and gave her a dirty look which she countered with a deadpan. They eventually boarded the bus with Lydia immediately behind Stiles.

The two were surprised to see Allison sitting at the back of the bus with Scott, rather than with Clark.

Clark sat near the pair though. Far enough from the pair to give them privacy, but close enough to be far from Boyd and Isaac who sat near the middle of the bus.

Stiles gave Lydia a questioning look and she shrugged her shoulders. They took the seat across from Clark.

"So… that happened," Stiles said in a way of greeting.

Clark and Lydia both raised an eyebrow at him.

"Hey don't look at me like that. Someone needed to break the ice," he defended. He did that a lot.

Lydia rolled her eyes and turned to Clark.

"So that doesn't bug you at all?" she pointed to the back of the bus.

"Should it?" Clark asked. He shook his head, "Even if it did, it's not my place to do anything."

"I knew it!" Lydia hissed in triumph.

Even Stiles knew she was being insensitive.

"Lyds, not cool," he said.

"His hot ex comes to town and you can't tell me he didn't get all into that," she countered, "I mean…"

She trailed off when she saw Clark's face. Things may not have gone the way she expected.

"We're not together for a reason," Clark said sadly.

"What'd she do? Cheat on you?" Lydia asked tentatively. Allison was being all tight-lipped about things, but Clark may be more open.

"Hey, how do you know it wasn't Clark who did something? Sorry buddy," Stiles said in defence of the hot woman he'd never met.

"Hey Stiles, have you met Clark?" the redhead asked sarcastically.

"Well, uh... no I got nothing. If I had a chance with someone like her, I wouldn't do anything to mess it up either," the rambling teen admitted.

"Someone like her?" Clark asked with a blank expression on his face.

Stiles scrambled to make up for his faux pas. He waved both his hand in front of him as he struggled to defend himself.

"I meant like a crazy hot Xena warrior chick. I mean she seems like a really nice girl. Not that I've met her, uh, but from what Scott's told me, she's a real badass," he explained in panic.

He looked terrified at Clark who's stony expression hadn't changed. While he wasn't the biggest guy Stiles had ever seen, Clark was much bigger than Stiles.

"You're too easy," snorted Lydia.

Stiles looked at her startled. Looking back at Clark, he noticed that the other teen's shoulders shook up and down. There was also crinkling in the corners of Clark's eyes.

"You were messing with me!" Stiles accused.

Clark smiled, "Sorry, couldn't resist."

"So what happened?" Lydia asked. She was determined to get her answers.

"She did something and it took me a long time to forgive her," Clark replied cryptically.

"But you've forgiven her right? Why aren't you back with her?" Stiles asked excitedly. He may get a chance to meet Faith in person.

Lydia gave him another of her derisive looks.

"It's not that simple," Clark said simply.

"But dude, she sounds fricking awesome. If you've forgiven her for whatever mess up she did, you should get back with her. I mean, it's not like you're… shutting up now," Stiles' mini-speech started strong until he realized he was being a tool.

Thankfully, Clark didn't hold it against him. Clark laughed instead, "You remind me of both my cousin and one of her best friends. You're like combination of the two. My cousin rambles all the time and is one of the smartest people I know."

Stiles preened at the implied praise and Lydia looked far less impressed.

"And the best friend?" she asked knowingly.

"Acts like an idiot sometimes and is a complete goofball," Clark added humourously.

Stiles' rising ego deflated violently along with his posture. He slumped into his seat while Lydia smirked beside him.

As if an afterthought, Clark added, "But he's got the most heart I've ever seen."

Stiles perked back up a little making Lydia groan.

"You just had to give him a bone," she complained.

Clark shrugged his shoulders, "It's all true."

"So she messed up and now you're not together?" Stiles surmised.

There were some parallels with the Allison and Scott situation and Stiles wasn't sure how he felt about that.

"Actually, she probably did the right thing, but it broke my trust in the process," Clark admitted slowly.

He looked out the window briefly before turning back to Lydia and Stiles.

"Are you confused? Because I'm confused," Stiles commented to Lydia.

She gave yet another look. The redhead possessed a knack for conveying differing shades of disdain and derision silently. Clearly it was a complicated story that Clark didn't want to tell. While sensitive and secretive about his ex, he might be more open about Allison.

"So you've been spending more time with Allison…" she began.

Honey dripped so thickly from her words Stiles was surprised he wasn't covered in sticky material.

"Uh, I guess," Clark squirmed in his seat.

The last few minutes were the most awkward Stiles ever saw Clark. How the hell did he and Scott ever consider Clark to be a potential big bad? That hair couldn't possibly belong to the side of evil.

"I can't help but notice how close the two of you've been getting," Lydia said suggestively.

When Clark shifted awkwardly, neither Stiles nor Lydia missed his faint blush.

"She's interesting," he admitted after a brief pause.

Lydia's face was triumphant and Stiles looked like he sucked a lemon.

"So you're interested in her," the redhead pushed.

"Maybe, but we've agreed to take it slow and see how it goes. We might just stay friends," Clark admitted.

"Are you even really a teenager? I mean, one, you look like you're twenty-five and two, what kind of teenager agrees to take it slow with a girl that has her ex still around?" Stiles demanded.

Clark shrugged his shoulders, but didn't reply.

"I should've made a move on you earlier," Lydia said wistfully.

Stiles could tell her heart wasn't really into it.

"You actually reminded me too much of Faith," Clark admitted, "It made me uncomfortable."

"Oh?" Lydia asked in interest.

"She can be…aggressively forward about what she wants," Clark said reluctantly.

He became reminiscent and smiled softly, "It led to some interesting situations."

The other two teens did not miss the implications of his statement. They were just surprised to hear Clark say it.

"So not a complete boy scout after all," said Lydia with a smile of her own.

"I'm surprised you said anything," Stiles said, "You don't seem like a kiss and tell kind of guy."

"That's probably Faith rubbing off on me," Clark admitted with a very faint blush, "She wasn't really shy."

Lydia could see he was becoming embarrassed and didn't want for him to clam up. On the other hand, she wanted more potential gossip.

"Give us a story," she cajoled.

"Story. Story. Story," chanted Stiles.

Lydia should have known he'd be all over that.

Clark didn't seem eager to share. His discomfort was obvious as readjusted himself in his seat.

"Just one," Lydia pleaded. She pouted for extra effect.

Clark sighed and ran his hand through his hair. The ruffled hair look definitely worked even better for him thought Stiles. God damnit.

"Just one."

Lydia couldn't believe that worked. He was pretty much like soft putty. No wonder Allison had been able to get Clark to watch out for Scott.

"So there was a canoe," he began.

"A canoe."

Both and Lydia spoke at the same time. While Stiles seemed mildly impressed, Lydia was disappointed. Her tone definitely said so.

"In a sporting goods store," Clark added a more interesting detail.

Lydia raised an eyebrow and Stiles leaned forward eagerly. That was certainly more risqué.

"Suspended from the ceiling," he finished.

Lydia was impressed and Stiles was flabbergasted.

"How the hell did you even get up there?" Stiles demanded.

"Long story," Clark shrugged his shoulder nonchalantly.

"Hey guys, what's up?" Allison smiled as she walked up.

She gently nudged Clark over and sat beside him. Scott took the immediate seat behind Stiles and Lydia.

"Uh… nothing," Clark stammered.

Lydia was amused by his sudden change of attitude.

"Dude. Clark and Faith hooked up in a ceiling canoe!" Stiles exclaimed, eager to share with Scott.

The werewolf looked confused, "Ceiling canoe?"

"You're an idiot Stiles," Lydia said with a sigh.

Stiles turned to defend himself, but saw both of Allison and Clark's faces. Allison's smile was gone and her face wore a frosty expression. While Clark was nowhere near as scary, he was still giving Stiles a very disapproving look. Everyone sat in silence for several long moments.

Scott broke the silence.

"What's a Slayer?" he asked Clark.

Clark looked at Allison surprised, "You didn't tell them?

"Not my secret to tell," she said. There was an icy chill to her voice.

"What's a Slayer and why is it important?" Stiles asked quickly.

"Deucalion called Faith a Slayer," Scott replied. His eyes were narrowed in suspicion.

"Wait, what? When were you going to tell me this?" Stiles demanded.

"I kind of had a lot on my mind," the werewolf pointed out.

"Am I the only one who thinks Slayer sounds like a bad thing?" Lydia asked, voicing her concerns.

Allison gave Clark a hard look and he knew it was up to him to explain.

"A Slayer is like… a special kind of hunter," he said.

Allison snorted, "Stiles is going to research it when we get back anyways."

"Yeah," the teen in question admitted. There was no point trying to hide it.

"What do you mean by 'special'?" Lydia hadn't missed the way he'd stressed the word.

"Strong and fast enough to beat an alpha werewolf by herself," Scott answered abruptly.

Lydia opened and closed her mouth in surprise.

"So she's kind of a supernatural hunter?" Stiles clarified.

"Pretty much," Clark shrugged shoulders trying to appear casual.

Allison knew better, "My dad mentioned something about being chosen. He wouldn't explain it."

"Yeah! How do I become a Slayer?" Stiles asked excitedly.

Lydia saw Clark's reaction, "I don't think you want—"

"You don't," Clark cut her off. His voice was hard, "A Slayer is chosen when a previous one dies. And it's a girl. Always a girl."

"I never knew that," Allison said softly.

She put her hand on his. No one missed the tension leaving his body.

Scott tried to ignore their moment, "How many Slayers are there?"

Clark's expression turned sad. Allison tried squeezing his hand in support, but the best he could manage was a weak smile. His face was back to somber almost immediately.

"Please just drop it guys. Let Stiles do his research. I'll fill in any holes then," he begged.

"What could be so bad about being some sort of supernatural badass?" Stiles demanded, still enamoured by the idea.

"You mean fighting all the time before some dark unknown monster murders you?" Clark snapped back uncharacteristically dark.

"Uh…" Stiles didn't know what to say.

"You said girl. Not woman. Girl," Lydia said horrified.

"Did I mention short lifespans?" Clark asked humourlessly.

No one said anything for a long while. Allison's grip on Clark's hand was too tight to be for his comfort alone. They were all struggling to find something to say.

"Well that's a bummer," Stiles summed up, "I can see why dating Faith was complicated."

Surprisingly, Clark laughed, "Definitely like Xander."

"Your cousin?" Stiles asked.

"His cousin is a girl. He's talking about her idiot best friend," Lydia snapped.

She wouldn't admit it, but his humour managed to lighten her mood somewhat.

Allison laughed softly and Scott made an attempt to smile. It wasn't that easy.

"Is Faith here for the Alpha Pack?" the werewolf asked hopefully.

"Slayers don't get involved in werewolf politics. They normally kill things that need to be killed," Clark explained.

Stiles, Scott and Lydia exchanged startled looks.

"So why is Faith in Beacon Hills?" Stiles asked although he already suspected.

"There have been portents and signs of a rising evil. Something or someone has been ritually sacrificing people and we're pretty sure it's a—"

"—Darach," Clark finished along with Lydia, Stiles, and Scott.

"You know about the Darach?" Stiles exclaimed.

Clark looked at Allison who was looking very sheepish.

"You didn't tell them that either?" Clark asked in surprise.

The brunette looked briefly ashamed before jutting out her chin.

"I would have told them. I just wasn't sure how to tell them without exposing your secret." she justified.

Clark rubbed his forehead, "I appreciate it, but next time, people's safety comes first, before any secrets."

Things suddenly made more sense to Scott and Stiles.

"That's why you trust him," Scott concluded.

"I met with Mr. Argent and Allison pretty soon after we moved into town," Clark admitted.

He and Allison gave each other shifty looks which only Lydia noticed. While it was partially true, the strawberry blonde surmised there was more to the story. She kept it to herself.

Stiles leaned forward finally able to discuss the Darach in earnest, "So evil druid thing. What do we know?"

He clapped his hands and ignored the amused looks on everyone's faces.

"That's a cool ring."

They'd been on the road for another few hours when Clark heard Coach Finstock whispering urgently on the phone. Due the trouble on the highway, the meet was being pushed back until tomorrow.

Clark prepared for a night in a random motel even before the Mr. Finstock made his calls. Clark packed a small overnight bag just in case and took the opportunity to double check he brought all the essentials. At the bottom of his bag, he also found his most recent letter from childhood friend, Chloe Sullivan.

With no verbal agreement, the two kept in touch through the rare letter every few months. The letters were always fun and lighthearted, but for both sides, hinted at a darker reality. Clark read between the lines and realized Chloe was dealing with her own brand of weird. It helped that the Smallville Torch had published many articles on her 'Wall of Weird'.

Clark hoped that his friends back in Smallville stayed safe. His musing was brief and he turned to his neighbour.

Allison sat awake across the aisle. Discussing the Darach had taken its toll on everyone. Combined with the stress of the day's previous events, the peaceful lull of the highway put most of them to sleep.

Clark looked down at Chloe's most recent gift. Personally he found the faux-gold band and red crystal gaudy, but the ring held great sentimental value.

"Not really, but thank you for saying so," Clark replied with a grin.

Allison returned his smile and joined him on his seat.

"Can you ever take a compliment?" she teased.

"Only when it's something worth being complimented over," Clark replied.

He gently played with the ring in its envelope. A small part of him never wanted to take it out.

"This ring is definitely not cool," he added with a laugh.

"Then why do you even have it?" the brunette asked curiously.

She turned to Clark in their seat. There wasn't really much room to maneuver and Clark felt one of her ankles cross his legs.

"Chloe gave it to me," he replied softly. He ignored her touch and instead lifted the envelope in his hands, "It's for the graduation I never got to spend with them."

Chloe and Clark sent each other small knick-knacks along with each letter, though they were never anything of value. Which is why the blonde's most recent gift had been unexpected. She'd gotten him a Smallville graduating class ring. It'd taken a lot of cajoling and annoying the principal on Clark's behalf, but somehow Chloe obtained the ring for him.

Touched, Clark kept the ring and letter close, but never put it on in fear of damaging it. He brought them as a reminder of the friendship they shared. Rereading the letter never failed to put a smile on his face.

Allison tilted her head downwards, letting some hair drop in front of her face. She put her hand on his wrist and looked up at his face.

"That's sweet of her. Could I take a look?" the brunette asked.

Clark was having trouble deciding if all this touching was her flirting or her becoming more comfortable with him. He wasn't sure if she was aware of their closeness.

He nodded dumbly flipped the envelope and dropped the graduation ring into her outstretched hand. She picked it up and examined it under the fading sunlight.

"What is it?" Allison asked as she squinted, "It's obviously not a ruby, but it doesn't look like plastic either. I can't think of any stone that's so red naturally."

Clark shrugged, "I have no idea."

"Why don't you wear it?" the brunette asked questioningly.

"I don't want to lose it," the other teen replied seriously. He cracked a grin, "Besides, have you seen it? It'd clash with all the flannel I like to wear."

"Oh no, not the flannel," Allison rolled her eyes in mock exasperation.

"Actually, the ring would be a good excuse to force a wardrobe change," the hunter added thoughtfully.

Clark recognized the mischievous look in her eye and emphatically shook his head.

"I like my clothes the way they are. Thank you very much," he said.

"I'm not saying a full wardrobe change when we get back… just something beyond the primary colours," Allison said with a winning smile.

Clark didn't return her enthusiasm. The fading sunlight accentuated his frown.

"I'm not going to be your dress-up Ken doll," he stated.

"Well someone has an inflated ego, comparing themselves to Ken," Allison said teasingly.

"He is just me without a t-shirt on after all," Clark joked, "Get it? Kent without a tee?"

Allison smacked his arm with a laugh, "You're terrible. Ken would never be that bad. Without or without a t-shirt."

"How would you know? Did you even play with dolls when you were younger? Weren't you off shooting turkeys or doing backflips?" Clark teased, half-mocking.

The brunette pretended to despair, "It's true. I never had the Barbie doll experience. My childhood was incomplete."

"Oh no, whatever shall we do?" Clark replied sarcastically.

"You could let me help you accessorize," Allison said, sneakily reaching for his hand.

He jerked it towards the window.

"No."

Allison prettily fluttered her eyelashes at him while sneaking towards his other hand. It was kind of obvious when she reached across his body to do so.

"Please?"

"No."

He placed both his hands against the window to avoid Allison's grasp. Since one hand was still holding the ring, Allison only had the other hand to work with. She quickly gave up on prying his hands off the window.

She came up with a cleverer tactic.

"We should take a picture of you wearing it so you can send it to Chloe with your next letter," the brunette suggested from her position half-bent in front of Clark.

Clark sighed. It was actually a decent idea and it would show Chloe how much he appreciated the gift. He lifted his hands off the window and raised them into the air by his shoulders.

"Go for it," he surrendered.

Laughing, Allison took his far hand and put the ring on his middle finger. He felt a funny tingling sensation spread across his body. When it left, Allison was studying his face.

"Your eyes just flashed red," she said with a frown, "You've never done that at school before."

Clark looked down pointedly at her hand resting on his inner thigh and then back up to her position pretty much in his lap. He didn't bother speaking and just cocked an eyebrow.

Allison flushed slightly, "I didn't realize you were so easy to rile up."

Using a cheeky grin, she attempted to mask her physical response to their closeness. To Clark's ears, her increased pulse was impossible to miss. The fact he was staring into her eyes as she crawled off his lap let him see her pupils were dilated slightly.

Leaning forward suddenly, he whispered into her ear, "Only because it's you."

Her sudden intake of breath aroused Clark and he leaned back to watch her reaction. She sat there half dazed, but her excited breathing and thumping heart told Clark she wanted more.

In a traditional and cliché move, he tucked some of her hair behind her ear. She offered him a shy smile. Gently cupping the bottom of her chin, he watched her eyes close in anticipation. He leaned forward, but paused just out of contact.

All his senses told him her excitement and anticipation were approaching their peak. Still, he felt the need to tease her. Less than a centimeter from her lips, he breathed out lightly against her mouth. She mewled in complaint.

Clark struggled with a trivial dilemma. Which should a he go for: soft and gentle or passionate and rough? He couldn't decide, but enjoyed edging Allison while making up his mind.

Their moment was interrupted by Coach Finstock blowing a whistle directly into both their ears.

They both sprang apart, fighting to hide their embarrassment.

"No disgusting perverted activities on the bus!" the coach screamed at them.

Both had the good grace to blush. Allison quickly escaped to Lydia's seat. The redhead was wide awake and watching them both. With a big smirk, she gave her best friend a big thumbs up. Allison smacked Lydia's hand down before sitting beside her.

Clark tried to disappear into his seat. He slunk downwards wishing to melt into the chair. Maybe if that happened, the catcalls and jeers would end. He was pretty sure Scott's eyes were also drilling holes into the back of his head through the seat.

Thinking back, Clark couldn't remember the last time he'd been so public with his affections. Probably with Faith doing something crazy. It had been a while and the near kiss lit a fire that Clark didn't realise he'd been missing. He was suddenly excited by the idea that they would be spending the night at a motel.

Clark felt his confidence rise. He'd find an opportunity to get Allison alone and continue where they left off.

He didn't notice when his ring glowed an ominous red.


AN: Faith has finally arrived and will be in each of the next few chapters, but I cannot promise in what capacity. I know red kryptonite can be a cheap plot device, but I really think it fits well with what happens next in Teen Wolf continuity. Please R+R!