A/N- Yes, I know, I'm evil for taking this long to update. I swear I didn't do it on purpose though. If that makes you feel better. No? Oh, well... However, in honor of the Teen Wolf season 2 premiere tonight, I wanted to get this out, so I sat down and forced myself to finish it. It's going to be so weird when Teen Wolf starts again and Stiles and Derek aren't a couple...
Anyway, thanks to EVERYONE who commented, reviewed, and alerted this story. It really brightens my day. You're all awesome!
The waves crashed in salty sprays around Derek's feet. He stood only inches away from the cliff, breathing hard as he stared down into the black sea. Darkness had set hours ago, and he'd been running ever since. Sweat trickled down his face, into his eyes, and he swiped a hand across his brow. He looked with irritation at his human hands, he'd long since been forced from his wolf-form out of sheer exhaustion. He and Laura had been running for what seemed like days, but in truth had only been about twelve hours. If it had been just him, he would have stayed and fought. He had complete faith in his abilities, but wouldn't dare risking Laura's life. So, they were left with no choice. They ran. And ran. And ran.
He could still smell the smoke, hear the screaming of the people inside the house, smell the charred flesh as he watched helplessly as they were eaten alive by the flames. His father, his mother, his little sister...all dead now. It was the only time his strength had failed him. He'd pulled on the bars of the window, but they hadn't budged. Laura had tried to get inside, but the flames were so hot and so determined to destroy everything inside, she couldn't get close. As she screamed for their family, and they screamed back, Derek did what he could to keep her alive as well. He couldn't let her attempt to get inside. He couldn't lose her as well. He knew long before she did that they were fighting a losing battle. As the screaming from inside died away, the screaming outside continued. The screaming in his own head continued.
It wasn't long before they arrived. The ones responsible. His father had warned them about Hunters, but he'd never met one until now. At least, he thought he hadn't. When Kate's face appeared through the smoke that continued to billow out of the windows, he wasn't sure what she was doing there at first. Then, when the rest came into view, with their guns and bullets and weapons, he knew. She'd betrayed him, betrayed all of them. He had trusted her, and she'd murdered his family. There was no remorse in her eyes as they looked at one another. He had told her he loved her, had thought he really meant it. But it was just another lie.
He crouched, ready to tear her face off, his transformation already complete. The arrow came out of nowhere, slicing deeply into his left arm. He howled, and Laura ran over and pulled it out. She growled, staring at the oncomers with just as much hatred as Derek felt. There were several of them. Six in all. Too many for two teenagers who were already exhausted to handle. Derek knew this. Even in this severe situation he never forgot his training. Laura had always been weaker, but now that their father was dead, she was Alpha. Derek could feel it, almost like a whisper in his veins, an instinct taking place. Laura was in charge now, and what she said he would follow. So, as much as he wanted to stay and kill and taste blood, she turned and ran. And he followed.
They'd run all through the night, never stopping. They knew they were being pursued, could smell the Hunters, taste them in the air.
"Derek, let's go!" Laura called to him. He looked at her, wanting nothing more than to go back and fight. She sensed his anger, his hesitance to continue. "We can't go back. There's too many. And there's bound to be more once they know they can't catch us. We'll have to lay low for a while. Find a place that's safe."
They weren't sure where they would go, but Derek knew Laura would take care of him. And he'd take care of her. They were all eachother had left now. He'd protect her from everything and anything that meant her harm. And she'd do the same for him...
He saw her, as if from a distance, laying in the grave he'd dug. Why? He thought angrily, why did we come back? Beacon Hills, where they'd lost everything...he'd lost everything...there was nothing left for him now. Nothing, nothing, nothing...A great abyss opened up in the ground in front of him, a chasm that pulled everything into it, and Derek, no matter how hard or how fast he ran, was no exception. He felt the earth beneath his feet give way, he was falling into the nothingness...there was no air, no light, no life. Everything was dead and he was alone. Falling down down down, alone alone alone...
Derek jolted awake, sweat making his shirt cling to him. His breathing was labored, he couldn't take a steady breath. He could hear his heartbeat in his ears, along with a dull ringing. He tried to swallow, to calm himself down. The dream. The damn dream. He hadn't had it in almost six months, but here it was again, back with a vengeance. It always took on some slightly different form, but this one had been the most realistic one in a while. He could almost still smell the ocean breeze as he remembered standing along the cliff. He sat up, putting his head between his knees, wrapping his arms around himself.
"Get a grip, Hale." He muttered. After a few trying minutes, his breathing slowed along with his heart beat. He gazed out over the treetops. He was back at Lupus Range in the hut he and Stiles had shared. It was minus one warm body, and the panic and anger came roaring back. It had been almost four days since Stiles had disappeared and Derek was no closer to finding him. Scott had thrown himself into helping Derek in any way he could, proving to be an immense asset as a beta. Scott, for all his faults, really was proving himself in Derek's eyes. But Derek had thrown himself completely into finding Stiles. It was his every waking thought. And now that he was awake, it was time to begin the search again.
He jumped lightly from the tree, pleased to see Scott already awake and ready in the passenger side of Lorenzo's jeep. Derek, having gotten permission to use it whenever he needed, started the engine and peeled away from the Range. They reached the Main road leading into the city after almost an hour drive, neither one wanting or needing to talk. Derek was going to look into a lead he'd found on Charles, one of the Hunters responsible for taking Stiles. It had taken a day and a half of searching through old records kept by Lorenzo, and getting into contact with Lorenzo's associates until they found something they could actually use. Apparently he'd been spotted not too far from the city, according to Calvin, an omega that had been keeping tabs on a few known Hunters.
They drove through the city, the narrow streets crowded with natives and visitors alike. It bustled with life, even at this early hour, and Derek had to reign in his frustration as they made slow work of snaking through the streets. It took nearly ten minutes to go even three blocks, and finally Derek huffed a low growl and got out.
"There's directions to the place we're going in the glove compartment." He called back to Scott, who got out and took the drivers seat. "I'm losing my mind, I have to move." And without a backward glance, he began jogging along the streets, dodging pedestrians as he went. Scott just sighed, and began slowly making his way back through the streets.
As Derek ran, his mind wandered, which he hated but couldn't help. Stiles was foremost on his mind, with every beat of his heart, he could feel the distance between them. The link that bound them together was weakening, and Derek was helpless to stop it. It made things more difficult, his senses were slower, but he forced himself to focus on the task at hand. He knew the directions to his destination by heart, having studied them the night before. If it had been just him, he would have set off right then and there, and driven through the night to get any and all answers he could. But his body was beginning to betray him, and he knew Scott needed food and sleep as well. They had forgone sleep for two nights, and had only had a passing bite to eat as they ran through the city like chickens with their heads cut off, collecting information. With each step he took, Derek could feel a physical pain in his chest, and knew that if he didn't find Stiles soon, it would be too late. For both of them.
It took another hour and a half to reach his destination, a small apartment building in the middle of a busy square. The streets were as filthy as ever, the smell almost making Derek gag. This was one of the worst parts of the city, poverty and waste were evident wherever you looked. The buildings were rotted and deteriorating, the lack of care obvious.
He entered the building, turning toward the narrow stairway, not bothering to attempt the ancient looking elevator. He took them four at a time and was soon at the eighth floor. He could smell who he was looking for behind the third door on his right, and knew the wolf could smell him as well. It was only out of respect that he knocked, admittedly a little impatiently.
"Come!" Was the reply. Derek walked in, the door swinging lightly on it's rusted hinges. The man stood up from the desk and walked over to greet Derek. "My name is Alberto, Lorenzo has told me about you."
"Yeah, I'm Derek." Derek said, glancing at the computer screen still glowing in the corner.
"My mate went missing about eight years ago, but I was fortunate enough to find her before the Hunters did any real damage. I understand what you're going through." Alberto said. "I won't keep you waiting while we exchange niceties. Come, and I'll show you what I've found." He led Derek to the computer where they went over what Alberto had been tracking for the past few days. It turned out that he had quite a lot to go on, and had been tracking the circle of Hunters that Charles and Angela worked for. Their leader was a man named Julius, but that was all that anyone knew. Alberto couldn't even find a photo of him anywhere. He was the only person in that circle whose identity was almost a complete mystery. Alberto gave him a few more details that would come in handy, such as the last place Angela and Charles had been. Unfortunately, they had left after only a day.
"Well," Derek said, folding the papers and putting them in his pocket. "It's a start, at least. Please call me if you find out anything else." Alberto nodded, and Derek took his leave.
He was out on the street when Scott drove up. He got out of the car just as Derek got in the passenger side. Scott huffed a frustrated breath and climbed back in.
"Well?" He said. "Anything new?" He started the car and started making his way through the crowd once again. Derek glanced at him.
"South." Was Derek's one worded answer. Scott pulled the car around to a narrow side street that was luckily not as packed as the main street. They continued to drive in silence. Derek closed his eyes, concentrating on the vague feeling he could still sense from Stiles. Scott, however, was getting impatient with his silent alpha.
"Derek, you've got to talk to me." He said finally. "This is affecting me, too." Derek opened his eyes, looking at Scott evenly.
"I know that." He said. "I know you care about him as well. Right now, we're just going to check out one of the places the Hunters were last seen. Keep driving south, I'll tell you where to go." Derek suddenly lurched forward, clutching his chest. He was half-shifted in a blink, growling deeply and angrily. Scott, sensing the spike in his emotions, knew there was only one reason for it. It had been happening more often in the past few days. Scott glanced at him, and if Derek had looked at him, he would have seen the indecision on his face. Scott had been playing with an idea ever since Stiles had been taken. But he knew that if he told Derek about it, he just may get his face ripped off. Literally. As he watched Derek, knowing that Stiles was in more danger than ever, he made his decision.
"Whatever we do," Derek continued, trying to control his emotions, "We have to do it fast. He won't last much longer. And neither will I."
Stiles coughed, gagging as the water that had been thrown in his face to wake him flowed down his throat and into his nose. Freezing water had been his alarm clock for the past three days, and it only meant one thing. More pain.
"Wakey, wakey, little wolf boy." Angela sneered at him. "I was just asking Charles if today would be the day you would finally break. He doesn't think so. I, however, have a few more surprises for you." Stiles grimaced, not even having the energy to spit a comeback. He just lay there, arms still bound behind him like they'd been the past four days. The chains had begun cutting into his wrists the first day, and now they were bloody and raw, and definitely infected. He moved as little as he could, but it wasn't easy when being manhandled by a psychotic bitch of a Hunter. They'd thankfully taken the chains off of his feet, but attempted escape was pointless when he was bound to the pipes. They were in some old building, Stiles only having had a glance at it in the dark when they'd brought him in the previous night. He had been confined to the one room, no windows and no way to tell if it was night or day. He tried to sit up and alleviate some of the pain in his legs and torso. His ankle, which had been sprained, was now blue and swollen. His legs, riddled with bruises and cuts, weren't much better off. He was almost positive he had a bruised rib, and that was all nothing compared to how much blood he assumed he'd lost from Angela's little tantrum the previous night when he still refused to tell her what she wanted to know. Namely, how to find Derek Hale. That information would die with him. Which he was beginning to suspect would actually be happening soon. Maybe even that day. His jaw ached, an ache that went all the way down his neck into his shoulder. She'd definitely chipped a few of his teeth, and he was pretty sure her favorite pastime was punching people across the face. He'd been concussed before, after a ball had hit him in the head while his helmet was off during lacrosse practice. He knew the feeling, and knew it had happened again. But he'd had to choice but to fall asleep once Angela's fists had joined the fun.
Now he sat, bruised, bloody, and semi-conscious, as Angela began the newest chapter of 'see how much he can stand before he snaps'. She roughly pulled him into a sitting position, re-opening the wound on his side that had barely stopped bleeding. He grunted in pain, too dehydrated to do much else.
"So, this is taking too long, honey." She said. Charles sat in the corner, whittling of all things. Stiles watched through blurred vision as he meticulously carved the stump of wood in his hand with a hunting knife. The same knife, ironically, that Angela had used to open the nasty gash in his side. "I don't know if you know this, but we have a flight to catch. And since we didn't buy enough tickets for three, you won't be going with us."
"That's a shame." Stiles mustered. His voice was raw and scratchy. "Just as we were becoming such good friends." Angela just smiled. Stiles knew he had no real control over her, except for the fact that he had the only thing she wanted. Which really gave him all the control. All he had to do was keep that information to himself. And he knew he could. There was nothing these people could do to him that would make him put Derek or Scott in danger.
"Listen, wolf bitch, Derek Hale was one of my first assignments. I was young and eager." She said, whispering seductively into his ear. "And he was young and well..." She reached up stroking his chin with her hand. "I botched it up. He escaped. And ever since then, I've been on the bottom rung of this fucking group." Her hand clutched his jaw, squeezing harshly, her nails digging into soft skin. "If I can get him, I'm golden. So, why don't you just fucking tell me where the fuck the fucking wolf is?" Stiles could feel her nails ripping into the underside of his jaw. He tried to pull away, but she held tight.
"Why should I help you get a fucking promotion?" Stiles spat. "You're insane, and unless you're completely stupid, you should have realized that if you haven't gotten what you want from me by now, you never will!" She giggled, and pushed his face away.
"I'll get it." She said. "I have quite the track record for getting what I want."
"Oh, and is that why we're here now? You got Derek Hale?" Stiles said.
"That was different." She said, turning to him, eyes sparking anger. "I overestimated my own abilities. It won't happen again. Now," Another backhand across his face. That makes fifty,Stiles thought. It had become a sick game, counting how many times Angela had backhanded him. Forty open-palm slaps, and almost eighty full-out punches. He would be surprised if he walked away from this without brain damage. He'd be surprised if he walked away from it at all.
"Where is Derek?" She screamed. "WHERE THE HELL IS HE?" Stiles just sat, unmoving, eyes straight forward. He wouldn't give her the satisfaction of knowing just how scared he really was.
"Angela, Julius will not take kindly to our being late for our rendezvous." Charles said calmly in the background as if his partner wasn't a few feet away torturing a helpless teenager. Stiles lifted his eyes to glare at Charles, but he just continued to whittle.
"Strange hobby." Stiles half whispered, half grunted. He could no longer even raise his voice. "Is that some sort of Hunter thing, or just a personal preference?" Charles didn't even raise his eyes. Stiles hated him all the more for his indifference. He hoped Derek would rip him to pieces when he eventually found them. Angela stood to face Charles.
"I suppose we should get going." She sighed. "If he puts us on watch again, I'm seriously going to leave. There's plenty of others that would love to have my expertise."
"You know he'd kill you before he'd let you leave." Charles said, pocketing his knife and tossing the chunk of wood aside. "Best to get it over with and deal with the consequences of our actions."
"Oh, you mean like abducting a human teenager, torturing him for four days, and leaving him to die?" Stiles said with as much venom as he could muster. "Those kind of actions?" Angela and Charles had gotten over their initial shock of finding out that Stiles was a human. After they'd discovered his connection to Derek, they'd used that information to get Julius to back down a bit. He was still furious, and Stiles had listened to the one-sided phone conversation two days ago. Julius had given them four days to get Derek Hale, and if they didn't have him by then, they were to come in. "Without the useless human", as Angela had said. Stiles knew he had maybe hours, if that, until they were going to decide to dispose of him. He'd given them no information, and was proud of himself for lasting as long as he had. They were no closer to finding Derek than they'd been on that first day. Why they wanted him, how they even knew who he was, was still a mystery to Stiles. But he wasn't going to ask.
Angela turned back to him, grabbing him under his arm to heave him into a standing position. He couldn't help it, he cried out in pain as his ribs felt like fire ripped through them. All of his injuries burned excruciatingly. He fell back over once Angela let go of him, no longer having the strength to even stand on his own. She looked at him, scowling in obvious disgust.
"I'm not carrying him, Charles." She said, and left the room. Charles sighed, and went over to Stiles, who simply stared at him. He propped Stiles over his shoulder, Stiles crying out again, his ribs screaming in protest. He would surely pass out from the pain and Charles began to walk out of the room and toward the van they had parked right outside. He tipped Stiles inside the back, letting him fall hard on his side. He unfortunately didn't pass out, but was left to whimper and moan in pain as they began driving again. He didn't know where they were going, didn't even know which way was up or down as he lay slumped against the floor and slid back and forth as the van rolled over rough streets. He just prayed that wherever Derek was, he wasn't far away.
Derek shuffled through the room, shoulders shaking from the tension that rolled off of him. Stiles had definitely been here, the wolves had smelled him before they even saw the place. It was a tiny room, the building was old and falling apart. Scott held his distance as Derek went around the room examining every inch. There was a moment when Scott thought Derek would lose it completely when they found small drops of blood on the floor, again obviously being Stiles'. But Derek had reigned himself in, and Scott was left with the a new respect for Derek as he witnessed yet again the amount of self-control he had. But it was time to put his plan into action so he excused himself.
"I'm gonna go see what I can find outside." He said. He left the room, knowing that Derek was too preoccupied to listen in on him. Scott dialed the familiar number, talked quickly, and hung up. He hoped Derek wouldn't rip him apart for what he just did, but he could think of nothing else, and time was running out. Derek came out a few minutes later.
"Anything?" He asked. Scott hadn't smelled or seen anything as he walked around. He just shook his head. Derek turned and headed back to the jeep.
"Where are we going?" Scott asked him, getting into the driver's seat yet again. Derek just shrugged.
"There's nowhere to go." He said. "I have no information, no way to know where they went. I'm completely lost here." He looked dejected, as if he'd already lost. He lowered his head to his hands, and Scott wasn't sure what to do. If Derek felt like it was hopeless, maybe they were already too late. But he wouldn't believe that.
"Derek, look, we just need to keep going." Scott said.
"Of course we do." Derek replied, looking at Scott. "Even if...even if we're too late, do you really think I would stop hunting them? I would spend the rest of my life hunting them down and making them pay for what they did." The last sentence was filled with such venom that Scott didn't doubt for a second that Derek would do exactly that.
"Let's just go back to the Range and see if there's anything new." Derek said. Scott nodded and started the jeep.
The drive was long and uneventful except for Derek's occasional jolts of concentration. Everytime that happened, Scott would look at him hoping to see something different, but Derek would just go back to his quiet self. They reached the range in three hours and, as expected, Lorenzo had no new information for them. It was like the Hunters had disappeared.
"They can't have!" Derek growled. "I can still feel him, sense him. They haven't left the country, I know it. We're just not looking in the right places, not finding the right clues."
"We're doing everything we can, Derek." Lorenzo said patiently. Derek nodded, knowing there was no point in arguing. He shuffled over to the tree he and Stiles shared, looked up to the top and dejectedly sank to his knees, kneeling at the bottom, head in his hands.
"There must be something." Scott said desperately. "I mean, this can't be the first incident like this. I mean, there's a dozen werewolves running around this place."
"No, not the first time." Lorenzo confirmed. Scott looked at him. "It is not a tale with a happy ending." He said, and turned away. Scott was left with only the sense of loss radiating from Derek.
He walked toward the center where the younger wolves were gathered near the fire. It was getting late and the sun was beginning to set. He sat next to Maya who looked at him worriedly.
"Any word?" She asked as Patrick and Gordon moved closer. Scott just shook his head. "Well, is there anything we can do?" Scott looked at her.
"I don't think so." He said. "I just wish I knew what to do. Even after I was bit, I've never felt this helpless." He glanced over at Derek who was still sitting at the base of his tree. Sighing, he grabbed a few chunks of meat.
"Scott, listen, we were thinking..." Maya started, but hesitated. Scott forced his attention back to Mia, and she glanced nervously between Gordon and Patrick. "I mean, we've been discussing it, and uh..." Derek suddenly made a groaning noise, and Scott stood up.
"Excuse me." He said, and jogged over to Derek. He knelt beside him, trying to look at his face, but Derek kept it covered by his hands. "Derek?"
"It's nothing." Derek grunted. Scott sighed, shuffling closer to him.
"I can't imagine what you're feeling right now." Scott said. "I mean, I sort of can, because I get these flashes...these sort of feelings... They come off of you in waves and...It's kind of hard to explain."
"I know what you mean." Derek whispered. "It used to happen to me all the time before I killed Peter. First with my father, then with Laura, the with Peter himself. It only happens when the Alpha is experiencing an emotional high, like anger or hate...or panic." Scott looked at him. Derek had lowered his hands and was staring off into the distant fire. With Laura it was different. Maybe because she was female, or maybe just because she was gentle. It was easier with her. Everything was easier." Scott had never heard Derek talk about his family before, he usually just barked orders and saved all of his patience for Stiles. Scott didn't know what to say. He wanted to comfort Derek, but didn't know how. "Once she was killed, I didn't think I'd be able to find that sort of peace again. Killing Peter was all I had left. And when that was done, all I was left with was a snarky beta who hated me almost as much as he'd hated his former alpha."
"I didn't hate you." Scott said.
"You did." Derek replied. "It's fine, I would have hated me, too. I took away your one chance at the Cure. But honestly, Scott, it wouldn't have worked."
"I know." Scott said. Derek glanced at him and Scott shrugged. "I've learned more than how to hunt here." Derek nodded.
"I'm sorry about that, by the way." Derek continued. "But you understand why it had to be me." It wasn't a question, and Scott did understand. He never wanted to be a werewolf in the first place, let alone taking the responsibilities of being an Alpha. "If we...When we come out of this, I'll try to be better with you. I know we don't get along, but I could try a little harder to be patient with you. You're not a bad beta, you know. And I could have had worse."
"Yeah, you could have had Jackson." Scott said. Derek didn't smile, but Scott knew he appreciated the humor. They sat in silence for a while, neither one saying anything. There wasn't much to say. Scott glanced at his watch, and knew he would have to find a way to slip away from the Range soon. He still had the jeep keys in his pocket.
"Go eat." Derek said. Scott looked at him, and nodded.
"You want anything?" He asked. Derek just shook his head, so Scott stood up and headed for the fire where everyone was gathered. He sat down, taking a few chunks of meat and glanced back towards Derek. He was gone, but Scott saw movement in the tree hut above them.
Gradually everyone began going to their own huts for the night, and Scott climbed up his own tree to settle in and wait. The sky blackened as he stared out, wondering if he'd done the right thing. He hoped, but at this point he didn't see any other choice. He looked at his watch, and decided it was time. He made his way silently to the ground and over to where Lorenzo's jeep was. He knew the engine would wake everyone, but he hoped to be out of camp by the time anyone came to investigate. He climbed in, slowly closing the door and grimacing at the audible click it made once it was closed.
"Going somewhere?" Scott nearly jumped out of his skin, and turned to see Derek sitting in the passenger seat, almost completely invisible in the dark.
"Jesus!" Scott whispered. "You scared the hell out of me!" He pushed the key in the ignition, determined to see his plan through.
"What the hell are you up to?" Derek demanded. Scott put the jeep into drive, and pulled away from the camp.
"I uh...I had a plan." Scott said. He might as well admit it, Derek was going to eventually find out anyway. "I called Allison earlier today." He winced as Derek inhaled sharply. He really hoped he wasn't about to get his head ripped off.
"And why would you do that?" Derek asked, with what little control he had left.
"Listen, I know you hate her, but really she's on our side." Scott said, and went on in spite of the death glare Derek was currently shooting at him. "Ok, listen, her dad will do pretty much anything to get back on her good side at this point. And no matter what you think of him, he's not after us. We've never harmed anyone, never bit anyone...I mean, you're mister perfect control. So, uh, yeah. I called her to ask her to tell her dad we need help. And she said she would get him to be on the next flight out here no matter what. So, I checked the times on my phone, and the next arrival is in an hour, so I'm trying to get there and uh..." Scott lost his train of thought at the look Derek was giving him. He sighed, and kept his eyes locked on the road.
"So..." Derek started, and Scott cringed. "So, you...you not only invited a Hunter out here, where the Range is located-"
"I was NEVER gonna tell him where it is!" Scott protested, but Derek continued.
"But you also went behind my back to invite a HUNTER OUT HERE!" Derek yelled. Scott clenched his jaw. He knew what he was about to say would hurt, but it had to be done.
"Are we any closer to finding Stiles?" He asked, and Derek visibly cringed. "We have nothing to go on, no more clues, our leads have dried up! We're completely lost here, and we're running out of time! If there's even the slightest chance that Allison's dad can help, I'm gonna take that chance, and you should be grateful that I did!" He was breathing hotly, and knew that Derek could either accept what he'd done, or kill him here and now. He was really hoping for the former. Derek continued to stare at him, and Scott kept his eyes forward. After a few minutes, Derek sighed deeply.
"Fine." He finally said. "We'll see what the Hunter can do. But if you so much as mention Lupus Range to him-"
"I swear I won't." Scott said quickly. Derek nodded stiffly, still unsure about this whole arrangement. But even now, he could feel his hold on Stiles slipping away. He sat back and waited for the ride to the airport to be over.
They arrived with only minutes to spare. The small airport was mostly empty, and it didn't take long for them to pick up on Mr. Argent's scent. They followed it around the terminal until they reached baggage claim, where Scott froze.
"Allison..." He breathed. She turned to see them, and broke into a radiant smile. Scott had barely taken two steps by the time she was throwing herself into his arms, crying and laughing. Mr. Argent stood a few steps back, visibly uncomfortable to be so close to werewolves.
"What're you doing here?" Scott said, once they'd slathered eachother in kisses, causing Derek to roll his eyes, and Mr. Argent to look away pointedly.
"I wasn't going to let my dad come here by himself, someone needs to keep him in line." She looked back icily at her father. "Right dad?"
"Allison, this is ridiculous." He said. "You should not be here, it's too-"
"If you say dangerous, I'll have to remind you, yet again, how many times Scott has already saved my life."
"And I'll remind you that it was he who put you in danger in the first place." Allison just sighed and turned back to Scott. Her face changed from radiant to sad in about .2 seconds. Derek clenched his jaw.
"I'm sorry to hear about Stiles." She said.
"Yes, let's get to business." Mr. Argent said. "I already have a few leads, I've been working none-stop since Allison's call." Derek perked up a bit at this.
"What do you have?" He asked, all business. Mr. Argent looked at him, and motioned toward the exit. They all piled into the jeep and began driving.
"So, I know the people that took Stiles, I've been in contact with several people since yesterday." Mr. Argent said.
"We know who they are, too. Angela and Charles." Derek said. "The only thing we don't know is how the hell to find them."
"Well, you're lucky Scott called me, because they're scheduled to leave the country in about four hours."
"What?" Derek jerked his head around to look at Argent.
"Don't worry, I'll be able to find them long before that. I have a few contacts in their organization. I've found out that Angela and Charles have gotten themselves on their leaders bad side. And I don't just mean they're going to be demoted, I mean...well you'd have to know about Julius in order to truly appreciate what is happening."
"We know about Julius." Derek said. Scott glanced at him, but Derek just looked forward again. He knew the name, no need to let the Hunters know just how little they knew.
"Anywho, the place where they're being held is about an hour and a half drive from here." Argent said.
"You know where they are?" Derek said. "Why the hell didn't you just call Scott and tell him? We could have been there by now!"
"Because, first off, I just found out myself," He said, waving his phone at Derek with a new message in the inbox, "And second, you may need backup. If there's anything I hate worse than a vicious werewolf, it's a Hunter who lives for nothing but blood. There's a reason we live by the code. Some werewolves are vicious killers, yes, but many are peaceful and completely in control of their abilities." Derek just clenched his jaw, unwilling to comment. No matter what Argent's ideals were, he still viewed all Hunters as unnecessary foes.
They continued to drive in silence, all stress and tension visible between Hunter and wolf. They were on an abandoned road, no one in sight, when Derek sensed their presence behind them.
"What the-" He looked back, and saw the car speeding toward them. "Scott, pull over."
"What?" He asked.
"Just do it, we have company." He said. Scott pulled the jeep to the side of the road, but kept the engine running. Derek slid out, and walked toward the back as another car drove up behind them. When it stopped, Derek just growled his annoyance.
"What do you think you're doing?" He asked. Maya, Gordon, and Patrick all got out of the car and came toward them. Scott had gotten out at this point, facing them confusedly.
"We've been following you since you left the Range." Maya stated.
"I know, I was kind of hoping we'd lose you." Derek stated bluntly. Maya didn't back down, instead jutted her chin up determined to speak her piece.
"We want to join your pack." She said. Scott opened his mouth, but nothing came out.
"And why should I let you do that?" Derek asked, eyeing them all darkly.
"It's simple." Patrick said, wiping his curls out of his face. "We have no alphas, we hate being omegas, and we want a pack."
"Build your own." Derek huffed turning back to the jeep.
"We would-" Maya walked after him. "But, we need someone strong, someone who knows what they're doing. And you're the best alpha that's come along in a while." Derek was already at the door pulling it open.
"Please Derek!" Gordon jogged after them with Patrick close behind. "We have no options when we leave the Range, which eventually we will. I mean, we can't stay there forever. We're not Evanna and Demetri. And when we do leave...I mean, we don't want to be killed by Hunters." Derek could hear the slight fear in his voice, even though he tried hard to hide it.
"We could help." Maya said hopefully when Derek didn't dismiss them right away. "I mean, we'd stay out of your way, out of your life unless you needed us."
"Large packs draw unnecessary attention." Derek said. But he was looking at them closely, determining whether what they said appealed to him. Gordon saw the change in expression, and pushed their point.
"Well, we'd be discreet. We've already learned how to control ourselves during the full moon. We can fight well, so we can defend ourselves from other interested alphas. And, Lorenzo said, the bigger the pack, the less threat from other packs." Derek watched them, his jaw tensing. He sighed heavily.
"Maya's female." He said, as if that was another arguing point. They all just looked at him clearly confused. He sighed again and rolled his eyes. "I take it you haven't went into heat yet." He said bluntly. Maya's cheeks went red.
"Uh, no." She said. "But what's that got to do with-"
"Females always cause drama in the pack dynamics. Unless she's claimed, the males will fight amongst themselves to claim her when her heat comes. It's instinct, one that is difficult to control. Scott and myself will have no problem since we're already mated, but I can't say the same for these two." He waved to Patrick and Gordon. Maya glanced at them as well.
"So, you do think Allison's my mate." Scott said. They all looked at him.
"Not the point right now, Scott." Derek said. He turned back to the three young wolves standing hopefully in front of him.
"I'll take my chances." Maya said, undeterred. "If either of them try anything without permission, I'll break their jaw." Derek smiled slightly. He liked her courage. And of all the students he'd worked with at the range, these were the three strongest and most advanced. He rubbed his hand over his jaw, thinking.
"Well, I think it'd be great." Scott said. "Finally having someone else to talk to about all this crazy shit." Maya grinned at him. Derek still looked unconvinced.
"We're wasting time here." He said.
"Derek, wait!" Scott said. "Just...just think about it, alright? I mean, it's not like they're total strangers, we know them. We can trust them. At least, I think we can." Maya rolled her eyes at him. Allison chose that moment to climb out of the car, and Chris just sat there, eyeing them all.
"Couldn't help but overhear." She said. "And if my opinion means anything-"
"Which it doesn't." Derek put in.
"I think it's a great idea." Allison continued. They all looked at her, Scott was speechless.
"R-really?" He stuttered. She looked at him lovingly.
"Of course I want you to have friends that you can...you know...talk to about certain things." She said. "And they seem nice to me."
"Hold on." Chris said, getting out of the car. "This is a bad idea. We've already got two wolves running around Beacon Hills, now you're saying there will be more?" And the idea of claiming the three young wolves for his own pack simply to piss Argent off made Derek smile even wider.
"Alright, lets do it then." He said.
"What?" Six heads turned to him. One shocked and outraged, five shocked and excited.
"You heard them, they're in complete control of themselves." Derek said to Chris. "Tell him that you've never attacked or bitten a human." He turned to the three wolves.
"Never." They all said in unison.
"But that doesn't mean-"
"What it does mean is that I've just expanded my pack." Derek stated. "Well, almost..." He turned to the wolves.
"Are you absolutely certain this is what you want?" He asked. They nodded enthusiastically. Derek shrugged. "Alright. Maya, you first." She stepped forward nervously as Derek placed his hands behind her neck. "This will hurt, but you'll heal up in a few minutes." She nodded, bracing herself. She winced but didn't cry out as Derek's claws sunk deeply into her flesh, each claw hitting a vertebrae in her neck, and then digging in even further. He pulled them out, and she sunk to the ground grasping at her neck. It bled profusely but she just wiped away what she could and ignored the rest.
"Who's next?" Derek asked. Gordon stepped up and Derek repeated the process on him and Patrick who didn't even flinch. Derek felt he might have found his favorite one as Patrick stared resolutely back as Derek dug into his neck. When he pulled out, Patrick sighed.
"How do you feel?" Scott asked once they were able to talk.
"Uh...okay, I think." Maya said.
"It will take some time before their allegiances turn to me." Derek said. "But we've already wasted enough time here. Let's move!" He got back into the jeep, Scott, Allison, and Chris behind him. Patrick, Maya, and Gordon got back into their own car and followed closely. They headed deeper into the forested area, and it became less and less populated. Soon they were the only ones on the road. Derek began to get anxious, but kept his focus on the road ahead.
"He's close." Was all he said. Scott just gripped the steering wheel tighter. After a few minutes, Chris told them to turn onto the road to their left. It wasn't easily seen from the main road, but Scott found it alright. They approached a small cabin, little more than a hut, and Derek hurled himself out the door before Scott even slowed down.
Stiles' whole body ached. After he'd passed out in the van, he'd awoken to yet again be chained in another tiny room. The windows, as always, were blocked out, so he had no idea what time of day it was. It was hard to breathe with the bruised rib, and his eye was swollen shut. He could barely see with his other eye but it was enough that he knew he knew Angela and Charles sat in the corner in front of a computer. He didn't say anything, preffering to let them think he was still unconscious. He didn't know why he was still alive, although he was thankful for it even if he felt like he should be dead. He watched silently as Charles typed swiftly on the computer, and Angela watched.
"If we're going to use him as a trade-off, they'll want him alive." Charles was saying.
"Are you listening to yourself? What would they possibly want with him?" Angela hissed back.
"He has ties to the wolves, we know that much." Charles responded patiently, as if he were explaining something very simple to a child. "And when Julius hears about what we did-"
"I thought we'd been over this, Charles. He won't hear because we won't tell him." She said threateningly.
"Of course he's going to find out, Angela, he finds out everything. There will be no keeping this from him. Even if he does know how close we got, it won't matter once he finds out he'll have to cover up an abduction."
"Yes, but if we hand the little twerp over, he can use him however he wants." Angela continued. They were silent for a few more minutes as Charles continued to click away at the keyboard. From what Stiles could gather through his still foggy mind, Charles and Angela were planning on handing him over to this Julius guy. If he was anything like these two Hunters, Stiles hoped he'd be dead before he met him.
"No, make sure it's all deleted, Charles. We can't have any trace of it." Angela said. "This was the last safe-house we've been to and we can't have anyone knowing about it. All the files, Charles." There was a bit more clicking, and then they both stood up. Stiles shut his eye, trying to even his breathing.
"It's no uses, I know you're awake." Angela said. She walked over and nudged him with her boot. Right in his ribs. He hissed in pain, trying to take a breath. "It may interest you to know that we've decided not to kill you just yet."
"So I've noticed." Stiles breathed. "I sure hope Julius is a little more hospitable."
"So, you've been listening. Good." Angela said. "I really hate repeating myself. So, here's what we'll do. You, my delightful little friend, are going to-
"Angela!" Charles called. "Someone's coming!" Stiles could hear it, too. A vehicle was crunching down the road coming closer to the cabin. A sharp sense of hope shot through Stiles. He knew who it was, and smiled in relief. Charles grabbed the duffel bag by the door that Stiles knew was filled with weapons.
"Who the hell is it?" Angela said, looking up at Charles.
"The cavalry." Stiles muttered.
Derek flew out of the jeep, landing perfectly and sprinting toward the cabin. Scott and the rest of the group weren't far behind. The door opened, and Derek dodged behind a tree as the two Hunters emerged, firing serious looking rifles. Scott and the other wolves ducked behind trees as well, their training and speed coming in handy. Chris and Allison ducked behind the jeep doors, and Allison dove back in, grabbing her bow and explosive-tipped arrows. Chris grabbed his own gun.
"Come out come out little wolves!" Angela called. "I've got some nice silver here for you!" She shot again and Maya peeked out from behind her tree. It barely missed, grazing the trunk as it flew by. Scott caught Derek's eye and in that simple glance, their plan was made. It still amazed Scott how in-tune they'd become. Scott turned and began climbing the tree just as Allison loosed an arrow. Angela dodged it, but it made an impressive hole in the door where Charles was just emerging with his own rifle. He was knocked back a few feet and didn't rise. Angela had to duck and roll in order to avoid the arrow, and Derek took his chance and threw himself at her. She rolled away just in time, getting into the cabin and kicking the door closed behind her.
"Come on in and claim your corpse!" She screeched. Derek stopped dead. Through the hole in the door Derek could see Stiles, Angela's hands around his throat. He stopped moving. Stiles looked at Derek with his one good eye mouthed 'Hi' to him. Derek couldn't stop the tear that rolled down his face at the look on Stiles' face. Finally seeing him after all these days, he was reminded how little his life would mean without him.
Scott, meanwhile, had made his way to the roof of the cabin and was inching his way to the small window.
"I don't think there's a way out of this, wolf bitch." Angela was whispering to Stiles. Her hand tightened around his throat. "So, before we go, just answer me something. Tell me, how does it feel to know you're about to die?"
"You tell me." Stiles whispered just as Scott kicked through the window. Derek flew in, dodged the bullet that was sent his way and grabbed Angela by the throat. Scott was in the cabin, and kicked away Angela's gun. Derek didn't talk, didn't want answers or to make threats. He barely looked into Angela's eyes. Just squeezed. She was dead in less than a minute. He fell next to Stiles, ripping the chains away from where they were attached to the wall. He scrabbled in Angela's pocket and found the key to the locks and made quick work of getting Stiles out of the chains that had bound him for the last few days. The skin was raw and bleeding. Derek gently lifted Stiles, cradling him to his chest.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, so so sorry..." He whispered over and over. Stiles had no strength left. He wanted to hug Derek back, to tell him to shut up and it wasn't his fault and he loved him, loved him, loved him. But Stiles' body was spent, and all he could do was lightly grasp Derek's wrist before he passed out.
Two and a half weeks later, Stiles was finally going home. He'd spent two week in a hospital being talked to by doctors and nurses who he couldn't understand, although Derek seemed to have a good grasp on the language so he could translate everything. Stiles had healed up nicely, no lasting damage except for a couple of light scars around his wrists. Considering everything, he thought he'd gotten off lucky. He still had wrapping around his ribs, but they were also feeling alright. His dad had been livid when he'd found out that Scott and Stiles had won a trip to South America after playing a game in New York and had taken it without even telling their parents. At least, that was their cover story. Stiles needed enough time to heal, and Scott couldn't show up without Stiles. Derek had payed all the hospital bills before Stiles had even woken up, so there were no worries there. Although Stiles did feel a bit guilty when he heard the amount from Scott.
When he'd heard they'd added three more to their family, he was as excited as Scott had been. Derek, after spending some time with the three young wolves, had decided they weren't completely intolerable. And Stiles was glad to hear they got along, because they'd be having to live with a certain Alpha until they could find other living arrangements. Lorenzo was glad to see they'd found a suitable life and had even had some documents made putting them all in Derek's charge. Maya could pass as his niece, and Gordon and Patrick would be his distant cousins. The details would iron themselves out later, but for now they all just wanted to get home.
The flight was long but nice as Derek was able to get them seats next to eachother. They'd barely spent any time apart since Derek had found him, and their bond had grown all the stronger. Stiles sat on the plane, nuzzled against Derek's side, Derek flung an arm around him and held him close.
"You know, I recall the flight here passing with some form of bathroom entertainment." Stiles mumbled against Derek's shoulder. Derek looked at him, his eyes narrowing.
"Absolutely not." He growled, but there was a smile behind that growl. Stiles laughed.
"I'm joking." He said. "I don't think I'll be doing any of that for a while. Unfortunately."
"Stiles, you have to let your body heal." Derek said.
"Yeah yeah." Stiles said. "Doesn't mean I have to like it." He closed his eyes and Derek just pulled him closer. He'd been having trouble sleeping unless he knew Derek was close. But it was getting better. He allowed his mind to drift off as the plane ascended, looking forward to finally being home. And as much as his dad was going to yell and rant and ground and punish him when he finally got there, he knew he'd accept it gladly. After all, he have his whole pack for support. Including three new members who were at this moment talking and laughing in the row behind them. Stiles smiled into Derek's shoulder, and Derek kissed him on the top of his head. For now, Stiles was content. Or, as content as he could be knowing that this certainly wouldn't be the last time he'd be in danger. Until the next life threatening adventure, he thought wryly. He sighed happily and let himself fall asleep.
There. Done. FINALLY. It's over...
So, I was thinking about writing a few one-shots for my OC's Maya, Patrick, and Gordon as they adjust to life in Beacon Hills. No promises though. Let me know what you think. Also, review and comment and all that good stuff that makes author's do the happy dance.