Thanks to Ash, Fizz Wizz, and Teresa for reviewing! I wrote this chapter chronologically because the memories are just too hard to write so they make sense. I also figured that if I did it in the actual time sequence, people would understand the episode itself better.
Also, to my newest reviewer, Just Anonymous: Hello! And welcome. Thank you for reviewing. They are supposed to be rather confusing, as I leave things out to explain later when the time is right. She is not crushing on Isaac, but Kaden. Ami and Isaac have a rather mother-pup relationship since Ami is so nurturing to the pack. That hint is actually meant in a more platonic, non-romantic way that will play a serious part in season 4. And yes, Derek can very much be a jerk, but Ami knows his gentler side.
"Hey, Ami?" Scott called through my closed door. I opened the door, a questioning smile on my face that dropped as soon as he held up what he'd found at school.
"I'll go with you," I told him, knowing immediately that he was worried. Scott sighed and nodded, waiting as I found a jacket to slide into.
We were silent the entire ride to the Argents' apartment. Chris let us in with a frown that cleared when Scott held up the arrow. It did not surprise me when the hunter closed the door to his study as we made our way to Allison's room. "Scott, Ami, what are you doing here?" Allison asked as she sat up on her bed.
I stood in the doorway as my brother held up the arrow for the huntress to see. "I found it outside at the school, right where Isaac got Boyd and Cora to turn back," Scott told her, completely skipping any semblance of hello.
"How do you know it's not from the archery team?" Allison asked. Just by the fact that she hadn't said it wasn't hers gave up her guilt.
"We don't have an archery team," Scott pointed out with a triumphant smirk. Allison looked away and I grinned into my hand. "And even if we did, they probably wouldn't be using military grade, armor piercing titanium arrowheads," the wolf added, flicking the arrowhead so a chiming ping reached my ears. "I looked it up," he admitted, grinning at her.
"Maybe it's one of my father's," she tried, shrugging.
"I thought you guys had some kind of agreement where you both stay out of all this," he reminded her.
"Is that why you came here, to tell me to stay out of this?" Allison challenged.
"No," my brother sighed, wanting her by his side now more than ever. I felt my eyebrows go up as I watched, but it was pointless to step out. I'd hear everything anyway.
"Okay," she whispered, unfurling from the bed to grab a sweatshirt and get to her feet. "Well I can take of myself."
Scott looked down as she walked by him, thinking of how she'd fought the Kanima and even attacked us. "I know," he assured her. But he couldn't keep his worry and fear from slipping out. "But these guys, Allison, if you didn't notice, they're pretty terrifying. Plus they have some serious advantages, like superhuman strength."
"You're pretty strong and I can handle you," she retorted.
Scott smirked, then scoffed, "Me?"
"You don't think I'd have a chance against you?" she asked.
"None," I muttered as Scott shifted his weight to his other foot.
"I didn't say that," he told her, but we all knew he was thinking it.
"Maybe you didn't notice, but I'm pretty good with a bow and arrow," she reminded him, and I thought, 'And Chinese Ring Daggers.'
"Kay, well what if you didn't have it? I still have super strength," he countered. 'That she's never truly seen because you're never more human than with her.'
"I have skills and training." 'That isn't complete.'
"I have claws." 'And fangs.'
"I'm smarter." 'Scott was smart enough to trick your grandfather, you, and Derek.'
"Well I'm faster." 'And you can hear her pretty much all the time.'
"Prove it," Allison suggested and I groaned internally. I could practically touch the sexual tension in the room. So I watched with a smirk as Allison went to punch him. His arm snapped up and he caught her wrist, stopping it cold. They held each other's eyes as she punched again, only for him to catch her and spin her. My smirk blossomed into a grin as their foreheads touched, and I was incredibly proud of them when they stepped apart. Allison's attack came as no surprise, but I stepped away from the doorframe as Scott shoved her against the wall. "Okay, I get it. You can let go now," she whispered, pain and fear darting down her ribbon.
"I'm sorry," the wolf said once he'd stepped back and let her go.
"Don't-don't apologize," Allison ordered, rubbing one of her wrists. She refused to look at him, and suddenly I realized that she didn't have much experience with Scott as a wolf. "You're right."
She walked by him, sinking to the floor with her back against her bed as Scott tried to explain, "I was just trying to-"
"I got it," she snapped, cutting him off. I stepped into the room, but her voice softened as she added, "You made your point."
"Allison, the twins were just messing with us. I've seen the others. I'm not telling you this because I don't think you couldn't easily kick my ass if you wanted to. I'm telling you this because they scare the hell out of me. And they should scare you too," Scott sighed, closing the door behind him. I knelt beside the huntress and touched her sore wrist. Hissing as pain turned my veins black, I met her eyes and saw that she understood. Scott cared about her too much to watch her get hurt.
When Scott and I stepped into the elevator, we found ourselves boxed in with the Alpha of Alphas. "Going down?" he asked. Not at all subtly, Scott stepped in front of me as his claws shot out. Deucalion laughed and said, "Come on, Scott, put those away. I'd have to be blind, deaf, and quadriplegic for you to be an actual threat." Setting my hands on Scott's shoulders made him draw a deep breath, holding the full shift back as Deucalion continued, "Or maybe you should take a chance." I watched, some irrational fear making my pulse rise as the Alpha inhaled through his nose. "Your heart beat's steady. You might be afraid of me, but you're controlling it. Maybe you'll actually rise to the occasion and become an Alpha by killing one."
"I'm not like you," Scott replied, holding the gaze of eyes that could not see him. "I don't have to kill people."
"Not yet," the Alpha assured him. "But situations come around, situations when the only way to protect one person is to kill another. Would you kill to protect your lovely little sister clutching at your shirt to keep her control?" he asked, turning the red-rimmed eyes on me. I shivered, forcing myself to swallow and push the wolf back as I reached for a ribbon.
"You want to threaten my sister, is that why you're here?" Scott demanded, twining his fingers with mine as my hand slipped into his.
"No, I live here," Deucalion answered calmly.
"What?" Scott and I stared at him as we realized what he'd just said.
"I live here. It's a great building and the neighbors are surprising friendly," he replied knowingly. I was shocked to see him allow a faint pulse of triumph to slip through his shield, but I knew instantly that he wanted me to see it. He knew how protective Scott would be of Allison.
"What do you want?" my brother asked, going tense.
"I want to see what you're made of," the Alpha told us, moving closer. The doors dinged as they opened for the ground floor, but Scott and I stared at the older man as we moved out of the elevator. "Could someone hit the button for penthouse?"
I raced up the stairs after Scott, internally scolding myself once again for wearing heels. For once, I'd actually picked the black Oxfords, so it wasn't as hard to run in the inch high heels. "I know where they are!" Scott said, heaving open the loft door. Shock flared down his ribbon, and as I reached the doorway behind him, I saw why. Derek had Boyd, Cora, Kaden, and Peter gathered around the table.
"Same building as the Argents," Derek replied, looking up at us. "We know."
Boyd, in a new sleeveless leather jacket, turned from the table and said, "Cora and I followed the twins." Cora shot us a smug look and I cast her a baleful look for letting Peter encourage this.
"Then they want you to know," Scott protested, moving closer as I stood on the top step.
"Or more likely they don't care," my father corrected him, raising an eyebrow at me as I held back.
"What is this?" my brother asked, seeing the papers strewn across Derek's desk.
"Isn't it obvious? The schemers are scheming, coming up with a cue de men. Better known as a preemptive strike," Peter told him
Scott looked up, completely incredulous as he met Derek's eyes. He glanced over his shoulder, met my eyes and realized, "You're going after them?"
"Tomorrow," Derek told him. He was using his don't argue with me I'm the alpha voice as he added, "And you're gonna help us. They're one floor above them in the penthouse, above Allison."
"So kill them first?" Scott sighed. "That's the plan."
"They won't even see it coming," the dark skinned beta insisted.
"Why is the default plan always murder? Just once, can't someone try to come up with something that doesn't involve killing everyone?" Scott demanded, but he knew it was too late. Derek had his mind set on this, and clearly had Cora and Boyd behind him.
"That's what I'm for," I muttered, earning myself a nod from Scott and a glare from Derek.
"You never get tired of being so blandly moral, so you?" Peter asked him condescendingly. "Not that I disagree with him," he added, looking at Derek pointedly.
"I do," Cora said. "Why do we need this kid?" she asked scathingly as she eyed Scott.
Before I could defend Scott, Derek did it for me. "This kid helped save your life," he told her, then turned his attention on Scott. "You know we can't just sit back and wait for them to make the first move."
"You can't beat a pack of Alphas," my brother pointed out.
"That's why we're going after Deucalion," Cora told him smugly. "Just him."
"Cut off the head of the snake and the body dies," Boyd added, making the smaller beta turn to him.
"Only this isn't a snake. It's a Hydra," Peter replied, and I swallowed my mounting fear and anger to be glad that he was agreeing with Scott for once. Even if it was just for his own agenda. "And like Scott says, they're all Alphas."
"Deucalion's still the leader," Derek reminded him.
"Let's hope so," Peter humored him. "Because you know what happened when Hercules cut off one of the heads of the Hydra?" he asked his nephew.
"Two more grew back in its place," Scott replied distractedly.
"And the Hydra could only be killed by burning the stumps of the cut off heads," I added.
"Somebody's been doing their summer reading," my father praised us in a taunting tone.
I listened to them plan until I couldn't take it anymore. "No!" I burst out, hurrying down the stairs. "Scott, this is crazy," I snapped as I stalked across the floor to stand between Boyd and Scott. "There's no way we all get out of there alive."
"That's why you're not going," the Alpha replied, meeting my eyes with a flat glare.
"Like hell I'm not. You go, so do I," I retorted.
"You're not a wolf, how are you going to fight?" Cora scoffed.
Instantly I turned to her, eyes glowing dark violet as I snarled. She stepped back as Scott and Boyd turned to me, but to their surprise, it was Kaden, not Derek, who set his hand on my shoulder. I sighed and turned away from Cora, blinking my eyes away. "Can you drive me home, please," I asked quietly, refusing to meet Derek's burning gaze.
Kaden had returned to the loft by the time Scott pulled up on his bike. I'd curled up on the bed with Isaac, just reading, but it wasn't until after I realized I was hungry that Scott made his move. Isaac, in his leather jacket and boots, leaned against the doorway to my brother's room watching as Scott got ready to leave. When my brother turned around, he jumped, and I knew it was bad. "Where are you going?" Isaac asked, raising his eyebrows at the helmet.
"Uhhh I was gonna go get some food to eat," Scott lied and I didn't even bother to roll my eyes as I listened through the bathroom door.
"Oh, I'll come with you," Isaac humored him. I nodded, sliding my white leather jacket over my shoulders.
"Nah, dude, it's okay, I can eat alone," the dark haired beta replied, not liking the look in Isaac's eyes.
"What are you getting?" the taller of the wolves asked. As they talked, I replaced my Oxfords with combat boots and pulled off all my jewelry.
"Uhhhh, Mexican," my brother supplied.
"I love Mexican," the curly haired teen grinned and turned for the hallway until Scott stopped him.
"Isaac, I can eat alone. It's okay," Scott insisted, trying to keep the younger beta safe.
"You're not going alone. Come on," Isaac replied, and I'd never been so proud of either of them. I watched from the porch as they got on Scott's bike and waited until I could no longer hear it in the distance. Then the sleek black Camaro pulled up, and I ran across the driveway to slide into the passenger seat.
We watched from the top of the escalator behind Deucalion as Scott and Isaac approached. "You didn't come alone," the alpha said as the betas drew closer.
"Yeah, this is Isaac," my brother told him.
My stomach dropped when I felt Deucalion drop the shield. Suddenly I could see all the ribbons in the building. And we were so screwed. "I'm not talking about Isaac," the monster wolf replied, oddly wearing his glasses inside when he hadn't worn them in the elevator.
The betas turned at the sound of footsteps to see Derek, fully shifted, followed by Boyd and Cora. "You knew I would do this," Scott realized, fury at another lie pushed aside to try to save our Alpha's life. "Derek, don't do this and no one gets hurt. If someone else dies-" Scott tried to talk the Alpha down, but Derek refused to have it.
"Him," my elder brother rumbled, pointing up at Deucalion. "Just him."
"Just me?" Deucalion repeated, and my stomach dropped out of my abdomen and settled in my shoes. The Alpha pack had my pack surrounded. Deucalion knew exactly what was going to happen. "Now, how's a blind man find his way into a place like this, all on his own?"
Kali slid down a column to her Alpha's right, nearest Derek, snarling as she straightened. Scott took a step back and I fought back a groan. Seriously, had all of them walked right by an Alpha and not smelled them? They must have, because Ennis climbed up the escalator beside Scott and Isaac, forcing the two betas to draw away. They were dismissed easily enough as the huge Alpha moved passed them and shifted, growling at Boyd. But the worst part was the twins that appeared on the floor above Kaden and me. I looked up at them as Cora did the same, but it was Aiden who met the yellow eyes in a challenge.
Isaac was looking around calculatingly and not liking what he saw as Scott's dread and betrayal washed down his ribbon. I hardly noticed as my own fear for the betas and anger with Derek drowned out the pixies.
I couldn't help the lunge forward when Derek charged Deucalion. But Kaden locked his arms around my waist, holding me back even as my claws dug into his arms. "Kaden, please, I have to help," I begged quietly, blinking purple eyes up at him.
"No," he growled as I watched the wonder twins slam my brother into a concrete wall. I whimpered, clutching at my restraints, and he insisted, "You'll get yourself killed." I watched the battle, horrified and flooded with baby blue, chocolate, teal, and copper pain. Cora's scream yet also a howl, Isaac's cracking cry, Scott's half roar half yell, and Boyd's wheezy gasp all made me wince, but I couldn't turn my eyes away.
Ethan and Aiden held Isaac and Scott down, Kali had her foot on Cora's throat, and Ennis was standing over Boyd as he coughed up blood. "Kill him," Deucalion ordered Derek, who whipped his head around to stare. I watched, hands going slack on Kaden's arms as my Alpha met Boyd's eyes and Deucalion added, "The others can go."
'Allison, tell me you're here,' I pleaded as my brother's fear washed over him. Then I spotted the huntress' ribbon getting closer and closer.
"You're beaten," Deucalion pointed out. "Do it, Derek. Take the first step."
Derek met Scott's pained eyes as Kali growled, "Are we serious with this kid? Look at him." Derek glared at her and Kaden's arms fell away from my waist. "He's an Alpha, to what, a couple of useless teenagers."
"Some have more promise than others," Deucalion assured her, turning his blind eyes on Scott.
"Let him rise to the occasion then. What'll it be, Derek? Pack or family?" Kali said, and I heard the crunch as she crushed Cora's collar bone.
'Hold on, Derek, please hold on,' I urged as I got to my feet, his ribbon hesitant and torn between choices. Then I did the stupidest thing I'd ever done save for jumping in front of the super twins. "You forget, Kali. Derek's a Hale. Hale Alphas were always powerful," I said, pausing at the top of the escalator. It worked. The Alphas, and the betas, all turned to me long enough that Allison could walk out into the open and not be seen behind and above them. 'Duck,' I ordered Derek as the huntress released her first arrow.
The merged Alpha backed away from Scott and Isaac, falling to the floor as Ethan and Aiden. Kali screamed as she was blinded, and Cora dragged herself away. "Your eyes! Cover your eyes!" Deucalion ordered Ennis, crouching on the floor. Allison continued to fire until my pack got to their feet.
"Take him!" Derek ordered, draping Boyd over Cora's shoulder. Scott furious roar was matched by my own, and as he charged Ennis, I sprang down the escalator. The white cane flicked out, blade glinting, and I leaped, sailing over it and Kali to roll to my feet behind Ennis. I met Scott's eyes and stared in shock.
The reds of an Alpha were fixed on Ennis.
Then Scott shook his head, looking up with beta yellow, but it was neither of my brothers who attacked. I didn't know what courage made me football tackle Ennis at the legs, but I was glad for it. The Alpha slammed to the ground, flying up over my back. He got up in time to snarl in my face and be slammed aside by Derek while I crouched beside Scott. Derek drove him back, away from us, until Ennis flipped him with a good blow to the ribs.
The two Alphas landed in similar crouches and roared. I winced, the power of so many Alphas unavoidable. "Up, up, come on," I hissed, straightening with Scott's arm over my shoulders. Derek and Ennis were grappling, right at the edge, when we dove for the back of Ennis's legs and slashed open his calves. It worked, forcing the bigger Alpha off balance, until he pulled Derek with him.
Right over the edge of a three story fall. My brother's eyes met mine as he fell away from my outstretched hand, red eyes fading to green. It was not fury or ice I saw as Derek fell, but love.
The scream that tore free as I lunged to the edge of the drop was primal and anguished. I watched him fall, the thud of their landing the only thing I could hear. Arms wrapped around my waist, yanking me away from the edge as I howled my pain, fury, and grief. Beside me, Isaac dragged a stunned Scott away from the drop, and I knew the arms around me were Kaden. The blue eyed beta was talking, but his voice was muffled by the pounding in my ears. I didn't feel how much guilt dropped onto Scott when he saw me this way. I didn't hear what Kaden and Isaac were saying. I didn't see the Alphas disappear into the bank.
All I knew was that I was too late as I howled my forgiveness.