Disclaimer: I don't own Teen Wolf or its characters, only Kaia and my original ideas.
Note: Feel free to review, even if it's to say something isn't working! Reviews make my day when they're good, and help me improve when they're not. (They also remind me to keep working on a story when life gets really busy!) Thanks!
Kaia walked through the woods in near silence. It was cold out, and she definitely wasn't properly dressed for early fall weather, especially when it was after dark. At the moment, she was wearing a sports tanktop, capri length yoga pants, and running shoes. Her copper colored hair was also pulled back into a ponytail, and she was covered in a thin layer of sweat that made her even colder.
She had gone for a nighttime run at seven and had lost track of time. Before she knew it, the sun was going down and she was on the opposite end of the preserve from her house. She had also forgotten that the sun was going down earlier these days, leading to her current predicament of being alone in the woods after dark. Luckily she had her phone with her, and had texted her dad to tell him what had happened so he wouldn't worry. He had responded with a message to stay safe, and that he would see her later. Her dad was awesome.
Kaia shivered as a soft breeze rustled the leaves above her. A sudden crack of a branch snapping nearby her made her freeze in place to listen. Several rustles sounded, and Kaia began to back up against a tree so that she could have one place where she knew the sounds weren't coming from. Her eyes darted around the woods, and as more rustles sounded, finally narrowed in on the bushes at the top of a nearby incline. As the sounds got louder, she pressed herself further into the tree.
Two forms suddenly emerged, and tumbled into the clearing as they bickered. Kaia let out a breath of relief at the sight of them, and just as quickly switched to anger. What the hell were they thinking clambering through the woods at this hour, hiding in bushes?
"What the hell are you two morons thinking?! You just about gave me a heart attack! If this is your idea of a prank, then it's not funny!" They screeched and scrambled backward after she spoke, and Kaia belatedly realized that they probably hadn't seen her as she was dressed in all black. Which meant this wasn't a prank. She winced. "Sorry."
"Kaia? What the hell?! What are you even doing out here? Why aren't you at home?" Kaia rolled her eyes at Stiles, the one who had asked the questions, and crossed her arms. Scott was wheezing off to the side, and she glanced at him in concern. He gave her a small smile and the okay sign, and she nodded, turning back to their friend.
"What does it look like, dumbass? I went for a run at seven, forgetting how early the sun starts going down this time of year. It got dark when I was heading back, and I couldn't see the ground well enough to run any longer, meaning I'm stuck walking home. What's your excuse for being out here this late when we have school tomorrow?"
Before he could answer, shouts and bright lights came from beyond the trees. Stiles cursed, and pulled Kaia to the ground, motioning for Scott to do the same. Kaia scowled in indignation at being manhandled, but looked up when she heard dogs barking. She squinted her eyes to see better. Suddenly her eyes flew open wide as she recognized the police force.
"Stiles, why is your dad out here with what looks like the entire force?" she hissed at him. Scott had finally caught his breath from where he lay beside her, and when she glanced at him, Kaia could tell he was regretting coming along with the other boy. Stiles ignored her question, and suddenly scrambled to his feet.
"Hey, come on!" he said, rushing from their hiding spot. Kaia watched him incredulously for a moment, before scrambling to her feet and offering a hand to Scott, who was whisper-yelling protests after Stiles. Kaia had her own doubts about running towards the people they were hiding from, but she didn't want to be left behind, so she followed.
Stiles rushed through the trees, and Kaia quickly caught up to him, all the while making sure Scott wouldn't suddenly pass out due to his asthma. Scott had still been calling out warnings and protests, but he suddenly went silent. Kaia whipped around to face him, concerned that his trouble breathing had finally caught up to him, and Stiles seemed to notice for the first time that Scott wasn't right behind them. Kaia was about to go back to check on him, when a sudden barking erupted from behind them. Stiles yelped in surprise and fell to the ground as Kaia let out a small scream and stumbled back.
"Hold it right there!" one of the officers shouted at them. Kaia let out a quiet groan, and looked up at the sky. If she got arrested because of Stiles, she was going to kill him. Suddenly remembering Scott, she subtly turned to look for him, and caught the edge of his jacket as he darted behind a tree. Good, he hadn't collapsed or passed out, he'd merely noticed the police they were about to run into and had gone quiet.
"Hang on, hang on! One of these little delinquents belongs to me." Once the dog was back under control, he turned his attention to Kaia. "Kaia, I didn't expect to see you here. You usually keep my son out of trouble, not follow him into it." She blushed slightly and lowered her head.
"Sorry, Sheriff. If I knew what was going on, I would have tried to. I only ran into him several minutes ago." Seeing his confused expression, she elaborated. "I was out for a run and lost track of time. It got dark before I got out of the woods, and I was stuck walking home. I honestly have no idea what is happening." The Sheriff raised his eyebrows.
"So, I guess my son didn't tell you about the dead body out here that he learned about by listening in on my phone call? Or the fact that there is a slim chance that the killer is still out here?" Kaia paled, and her eyes went wide. She turned to Stiles, who looked like he wanted to crawl into a hole under both his dad and Kaia's gazes.
"Stiles Stilinski, you forgot to tell me that there was a dead body and quite possibly a psychopath out here in the middle of the woods, and you had us running around looking for them?!" Stiles winced at her tone, and mumbled something in reply. "What was that?" He cleared his throat and repeated himself, still avoiding her eyes.
"I said, technically it was only half a dead body."
"Half –" Stiles's dad cut off her squeak once he realized that this could easily turn into a long conversation.
"You two can finish this conversation later. Now, where's your usual partner in crime?" His question was aimed at Stiles, and both he and Kaia knew exactly who he was talking about. She forced herself to not look back at the tree where Scott was hiding. Stiles let out a laugh that sounded strained even to Kaia, much less the Sheriff.
"Who, Scott?" Stiles was still panting slightly from his run through the woods and his scare with the dog. "Sc-Scott's home. He said he wanted a good night's sleep for his first day back at school tomorrow. It was just me. In the woods. Alone. Until I ran into Kaia. Who was also in the woods. Alone." Kaia rolled her eyes at her friend. Way to be transparent. The Sheriff clearly didn't fully believe Stiles, and he raised his flashlight to the surrounding trees.
"Scott, you out there? Scott?' He waited for a moment, then sighed when he realized that he had no way to tell if Scott was really there or not. "Well, young man, I'm gonna walk you back to your car, and when I get home, you and I are going to have a conversation about something called invasion of privacy." Kaia snickered at Stiles's expression, and the Sheriff turned to look at her, suddenly remembering why she was out there as well.
"Kaia, would you like a ride home? One that my son will so graciously provide for you?" Kaia suddenly realized how cold she was and shivered, giving the man a small smile and a nod. Seeing her shiver, the Sheriff removed his jacket and wrapped it around her shoulders, enveloping her in a blanket of warmth. "Here, you can wear this on the way back to the car. You must be freezing out here, dressed like that."
"Thanks, Mr. Stilinski. And thanks, Stiles, for the ride home. It probably would have taken me another fourty-five minutes to reach my house at the rate I was going. You just shaved over half and hour off of my ETA." Kaia said with a smile. Stiles's dad smiled at her, keeping a firm grip on the back of Stiles's coat.
Once they reached the car, the Sheriff told his son to text him once Kaia was dropped off and once he got home, and that once the second text came in he was going to call the house to confirm that was where he really was. Kaia removed the coat as she slid into the passenger seat of the Jeep, and handed it back to the man.
"Thanks for the coat. I'll try not to get caught out here again after dark, and I'll definitely bring a jacket next time I do." She smiled as she closed her door, and the Sheriff nodded in response as he backed up, hearing the sound of the car's engine starting.
"Sure thing. Take care, Kaia. Stiles, don't forget to text me. If you do, I'm taking away your laptop for the next week." At Stiles's stunned and horrified expression, his father laughed, before waving and walking back to the others. Kaia chuckled a bit too, before poking her friend in the side, causing him to glare at her. Taking her cue for what it was, though, he shifted gears and began driving.
Once she was certain they were moving, Kaia pulled out her phone and opened up her text stream with Scott. Text me when you get home, OK? Sorry for ditching, couldn't find a way to get you a ride w/o the Sheriff knowing. Be careful. Stiles caught sight of the phone in her hands.
"What are you doing?" He asked as they drove. Kaia looked up from her phone with raised eyebrows. Had he already forgotten Scott? She knew that he hadn't really, and had come to the same conclusion Kaia had informed Scott about. She figured that it was a sign of the differences between guys and girls that he wouldn't be checking in on his friend through a text, but rather checking in with Scott in person the next day.
"Texting Scott, saying sorry for ditching. I also told him to be careful and to let me know when he got home so I won't worry. You know," she said, narrowing her eyes at Stiles, "since apparently there's a murderer out there and half a dead body." Stiles groaned in response.
"Oh my god, you're going to hold that over me forever, aren't you? Sorry, I didn't get the chance to tell you between you scaring Scott and me – shaving several years off our lives, I might add – and the police showing up. I swear I would have told you within the next several minutes." Kaia considered him for a moment, before nodding and giving him a grin.
"Apology accepted. I'm still going to hold that over you from time to time though, and I hope you know that." At Stiles's exasperated look, she laughed. A quiet noise from her phone showed a new text from Scott. K, thanks. Don't worry I'll be fine. Will be leaving the woods in a minute, dropped my inhaler. Yes, I'll be careful. See you tomorrow. As Stiles rambled in the background, Kaia's body relaxed slightly at the message from Scott.
She'd always had a soft spot for the boy who was one of the two brothers she'd never had, the other being Stiles of course. However, she had become more protective of Scott ever since she witnessed a really bad asthma attack that led to him passing out. They had been in sixth grade at the time, and Kaia was so freaked out by the event that she hadn't slept for a week. Actually, neither had Scott really, because she had been so worried about him that she'd texted every couple of hours to make sure he was alright. Come to think of it, she still had nightmares about his asthma attacks every now and then.
Kaia tuned back into Stiles's ramblings once they reached her street. They turned into her driveway, and she unbuckled her seatbelt. She double checked that she had everything with her, then turned back to Stiles and gave him a short hug.
"Hey, thanks for the ride. See you tomorrow at school?" Stiles grinned at her as she moved back, and nodded.
"Sure. Man, everyone's going to know about it, but we'll have heard about it first hand, how cool is that?" Noticing Kaia's fond irritation, he tactfully moved on from the subject. "Right. Anyway, get inside before your dad freaks, and I'll see you tomorrow when you no longer stink." He dodged the cuff Kaia sent him with a laugh, and moved the gearshift into reverse, waiting for her to reach the front door before backing up. Kaia sent him a final wave as he left then entered her house.
She breathed in the familiar scent of pine, cinnamon, and her dad's aftershave with a sigh of contentment. She loved her house. Most of the walls on the outside of the house had windows that, when the curtains were open, gave the house an open and airy feeling. The house was also on the edge of town, meaning that it backed up into the woods that led to the preserve connected to the old Hale house. It was how she even got to the other end of the preserve in the first place.
Debating about leaving her shower until morning, Kaia glanced at the clock and decided to wait so she could get some sleep now. She kicked off her running shoes by the front door, double checked that the door was locked, then headed upstairs. She paused by the door to her dad's room, then pushed it open and slipped silently inside.
She walked over to the edge of the bed, and watched her dad's even breathing for a moment before brushing her hand over his arm lightly and crouching down beside him. Her dad hummed as he blearily blinked into almost-awareness. He caught sight of Kaia and his lips curled up slightly.
"Hey, chickadee." He said, his voice still muffled by sleep. "What're you doing in here? Everything alright?" Kaia smiled, and nodded, brushing her hand over her dad's shoulder again.
"Yeah, dad, everything's fine. I just wanted to let you know that I'm home so you don't panic in the morning." she stood as her dad started drifting off again. "I'll let you get back to sleep. Goodnight. I love you." Her dad murmured something similar as she slipped out of his room again and closed the door.
Kaia made her way further down the hall to her room, and opened the door. Her room was her favorite one in the whole house. Three of its walls were literally made out of windows, as well as the roof. There were huge drapes for the walls, and the roof had wooden panels attached to ropes inside her room that could be opened and closed.
The room had been her birthday and Christmas present wrapped in one the year she turned thirteen. Her only request had been that the windows be made out of bulletproof glass. Her parents had protested due to the cost until she pointed out that someone throwing a rock at the wall to her room would bring the whole thing down. They agreed pretty quickly after that.
Double checking that all the drapes were closed, she changed into her pajamas and took her hair out of its ponytail. Kaia washed her face, then went over to the ropes that opened the panels on the ceiling. It felt like a stargazing night, so she decided to open all of them. With the nighttime sky above her, she crawled into bed and stared at the stars.
Curious about how much sleep she'd get before school the next day, she glanced at her clock and groaned internally. She wished she could blame her friends for the lack of sleep she'd be getting, but for once she was the one to blame. Oh well, she thought as she rolled over and shut her eyes, it's not going to be the end of the world. It would also guarantee that she wouldn't let it happen again. Still, school tomorrow was going to suck.