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"We’re hoping to get more answers from her when we find her." Scott offered, even if he was pointedly aware that it was a hollow comfort when his actions were directly responsible for her escape - her and that Omega. The Omega claimed to have only wanted to talk, before. Maybe they should have been more thankful that they hadn’t taken it up on its offer.

But he kept his gaze studiously ahead, focusing on Deaton, though he knew the vet already had this information. He could feel Allison’s gaze on him, senses prickling with the same awareness of sighted prey, but he barely had to look passed his periphery to notice the way Isaac looked at her, even if he didn’t noticed the way the blond’s grip squeezed, ever so carefully, or slid down to her elbow like a silent apology. Scott hoped someone found this amusing. All hope would be lost if no one did.

"I think that’s enough excitement for one night," the veterinarian offered, and Scott recognized that tone from the times he was told to end shifts early or when he was being warned of over-treating the puppies.

"Mr. Argent should be here shortly. If anything comes up, you’ll all be updated as soon as possible."

Allison immediately turned to Scott, purpose evident in the taut lines of her face. “I want to talk to her when you find her,” she said to him. “I want answers.”

She could hear Deaton talking in the background, some thing about her father coming to pick her up, but all she could focus on was Isaac’s hand, gentle on her elbow, and Scott’s gaze, zeroed in on a point somewhere over her shoulder. She had no idea where she stood with either of the boys, and with her brain as fuzzed over as it was, she wasn’t keen on sorting it out right now.

Instead, she closed her eyes and waited for her father to bring her home.

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Walking After Midnight

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"That’s what we’re hoping to find out." Deaton explained. It was rare for Cait Siths to attack sources of magical energy for the sheer sake of it, but there were branches of attractive energy that had been witnessed and reported through the centuries. It was possible. "Your father’s looking into the possibility of a revenge motive."

But Deaton had met Scott’s gaze as he spoke, making something twist in the young Alpha’s chest. If Chris found her, Scott suspected he knew the direction his interrogation would go, and he was forced to consider what would happen then.

"She said you’d kill us all," Scott added at length. It had taken him far too long to recall those words, but what he did have in the hours crawling to 4 in the morning was a seemingly endless supply of time.

Isaac was closer, and took another step further when Allison stumbled. The majority of her blood had been washed away after they’d put in the stitches, but she still looked like death warmed over. Scott tensed with the gesture, but Isaac placed a hand on her shoulder, insisting, “I’ll go with you.”

Allison frowned. “Me? She said I’d kill you? That’s not…” She trailed off, uncomfortably aware of how close that statement hit to home. Scott and Isaac didn’t need to know how many times she’d lain awake in bed at night, taunted by the terrifying possibility of somehow turning into her aunt, killing her friends. Killing the people she loved.

She ran a shaky hand through her matted hair, trying to wrap her mind around the idea that this Cait Sith had somehow been after her. That it thought she had the potential to harm her friends. The thought made her feel sick.

When she felt Isaac’s hand on her shoulder, she froze, automatically looking over at Scott. She’d convinced herself that she had been getting along fine without him, but having him so close over the past few hours, remembering what his hand felt like, warm and steady, in her own—she’d felt safe. More than safe; she’d felt—cared about.

Allison would never admit that she liked feeling taken care of, but she was also too tired to fight the feeling right now. Instead of responding to Isaac, she kept her gaze leveled with Scott’s, waiting for someone to say something.

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Walking After Midnight

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"Very well," Deaton answered, shifting gears like a four-wheel drive, though his gaze darted towards Isaac for a moment. Emissaries and packs used to function more traditionally, but he didn’t see that as entirely a good thing. "Cait Siths are shapeshifters that sense magic, and based on Scott’s testimony, you were its target. There are no active incantations on your equipment, and when the toxin’s worked out of your system, we’ll do tests to make sure there aren’t any on your person. Any sooner will interfere with the results."

The feline shifters were one of the most sensitive though. “Cannot discount the possibility that that particular individual was not entirely stable.”

"Where are they now?" Isaac raised, his features drawn into obvious anger. Scott could sense it coming off him like waves, that bitter metallic tang that intermingled with his scent. 

Scott didn’t shy away from answering. “Gone. I gave them until today to leave town premises.”

Chris hadn’t agreed. Scott didn’t tell him not to hunt them down, but given circumstance, his panic and initial reaction, he knew he’d been in the wrong. He knew it could have been handled better, perhaps, but Scott’s priorities had been clear - the safety of his pack. He could still hear the Sith’s bones cracking.

Allison frowned at Deaton, her still-fuzzy brain trying to keep up with what he was telling her.

"So, you’re saying this thing targeted me? Do you know why?" Her head was spinning. She’d never heard of these things before, and yet one of them had seemingly been out to get her? It made no sense, and she made a mental note to comb the bestiary for anything related to Cait Siths when she returned home. She hated being in the dark.

Allison glanced around the room, biting her lip. She’d never been a fan of unnecessary attention, and with Scott’s, Deaton’s, and Issac’s eyes all fixed on her, the clinic suddenly seemed too small.

"I’m gonna get a breath of fresh air," she muttered, standing on shaky legs and taking a step towards the door. No sooner was she up, however, than a sudden wave of nauseousness overtook her, and she blindly reached a hand out to grab onto the table to stop herself from falling to the floor.

Allison let out a small moan of frustration, ashamed to find tears pricking at her eyes. She loathed feeling helpless, and here, in this room, hooked up to an IV and covered in her own blood, she felt just that. Her entire body ached, and she just wanted to be home in her own bed.

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"Allison-" and he barely had time to say her name before Isaac was crowding into her space, resisting the urge to touch her just so. Beneath the cloying scent of antiseptic and alcohols he could smell drying blood, and Isaac thought sliding into place after Scott moved away felt natural. Scott was careful to take as few steps as possible even if the distance between the pair wrote itself as plainly as neon signs. His chest felt too warm, but he handed Isaac the water bottle, an odd sense of - relief, it was relief, he decided; it had to be - falling over him when the blond barely looked up to accept it.

"Now is not the time, but we’ve discussed the implications of the encounter with your father," Deaton informed her, because while he wanted to ascertain she got bed rest, she was a patient first and foremost. Allison would know who she could go to for information. "And your recovery time. The stitches are dissolveable. You will make a full recovery, but expect some lingering grogginess. That’s just the anti-toxin working against Sith venom."

And Scott pretended he hadn’t listened to the extended version Deaton had told Mr. Argent.

Allison felt Scott’s hand leave her back, replaced quickly by Isaac’s as the other boy moved behind her, water bottle in hand. She reached up to take it from him, ignoring the spreading ache in her arm. She wasn’t groggy anymore, and she was already feeling embarrassed that she’d let Scott hold the water bottle to her lips like she was a baby. She wasn’t an invalid; she could take care of herself, injuries and all.

Still, she smiled warily up at Isaac, silently thanking him for coming to her side. She was painfully aware of how tense the air between herself, Isaac, and Scott was, but she also recognized that this wasn’t the time or the place to address it. (Not to mention she wasn’t sure what she would say if they were to have that discussion. She was still unsure what her feelings were, what they meant, what to do with them.)

Instead, she turned to Deaton, a frown forming on her face.

"Now is as good a time as any," she argued. She was frustrated with Deaton’s mysteriousness, his convoluted explanations, and she didn’t understand why he couldn’t just give her a straight answer for once. "I deserve to know what happened to me."

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"Relax, Allison," Deaton stated in that deceptively lighthearted tone that still failed to disguise an order as a request, but Scott had already about-faced to return with a bottle of water and a rolled up lab coat. Not much else passed for pillows at a veterinary clinic. "That Cait Sith took a lot out of both of you."

It wasn’t hard to imagine the doctor as a family man, chastising his children without ever raising his voice - but it also wasn’t hard to imagine him freezing a werewolf in its tracks.

Scott hesitated for only a moment, barely perceptible before he attempted guiding Allison into a sitting position, so she wouldn’t spill water all over her front. He barely had the chance to murmur, “Just a little, drink this-“

Scott heard the other werewolf’s footsteps before anyone else in the room, he suspected, but Isaac looked just as sleep-rumpled and uncertain. He was breathless when he called her name, but Scott barely tensed at his approach.

The water felt so good against her cracked, parched lips that Allison closed her eyes and let out a little contended sigh. Scott hovered close behind her, and although the only point of contact between them was where his hand rested on her back, she could feel the heat radiating off of his body. It was cold in the clinic, and she unconsciously leaned back in an attempt to share in Scott’s warmth.

She was about to ask Deaton what he meant—what exactly was a Cait Sith?— but she suddenly felt Scott tense behind her. Opening her eyes, Allison saw Isaac standing in the doorway, dark eyes fixed on her, and she was suddenly hyper-aware of the weight of Scott’s hand on her back.

"Isaac," she said, and she’d meant it to sound casual, but her voice came out quiet and unsure. Still, she offered him a tentative smile, uncomfortably aware of how much dried blood there was covering her face and matted in her hair.

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A thumb brushed across her knuckles, warm fingers squeezing back ever so slightly, like they geared putting too much pressure on her just yet. Her hand was lifted, just far enough that someone could press their lips against the back of her palm. Yet if Allison’s gaze focused, she would see that the only person proximal to her was Dr. Deaton.

His eyes widened a fraction in recognition, and for a moment, a small smile appeared in place, more relieved than he’d let the rest of the pack sea. He understood his role, especially to a group so young. Sometimes, the illusion of infallibility went a long way, and with this group, so eager and willing to take responsibility of their roles, he didn’t think it would be a hindrance. 

"Welcome back, Allison," he greeted, tone pitched low, comforting, and across the room, the unmistakable sound of metal scratching on linoleum was heard as Scott pushed his chair back in his haste to stand. ‘Allison,’ he echoed, but he was already making his way to her side. He’d swapped his shirt for worn scrubs, and above their heads, the clock ticked closer to 4 AM.

"You had us worried for a moment."

Allison took a deep breath, immediately regretting it as a sharp pain filled her chest. She winced and held back a moan. Scott didn’t need to worry about her any more than he already was. She hated seeing him with that pinched look on his face, and he’d already been wearing it more and more lately.

As he came into view above her, eyebrows furrowed, she was struck with the sudden urge to brush her fingers over the creases in his forehead, smooth them over, as if she could somehow take away his worries, his pain, like he’d done for her. She knew that moving her hand was nearly impossible, though, and besides—she couldn’t just touch him like that, not anymore. Their relationship had changed, by her request, and he’d respected the boundaries she’d set. She had to respect his, too.

"Sorry," she murmured, hoarse voice loud in her own ears. "Are you okay?" She knew he’d fought with—whatever that thing was that had attacked her. She could see dried blood on his clothes and skin, but she didn’t know if it was his or her own.

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"Allison- Allison!" His hand was over hers in a second, like he could somehow stabilize what she couldn’t. The hunter had no way of seeing his features twist into a snarl, or the fear that wrote itself across the lines of his face because Scott couldn’t give her the bite. He wouldn’t. And there was no way she would hear him threaten the omega, telling him to take the girl and leave; saying - promising, that if he ever saw either of them again in Beacon Hills, they risked more than broken bones. Scott ran until his legs burned.

-

"It’s okay Allison," the werewolf whispered, his words dancing over the soft shell of her ear. The operation table was cold and hard, but the sensation of pain stealing was one her mind had experienced before. Feather light touches moved across her side, following the line of her body, and Scott was a veritable furnace, always warm, always close. "I was worried. I thought you were…"

His hand found hers, fingers tangling together and slipping into place the same way they’d learned to love, like he planned to never let her go. His breath hitched, trembled, and his words were scraped raw, hopeless. “You were- I couldn’t-“

But if Allison opened her eyes, Scott would be on the other side of the room, and only Dr. Deaton would be within arm’s reach, studiously tending to the stitches down her flank.

The first thing Allison was aware of was the throbbing in her gut. It wasn’t as sharp as it had been before; thanks to a combination of Deaton’s medical expertise and Scott’s ability to take some of her pain, the sensations had faded from a screaming howl to a dull roar.

She still felt lightheaded from both the blood loss and her overloaded nerves, so she knew she wasn’t thinking completely clearly. Still, Allison would know the feeling of Scott’s hand in her own anywhere. The pads of his fingers pressed against her calloused skin, and that—more than the stitches in her side or the IV in her arm—was what made her feel like she really might be okay.

Blearily, she opened her eyes to the brightness of the room. She didn’t want to try talking yet—her throat was scraped raw; she supposed she had been screaming earlier, when Scott carried her back, although she couldn’t remember it—but she gently tightened her hold on Scott’s fingers to let him know she was conscious.

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He almost didn’t hear Allison, and something inside him snapped, as loud and fragile as the shattering of the creature’s bones. Her shoulder hung at an odd angle where he’d pushed it clear out of its socket. He didn’t need to feel the heat behind his gaze to know he’d shifted, not when he could see the reds of his iris reflecting in her eyes.

Scott dropped her like unceremoniously, and somewhere the Omega had quieted. The creature sobbed, struggling to cradle her arm, but through rows of fangs she still warned, “She’ll kill us kill us, you fool. She’ll destroy us all…”

It might as well have happened in another world. 

He rushed to Allison’s side, the smell of blood leaving him lightheaded with anxiety and adrenaline. He was trying to leech pain before he could properly see her wound. The position on her chest was worrying, making any tourniquet awkward.

"Allison," he still rasped, slurring through through elongated canines. He’d ripped the sleeves off his jacket, holding it like a compress against the gaping cut. "Can you hold this? Allison, can you please-"

Allison groaned as Scott pressed his torn jacket sleeve against her wound. A fresh burst of pain shot through her chest at the sensation, but her nerves were already so overloaded that she could barely distinguish it from what was already flooding her veins.

"I’ll try," she choked out. The words tasted like the blood bubbling up from her throat and smearing her teeth. She reached out and grabbed onto the makeshift compress with shaking hands.

"Scott," she said, and his name on her lips was the only comfort she could find. "Scott, wanna sleep. Wanna go…sleep."

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Walking After Midnight

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It was fast and agile, and Scott would have been better off trying to capture a fox. Small sharp fangs dug into his shoulder, and Scott barely had the chance to bite back a stream before the creature was rushing off of him. A scream echoed through the air, stopping his heart, and it couldn’t have been Allison. Feral and desperate and enraged, it couldn’t have been Allison!

Scott didn’t know he’d moved until outstretched claws dug into the beast’s torso, lifting it off the hunter before he slammed it to the ground. The sound of breaking bones was nothing more than an afterthought. Still, it writhed in his grasp, trying to get away, and this close he could see her features were feline. “Let m’ go!” She rasped, an accent lilting her words, or was that just anger? “She’ll kill us! She’ll kill us all murderer! Let me go!”

The Omega approached, and he’d been yelling yes, but Scott had been wrong about him being in pain. He stank of fear, yes, but not for himself. “Please, Alpha McCall -” he raspe d. “Please don’t hurt her.”

And Scott very clearly snarled. 

The pain was blinding.

Allison didn’t want to look down, couldn’t look down and see the wound. She knew her stomach was gored open, could feel the warmth of the blood soaking through her shirt and clinging to her hands, sticky and wet. She vaguely recognized that the omega was back, that he was saying something to Scott, and she heard him snarl in response.

Scott.  Was he hurt? She wanted desperately to know, but couldn’t manage anything more than a slight movement of her wrist. It twitched, grasping, seeking him out, but grabbed nothing but dirt and empty air.

It hit Allison that they were in trouble, that she might be dying, but she’d already lost enough blood that she felt light-headed and woozy. She couldn’t think straight, couldn’t see straight, couldn’t feel anything but a sharp, biting roar of pain in her abdomen.

She was useless to Scott, now; he was up there, suffering without her, and she felt a tear leak out of the corner of her eye.

"Scott," she hissed through gritted teeth. "Scott.”

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It wasn’t a wolf.

That was the only thing Scott could say for sure before it tried to charge, empowered by desperation and more vicious because of it.

Shayta’n,” it shrieked, barely human enough to be distinguishable, and Scott moved, trying to tug Allison to the ground before it could both bowl them over. In the distance, he could hear a familiar voice, the Omega they’d been in contact with, the one who just wouldn’t leave, but he was screaming for them, someone, anyone to stop.

The creature, black furred and arched like a feline, eyes bright yellow in the darkness, was like nothing he’d ever seen before. That meant very little. Over the last few months there had been many first.

"Murderer!"

But it was Allison she charged.

Allison was quick, but the creature—whatever it was—was quicker. Allison barely had time to register shaggy black fur and the sharp glint of teeth in the moonlight before it pounced.

Luckily, Scott’s werewolf reflexes were more of a match for the beast, and he had already launched himself at Allison in an attempt to shield her. Their bodies fell to the ground in a heap, and Allison dimly registered the harsh scrape of a branch along her back. Most of her attention, however, was divided between the distant screams of pain she could hear coming from the omega they’d been tracking and the violent glare of the creature’s eyes, boring into her own.

It was after her, she realized with a start, but there wasn’t even time for her fingers to grasp the knife in her pocket before it lunged. After that, all she was aware of was a sharp explosion of pain in her side.