Author's Note: thanks to Marine and Silver Avenger for reviewing! Just to let everyone know, publishing will slow down a tiny bit. My muse has decided Blue Moon can wait in order for me to write some pre-series scenes about the Hale family and Ami. My muse is literally screaming at me to write them down, so I hope you enjoy them! You can find them under Forgotten Star on my profile! Also, I'm changing a few details of earlier chapters. Ami was ten, not eight when she was adopted. I'm making her adopted because of the fire. Derek is now 24 instead of 22; the eight year age difference works better for the timeline of the fire.
As Isaac curled around me, I gently pulled one of my hands free from Derek. I ran my fingers through my brother's hair, remembering how my touch had always been calming to him. Derek had told Scott his anchor was anger, but he hadn't told Scott the entire truth. Anger was his trigger, his way of unlocking the wolf inside him. It was my touch, or the thought of my touch that returned my older brother to human. Right now, it was holding him still, keeping the wolf at bay.
"What are they doing now?" he finally asked.
Closing my eyes, I reached for the ribbons of Stiles and Scott. Letting Stiles' go, I played with Scott's until I could see what was happening. "You will not go within fifty feet of Jackson Whittemore. You will not speak to him, you will not approach him, you will not assault or harass him physically or psychologically," Sheriff Stilinski told them, tossing the clipboard onto the table. Dave Whittemore and Melissa were present and I understood.
"Jackson just filed a restraining order on Scott and Stiles," I sighed. "I need to go home. Melissa needs me right now," I added, feeling her disappointment. Then she asked why this was happening. "Isaac, Erica, can you go outside for a minute?" I requested. Isaac pressed a kiss to the top of my head as he untangled himself and I waited until I heard the door close before I spoke, "When do I tell Melissa? How do I tell her about all of this? She thinks Scott's misbehaving because his dad left."
"You need to talk to Scott, but I'll help you if you decide to tell her," Derek told me. I nodded and swallowed Scott's guilt. "Is Jackson still there too?" he asked gently.
"Yeah, he's there. Next time you confront him, hit him for me," I requested, and he smirked. He'd hit gladly hit Jackson. "Isaac, Erica! Derek wants to talk to you!" I called, standing. He shook his head at me, but stood as the two Betas returned.
"I want you two to start being nice to Scott and Stiles. Get close to them. Work with them," Derek instructed, lifting me to my feet.
I follow him down the subway as Isaac asked, "So why do we need their help?"
"Because it's hard to kill than I thought and I still don't know who it is," Derek told him. I raised an eyebrow; he knew it was Jackson.
"And they do?" Isaac checked as Derek stepped down from the train.
"They might," I replied, jumping down.
"Which is why I need one of you to get on their good side," the Alpha explained.
"Hmm, Scott or Stiles?" Erica asked.
The tone of her voice made Derek roll his eyes. He'd forgotten how lustful teenage she-wolves were. "Either," he told her, reigning in his temper as my hand brushed his arm. I moved around to the trunk on the ground and flinched away from it. Even though I'd seen it rarely all those years ago, I recognized it, and I didn't like that Derek was showing his Betas the contents.
"You know the full moon's coming, Derek?" Isaac asked. Now it was my turn to roll my eyes. Of course he knew. He always knew.
This time my fingers brushed over Derek's hip to pull in his temper. "I'm aware of that," he told Isaac. There was no anger, no sarcasm, and I nodded. He flipped the trunk open and I shied back. When he lifted the first belt set and its chains out, I couldn't help but move around to the other side of the trunk.
"My, these look comfortable," Erica remarked sarcastically as she lifted a second set. I noticed the headband piece and noted that it was a she-wolf set. Derek gave her a flat look, and Erica's ribbon pulsed with the realization that this was not a joke.
"You said you were going to teach us to change whenever we wanted," Isaac pointed out. A quick touch to his ribbon told me he was actually afraid of being tied up again. And his fear was because of his father. My fists clenched in anger; my Isaac was so innocent, so scared because of that vile man.
"There hasn't been time," Derek told him, taking a third set from the trunk. I knew from experience that there were at least half a dozen of the sets inside that box.
"But if you have to lock us up during the full moon that means you're alone against the Argents," Isaac realized.
"They haven't found us," the older wolf replied, closing the trunk.
"Yet!" Isaac reminded him as the Alpha walked away.
I sighed and called, "Derek, you're a horrible communicator!" Then I turned to the Betas and explained, "Derek has to lock you up so you can't get in trouble with the Argents. When the full moon takes over, you'll be unable to control yourself, and the Argents know it. And if he's smart, Derek will stay here with you and try to help you through the full moon. Going out there will be dangerous even for me."
"So how about we forget the Kanima?" Isaac called to Derek.
"We can't!" Derek yelled, turning around as he approached the stairs. "There was something about the way Gerard looked at it. He wasn't afraid, at all. And I don't know what he knows or what he's planning, but I'm sure about one thing. We have to find it first." The Betas sighed and I hurried after Derek, since I needed a ride home.
When I got home, Scott had locked himself in his room and Mom sat on the couch crying. "What happened?" I asked her, though I already knew.
"Jackson filed a restraining order against your brother because Scott and Stiles kidnapped him. Now Scott won't even tell me what's going on," she replied, wiping her face. I sighed and got up, quickly making her a cup of tea before I returned to the living room. "Do you know what's going on with him, Ami?" she finally asked.
I sighed and tried to be honest. "I know that right now Scott's going through a lot of changes and as a girl, I can't understand some of them. But I also know that Scott's not trying to get into trouble for rebellious teenage reasons. He's really not trying to get into trouble at all. Neither of us is trying. Scott has a hero complex, and gets involved with everything, and ends up getting into all the trouble. I just seem to be in the wrong place at the wrong time a lot lately. Just give us some time, okay? We'll figure out we need your help eventually," I told her. She smiles ruefully at me, but didn't reply. Instead she pulled me into a hug, running her hand gently through my hair.
When she let me go, I hurried up the stairs to Scott's room. "We need to tell her. We can't keep doing this to her," I told him, sitting beside him on the bed.
"We can't tell her until we've got Jackson figured out," he protested. I nodded, knowing he's right and hugged him quickly. Then I jumped in the shower and crawled into my strangely empty bed.
I slept alone for the first time in while, and so I slept horribly. I fell into a nightmare every time I closed my eyes and woke up seven different times. Every memory was distorted, never ending the way it really had, and I watched the people around me die in my sleep. I finally woke up to my scream after dreaming of the night Peter and Kate had died. Except in my dream, Kate had killed Scott and the Alpha had killed all three Argents, Stiles, and Jackson. Derek had died in my arms, and I woke when the Alpha's jaw closed around my shoulder. I was screaming, shrieking as I fought my way free of my sheets. But no one came to comfort me; Mom was in the shower and Scott was probably off in his own little Allison-central world.
Sobbing, I curled up in a ball, holding my hands up in front of my face. A long red scar ran along the back of each hand and I shoved my hands under my pillow. When I finally got to my feet to dress, I stared at my reflection in the mirror in pure anger. I was supposed to be strong. My brothers were werewolves; I'd been raised in a pack. I should be able to handle this. Instead I was breaking down like a baby.
So I went all out in a dress and leggings and heels with my leather jacket. When I was done my tiara braid and my makeup, no one could tell I'd been crying. To my surprise, when I walked out to the Camaro, Derek was alone in the car. "They're all already at school. Don't worry, I fed them," he told me.
"Did the cashier run around like a terrified mouse again?" I asked. When he nodded, I laughed, unsurprised. The morning counter worker was terrified of Derek.
At school, Derek parked instead of just dropping me off. He got out, coming around to my side as I opened the door, and wrapped me a tight hug. There were times when I loved the fact that Derek was fine without talking, and today was one of them. He didn't ask me what was wrong; he didn't try to get me to talk. He just held me. When the opening bell rang, he stepped back, and I kissed his cheek. "Thanks, Der," I murmured. He smiled down at me, leaned over to kiss my forehead, and climbed back in the Camaro. As he drove out, I sized up the school and took a deep breath. Then I raised my chin and strode up the walkway, drawing stares as I walked.
Unfortunately, I had free period first thing in the morning, and ended up in the library as Scott was leaving. "Where are you going?" I asked, stepping out of the doorway.
"I have to make up a chemistry test," he called over his shoulder.
"Oh. That's…strangely normal," I realized, reaching for the cocoa brown ribbon that was his. Worry. I couldn't fail this test. Apprehension. If Allison got hurt while I was in a test I was going to kill someone. Fear. Ami had woken up screaming so many times last night I'd been forced to stop responding to her. Confusion. What did Ami know about Derek that made her trust him so much that he was able to keep her nightmares away?
I released Scott's ribbon to finish the last of my Pre Calculus review. But I abandoned everything at my table when Allison's ribbon threw fear and panic in my face, and Scott pulsed with absolute fury and protectiveness. Jackson leaped with fury and I felt the two of them go at it. "Come on, just one day, is that too much to ask for?" I groaned, running down to the locker room. When I reached them, I saw Erica trying to hold back Jackson and failing. So I stalked up to him as Harris ran down the hallway, yelling at the group.
"What do you idiots think you're doing? Jackson calm down!" Harris snapped. I whacked the blonde in the forehead with the palm of my hand and he went still. He glared at me and I curled my lip at him in a snarl. "Mr. McCall? Care to explain yourself?" I glared across the hallway at Scott, ordering him to keep his mouth shut. "Stilinski?"
"You dropped this," Matt told Scott, but Harris took it instead.
"You and you," the teacher snapped, pointing at Scott and Jackson. "Actually, all of you," he told us, including Matt and I. "Detention, three o'clock," he ordered.
The rest of the day passed without incident, but I was so angry with Scott and Jackson that I didn't even notice the pixies that jumped around inside my head all day. I had to text Derek and tell him Erica and I had gotten detention because of Scott and Jackson and all he said was keep an eye on the sometimes Kanima. At three, I stalked into the library beside Erica, sitting next to her when she sat across from Scott.
"We can't be in detention together. I have a restraining order against these tools," Jackson told Mr. Harris as he sat down.
"All these tools?" Harris replied. He very clearly didn't care.
"No, just us tools," Stiles spoke up, gesturing at himself and Scott.
"Fine. You two, over there," the teacher ordered, pointing to another table. If I hadn't been so mad at him, I probably would have laughed at the affronted look on Jackson's face. Erica patted my hand as I glared at the back of Jackson's head.
As I realized I had absolutely nothing to do for the next hour, I pulled out a notebook and started doodling. I didn't look up until Jackson walked out holding his head. Harris went after him, and I rolled my eyes as Scott and Stiles sat down in the two other chairs. "Stiles says you know how Jackson's parents died," Scott told Erica.
"Maybe," the she-wolf replied, not looking up from her notebook.
"You could have asked me," I snapped at Scott.
He ignored me to order Erica, "Talk."
She put her notebook on top of her laptop and said, "It was a car accident. My dad was the insurance investigator and every time he sees Jackson drive by in his Porsche he makes some comment about the huge settlement he'll be getting when he turns eighteen."
"So not only is Jackson rich now, he'll be getting even richer at eighteen?" Stiles complained.
"Yep," Erica smirked. She didn't like Jackson at all. She knew how unfair it was for him compared to all of us.
"There's something deeply wrong with that," the Sheriff's son sighed, and I nodded.
"You know what: I could try to find the insurance report in my dad's inbox. He keeps everything," Erica realized, opening her pink laptop. And then Scott was called to the Principles' Office. Allison, Scott, and Stiles all pulsed with dread and confusion, but Scott got up anyway.
"Ami, switch seats with me," Stiles ordered.
I rolled my eyes and got up, moving to the table Scott and Stiles had abandoned. As I sat down I saw the doodles I'd been drawing. But they weren't doodles. "Oh my god," I murmured, horrified. The first was a snake disappearing down a sink drain. The second was a small flower I recognized as Wolfsbane. The third was a pencil sharpener with a tiny stub of a pencil held in a feminine hand. Jackson's name was written in dripping, wild letters on the snake. On the petals of the flower, I'd written Lydia in flowing script I didn't know I was capable of creating. The flower sprouted from the top of Peter, and the name looked like it had been scratched out with claws. The pencil sharpener had Victoria on them in an elegant writing. Scott was written, in my brother's handwriting, on the pencil. The fingers of the hand were labeled with Allison.
Hastily I shut the notebook and put my head down. As hard as I tried not to zone out, I couldn't stop myself, and when Jackson returned, my notebook was open again. This time I'd just drawn a Wolfsbane plant growing out of what looked like floorboards. Mr. Harris packed up, and I slid my notebook into my bag. I was rattled and starting to get worried, and was about to call Derek, except Mr. Harris laughed humorlessly. "Oh, no, I'm sorry. Yes, I'm leaving, but none of you are. You may go when you're done with the reshelving," he told us, patting the carts full of books. "Enjoy the rest of your evening," he said, walking out.
Everyone pulsed with annoyance and I sighed. So I put my earphones in and followed Erica to one of the three carts. Matt wheeled a second over to Jackson, who stood with his chin tucked in out of anger. Stiles grabbed the other cart and I spared him a glance. "You okay?" he mouthed. Shrugging, I joined Erica as she thumbed through the books on the cart.
I managed to drown out the talking around me, but I couldn't ignore the ribbons. Lydia's was pulsing with confusion, but she wasn't in any danger. Scott was absolutely terrified of Victoria and my brow furrowed as I saw the stub of a pencil in her hand. When he came back to the library, he joined Stiles and Allison, completely ignoring me as I tried to meet his eyes. I had to be honest; I was starting to get really tired of being ignored and then run to the second my help was needed. So I turned my music up and shoved a few books back into their places.
When Jackson's name flashed behind my eyes, I turned off my music and pulled out my earphones. It was followed by close your eyes, then close them now, and I whirled. There was an open book lying on the ground where I knew Jackson had been standing and suddenly, Scott was standing beside me. We turned around the shelf corner to find Matt lying face down on the ground, a bleeding gash visible on the back of his neck. I darted to him, Scott's horror and dread washing over me. Scott dropped to his knees beside me and Jackson leaped over our heads, hitting the ceiling hard enough to make debris and books fall on us. Instantly Scott threw himself over me, shielding his head with one arm.
He let me up as debris stopped falling and I realized Erica was alone. So did Scott. "Erica!" we shouted. The blonde had already shifted, roaring in fear as Jackson leaped over her head. "Behind you!" I screamed, but I was too late. The she-wolf screamed in human pain and I felt her convulse. Scott yanked me up, holding my arm protectively as he backed around the corner. "No!" I gasped but Jackson was already standing there.
I gasped at the horrible, disfiguring half transformation Jackson was stuck in and took a step back. The Kanima roared and lunged at Scott, who shoved me down beside Erica just before Jackson hit him. My brother hit a book cart, landing on it as it fell over, the wind knocked out of him. I felt a hand close around the back of my neck and I was lifted away from Erica as Scott crouched in front of Allison and Stiles. Jackson held me beside him, his claws brushing the side of my neck as his other hand wrote on the blackboard. When he finished writing, his head lolled down and I found myself staring up at reptilian eyes.
"Jackson," I wheezed, trying desperately to pull the claws away from my neck. But I only earned myself a slash to the back of the neck and cried out as I was paralyzed. As I fell, I saw him leap out one of the windows and Scott ran to me. But now my eyes were locked on my Beta and I gasped, "Erica."
Stiles ran to the she-wolf, yelling to get Scott's attention. "I think she's having a seizure!" Scott held me up so I could see as Allison rolled Matt over.
"He's alive," Allison told Scott and Stiles, and I glowered up at him.
"We need to get her to a hospital," Stiles told Scott, holding Erica up.
"Derek," Erica gasped. "Only to Derek."
"Okay, when we get her to the hospital," Scott started to say.
"Derek," I cut him off. "Take us to Derek."
"To Derek," Erica agreed.
"Go," Allison ordered.
"Scott!" I yelled as he put me down to run to Allison's side.
"I'm staying here with you," he told Allison.
"He can't take both of them to Derek, not like this. And Matt, I've gotta call an ambulance for him. Just go," Allison replied.
"This doesn't feel right," he argued.
"It's okay," Allison assured him, clearly trying to stay calm.
"No it's not, it's not right," my brother replied.
"It doesn't mean anything," the huntress tried to tell him.
"It feels like it does," Scott protested.
"Scott, go," Allison sighed, "Go."
Scott sighed, realized she was right and kissed her forehead. Stiles passed Erica off to him and then hurried over to pick me up. I couldn't even wrap my arms around his neck, but it didn't really matter. I was so light, so small, that even Stiles could carry me with ease. Scott managed to get Erica into the back seat of the Jeep and Stiles passed me over. Stiles peeled out before his door was even shut and I called directions to the depot. When Stiles slammed to a stop, the boys leaped out, carrying us with them as they managed to open the door, and Scott yelled, "Derek!" There was a note of approaching panic that I knew Derek would respond to and then the Alpha was there, taking Erica from Scott.
"Hold her up!" Derek ordered. Stiles propped me up in one of the seats before he ran to Erica, something she'd said making him eager to help her.
"Is she dying?" the human boy asked.
"She might," Derek told him, and I heard the confusion and fear in his voice. "That's why this is gonna hurt," he added. I watched from my seat as he grasped the she-wolf's arm and broke it.
Erica's pain made me cry out as she screamed. "You broke her arm?" Stiles demanded.
"It'll trigger the healing process," the Alpha told him. "I still gotta get the venom out," he added. "This is where it's really gonna hurt." I felt him shove him claws into Erica's arm and cried out as she screamed again. Stiles and Scott were horrified, a little grossed out, but it was working. I could already feel Erica healing.
Watching as she fell back into Stiles' arms, I smiled at the sight. The boy brushed the hair away from the blonde's face as she said, "Stiles, you make a good Batman."
The boys relaxed as Erica passed out in Stiles' arms, and Derek let her go to come over to me. "I can't do that to you so it's gonna take a while for the venom to wear off," he told me.
"Okay. Can you put me on one of the mattresses with Erica? This is really uncomfortable and I want to be near her," I replied. He nodded and wiped his bloody hands on his jeans before he lifted me. Scott carried Erica in after me, laying the she-wolf against my side. I closed my eyes as Lydia's ribbon pulsed with fear and horror, but when I tried to reach for her ribbon, it became cloudy. It slipped from my fingers and I frowned.
A gentle human thumb slid over my forehead, smoothing out the frown lines as Stiles said, "No frowning. Just relax, Ami."
"Erica's right. You do make a good Batman," I told him, giving him a small smile. He looked away, blushing faintly, and I heard Derek and Scott leave the train.
"You know who it is," Scott accused Derek as Stiles gently swept my hair out of my face.
"Jackson," Derek replied.
"You just wanted Erica to confirm it, didn't you?" the Beta asked. Then Scott came to a decision that I knew had been eating at him for a while. "I'm gonna help you stop him, as part of your pack," he told Derek. This made the Alpha look at him, surprised. "If you want me in, fine, but we do it on one condition. We're gonna catch him, not kill him."
"And?" Derek prompted, knowing that look on Scott's face. He was hiding his triumph from the younger wolf; he was perfectly aware of the fact that not only would Scott be stronger for having a pack, but Derek himself would be more powerful because Scott would be a powerful Beta. I sighed in relief; I wouldn't have to stand between the two packs anymore.
"And we do it my way," Scott declared. Then Scott called to Stiles, not even bothering to check on me before he left. But I wasn't expecting him to care anymore. I got it; he wanted to be a good non-boyfriend, a good son, a good student, a good captain, a good player, and a good friend. Being a good brother wasn't high up on his list anymore. Unfortunately though, he wasn't completely to blame. Ever since Derek had come home, I'd defended him and sided with him and helped him. I'd chosen Derek over Scott.
I hated choosing. I'd lived with Derek until the fire when I was ten. Melissa had adopted me when she'd learned that I'd lost my foster family to the fire. I'd lived with Scott for six years now. We'd never really been all that close in the first place. It had been to strange for me going from a werewolf pack to a human family, and I'd kept away from Scott and Melissa. Now I was paying the price.
Derek's warm hand on my forehead startled me out of my thoughts. "Ami," he murmured. I opened my eyes to see him sitting beside me. "I'm here," he assured me and I remembered my promise. I remembered that so long as I was there, he was never alone, and as long as I believed, neither was I.