So, update. Sorry for the time taken and the shortness of the chapter, but with everything that's been going on… yeah. Updates will come when I can. No promises on speed, although feel free to prompt via either review or pm, as it does actually make me think about the story more, even when I'm not able to directly work on it. At least when more stressful things aren't involved.
Also: Dad's out of the hospital and improving steadily! He's eighty-three and we weren't sure for a while, so I have to admit to extreme relief.
The relief Derek felt as Scott entered his range of vision was quickly replaced by a sense of wary unease on sighting Chris Argent, then outright worry when he realized that the body-bag Scott and Boyd carried between them was leaking the gel-like paralytic venom and twitching.
He was across the warehouse in a breath, wanting to shoulder Scott aside but aware that doing so would likely cause the already at least partially revived Kanima to react in some way. Not to mention Scott would be annoyed with him, which might be even worse. Derek settled for anxiously pacing alongside his mate, ignoring the wary curiosity from the Argent and Boyd's half-hidden smile.
Then Chris' attention was thoroughly diverted by sighting Peter Hale, half-hidden in shadow. He had a gun out and aimed before the wolves knew what was happening, and Derek whirled on the Hunter with a warning snarl, claws and fangs glinting in the truck's now-on low-beams.
The gun wavered slightly as Chris cast an alarmed glance at the Alpha, then back at the one he thought had been a very dead Alpha.
Derek tilted his head slightly, considered who the gun was aimed at, and rather pointedly pushed back his more wolfish features. "Not that I'd really mind you shooting Peter," he admitted, "but he has been… tolerable… since he managed to come back from the dead."
Really, Chris shooting Peter would be the easiest way to get rid of the guy, but Scott wouldn't want him to not say anything, no matter how much grief Peter had caused.
Scott sighed as he and Boyd carefully lowered the twitching bag to the ground before straightening up and gently but firmly pressing Mr. Argent's gun arm down until the weapon pointed at the ground. "No one's shooting anyone until we're sure of everything that's going on."
The Argent resisted briefly before reluctantly holstering the sidearm, "Come back from the dead?" he asked pointedly.
"You don't want to think about it," Scott informed him. "It's creepy."
"You're telling me," Derek muttered, just loud enough to be heard.
"Did Stiles and Isaac check in again?" Scott asked, mostly to change the subject.
"They'll be here in ten," Derek informed. "Is the Kanima twitching more, or am I being paranoid again?"
"Definitely twitching more," Boyd agreed, somewhere between dry and apprehensive, nerves keeping him from cracking a smile at Derek's newfound sense of humor.
"If you can settle whatever issue this 'Jackson' has in his past that caused him to become a Kanima, he should revert to a normal Beta werewolf," Peter chimed in helpfully from across the warehouse, seeming unwilling to move any closer.
Considering the way Chris' hand rested on the handle of his gun when he spoke, that was probably smart.
"So how do we deal with an Alpha Kanima in the meantime?"
"Contain it?" Scott suggested, glancing around at the unloaded, long-empty boxcars of the abandoned railroad warehouse. The thick steel might be enough to hold the Kanima. For all its fearsome looks and paralyzing venom, it's Beta form hadn't been as strong or as fast as Scott had been as a Beta. Hopefully that would carry to it's Alpha form, relatively.
Derek considered. Killing it would undoubtedly be the quickest, surest way of ending the threat… but Jackson would die with it and Jackson was Scott's Pack. Scott's Pack was his Pack, and even if it weren't… "Worth trying," he decided aloud.
Despite the fact they had an evolving Kanima locked in a steel boxcar that might or might not be capable of holding it when it woke, Scott found a certain peace in Derek's presence and the Pack's willingness to try.
He only hoped Jackson could be saved.
Though he would never admit it, not even to himself, Gerard Argent was getting desperate. His medication no longer seemed to work as it should and his bouts of coughing grew with both frequency and intensity. His cancer was getting worse.
And he refused to die. Not because of some wasting disease.
It was time to track down Scott, to force him to kill the Hale alpha and give Gerard himself the Bite. However, Scott's mother was a little unreachable while talking with the Sheriff at the hospital… Ah. Of course.
It didn't worry Gerard when Chris wasn't readily spotted in the house; his son had been somewhat distraught by Victoria's death, and often holed up in his room or occupied himself with menial tasks outside the house where the shade of his wife was less likely to haunt him.
The lack of a certain black car in the garage let him know it was the second, this time, and it was not difficult to get Allison to accompany him to his own vehicle, not with the assurance that he had tracked down Derek Hale.
He had, too. After hacking into the phone-tracking system and checking the locations of both Scott McCall and Derek Hale, he was somewhere between pleased and furious to find the two located at a warehouse in the abandoned railroad station.
It would make this simpler, but perhaps more difficult despite that. If Scott had actually become friends with the Hale instead of just pretending to…
Well. He still had the Kanima to force a killing blow. Perhaps it would be best to call out the creature now, so it would have time to reach the area before he got there. Best tell it not to do anything to draw attention, yet, and to stay out of sight.
The sharp sound of thick, pleather-like material tearing had all attention snapping to the formerly-quiet boxcar, but aside from hearing the slosh of the spilling venom and a little wet scuffling, there was no further disturbance inside the boxcar.
Scott took a half-step, Derek matching him. "Jackson?"
A sound, half terrifying purr, half breath, barely on the edge of werewolf hearing.
Derek set a hand on Scott's shoulder, comforting and lightly restraining, "Not Jackson right now."
Scott sighed, nodded, and turned away from the boxcar, satisfied that—at least for the moment—there was no significant danger and it was not Jackson trapped in darkness.