- Character Bashing
- Dark Themes
- Discussion-Child Abuse
- Discussion-Domestic Abuse
- Discussion-Sexual Abuse
- Hate Crimes
- Fix It
Section Three: Love at First Sniff
Scott and Stiles pulled into the parking lot outside the school and made their way towards the building. Scott stopped dead a few dozen feet from the door and took a deep breath before his head turned to look to the side of the building. He saw a beautiful girl on her phone, someone he’d never seen before.
“Hey, Stiles? Do you know who that is?”
Stiles turned and looked at the place Scott was gesturing. “Uh. Nope. Don’t know her. But it is the first day of school. She could have transferred from Beacon Valley High or had been homeschooled or she could have moved in over the summer and be a new resident of Beacon Hills. Why? Your wolfy senses tingling? Do I need to call Peter? Or my dad?”
Scott shook his head, his gaze following the girl as she walked into the building. “She’s gorgeous.”
Stiles huffed a laugh. “You had me worried a minute there, Scotty. But it’s just your first crush. They grow up so fast.”
Scott shoved Stiles lightly. “Shut up.”
Stiles laughed. “Seriously, man, don’t scare me like that on a day when I’m not fully awake and, you know, functioning.”
Scott stuck his tongue out at Stiles. “I’m gonna go see if I can catch up to her. Find out her deal. Maybe show her around if she is new.”
Scott walked off and heard Stiles call after him, “You go get some, stud!”
Scott followed the scent of the girl to the main office and waited a bit down the hall. He didn’t want to come off as a stalker. Though he kinda was. But he didn’t want it be creepy about it. But he might anyway. He’d have to keep an eye on himself. He knew he tended to be pushy and selfish sometimes, though his parents and Stiles told him he had been doing better over the last few years. Peter had smacked him down hard, a few times literally, when he’d been an ass and a brat when he was bitten.
Once Peter had woken up, Scott knew that he had gone through a spoiled jerk phase. He was able to be athletic without his lungs seizing up and he was fast and strong and kids other than Stiles wanted to hang out with him. He’d really hurt Stiles. He’d even tried to convince him he wasn’t pack because he was human, even if he had magic. Peter had been really harsh with him, told him he was more willing to cast Scott out as an omega than get rid of Stiles. And if he did that, he’d have to leave Beacon Hills and hope to find a pack that would take him in before he went feral. And his parents would have had to move, too, since he hadn’t even been a teenager yet. It would have screwed with their jobs and their lives and could have gotten all three of them killed by hunters once they were outside Stiles’ protections over Beacon County.
Scott had woken up and realized after he was being horrible, and after a long talk – lecture – by his mom and dad that he was in the wrong, not Peter. Scott had been ranting about how mean and evil Peter was, how he wasn’t understanding that Scott had been changed without his wanting it, that it was Peter’s fault because it was an Alpha from his family who had bitten him. His mom had made him see what a little hypocrite he was being. Not that he knew that word then but it had a vocab word from last year in English and he took care to remember it because he felt he had a tendency to it that he wanted to avoid.
Scott had loved the positive changes the Bite had brought – his asthma gone, his popularity, his strength and speed, even the pack bonds. But he still acted like that day was the worst in his life.
It was the worst day in their for Peter and Cora. They had both lost their entire family. And Peter had been there and seen, smelled, and felt it happening to him as he burned as well. Scott learned his lesson, though he still needed it reinforced sometimes. But the Pack and the Alpha were great at pulling him up short when he went off the rails, or even started to.
Stiles was a little shit about it and would roll up a newspaper and smack him on the nose. Even though Peter hated the dog jokes – and Stiles had hundreds – he allowed and even encouraged this one when Scott was being a selfish ass. Or when Jackson was. Scott was learning and he actually kind of liked the idea that Pack was everything.
And though Jackson had mellowed and gotten less jerky since the Bite, Scott refused to allow the other wolf to beat him. So, he kind of anchored his unselfishness and pack focus on doing better than or at least equal to Jackson. Everyone had thought – and still did – that it was Stiles who had the big feud and hated Jackson when they were kids. But Stiles had just been protecting Scott and Scott had used his friend’s devious brain to get revenge for things Jackson had done – not to Stiles, but to Scott.
Scott shook himself – literally – from his thoughts when he saw the beautiful brunette exit the office alone. She was looking down at a piece of paper in her hand.
Scott approached her as she looked around and back down to the paper, turning it around in her hand and he smiled. “Hey, need some help?”
The girl looked up at him and smiled a small smile. “Um, yeah. I need to find my locker and my home room. I’m new here. My family just moved to Beacon Hills a couple of weeks ago. I’m a junior, though.”
Scott grinned. “Well, welcome to Beacon Hills. I’ll gladly show you around. I’m Scott.” He held out his hand for the paper in her hand.
The girl blushed. “Oh, God. Sorry. I didn’t even introduce myself and I’m asking for a favor. My name’s Allison. And my locker is 372M.” She reached out and shook his extended hand, misunderstanding.
Scott made sure to keep his grip light. “Okay, well, the M tells you it is in the math hallway. This way.”
Scott pointed the way and they began to walk as the hallways around them filled with more students.
Scott slid into a seat in his new home room less than a minute before the bell rang. He was smiling huge and Isaac raised an eyebrow. “Almost late on the first day, Scott? Not a good way to start junior year.”
Stiles leaned around Scott. “Our boy’s got game. He saw a new girl – or at least someone neither of us recognized – and chased off after her hoping to show her around.”
Isaac smiled, “Aww, twu wuv. Their eyes met across a smelly school hallway and they never looked back.”
Scott scowled. “Shut up. She is new. Her name’s Allison and her family just moved here over the summer. She’s so smart, she’ll be in a few of your classes, Stiles. Her dad’s job has them moving around a lot, evidently and she’s been to five schools for the last two years.”
Isaac tilted his head. “Sounds like an army brat.”
Stiles shook his head. “Except for the fact that the closest army base is almost three hours drive from here. And the closest military base from any branch is an hour and a half on good days. I don’t know what else, though. Migratory worker? Except she didn’t look like that.”
Jackson piped up from behind them, “You mean Hispanic?”
Stiles shot a frown over his shoulder. “Don’t be a racist dick, Jax. I meant her clothes were fairly high end. Not exactly designer, like Lydia, but definitely not Walmart. And closer to Lydia’s stuff than the latter. And a migrant farm worker family wouldn’t be spending their money on that kind of thing. But he might be a consultant – agriculture or otherwise – but again, not many farms around here.”
Scott sighed. “She said her mom did some kind of merchandising or something. Maybe she worked for a clothing store?”
Stiles shrugged. “Maybe. But why move here?”
Scott smiled. “I don’t know and I don’t really care. She’s awesome and sweet and funny and beautiful and she smells really good and her voice sounds like -“
The teacher pushed a little buzzer on her desk that made a surprisingly loud sound. “Okay, I know everyone’s not settled in yet and this is only home room but I need to take roll before the bell for first period rings so, quiet down.”
Second period Scott walked into class and saw Erica and Boyd already there. He walked over and sat in front of them. Erica leaned forward and whispered, “One of the new kids in school is named Argent!”
Scott turned in his seat, “What?”
Erica nodded. “I texted Peter after class. It shouldn’t be a problem, right? Stiles’ protections should keep us safe from them.”
Boyd grumbled low in his chest, subvocally. “She was in my home room. I texted Peter, too. She didn’t smell like wolfsbane or mountain ash. Though I did get a faint hint of gunpowder. Not like she was carrying but like she is around guns and maybe hunts. Maybe not Hunts hunts but like deer or bear or something.”
Erica nodded. “Or just target shooting. But not really, really recently. It was faint, subtle. And I guess Argent isn’t that unique of a last name. It is just the word silver in French so it could be a coincidence.”
Scott nodded as the teacher entered the room and the bell rang to start class. “I’ll keep an eye and nose out.”
Scott walked into his third period class and sat across the aisle from Allison. She was already sharing a desk set with Lydia. Allison smiled at him. “Hey, Scott.”
Lydia leaned forward, “You know Scott?”
Allison nodded. “He found me this morning, lost and bewildered, and was sweet enough to show me how to get to my locker and home room. And general directions for after that. The map the office gave me was really confusing.”
Lydia nodded. “The numbering system is odd. Room 31A is next to room 34A but on the other side is 17C. Just as an example.”
Scott nodded. “Yeah, A is for art rooms and C is for choir or music rooms. And M is math, L is languages, S is Sciences, H is for Humanities or like Social Studies but S was already taken.”
“Woah,” Allison’s eyes were wide. “That is crazy.”
Lydia patted her arm. “You’ll get used to it. The school isn’t really that big, just confusing for newbies. Freshmen hate it until October or so.”
Allison nodded. “I’m with them.”
Lydia smiled and winked at Scott when Allison turned her head to look at him. “Just stick with us and you’ll be fine. We’ve got a pretty big circle of friends.”
Allison smiled. “Thanks.”
The teacher stood up from behind his desk as the bell pealed, “Welcome to English 3. If you’re looking for Japanese, you’re in the wrong place.”
A weak laugh circled the room as the students sighed at a teacher who thought they were cool and funny.
“Now, I know a few of you from previous years but not all, so we’re starting with the roll and then I’ll be handing out the syllabus for this semester. I don’t do one for the entire year because things can change fast. We can fall behind, get ahead, blah, blah, blah. So, here we go, just say here when I call your name. Peter Adams.”
Allison sat up in her seat, “Here.”
Scott’s eyes widened and he gulped before taking a very deep breath. He sorted through the scents of the classroom and the students around him. He blocked out Lydia’s well-known scent and focused on the other girl at her desk. He tried to ignore how wonderful Allison’s scent smelled to him and went deep.
Scott wasn’t the pack’s best at identifying and following scents, not even just counting the kids and not the adults like the sheriff who was actually even better than Peter. Angelica was actually the best, then Danny. But Scott was better than Erica or Boyd.
Scott smelled the gunpowder that the other two betas had picked up but very, very, very faintly, Scott picked up notes of wolfsbane. It wasn’t strong enough or placed correctly in her scent pile to be something she worked with. But if her parents who moved around all the time did so and then spent time with her, hugged her? Yeah, that made sense of the way the scent was there but deep and placed oddly.
Allison was an Argent. As in the Argents. Like Kate who had burned the Hale house down and killed most of Peter and Cora’s family. Except for the Asshole Alpha.
Scott climbed into the passenger seat of Stiles’ Jeep and put his backpack into the rear. Stiles put the vehicle into gear and backed out of the parking spot. As they left the lot, Scott relaxed into his seat as Stiles began babbling on.
“Boyd told me that he told you about the new kid named Argent in the school. I heard all about it from him and Erica and Cora. Peter texted me to keep an eye out and I did, but most of my teachers didn’t call roll and I saw three kids today I didn’t recognize. One of the was your crush, so I guess I recognized her but only as that, not as anything else. And I am assuming that the Argent is in our year since they were in advisory with NAME. But Erica made a good point that Argent isn’t really that distinctive of a name on the face of it. It is just that it is the name of the boogeyman’s family here in Beacon Hills. Well, boogeywoman’s family. Though, according to Peter, it is the boogeyman, too, just not as directly. Because her father, Gerard, got up to all kinds of horrible shit in the year or so before the Fire.
“But still, Argent isn’t a really odd name. It isn’t as common as Jones or Smith or Jackson. But it just has bad connotations here for us. It would be like worrying about someone with the last name Myers if you lived in TOWN or someone with the name NAME if you were from TOWN. It isn’t their fault that their last name is the same as a psychotic family of supernatural hunters and there’s a stable pack of supernatural creatures here in town.
“And Boyd said they didn’t smell any hunter scents on Argent. No wolfsbane or mountain ash. Plus, there is the magic field thing around the county. We know it still works because it chased off that witch who was passing through and was planning to use —“
Scott turned out Stiles’ ramble, knowing he was going to start running in circles until he could do something productive about the problem he perceived. Scott had long ago trained his hearing to pick up on changes in Stiles’ heartbeat, tone, or smell that indicated an important change in conversational direction.
For now, Scott wanted to dwell more on the fact that he knew that the Argent that had the Pack so worked up was from a hunting family. No one knew that and Scott didn’t have to tell that Allison was the Argent in question. She was too sweet and pretty to be a hunter. And besides, Stiles’ bubble would keep out anyone human who wanted to hurt them. Or well, human-ish. Pixies and red caps and yetis were a different story.
So, he could just keep quiet. No one needed to know. And maybe he could ask her out and she might say yes and they could date and fall in love and get married and have lots of babies with her beautiful eyes.
But, Lydia knew Allison’s last name was Argent. And so did Jackson. But they didn’t know about the faint whiffs of wolfsbane on her and her stuff. And he didn’t think the better trackers would get close enough to a high school girl to smell it. It would be really creepy and like inappropriate. So, even if Jackass told everyone her last name, that the girl Scott liked was Allison Argent, Scott could just go with the thing that Argent wasn’t really an uncommon name and that the magic bubble would protect them. Then everyone would calm down.
When they arrived at Stiles’ house, Scott followed his best friend to his room, content with his plan. Then Stiles sat at his desk and opened his laptop.
“Okay, like I said, I’m going to find out what I can through public databases before I try using Dad’s access codes for the department’s stuff. And if I get stonewalled, I’ll get Danny on it. It just seems too coincidental that just when Kate Argent is on the run from the law and her picture is plastered everywhere in the world, Argents would show up in Beacon Hills. And while I think he is a giant hypocrite, I still admire Gibbs’ rule NUMBER, there’s no such thing as coincidence.”
Scott flopped on Stiles’ bed, head hanging over the side, and groaned. Even if Stiles wasn’t able to find something, Danny would. Damn it!
Stiles glanced over his shoulder as his fingers continued to type. “What’s the matter, dude? We’ll figure this out. No worries.”
Scott put his arm over his face. “I didn’t tell you something,” he mumbled.
“Allison was in my NUMBER period class.”
“That’s great, Scotty.”
“Yeah. The teacher took roll. Her name is Allison Argent.”
Stiles flailed as he spun his chair around but stayed in the seat. “Scott! This is crucial intelligence, man! Did you get the same vibe off her after you knew her name? You didn’t smell any hunter scents, right?”
Scott rolled over. “Does wolfsbane count?”
Scott sat up. “She isn’t a hunter. The smell was really, really faint and oddly placed on her. She hadn’t been handling it or using it.”
Stiles crossed his arms over his chest. “Oddly placed like evidence transfer from someone who does use it and does handle it. Someone she lives with? Someone who moves around a lot for no apparent reason for work? Like, oh, Allison’s parents?”
Scott bit his lip for a second and reluctantly nodded. “Yeah. I guess.”
Stiles turned back to his computer. A few more keystrokes and he made a sound of triumph. “Allison Argent, only child of Victoria and Christopher Argent. Christopher Argent, only son of Gerard Argent. Only brother to wanted serial killing rapist Katherine “Kate” Argent. Scott!”
Stiles spun back around. “You know what you need to do?”
Scott looked up from under his lashes. “Ask her out?”
Stiles stared at him. “Inform the Alpha, was what I was going for, Scott.”
“Peter doesn’t care who we date. As long as were respectful.”
Stiles raised an eyebrow and Scott scowled at him. “I bet he’ll care that you’re wanting to date the niece of the woman who tried to kill him!”
Scott pouted. “Allison didn’t have anything to do with that. She was eleven.”
Stiles sighed and rubbed his hand over his face before reaching into his desk drawer and pulling out a magazine. He rolled it up and shook it at Scott. “I will swat you on the nose! You know I will, dude. I get that Allison seemingly isn’t a hunter. Now. But will she? Does she know about the supernatural? The Argent family is bad news. And Peter is our Alpha. He needs to know. You’re being self-centered again. You weren’t going to tell anyone about what you smelled, were you? Not until you realized I would find out that her family had a connection to Kate.”
Scott sat up straight, his crooked jaw firm and raised. “I didn’t know Kate was Allison’s aunt!”
Stiles stood up and took a step forward. “But you knew she had been around wolfsbane enough to vaguely smell of it. You knew her last name was Argent. You knew her family was very migratory. You aren’t stupid, Scott! And neither am I. Neither is the rest of the pack! Those three clues say something very basic. And you are being disingenuous by saying you didn’t know Kate was her aunt. You knew she had some connection, even if not how close, biologically.”
Scott scowled. “I like her.”
Stiles slumped. “I know, dude. But this isn’t a secret you can keep. We still don’t really understand what my magic field does, exactly. We can extrapolate based on past data but with the Argents? Better safe than sorry. And frankly Scott, if Peter found out you were choosing a crush you’ve barely spoken to and whose family could be gunning for the pack over the pack, your last lesson would be a toddler’s timeout in comparison. And not even your mom would protest.
“Talk to Peter. Tell him what you know and what I found out. Confess to your feelings and explain – calmly – your problem. Don’t make assumptions about his reaction or hers. I think you should feel her out by bringing up the supernatural in conversation. Resident Evil or Ghostbusters or Twilight – she is a teenage girl – or Supernatural or Buffy. And have other pack members, werewolf members, nearby. And you all track her heartbeat, her chemosignals, her reactions, micro expressions. Figure out if she does know about the supernatural, about werewolves, about the pack. Find out if she knows about what her aunt really did and why. Tell Peter that plan – after the confessions. Then things can move forward. Maybe you’ll be able to date her. Maybe not. But the pack needs to know as much as possible about potential danger, Scott. The problem six years ago was due to secrets being kept. Don’t let it happen again.”
Scott nodded. “Aren’t you coming with me, dude?”
Stiles laughed. “No way, dude. Take your lumps like a man. Like a werewolf man. This was your fuck up. Own it. But -“
“I will be speaking to Peter later about my own stuff, about what I need about my magic. And I will bring this up then, too. So, no hiding things.”
Scott’s shoulders slumped. “Got it.”
Scott stood up and left Stiles’ bedroom with a small wave. He heard Stiles turned back to his desk and open his magical books.
Scott trudged into the Pack house, dreading the coming conversation. But he knew he couldn’t avoid it. If he tried to talk around it or kind of lie without lying, Stiles would totally snitch on him.
Stiles was sort of between being the pack’s emissary and training to be the emissary properly. And he took Pack security really seriously. There wasn’t really anyone to be a proper emissary among the adults of the pack. Those who weren’t weres were not supernatural at all and even though you didn’t have to be more in some way to be an emissary, it was best if you were. So, currently, Stiles took on some of the duties that needed a supernatural human and several of the parents handled the rest while Stiles studied.
Scott thought it was a shame that the Hales’ previous emissary had up and left town within a week of the Hale fire. Or more like within a week of Stiles’ spell bubble thing enveloping the town. Scott always thought Doctor Deaton was nice and had hoped to get a job with his vet practice one day. But when Peter learned that the vet had disappeared so swiftly, he had gloated about warning his sister not to trust the man. Peter was mean like that. So was Stiles.
Which brought Scott’s thoughts back to his present predicament as he walked through the foyer of the Pack house. Isaac came down the hall as Scott approached.
“Hey, man. You’re early. Peter called a pack meeting for after dinner about the Argent issue.”
Scott nodded. “Yeah, well, I have some info he needs to know about that before everyone shows up.”
Isaac nodded. “Okay. Did Stiles find out something? Why isn’t he here?”
Scott licked his lips. “He did find out some stuff about the Argents. And he needed to do more research before he talked to Peter. But he wanted me to tell the Alpha about it right away.”
Isaac nodded. Scott smiled to himself. Isaac didn’t hear a lie because Scott hadn’t lied. He was learning from watching and listening to Stiles.
“Well, Peter’s in his office. Is your mom on night shift?”
Scott nodded. “Yeah, all week.”
“You should stay for dinner then. Peter made chicken fried steak.”
Scott’s mouth watered. “With his biscuits? And the sausage gravy thing?”
Isaac grinned. “Yep.”
“I’ll stay if Peter lets me. I love his chicken fried steak.”
“See ya later then.” Isaac ran his hand down Scott’s arm as they passed, scenting him. They tried not to do things like this in public even though the whole town knew about the pack but in private it was fair game.
Scott nodded, returned the gesture absently and walked down the hallway until he reached Peter’s soundproofed office. He pressed the panel next to the door to essentially ring the bell and the door swung open a few seconds later.
Peter stood from behind his desk and walked towards Scott. “Scott. You’re early.”
Peter laid his hand on his beta’s shoulder and squeezed lightly.
Scott tilted his head, flashing his throat and when Peter rumbled in approval he ran his hand over his Alpha’s arm.
“Stiles convinced me to come. Isaac said you were calling a full pack meeting later about the Argents.”
Peter nodded and led Scott to the seating area. “Yes, it is concerning. The timing is suspicious. But it helps that your fellow betas didn’t smell anything off.”
Scott bit his lip and looked away. “Scott.” Peter narrowed his eyes. “Scott, what did Stiles want you to tell me?”
Scott glanced up at Peter and golden eyes met red. “He found out some stuff.”
Peter’s red eyes flashed brighter. “Do not obfuscate with me, Scott.” Peter growled low in his throat.
Scott trembled, bared his throat and apologized. When Peter calmed down, Scott explained everything, what he had smelled, who Allison’s family was, and the draw Scott felt towards her. He even confessed to wanting to protect her and his plan to lie to the Pack about her connections. By the time he was done, Scott was a mess, teary and choked up.
Peter wrapped his arm around the boy and laid his hand against the nape of his neck. “Shhh.” Peter rumbled in his chest, soothing his beta.
Eventually Scott pulled himself somewhat together and sat up. Peter’s hand remained on his neck and Scott took comfort in it, the connection, alpha to beta, family, pack.
“I understand hormones, Scott. You’re a teenage boy. And a werewolf to boot. But you should thank Stiles sincerely. If you had followed through on even a bit of your plan, even for one conversation, or part of one, the consequences would have been severe. On you. On your mother. You’re growing too old to be excused as a pup. This would have been a banishment offense, Scott.”
Peter squeezed his neck. “But Stiles stopped you. And you saw his truth and chose well. You need to grow up, Scott. And take responsibility for your choices and think about the possible consequences of them. Not just to you but to others, to Stiles, to your mother, to the pack, to Allison. I understand your points. When Kate set the fire, Allison was the same age you were when you were bitten. And she smells of wolfsbane but not directly.
“I agree she isn’t an active hunter. But that says nothing about her beliefs or her knowledge. She isn’t likely to just tell a random cute boy she just met that her family hunts and kills supernatural creatures. She may know that. She may not. She may think her aunt is a hero, a martyr for the cause. Or she may hate her for violating their so-called code. Or she may only know what the mundane news reports say and believe her aunt is an insane serial killer.
“Stiles’ plan is a good one. I will tell him to bring it up at the pack meeting tonight. I won’t inform the pack about your initial plans to hide things and put this possible hunter you just met above their safety.
“But use your head for more than just a place to wear a hat. And when you have that conversation Stiles suggested, do not ask her out. The pack will meet and compare notes on what is discovered about her during that conversation and we will proceed from there. Don’t sneak around behind my back, Scott. Derek did that and it cost the lives of most of my family. Meanwhile, I will continue my research into the actions of the adult Argents who have moved to Beacon Hills.”
Scott swallowed. “You already knew that -“
Peter raised his eyebrows.
Scott lowered his eyes. “Yes, Alpha.”