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A Change Would Do You Good

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Summary: Beacon Hills just got its first Slayer. (Faith/Derek)

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > Teen WolfAwesomeGeekFR181588,36783711,93422 Sep 1230 Apr 14No

G is for Growl

Disclaimer: See chapter 1.
A/N: It's been a while since I updated but this has been a long chapter to write, so apologies. There is some dialogue that has been taken from episodes 7 and 8.
Thank you to Noturbaby again and to all of you who have read and reviewed, and to those who have only just read.


Chapter 7: G is for Growl

Faith awoke to silence; no alarms, no ringtones and no Stiles. She stretched and hopped out of bed, feeling the soft carpet against her bare feet. She yawned loudly, enjoying the rare moment of solace before making her way for the door.

She made her way downstairs to the kitchen and paused, listening intently; the silence hadn’t lost its novelty yet. She smiled and opened the fridge door; pulling out a carton of milk before grabbing a box of ‘Maple Loops’ from the kitchen counter. Faith hopped up onto her new favourite spot on the kitchen counter; the exact spot where she could look out to the backyard and the woods beyond and preceded to enjoy this rare peaceful morning and took her first mouthful of her breakfast.  She smiled slightly at the feeling like she had woken up in an alternative reality; one where she was normal.

She shook her head to dislodge the thought. As much as it felt nice and even comforting, to picture that life; she knew that she would miss this one too much.

She let her mind wonder as she ate, replaying events of the last few nights in her mind. Her cousin and Scott now knew who and what she was … whether that was a good or bad idea wasn’t yet confirmed, but she was optimistic.

Faith was still worried about what had happened at the Hale house the previous day with the hunters and Kate Argent. She wasn’t stupid to think that Derek and Kate didn’t have history, even if she hadn’t heard part of their conversation, but what kind exactly she knew she had to find out and soon, especially if their normal meetings ended up with Kate torturing Derek and him running from a barrage of bullets.

It wasn’t as though she was worried about Derek, she wasn’t and that was the story she was sticking to, but she had to admit that through the broodiness and grimaces, he wasn’t that bad. The guy was damaged, anyone could see that, and Faith would have been surprised if he wasn’t considering everything he had went through but even if she didn’t want to admit it right then, she felt a pull to the grouchy wolf. After that day in the woods, when he pinned her to the forest floor, she had felt… something, she wasn’t sure exactly what but there had been a feeling.

Faith stopped her train of thought about Derek before hopping off the counter. She finished her breakfast and placed the bowl next to the sink; she’d wash it later and headed upstairs to get dressed. A while later she came down to the living room, freshly showered and changed,  and made herself comfortable on the couch with her laptop. She popped it open and watched as the screen recovered itself to the last web page visited; she didn’t know what ‘World of Warcraft’ was but she knew it had been Stiles. He’d started using her laptop after she revealed it was connected to the Council’s library and now she regularly found it either in the kitchen or Stiles’ bedroom. She toyed with the idea of checking the recent browsing history but finally decided that it wasn’t in her best interests – she just hoped Stiles used it for only research and kept his other ‘activities’ confined to his own laptop. She opened her emails to find one from Dawn and Buffy, asking how she was.

She began to fill them in on what had happened, what was still happening and what was likely to happen; deciding that she couldn’t really keep it secret from them.  She explained that Stiles knew what she was and reaction to that revelation. She went on to tell them about her uncle, about Derek, about Stiles and Scott… and of course gave them an update on the whole werewolf situation.

The laptop beeped as the reply came up on screen. Dawn had replied, stating that she knew Faith could handle herself and had no doubts that this would be any different and to welcome her to Team Jacob. She explained what had happened in her absence but nothing really stood out as being unusual… or interesting; Cleveland had really lost its edge.

At the foot of the email Dawn had written one line that caught in Faith’s throat as she read it,

“We’re missing you back here, but you sound happier than you have in a long time. You sound like you are finally home.”

***

She had closed the laptop screen just in time to hear Stiles’ phone going off in one of the other rooms. She hadn’t realised how late it had gotten as night was already beginning to fall; she had spent almost most of the day talking to Dawn.

“Dammit Stiles,” she yelled, “How can you leave your phone at home so often?”

She knew she’d never get an answer to that question. Stiles was the kind of person that ends up on TV because they had realised they’d left their fake leg on the bus!

She had begun to work out who was calling by the different ringtones he had assigned to each person. She couldn’t help but appreciate that he had given her one too; avoiding any teeny bopping pop noise and choosing well with Florence and the Machine’s, ‘Kiss with a Fist’.

The sound of Duran Duran filled her ears and she knew that it was Scott. She also knew that it probably came with trouble. As she stood up, the front door opened and Stiles darted past her and in to the dining room. She could overhear part of their conversation but was only able to distinguish a few words from Siles – school, flashlight, bolt cutters. Call her paranoid, but the evidence suggested that dumber and dumbest were up to something.

***

Stiles ran out of the dining room and dashed upstairs, passing by Faith without so much as a word. Faith made her way upstairs, just in time to see him flying out his room with his jacket half on and a flashlight in his hand. As he tried to rush past, Faith reached out quickly and grabbed him by the collar of his shirt; yanking him back towards her. He croaked and stumbled backwards; managing to right himself to avoid completely losing his balance. He turned towards Faith who was looking at him intensely, mere inches from his face.

“Faith?... um what’s up?” he stammered in his best attempt to sound cavalier as he attempted to straighten up his haphazard clothing.

“Where’re you going off to in such a hurry?” She asked. Her arms were folded to let him know he wasn’t getting passed her easily. She waited but he didn’t respond. “Has Lydia finally realised you are in fact awesome and has pledged her undying love for you? Begging for you to rush over there as fast as you can so that you can ravish her?”

Stiles looked horrified at Faith’s sarcasm; “Hey!” his voice was indignant. “That will happen one day! I’ve invested a lot of birthday wishes on it!”

“Yeah, well now you’ve told me so it won’t come true!” Faith said, straight faced.

Stiles stood open mouthed for a second, “Too mean… too mean!” he conceded.

“Scott called you… what are you up to?”

“How did you…?”

“Ringtone,” she answered before he could even finish the question. “So kiddo, what do you need bolt cutters for?”

“Since when did Slayers have werewolf hearing?” he grumbled.

“Cute, but don’t try and change the subject!” she demanded.

He sighed deeply, realising that he wasn’t going anywhere until he spilled his guts. “Ok, Ok…Derek and Scott have kidnapped Doctor Deaton as Derek thinks he’s the Alpha. Scott said something about stopping Derek beating the crap out Deaton to prove he’s the Alpha and that he thinks Scott is linked with the alpha, like some weird hive mind Borg type situation. Anyhoo, we are going to the school so Scott can get his howl on. If it works then we can find out if Deaton is the Alpha and Derek can put the wolf powered smack down on him.”

Faith just stood there in silence for a moment as Stiles stood looking at her.

She finally spoke, “Doctor Deaton is the vet, right?” Stiles nodded before she continued. “And you are going to the school so that Scott can… howl?” She shook her head, as Stiles nodded again. “And if, and I mean if, Derek is right and Deaton is the Alpha… What makes you think Derek can even take him out?” Faith questioned.

Stiles was dumbstruck, realising for the first time that they hadn’t even considered that variable. He opened his mouth to reply but closed it just as quickly when nothing came out.

Faith resumed, “It’s already killed a werewolf by ripping her in half! Not to mention the slew of bodies it seems to be leaving all over town! And did you forget about the school bus that it tore apart, or the video store!? “

“Uh…”

Faith sighed. “Grab what you need and wait in the car!” She ordered him as she headed towards her room.

“What?” Stiles asked dumbly as he watched her go.

Faith paused at her open bedroom door and turned to face Stiles. “Did you really think I was just gonna let you both go on your own?”

“Well…” Stiles rubbed his neck uncomfortably.

“You’re going to need protection.” She pointed out.

“From?”

Faith shrugged, “Derek, the Alpha… yourself. Take your pick!”

Stiles began to argue with her about needing protection from himself but remained silent; nodding in agreement instead. He knew she was right; he just didn’t want to give her the satisfaction of actually saying it.

Faith nodded back, “Now go wait in the car, I’ll be down in five.”

She listened to Stiles mumbling to himself as he headed downstairs. She shook her head and sighed deeply before grabbing her jacket, making sure her newly wolfsbane coated knives were carefully hidden on the inside; gut instinct telling her she may just need them.

She as she made her past Stiles’ room, Scott’s ringtone went off again. Sighing deeply, she picked up the phone from Stiles’ desk and headed downstairs. She wondered briefly if she should superglue the damn thing to him, maybe then he’d stop leaving it everywhere.

***

Stiles swerved the jeep to a halt in front of Scott’s house. The door opened and Scott ran out and down to the car, slowing down as he drew close to the passenger side door. He looked at Faith through the window and then to Stiles; opening his mouth to speak before closing it again.

Faith wound down the window, “Problem?” She asked.

Scott shook his head and jumped in the back. He figured that the extra back up could only be a good thing at this point… then again, he didn’t really think that they had any other choice; Faith didn’t look like she was in any mood to get left behind.

They sped off towards the school without saying another word between them. As they drew in to the car park they could see that Derek had not arrived yet. Faith looked up at the school and had a brief flash back of Sunnydale High School and being there after hours; fighting demons or training with the Buffy and the Scoobs. She didn’t think she’d be doing something like that again… Then again, she hadn’t counted on getting a whole new group of Scoobs either.

“Déjà vu,” She mumbled.

Stiles and Scott turned to look at her but she just shrugged and made herself comfortable, leaning against the jeep.

“This is a terrible idea,” she said suddenly, “I just want to be the one to put that out there!”

Stiles and Scott answered simultaneously, “We know.”

“But you’re still going to through with it aren’t you?” she said, smiling subtlety.

Scott looked at Faith, “Can you think of something better?”

Stiles butted in, “Personally, I’m a fan of ignoring a problem until it goes away.” He looked from Scott to Faith and then back again. Both returned his gaze with disdain.

“And how’s that worked out for you so far?” Faith asked.

“Surprisingly… it hasn’t, but I remain optimistic,” he answered with his usual sarcasm.

Scott began to shift uneasily on the spot, “Let’s just make sure we can get inside.”

Stiles took out the bolt cutters and flashlight from the back of his jeep.

“Should I be proud or concerned that breaking and entering runs in our family?” Faith quipped.

Stiles merely at grinned at her, but was stopped from giving a retort as Derek drove in to the car park at that moment, pulling up alongside Stiles’ jeep.

“Where’s my boss?” Scott shouted as Derek stepped from the car.

Derek slammed the door shut. “In the back,” he growled.

Scott and Stiles both peered in to the Camaro to see a bound and duck taped Deaton in the back of the car.

Stiles looked up and glared at Derek. “He looks comfortable,” he said scornfully.

Derek ignored him, instead looking past Stiles to see Faith beside the jeep.

Faith smiled widely and gave him a small wave, all the while knowing that it would piss him off.

Derek pressed his finger in to Stiles’ chest, “What’s she doing here?!”

Stiles winced at the finger now pushed in to his ribs, “Protection.” He stepped away from Derek and rubbed where Derek had poked him.

Faith grinned coyly at Derek. “Smelling fresh and clean too,” she said, winking one eye at him.

Stiles looked between Faith and Derek, “Did I miss something?” he looked at Scott who looked back blankly at him and shrugged before returning his gaze to Faith. “Do we need to have a discussion about why we shouldn’t be playing with werewolves?”

“Define playing?” she asked innocently.

“Well, I would define it as to take part in an enjoyable activity simply for the sake of amusement… How would you define it?” Stiles enquired, turning his attention to Faith, momentarily forgetting Derek and Scott were behind him. It wasn’t lost on him that he’d has this kind of conversation with his dad numerous times and had a sudden feeling of apprehension as to what Faith would come back with.

Faith took a moment, staring up at the night sky, and thought about her answer. She smiled and looked back to a waiting Stiles. “To utilise an object for one’s own enjoyment,” she answered, her emphasis on the word ‘own’ had her eyes briefly flit to Derek before coming back on Stiles.

“I... You…That’s…,” Stiles stuttered. He hadn’t expected that answer and it showed as he blushed. A cough behind him had him turning to see a Scott and Derek watching them with interest, or what Stiles thought was interest from Derek’s frown. “Let’s go and break into the school, shall we?” Stiles turned to Scott and nodded in the direction of the school.

Scott looked between Faith, Stiles and Derek, shook his head in confusion and followed Stiles. He didn’t even want to know what had just happened; sometimes his ignorance really was bliss.

Derek looked dumbstruck, “What are you doing?”

Scott turned back to look at him, moving backwards as he spoke so that he was still closing the distance between him, Stiles and the school, “You said I was linked with the Alpha. Let’s see if you are right.”

Faith grabbed Stiles and Scott as they walked past her, “Be careful. If anything happens, I don’t care what it is, you run. No heroics!”

Stiles and Scott nodded in agreement and headed off towards the school, leaving Derek and Faith watching them. Faith jumped up on to the hood of Stiles’ jeep and sighed dramatically, quite obviously already bored. She glanced at Derek who was looking grim, “Wanna play a game? I don’t want to brag but I kinda rock at eye spy.” Faith waited for a response but got nothing, “No? How about…?

“You aren’t going to stay quiet, are you?” he scowled, as he looked up at her.

“Nope, especially now that I know it gets to you.” She smiled widely, “Ooh, let’s make a game out of that.”

“You’re surprisingly cavalier, considering we just kidnapped someone,” he said.

“No… you just kidnapped someone…,” Faith pointed at him, “and what makes you think this is my first kidnapping?”

Derek raised his eyebrow at her and she could tell he was sceptical. She could also see he had been listening for a lie in her heartbeat and she couldn’t help her inward smile at the fact she was being truthful and he now knew it.

“Wow! I didn’t think I came across as such an amateur,” she feigned shock.

Derek didn’t respond but Faith could tell that it was torturing him inside that he didn’t have a comeback.

“I still see you are dodging bullets,” she said, “I’m beginning to think this is a common thing with you. Then again, I’m think it’s more of a ‘you and Kate Argent’ thing.” She caught the glare in his eyes and watched as his back stiffened.

“You were at the house?” he questioned in surprise. “Why?”

“I got lost,” she offered and shrugged. “Considering that your house is being watched, where have you been?” Faith asked, giving away more concern than she had realised as Derek’s head lifted and he stared at her in slight shock.

“You sound like you care.”

“Maybe I do,” Faith confessed as she turned her gaze to the school. “Funny that…,” she whispered to herself but knew Derek could hear her.

Before Derek respond, they heard a high pitched gargling squeal coming over the loud speakers. They both looked up, grimacing. When it stopped, Derek shook his head, his eyes closed.

“You have got to be kidding me?” he muttered.

“Are you sure he’s a werewolf?” Faith quizzed. “That sounded like a cat with a hairball!”

Derek glared at her silently, a look which Faith happily returned.

Suddenly the loud speakers came to life once again, this time vibrating with the power of the howl that followed. Faith’s hair stood on end as it resonated through her bones. She saw Derek stiffen up and could tell that he was experiencing a similar sensation.
Once it had finally stopped, Scott and Stiles both exited the school. Scott looked proud. Derek looked pissed off. Faith truly thought that he might explode on the spot.

“I’m gonna kill both of you!” he screamed.

Stiles and Scott stopped beside the jeep, staying close to Faith. Faith knew Derek wasn’t being serious but she readied herself anyway.

“What the hell was that? Are you trying to attract the whole state to the school?” Derek snapped.

“Sorry, I didn’t know it would be that loud,” Scott apologised.

Stiles still looked excited, “It was loud and it was awesome!”

“Shut up,” Derek demanded as he shot a death glare at him.

Stiles looked at his feet and mumbled, “Don’t be such a sour wolf.”

Faith laughed, patting Scott on the back. “Simba finally found his roar, let him enjoy the moment.” She jumped down from the hood of the jeep, putting herself between Stiles and Derek; she didn’t think Derek appreciated his new nickname.

Stiles smiled up at Faith, “And that there people is why I am proud she’s family!” He announced to Derek and Scott.

Faith laughed as she cuffed him around the head. She couldn’t help the small stutter of her heart at Stiles’ words.

“Rude! I say something nice and you hit me, no fair. I can take it back.” Stiles rubbed the back of his head and glared at Scott, who had been laughing at the exchange. “It’s not funny,” he pouted.

Faith and Scott continued to laugh as Derek watched the conversation in silence. Scott stopped as he turned to face Derek’s car. “What did you do to him?” He demanded.

Derek stared at Scott in shock, “What?” he answered in confusion as he turned his attention to the car, which was now Deaton free. “I didn’t do anything.”

Before Scott could argue, Faith broke in, “He’s right. We haven’t moved from this spot the entire time you two were away.” She looked behind Derek to the empty back seat and wondered how the hell Deaton escaped without either of them knowing, or sensing it. Faith moved towards the car but stopped short in front of Derek as she realised that the hairs on the back of her neck were still on end and she couldn’t shake the feeling they were being watched. She looked around at their surroundings; ignoring the questioning looks from Derek.

“Guys, something isn’t…,” she started but was stopped as Derek’s body pushed forward. Faith glanced down to see claws protruding from his abdomen. She looked up in disbelief to see Derek’s puzzled expression as his body was raised and blood poured from his mouth.

Without a pause, Faith turned on her heel and grabbed Scott and Stiles, who stared at her in fear, “Run!” She shouted as she pushed them both in the direction of the school.

Both boys froze a moment before running, neither noticing in their panic that Faith wasn’t behind them any longer.

Faith watched Stiles and Scott run in to the school and watched as they disappeared behind the double doors. She stole a glance to her right to see Derek’s body being thrown across the parking lot and land on a grassy verge; his eyes open and for all intense and purposes looked dead.

With the Alpha’s attention on Derek, Faith moved forward with determination as she took in its impressive size, her hands going for the knives stored in her jacket.  She had fought bigger and badder monsters in the past, she hadn’t lied to Derek about that, but she still found herself staring at the Alpha in amazement.

Without warning, the Alpha rounded on Faith and growled deeply.

'No surprise sneak attack for you,' she thought as the Alpha stalked towards her. Not one for backing away, Faith braced herself for attack. She blocked the first claw that swung towards her with well-timed roundhouse but wasn’t quick enough to dodge the next as the Alpha’s clawed arm came out of nowhere and knocked her flying back over the hood of Stiles’ jeep. Her back smacked against the cold steel, dazing her momentarily. The alpha grabbed her leg and pulled her forwards sharply. The force he used caused her to fall in to the gap between him and the jeep; her head struck the concrete with a thud and she blacked out.

***

Faith woke with a jolt. Her head throbbed and as she moved she felt like at least two ribs were broken. She winced and reached her hand up to her forehead. She felt blood on her and could feel the warm trickle where rivulets of blood were still flowing freely.

After a few seconds she willed her body to move to a crouched position. She took a deep breath and stood up. She looked around to find the parking lot quiet and Alpha free. She walked around the jeep tentatively, making sure that she kept her attention focussed on the environment around her. In her weakened state she had to ensure that she was not surprised by another attack. As she rounded the jeep she could see that the hood was torn open; large gouges had been cut through the steel and a large hole was visible where the metal had been yanked free. She looked in to the hole and realised that the battery had been mostly torn out; leaving only fragments of broken metal and the ruined remnants of the engine itself.

She headed over to Derek, still keeping her mind open and senses alert. She leant down towards him and established a pulse. She sighed with relief before dragging him over to lie beside the Camaro.

“I’ll be back for you later,” she said, not entirely convinced that he could hear her.

She heard a roar ring out from the school… she knew it wasn’t Scott this time. She picked up the bolt cutters that Stiles had dropped in his haste to get away and ran towards the school.

***

Faith found Scott and Stiles in one of the classrooms. As she burst in to the room Stiles jumped and landed in what she figured was a B movie kung Fu pose.

“My crouching tiger is better than your flying crane,” she said, trying to diffuse his panic.

Stiles smiled weakly, “The joke’s on you… this is my ‘fluffy panda’ and it’ll beat your crouching tiger any day of the week!”

Scott hadn’t even turned round and Faith could tell that he knew or felt something, even if he couldn’t verbalise it. She looked around and saw broken glass on the floor below a shattered window; the battery from the jeep lay a few feet away.

A loud smash from the corridor caused all three of them to spin towards the door. Faith signed for them to run, pointing to the exit at the other side of the room. Stiles looked concerned but she urged him to go with Scott. As they left the room she opened the door and ran down the corridor towards the location of the noise. As she rounded a corner she came face to face with a pair of blocked double doors. She pressed her face to the glass and saw a dark object rush past.

“Come on doggy, time to come out and play,” she shouted. She stepped back and steadied herself; with one kick the doors spun
open in a shower of splintered wood. She pulled two blades free from her belt and stepped in to the darkness.

A loud scream filled the halls, filtering down from the locker room. Faith suddenly felt afraid. Not afraid of the big ol’ daddy wolf but afraid that Stiles could actually get hurt; he wasn’t trained or battle hardened like her other friends and was vulnerable to all of the things she often took for granted.

She ran down the hall with renewed vigour in the direction of the locker room. As she ran into the room she saw a trail of blood leading to the janitor’s office. She stepped forwards and saw the janitor slam against the glass on the other side of the door, spraying blood from his mouth across the slick surface. She heard another door inside the room break, followed by the sound of the alpha running.  She ran back to the hall and in the direction that the alpha would have to run. As she got to the last room she found Scott and Stiles who had trapped the alpha on the other side of a door. Faith laid her hand on Stiles’ should and he yelped as if in pain.

“What the hell… I nearly pooped myself!” he confessed.

Scott smiled but the slight tremor in his lip gave away that he had been startled too. Faith looked through the door to see the alpha pacing back and forth angrily; his red eyes were vibrant and remained fixed on hers.

“We need to get out of here now,” Faith urged.

Stiles tried to push past her to take a look but she pulled him back.

“This isn’t a zoo!” she said, shaking him lightly.

Stiles still tried to peer over her shoulder, “I just want one look,” he begged, “please?”

He looked through the grate in the door and watched as the Alpha jumped up into the roof cavity. All three of them looked up as the roof began to buckle under the weight of the Alpha.

“Go!” She yelled, grabbing them both and urging them to bolt.

A ringtone caught Scott’s attention, “Allison,” he said, stopping.

“What?” Faith said.

“Allison, she’s here in the school,” He looked panicked.

Faith looked back but couldn’t see the Alpha. “Go get her and get the hell out of here!” she pushed them both forwards through the double doors but didn’t follow. As soon as they were clear of the doors she pulled them shut, broke the bars and twisted them together; locking her in with the Alpha.

Stiles turned back to see Faith looking back at him through the glass. He didn’t need to ask what she was doing but that didn’t mean that he agreed with her.

“What are you doing!?” He screamed.

“I can hold him off while you and Scott grab Allison… I’ll give you time to get out.”

“Are you crazy?” he said, his voice high, “How can you think this is a good idea?... This is the worst idea of every worst idea ever created!” His eyes began to tear up, “You saw what it did to Derek and the janitor. Don’t do this… please, don’t do this,” he urged.

Faith smiled lightly, “Slayer, remember? I have to do this… now go!”

“I don’t care! I am not leaving you here to die. What do I tell dad? He doesn’t know about any of this… you’ve only just came back… you can’t leave again. You are not doing this! I won’t let you do this!” he begged uncontrollably as he pushed and kicked at the closed doors, trying to pry them open.

Faith turned away from him as a low growl emanated from the other end of the corridor; the shadow of the Alpha was creeping along the lockers. She turned back to see Stiles looking at her in horror and she knew that he had heard the growl as well.

“Open the door!” he demanded, fear evident in his voice.

“Listen to me Stiles. I do stuff like this all the time. Just go with Scott and get to safety,” she nodded at Scott who took the cue to intervene.

Scott put his arms round Stiles from behind and began to pull him away from the door. Stiles began to kick and wiggle in an attempt to get free.

“Let me go Scott! I’m not leaving her!” he yelled, flailing wildly. A rogue fist managed to catch Scott in the chin, causing him to let Stiles go who rushed back to the door.

“Stiles!” she shouted sternly, “If I get out then I’ll go back home. Do you hear me? I’ll go back to the house.” She gave him a forced smile.

Stiles nodded but couldn’t bear to turn away from her. He opened his mouth to speak but she suddenly dropped out of view. Stiles smacked himself against the glass in time to hear Faith’s jaw crack against the tiled floor as she was dragged backwards in to the shadows; leaving a trail of blood in her wake.

Stiles banged against the door with his full weight, pulling and pushing at the handles in an attempt to break through as he helplessly screamed for Faith.

***

The Alpha dragged Faith through the corridors as if she was a weightless rag doll. Stiles’ screams were still ringing in her ears.

She was suddenly thrown violently, smashing in to a wall and falling to the floor. She pushed herself up and realised that she was in a basketball court. She could hear the Alpha prowling back and forth behind her. His warm dank breath filled her nostrils and the beat of his heart thumped like a drum; it was hurried but in no way laboured.

She knew that he could have gone in for the kill already, 'so why hasn’t he?' she thought. She couldn’t shake the feeling that he was ‘toying’ with her… how very un-wolf like. She pushed herself up and turned to face him; her jaw felt loose and she could feel her blood trickling down her chin, it was probably broken.

The Alpha was on all fours but had stopped pacing. He faced her head on; his eyes like piercing rubies cutting through the darkness. She heard the movement before she saw it, his entire weight slammed right in to her; the power he had made it feel like she had just tried to hug a moving freight train. She was winded but landed lightly on her feet before launching herself upwards and over his head. As she landed she punched him in the back, aiming for the liver and kidneys. His flesh was rough with coarse hair across it but her punch connected and he howled in pain.

She punched the same spot again but he quickly turned and grabbed her by the arm on her third attempt. She kicked up at his face and her foot connected with his chin, dazing him momentarily. He growled loudly and threw her across the court, slamming in to the bleachers. Pain tore through her shoulder as she heard a disgusting click and schlurp noise; her arm was bent behind her at an odd angle and she knew right away that it was dislocated. She used her free hand to push herself up and turned once more to the Alpha. He didn’t rush her this time… he just watched.

 Faith cradled her arm but stood tall. “Is that all you got?” she screamed indignantly.

The Alpha growled loudly and she could feel the wood beneath her vibrating as the noise ripped through the room. He dashed forwards again but she planted her back foot and round house kicked him to the side of his head, causing him to crash to the floor. She opened her mouth to speak to him but he was on her again before the words left her lips. She felt him grab her around the waist and begin to squeeze tightly. She was doing everything she could to avoid his bite but she could feel the pressure on her lungs as he continued to tighten his grip. She cried out and as the air left her lungs she heard two loud cracks as her ribs gave way. He heard this too and dropped her to the floor. He began to walk away from her, towards the exit of the gym but she managed to pull herself in to a sitting position.

She was struggling to breathe but that didn’t mean he had squeezed the sarcasm out of her… not yet anyway. “Hey, this house is made of bricks… huff and puff all you like but I ain’t falling down!”

He turned back quickly and she saw surprise, it was written on his face, wolf or not. She realised that he thought he had killed her already and could not contemplate how she was still alive… let along making jokes.

He growled again and stepped towards her but stopped suddenly. He turned towards the doors and raised his head, sniffing the air. Everything was silent and she could feel her blood pooling inside her clothes and she could feel her eyes getting heavy. She tried to push herself up but put too much weight on to her bad arm and crashed back to the floor. She felt the Alpha looking overhead and closed her eyes. She felt a sharp tug as he pulled her up by the collar but before she could react he shook her violently; her body flailing wildly as he whipped his head back and forth. He let go with enough pressure that she was flung quite a distance away from him… she landed with a thud as her body flopped to the floor lifelessly. As she closed her eyes she could have sworn she saw Scott. She passed out.

***

Derek could smell blood; it was sweet and acrid all at once. He followed his nose and found his way to the basketball court. The smell of blood was so strong here that he felt suffocated by it… it was tinged with the smell of death but not overpowered by it.

It was then that he saw her, a bloodied pile just out of sight. He ran over to her and flipped her over.

He gasped at the image before him; she was swollen and bruised, her blood stained clothes stuck to her flesh. She was breathing but it was shallow and weak. He tenderly lifted her up bridal style so as not to do any more damage; taking her full weight he sprinted from the school.

He took her to the Camaro and flung open the back door. He gingerly laid her down across the back seat and closed the door, jumping in to the driver’s seat. He glanced back at her and for a moment he felt pain… her pain. She gasped for air and the feeling was gone. He shook himself and turned the key in the ignition, setting off at speed towards her home, knowing that any ‘legal’ healthcare professional would have some interesting questions if he brought her in like this.

As he sped in to the driveway he could see that the Sheriff’s car was gone. He listened intently but couldn’t hear any movement inside.

He opened the back door and looked down at her. “Right, I’m gonna lift you,” he said as he pulled her forwards. She didn’t respond, which worried him, as he lifted her up and carried her to the door. He leant towards the lock and his nails began to extend, sliding one of his claws in to the lock and moved it back and forth; with a click, the door opened.

He ran to the kitchen table and laid her down, brushing everything else off in one sweep. He lightly tapped her cheek and she opened her eyes slightly. She grumbled something but he couldn’t hear what she had said.

He took hold of her arm and pulled it back in to the right shape, applying pressure at the shoulder. “This might hurt,” he said. She responded with a small nod of her head.  He took a deep breath and pushed down hard, feeling the socket realign itself and snap back in to place. Faith hissed in pain but didn’t make another sound… he was impressed.

For the first time since he had found her, she opened her eyes wide enough to actually focus on him. “It’s amazing what your body can get used to,” she said, answering his unasked question.

Derek smiled, more out of relief than anything else. “Depends on what you do for your body to get used to it!”

“Very true… however that’s a story for another night,” she tried to smile but winced instead as her split lip pulled open.

“The Alpha didn’t kill you,” Derek pointed out as he crossed his arms and leant his body against the kitchen counter.

Faith shook her head. “I’m going to pretend that you didn’t sound unhappy about that.”

“I don’t mean that… he could’ve killed you but he didn’t,” Derek concluded. Faith could practically hear his unasked question – why didn’t he kill you?

“He made a good effort… but yeah, he had ample opportunity to kill me but didn’t take it,” she offered. Faith didn’t really want to think about why she was still alive, more bask in the relief that she was.

Derek opened his mouth to speak but knew that all he really wanted to know was who she really was… what she really was.

Faith pulled herself up and hopped off the table, an impressive feat for someone who was at death’s door five minutes ago. “I need to get this ick off of me!” she said, “and to see how much damage there is.”

He nodded and began to head for the door.

“Hale,” Faith shouted over her shoulder as she headed out of the kitchen.

Derek paused for a moment before glancing back at her retreating figure.

“Thanks,” she said.

Derek nodded again and left without another word as Faith made the painful journey upstairs towards the shower.

***

Stiles burst through the front door, screaming Faith’s name as he darted from room to room. He skidded to a halt at the foot of the staircase as he saw Faith making her way down towards him.  He let out an audible breath of relief at seeing his cousin alive and who looked to be fresh out of the shower; dressed in a white tank and grey cotton shorts.

Without pause, Stiles grabbed Faith and pulled her into hug when she stopped at the bottom of the stairs.

She hissed in pain and he went to jump back, but Faith pulled him back towards her and hugged him tightly; she could feel that he was shaking slightly and hated knowing the she had worried him so much.

“Are you ok?” he stammered as he pulled back slightly and took in Faith’s bruised and cut face. He paled slightly at the black bruise darkening on her jaw.

“Five by five,” she said to him with a weak smile. During her time in the shower, Faith had come to realise how stupid her actions had been and that going one on one with an Alpha hadn’t been one of her better ideas. She hurt all over and she could see by Stiles’ reaction to seeing her that she looked bad.

Stiles stepped away from her, suddenly looking stern. He pointed at her, closing the distance again, “Don’t you ever do that again! Do you hear me? I don’t care if you are a Slayer! I nearly had a heart attack when I saw you being pulled away … and there are still a lot of things I want to do before I die!” He took a breath and continued calmly, “I’ve came to the realisation that I will not live long enough to complete my entire bucket list but I swear on the Green Lantern’s honour that I will not die a virgin… so, can you at least try and stay alive until someone takes me upstairs and treats me like an enemy… or you know, until Lydia comes to her senses! Is that too much to ask?”

Faith stared at him, clearly shocked.  She was truly speechless at his little outburst.

Stiles didn’t wait for a response, instead getting distracted, “How the hell did you get home?” he asked her before looking around the house in confusion, “and where the hell is Derek?”
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