Author's Notes:

1) This is not the nicest treatment of Scott in the universe. The premise for this story requires him to go off the rails and be kind of a bad guy. If you really love Scott you might not want to read.

2) When I get an AO3 account this chapter will be part one in a series. It can mostly stand on its own. However since this is FFN, I'm listing it as incomplete and will post the second part as a second chapter. That being said, I'm having a bit of trouble writing one of the major elements of the second part and don't know for sure I'll finish it. This may therefore remain a WIP (sort of) forever.

Warnings: Major character death.

It took Derek more time than he could spare to recover enough from the two arrows and bullet the Argent women had put in him. When he finally did manage to dig the bullet out with his claws and Scott helped him stumble to his feet it was only so that he could help save them. As far as Derek was concerned Kate could just die, he didn't particularly care about Allison either. But he did care about killing Peter and he'd promised to help Scott, so he moved around the house in preparation for the attack.

He and Scott made their initial move in unison but Peter was quick and clever and the alpha. He dodged easily with a small maneuver that sent them both into opposite walls. Derek was up and back on Peter in a moment but the difference in their strengths coupled with the fact that Derek was already weakened made the battle very one-sided, even with Scott. After taking several hits and being tossed around the room several times, Derek was flung headfirst into one of the sturdier walls and blacked out.

When Derek came to once more it was to the stench of fire and ash and burning flesh. He had several panicked moments where he couldn't move before struggling to his knees and eventually his feet. He was okay, the fire was outside. He took several faltering steps and paused in the frame of the front door. A part of him felt sorry for his uncle, destroyed by flames for the second time, but Peter had killed Laura and Derek wouldn't give him the chance to recover a second time.

Derek strode toward Peter's scorched and broken body slowly. He was hurt and exhausted and it was time to finish this. He knelt over his uncle.

"Wait!" Scott cried out behind him. "You said the cure comes from the one who bit you." Derek closed his eyes, knowing what Scott was asking. "Derek, if you do this, I'm dead. Her father, her family, what am I supposed to do?"

Derek knew what this meant to Scott, he could only see the bite as a curse, only wanted to be normal again. But Derek needed Scott and he needed to be the one to kill Peter. Scott would get over it, he would adjust.

"You've…already…decided," Peter managed to whisper beneath him. His eyes focused on Derek and glowed red as he growled, "I can smell it on you!"

Derek's jaw tightened. There was something in Peter's look, in his accusation, that made him hesitate. Wanting revenge, consequences be damned, that's how all of this had begun. If Derek killed Peter now there would be no difference between them. He stood up sharply and stumbled back a few paces. He didn't look at Scott or Peter, just looked away, toward the glowing headlights of Jackson's Porsche.

"Then kill him," Derek ground out. There was a pause before he heard Scott shuffle forward to kneel over Peter. He hesitated and Derek could hear his heart pounding nervously. When the minutes began to drag on Derek looked over to them sharply. "Scott, kill him!" Derek ordered. Peter let out a strangled snicker.

"You won't kill me, you don't have what it takes," Peter whispered viciously. Scott's eyes burned gold and he made a quick motion with his hands, snapping Peter's neck. When he stood and looked at Derek his eyes were a violent glowing red. Derek's eyes widened and his pulse sped up, this wasn't supposed to happen.

"You said it would cure me," Scott growled, low and menacing.

"I thought it would," Derek replied quietly, taking a small step back.

"You said it would work!" Scott barked. He began advancing on Derek, furious and intent.

"Scott, I didn't know!" Derek shouted helplessly. He took several more steps back but Scott was already on him. Once again Derek found himself hopelessly outmatched. Scott delivered several blows before tossing him against a tree. Derek struggled to regain his feet as Scott bore down on him.

"Dude, it's not his fault!" Stiles called, trying to calm his friend. Scott turned to glare at him, bloodlust not at all abated.

Derek knew the power of an alpha was too much for Scott to handle, untrained as he was. The way it was affecting him it might as well have been a full moon. Scott growled loudly at Stiles who stumbled back in surprise. Then Scott was moving toward the Porsche rapidly. Derek managed to catch up with him and get a firm grip around his neck, choking him from behind. He was running on pure adrenaline.

"Get them out of here!" Derek yelled. He wouldn't be able to hold Scott for long. He heard rather than saw the frantic steps to the vehicle and Chris Argent's authoritative voice ordering the three teens into the cramped space. Scott managed to get a hold of Derek as the engine roared and the car sped away.

Derek fought Scott with everything he had. It wasn't nearly enough. He'd been tortured, shot, and beaten down by one alpha already tonight; he didn't stand a chance against a second. He was bruised and bloody by the time he was able to scramble away. He was wounded and tired and hopelessly alone.

Stiles was less than pleased to have Jackson all but sitting in his lap as he drove away from the Hale house. The Porsche was built for two and there were four of them trying to occupy the bucket seats. He kept glancing in the rear view mirror to see if either of the werewolves were following. He didn't see anyone.

Stiles wasn't sure who he wanted to win the fight but he was leaning toward Derek. Scott was his best friend but Stiles was pretty sure he'd been about to eat him again before Derek grabbed him so he felt slightly less fond just then. Additionally he figured Derek wouldn't kill Scott and he wasn't sure the opposite was true. Stiles was beginning to think the reason alpha eyes were the color of blood was because alpha's craved it. Stiles gave and involuntary shiver.

"Pull over here," Chris said as they approached the road running alongside the woods. Stiles saw the black SUV he'd missed going the other direction and pulled alongside it. Chris slid out silently but Allison remained still. She seemed to be in shock about the whole thing. "Come on Allison," Chris said, ducking his head back in and offering her his hand. She took it and slid out of the car in a daze. Jackson slid into the passenger seat. Stiles watched Chris secure Allison in the SUV before heading around to the driver's side. Stiles burst out of the Porsche, filled with nervous energy.

"What are you going to do?" he asked.

"Right now I'm going to take my daughter home," Chris said wearily.

"And then? What are you going to do about Scott?" Chris gave him a strained, mournful look.

"I don't know." Stiles nodded. Chris got into his car and drove away. Stiles got back in the Porsche. He took a deep breath and considered what to do. He drove to his house and pulled the keys from the ignition as he got out.

"Stilinski! What are you doing? Give me my keys," Jackson hissed. Stiles made a dismissive gesture and headed up to the house. Jackson got out and followed angrily. The door was locked and Stiles' keys had all been ruined by Peter Hale. He moved around the house and looked up at his window.

"Give me a boost," he told Jackson. Jackson gave him an incredulous look. "Look, you can help me get up there to grab my spare keys or I can leave your ass here and take your Porsche." Jackson glared at him but helped him struggle up to the window. Once he'd gotten the extra set of keys from his bedroom he drove back to where he'd left the jeep.

"Where are you going?" Jackson asked tightly as Stiles opened the jeep door.

"To find Derek," Stiles replied, getting in and slamming the door before peeling out of the parking garage.

He wasn't really sure what his plan was. He didn't know if Derek was even still alive or where Scott was or if he would kill Stiles if he showed up at the scene of their epic werewolf battle. But Stiles also didn't know what had happened earlier, why Scott had become the alpha and gone crazy, or whether he was likely to settle down later.

So Stiles was driving back to the Hale house and hoping for the best. He was almost to the turnoff leading into the woods when Derek stumbled into the road. Stiles slammed on the breaks but still managed to clip the werewolf before he could stop. He jumped out of the jeep and raced around it to where Derek was struggling to his knees.

"Oh my god! Are you okay? Jesus, you look terrible," Stiles said as he reached Derek. Derek glared at him but said nothing which Stiles took as a bad sign. He grabbed Derek around the chest and pulled him to his feet. Derek leaned against the jeep and took several gasping breaths.

"We need to get out of here," Derek said.

"What, is he still coming after you?" Stiles asked. He looked around as if expecting Scott to pop out of the trees.

"I don't know."

"Ah, man," Stiles whined, swiping at the back of his head. He helped Derek into the passenger seat. They drove back toward the town.

"So uh… I'm not really sure where to take you. Hospital maybe? I mean you don't seem to be healing," Stiles said uncertainly.

"I'll heal," Derek grunted.

"Are you sure?" Stiles asked, eyeing his wounds.

"It'll take longer since Scott's an alpha but it'll still be faster than you would heal."

"Okay, so no hospital then. And I obviously can't take you home. Do you think Dr. Deaton's would be safe?"

"The vet? I don't trust him," Derek answered. He seemed to be getting weaker.

"But he knows how to help right? He patched Scott up after you tried to kill Jackson," Stiles insisted.

"Maybe you hadn't noticed Scott and I aren't exactly allies right now. I don't trust Deaton."

"Why do you have to be so stubborn? You look like you're about to die, I'm taking you to the vet's."

"I said no," Derek growled.

"Well I said yes and since I'm the one driving, and the only one in this car that can stand up without help, I win." Stiles pulled out his phone and dialed the number he'd saved for emergencies.

"Hello?" Deaton asked on the other end of the line.

"Hey Dr. Deaton, this is Stiles," Stiles replied awkwardly.

"What can I do for you Stiles?"

"Uh…" Stiles sputtered. He wasn't sure what the protocol was for asking someone to help the werewolf that had previously assaulted them. "I uh, need help. Of the wolfy kind."

"Is something wrong with Scott?" Deaton asked.

"No, not Scott," Stiles hedged.

"I'll meet you at the clinic," Deaton said and hung up.

"He's up to something," Derek mumbled.

"Yeah, saving your werewolf ass. Now shut up and try not to die in my jeep."

Deaton was already there by the time they reached the clinic. He helped Stiles drag Derek inside and onto the examination table. Deaton began tending Derek's many wounds without comment. Stiles watched everything he did, filing the info away for future emergencies. When he'd finished with the most severe wounds Derek grabbed his arm roughly.

"Why are you helping me?" Derek asked. Deaton glanced at Stiles.

"I think that's a conversation for another time. Right now you need to accept the fact that I am helping you. I'm not your enemy Derek." Derek released his grip and lay still on the table. Deaton had just finished with the last of Derek's wounds when the bell on the front door chimed.

"Stiles?" Scott called from the front, and then quieter, "Derek?" Deaton started toward the door and Stiles grabbed his arm, holding him back. He shook his head and jerked it toward Derek who was attempting to get up. Deaton gave Stiles a curious look and continued out of the exam room. Stiles shifted anxiously and helped Derek up. They braced themselves for the impending assault.

There was a brief conversation Stiles couldn't really hear before Deaton returned alone. He looked somewhat unhappy but not particularly frightened or worried which confused Stiles but allowed him to relax slightly.

"I think it's time you told me what happened tonight," Deaton said firmly.

"Well, we killed the alpha," Stiles announced.

"And Scott delivered the death blow?" Deaton clarified.

"It was supposed to cure him," Derek said darkly. Deaton gave Derek a look of understanding.

"It was very noble of you to try to help him but you should have known it wouldn't work. Lycanthropy isn't a disease, it's what you are. Even someone who was bitten can't just turn back into a human."

"So what about Scott? Is he okay now? 'Cause he kinda went psycho after killing Peter," Stiles asked.

"Scott isn't ready to be an alpha. It's negatively impacting his state of mind. You and Allison need to help him regain control, Stiles, or we'll be right back where we started. As for you Derek, I suggest you stay away from him for a while. For whatever reason, he's decided you're his enemy and if he finds you he may try to kill you again."

"Is he going to try to kill me again? Because I'd rather not die any time soon," Stiles asked, beginning to freak out.

"I managed to convince Scott you came here looking for him, not to help Derek, but you'll need to be careful. If Scott thinks you've betrayed him while he's still out of control he may try to harm you as well."

"Wonderful. Well, if you'll excuse me I have to try and get the blood out of my jeep."

Derek wasn't sure if he was more surprised to find Stiles heading back towards his burnt home or to find out he was looking for Derek. He was long past expecting help from anyone, least of all Stiles. He was grateful all the same, even if the teen ran him over first. He could still sense Scott moving about in the woods and he wasn't certain he'd have escaped on foot.

He didn't want Stiles to take him to Deaton. Derek needed help but he still didn't trust the vet. He obviously wasn't the alpha but he still knew too much to be entirely safe. More importantly, if battle lines were being drawn between Derek and Scott, it wasn't hard to guess where Deaton's loyalty would fall.

When Scott entered the building Derek tensed. He knew the clinic was lined with mountain ash and Deaton must have been keeping Scott at bay but he didn't expect that to last. He tried to get up, unwilling to die without a fight. Derek was surprised again when Stiles' hands reached out to help him and Stiles stood, tucked into his side, supporting him. It was a foolish gesture, Scott might see them as allies, would probably kill Stiles too. The rapid pulse beside him made Derek suspect Stiles knew.

"Hello Scott. I was just finishing up with your friend," Derek heard Deaton say in the front.

"He's not my friend," Scott replied.

"He's not your enemy either," Deaton told him. Derek could feel the shift in the air, the twitch at his senses that told him Scott's eyes were an ominous red.

"Did Stiles bring him?" Scott growled.

"No. Mr. Stilinski came here looking for you, thought you might need my help." Derek was surprised the lie read as the truth. "He's very worried about you. I'll tell him you're not hurt."

"Let me in," Scott demanded.

"I'm not going to do that Scott. I think right now it would be best if you went home; it's obviously been a very long night and I'm sure you're tired."

"I said, let me in," Scott insisted threateningly.

"No," Deaton said firmly. There was a pause and a shuffling before Scott snarled and left. The veterinarian came back through the door. He had a brief conversation with Stiles before the boy left. Deaton examined Derek; he was standing on his own but just barely.

"Are you going to be all right?" Deaton asked.

"I'll have to be," Derek replied. He stumbled out the back.

Derek took a cursory sniff as he exited the building. He didn't smell Scott nearby. He began the long journey to his new home. He'd checked out a few locations after Kate had attacked him in his house. The old rail depot wasn't nice, but it wasn't any worse than the burnt out house and no one would find him there with any ease. He collapsed onto the floor of the train car. It would take him several days to heal fully. In the meantime Stiles had to calm Scott down. Derek wondered if Stiles could do it. He wasn't a werewolf but Stiles had shown how resourceful he could be. He might be able to manage.

Derek tried to imagine having Scott as his alpha. He didn't like the idea. Scott was young and impulsive. He had no idea how to be a werewolf so he could never really be a good alpha. Even if he calmed down, how could Derek follow someone he would always be teaching? Did it even matter?

The alphas would be coming. Peter had made too big a mess for it to go unnoticed. When they came they might kill Scott and any wolves that followed him. No matter what happened, Scott would never be ready to face them. Derek might be better off running again. There wasn't anything to keep him there anymore.

Stiles. The thought struck him suddenly. He didn't owe the boy anything, Derek had saved his life before, they were even. But Stiles had also done a lot to help Derek, gone out of his way to do it. He'd helped Scott even more, was still helping him. And he didn't care that they were monsters. What would happen to Stiles if the alphas came for Scott? He wouldn't stay out of it. Most likely he'd end up right in the middle. Derek let out a resigned sigh and closed his eyes. He would stay to protect Stiles.

Stiles was almost home when he remembered Lydia. He hadn't really had a chance to check on her before and he was worried. Peter had said if she survived she'd be a werewolf. Right now Stiles wasn't sure which possibility scared him more. He turned onto a different street and headed for the hospital.

Visiting hours were well past over by the time he arrived. He slipped past the nurses and darted into the dark room where Lydia was lying unconscious. He cringed when the door creaked. He jumped when he turned around and was met with glowing red eyes.

"Hey, Scott. Didn't see you there," Stiles said with feigned casualness.

"How's Derek?" It was threatening, not friendly.

"I dunno. Roughed up, I guess. I sort of thought it would be the other way around, but I guess…" Stiles swallowed nervously, "you're the alpha now." Scott nodded in a way that seemed more normal and Stiles decided he probably wasn't going to kill him tonight. "So how is she?" Stiles asked, gesturing to Lydia. "Is she, you know, turning?"

"No," Scott answered flatly. Stiles' heart sank.

"So then she's…"

"She's recovering," Scott finished for him. That surprised Stiles.

"But Peter said you turn or you die. How can she be recovering?"

"They don't know everything," Scott replied, the menace thick in his voice once more.

"I guess not," Stiles agreed. He wasn't ready to deal with Scott yet, hadn't had time to devise a plan. "Well I'm gonna… It's been a long night," he said quickly. He tried not to race out the door, he wasn't sure he succeed much. Scott followed him out but was waylaid by his mother coming around the corner. Stiles all but fell into the elevator.

Stiles really was exhausted but he still couldn't go to bed when he got home. He quickly gathered up the cleaning supplies and started in on his jeep. He spent the next two hours meticulously scrubbing the upholstery. When he finished he went upstairs to collapse on his bed. He didn't sleep. His mind went into overdrive trying to devise a plan for how to get Scott back to normal. He couldn't come up with much. It was only the early hours of Saturday though, with luck he'd have two full days to think of something.

As it turned out, Stiles' luck was a mixed bag. He didn't see Scott the rest of the weekend, that was good. Lydia went missing Sunday night, that was bad. Stiles tried to evaluate the situation. Lydia was possibly, but hopefully not, a werewolf. She was roaming around who knows where, naked. Scott was the (her?) alpha. He might know where she was, he would definitely have an easier time finding her. He kind of scared Stiles right now. Derek could also help find her. Derek might still be half dead. Stiles didn't know where he was. Even if he did, hanging out with Derek was a bad idea. Stiles sighed in resignation and called Scott.

"Hello?" Scott asked. He didn't sound quite normal but he sounded closer to it.

"Hey, Scott. Lydia's missing," Stiles told him.


"So I thought you could help me find her," Stiles replied.

"Why?" Stiles almost wanted to laugh. Somehow alpha Scott seemed more like Derek, taciturn and sparing with words.

"Because you're a werewolf? You have those super senses; I thought you could, you know, sniff her out?" Stiles explained. Normal. He could act normal. It was easier if he thought of Scott as Derek; Derek didn't scare him, much.

"I'm not a dog Stiles." There was a warning in his voice.

"I know, dude. I just… it's Lydia. I need your help." He was met with silence. "She might be turning," Stiles tried.

"She wasn't," Scott replied.

"Yeah, but she might be now. Maybe it got delayed or something because we killed the alpha."

"If she's turning she'll find me," Scott said. There was something in his voice, something not wholly Scott. It sent a chill down Stiles' spine. He needed to get off the phone.

"Will you let me know if she does?" Stiles asked wearily.

"Sure," Scott answered. It didn't sound convincing. Stiles released a deep sigh. He went out to his jeep and drove around looking for her. He headed into the woods and continued the search. Stiles angled toward the Hale house on the off chance that Lydia might be there. Really he was hoping to find Derek, even if he knew he wouldn't. He tripped and found himself being yanked upward by his ankle. He felt stupid dangling upside down. After a few minutes Chris Argent and a few other hunters came out of the trees.

"Stiles," Chris said in greeting, a bemused expression on his face.

"Mr. Argent," Stiles replied.

"Don't you think it's a little late to be out in the woods alone?"

"I'm having some trouble with my friends. Guess dogs aren't quite as loyal as they're supposed to be," Stiles joked. One of the other hunters smiled. Chris moved to release the trap. He helped Stiles up once he'd pulled the snare from his ankle.

"You shouldn't be out here, it's dangerous," Chris said firmly.

"It's Lydia," Stiles said solemnly.

"We won't hurt her, I promise." Stiles considered. The Argents were hunters and Stiles knew the family had crossed the line before. But Chris had a code, and for whatever reason, Stiles felt he at least could be trusted. He nodded and headed back to his jeep.

Lydia didn't turn up that night. The next morning at practice Coach Finstock posted a sign-up sheet for volunteers to help find her.

"So she didn't visit you?" Stiles asked Scott quietly as they changed into their uniforms.

"No," Scott answered.

"What about you? Are you…" Stiles was cut off by Finstock yelling,

"Danny, where the hell is Jackson?" Stiles looked around; he hadn't noticed Jackson's absence.

"I don't know Coach. I haven't seen him since the dance," Danny answered.

"This is ridiculous," Finstock grumbled, stomping away.

"Have you seen him?" Stiles asked Scott absently.

"No. Maybe he's with Lydia," Scott replied casually. Stiles froze; he wasn't a werewolf, and Scott was different now, but he could still tell when his friend was lying. "What?" Scott asked, probably picking up on Stiles increased heart-rate.

"No… nothing," Stiles stuttered. "I'll talk to you about it later," he covered.

Stiles sort of avoided Scott after that. He tried not to be obvious about it but he knew Scott noticed. He was mostly trying to buy time while he tried to get his phrasing right. Apparently he could still lie to Scott fairly well but if what passed for the truth pissed him off it wasn't much better. It was doubly important to keep on Scott's good side since Allison seemed to be avoiding him as well.

"So…" Stiles started anxiously at lunch.

"Are you talking to me now?" Scott asked darkly.

"Uh, yeah," Stiles said lamely. "Look, I'm just kind of freaking out about the whole alpha thing. I mean, I'm still getting used to you being a werewolf." Stiles followed Scott's gaze to where Allison was studiously avoiding eye contact at another table. "I'm sure it's the same for Allison. She'll come around eventually," Stiles said encouragingly.

"Why does it matter?" Stiles choked a little on his lunch, they were straying into dangerous territory.

"Well, you know, the whole Argent thing. Dating an alpha is probably a big no-no in…" Stiles trailed off. Scott's eyes were glowing. "And those are a lot more terrifying. Dude, school. Calm down." Scott's eyes narrowed but after a moment turned brown again.

"I'm not any different than I was before," Scott grumbled. Stiles gave him a deeply incredulous look.

"Really? Super alpha werewolf powers and nothing's different? No new instincts or drives? No desire to build a pack?" Scott's eyes locked on Stiles sharply as he said it.

"I don't want a pack," Scott said, it bordered on petulant.

"A-are you sure?" Stiles squeaked.

"Is that what you want? For me to turn you? The bite is a curse!" Scott snapped. Stiles looked around anxiously.

"No, that's not what I want. Turned it down already, thanks," Stiles said quickly, trying to calm Scott down.

"What?" Scott asked; he didn't seem calm.

"Peter offered me the bite after he attacked Lydia, but I turned him down. No big deal," Stiles said flippantly. There was a slight slump in Scott's shoulders that seemed relieved. Maybe Scott was getting better.

"I could turn Allison," Scott said absently, staring at her once more. Maybe Scott was getting worse.

"Her dad would kill you," Stiles said desperately.

"He would try," Scott growled. He left the table to go talk to her. Much worse.

After school Stiles hung behind the reporters at Kate Argent's funeral. He didn't want to be there but he was worried. He didn't miss the snatch of red eyes glowing between the trees. He also didn't miss the old man bringing new hunters. On the drive home he noticed his father following him in the patrol car. He waited for him in the driveway.

"Hey," Stiles greeted casually.

"Son," his father replied. He was frowning.

"Something wrong? Is my tail light out?"

"Have you seen Jackson Whittemore in the last few days?" his father asked.

"Uh… no. Not since the hospital on Friday," Stiles answered, it was mostly true. The frown on his father's face deepened, he still blamed Stiles for Lydia getting hurt.

"I want you to stay home tonight," the Sheriff said firmly. "I mean it."

"Why? What happened?"

"His parents have reported him missing; they haven't seen or heard from him since Saturday morning.

It took Derek most of the weekend to heal to his satisfaction. He waited until Monday to go out. He drove to a diner just out of town to eat. The staff gave him strange looks as he packed away enough food for three. Then he bought supplies for his hideout. He waited for dark before cautiously making his way to the Stilinski home. He slipped into the window as Stiles was finishing a call to Allison. He seemed worried. He hung up and looked at Derek. Derek could sense his weariness.

"I am so glad to see you I could hug you," Stiles sighed.

"Don't, he'll smell it," Derek said.

"I wasn't actually… never mind."

"I take it you're not making any progress," Derek stated.

"He's not as intensely scary today," Stiles said weakly. "But he's not Scott either. And I can't rely on Allison to help calm him down because he might bite her, even though he doesn't want a pack. Oh, and let's not forget, Lydia and Jackson are missing." He flopped onto his bed.

"What does that have to do with Scott?" Derek asked.

"Nothing. Probably. Maybe." Stiles sighed. "Peter bit Lydia before we killed him."

"What?" Derek demanded.

"Yeah. But Scott and I checked on her after and he said she wasn't turning so… I don't know what's going on with her. But she's missing so that can't be good and maybe she's turning after all. And then there's Jackson. He hasn't been seen for three days. I asked Scott and he said he hadn't seen him, but he was lying."

"You think Scott did something to Jackson?" Derek asked.

"I don't know. At first I thought maybe he bit him. I wouldn't put it past Jackson to ask again. But Scott said he doesn't want a pack."

"Just Allison?" Derek asked. He wondered if Scott was lying about wanting a pack.

"I'm not sure he really meant that, it just kind of worries me." Stiles shifted around on the bed so that he was facing Derek. "I need help." Derek nodded.

"I'll look for them," Derek said, stepping up to the window.

"Wait," Stiles called, sitting up. "You have your phone?"

"Yeah." Derek always kept it on him because it was the easiest way to reach the teens but he kept it on silent most of the time so it wouldn't make noise.

"Call me if you find them." Derek nodded again. He was just about to close the window behind him when Stiles spoke again. "Hey, Derek… thanks."

"Try not to get eaten," Derek replied. He had meant to lighten Stiles' mood a bit but the teen just nodded somberly.

Derek decided that the best place to look for two teens caught up with werewolves was the woods. If they were somewhere in the town he expected the police to find them. The trouble was, Derek wasn't the only one out there. He caught the scent of several hunters pretty early in his search and worked to avoid them. He had just caught Lydia's scent heading out of the woods when he also smelled Scott. There was a strange scent with him, another werewolf. Derek was careful to stay downwind of them as he moved closer. The stranger was raggedy and rough looking, a drifter, an omega.

"You're the alpha," the stranger said. "I was looking for you. I want to join your pack." Derek swore in his own head. If Scott assembled a pack he would be stronger and Derek would have to be more careful.

"I don't want a pack," Scott said calmly. His eyes were glowing their bloody red.

"You'll be stronger, we'll be stronger, together," the omega insisted. Scott ignored him, turned to leave. The omega raced up behind him, snatched at his arm. "Wait!" Scott turned to him, shifted into the familiar werewolf form. He attacked. The omega fought back but didn't stand a chance. Derek looked away as Scott struck the final blow.

Derek moved away quickly and quietly. He didn't stop until he reached his temporary home. He'd felt uncertain before whether Scott would really kill him outside the heat of that first night. Now he knew. If he wasn't careful he'd share the omega's fate. He also thought he had a pretty good idea what had happened to Jackson; Scott didn't want a pack. He pulled out his phone, uncertain if he should tell Stiles. There was a voicemail from him waiting.

"Hey. Just wanted to let you know they found Lydia. She's okay I guess. No word on the werewolf situation yet."

Stiles wasn't sure if Gerard Argent suddenly becoming principal of the high school and installing security cameras everywhere was a good thing or a bad thing. On the one hand, Scott was pretty well supervised during school hours and would have to go even more off the rails before he would hurt someone. On the other hand, the constant oppressive weight of being watched by hunters, coupled with Allison insisting they shouldn't be seen together, was keeping Scott on edge. It was only a matter of time before he fell over.

Lydia was back, which was good. She wasn't a werewolf, which was better. But there was still something wrong with her. Most people said she had just finally snapped but Stiles couldn't help but wonder if the timing of her psychotic break wasn't a bit too coincidental. It probably would have worried him more if he didn't have bigger problems.

Jackson was still missing. Several people assumed he'd taken off to live the bigger and better life he felt entitled to. Stiles wanted to believe that idea but between the subtle shifts Scott made when the subject came up and the way Danny seemed to become more and more distressed with each day, Stiles figured something else was going on. There was only one answer Stiles could come up with and not explain away, but it scared him too much to believe.

Derek seemed to be missing as well. Stiles hadn't heard from him since he'd gone to look for Lydia and Jackson. Stiles tried not to let it bother him. Derek could be dead, sure, but he also could have just left town. He might even be fine and somewhere nearby just not communicating. It wasn't as though they'd been in constant contact before Scott became the alpha. It just made him nervous when added to everything else.

Scott wasn't getting better, or at least Stiles didn't think he was. It was hard to tell sometimes. Most days Scott was more Scott-like but everything he said and did still contained an undercurrent of predatory menace. Whenever Stiles forgot to tread carefully and made a joke or jab at Scott's expense, rather than a laugh or a huff of fake indignation, he was met with terrifying red eyes. He kept thinking all of this might be easier with Allison's help but Scott was still shooting her hungry eyes when she wasn't paying attention and Stiles thought she was safer at a distance.

There were two things Stiles was surprised to find himself grateful for. First, Mr. Harris kept giving him detention for increasingly long hours. Stiles was glad to have the excuse to avoid Scott after school. Second, Stiles wasn't first line. It allowed him to mostly avoid being brutalized during practice and it kept him away from Scott during games. Coach Finstock, while heartbroken to have lost Jackson, was thrilled to see Scott crushing their opponents with his spectacular scoring and bone breaking defense. Even when they faced off against the so called 'Abomination' they only suffered the loss of two players before Scott took the boy out of the game. Apparently brutish teens weren't much good against aggressive alphas.

Stiles began to reach his breaking point about a month after the fight with Peter Hale. His dad came home looking weary and worried. He was barely through the door before he was pulling Stiles into a hug. It was the kind of needy parent hug that came after thinking about losing your kid. It made Stile's stomach flip unpleasantly.

"Dad, what's wrong?" Stiles asked when they pulled apart. He didn't think he really wanted to know.

"We found Jackson Whittemore's body in the woods. I just got back from informing his parents," his father said grimly.

"What happened?" Stiles asked resignedly.

"It looks like another animal attack," his dad answered. Stiles fought the urge to throw up. His dad rubbed a hand around his neck in a tired gesture before pulling off his jacket. "You know, I can't shake the feeling that there's more to this than mountain lions." Stiles half choked.

"What, like some murderous man-beast that attacks in the night?" Stiles said. If it weren't true it would be funny. His dad pat him on the shoulder as he headed for the stairs.

"I'm going to bed. Maybe I'll think more clearly after some rest." Stiles watched him go up the stairs. He spent a moment not knowing what to do before he retreated to his own room. Once there he paced around a bit, fought back a panic attack, and called Derek. He wasn't surprised to get his voicemail.

"Hey, Derek. I uh… I just need to talk to you. If you don't want to talk then that's… I don't even know if you're still here but… Are you still alive? Jackson isn't." He paused. "Jackson's dead, and Scott… Please call me back." Stiles hung up. He put his phone back in his pocket and slid down against the door. He tried not to think as he waited.

Derek decided not to tell Stiles about the omega. It wouldn't help him with Scott and it might make things worse. He tried to convince himself it wasn't significant, that Scott had acted as any alpha would when challenged by another wolf. Stiles wasn't a wolf, he wouldn't understand, and he didn't need to know. Instead Derek focused on finding Jackson.

It was slow going. He couldn't track Jackson's scent, it was too weak. For the first week or so he had to avoid Scott as well. He wondered if Scott was looking for him or if he had some other business in the woods. He kept looking. When he finally did find the body it was in a shallow grave deep in the forest. He placed an anonymous call to the police.

It was several hours later that he checked his phone to find a message from Stiles. He listened to the broken sound of the teen's voice and decided to head over. Stiles wasn't the only one who needed help.

The moment Derek was through the window Stiles was scrambling to his feet and embracing him. It took Derek by surprise. He pat Stiles' back awkwardly a few times before dislodging his arms and pushing him away. Stiles backed up several extra paces looking embarrassed.

"Sorry," he muttered uncomfortably.

"I need you to help me kill Scott," Derek said calmly. Stiles' eyes grew wide.

"What?" Stiles sputtered.

"He's dangerous."

"No, no way," Stiles said, shaking his head.

"He killed Jackson, you know it," Derek said pointedly.

"That was a mistake! He wasn't in control."

"And he is now?" Derek asked incredulously.

"Maybe. I don't know. Not completely," Stiles tried to deny.

"Jackson isn't the only person he's killed Stiles, I saw him kill another wolf in the woods. He's a killer now and it's only a matter of time before the next body shows up."

"You just can't stand that he's the alpha now!" Stiles spat. "If I help you kill him you get to be the big bad wolf in town, right? I'm not going to let that happen. He's my best friend!"

"And what are you going to do if he kills Lydia? Or turns Allison?" Derek spat back. "How many people does he have to hurt before you stop defending him Stiles?" Stiles didn't respond, wouldn't look at him. There were tears in his eyes. Derek could tell he wasn't going to give in. He also knew he couldn't beat Scott without Stiles' help. He went back out the window.

Some part of Stiles knew Derek was right. He knew Scott was dangerous. He was out of control with no indication he could or would regain it. Stiles suspected he wasn't even trying. But Scott had always been Stiles' best friend and he couldn't kill him, couldn't be responsible for his death.

"You smell like Derek," Scott stated in school the next day.

"Yeah, he stopped by last night," Stiles said quietly. He hadn't slept and he was so, so tired. The low growl was the first reminder that Derek was supposed to be the enemy. The red eyes were the second.

"Why?" Stiles chuckled nervously.

"You know Derek, he's a pack wolf. He was hoping I could arrange things between you two. I told him no."

"Why didn't you call me?" Scott asked. He drew himself up to look more intimidating. Stiles wanted to point out how unnecessary that was.

"I thought you weren't recruiting, dude. Has that changed?" Scott punched the locker beside him, Stiles winced.

"He keeps getting away!" Scott snapped.

"Are we trying to catch him?" Stiles asked hesitantly.

"Once Derek is gone there won't be any more wolves; this will all be over."

"Okay, but won't you still be…" Another growl cut Stiles short. "Right, so… I'll call you next time. Not that I think there'll be a next time! We're not exactly friends," Stiles attempted to recover. Scott's glare as he walked away made Stiles wonder how much Scott knew he was lying.

A few more weeks passed, it was early March. Things didn't improve with Scott. Stiles didn't hear from Derek, didn't call him either. There was going to be a rave over the weekend, the whole school seemed to be buzzing about it. That's when Stiles became aware of a new problem.

"He keeps flirting with her," Scott said darkly at lunch on Friday.

"What? Who?" Stiles asked, looking around wildly.

"Matt. He's taking her to the rave," Scott grumbled.

"Photography Matt? From the team?" Scott didn't answer. This was bad.

Stiles decided to have a chat with Matt before History where he sat behind him. It didn't greatly facilitate conversation but it was the best chance Stiles was going to get.

"Hey. Hey, Matt," Stiles whispered. Matt ignored him. He tugged at Matt's jacket. Matt turned to him with a skeptical look. "Hey," Stiles said, smiling awkwardly. Matt started to turn around again. "Wait!" Stiles said, snatching at his arm. Matt looked at him impatiently. "So uh, I heard you were taking Allison to the rave."

"Yeah, so?"

"So I was thinking maybe you could not?" Stiles tried. Matt gave an incredulous snort and stared at him. "Look, Scott's still kind of… weird, about the breakup. He's a little bit of the jealous type, you know?" Stiles tried to emphasize his point with his eyebrows.

"He'll get over it," Matt said with a curt nod. Stiles grabbed the collar of his jacket roughly as Matt attempted to turn around again.

"I'm serious Matt, it's not a good idea," Stiles insisted. Matt gave him a look of pure apathy and Stiles released him with a sigh.

After school Stiles watched Scott pedal out of the parking lot before calling Allison.

"Hello?" Allison answered.

"Hey! Allison, how ya doing?" Stiles said awkwardly.

"Stiles? Is something wrong?"

"You're going on a date, that seems a little wrong," Stiles replied.

"I can go on dates, Stiles," Allison said.

"No, you really can't. I haven't gotten Scott settled yet. You have to cancel."

"I can't just wait around for Scott, okay? I have to live my life," Allison said. Stiles wondered if she had any idea how messed up Scott was right now.

"Allison, you don't understand…"

"I understand that you're trying to protect him," she interrupted. "Look, I've got to go. Lydia's taking me shopping."

"Allison, wait…" She hung up. Stiles threw a small fit before calling Derek. He wasn't surprised to get his voicemail.

"Derek," Stiles said tightly. "I know things didn't go well the last time we talked but I definitely need your help. There's a guy taking Allison to the rave tomorrow night and I think Scott might… He's dangerous, all right? I get it. But he's still Scott. I don't know what to do. Maybe you could keep an eye on things, keep him from hurting anyone." Stiles sighed deeply and hung up.

Derek tried to control his temper after he listened to the latest message from Stiles. He was irritated that Stiles wanted his help after refusing to do the same. He was also irritated that Allison was being reckless and making the situation worse. He was tempted not to do anything, to let the teenagers learn their lesson the hard way, but he knew he couldn't. As much as Derek hated the situation he couldn't deny his share of the responsibility. It was his uncle that turned Scott and his own poor decision that made him alpha.

Derek found out where the rave was being held. You were supposed to buy a ticket but Derek knew he could get in without one. He pulled up in his flashy Camaro and charmed his way through the door. Derek hated raves. The lights and the music and the endless sea of bodies all pressed in on his senses relentlessly. He called Stiles.

"Derek? Dude, it's really loud. Where are you?" Stiles answered.

"I'm at the rave," Derek ground out.

"Really? Huh, awesome. I really thought you would ignore me. Is it good?"

"It's loud. Why am I here?" Derek grumbled.

"To look for Scott? Is he there?" Stiles asked.

"No. Neither is Allison. Where are you?" It hadn't been clear to Derek if Stiles planned on coming.

"I'm at home. I tried to get a ticket but they were sold out. They're really not there? Allison and Matt both seemed pretty intent on raving tonight, it's weird that they're not there."

"Well they're not. What should I do now?"

"Dance?" Derek rolled his eyes.

"I'm leaving," he said.

"No, wait! They might show up later. Stick around, try to relax. Enjoy a night out for once," Stiles teased.

"I prefer to stay in," Derek huffed.

"I'm not really surprised. You're a reading by the fireplace kind of guy, aren't you?" Stiles sounded entirely too amused for Derek's taste.

"Stiles, shut up," Derek snapped.

"Yeah, okay. Look, I'm gonna try calling Allison. Try to actually answer the phone when I call back, I'm getting sick of your voicemail." He hung up. Derek waited impatiently for Stiles to call. He scowled at several people who attempted to lure him out to dance. He kept his senses open, searching for Scott. His phone had barely lit up before he answered.

"Well?" he demanded.

"You can go home, Allison's not going," Stiles said and hung up. It seemed like good news to Derek but Stiles had sounded so much wearier when he called.

Stiles was really surprised Allison wasn't at the rave. It had seemed like nothing would convince her not to go. He dialed her number and fostered the vague hope that Chris had made her stay home.

"Did you talk to Matt?" Allison demanded angrily when she answered.

"Wha- when?"

"Did you talk him out of taking me tonight?"

"No," Stiles said, bewildered. "I tried, don't get me wrong. Turns out you're both stubborn. Why? Did he cancel?"

"He stood me up. He won't even answer his phone," Allison said angrily.

"You mean he just didn't show up? No call?" Stiles asked. He was desperately praying for something.

"No, nothing. I can't believe this. You had no right," Allison scolded.

"Sorry," Stiles sighed. "I'll make it up to you sometime, okay?"

"Goodbye Stiles." She hung up. Stiles called Derek.

On Sunday Matt's parents reported him missing. On Monday Stiles confronted Scott.

"Where's Matt?" he asked flatly.

"How should I know?" Scott said with a shrug. It was a lie. Even if Stiles didn't already know, he could have told.

"Did you kill him?"

"I don't know what you're talking about." There was a warning in his voice. Stiles ignored it.

"I'm talking about Matt!" Stiles shouted. Several people looked in their direction and Stiles lowered his voice. "I'm talking about Matt and Jackson and that guy in the woods. I'm talking about the way you've been acting lately. Do you even care what you're doing?" Stiles shouldn't have been so surprised when Scott grabbed his shirt and slammed him against a locker. His eyes were that dangerous blood red and Stiles felt the light scrape of claws against his skin.

"Stay out of this," Scott growled. Stiles nodded, terrified. Scott released him, stalking away. Stiles' legs wobbled treacherously and he collapsed to the floor. He heard scandalized whispers all around. He bumped his head against the lockers in frustration.

At home Stiles checked the shallow scratches on his chest. He went back to his room and tried to figure out what to do. He still hadn't come up with anything when his dad called.

"Dad," Stiles answered.

"Is it true you got into a fight with Scott in school today?" his father demanded.

"Not exactly. Who told you that?" Stiles asked.

"We got an anonymous call saying you were arguing loudly about Matt Daehler when he slammed you against the wall. Someone else I talked to says they thought they heard you mention Jackson. Is there something you need to tell me?" Stiles hated that voice, the voice of disappointment, the voice that said his father didn't trust him anymore.

"No. I was just freaking out. I mean, Matt's the second guy to go missing from the team," Stiles lied.

"So you accused Scott of murdering him?" Stiles winced and wondered what else people had heard in the school hallway.

"Like I said, freaking out. Matt sort of stole his girl. It was a stupid thing to say," Stiles hoped it was a good enough excuse, even as it sounded pathetic in his ears.

"I've never known you to make baseless accusations like that, especially that serious," his father said. There was a question hiding in the statement but Stiles chose not to answer it. His dad sighed. "Well there might be some weight to it. Scott seems to be the last person seen with him. I'm going to bring him in for questioning now." Stiles' stomach rolled violently and his heart leapt to his throat.

"What? Dad, no!" Stiles yelled.

"I know he's your friend, Stiles, but I can't let that get in the way of doing my job."

"Dad you can't bring Scott in, you don't understand…"

"I'll see you when I get home, Stiles," his dad said sharply, ending the conversation and hanging up. Stiles barely had time to process the severed connection before a full blown panic attack was upon him. He couldn't think after that, anymore than he could breathe.

Derek was in the middle of a workout when his phone rang. It was Stiles. He answered with a resigned huff of annoyance.

"What do you want Stiles?"

"Meet me at the Argents', now," Stiles said with determination, and hung up. Derek growled angrily. The Argent house wasn't somewhere he ever wanted to go. But he'd never heard Stiles use that tone of voice before. He went.

Stiles was waiting for him when he arrived. The teen was leaning against the jeep. He looked up as Derek approached. His eyes were sharp, focused, and commanding. This was a different side of Stiles. He didn't say anything, just walked to the front door and pressed the button. Derek stood behind him uncomfortably. Gerard opened the door. He smiled a grandfatherly smile when he saw them.

"Mr. Stilinski, Mr. Hale, what can I do for you?" he asked warmly.

"I want to talk to Chris," Stiles said sharply.

"Of course," Gerard replied. "But first why don't we…"

"Now," Stiles interrupted. Gerard looked at him with amused surprise and stepped aside. Stiles marched in immediately but Derek hesitated. He wondered if he'd come back out again as he moved to stand behind Stiles once more. The door shutting made him uneasy.

"Oh Chris, the Stilinski boy and the werewolf are here to see you!" Gerard called into the house. Chris came from further in, looking confused. Allison came halfway down the stairs, her mother a step behind.

"We need to talk," Stiles told Chris steadily. Chris nodded and led them to the living room. The rest of the Argents followed.

"Allison, why don't you get some refreshments from the kitchen," Chris said. It wasn't a question. Allison went grudgingly. They all sat, Derek keeping close to Stiles and watching the others cautiously.

"Stiles," Chris said, inviting the teen to speak.

"We're going to help you kill Scott," Stiles said. It caught Derek by surprise; he tried not to let it show. He wondered what had changed the boy's mind so drastically.

"What makes you think we need your help?" Gerard asked.

"I can get Scott where we want him, you can't. Or maybe you just thought you'd put a bullet in him at school one day?" Stiles snapped. Derek couldn't help but respect Stiles a little more.

"Here's the deal. We help you kill Scott. Derek becomes the alpha. You stop hunting him, and you stay off his property. You keep to the code and you make a truce. Agreed?" Derek looked at Stiles searchingly. He hadn't expected Stiles to lobby for his safety.

"We don't need help from a werewolf. In fact I don't see any reason why we don't cut him in half right here," Gerard said murderously. Derek snarled, flashing his blue eyes and baring his fangs. Stiles put a calming hand on his shoulder.

"Because everything Derek's done was to protect Beacon Hills. And because I won't help you if you don't agree to my terms."

"It's only a matter of time before we catch him anyway." Gerard said simply.

"You don't have time. He already killed half the Sheriff's department just for asking him about Matt." Everyone looked at him sharply in surprise. Derek knew that was the reason Stiles was willing to turn on Scott, his father was the only person more important to him. "Matt who he killed because he was getting too close to Allison," Stiles continued. She came into the room at that moment and promptly dropped the tray of drinks she was carrying. She clasped both hands over her mouth in horror and ran up to her bedroom. Victoria calmly began collecting the glasses strewn across the floor. "He's done dicking around now, I don't think it'll be long before he comes to claim her and kill all of you."

"Don't underestimate this family," Gerard warned. Stiles' eyes narrowed.

"You should keep a better eye on your dog, Chris, he seems to be going rabid," Stiles said bitterly, for the first time leveling his gaze at Gerard. Chris shifted in his seat, seemed to consider.

"You're making a lot of demands," Chris said.

"I'm going to help you kill my best friend; I think I deserve to make a few demands."

"You'll have to give us time to discuss this, I don't make these decisions."

"Do it, Chris," Victoria said sharply from where she was kneeling on the floor.

"All right then. What's the plan?" Chris asked.

"You tell me," Stiles answered. They spent the next hour or so hashing it out. Stiles and Derek both remained mostly silent as Chris laid out strategies. Occasionally they would each chime in with minor tactical adjustments. Derek was surprised by Stiles' shrewd ability to evaluate a plan. They agreed on a time and Stiles and Derek were both led out of the house.

Stiles went straight for his jeep but Derek stopped him with a hand on his shoulder. He wasn't sure why he did it. He had grown accustom to Stiles' snarky and spastic nature and this new Stiles, while certainly impressive, was foreign. He thought maybe he just wanted to make sure the teen was okay.

"Is your dad…?" Derek started to ask when Stiles looked at him. There was a brief pause in which Stiles seemed to be sizing him up before the floodgates broke. Stiles threw himself into Derek, clinging to him tightly. This time Derek returned the embrace without hesitation, he knew about loss.

"They don't know if he's going to make it," Stiles choked. "I can't lose him, Derek. I can't…" There was nothing to be said so Derek just held him and let him cry. Once he managed to regain control Stiles stepped away uncomfortably, swiping a sleeve across his face and refusing to look at Derek. "I'll see you tonight," he said quickly before hopping into his jeep. Derek watched him drive away.

Stiles was coming out of his second successive panic attack when he got the call. There had been some kind of attack at the Sheriff's department. His dad was one of the lucky ones but that still left him in critical condition. Stiles raced to the hospital, nearly causing three accidents on the way. He listened numbly as the doctor explained the extent of the injuries and told him it could still go either way. Mrs. McCall held him and let him purge the first wave of tears as the heart monitor beeped an uncomfortable rhythm. He tried not to feel too guilty as she excused herself to complete her rounds; there probably wouldn't be anyone for her to cry on. He took a deep shuddering breath and steeled himself for what came next.

"I'm sorry Dad. This is all my fault. I'm going to fix it, okay? And after, I promise I'll tell you everything. So don't die on me." He couldn't stand to be in the room for more than that so he left. The moment he was out of the hospital he was dialing Derek.

Gong to the Argents was risky. Stiles was still willing to begrudgingly trust Chris but Gerard and Victoria were more or less mysteries. Stiles got a bad feeling from Gerard whenever he saw him at school and he hadn't missed the fact that his own son called him by his name. Still, he and Derek couldn't take Scott down alone. He pulled up every ounce of courage and strength he possessed to keep control of the conversation. He was surprised by how much he had.

Stiles didn't know exactly why he demanded Derek become the alpha. So far every alpha he'd met was a vicious killer. But somewhere in him Stiles knew that not all alphas could be monsters; Derek had had a family once and they had been okay. He wasn't sure Derek could handle it but when he reflected on everything Derek had done since they'd met he couldn't deny that Derek deserved a chance. So Stiles used every chip he had to ensure Derek could be the alpha in peace.

Gerard fought him tooth and nail, making it very clear he couldn't be trusted. Chris sat silently, letting his father run the show. Stiles hated every moment but he wouldn't let Gerard have the upper hand. He called Gerard a rabid dog and bit down the panic that followed. He watched his words stir something in Chris; for the first time he spoke. They agreed and made a plan.

Afterward Derek comforted him. Somewhere in the back of his mind Stiles felt that wasn't okay. When Derek was mourning Stiles had dug up his sister's body and gotten him arrested. He didn't have a right to Derek's warmth now. But he needed it more than he could understand right then and Derek was willing. He realized vaguely that this was something he'd never gotten from Scott.

He didn't go back to the hospital. Instead Stiles went home and reviewed the plan in his head. He went over it again and again until every detail was seared into his brain. He thought of ways to get Scott out to the Hale house. When the time was right he called.

"Stiles," Scott answered. There was anger and defensiveness in his tone.

"Scott," Stiles replied. "You almost killed my dad."

"You shouldn't have told him I killed Matt."

"I didn't. Someone else did."

"Derek," Scott snarled.

"He wants to meet you," Stiles told him. He'd decided this was the best way to get Scott to go with him.

"You mean he wants to kill me."

"Yeah, probably. Does it matter?"

"No." Scott sounded like a hungry predator; it sent a chill down Stiles' spine. He hoped this worked.

"I'll pick you up."

Stiles didn't like being in such a small space with alpha Scott. But he wanted to be there in case things went wrong. Stiles wasn't perfect but he was pretty good at thinking on his feet. The way Scott was staring at him didn't do anything to calm his nerves.

"Something wrong, dude?" Stiles asked.

"You smell like Allison." Stiles cursed himself for not thinking that through.

"I went over there today."

"Why?" Time for half truths.

"It's been a rough day and she's as close as I have to a friend right now." There was a long stretch of silence in which Scott continued to stare.

"Are you turning on me Stiles?" Stiles felt his heart stutter dangerously and hoped it wasn't enough to give him away.

"I may be a little goofy but I'm not stupid. I'm painfully aware of what you could do to me if I crossed you." Finally Scott stopped staring. Eventually Stiles pulled up outside the Hale house. Derek was standing in the clearing. Scott and Stiles both got out and walked toward him. They stopped with about ten feet between them.

"Scott," Derek said.

"Derek," Scott replied. His eyes lit up red. They stared each other down.

"Hello Scott," Gerard said, coming out from behind a tree. He was pointing a crossbow at Scott. Stiles silently cursed every hunter that had ever lived; this wasn't part of the plan. Scott turned to face Gerard, took in the crossbow, and transformed. Stiles had seen Peter Hale's alpha form but seeing Scott turn into it was a whole different level of scary. "Oh, I don't think that's necessary. I just wanted to have a chat," Gerard said calmly.

"What are you doing?" Stiles hissed.

"Changing the plan," Gerard said as if it were obvious. Stiles glared at him with everything he had. "Don't like that, do you? Maybe you should have shown more respect when you were asking me to kill your friend." His murderous tone was back but Stiles barely had time to register it as Scott turned, roared, and slashed at him with his claws. Stiles felt white-hot pain as the blow sent him flying several feet away. Stiles struggled to focus on the monster leering at him from the short distance but everything was turning sideways. "He should have known better than to cross such a powerful alpha," Gerard said. It was a mistake; there wasn't any Scott left in the furious beast to be reasoned with. When Scott launched himself at the hunter, unfazed by the bolt fired into his chest, Stiles was glad to let the blackness surround him.

Derek wasn't much of an in the moment planner. When Gerard stepped into the clearing he didn't know what to do. The first part of the plan was for the Argents to weaken Scott with bullets and arrows; he couldn't take the alpha alone. When Gerard baited Scott into attacking Stiles he knew waiting was a mistake. Still, between Stiles passing out and Gerard being mauled, Derek thought it might be better just to run. But then Chris was moving in to check on the fallen teen, keeping a wary eye on Scott's back, and Scott was turning from his kill toward the two humans. Chris fired three shots and Derek launched himself at Scott as the alpha barreled forward. Even with multiple wolfsbane bullets in him it was only Derek knocking him sideways that kept Scott from taking Chris's head off.

They struggled against each other. The bullets slowed Scott down but he was still much stronger than Derek. Chris was aiming for another shot but he was honoring his agreement, he wouldn't shoot without a clear target. The other hunters were less disciplined. Derek felt an arrow lodge in his shoulder. There were two more in Scott. He started to falter and then he was shifting back. Chris got a clear shot and fired again. The bullet went through, barely missing Derek and the hunter hesitated. Derek lashed out at Scott's throat and it was over, he felt the power course through him.

Stiles had regained consciousness. The deep gouges in his side were making him struggle, but he was alive. Derek made a decision. He pulled the arrow from his shoulder and strode toward them with determination.

"Go, I'll take care of Stiles," he said firmly. Chris nodded and moved away. Derek pulled Stiles up carefully.

"I know this looks bad," Stiles panted. "But you should see the other guy." It wasn't a good joke because his eyes moved automatically to Scott and then to Gerard. He threw up. "Can I go home now?" Stiles asked weakly.

"Come on," Derek replied and half dragged him to the jeep.

On the ride home Stiles wondered idly if he'd gotten any vomit on Derek. He groaned at the prospect of cleaning blood out of the jeep, again. He thought gratefully that he hadn't seen Derek's eyes turn red. He wondered how everything would look to the police, then he wondered how long it would take them to find out since things were already crazy. When they pulled into the driveway he wondered why they weren't at the hospital. He asked.

"Too many questions," Derek said. "You'll be okay."

"Easy for you to say, you heal," Stiles complained.

Derek took him into the house and laid him on his bed. He left for a few minutes and returned with the first-aid kit and extra bandages. Stiles was silent while Derek tended his wounds. He was surprisingly gentle. When he finished Stiles gave him a small smile.

"Thanks for not eating me," he said. Derek gave him a look that he couldn't quite decipher. Then he smirked and his eyes turned red. Stiles gulped. "What are you…?" Stiles started to ask. He was cut off when Derek leaned forward and bit him.