Chaos Rising pt 1
Author's Note: Thanks to Marine, Fizz Wizz, Ash B Bramble, and Belle for reviewing chapter 33. Thanks to Teresa for reviewing chapter 32. Also to Teresa-honey, you have no idea how much fun I'm going to have writing Ami into the Darach-Deucalion issues. To Fizz Wizz-yes indeed she will. Ash-I hope I don't disappoint! Belle-hope you like it!
Also, I went back and edited the entire story. Chapters 11 and 12 are very different, as I decided to make Ami believe Derek to be dead after the attack on the school by the Alpha. So if you want to read that, I'd really like to know what you think of the new version!
Lydia was using one of my soft drawing pencils to trace the bruise on her arm as I watched from the backseat. When she was done, she compared it to the mark on Allison's arm, and I leaned forward to see that they did indeed match up. "I don't know," Lydia sighed, shaking her head. "It doesn't look like much to me," she admitted.
"It's a pattern, it means something," Allison insisted.
"You really think Scott's gonna know what it is?" the redhead asked, once again questioning why we were driving out to the party Stiles had dragged my brother to.
"No, but he might know someone who does," the brunette replied, meaning Derek even though she wouldn't say his name.
"How are you so sure it means anything at all?" Lydia pressed gently. Allison and I both knew she was doubting this idea, and I really couldn't blame her. If I hadn't seen the girl's face, I would have thought this was completely imagined.
"Because that girl wasn't just looking for Scott. It's like she needed to find him. Like she had to. And that means something," the huntress explained, glancing at me in the rearview mirror. I nodded, assuring her I'd seen the desperation on the girl's face from Allison's ribbon. Which was the only reason I was giving her directions to the party that Stiles had taken Scott to so they could get over Allison and Lydia. "Can you try Scott again?" Allison asked, passing Lydia her phone. But I knew he wouldn't answer, so I took out my own phone to call my brother.
As we drove, I absently watched Stiles' and Scott's ribbons, coughing in surprise when I saw Stiles' blonde friend kiss him. But when I watched Stiles, on a search mission, run away from the girl, Heather, her gray ribbon suddenly vanished. The sound of shattering glass filled my ears as white blocked out my vision.
"Ami!" Lydia's sharp voice broke me away from the pixies, clearing my sight and hearing.
Meeting her eyes as she turned around, I blinked in confusion. The terrified scream of a teenage girl faded from my hearing as it was replaced with a wordless chant. "Sorry, just a little distracted," I explained, searching hastily for Scott and Stiles in the whirlpool. But their pixies came easily, though Stiles was hurt, confused, and disappointed.
"I think this is it," Allison said, parking in front of the well light up house. It was pretty obvious there was a party happening here, even if I hadn't been able to feel all the random ribbons inside.
Lydia and I walked up on either side of Allison as Scott came out of the house, having finally answered his phone. "This isn't the talk we were gonna have, is it?" he asked, pulsing with confusion upon seeing Lydia and I with her.
Allison shook her head and explained, "I need to show you something." Holding out her arm she revealed the dark red bruise, and Scott's eyes narrowed in confusion as he looked up at her.
"Lydia," I muttered, and the redhead sighed. She pushed up her aqua coat sleeve and held out her arm beside Allison's, letting the marks line up. "Do you know what it means?" I asked Scott, and he shook his head.
"Derek might," he replied, and I nodded, having had been afraid of that. I didn't want my elder brother anywhere near the huntress. "Can you call him, have him meet us at school tomorrow morning before classes?" he requested as the other girls climbed back into the car.
"Yeah, I'll ride with you," I replied, reaching for Derek's blue-gray ribbon as I crawled into the backseat of the Jeep. The rest of the night passed uneasily, random images flashing through my dreams, and I woke three hours before my alarm. Knowing I wouldn't go back to sleep, I dug my journal out of my bag and started drawing again, this time focusing on the symbols I associated with certain people. When my alarm did finally go off, my hands were stained with pencil and color smudges.
"Is Derek at school yet?" Scott asked when I met him in the kitchen with breakfast. Sliding onto the back of bike behind him, I reached for the whirlpool of pixies, searching for the familiar aura of my elder brother's pixie. But I hadn't even found the ribbon before pain burned through the back of my neck and I gasped, clutching my neck. I groaned as blurry, vague images streamed across my vision, and pain made my spine go rigid. Scott glanced over his shoulder, worried, only to see my eyes glowing vivid purple under my raised visor. Overhead, thunder rumbled and lightning cracked across the sky, though no storms had been predicted for today.
When I caught a glimpse of Deucalion, and heard his ultimatum, I realized I'd missed one of the Alphas. I only had four from the night Erica and Boyd had disappeared. The Alpha of Alphas made five. And so far, not one of them had a color to match to a face. With a snarl I ripped free of the blue images, collapsing against Scott's back as I gasped for breath. "Ami, Ami what happened? What did you see?" Scott demanded, pulling my arms from around his waist.
"Isaac…he found them. He found Boyd and Erica," I told him, flexing my strangely aching hands. Then Derek's ribbon flared with shock and I understood. "Damn it!" I cried, slamming my hand into the side of the bike.
Instantly Scott pulled over, turning to face me so he could see my pale face. "What? Ami, what?" Scott pressed, thoroughly confused. Finding Erica and Boyd was supposed to be good news.
"Deucalion told them they'd be dead by the next full moon," I told him, lifting my head enough to meet his eyes. Forcing the purple back to blue-gray, I sighed and ordered, "Let's go. We need to talk to Derek."
He met us in an empty history classroom, where Lydia, Allison, and Stiles were all waiting. "What is it?" he sighed, ignoring the two girls to talk to Scott. Allison and Lydia held out their arms, and he stared down at the bruises for a minute. Annoyance flared across his ribbon and he snapped, "I don't see anything.
"Look again," Scott urged him.
"How is a bruise gonna tell me where Boyd and Erica are?" the Alpha asked him, his tone clipped and cold. He was giving Allison the look he reserved for Hunters, and she was giving it right back, her chin high.
"It's the same on both sides. Exactly the same," Scott argued, meeting his eyes evenly.
"It's nothing," the elder of my brothers insisted, exasperated.
"Paradolia," Lydia said quietly, and I was suddenly glad Jackson was gone. It meant Lydia could show how smart she really was. "Seeing patterns that aren't there," she explained to Derek's raised eyebrow. "It's a subset of apiphenia," the redhead told us like we were supposed to have read whatever medical journal she'd gotten her hands on this time. Derek shook his head, though he was impressed by her intelligence, and looked to Scott incredulously.
"They're trying to help," the Beta reminded him quietly.
It was the wrong thing to say though, because Derek just got more annoyed, his disbelief clear in his stance. "These two?" he checked, indicating the girls before him. I stood behind him, at the door, waiting for him to leave. "This one," he started, pointing at Lydia. "Who used me to resurrect my psychotic uncle," he reminded Scott. Then he added a cold, "Thank you," to Lydia. "And this one, who shot about thirty arrows into me and my pack," he snapped, turning cold eyes back to Allison.
"Okay, all right, now, come on," Stiles cut in as I opened my mouth. "No one died, all right? Look, there may have been a little maiming, okay, a little mangling, but no death. That's what I call an important distinction," he said, trying to alleviate the situation as Derek turned to him.
"My mother died," Allison reminded Derek softly, her voice laced with underlying anger.
"Your family's little honor code killed your mother, not me," my elder brother told her, his voice quieter as he held his temper.
"That girl was looking for Scott," she replied flatly, shaking her head at him. "I'm here to help him, not you."
"You wanna help?" Derek asked, leaning forward slightly. "Find something real," he suggested coldly and I sighed. Allison's ribbon flared with anger as he turned away, nearly reaching me before Scott turned after him.
Hearing the Beta's frustrated sigh, Derek turned around. As he and Scott moved closer together, I nodded my head at the other door, and Lydia pulled Allison out. "Give her a chance. Okay, they're on our side now," Scott requested softly.
"Well then maybe you should tell her what her mother was actually trying to do that night," Derek replied, leaving a silent Scott behind him as he herded me out the door.
"You know the whole Peter thing wasn't Lydia's fault," I reminded him and he ran a hand over his face. "I saw earlier. What the hell did you do to Isaac?" I added, walking with him across the parking lot.
"Peter went into his memories and tried to bring back the ones Deucalion took," my brother explained, and I realized that he sounded tired.
"Hey, look at me, Derek," I murmured, stopping him under one of the trees on the front lawn. Once he was facing me but looking down at the grass I caught his chin and made him meet my eyes. "None of this is your fault. Go back to the loft, get some sleep. I'm right here if you need me," I told him, and he pressed a grateful kiss to my forehead.
"Never alone, right?" he asked softly, and I nodded, stretching up to kiss his cheek before I let him go and hurried to catch up with Scott and Stiles.
I caught them as the first bell rang. "Okay, what would a pack of Alphas want with Erica and Boyd?" Stiles asked. Scott must have filled him on Isaac's memory.
"I'm not sure it's them they want," Scott admitted, suddenly catching a weird scent.
"Okay, what, like Derek? Like they're recruiting?" Stiles asked as Scott and I stopped. I grabbed Scott's arm as I picked up what he could smell and stared after the new twins. Two of the Alpha ribbons flared, one darkening into fiery red, the other to burnt orange. My hand tightened on Scott's arm as I realized what that meant. "Hey, Scott, Ami," Stiles said, snapping the two of us out of our daze. "You coming?" he asked, not having seen the twins. I could feel his weird look on the back of my head as I walked with Scott, my plain brown Toms making no sound on the wet pavement.
In Economics, I took a seat in front of Stiles and beside Danny, then started drawing my best friend as I waited for class to start. Coach slammed a book down on his desk, startling everyone to attention as he said, and "The stock market is based on two principles. What are they?"
Immediately Scott raised his hand, paying complete attention. "Yes, McCall, you can go to the bathroom," Coach said, dismissing him without question. "Anybody else?" he asked as my brother lowered his hand.
"Uh, no, Coach, I know the answer," my brother told him, and I felt the amusement from the rest of the class.
Coach burst out laughing, then saw the look on Scott's face. "Oh, you're serious," he realized.
"Yeah, it's risk and reward," Scott said, and people turned to look at him in surprise. Danny flashed a grin at him as I nodded proudly.
"Wow. Who are you?" Coach asked him, coming down the aisle to lean down in front of Scott. "And what have you done with McCall? Don't answer that. I like you better," he told Scott, thoroughly impressed. This was a lacrosse team captain. "I like you better," he decided as Scott grinned at him. Then he straightened and asked, "Does anyone have a quarter? A quarter?"
Stiles dug into his pocket and pulled out a quarter. But a shiny little packet flipped through the air as he pulled out his hand, and I stared down at the condom on the floor next to me. Coach bent over and picked it up, saying, "Stilinski, I think you, uh you dropped this." He handed the XXL condom back to Stiles, trading it for the quarter, and muttered, "And congratulations." Giggling broke out across the room as Stiles stared straight ahead, and Scott grinned into his hand. Beside me, Danny raised an eyebrow at Stiles, and images that I really didn't want to see flickered across his ribbon.
"Risk and reward. Put the quarter in the mug, win the reward," he declared, holding up his coach rules mug. Then he set it on the floor and backed away. "Okay, watch coach." I leaned forward to watch him crouch on the floor and blow on the quarter. With a neat bounce, the quarter clattered into the mug, and the class clapped, grinning at each other as coach celebrated. "That's how you do it," he crowed, then retrieved the quarter. "Okay. Danny," he decided, tossing the coin to my best friend. "Risk, reward," he offered.
"What's the reward?" Danny considered.
"You don't have to take the pop quiz tomorrow," Finstock told him.
"Coach, it's not a pop quiz if you tell us about it," the goalie pointed out.
"Danny, you know, I really expect more from you at this point. Really," Coach replied, taking the quarter from him. I rolled my eyes at him, smiling down at my journal as I continued to draw. "McCall. Risk, reward," he said, setting the coin on Scott's desk. "The risk: If you don't put that quarter in the mug, you have to take the pop-the, the quiz," he told him as my brother picked up the quarter. He glanced at Danny as he spoke, correctly himself with a glare to the goalie's head. "And, and you have to write an essay. Risk, more work," Coach seemed to really like this game as he shook a closed fist in Scott's face. "Reward, no work at all," he countered, blowing on his other hand as he opened it, like the work was vanishing. "Or choose not to play," he finished.
"But isn't this just chance?" Scott asked, looking up.
"No. You know your abilities, your coordination, your focus, past experience all factors affecting the outcome," as Coach explained his answer, he seemed proud of the fact that Scott had been the one to ask an important question. "So what's it gonna be, McCall? More work, no work, or choose not to play?" he asked as Scott considered everything. But I knew he wasn't going to try it, not willing to cheat with his wolf given coordination. So he set the coin down and Coach declared, "No play. Okay. Who's next? Who wants the quarter?"
Stiles got up, grinning, and Coach announced, "There ya go! There's a gambling man!" Stiles took the quarter and danced his way to the front of the room as Finstock cheered, "Come on! Step up, step up." I shook my head as he clapped and said, "All right, Stilinski."
I looked up from my journal as the door opened behind Coach. Our teacher turned to see the Sheriff and one of his deputies in the doorway, and warned, "Stiles."
"Yeah, coach, I got it," Stiles replied, preparing to throw the coin.
"Stiles," Sheriff Stilinski spoke up, making his son look up and straighten worriedly. Scott and I glanced at each other as Stiles left, and I knew Scott was listening through the door. The distraction allowed me to sit back and look at my new drawing, sighing as I saw another image that had no meaning to me at all. A series of shattered wine bottles filled the page, and I just flipped the page as I watched Danny throw the quarter.
"Yes!" Coach cheered as the coin clattered into the mug. "Reward!" he declared, and Danny came back to his seat, earning himself high fives from Scott and I. "Okay, who's next?" he asked. I raised my hand, willing to give it a shot, and Greenburg put his hand up on the far side of the room. Of course Coach had to point it out and snapped, "Greenburg, put your hand down. You don't have a chance." I huffed a laugh while Coach looked around the room, and then he called, "McCall number two!"
After Economics, during junior free period, I stopped at the school store to grab coffees for myself and Danny. When I got up to the library, one of the twins was leaning over his shoulder, talking to him, the other leaning against the bookshelf with Lydia as they swapped numbers. The fiery red and burnt orange ribbons flared, and I pinpointed the orange one to the twin leaning over Danny. Which meant the red one belonged to his straight brother, the one flirting with Lydia. But upon seeing me, the orange one let his eyes flash red as he smirked at me, then excused himself. He took his brother with him, and I watched Lydia worriedly as she returned to Allison. I sat down beside Danny and asked, "Who was that?"
Grinning, Danny said, "Ethan Beech. He and his brother Aiden just moved here."
I nodded, noticing the fact that I could smell not one but two werewolves. And now I had names for two of the Alphas. As I was texting Derek to tell him I'd found two of them, Scott sent me a message asking if I could leave to help him and Stiles with something for Isaac. "I have to go. I'll see you in French?" I told Danny. He nodded, looking in the direction the twins had gone, and I kissed his cheek before I left. I wasn't letting Ethan get close to Danny without him knowing the human was under my protection.
I met Scott at my locker, grabbing my helmet as he explained what we were doing. Derek was already at the clinic when we pulled up, Isaac sitting nervously in one of the chairs. With three boys filling the washbasin with ice, it didn't take long for us to be done. I hopped up onto the examining table as Derek and Scott dumped the last bags into the tub. "Obviously, it's not going to be particularly comfortable," Deaton told Isaac as they stood in the doorway. "But if we can slow your heart rate down enough, you'll slip into a trance-like state."
"Like being hypnotized," Isaac said, his voice hesitant.
"Exactly. You'll be half transformed. It'll let us access your subconscious mind," Deaton replied, walking the Beta over to stand beside the tub. Isaac crouched, holding the edge of the basin as he stared at the ice.
"How slow does his heart rate need to be?" Scott asked, a little worried.
"Very slow," the vet replied, avoiding the complete question.
"Okay, well, how slow is very slow?" Derek demanded, annoyed with the emissary's evasiveness.
"Nearly dead," Deaton admitted, and I flinched away from the tub.
"It's safe, though, right?" Isaac asked, yanking his hand away from the stinging cold of the ice filled basin.
"Do you want me to answer honestly?" Deaton replied, looking down at the wolf crouched beside him.
"No. No, not really," Isaac whispered, glancing up at me.
A rubbery snapping sound made all of us look over at Stiles and I didn't need Derek's ribbon to see his annoyance and disbelief. "What?" Stiles asked, his full length glove encased arm still raised. Simply raising his eyebrows as Derek glared at the younger boy got Stiles to sigh and rip the glove off before he moved back over to the tub.
"Look, if it feels too risky, you don't have to do this," Derek told Isaac, looking up from where he was braced against the side of the basin. Scott nodded, for once agreeing, but Isaac pulled his shirt off and dropped it on the table behind him. Isaac drew a deep breath, then climbed into the tub as I dropped back to my feet. Stiles kept me away from the wolves as Scott shed his jacket and Derek placed his hand on Isaac's shoulder.
My brothers exchanged looks with Deaton before they pushed Isaac backwards into the icy water. Ice and freezing water cascaded over the sides of the tub as Isaac went under, and I danced backwards to avoid it. A minute later, Isaac erupted from the water, roaring as he howled. He struggled against Scott and Derek as Stiles moved forward to keep the wolf from kicking free. "Get him back under," Deaton instructed, arms folded over his chest, and Isaac was shoved back under the water. He shifted back, the cold forcing the wolf to retreat, but continued to fight. "Hold him," the vet ordered.
"We're trying!" Derek snapped, glancing at me where I stood in the doorway.
I knew just from the look that Derek wanted me to help Isaac. Unknown to the other three, Isaac wasn't fighting the cold but the memories. So I reached for the baby blue ribbon and spoke gently, soothing the Beta as he faded out of consciousness. When he stopped fighting, the boys let go, and Isaac floated back to the top of the tub.
"Now, remember, only I talk to him. Too many voices will confuse him and draw him out," Deaton whispered, and I withdrew from the ribbon that had gone still. "Isaac? Can you hear me?" he asked.
"Yes. I can hear you," Isaac replied, voice slightly slurred through chattering teeth. Scott's ribbon flared with shock and worry as Isaac spoke, and I watched him look up at his boss.
"This is Dr. Deaton. I'd like to ask you a few questions. Is that all right?" the vet continued in the same kind of calling tone.
"Yes," Isaac replied, and I edged close enough to see that his eyes were closed and his lips were turning blue. Derek and Scott both still had one hand on Isaac's bare, freezing shoulders.
"I want to ask you about the night you found Erica and Boyd," Deaton told him, and my worry spike. As it did, lightning flashed outside, thunder cracking across the sky. I moved away, standing in the doorway so I could watch the storm as I listened to the vet say, "I want you to remember it for me in as vivid detail as possible, like you're actually there again." Instantly I cringed, because I knew what was going to happen.
"I-I don't wanna do that. I don't…I don't wanna do that. I don't wanna do that," Isaac said, twisting in the tub as the lights flickered.
Derek, Scott and Stiles restrained him as Deaton soothed, "Isaac, it's all right. Just relax. They're just memories. You can't be hurt by a memory." All four of them were looking up as the power flared and evened out.
"I don't wanna do that-it's all right-I don't wanna do that." Isaac continued to protest as Deaton soothed him, and I had to clamp my hands over my ears to fight the urge to use the ribbon again.
"Relax. Relax. Good," Deaton coaxed, and Isaac slowly stilled again. Stiles drew back, letting the Alpha and Beta hold onto Isaac. "Now let's go back to that night. To the place you found Erica and Boyd. Can you tell me what you see? Is there some kind of building? A house?"
"It's not-it's not a house. It's stone. I think marble," Isaac replied, making Derek flare with hope that maybe this would work after all.
"That's perfect. Can you give me any other descriptors?" Scott's boss asked.
"It's dusty, so empty," the curly haired boy told him, and then I could see. My vision turned gray even as I let go of Isaac's ribbon.
"Like an abandoned building?" Deaton asked, only to Isaac to keep quiet. The lights flickered out again, and Scott and Derek's worry matched my agitation. "Isaac? Isaac?" Deaton asked, and I turned around as panic flared inside my head.
"Someone's here. Someone's here," Isaac gasped, one hand shooting up to grasp Scott's arm.
"Isaac, relax," Deaton coaxed, and I took a step closer.
"No, no, no, they see me, they see me!" the tall teen cried, then yelled out.
Scott and Derek held him down as the vet tried to soothe the third wolf. "Just memories. You won't be hurt by your memories," he insisted, glancing at me as the lights flickered again. "Just relax. Relax. Good," the vet's voice was oddly compelling even as Scott's pain, worry, and anger with himself for letting Isaac do this rolled down his chocolate ribbon. "Now tell us what you see. Tell us everything," Deaton urged, looking up at the two wolves, swallowing his own worry.
Through gray vision I watched Isaac make his way up a set of stairs in a fancy building, then hearing a familiar voice. "But I can't control it. Neither of us will," an unseen Boyd said.
"I hear him," Isaac said, though his voice sounded like an echo as Boyd kept talking in my head. "He's talking about the full moon, about being out of control when the moon rises."
"Is he talking to Erica?" Deaton asked, thunder rumbling overhead.
"I think so, I can't-I can't see her, I ca I can't I can't see either of them," Isaac's teeth were chattering enough to make his voice waver.
"Can you hear anything else?" the older man pressed urgently.
"They're worried. They're worried what they'll do during the moon. They're worried that they're gonna hurt each other," Isaac explained.
"If they're locked in together on the full moon, they're gonna tear each other apart," Derek told Scott quietly, and I blanched.
"Isaac, we need to find them right now. Can you see them?" Deaton pushed.
"No," Isaac whispered.
"Do you know what kind of room it is? Is there any kind of a marker? A number on a door? A sign?" Deaton couldn't keep the urgency out of his voice, drawing me to the edge of the water.
But it wasn't until Isaac shot upright in the tub that I yanked off my Toms and moved to his side, reaching out to touch his shoulder. Derek quickly pulled my hand back, passing me off to Stiles to keep away from Isaac. "They're here. They…they" Isaac whimpered, shrinking back into the water as he tried to hide from what the others couldn't see.
"It's all right," Deaton tried to tell him, and I wanted to scream that it wasn't. He couldn't see what I could.
"They see me. They found me. They're here!" Isaac yelled, eyes wide with fear.
"This isn't working!" Derek snapped at Deaton, leaning over the tub to yell, "Isaac, where are you?"
"I can't see them, it's too dark!" Isaac cried.
The Alpha ignored him to order, "Isaac, tell me where you are!"
"You're going to confuse him," Deaton hissed at Derek.
"Isaac, where are you?" Derek demanded, and I gasped as Isaac's vision blurred until I couldn't see.
Shoving Stiles away, I lunged for Isaac, cupping his face in my hands. As soon as I touched him I could see him looking down at someone in a rounded doorway. Paper was scattered all over the floor. But as I saw through his ribbon, I drifted away from the others, until Derek, Scott, and Deaton were faint, like an echo. "Tell me where you are," Derek urged, gripping my arm too tightly.
"If his heart races, he could go into shock," Deaton hissed, keeping his voice down until I almost couldn't hear it.
"Derek, let him go!" Scott ordered.
"Isaac, where are you? What did you see?" my Alpha was yelling, but he was so far away. The power went out, making their room as dark as where I was right now.
"It's a vault, it's a bank vault!" I cried. A hand grabbed the front of my shirt, throwing me to the ground as a foot was placed on my chest. Eyes flashing Alpha red as she roared, a dark haired she wolf stood over me, pinning me easily.
"I saw it!" Isaac bolted upwards out of my hands, then explained, "I saw the name." He climbed out of the basin with help from Scott and Derek as Deaton grabbed a thick towel to wrap around Isaac's shivering form. Derek lifted me to my feet as Isaac pulled the towel closer, and I shook my head, dispelling the last of the gray images. A third Alpha ribbon flared, this one turning scarlet red. "It's uh Beacon Hills First National Bank. It's an abandoned bank, and they're keeping them locked inside-inside the vault," he told them, but none of them looked happy to have a clue.
Isaac and I could both see it on their faces that something was very wrong. "What?" Isaac asked, turning to Stiles.
"You don't remember what you said right before you came out of it, do you?" the human boy guessed.
"No," Isaac replied, shaking his head as I backed hastily out of the freezing water I was standing in. Scott looked down, and I knew it was bad.
"You said that when they captured you, they dragged you into a room, and that there was a body in it," Stiles told him, pursing his lips in the way he did when he had really bad news.
"What body?" Isaac asked, turning to look at Deaton with worried blue eyes.
"Who was it?" I asked, looking up Derek.
"Erica," Stiles replied, and I felt like I'd been punched in the gut. Thunder rumbled as lightning flashed again, and Stiles said, "You said it was Erica."