A/N: Hey guys, sorry for the wait! Just a heads up, this probably strays from the season 2 storyline a little more to fit my purposes. Thanks for sticking with the story so far!

Stiles parked his jeep and turned to Scott, raising his eyebrows expectantly. "He looks happy," he said finally, staring across the lacrosse field to see Derek glaring menacingly back at them from near one of the goals. Scott groaned and opened the passenger door before Stiles reached out and grabbed his arm.

"Dude! Do you even know what you're going to say? And aren't you a little worried that he's going to kill you when you get out of the jeep?"

Scott paused, hand on the door handle, and grimaced. Derek was indeed giving off murder-y vibes. "You know he can hear you, right?" Scott asked, swinging the door closed again and leaning against the headrest, thinking about what he was going to tell the Alpha.

Stiles looked back to Derek, who began to stride toward them.

"Oh, crap. Abort plan. Abort plan," Stiles muttered frantically, shrinking down in his seat and reaching out to start the car.

Scott rolled his eyes, and took hold of Stiles' wrist. "Would you calm down? He's mad at me, not you." He heard a growl from Derek's direction, and quickly got out of the jeep. He turned back to Stiles, biting his lip. "Stiles…would you stay here for now? There's a lot I need to work out with him, and he does look pretty pissed. Maybe wait until his eyes aren't flashing red? You know- just for your own safety."

Stiles nodded slowly. Scott sighed. "And…as for what we were talking about earlier…I'll ask him, okay? Assuming he doesn't kill me first?"

Stiles nodded again, looking like he wanted to say more, but Scott was already slamming the door and jogging over to meet Derek near the field boundary.

Before he had even cleared the parking lot, the older man was growling at him. "I have a lot to deal with right now, Scott," he snapped. "What do you want?"

Scott winced as he felt waves of anger rolling off the Alpha.

"I need to tell you something. It's about…well, it's a lot to explain, but basically there's another pack of werewolves in Beacon Hills, and they're all Alphas and they're moving in on my street and-"

"How do you know about the Alphas?" Derek snarled, breaking Scott's rambling by shoving him into the chain-link fence behind them, triggering a loud rattle that reverberated around the field. Scott stared at him, wide-eyed, for a moment.

"Wait, you already know about the Alphas?! How? Have you talked to them?"

"Scott! You told me you have information. If you know anything about them, tell me!" Derek responded sharply.

Scott opened his mouth to reply before suddenly realizing that the answer was probably not something Derek wanted to hear. He gaped for a moment, and Derek's eyes flashed red.

"Scott," he growled warningly, moving as if to shove him again.

"Okay, okay! So after Gerard disappeared, I was going to Allison's house, because we were thinking of breaking up…"

Derek nodded impatiently, and Scott heaved a sigh of resignation. "It's kind of a long story, Derek…"

"Keep talking," he instructed firmly, and Scott rolled his eyes but started from the beginning.

1 week earlier...

Scott walked up the Argents' driveway slowly. Allison had texted earlier, asking him to come over so they could "have a talk". Scott had been worrying constantly about their relationship, and he had a sinking feeling that Allison was going to officially break up with him that night. It might be for the best; she was all over the place after her mother's death, and it was probably the right thing to do- to give her a little space and let her figure out her feelings without him around. But that didn't make it any easier to handle at present. Scott bit his lip and scuffed his shoes on the driveway, dragging his feet and glancing up to Allison's open window. He considered just scaling onto the roof, to save himself the trouble of running into Chris Argent. Scott suddenly caught a glimpse of Allison in her room. She was pacing back and forth, and he watched as she hastily wiped her eyes and seemed to gather herself. His heart twisted- this was going to be hard for him, but he had a feeling it would be harder for Allison. Allison, who had basically cut herself off from everyone she had connected with at school, who had trusted the wrong member of her family, and lost her aunt, mother, and grandfather in the span of a year. Scott stood there on the driveway for a while, deliberating how best to handle the upcoming conversation. He was startled out of his thoughts when the front door opened, and Chris Argent scowled down the driveway at him.

"Coming in, McCall?" he asked, raising an eyebrow. Scott reluctantly trudged up to the front door, and passed Mr. Argent with a small, respectful nod.

"I'm just here to-"

"Talk to Allison. I know. She told me you were coming." Scott nodded again and was about to walk upstairs when Mr. Argent cleared his throat. Scott turned to face him.

"I….need a word with you, first," Chris said, glancing up the stairs to confirm that Allison hadn't heard Scott yet. He turned on his heel and walked toward the kitchen. Scott frowned, confused, before following the man. He caught up with him just as Chris closed the fridge and opened a beer, taking a long drink before turning to face him. He looked agitated, which made Scott nervous about the direction of the conversation. Scott had thought that Mr. Argent would be over the moon about how estranged Allison was with her boyfriend. Maybe he thought Allison was going to make up with him? Chris paused, as if debating over something, and then opened the fridge again and handed a beer to him, and Scott's eyes narrowed in response. What was going on? Was this like a thing now? Drinking beers together when Allison wasn't around? As Scott puzzled over his intentions, Chris leaned against a counter and sighed.

"I don't particularly want to discuss this with you, but I think you need to know."

Scott raised his eyebrows, and slowly opened his beer and took a drink.

"There is a pack of werewolves that we believe is nearing Beacon Hills. They are different and more dangerous than other packs, because their group is comprised of four Alphas."

Scott nearly spit out the beer. "Four Alphas?! But…how do you even know that?!"

Chris leveled an impassive look on him before opening a drawer and rifling through papers. He came out with a file folder that he laid out and stared at for a moment.

"Before…Kate, before my father came back to Beacon Hills, he was involved in…a feud, between a group of hunters and four packs of werewolves. The packs were all in different parts of Los Angeles," he pointed to a map that was quartered off, "and there was a longstanding agreement between the Alphas not to cross the boundaries into one another's territory. However, one of the packs…well, it was believed that they were responsible for a string of "animal attacks" in town. There wasn't conclusive evidence, but this group of hunters had...a strong personal hatred of the pack. Let me be clear, Scott, the Code isn't just passed down in our family- it is a tradition spanning generations of hunters all over the world. But this group…" he broke off, took a drink, and looked back at the paper. "The hunters had a vendetta against this pack, you don't need to know the details, but they decided to break the Code, and demolish all four packs in the area at one time, despite the fact that there was no evidence linking the other packs to human casualties. They joined forces with other hunters, and brought Gerard in to head their mission."

He began rifling through the pages once more, his mouth twisting into a painful expression. "They came up with a plan, to lure each of the Alphas away from their packs under the pretense that the other packs were not respecting their territory. There were six of them- two Alpha couples, and two solitary leaders. The idea was to isolate all of the Alphas, and to…" he pursed his lips together, and finally met Scott's eyes.

"Kill the packs," Scott breathed, leaning against the counter. "But how?"

Chris looked at the counter for a moment, and shook his head. "Listen, Scott, they wouldn't have gone to such extreme measures if they didn't think the packs were at least a danger to human lives- I'm not condoning what they did, but-"

"Which was what? Trap them inside a house and burn them alive? Like what Kate did to the Hale pack?" He asked vehemently. Chris was silent, which was enough indication for Scott to grimace and put his head in his hands. "Then what?" he asked quietly.

Chris sighed. "At first, their strategy worked. They had enough manpower to destroy the packs while the Alphas were away. They planned to kill the Alphas…eventually. But they wanted the leaders to know the fate of their packs first. They didn't anticipate their reaction."

"How could they not anticipate a negative reaction? After killing their packs- their families?!" Scott hissed angrily, trying to keep his voice low.

"Oh, they anticipated a negative reaction, they just assumed that the Alphas would turn on one another- kill each other, before assuming an outside force was involved. The hunters, Gerard especially, were very careful to cover their tracks. But the Alphas found out who was responsible, and they bonded together…which is just, unheard of. Alphas don't work together- it's not in their nature. The hunters assumed they would be fighting against the one or two Alphas who…overtook the others. But the six of them formed a pack of their own, and it was just chaos. It was unclear how many hunters the Alphas knew of, or when they were going to strike…families moved, and then there were battles…some hunting groups were attacked, two of the Alphas were captured and killed…and then the rest of the Alphas disappeared. For weeks. And I'm guessing that was the point where Gerard found out about the cancer…I've had to piece it together based on his journal and his notes, but some of my men have discovered evidence of a new pack making its way towards Beacon Hills- the evidence points to the Alphas. I don't know what they are doing here, although I strongly suspect Derek Hale will be involved. But I know they are coming."

Scott stared at him, dumbfounded. He finished off his beer and glanced at the file before meeting Mr. Argent's gaze. "Why are you telling me this?"

"Because of something you told me a long time ago, Scott. After Peter Hale attacked the school. You told me you were doing everything you could to keep my daughter safe. That you would do anything it took to protect her. And I believe you. This doesn't mean I'm joining forces with Hale's pack, it means that we have bigger problems to worry about right now than fighting each other. And I believe that you will continue to look after my daughter, am I right?"

"Yes, sir. I would do anything for her. Anything."

Chris nodded. "This is dangerous information, Scott. If you decided to betray this family…if those Alphas ever found out that we are related to Gerard, they would target her immediately. Do you understand?"

Scott bobbed his head up and down emphatically, and Chris continued. "I'm choosing to trust you with this because I think you can help keep my daughter safe. As long as her best interests are at heart, then we do not have a problem…currently."

"So, like a truce?" Scott asked, cocking his head to the side.

"Yes," Chris told him reluctantly, extending his hand for Scott to shake. Scott took the proffered hand and met his eyes.

"I'll keep her safe," he promised, and Chris stared at him.

"Good," he responded quietly.

"Although…I don't think I'm here just to talk with Allison. I don't think she wants me to be near her right now, and I…I'll respect that, of course, sir. But I'll never stop loving your daughter."

Argent watched him with an unreadable expression, before nodding slightly. "Good to know," he said dryly. "Now, come take a look at this. These are photographs and descriptions of the Alphas that Gerard managed to collect. Study these faces, Scott. Study everything my father knew about them, and use them to your advantage, because if we are going to take down this pack, we need every advantage we can get."

Scott picked up the pictures just as they heard footsteps on the stairs. "Take this with you," Chris instructed quietly, as Allison walked into the kitchen, and Scott immediately schooled his expression into something that did not resemble complete confusion and fear.

"So basically, the Alphas are here, and they just moved in a few houses away from me, and I'm freaking out!" Scott finished agitatedly.

Derek stared at him, hard. "So let me get this straight. Chris Argent is going to help you locate and kill werewolves. That is whom you've decided to trust. The family who almost killed my pack."

Scott gaped at him. "No, Derek, that's not…I didn't know…Chris just showed me…" he broke off with a frown.

Derek growled, and abruptly turned away, walking a few paces before Scott spoke.

"Derek, what am I going to do?! They live on my street!" He called out desperately.

"Then I suggest you move," Derek responded tersely, without turning around.

"DEREK! I need your help! I have no idea what they want!" Scott yelled frantically, and with a bit of anger underlying his tone.

Derek kept walking, until Scott desperately came up behind him and shoved him in the back. "Would you stop?!" Scott yelled. Derek froze, feeling the familiar sensation of filling with rage. He stayed silent.

"What, so you're pissed at me, and you get to be a terrible Alpha because of that?!" Scott yelled at him.

Derek turned slowly; half wolfed out already, and threw Scott hard into the ground before answering.

"But I'm not your Alpha, Scott, remember?" he growled, his voice lined with bitterness and rage.

Scott winced from where he landed, before scrambling to his feet again. "Can we just focus on the bigger picture here?" he asked, voice faltering. "Can we deal with the Alphas and then fix…all of this?"

Derek stepped closer to Scott, wanting to shake the kid by the shoulders for being so clueless. "No! No I can't, because I don't trust you, Scott! You pretended to work with me and my pack, and the entire time you were working for Gerard! Getting information on us, and giving it to a family of werewolf hunters. And all because you can't see past your childish feelings for that damn girl!" he finished angrily. A little stunned, Scott paused for a minute before replying quietly.

"Well you don't have to worry about that any more. Allison and I broke up."

Derek rolled his eyes. "That's really comforting, Scott. But like you told Chris, you're always going to love her. Meaning, you will always make her a priority. When it comes down to it, whose side are you on? Where does your allegiance lie? With the Argents?!"

"But…that's the thing. With Gerard gone, it's not…we don't have to be on different sides. It doesn't have to be us or them any more."

"See, that's your problem, Scott. Chris Argent helps you out one time, gives you one piece of information, and you just decide that he's trustworthy! Never mind the fact that his basic beliefs are that werewolves are dangerous and need to be taken down. You really believe he suddenly trusts you now?"

Scott stared at him for a moment, openmouthed. "I think being at peace with him, even if it's temporary, is better than fighting him and the Alphas!"

Derek growled. "You never think. Why do you suppose he joined up with you at the warehouse? Gerard was becoming a danger to his family, so Chris turned against him, and you could help him do that. Don't you understand?! He's playing you, Scott! He's using your feelings for Allison to protect himself, and his family, and all the hunters who were ready to kill us a few weeks ago. He made it pretty clear that the only reason you have a truce at all is because you'll put Allison first! But what would he say if you were part of the pack? Would he still trust you then?"

Scott looked at the ground. "I'm not saying we're like…allies. I just, I trust him to help-"

"You're an idiot for trusting him at all! He's using you!" Derek yelled. Scott's expression suddenly morphed into anger.

"Oh, sort of like how you used me to help you kill Peter?!" he shouted back. "And how you lied to me about a cure so that I would stay on your side?"

Derek let out a fearsome growl, and stepped very close to Scott. "You needed to stop Peter as much as I did. He's the one that turned you, in case you've forgotten. Would you rather have joined him? Killed your friends and joined his pack?"

Scott rolled his eyes. "Of course not, I'm just saying-"

"You're just saying that you find it hard to trust me. Because I needed your help to kill the Alpha, and I knew how to get you to help me. You needed to be on my side, Scott."

"Right, so how does that make you any different from Chris Argent?!"

"Because I'm trying to PROTECT you, you moron! Believe it or not, I'm working to keep you and your stupid friends ALIVE, and taking down the Alpha was a part of that! Chris Argent doesn't give a damn about you- he is only thinking about himself and Allison- I'm thinking about the safety of my pack!" Derek stopped abruptly, as he realized he had sort of referred to Scott as part of the pack. Despite what he told the kid about being an Alpha on his own, it was no secret that Derek wanted Scott to join him.

Scott looked at the ground, calming down. He couldn't deny that Derek had protected him numerous times. And despite how he related to the Alpha, deep down he believed that Derek wasn't a bad guy, but that rather like Scott, he had been forced into difficult situations. And then there was this huge part of Scott that ached for the pack. He tried to silence this feeling as much as he could, because it was just so hard to put his trust in anyone, but his inner wolf yearned for it, and he was just so tired of trying to deal with each week's new brand of psycho killer by himself. His main reasoning for not joining the pack had always been his relationship with Allison, but seeing as they were separated, Scott finally accepted that he needed all the help he could get, and that joining the pack was probably the best decision he could make for himself. He looked back up at Derek, and swallowed his pride.

"I'm sorry," he said quietly, and Derek raised his eyebrows in disbelief. "I'm sorry that I lied to you and that I didn't tell you about Gerard or my plan. I just…I didn't know how to handle them threatening the people I love, so I went along with him. I didn't know what else to do, and I didn't trust you. But I see that now…and I see the benefit of working as a team." He pursed his lips together, before lowering his voice. "I'm not an Alpha, Derek, and I can't keep the people I love safe."

Derek breathed out heavily, some of his anger fading as he watched Scott. Derek understood that sentiment, of feeling helpless and desperate to protect your family. But he couldn't help being infuriated by the Beta. That was the thing about Scott- it was hard to fault him for caring so damn much, and trying to save everyone. But he was reckless, and impulsive, and naïve, and it was maddening to try to keep him out of harm's way. Derek shook his head a little, glaring at the Beta.

"And how do I know that the next time you feel threatened, you won't turn against me?" Derek asked finally, and Scott's eyes widened as he realized what Derek was leading up to.

"I won't. I won't betray you again. I know I can't do this alone."

Derek rolled his eyes, and spoke sternly. "But how can I trust you, Scott?"

Scott hesitated before answering. "Look, I can't promise you that I'm not going to protect Allison whenever I'm able to. So if that's what it takes for you to trust me, then it's never going to happen…but I can promise you that I won't ever let my feelings for her endanger anyone else in the pack again," he finished, looking to Derek with a bit of hope in his expression. Derek processed this for a moment. Scott shifted his feet, and finally spoke again.

"I want to be a part of the pack, Derek. I'll do whatever it takes to prove myself."

The Alpha in Derek crowed victoriously at a Beta whom he hadn't turned electing to join him, but Derek scowled in response. "I need to know if you are just trying to become pack because you're scared about the people you love, or if you actually think it's the right decision."

"Does it really matter why I want to?" Scott asked, digging one of his toes into the grass beneath his feet.

"Yeah, Scott, it really matters," Derek snapped. "Fear fades, and if that's your strongest motivation, I can't accept you as my Beta."

Scott scowled. "Why don't you listen to my heartbeat and tell me if I'm lying then?" he asked. Derek glared at him, but moved a little closer.

"I want to join because…" Scott broke off, glancing at Derek. "Because I can't keep doing this alone…I need to be a part of something bigger than just me, and I think the pack is the best place for me. Do I think it will help keep my family and friends safe? Yes. But I'm making this decision because it's actually what I want, and what I think is right."

He wasn't lying, and Derek allowed himself to relax a little. He watched Scott fidget nervously, before giving in to his instinct to bring the Beta onto his side. "Okay. You can join the pack. As long as you're aware that this isn't an instant fix to your problems. Being pack is something you're going to have to devote yourself to."

Scott smiled at him, relieved, rocking onto his heels and back. "I know. I get it, and I'm willing to work for it." He cocked his head to the side. "Okay? So that's it? I'm pack now? Or is there like an initiation thing? Because I don't feel any different." Derek sighed, already regretting his decision a little bit.

"Because I didn't turn you, and you are choosing to join my pack, I need to bite you to make it official," Derek said slowly. "And then you will be bonded to the pack- you will probably feel our presence especially forcefully, because the connection created when a Beta from a different Alpha joins is…strong. Because it isn't just given to you- you are marking your allegiance. Got it?"

Scott blinked, but nodded his head. Derek stepped closer to Scott, who suddenly looked nervous as Derek's fangs extended.

"You're going to heal, remember?" Derek asked, and Scott hastily nodded. Derek reached out and pulled up Scott's shirt, before quickly biting his side. Scott winced, but stayed still as Derek pulled back. The Beta opened his mouth to tell Derek that he still didn't feel any different (other than the pain in his side) when he was suddenly assaulted by a barrage of feelings that were coming from his new packmates. Scott gasped, and stumbled backwards a step.

"I can…feel them. All of them! I don't know how to describe it, but Erica's worried about something, and Boyd is exhausted, and…do I feel Jackson?"

Derek sighed and nodded. "I turned Jackson, so technically he is part of the pack, but he hasn't accepted me as his Alpha, so you won't feel quite the same connection to him. But you'll be able to read the emotions of the rest of us a lot more clearly now, and we can read you."

Scott grinned a little at this new discovery. "So what am I feeling right now?"

Derek rolled his eyes, exasperated, but he zeroed in on Scott's emotions anyway. "Happy. But also…" he stopped, and scowled. "Worried. I can smell the fear on you." He watched the Beta appraisingly, sensing a pang of guilt at his words. "You're worried about Allison, aren't you?" he finished with an accusatory air. Scott's face fell.

"I can't help worrying about Allison. I'm not with her, and my loyalty is going to be to the pack, but I'm not going to stop worrying about her."

Derek sighed deeply. "The humans in your life make you vulnerable," he muttered finally. Scott recognized an opening in the conversation, and glanced briefly at the ground. He had promised to bring it up with Derek, after all.

"Yeah…about that. How would you feel about maybe expanding your pack a little more?" He met Derek's gaze anxiously.

Derek glared at him. "You want me to turn Allison Argent?" he asked dryly, and Scott shook his head.

"I wasn't talking about Allison," the Beta mumbled, shifting uncomfortably.

Derek said nothing for a moment, studying Scott, and then finally shook his head. "No."

"No? What do you mean no? You don't even know-"

"I mean no. I'm not turning anyone else because they're scared, or because they want to be bigger or better or faster. I've done that, and my pack nearly fell apart. Turning shouldn't be a split-second decision."

"But we talked about it, and it's something he's thought about a lot, and he just wants to protect his dad, and-"

"Stiles stays human," Derek said sharply, and Scott frowned at him.

"You just told me that humans make us vulnerable!"

"No, what I said was that humans make you vulnerable. They actually make a pack much stronger. So Stiles stays human."

"Did you just insinuate that I'm a part of the pack?" a third voice joined them. Derek turned, for once caught a little off his guard, as he had been so busy arguing with Scott that he hadn't heard Stiles come up behind them. He let out a growl, and didn't respond.

"That sounds like an affirmative growl to me!" Stiles said cheerily. "I'm pack?! You think of me as part of your were-family? I'm touched. I mean, I kind of expected a bit of recognition after my heroic actions in the warehouse- no need to thank me, by the way- but this is-"

"STILES!" Derek cut him off loudly, and Stiles abruptly stopped talking, sobering up a little. Derek's voice returned to a normal volume.

"I'm not going to turn you. I know you're worried about your dad….but fear is not a strong enough motivation to do it. It's a decision that you should make for the right reasons, and I don't think you have them. Do you understand?" Stiles' smile dropped completely, and he gave a shaky nod. Although he wanted to do everything possible to defend the people he loved, and he was willing to become a werewolf out of necessity, he was actually a pretty big fan of being human, and he was a tiny bit relieved that Derek had refused him. At least for now. Of course, the drawback to humanity was the lack of any real means of self-defense against werewolves. Luckily, his best friend seemed to be thinking along the same lines.

"So, we'll protect him, then?" Scott asked, his voice raising an octave in anticipation. "And the sheriff?"

Derek scowled. "Pack takes care of pack," he said begrudgingly, and Stiles quirked a triumphant smile before turning to Scott, who still looked nervous.

"What about my mom? The Alphas live on my street, Derek," Scott anxiously implored.

Derek nodded. "I wasn't kidding when I said you should move. Just until we figure out what they want and how to deal with them. Is there anywhere your mom could stay for a few weeks?" Scott bit his lip. His mom could go stay with her sister in Oregon, but that would be a vacation, and she couldn't exactly take weeks of time off of work. Stiles cleared his throat.

"She can stay with me and my dad. You both can," he said quietly, meeting Scott's gaze for a brief moment, which was long enough for the Beta to see the pain in his best friend's eyes. It wouldn't be the first time they stayed with the Stilinskis. Stiles' mother had been good friends with Melissa McCall, and their families (usually minus Scott's father) would often go on trips together- fishing and camping. When Ariana Stilinski passed away, Scott's mom had spent a lot of time helping out Stiles' dad, who was desperately trying to hold himself together enough to take care of Stiles. And at some point between the flurry of funeral preparations and handling the emergence of Stiles' panic attacks, they had spent a few nights at the Stilinski house. A few nights turned into a week, which stretched into two, and for a while, Scott and Stiles would fall asleep lying next to each other, Scott's arm resting protectively around his best friend's chest. And Melissa quietly took up residence in their spare bedroom, coaxing Stiles' dad into eating meals, and cheerfully setting up a movie for the boys upstairs on the nights when the sheriff drank his sorrows away. It had been a terrible few weeks, but even years later, Stiles still looked to Mrs. McCall with a certain amount of admiration for her "supermom" routine during the worst days of his life. And Scott knew that he would feel safer with his mom in the same house as the sheriff. At the very least, two of the people they were struggling to protect would be in one place.

Scott swallowed the lump in his throat and nodded. "That would be great," he said softly. Derek, who was watching them intently, gave them a sharp nod.

"Good. And Scott, be very careful around your house until you leave. Don't wolf out, don't attract any attention to yourself. We have an advantage right now because they don't know our scents, but that will only last so long. I'll come by your house tonight to help you figure that out. In the meantime, we have a pack meeting this evening, at seven. If you-"

Derek's cell phone buzzed in his pocket, and he broke off abruptly to check the text. His face fell, and he glared at the phone for a minute. Peter was apparently back in town.

"Peter has some information," Derek muttered, quickly starting for the parking lot without stopping to explain. "Seven o'clock, don't be late," he called over his shoulder, and at an insistent throat clearing from Stiles, he growled out, "both of you."

A/N: Please let me know what you think! I should probably warn you that the next chapter will take a while! Stupid real life, getting in the way! But next up: the rest of the pack adjusts to Scott in the pack, maybe some Jackson and Lydia? And figuring out what the Alphas want, of course!