chiiyo86 (chiiyo86) wrote,
chiiyo86
chiiyo86

Imagine Death, part five


Scott!

Lydia woke up screaming. Bathed in sweat, hands clenching her bedcover, she became slowly aware she was sat up in her bed, her ears still ringing from her own cry. She slid off the bed, thrusting her feet into the slippers on the floor by it, and shrugged on her robe.

“Lydia? Lydia, are you alright?”

Lydia ignored her mother's calls that followed her down the stairs. She needed to go. She needed to get there. She was barely aware of anything beyond that burning, all-encompassing urge. Her mother called again but Lydia closed the front door behind her as she exited the house, effectively shutting her mom down. Blood pounded in her temples, and each of her breaths was so noisy that it was like the sound was broadcast on loudspeakers.

Turn left, the synthetic voice of her GPS said.

Lydia!

Lydia started, violently thrown back into herself like a snapped rubber band. She was in her car, still wearing only her night gear. She was cold, her fingertips getting numb, and her throat felt raw, the way it did after one of her banshee cries. The halos of her car's lights shrouded her mother, who was standing in front of Lydia's car, both of her hands on the hood. It was her call that had broken through Lydia's trance.

Lydia turned the engine off, unbuckled her seat belt—she didn't even remember hooking it in the first place—and got out of the car.

“Lydia!” Her mother engulfed her in a hug, and Lydia let herself melt into it for a second. “What happened? I heard you scream. Did you have a nightmare? Where were you going?”

“I need to call the Sheriff,” Lydia said. “I need to call everyone.”

“Call—Lydia, it's the middle of the night!”

“I think I know where to find Scott, Stiles, and Allison.”

“What—how?”

Lydia gently untangled herself from her mother's arms and went back into her house. With each passing second she felt more lucid, her mind clearing from the fog caused by sleep and her banshee trance. Something had happened, that much was sure, and whatever it was had opened wide her connection to her missing friends. She had no doubt that they'd been her destination, but for the first time she'd been able to stop herself before she was led there, and although she wanted nothing more than to go to them, she knew she couldn't get there on her own.

Her mother kept pestering her for answers Lydia couldn't give, obviously convinced that her daughter was having a mental breakdown. After Lydia had called all the relevant people and said that she had to go to Sheriff Stilinski's house for an emergency meeting, her mother tried to put her foot down.

“It's the middle of the night. You're not going anywhere.”

“Mom, give me my keys back,” Lydia asked impatiently, pointing at the hand her mother clenched around her car keys.

“You're not in any condition to drive! Lydia.” Her mother's voice softened and her expression became compassionate. “I know how hard these past few months have been for you. That whole year has been one disaster after another. Anyone would crack after what you've been through.”

Lydia felt her whole body tense. “I'm not crazy.”

“That's not what I'm saying, honey, but you have to admit that you're not in your right mind either. If you remembered something that can help find your friends, then we'll go to the police station first thing tomorrow, and—”

“No.”

Lydia's very firm tone seemed to take her mother by surprise, and she cut herself mid-sentence and blinked. “Lydia, sweetie, you're not—”

“No, mom. I'm sorry, but this can't wait until tomorrow morning. Each minute counts.” Her mother opened her mouth again to speak, and Lydia took her hand. “I'm sorry, mom, I know how crazy this must seem to you, and I wish I could explain—I wish I had the time and the adequate circumstances to make you understand. But I can save my friends—I will save them, and I'm not asking for your permission. If you take my car key, I will walk there. If you lock me into my room, I will climb out of the window.”

Her room was on the second floor, and there was no convenient tree nearby or creeping plant to help her get down, but her determination must have shone bright enough to get through her mother. She pulled her hand away, her lips tight with unhappiness.

“Are you going to go dressed like this?” she asked in a controlled voice.

Lydia looked down on herself, her slippers and her nightgown and robe. She could see how she wasn't inspiring confidence in her mental health.

“I'll go get dressed,” she said evenly, and walked past her mother with her head high, refusing to show any hint of embarrassment.

Two hours later, Lydia was dressed in a collared sweater, skater skirt, and high socks, and sitting on Sheriff Stilinski's couch. She was sandwiched between Derek and Melissa McCall, watching the Sheriff pace his living room. Ethan and Aiden had showed in Derek's tow and were standing together in one corner of the room while Chris Argent stood in an opposite corner, scowling in their general direction. He was apparently okay with Derek, now, but the twins obviously had some way to go before they were considered with the same grudging tolerance. Aiden looked at Lydia like he wanted to come and talk to her, but she gave him a warning glance and he stayed where he was, grumbling a little to his brother in low tones.

Deaton came back from the kitchen, where he'd been doing who knows what—maybe preparing a potion that would improve Lydia's focus. God knew she would need all the help she could get.

“And you know where to find them?” the Sheriff said.

“No, not exactly,” Lydia said with all the patience she could muster.

She'd explained her powers to the Sheriff before, but it never seemed to stick. His agitation reminded her keenly of Stiles and his inability to stay still. The thought hurt, but it also helped keep her annoyance at bay: for every ounce of pain she felt at Stiles' absence, the Sheriff had to feel it tenfold.

“I can't tell you a location—it doesn't work that way—but I can get you there. It's like a—a pull at the back of my mind. If I give into it I know that it'll lead me to them.”

“But why couldn't you do that before?”

Lydia felt her heart freeze in her chest. She'd been all purpose since she'd woken up from her trance and realized she was being led to her friends' location, and any other considerations had been pushed aside, but with the Sheriff's question all her fears and worries started pushing back.

“Something happened, didn't it?” Deaton asked. His face was perfectly blank as ever, but his eyes were perceptive. “Did one of them—”

“No,” Lydia cut him in, but Mrs. McCall whipped her head up, alarm on her face.

“Wait, aren't Lydia's powers linked to death?” she asked. “Does it mean that—that one of the kids died?”

“I don't think so,” Lydia said. “I did scream, but—” She'd screamed a name, that much she knew, but she didn't remember which one. “I'm not feeling it anymore, the, the urgency to get to the dead body. So I don't think that one of them died—just, one of them was probably pretty close to death, and that allowed me to tap into my power.”

“But you're not sure.” Chris Argent's deep voice held no trace of emotion.

Lydia pinched her lips. “No, I'm not sure.”

“Even then,” Mrs. McCall said, “you said that one of them was close to death. Do you mean that they're hurt? Dying?”

“I don't know.”

“If it's Scott, then he's probably okay by now,” Derek said, angled toward Mrs. McCall like he wanted to reach out and comfort her, but didn't dare it. “Anything that doesn't kill an Alpha on the spot will eventually heal.”

But it wasn't the case for Allison and Stiles, and Derek seemed to belatedly realize that, his eyes flinging to the Sheriff and Mr. Argent.

“We need to act fast, then,” Deaton said.

“Yes, I'm aware of that,” Lydia said frostily. “This is why I called all of you in the middle of the night. I wouldn't have stopped myself, but I know that whoever is holding them, I can't face them on my own.”

“I can get us weapons,” Mr. Argent said. “But we still run the risk of being outnumbered, because we have no idea how many of them there are. They probably don't lack men or weapons. Even with a few werewolves on our side, we may fail in our attempt, and then Allison, Scott, and Stiles may get killed in the assault or in retaliation.”

“We need Rafe,” Mrs. McCall said suddenly. “We need the FBI's help—they can get the local police to cooperate.”

The Sheriff stopped pacing. “You're right,” he said with a grimace, like the admission pained him. “I can't help with that. By now we've established that they're not in the county, and anywhere else is outside my jurisdiction.”

“I don't know,” Lydia said doubtfully. “If we tell him I know where they are, he's just going to ask me for a location. He's not going to understand when I say I can only take them to the right place.”

“Then we just tell him everything,” Mrs. McCall said.

“I don't know Agent McCall very well, but he doesn't strike me as the type to believe me when I tell him that I know what I know because of my banshee powers.” Stiles seemed to think that Scott's father was a total dick, and Lydia had to acknowledge that her friend was a good, if a bit intransigent, judge of character, but Lydia wasn't about to voice that to his ex-wife. “He'll think that I'm crazy, and dismiss anything I have to say.”

“Then we just have to prove it to him.” Mrs. McCall turned to Derek. “If you show him—like, the claws and the fangs, and the whole—” She gestured at her own face, curling her lips in a fake growl. “—werewolf thing, then he'll have no choice but to believe us.”

Derek looked reluctant. “I'm not sure I like the idea of the FBI knowing about us...”

“We'll tell Rafe to keep it quiet. Scott's still his son—we'll tell him his safety's at stake.”

“We can explain to him what the consequences would be if he tells a soul about us,” Aiden said, flashing his claws.

His brother cuffed the back of his head. “This is Scott's father, dumbass. Do you think he'll want us in his pack if we hurt his father? Think a little!”

“I don't mean we hurt him, but we could just—”

Derek raised a hand to cut Aiden off. “No one's going to hurt or threaten Agent McCall. But Melissa's right: we need his help. So I guess we'll just—have to take that risk.”

He obviously wasn't happy about it, but Mrs. McCall gave him a grateful smile and he smiled back, a little hesitantly. It was decided that they shouldn't waste any more time, and should call Agent McCall right away. At some point Lydia dozed off a little and missed the call itself, and when Mrs. McCall gently shook her awake, the sky had turned a pale gray and the time on the Stilinskis' DVD player read 5:56.

Agent McCall was there, his hair a mess and his suit rumpled like he had slept in it—or maybe not slept at all. For the first time Lydia thought about his relation to Scott as something more than an abstract piece of information: he was Scott's father, and even though from what she'd heard he wouldn't win any title for father of the year, he was probably going slowly crazy just like the rest of them.

“What's going on?” he snapped. He was addressing his ex-wife, mostly ignoring the other people in the room as though they were of no consequence. “You said it had to do with Scott.”

Mrs. McCall put a hand on his shoulder. “Rafe, sit down.”

Agent McCall resisted a little, demanding explanations right away or he would leave, but Mrs. McCall eventually wore him down.

“We think we might know where Scott and the others are,” she explained once he was sitting.

“Then we need—”

Mrs. McCall stopped her ex-husband from rising from his seat. “We have to tell you a few things before we do this.”

She gave him an abridged version of everything that had happened since that fateful night when Stiles dragged Scott to the woods looking for a dead body. She glossed over the whole Hale-Argent feud and her own kidnapping alongside Sheriff Stilinski and Chris Argent, but managed to convey the reality of Beacon Hills as a supernatural hotbed. Derek showed his claws and flashed his eyes to support her point, and so did the twins—a little threateningly on Aiden's part despite what he'd been told earlier.

“This is crazy,” Agent McCall said, standing up as though to walk away. “I don't know what's going on or what you want, but—”

“Rafe, wait!” Mrs. McCall grabbed his arm and stopped him in his tracks. “We're telling the truth, you know we are. Everything that happened in Beacon Hills, every strange, inexplicable case, the details that don't add up—this is it, this is how it all makes sense!”

“This makes no sense at all!” Agent McCall roared, tearing himself away from his ex-wife's grasp and spinning around to face her.

“How do you explain what you saw, then?” she answered in kind, waving her hand at Derek and the twins.

“This is some kind of trick, this—” For some reason, he turned to the Sheriff. “Is this how you're trying to cover for your blunders? Are you that desperate to hide your gross incompetence?”

The Sheriff exploded, going up into Agent McCall's space. “How dare you? My son is missing and—”

“So is my son! And your son seems to be somehow at the origin of whatever this is—”

“Oh, of course, you believe that part!”

“Yes, that part is the only thing that sounds likely in this whole crazy, ridiculous story! Every time Scott's been in trouble, Stiles was behind it. If only you managed to control your loudmouth, hyperactive—”

Lydia winced when Sheriff Stilinski threw a punch and sent Agent McCall flying into his ex-wife's arms.

“Okay, okay, calm down, tough guy,” Melissa McCall said as she circled her arms around his waist, keeping him from jumping in retaliation at the Sheriff, who was similarly restrained by Mr. Argent.

“Rafe, listen to me,” Mrs. McCall said, holding his chin to force him to look at her. “Everything I told you is the truth. I saw it with my own eyes, okay? I saw Scott with claws and fangs and glowing eyes. I saw that and more. Our son is a werewolf. This is the truth, so deal with it. Do you think I would try to trick you when our son's life is at stake?”

Agent McCall stopped struggling against her hold, going still. “No,” he said after a moment.

“Okay, now sit back down, and listen to what Lydia has to tell you.”

Agent McCall flopped into an armchair and looked up at Lydia, his brow furrowed in a way that made him look startlingly like Scott. Then his surprise turned into suspicion, and this was more reminiscent of Stiles, ironically. “What does Lydia have to do with this?”

Lydia stood up, smoothing the wrinkles on her skirt. “Well, Agent McCall, now that we've established the existence of werewolves, let's start on chapter two. I'm a banshee—a harbinger of death.”

---

Scott watched as Stiles paced up and down the length of their cell. He was sitting with his back against the wall, trying not to betray to Stiles and Allison how he much he needed the support, not yet fully recovered from yesterday's ordeal. He'd slept like the dead and yet he was exhausted, and his chest still ached faintly—although this might have only been some form of phantom pain. He'd never been hurt quite that bad before. On one hand it was sort of reassuring to know that he was indeed hard as hell to kill, but on the other hand he had come very close to dying. His memories of the fight were hazy and disjointed except for one thing: the stern certainty that he was living through his last moments. Just thinking about it had a chill run up his spine, and he shivered, tugging at his shirt sleeves for warmth—at some point the guards had come to check whether he was alive, and all three of them had been given a change of clothing. The cell still stunk of blood, at least to Scott's sensitive nose, even though they'd covered the dark stain on the floor with one of their blankets.

“Okay,” Stiles was saying, “so I'm still pretty sure your heart was not beating when we tried to feel for your pulse.”

“Do we have to talk about it?” Allison said with an unhappy little grimace. “All that matters is that Scott's alive, right?”

She looked cold, hugging herself tightly; or maybe it was just the effect the reminder of Scott almost dying had on her. Scott wanted to hold her in his arms, but to do so would involve getting up and he wasn't sure he could do it without falling on his face. They hadn't discussed what had happened between them after Scott had woken up, but Scott was kind of okay with that. In real life, being kissed your ex girlfriend and your best friend within a few minutes of each other was probably the sort of event that needed talking over, but he felt that normal rules didn't apply to their situation anymore. They were living in limbo, and they had no other anchor than each other to get through it. The status quo would have to keep.

“Hey, Scott, you listening?” Stiles had stopped pacing and snapped his fingers impatiently at Scott.

“Uh? Yeah, sorry. What were you saying?”

“Your heartbeat. Either your heart stopped beating and then restarted, or it was just beating so slowly we couldn't feel it. Either way, it was doing something a human heart is incapable of doing, at least not to that extent.”

“Well, he's an Alpha werewolf,” Allison said. “I'm still failing to see how—”

“But what if he could learn to do it on purpose?”

“Okay,” Scott said, loyally trying to focus even though he still couldn't see Stiles' point. But Stiles was all fired up in a way he hadn't been in a long time, and Scott would have done just about anything to keep him acting more like his old self.

“There are techniques you can use to lower your heart rate,” Stiles went on. “And normally it has its limits because your system isn't going to allow you to ignore physiological norms to the point where it would be damaging to you—but you have a different threshold than normal human beings. If you could make your heart go slow enough, maybe you could pass for dead.”

Scott furrowed his brow. “Why would I do that?” he asked, still confused but trusting that Stiles would eventually provide him with an explanation.

“I'm—still working on that part of the plan, but—they have to do something with the bodies, right? All the—” His voice became faint and he didn't utter the words they probably were all thinking: all the people we killed. “Anyway, maybe they bury them, or, more likely, they incinerate them, but they probably don't guard the bodies as tightly as they do us, so that's a shot at escaping for you.”

“For me?”

“Yeah, if you can escape then maybe you can—”

“Not without you.”

“What?”

Scott sat straighter, trying to pin Stiles with his glare. “I'm not going anywhere without you.”

Stiles swallowed hard, Adam's apple bobbing up and down, and Scott thought again about the kiss between them the day before, the way his mouth had felt against Scott's. Was Stiles attracted to him? Scott had suspected that much for a while, at least a little bit, but then Stiles was widely and randomly attracted to all kinds of people, so it had never felt like much of an issue for their friendship. Was Scott attracted to Stiles? He loved him, of course—that was never in question. But attraction.... It didn't feel the way it did with Allison, when every cell in his body lit up just as the sight of her, but Scott couldn't deny that there was a new sort of—awareness, maybe? Stiles had become his anchor just as much as Allison, and it was a new way for them to connect, to tangle themselves in each other until there was no more risk for any of them to drift away.

“No one's going anywhere,” Allison said. “If only one of us escape, then they'll just move the other two to another location. Or kill them. But there's some merit to Stiles' idea.”

Thank you!”

Allison came to sit next to Scott, resting a warm hand on his knee. “If you can learn to control this, then it could come in handy at one point.”

“Okay,” Scott said. If both Stiles' and Allison's minds were set on this, then there was no fighting it. “How am I supposed to do that?”

It so happened that Stiles had once read all about it on the Internet—because of course he had—and that it involved lying down with his eyes closed, breathing slowly and thinking calming thoughts. The first attempt ended up with Scott promptly falling asleep. On the second try, Stiles made him keep track of his own pulse with two fingers on his neck, while Allison monitored him by holding his other arm.

“You need to be aware of your breathing,” Stiles instructed him, in a low-pitched voice that Scott found so incredibly soothing that he almost fell asleep again. “Feel the air enter your nostrils. Feel it fill your lungs.”

They worked at it for a little longer, and even if Scott couldn't manage to lower his heart rate enough to pass for dead, he had to admit that the exercise had its benefits: for one, it had the merit of giving Stiles some task to focus on, which was always an upside; and for two, it left Scott feeling a lot more centered than before, and even a bit regenerated. He would have asked Stiles if he thought the meditation could be helping with his healing, but it would mean admitting how much of a toll his injuries had taken on him, so instead he kept that thought for further examination.

They were left alone for the next few days, taken out only for a few irregular hours of training. This suited Scott perfectly, even though it meant that Stiles climbing up the walls threatened once again to drive all of them crazy. They exercised, trained when they were given the occasion, practiced meditation until Scott got the hang of heart rate control, played games and told each other stories.

About two days after Scott had almost died he was trying to fall asleep between Stiles and Allison, their blanket wrapped around the three of them, when Allison, whose back he'd been spooning, shifted in his arms and turned to face him. She curled against his chest, wedging her head under his chin, and simply breathed against the crook of his neck.

“You can't sleep?” he murmured to the top of her head. He loved the feel of her hair on his face.

“Mmmh,” she hummed, and left him to parse whether it meant yes or no.

Her breath felt warm and wet against the sensitive skin of his throat. He wrapped his arms tighter around her, enjoying having her in his arms like this. For all that they slept snuggled together each night, this felt more intimate somehow. This felt nice. Very nice—with a touch of embarrassment he could feel that the all-around niceness of their position had woken up his dick, and he tried to move his hips away from her without breaking their embrace. Stiles and Scott had both had morning woods in the past, there wasn't much they could do about that, and they'd dealt with it by not mentioning it until it became something else they got used to, the same way they’d dealt with the awkwardness of Allison’s periods. This was different, though. This had intent. Despite what had happened between them two days before, Scott didn't want to put Allison in a potentially uncomfortable situation.

But unfortunately he didn't have much room to move, and all he did was bump into Stiles at his back. Stiles groaned, and Allison stirred in his arms.

Scott,” she murmured, reproach and amusement mixing in her voice.

“Sorry,” he replied in the same tone. “I can—do you want me to turn around?”

“No.” One of her hands slid up to press against his face, warm from their combined body heats. “It's okay.”

Her other hand was sliding down, and he gasped when she cupped his swollen dick. She started kissing him, slow and languid, rubbing him at the same time, and after a moment he felt confident enough to palm her breasts through her shirt. This was familiar, known territory, and yet it also felt new and exciting to be able to rediscover her, as thrilling as their first time.

She slipped her hand into his pants and when he felt her hand on him, skin against skin, he bucked back against Stiles and felt then that his friend was hard too.

“Uh,” Stiles said, half-rising. “I'm sorry, don't mind me, I should—”

“No, don't.” Suddenly the notion of Stiles moving away, even though he couldn't go very far, was unbearable to Scott. He twisted around, as much as he could with Allison clutching his shirt and her hand down his pants, and reached out for Stiles.

“Oh, uh.” Scott's hand caught the edge of Stiles' collar, and he tugged at it until Stiles lay back down. “Okay, then,” Stiles said.

Scott flung an arm over his friend, wanting to keep him close. Allison was still jerking him off, pressing small kisses to the angle of his jaw, but without trying to reclaim his full attention. Scott was panting from her ministrations, his forehead almost touching Stiles', their breaths mingling. He could hear Stiles' heart jackrabbit in his chest, could smell his arousal, feel the heat emanating from his flushed cheeks even if he couldn't see it. Feeling curious and daring, Scott leaned closer, pressing his mouth against his friend's. Stiles made a sound, and Scott kissed him again. He turned completely so as to face Stiles, and Allison rearranged herself to be draped over his back, her free hand roaming all over his body, and then bypassing him and running along Stiles' side.

“Okay, uh, soooo,” Stiles whispered, as if he was worried someone would overhear them. Each of his words sent a puff of air against Scott's lips. “We're having a threeway, right? That's what we're doing?”

Scott chuckled. Stuck between Stiles and Allison, he was filled with such contentment that he couldn't make himself worry about the implication of what he was doing. He got his hand down Stiles' pants just to have the pleasure of his friend's startled reactions, his strangled moan and his hand clawing clumsily at Scott's shoulder. Jerking Stiles off was an odd experience for Scott, who was unused to the sensation of having another person’s dick in his hand. With the way they were pressed against each other he didn't have much room to pump his hand so he merely gave little strokes, enjoying each and every one of Stiles' gasps and stifled groans. He wasn't sure how much of his own arousal was caused by Allison and her nimble fingers, and how much was Stiles, but there was something so simple, so powerfully immediate about making his best friend feel good. He felt something wet on his ear—it was Allison's mouth, and he turned back to her so he could kiss her again, then helped her climb over him so she could settle between Stiles and him. She hissed in pain when she landed on one of the wounds on her arms, and Scott kissed the nape of her neck to soothe the hurt.

“Hey,” Stiles told her.

“Hey, yourself,” she said, and kissed him.

They made out a little longer, taking turns at getting each other off with their hands until all of them had come, one after the other.

It happened a couple more times—it was always furtive and hurried, and they never took any clothes off, but it was still good, very grounding. Scott wasn't thinking about the fights when they did this—blood and guilt mixing sourly at the bottom of his stomach—or letting himself get dragged down by the darkness around his heart. This was as close to happiness as he ever hoped to feel again.

The price to pay for their relative peace was that with each new morning, the dread of having to fight again grew in Scott. His brush with death had taught him one truth about himself: he didn't want to die. This wasn't just about protecting Stiles and Allison; he wanted to survive, and knew he would kill again to live another day. That realization was hard to swallow, because as long as he'd been able to pretend that he fought to protect his friends, he had plausible deniability. He'd liked to tell himself that if he were the only one involved, he would just lie down and die rather than kill some kid his age who probably didn't have any more choice about this than he did. Now he couldn't, and it gave him surges of self-loathing that he tried to hide from Allison and Stiles.

The break went on for two more days. Scott liked to think, in what was probably an unreasonable burst of optimism, that the powers that be were giving him some time to mend, but Stiles' growing anxiety was infectious and it was hard to cling to his positive thinking.

“Something's going on,” Stiles said, scratching at one of the scabbing cuts on his arm. “We haven't seen Miller in a while, too. I don't know, I don't like this.”

The enforced inaction of the past few days hadn't been easy on him, and he looked tired and drawn, twitchy in a way that bordered on desperate.

“Maybe they're laying low,” Allison suggested. She was holding Stiles' wrist, idly rubbing her thumb over his pulse point, and the contact seemed to help him relax. “Maybe someone's onto them. I mean, organizing that kind of fights is bound to draw attention.”

They exchanged a round of looks: none of them could bring themselves to say out loud who exactly they thought that 'someone' could be for fear of jinxing it.

“Mmm, maybe,” Stiles said, looking doubtful.

“What else could be going on?” Scott asked. He knew his friend preferred to consider worst-case scenarios rather than be disappointed, but Scott badly wanted things to go well for them for once. “I agree with Allison—this sounds like the most likely explanation.”

“Yeah, no, I'm not saying it's impossible, it's just that I'm seeing another possibility.” Stiles raised his head to meet their eyes. “Maybe they're getting ready for something bigger than what they've done so far: like, I don't know, some big free-for-all fighting, or a hunt in the woods, or something Battle Royal style.”

Scott felt his insides twist at the implications of Stiles' words. He heard Allison ask, “What's 'Battle Royal'?” but his ears were ringing too much for him to listen to Stiles' explanation. Only one of them, at best, would survive—that was what was implied by all of Stiles' scenarios, and Scott hated him a little for bringing up that possibility. They'd always been allowed to fight as a team so far, and Scott had never stopped to think about what a blessing it was. He hadn't realized that things could get worse, so much worse than they already were. If they were forced to turn against each other.... My god, please. Don't let Stiles be right.

“Scott? Hey, you in there?”

Scott jumped at the sound of Stiles' voice. “Yeah, sorry. I—really hope you're wrong about this.”

“You and me both, buddy.”

The next day, they were taken out of their cell, chained and blindfolded, and put on a van. Scott hadn't been raised to be overly religious, and still, the whole trip to their destination, he didn't stop praying for one moment.
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