Derek had arrived at the location Lydia sent him via text message earlier than he was supposed to. He'd wanted to scout out the area, to make sure that it was safe for his pack. He also wouldn't admit it to himself fully, but he had wanted to make sure it was a place where Stiles would enjoy himself.

Hunger. Desire. Need.

He shook his head at the thoughts twisting through his brain. They were his thoughts and they weren't all at the same time. The power of the Alpha, it amplified and at the same time simplified portions of his mind. This thing with Stiles—this thing that he wouldn't let happen—had grown quickly out of his control. Derek normally found the kid irritating as hell, especially when trapped in enclosed spaces with him. The van ride from Beacon Hills had been a perfect illustration of why.

Derek liked peace, liked quiet. He wanted things to be calm. When he thought about laughing, when he thought about smiling and joking it reminded him of things he didn't have in his life anymore. Once his home had been something a person like Stiles would have loved. There had been so many people running around. Children played games while adults cooked food or cheered at the TV. It was a life that no one who wasn't a werewolf could understand fully, but they would be able to see how warm it was.

Being a werewolf, being a member of a pack, that sense of community meant never being alone. When Kate burned his house down, when she had murdered everyone he'd ever loved except for his sister, she had locked him in a cage of solitude and nightmares. Laura had been the only thing he had left. Then his uncle killed her, then he killed his uncle, and then he was entirely alone.

Fury. Vengeance. Pain

Fire in his mind tried to burn up all that was left of Derek and leave only the Alpha. He needed to focus on something else. Derek closed his eyes, ignored the music in the air that was starting up. He disregarded the people who entered the dance floor. He breathed calmly, tried to stay focused. He relaxed his hands so that they were not clenched into fists.

He'd bitten Jackson because he saw something in the young man that reminded him of himself. Not the person he used to be, but the Derek of today. He'd seen someone who was alone. If it hadn't been in the first hours of his ascension to Alpha he may not have done it, but the instinct was still too much raw power at the time. He could have killed Jackson with the bite. Not everyone lived through the change. It was rash and irresponsible, but it was also the beginning of a new chapter in his life.

With Jackson in his pack, with Scott joining in as well, with Allison and even Lydia, Derek was no longer truly alone.

Stiles though, Stiles had proven to be something more than Derek had ever thought he would be. That night he'd awoken to Stiles soothing him, whispering into his hair, Derek saw something unexpected. He knew that the teenager was caring, that he would go to any lengths to do whatever he could for the people he cared about. He knew that Stiles would try to provide whatever it was those people needed. Derek had just never thought he would be one of the people who Stiles would do those things for.

Derek was the leader of their pack, but he had never felt truly a part of it until that day in the kitchen. When they were making food together and everyone was laughing and joking. It had made him happy. Stiles had seen that happiness, he had seen right through Derek's exterior like he had the x-ray vision his comic book heroes had. He wanted to protect Stiles. He wanted to protect all of them. He wasn't going to lose another family.

A shining blue light flickered in the darkness of the dance floor. It caught Derek's attention. It pulled him forth from his memories. It was his family's symbol branded on Stiles's back.


The force of it rocked him at the core. One of the females of the pack was on what was his. She should have known better. He growled under his breath and took a step forward. Some weak creature stumbled as he impacted it. It didn't matter to him. There was a pulsing wave of flesh between him and what he wanted. It shifted and moved, caused him to lose sight of his target. He sniffed the air to try to locate what he wanted.

There were too many scents, too many things keeping him from finding it. He used his arms to wade through the obstacles. They cried out, some of them even got angry, but when they saw him they shrank back. They were the smart ones. Others were not so smart, they challenged him. They stood their ground. He barely had any interest in them as he tossed them aside. They were just little insects that should have known their place.

He caught sight of his target again. There was an intruder on him; a stranger that he had once sensed on what was his. This arrogant little creature would suffer. He would pull it apart to find out what was inside that made it think that it could touch what was his. He wanted to know what made the creature think that he could take it for himself. The female from his pack who'd crossed the line would be dealt with eventually. She would need to be disciplined, put in her place. First he had to get his jaws on the interloper who touched things that he shouldn't.

'Run little creature. Run so that I can hunt you. Run so that your blood is hot when my jaws crush your throat. I want to taste the heat,' the Alpha thought.

It was primal, full of base instinct. There was no Derek, there was only the Alpha. It was ready to take what belonged to it. His pack was close. He could feel them. He knew they would herd the creature back to him. That was what a pack did, they hunted together, and they shared the kill.

The pack was all around him. His betas stepped forward, did as they were bid. The shorter one hurled the creature that had touched what it should not have touched towards him. The other went to make sure that their weaker pack mate was alright.

The Alpha got his claws around the squirming creature that had wronged him. The female member of the pack who had overstepped came out of the crowd, fear scent leaked off her. That was good. He needed to show her where she stood in the pack. She needed to know her place.

He reached for her, wanted the betas to herd her to him as well. They didn't come to his side. He watched them close in on what was his. He let out a menacing growl. They needed to be taught a lesson too. He was the leader. They would respect what was his. Anger and fury bubbled up in him. He was out of patience, out of forgiveness. He dug his claws slightly into the squirming creature in his grasp. He wanted to take his time with it. He wanted to savor his vengeance.

Something stung him in the chest. He looked at the female who had overstepped. She'd challenged him! She'd bitten him with her little metal teeth on their little wire. It was nothing, nothing like what he was going to do to her.

He roared out all of his fury at the betas who had betrayed him, at the female who challenged him, at the little worthless thing that twisted in his hands like a baby deer. He wanted to eat the thing, but he would first have to deal with the challenge from the female. His supremacy in the pack could not be questioned so boldly without an answer.

He hurled the little thing in his hands into the mob of prey that twitched and screamed around him. He had the scent of it, it couldn't escape. He would hunt it. He would love it when it was caught.

First the female would learn not to bite her Alpha. He leapt towards the female to pin her to the ground. He wanted his jaws on her throat, wanted to make her submit. She rolled underneath him. She was too quick. She was clever, that's why he'd liked her. She was lithe, could move quickly and gracefully. She was dangerous.

The female didn't have her claws with her. She didn't have the stinging contraption that could cause pain from outside his reach. That meant she was at an even greater disadvantage. He stalked her. He was going to enjoy catching her too. Her fear smelled delicious.

The Alpha searched the room, sniffed at the air. His other female was clever, he wondered where she was. The one with the red fur wouldn't be far behind if the rest of them were already gathered. If this was an attempt to become the alpha female then she might be close by. She might be in on it. He hadn't chosen an Alpha female yet; he would not be forced to do it by one of them. He would be careful. She wasn't dangerous the way the dark furred one was with her stinging metal teeth, but that didn't mean she wasn't a threat.

Rain started to fall. Water came from above. He glanced up momentarily distracted. It shouldn't have been able to rain inside.

"Stay the fuck away from her!" One of the betas roared.

It was a challenge. The Alpha turned his head; one of his betas was coming. That member of the pack had strength and speed. It had claws and teeth that could hurt him. They were all turning on him, trying to take what he wanted. They wanted to keep the choice prize for themselves. It was too much. They would suffer for their arrogance. The human trappings he was encased in exploded away from him. They couldn't contain the muscles that strained and stretched his skin. He met the beta's howl with one of his own. He dropped down on all fours; his roar was different from the beta's. It came from a snarling muzzle. He was in his true form; the weak human thing he had been was gone.

The beta rushed at him, its golden eyes furious. The beta was stupid. It leapt at him with claws extended. He snatched it out of the air, got his claws around its throat. He roared into its face. A lone wolf could be dangerous, but only to an opponent that was weaker than it was. To face a stronger foe it would need the support of its pack.

The beta twisted in his claws, braced its feet against his chest. The Alpha had seen this before, watched the beta try it on the previous Alpha. He let go of the beta's throat and stepped back as the beta thrust its legs out. Its body flailed in the air. It hadn't made the impact it needed to carry it backwards and away from him. It fell to the cement. The sound it made when it landed wasn't enough to satisfy the Alpha. It had to pay more.

He rushed forward, caught the beta by its ankle. He crushed bone and sinew, swung it through the air. It spun into a nearby wall with a far more satisfying crunch. The Alpha moved to follow his opponent, but was surprised as something stung his rear leg.

He roared out in pain and turned. The other beta had joined the fight. It had better instinct, tried to hamstring him while he was occupied with the smaller beta. If they'd attacked together at the beginning it could have made a difference. Unfortunately for the blonde furred one it was too little too late.

The golden eyed beta would need time to heal its crushed leg and whatever else had broken when it crashed against the wall. The green eyed beta retreated, tried to evaluate the damage it had done. It had much better instincts. The Alpha feinted left. The beta reacted predictably and went right.

The shock in its green eyes was satisfying; the rancid stink of fear that poured off it was invigorating. He caught its arm in his jaws and crushed it. Blood sprayed, filled the Alpha's mouth with its crimson heat. The beta howled out in pain.

The Alpha shook his head violently. A loud popping filled the warehouse. The arm came loose of its socket. The Alpha released the beta's arm from his jaws, hurled it in the same direction it had sent the other. He couldn't let them get on opposite sides of him. Even wounded that would make them more dangerous. He couldn't let them circle him.

The Alpha closed in on them, noted with satisfaction that the fire in their eyes had gone out. The pain from their wounds reduced them to their pathetic human forms. It wasn't enough. They'd gone too far. He'd deal with them. He'd deal with the females, and then he would have what belonged to him. Finally it would be his.