August 9, 2014

Never Know What Hit You 5/8

Title: Never Know What Hit You
Authors: Sxymami0909 & Xtremeroswelia
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Timeline: Set after 3.18 'Riddled' AU from there.
Rating: R - for extreme violence
Pairings: Stiles/Lydia, Scott/Kira, Allison/Isaac, Eventual Sheriff Stilinski/Melissa, Derek Hale, Aiden, Ethan, Alan Deaton, Chris Argent
Summary: Stiles is in a race against time to figure out the latest mystery in Beacon Hills before he can no longer remember his friends and family. But when Stiles heads down a dark path, Scott and Lydia have to work with the pack to find a way to save their friend and save Beacon Hills. But are both possible? Or will they have to choose? Does one life outweigh the many? Or will a sacrifice be made to protect what's left of the town? Friendships will be tested, bonds broken, and lines drawn. And when all is said and done, nothing will ever be the same again.
Parts: 5/8
Previous Chapters: | One | Two | Three | Four |

Chapter 5

Lydia walked down the hallway, her heels clicking loudly against the floor, Chemistry books in hand. The halls seemed quieter even though she knew that wasn’t the case. Things had been going wrong all morning and the administration had been running through the hallways like bats out of hell. Lydia honestly couldn’t believe school was still in session; then again at least it was a distraction.

She, Scott and Derek had gone through the woods by Derek’s old house and all the surrounding areas. They were out there for hours and nothing. Though, they had seen flashlights a few times in the distance. Lydia knew Mr. Argent had called the hunters back to town and they were out in full force. But Scott and Derek had something those hunters didn’t have, a keen sense of smell and desperation.

Derek had fallen asleep on Scott’s couch last night when they got back from looking for Stiles and Ms. McCall had covered him with a blanket saying when he slept he looked like a kid. Lydia couldn’t help but agree. She had spent her night on Scott’s floor oddly enough with him lying on the floor too. She hadn’t been able to sleep so he spent some time telling her stories about him and Stiles from when they were younger. It had been the first time she smiled in days.

Lydia shook the thought away and sighed as she pushed the door open to her classroom and stepped inside. She took a few steps and then paused frowning when she realized no one was in the room. “What the-” she glanced around, her long hair whipping back and forth. She pressed her books against her purple sweater and brushed a hand over her pleated black skirt as confusion settled on her face.

And then a shiver slid down her spine and she took a step back. She felt anxiety building inside of her and her stomach clenched. The feeling was back. Lydia turned quickly and rushed to the now closed classroom door. She gripped the knob and turned, but it was locked. She frowned, her heartbeat slamming hard against her chest as she pulled harder trying to get the door open.

“I thought it was time for us to have that little chat,” a familiar voice said, except the voice wasn’t right. It wasn’t really his. It was the thing inside of him that was using his body, his vocal chords, and not actually him at all.

The Nogitsune stood right behind her, not touching her but so close she could feel his breath hot against her neck. He had to take care of this one, even if it wasn’t right now. This one, this girl, was dangerous to him in more ways than one. He reached out, pulling a lock of hair out of away from her neck with a tenderness that contradicted all of the terrible things it had been doing in the last few days. He watched her turn around to face him.

“Hello, Lydia.” It smiled at her, but it wasn’t Stiles’ smile. It was darker, eyes devoid of any emotion at all except hunger. Hunger for the things that would allow it to manifest itself outside of Stiles’ body: chaos, pain, strife. Tragedy.

Lydia swallowed hard and stepped back making her hair slip from his fingers. Her gaze darted to his arm and from what she could see it looked okay. “Well at least you’re taking care of his body,” she said straightening up refusing to cower in front of the Nogitsune. “I hear you ran into an angry Argent,” She responded arching a perfectly sculpted eyebrow.

A low chuckle escaped from him. “Unfortunate for him. Doesn’t really affect me that much. Argents don’t really scare me, babe. Actually nothing really scares me. He on the other hand...well.” He shrugged a shoulder. “What doesn’t scare him?”

Lydia pursed her lips, “Fear is healthy. Only a fool lacks fear,” she said with conviction her gaze hardening, “What a person does in the face of their fear is a different story. And Stiles has proven time and again that his fear does not control him.” Lydia took a step forward.

“And for the record while you might not be afraid of harming this body you might want to stop showing off and jumping through windows. There are some of us who like Stiles’ body,” Lydia paused, “That didn’t come out right...but either way the point remains the same.” She said realizing her heartbeat had picked up speed slightly.

The Nogitsune cocked his head, studying her intently. “I can see why he likes you so much. So fiery. Full of spirit.” Humor made his lips tug upwards. “And he has no idea that you feel the same. Humans are so pathetic.” He shifted forward, backing her up against the closed door and putting his hands on either side of her head. “He’s getting weaker in here. At the beginning he was screaming all the time. He hardly screams anymore. Almost like he’s...vanishing entirely.”

Lydia’s grip tightened on her books as she sucked in a deep breath pressing herself back against the door as far as she could go. Her chest tightened at his words, her heart slamming even harder against her chest as she swallowed heavily. Lydia kept the anger on her face though. “Or maybe he’s just lulling you into a false sense of security waiting for us to get our hands on the key to destroying you.” She said matter-of-factly. “You don’t scare me,” she said her voice hard. “Stiles isn’t yours to keep...he’s mine.”

The Nogitsune grinned, a sick, dark smile. “You don’t understand how this works, do you, babe?” He moved his face closer to hers. “By the time I’m done, there won’t be anything left. It’s a shame really. I’m almost….fond of him.” He looked down at his body and then back up at her. “Too bad you missed your chance, really. Although I suppose we could remedy that if you really wanted to. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind much.” He winked at her.

Lydia reached out with her free hand and gripped his shirt tightly, her gaze boring into his. “I will never forgive you Stiles Stilinski if you give up. Never.” She said her voice full of emotion. Lydia felt her stomach clench and she blinked and started to let go of his shirt so she could shift back again.

For just a second, his eyes flickered before turning cold again, his grin turning into a sneer. “Your loss, sweetheart.”

Lydia watched him for a minute and then something inside of her stirred. She could feel the scream building in her throat. She never took her eyes off of Stiles as her mouth opened and she let out a shrill scream, the sound echoing around the small classroom. And then there was silence and Lydia blinked her body wavering between the door and the Nogitsune briefly.

The Nogitsune blinked, seeming thrown by her sudden screaming. “Well that was just unnecessary,” he informed her, narrowing his eyes. “For the record, it’s not time for you. Yet.” Its gaze flickered to her mouth, then down, sweeping over her body before meeting her eyes once more. It leaned forward, pressing his lips against hers, surprisingly tender but seeking.

Lydia’s eyes widened at the feel of his lips against hers. His mouth was warm and soft and she couldn’t seem to help the way she responded to the light touch. She moved her mouth beneath his parting her lips all too willingly so she could deepen the kiss. Lydia shifted forward her hand coming up to Stiles cheek, her thumb brushing against his skin, and it was in that moment she realized what she was doing.

After a long moment, the Nogitsune pulled away from her a knowing smirk on his face. “It’s kind of ironic, really. You finally like him now that he’s controlled by something a little...darker. You really do have a type, don’t you, Lyds?

Lydia stumbled slightly as she moved away from him shaking her head, “No, I. That’s not, I wasn’t kissing you.” she said, her lips tingling as guilt settled in her chest. Her mouth parted but before any words could leave it the classroom door slammed open making Lydia jump.

Scott’s eyes were glowing red as he made his way into the classroom. He’d heard Lydia scream from his classroom on the other side of the school and got there as soon as he could. Scott glanced between Lydia, who looked like she was going to be sick, and Stiles who was smirking and a hint of guilt sparked in his chest.

Stiles would never forgive him if he let something happen to Lydia. He turned slowly stepping in front of Lydia as he stared at his best friend’s body, a deep ache filling his chest. “I’m surprised you’re here.” He said finally.

“Half the people I wanted to see are here, Scottie. Where else would I be?” The Nogitsune grinned at him, this time using Stiles’ trademark smile though his eyes were still devoid of any warmth or emotion. “Don’t worry. Lydia and I were just having a little chat. She really has very interesting taste in men, don’t you think? Jackson, Aiden.” He glanced at her. “Me, now. Too bad you interrupted. I probably could’ve gotten to second base at least. Would’ve been his dream come true, don’t you think?”

Scott’s gaze hardened as he saw Lydia wince. He caught the tears in her eyes and his chest tightened. “I think you should make this easy on yourself and come with me. I don’t want to hurt Stiles, but that doesn’t mean I won’t do what I have to, to save him.” He swallowed hard. “I know you’re still in there man, I need you to fight this asshole, Stiles,” he paused trying to get through to him like his mom had. If he could just get through to him they could knock him out and get him somewhere safe away from the hunters and stop him from hurting people. “You don’t want to do don’t want to hurt us,” he motioned between him and Lydia.

The Nogitsune cocked his head arching one eyebrow at him. “He kind of does, actually,” he said, voice cold. “You did after all, try to kill him how many times, Scottie? And then as soon as Isaac came along...well he wasn’t so important anymore, was he? He knows that. He does kind of want to hurt you for that. For putting his dad’s life in danger so many times…” It tsked. “But he’d never admit it. He blames himself for the monster you’ve become.”

Scott felt like he’d just slapped him. His chest was tight, hands curled into fists. “That’s not true. Those times were an accident, Stiles knew that, I never meant to hurt him, he’s my best brother.” Scott’s voice grew thick, “No one is more important than him, Stiles knows that. He’s family.” He said shouting, his eyes flashing again, but a part of him couldn’t help but think maybe the nogitsune was right. Not that Stiles wanted to hurt him, but that he felt bad.

The feel of a small hand curling around his arm drew his attention from Stiles. “Don’t let him get into your head Scott, Stiles loves you. There isn’t a person in the world he cares about more outside of his know that. Don’t let that,” she glared angrily at the nogitsune, “thing make you question that.”

The Nogitsune winked at her. “Guess you’ll never know if you’re right about that or not, Babe.” It grinned at Scott again. “You’ve tossed him aside so easily, so many times. Allison, Derek, Isaac, now Kira. No wonder it was so easy to take control over his mind, really. So much easier to possess the damaged and broken. I should really thank both of you for making that easier for me. But don’t worry. By the time I’m done, there won’t be any broken pieces left to pick up.” He casually headed for the door. “See you both again soon.”

Scott closed his eyes, a tear escaping out of the corner and sliding down his cheek. Lydia’s grip tightened on Scott and she glanced over her shoulder watching him walk away. Lydia spoke to his back. “We’re going to kill you and when we do we’ll get Stiles back and you’ll just be a forgotten memory.” She said her voice hard, but still shaky.

He simply chuckled, lifting a hand in a wave as he left them alone in the room.

Lydia shifted and stepped around Scott so she was standing in front of him. She hesitated before resting her hands on his shoulders, “Are you alright?” Lydia knew it was a stupid question, it was clear he wasn’t okay. But she didn’t know what else to say or how to make it better...not without Stiles.

He didn’t look at her right away, and he reached up, brushing the tear from his cheek. No. He wasn’t all right. He wasn’t all right at all. None of this was all right, and he couldn’t be all right, and wouldn’t be all right until Stiles was all right. And he was starting to think that wasn’t going to happen. He just shook his head, meeting her eyes, seeing his own pain reflected back to him in her face. “We need to end this,” he whispered.

“I know,” Lydia whispered, “We need to talk to Deaton, Scott. We need to figure out how to end this. Stiles...he’s still in there,” she said swallowing hard, “But...I think he is getting weaker. Today after school we need to sit down with Derek, Kira, and Deaton if we can get in touch with him. It’s time to start formulating a solid plan.” Lydia said her voice a lot more confident than she felt.

Scott looked at her, nodding and reaching out to take her hand. “I’ll call Deaton, and if he doesn’t answer, I’ll take off and drive up to LA and track him down.”

Lydia nodded. “Scott, we’re going to get him back. We just need to stay focused and you need to remember that no matter what that thing says, Stiles love you, you’re like his are his brother. He’s told me how much you mean to him. Try not to question that.” Lydia said quietly squeezing his hand.

“I just...I haven’t paid as much attention as I should have been. I haven’t -- he’s not…” He was frustrated and upset when he couldn’t find the words he wanted to say because he also knew the Nogitsune had planted some of that guilt firmly on Lydia’s shoulders. He hated this so much. “I need to call Deaton. Can you call Derek?” He forced himself to take a deep breath.

Lydia could see Scott struggling and she knew how he felt. “Yes, I’ll call him. We can meet up at the loft and if you need to go get Deaton, then I’ll hold down the fort until you get back.” She said simply.

“Just be careful. Try to stick close to Derek, okay?” He looked at her with worry. As much as he wanted to believe that Stiles would stop the Nogitsune from harming Lydia physically, his confidence was wavering.

Lydia nodded, “I will,” she saw the uncertainty in his gaze and her chest tightened. “Scott, listen to me. I know how hard this is. I go from wanting to cry, to wanting to scream, to wanting to throw something in a matter of minutes. There’s so much that I never…”

Lydia paused, “I’ve wasted a lot of time.” She told Scott simply. “But the minute you and I start giving up on Stiles, it’s the minute we won’t get him back. I don’t think anyone believes we can...outside of surprisingly Derek.” Lydia pressed her lips together, “He needs us not to lose hope. So promise me you won’t, please. I’ve seen you do some crazy things that people didn’t think you could do. Stiles too. I need you to be that guy. I need you to help me get him back because…” Lydia looked down. “Because we need him back.”

Emotions flickered over Scott’s face and he held his breath as she spoke, and he wondered when exactly it was that Lydia Martin had begun to return those kinds of feelings for his best friend. He wasn’t sure but he needed to help be the one to make sure they got their chance together. Wordlessly he moved forward, wrapping his arms around her in a fierce hug, his promise a silent but determined one. They’d get Stiles back. They had to.


He had never felt so tired before. He thought he’d been tired, but it was nothing like the way he felt now. He couldn’t feel his physical body anymore at all, really, but his mind was so tired. He’d tried to guide the Nogitsune to the Argent’s place where Isaac was, because he knew that Scott would never have it in him to take a life, especially not a life that was wearing the face of his best friend. It hadn’t worked. Chris Argent hadn’t taken a kill shot, and if he had, this would have been done with already.

Stiles was forced to watch every terrible thing that the Nogitsune did. Forced to watch as it burned down a mental asylum filled with people, knowing that people were going to get hurt because he’d been too weak to stop it from happening. Watched as it taunted and hunted the people that he cared about.

He’d been so close earlier when it had been talking to Lydia. So close to being able to emerge, but the Nogitsune was using his own pain against him. It was feeding him.

Stiles didn’t want to feel anything anymore at all. Maybe then it would wear his body out, would stop hurting people. Causing so much suffering. He didn’t care if it killed him anymore. He just wanted it over with.

Even now, he watched and listened tiredly as the Nogitsune went about the school day like nothing was out of the norm. Listened to it say and do things that Stiles would never utter or do in a million years. God, the look on Scott’s face earlier, on Lydia’s face...they weren’t going to get past this if he survived. There was no going back.

It was plotting now. But what? It took such a focused amount of energy to push his way into the space of his brain that the nogitsune was occupying, to get an idea of what he was planning. Sometimes it sensed his presence there and mocked him. Other times it managed to push him back out somehow.

It was so focused though, on this plot, that he was able to press through the cracks and into the subconscious of the thing’s thought process, horrified by what he found there.

No. No, that couldn’t happen. He couldn’t let that happen.

He had to stop it.

His body was running now, and he felt the thing smirking as it pretended to ignore the distrust, pretended to ignore the suspicious looks it was getting from people. From all of them that knew what it really was. God, he had to get their attention somehow. Had to stop them from going much farther. But how? How?

There were people all around him as he jogged down the path heading out into the woods with his gym class. Scott could feel the Nogitsune’s eyes on him, Isaac’s too. But he ignored everyone and kept running, pushing himself further. He hated that this thing was walking around in Stiles’ body, but there wasn’t anything he could do in front of all these people.

Plus, what exactly would he do without hurting his best friend? Scott sighed as he followed the path angling to the left and then continuing down, his feet hitting the ground at a steady pace. He knew he wouldn’t break a sweat like everyone else. He never did. This wasn’t really a workout for Scott.

Lydia’s words from earlier sounded in his head, he needed to hold on to the little hope he had left or getting Stiles back was going to be even harder. Scott shifted and moved out into the small clearing his classmate’s right behind him.

Move, Scott, Stiles willed him silently, feeling familiar panic welling up within him as Scott approached the trap the nogitsune had laid the night before. Please. You have to move. But Scott didn’t move. Scott had no idea what was about to hit him. Just a few more steps and the thing would be triggered and no, NO, he couldn’t let that happen.

He screamed inside his own head so loudly that Lydia would have been proud and nearly wept with relief as he regained control of his body, speeding up and tackling Scott to the ground seconds before screaming began all around. God, had he been hit? He moved, forcefully rolling his best friend over to make sure, eyes wild with terror. There was no arrow, no blood. Tears prickled at his eyes as he stared down at Scott.

Scott’s breath rushed out of him confused and when he glanced up and saw Stiles above him his eyes widened, “Stiles?” He reached up and gripped Stiles’ shoulder, the sheer terror on his friends face making his heart hurt. “Dude, hang in there, Lydia and I are going to get it out of you.” Scott was so focused on Stiles he didn’t even realize what was going on around him until he heard Isaac.

“SCOTT!” Isaac screamed his name from the ground beside Allison.

Scott’s head jerked to the left and everything came into focus. Students were screaming as others lay on the floor crying. He frowned, “What the hell?” Scott looked back up at Stiles and squeezed his shoulder. “Are you still with me?” He asked searching his face.

Stiles shuddered at the sound of Isaac’s scream, his gaze immediately going to the girl who lay on the ground, his gut twisting as Scott directed a question at him. “I’m so sorry,” he whispered, scrambling backwards, onto his back, elbows propping him up. “Help her, please.” God, why hadn’t someone stopped him? Why wouldn’t someone just stop him?

Scott sat up pressing his hand against the ground as he stood, “Stiles…” He could see the pain on his friend’s face and the last thing he wanted to do was add to it. “I promise, I’m going to fix this.” He said not wanting to leave him there, but Isaac was already screaming his name again.

Scott sent Stiles one last look before running over to where Isaac was on the ground his eyes going wide when he saw who was on the ground beside him. “What happened?” he asked as he knelt down near Allison, “How bad is it?”

Isaac’s face was already stained with tears and his gaze trailed to the arrow that was lodged inside Allison’s chest, blood stain quickly spreading. His hand was on her opposite shoulder, veins turning black as he drained her physical pain, not even caring if anyone else saw or not.

“No one panic. Greenburg, call 911,” Coach Finnstock ordered. “Don’t try and remove the arrow. It might cause her to bleed out!”

Stiles backed away from the scene, face drained of all color.

Scott looked at Allison and swallowed hard. He blinked and leaned back on his knees as everything shifted into slow motion. He glanced up watching as scared students ran around the forest heading back towards the school. He heard the coach yelling for people to head back to the school and help anyone injured on the way.

Scott could smell the coppery tang of Allison’s blood and he reached over pressing a hand to Isaac’s back, “I’m sorry,” he said quietly and he was. He was sorry this was happening and that people were getting hurt, but it wasn’t Stiles’ fault and it wasn’t fair to punish him for what the demon inside of him was doing. “I’m going to stop this…” he glanced at Allison, “I’m going to make sure no one else gets hurt.” He swallowed hard.

The coach came over to them, “The ambulance is almost here, just a couple more minutes,” he said quickly.

Scott nodded and glanced around again pausing when he spotted Derek near the edge of the woods. He blinked and then motioned behind him with his eyes.

Derek followed Scott’s line of vision and spotted Stiles on the ground. He shifted forward and moved faster than anyone could see until he was standing beside him. “Stiles?” He asked, not entirely sure what Scott wanted him to do and if Stiles was actually Stiles at the moment.

Stiles looked up at him, nauseated. “You have to stop me,” he whispered. “Please.” His voice was strained.

Derek pursed his lips and gripped the back of his shirt, “Come on, get up,” he said tugging him as he spoke. “I’m going to take you somewhere, where you can’t hurt anyone else. We’re close to figuring this out...You’re not dying today Stiles.” He glanced over at Scott, but his attention was on Allison and the paramedics who had just shown up. “We need to go,” he said tugging him away from the crowd.

He didn’t fight Derek when he pulled him to his feet. He looked over his shoulder, trying to see what was happening with Allison. God, what had he done? What if she died? What if it had been Scott? And then he felt the tug inside of him, a strangled sound escaping his mouth. Without warning he felt himself shoved down into darkness.

The Nogitsune wasn’t pleased. He wasn’t upset that Allison had taken the shot meant for McCall, of course, but it wasn’t the same, either. He reached out, grabbing Derek’s arm in a strong grip. “No, Stiles isn’t dying today,” it agreed. “But I can’t say the same for you.” He twisted the older man’s arm, hauling him up and throwing him several feet away.

Derek let out a sharp cry as the bone in his arm snapped and then he was sailing through the sky. His back slammed hard into a tree knocking him to the ground. He stumbled, rolling over the uneven terrain. “Dammit,” he growled.

He reached down to his arm and winced. He took a deep breath, grabbed his arm and twisted it back into place another growl leaving his throat as pain seared through his side. Derek struggled to stand and glanced several feet away where Stiles was standing. He took a step forward rolled his neck and when he looked back forward he was transformed. He glared at the thing in Stiles’ body. “I can’t let you go back there.”

It flashed him a grin. “You can’t stop me, Beta. But for the record, I’m through here.” It winked at him. “Don’t worry.”

Derek moved forward his speed cut off by an arrow sailing into his chest. He fell to his knees and glanced down at his chest noticing he recognized the arrow. “Fucking Argents,” he grunted before his body fell back.

The Nogitsune arched an eyebrow. “That’s my cue to exit stage right. See you around, Derek.” It grinned, backing away and disappearing into the treeline.


Isaac sniffed the air, his heartbeat still elevated as he moved through the woods quietly, claws elongating as his eyes took in everything that moved. Allison was on her way to the hospital, they wouldn’t let him go in the ambulance. He glanced to his right and saw Aiden staring into the forest the same way he was. If someone had told Isaac that he’d willingly be walking around with Aiden of all people he would have laughed, but not today.

Seeing that arrow fly into Allison knowing there was no way he’d be able to reach her in time with how far away he was, had killed him. He liked Stiles just fine, but this couldn’t stand anymore. Scott was blinded by the fact that Stiles was his best friend, he couldn’t do what was necessary, but Isaac could. “Do you see anything?” he asked suddenly.

“No,” Aiden said shortly, not particularly thrilled to be there working with Isaac, either. But he knew they had to be careful. He’d been stalking these woods the previous night, had seen the hunters setting various traps in the farther parts of the forest. They weren’t that close to those right now, but he was kind of hoping that Stiles wasn’t going to get that lucky. He’d be okay if Stiles got caught in one of the traps long enough for Aiden to catch up to the bastard. He was hoping to be the one to snap his neck. Or maybe he’d just rake his claws along the smartass teen’s stomach and watch in satisfaction as his entrails spilled out.

He knew what a risk he was taking considering Chris Argent was definitely out in these same woods, along with a lot of his hunter buddies, but for once they were all on the same side. Still, it was a risk nonetheless because a hunter was a hunter and his experience with hunters wasn’t the best. But it was one he was willing to take if it ended that asshole’s terror streak. Truth be told he might not have cared that much if it had been someone other than Stiles Stilinski. The kid had eyed his girlfriend way too often and gotten too close. She’d broken up with Aiden and taken Stiles’ side when the shithead had been goading him intentionally. He deserved what was coming to him.

Isaac’s steps paused when he saw a flash of something moving out of the corner of his eye. He whipped his head around and a growl built in his throat. “This way,” he said taking off in the direction he saw movement. He could smell Stiles, though it wasn’t his regular smell. He was close, Isaac could feel it. He powered forward running with all the speed and strength he could muster up.

Isaac came to a clearing and pulled himself to a stop, “I know you’re here!” He yelled into the clearing. “Come out!”

And there he was, stepping out in front of them with amusement clear on his face. “It’s cute. The new lover boy coming to avenge his fallen love.” His voice was full of sarcasm but it was darker than Stiles’ usual brand of sarcasm. “The trap wasn’t meant for Allison if it’s any consolation. But it was sufficient for what I needed. No hard feelings, right?”

Aiden circled from behind, keeping his eyes on Stiles as he was focused Isaac.

Isaac glared, “I’m done letting you run through this town like your own personal playground,” He said anger in his voice, “And I do take it personally,” the second the words left his mouth he rushed forward toward Stiles at the same time Aiden rushed him from behind.

He chuckled, reaching out and catching Aiden around the neck, lifting him and hurling him into Isaac, sending both werewolves tumbling to the ground. “And what exactly do you think you can do to stop me, Isaac?

Aiden grunted shifting onto his back and off of Isaac. He was up on his feet fast, claws sliding from his hands.

Isaac pushed himself to his feet too. “I’m gonna kill you,” he said the words quietly, not exactly proud of them, but this had to be done. People were dying...Allison could die. His face hardened and he lifted himself up and stepped forward again.

Aiden moved in front of Isaac. “No, he’s mine.” He said his voice hard. “You and me, we’re gonna throw down.” He said with a growl before charging Stiles again.

He stepped out of the way easily. “Someone’s mad that I kissed his girlfriend earlier,” he said, tone cheerful.

Aiden growled and watched him as he shifted, circling the nogitsune, “You think some stupid lie is going to distract me?” He asked before smiling, “It’s not. You won’t be the first person I ever killed.”

Isaac was torn he moved forward giving Aiden his moment for now, not sure he’d actually be able to do what needed to be done despite wanting too.

It grinned at him. “Oh, I don’t have to lie about this one. You know the kind of guys that Lydia goes for. And right now this body is exactly her type. And let’s face it; you should have seen it coming. I mean, she clearly had feelings for Stiles even when she was screwing you. Look how fast she dumped your ass when you injured him. So come on, Tweedle-Dumb. Show us what you’ve got.” He motioned for him to come forward.

Aiden’s eye’s glowed, anger surging through his body. He heard Isaac’s voice in the background defending Lydia saying she wouldn’t do that to Stiles and that only made him angrier. He took a running start, arms moving at his sides, adrenaline pumping in his veins, feet digging into the dirt as his mouth opened wide, fangs glistening in the light.

He collided with Stiles slamming him to the ground grin on his face, “Lydia could never like this pathetic excuse for a human and she certainly wouldn’t like someone who’s trying to kill her friends. You know, I’m glad I get to be the one to kill you, maybe I’ll even get a little reward,” he mocked right back.

Isaac stepped forward when he saw Stiles hit the ground...maybe Aiden was going to do it after all. He swallowed hard and took a few steps forward in case the other werewolf needed any backup.

If the impact had any effect on the Nogitsune, it couldn’t be seen by the naked eye. He chuckled, reaching up and grabbing Aiden by the throat, flipping them so he had the advantage. “Hate to remind you of this, Ken-Doll, but she still went for you after you killed Boyd.” He shrugged, even though there was blood seeping through his shirt over the shoulder area where Chris Argent had shot him a few days before. “And let’s face it. Nogitsune trumps werewolf every time.”

He smiled down at Aiden, then glanced up at Isaac with a feral grin before reaching down and shoving his hand into Aiden’s chest. He smirked at the werewolf on the ground. “Ever wonder what it was like to pull someone’s heart right out of their chest?”

Aiden tried to suck in a sharp breath, but the pain radiating in his chest wouldn’t allow it. His body shook as he grabbed onto Stiles’ hand trying to yank the offending appendage out of his body, with no luck. He could taste the coppery tang of blood in his mouth as his nails dug into the skin of Stiles’ arm.

Isaac’s eyes widened, “Stop!” He yelled as he ran forward grabbing the Nogitsune from behind trying to pull him off Aiden. He didn’t like the guy, but he couldn’t stand there and watch him die, that wouldn’t be right.

He felt Isaac’s claws digging into his flesh even as the Nogitsune yanked Aiden’s heart out, enjoying the sounds of Stiles and Isaac both screaming in horror. “Yes,” it whispered.

A deep, rumbling roar sailed through the forest, shaking the very ground they stood on. Isaac stumbled back and grabbed his head as he fell to his knees.

Scott appeared from behind the trees fully transformed, eyes gleaming red. “Get back,” his voice carried power and the anger in his tone was clear. His gaze was on his best friend’s bloody hands. His chest tightened as he met Stiles gaze. “You’re done here. Leave, now.” He needed to make sure Isaac was okay and try and figure out how to handle what just happened and how Stiles was probably taking it. God he hated that this was happening.

The Nogitsune arched an eyebrow. “You’re not our alpha,” it informed him, rising to his feet. He squeezed the heart in his hand, letting it fall to the ground back beside the dead former alpha werewolf. “And it’s not like anyone’s going to miss him. Well.” He paused, cocking his head. “I guess his brother might a little. Oh well. Don’t look so down, Scottie. He saved your life earlier. Won’t happen again, of course. But there’s always a bright side.”

Scott did his best to ignore the taunt, guilt filling his chest when he thought about Ethan. “Stiles is in my pack, therefore I’m his alpha, besides there’s nothing left here for you. And if you won’t go, we will.” He turned and walked over to Isaac, helping his friend up off the ground praying that he would just go.

“Always so diplomatic. Not like your own alpha.” It grinned, wiping his hands on his jeans and then his shirt, blood now all over him. “Definitely not like Derek either. Guy really should’ve listened to Stiles when he had the opportunity.” It looked down at Isaac, whose face was pale as he simply sat there in shock. “Be careful in the woods, boys. Traps and hunters all over the damn place.” He winked and headed away.

Scott had run into Derek on the way out to find Isaac and Aiden, he’d texted Lydia letting her know where Derek was asking if she could get him. They should already be out of the forest and heading back to his house.

Scott glanced at Isaac, “Are you okay?” He asked quietly.

“No,” he whispered. “No, I’m not okay.”

“I meant physically,” he admitted as he helped lift Isaac up off the ground. “Come on, let’s get you to the hospital, I know Allison would want you to be there.” He needed to head home so they could regroup and he needed to tell Lydia about Aiden. Scott sighed; this whole thing was turning into one big nightmare.


Scott wasn’t looking forward to this conversation, but he knew it had to be done. Better it coming from him than from some news report when one of the hunters found Aiden’s body, if they’d even have the decency to report it to the authorities. He felt nauseous. Stiles was in there still, apparently witnessing everything that was happening. And the Nogitsune had ripped Aiden’s heart out of his chest. He couldn’t even imagine how badly this was going to damage Stiles’ psyche when they got him back.

He didn’t even realize he was crying until a tear landed on his hand. He quickly reached up to wipe away the rest. This was so unfair. Stiles, the guy who’d never done anything to harm anyone, who ran around doing crazy, impulsive shit to save other people’s lives considering how very mortal and breakable he was, was now so utterly trapped in his own body, a puppet being used against his own free will.

He laid his head in his hands, trying to imagine what kind of hell his best friend in the world was going through. It was terrifying. Stiles was strong, but to overcome this? He didn’t even know if that was going to be possible.

He heard footsteps approaching and he swallowed hard, wiping his eyes quickly and turning to look at Lydia as she stepped into the kitchen.

Lydia paused when she spotted Scott, bloody gauze and tape in her hands. “Hey I didn’t realize you were back,” she stepped forward getting a good look at Scott’s face. Lydia moved forward, “What is it? Are you hurt?” She asked her brows drawing together as she gave him a once over.

Lydia knew Scott could protect himself, but there was a lot going on out there and Lydia needed to take care of Scott for Stiles. She knew if anything happened to Scott, Stiles would never forgive himself.

“No. I’m okay,” he assured her, swallowing hard. His gaze shifted to the bloody gauze she was holding. “Are you all right?” He glanced over her quickly but saw no signs of injuries, so he wasn’t sure whose blood it was.

Lydia followed Scott’s gaze and she shook her head. “I’m okay. Those are from Derek. For someone so growly he really is a big baby,” she said with a sigh. “What happened out there Scott? People were coming into the school screaming about arrows and bear traps?” She asked as she tilted her head to the side.

“They even said someone was shot with an arrow…” Lydia couldn’t even fathom it, sure she saw werewolves and other supernatural beings getting shot all the time, but people never.

“Lydia.” He rose to his feet, reaching out and gently taking the things from her, moving to discard the bloodied gauze. “You should probably sit down, okay?” He placed a hand on her shoulder, guiding her over to the nearest kitchen chair, the one he’d just vacated. He shut his eyes. God, how was he supposed to tell her that not only was her best friend in the hospital, but her ex-boyfriend was dead, heart literally ripped out of his chest because of the demon that was possessing their mutual friend?

Lydia let Scott guide her to the chair, a nervous flutter starting in her stomach. He looked terrible, haunted. Lydia’s heartbeat picked up speed and she swallowed heavily, “You’re scaring me Scott,” it wasn’t something she admitted often, but at this point it was just silly to pretend.

Scott’s expression was pained at her admission, but it wasn’t unexpected. “There was a trap in the woods,” he said softly. “Triggered by an invisible cord.” He looked away, taking a deep breath. “I’m pretty sure it would have hit me right in the heart if Stiles hadn’t tackled me to the ground. It was a trap that the Nogitsune laid.”

Lydia reached out and gripped Scott’s arm, “Stiles saved you?” She asked softly a hoarse laugh falling from her lips. Lydia was almost convinced she’d never hear laughter again. “This is good Scott, he’s still trying, we can get him back. It’s not too late.” She responded not sure why Scott didn’t seem more happy about this.

“Yeah, he did,” he said quietly. “But uh, it hit someone, Lydia.” His chest tightened. “It hit Allison,” he whispered. “It missed her heart, but they took her to the hospital by ambulance.” He swallowed hard. “I talked to my mom. She’s still in emergency surgery. So far they know she has a collapsed lung for sure.”

Lydia gasped, “Oh my god,” moisture glistened in her eyes, “How long ago was that? Do we know anything else? God, I should be there...I” she paused, “I’ve been selfish,” Lydia whispered. She was so worried about Stiles and making sure no one hurt him that she hadn’t thought what it had been like for Allison to see Isaac getting hurt or what it was going to be like now when Mr. Argent found out about Allison. “I should go to the hospital...They’re going to double their efforts on Stiles,” she said quickly as a few tears slipped down her cheeks.

“An hour, maybe a little less. It’s all I know right now about Allison.” He swallowed hard, eyes apologetic even as his watered, too. “Lydia...Aiden’s…” He looked down, shutting his eyes. “The Nogitsune killed him.”

Lydia opened her mouth, “What?” her voice was barely a whisper. “ have to be wrong. He can’t, I mean he’s like you. He’s a werewolf, I don’t understand.” Logically Lydia knew werewolves could be killed, but they were stronger than humans capable of healing from things normal people couldn’t.

Lydia closed her eyes tightly, this couldn’t be happening. The Nogitsune killed Stiles body. With him right there. A soft sob broke from her lips but she pressed them together hard, shoulders shaking slightly from her tears. Guilt filled her chest. She shouldn't have been so terrible to Aiden, he was far from perfect but he had been trying for her. And Stiles, god how was he supposed to be okay after hurting Allison and killing Aiden?

Lydia couldn’t seem to stop the onslaught of tears, it was everything after another and whenever they took one step forward they took two back. How were they ever supposed to repair what’s been broken. They couldn’t go back, not anymore.

“I’m so sorry, Lydia,” he whispered, pulling her into a hug. He shut his eyes. He was a terrible alpha. Stiles was possessed, Allison was in the hospital, Aiden was dead. Isaac was traumatized and not talking even as he waited at the hospital. Chris and his hunter friends were hunting Stiles down and there was no way there was anything he could say or do that would talk them out of it.

Lydia returned the hug, but it took a while before the tears finally stopped. She sucked in a few quick breaths and let them out slowly. But she didn’t release Scott just yet. “We need to talk to Deaton,” Lydia told him her voice shaky. “We’ve got to stop this before it gets worse...This is going to break him,” she whispered. Lydia was having trouble thinking straight though. She hadn’t been sleeping well, which combined with everything else going on meant she wasn’t at her sharpest.

Hearing his own fears spoken aloud made him squeeze his eyes tightly, still holding onto her. “I know,” he admitted just as quietly. “We just...we have to do one step at a time. I got a hold of Deaton. He’s gonna meet us tomorrow after school lets out.” He pulled away to look at her, taking a deep breath.

Lydia nodded. She was silent for a long moment, “I just want this all to be over.” She said softly. Lydia studied Scott’s face for a minute before speaking, “This can’t be easy on you either,” she commented, “I know asking how you are is a ridiculous question, but I’m here if you need to talk or vent, or just I don’t know.” She said in one long breath.

“I know,” he said quietly, nodding. “I appreciate it.” He exhaled slowly. “Are you uh -- are you gonna head to the hospital?”

Lydia was quiet for a minute before nodding. “I need to make sure Allison is okay, no matter what we’re going through right now, she’s still my best friend,” Lydia paused, “And I need to call Ethan, god he’s going to be devastated.” She whispered her chest tightened and she took a slow, deep breath to control the emotions that were once again welling in her chest.

She didn’t have the luxury of giving into those emotions right now. There was too much going on. “Kira called,” Lydia said breaking the silence in the room, “She’s got some information for us about the Nogitsune.” Lydia told him as she rested a hand against his arm. “She’s going to come by tomorrow with the books.”

The McCall house had become their base of operations. Between her, Derek, Kira, and the sheriff who was currently out trying to reign in some of the chaos in town, the house was full. They’d been lucky that Scott’s dad hadn’t come by yet, but Lydia supposed it had been pretty busy with everything going on. “Are you coming with me?” She asked softly not sure if Scott planned on heading to the hospital with her.

Scott reached out and squeezed her shoulder gently. “I’ll talk to Ethan.” His own chest tightened. “You just go be with Allison, okay? I’ll talk to Ethan and then...I’ll meet up with you guys to talk to Deaton.”

He backed away from her, heading toward the refrigerator. “Have you eaten? Because you should probably eat something. It’s lunch time.”

Lydia wondered briefly why Scott didn’t want to come to the hospital, but she figured he probably had his reasons. A thoughtful look crossed her face, she couldn’t remember if she’d eaten today or not, but the truth was she wasn’t all that hungry. “I don’t think I can eat right now,” she said as she sat in the chair at the table, her nails scratching lightly at the wood. “Where’s Aiden’s--where is he?” She asked not able to actually say the words.

“He’s in the woods,” Scott said quietly, looking down. “I’m gonna...go back out there.” He rubbed the back of his neck, shutting his eyes. He looked up again, grimacing. “We’re going to get him back, Lydia. He’s still in there. He’s fighting,” he whispered. If he hadn’t been fighting, Scott was pretty sure he’d have ended up seriously injured.

Lydia swallowed hard, “I know we will, there isn’t any other choice.” She was silent for a minute glancing down at the table intently. “I let him kiss me,” she whispered, “I...I kissed him back.” Lydia’s heart was beating rapidly in her chest. “What kind of person does that make me?” It had been bothering her all day. What he’d said to her...was that really what Stiles thought? Is that how he saw her? Worse was he right?

“Jackson...I loved him you know. I know he was terrible, to me, to other people, but I always thought I could save him...that I could make him better than he was. I didn’t like him because he was mean I liked him in spite of it,” she explained quietly. “And Aiden...he saved my life you know, he turned his back on Kali and the rest of the pack for me. I never forgave him for what he did to Boyd, but we were trying to get past the long run I know I wouldn’t have been able to, but I felt like I owed him a second chance.” Lydia finally glanced up at Scott. “And Stiles….” she let her voice trail off and shook her head. “Do you think he’ll forgive me?”

Scott’s gaze was sympathetic. Not the least bit judgmental. “I know you loved Jackson, Lydia,” he said softly. He hadn’t ever understood why really, because Jackson overall, was kind of a douchebag. He hadn’t been on team Kill Jackson, but he wasn’t a fan of the guy’s either. Then again up until recently he hadn’t been a huge fan of Lydia’s either. Sometimes things did change.

“And as far as Aiden goes...Lydia...I don’t think that you have to do anything for someone because you feel like you owe them,” he said gently. “You know?” He was quiet for a moment. “I don’t think that Stiles is going to hold it against you. I’re you.” He tried to smile but couldn’t quite manage it. Not with everything that was going on.

“This thing inside Stiles. It feeds off of pain. Strife. Chaos.” He looked down, shaking his head. “It wanted to hurt you because it’s getting something from that pain.” Scott met her eyes. “It’s not Stiles. Stiles would never…” He shook his head. “Not ever.”

Lydia nodded, “I know,” she responded quietly and then sighed. “I-” she hesitated, “I don’t think I’ve ever really realized how much time we spend together. You know? Like, lately it’s been a lot, but I didn’t realize how much...until now. It’s like there’s something missing.” Lydia pressed her lips together and then looked up at Scott embarrassed by the admission. She didn’t exactly do the whole touchy feeling thing and when she let her guard down it was only ever with Stiles. Lydia cleared her throat and pushed herself up, “I should probably go to the hospital.”

Scott didn’t have that particular problem. He was well aware of how much time he’d spent with Stiles, even if it had been less lately. One more thing to feel guilty about. Maybe if he’d been around more, he would’ve seen the whole thing coming. Maybe he could have found a way to stop it. He simply nodded in understanding, reaching out and squeezing her arm. “Let me know how she’s doing?”

Lydia nodded, “I will.” She told him trying to send him a reassuring look. She turned around and saw Derek in the doorway. Lydia arched an eyebrow, “Back in business already?” She inquired with a tilt of her head.

Derek grunted, “Yeah,” He glanced at Scott, “I’ll help you with Aiden,” he said his voice calm, “I’m pretty sure after what happened today even more people are going to be looking for Stiles. We’re going to need to step up our efforts.” He explained.

Scott shifted his gaze to the older werewolf. “Yeah, you’re right,” he said quietly. Chris Argent had probably already called in more reinforcements. If they got to Stiles before he and Derek did…

Lydia glanced between them and took a deep breath. She reached out and squeezed Scott’s arm gently. “Be careful out there,” she said pointedly, “I don’t want any more injuries tonight.” She stepped back, grabbed her purse off the table and walked over to Derek; she reached out and pressed a palm against his chest.

Derek grunted and Lydia arched a brow. “That’s not fully healed. You be careful too, please. When I come back later I want you both in one piece. Got it?” She demanded.

Derek nodded, “Yes,” he said confused as to why she even cared. He wasn’t used to people caring.

“Good, I’ll see you two soon.” Lydia walked out of the kitchen and to the front door so she could head to the hospital and see Allison.


Isaac sat in the surgery waiting room, slumped in a chair and blood on his clothes. His face was pale, and he just felt...numb. He’d been there for an hour now and so far there wasn’t any news on Allison other than she had a collapsed lung. He wasn’t really aware of what was going on around him, but when he heard the familiar clack of high heels on the floor, he sat up a little, glancing up when he saw Lydia.

He shifted in his seat, guilt in his eyes and on his face. He quickly looked down. If he hadn’t been going after Stiles with Aiden in the first place, then maybe Aiden would still be alive.

Lydia stopped in front of Isaac, her eyes darting around the hospital before settling on him. “How is she?” Lydia asked worry etched into her face. She hated hospitals; they always reminded her of what happened with Peter.

“Not really any news.” His voice was weak. “Collapsed lung. Still in surgery.” He looked up at her, swallowing hard. “Did you uh -- did you talk to Scott?”

Lydia pursed her lips and glanced down slipping her hands into her jacket pocket. “Scott told me about Aiden.” She glanced up, her chest tight, eyes glistening. “I’m sorry.” Lydia responded quietly, “I know you guys don’t think Stiles can be helped and you probably think it even less now,” Lydia’s voice caught in her throat. She paused controlling her emotions. “I just don’t know why he’d go after him.” She whispered.

Isaac exhaled shakily, rubbing his hands over his face. “We went after him. If we hadn’t been, he probably…” His voice trailed off. He shook his head, not looking up at her again, shoulders slumped. “Aiden wanted to be the one to…” He winced.

What?” Lydia’s body went rigid. “You two hunted him down and what, Aiden was going to kill him?” She asked her tone angry. This wasn’t the place to fight, Lydia knew that, but she couldn’t believe they’d been so stupid. Okay, she understood why Isaac had gone after Stiles, she could excuse that, he was head over heels for Allison. But Aiden? Why had he gone after Stiles, this had nothing to do with him.

Isaac couldn’t bring himself to look at her. “He had just shot Allison okay? She might not even…” His voice broke and his jaw tightened as he struggled not to cry. “Aiden said he wanted to help and I wasn’t excited about it but I figured two of us had a better chance than me by myself.”

Lydia stepped forward and rested a hand against Isaac’s shoulder. “I know why you did it. I understand why. Allison is going to be okay, she’s strong, she’ll get through this.” she told him. “But why did Aiden offer to come with you? He sought you out?” She asked with a frown.

“He was in class when it happened. They wouldn’t let me come in the ambulance with her. He suggested it,” he admitted, finally looking up at her, stricken. “I just wanted to stop him. It’s not like I want Stiles dead,” he whispered.

Lydia’s chest tightened and guilt filled her. She bent down awkwardly and wrapped her arms around Isaac. “I know. I know this is just one big crap pile,” she said in one quick breath. “I don’t want to fight with you or Allison, I just want everyone to be okay.” Lydia explained releasing him before he could even really hug her back.

Lydia shifted into the seat beside Isaac and took his hand in hers. “I’ll wait with you and if they don’t come out and tell us soon, I’ll grab Melissa and she’ll find out what’s going on for us.” She told him matter-of-factly.

One big crap pile was definitely a good, solid definition of what was happening. He couldn’t imagine any way that this was going to end well for anyone. He looked down at his hand when she took it, almost surprised by the gesture. After a moment, he squeezed it gently, leaning his head back against the wall and closing his eyes.

Everyone being okay was all he wanted, too.


Melissa glanced down at the chart in her hands, flipping through it twice to make sure she was reading it correctly. She frowned, closed the chart and made her way down the hallway towards where she knew Isaac was waiting. Melissa glanced at the clock near the nurse’s station, it was already close to ten at night and she knew he’d been there all day waiting on an update.

Melissa turned the corner and spotted Isaac sleeping in a chair with Lydia beside him reading a magazine, looking just as put together as always. Melissa honestly wasn’t sure how the girl did it, especially since she was certain on more than one occasion she’d heard the young girl crying herself to sleep at night.

It seemed Lydia was just as bad off as Scott and honestly Melissa didn’t know what to do to help her son, or Lydia. She sighed as she walked up to them. “Hi, Lydia sweetheart, has he been sleeping long?”

Lydia glanced up and closed the magazine immediately. “Hi Ms. McCall, about an hour and a half,” she said glancing over at Isaac.

Melissa nodded and walked over to Isaac brushing her hand through his hair before rubbing his arm gently, “Isaac sweetie, Isaac wake up.”

He startled when she rubbed his arm, jerking his head up and off Lydia’s shoulder, blinking a few times. “Ms. McCall?” His eyebrows furrowed for a moment, then he realized where they were and remembered what had happened. “Allison. Is she okay? Is there any news?” he asked anxiously, sitting up straighter in the chair, heart beating fast in his chest.

Melissa nodded placing a hand on his shoulder. “Allison came through the surgery okay. She’s in recovery now and everything is looking good. She’s going to be here for a while but as soon as things are settled and she wakes up from the anesthesia I’ll see about getting you in to see her,” she said softly with a tired smile.

Melissa glanced between them, “They found something on the arrow that hit Allison,” she said quietly glancing around them before speaking again, “Wolfsbane.”

Lydia sat up, “Oh my god,” she whispered. Stiles. “Stiles saved Scott. The arrow was for him and Stiles tackled him to the ground that’s when it hit Allison,” she explained. Stiles knew it would have done a lot of damage to Scott and he’d controlled the Nogitsune long enough to save his best friend. It gave Lydia hope.

“Wolfsbane is poisonous to humans, too, though. Is Allison going to be okay? I mean are you sure?” Isaac said, eyes wide.

Melissa nodded, “Yes, we were lucky. They realized it within the hour of her getting here and were able to do a gastrointestinal decontamination with activated charcoal and once she was out of surgery they gave her some atropine.” She said as she slid the chart under her arm. “But this is serious. If she had gotten here any later...there was a lethal dose on that arrow.” She told them, her chest tightening.

“It would’ve kille--” He stopped himself, swallowing hard and rubbing his hand over his face, looking at Lydia. It wouldn’t have just done damage to Scott. It potentially could have killed him.

“Stiles is still in there...he’s still trying to protect us. We just need to protect him too,” Lydia told them glancing between Ms. McCall and Isaac.

Melissa reached out and rubbed Lydia’s arm. “Nobody’s going to hurt Stiles,” she reassured.

Lydia winced; she and Scott hadn’t told Ms. McCall and the Sheriff about the hunters looking for Stiles. “Yeah…” She said letting her voice trail off. “I’m going to call Scott and let him know that Allison is going to be okay, I’ll be right back.” She said before getting up and moving down the hallway.

Melissa watched her go and then glanced at Isaac. “How are you holding up?”

“As long as Allison’s okay I’ll be all right.” He rubbed a hand over his face. He sighed and looked up at her. “Do you have much longer on shift? Want me to have Lydia take you back home or something?” he asked uncertainly.

Melissa smiled at his concern and touched his cheek gently. “I’m going to stick around here for a while and monitor Allison for bit and I’ve got my car, but thank you,” she said sincerely. “Now you just relax for a little bit, eat something and then I’ll see what I can do about getting you into see Allison.”

Isaac hesitated a second, then slid his arms around her, burying his face in her shoulder. “Thanks, Ms. McCall.” He wasn’t hungry in the least but he’d try to find something he could choke down because she’d asked him to. “I’ll run down to the cafeteria. Do you uh -- do you want me to bring you anything?”

Melissa’s heart warmed and she wrapped her arms around him, running a hand down the back of his head gently. “That would be really great, thanks sweetie.” She pulled back enough to get a good look at Isaac and her chest tightened; she cupped his cheek and patted it gently. “Everything is going to be okay. We’ll all get through this.” She told him quietly her tone motherly and reassuring.

His eyes watered involuntarily and he blinked a few times, nodding so she knew that he heard her. “Thanks.” He managed a tiny smile. “I’ll bring you something halfway edible. Promise.”

Melissa smiled, “Okay.” She said giving him one more squeeze before taking the folder out from under her arm and heading back to the nurse’s station.

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