Coughing and spluttering, Maddie was beginning to come back around. In front of her eyes as she regained consciousness was Melissa, greeting her with a kind smile. That’s what she loved about Melissa. Throughout everything, she never lost her kindness.
“Welcome back” Melissa said. Maddie looked around. The room was crowded, as Scott, Theo, Lydia and Malia stood anxiously waiting for news about her. It was a pleasant and heart-warming sight. Sat on the chair next to her, surprisingly, was Frankie – the lad who had assisted them with Father Time.
“What’s he doing here?” she slurred.
“Long story” Lydia answered, “We’re just glad you’re alright.” Maddie smiled. She still didn’t feel very well, but the support of her friends was pleasing.
“Maddie” Melissa took on a more downbeat tone, “When you woke up, you coughed up this substance.” A lavender-coloured glob was in her hand, held up to Maddie’s eyeline.
“What the hell is that?” Maddie was repulsed.
“That looks like mistletoe” a horrified Scott identified.
“I don’t know how that ended up in your system, but it worries me very much” Melissa expressed her concern.
“I think I might have an idea” Maddie muttered under her breath, worried. She reflected back on the past few days. The only people she’d spent time with were Isaac and Argent, who she lived with, and Francisco. It wasn’t hard to narrow that list down.
“Alright you lot, let’s allow the patients some rest” Melissa intervened, noticing Maddie was exhausted and emotional. She escorted everyone except Maddie and Frankie out of the room.
“I need to tell Scott” Maddie coughed to Melissa, “About Francisco.”
Outside the room, Scott rested himself on the wall. He was exhausted, emotionally and physically. What’s more is that he hadn’t told the others about Gerard yet. He’d hardly had a moment, thanks to Frankie and Maddie. However, he had Gerard in the back of his mind. He couldn’t help suspecting that Gerard was responsible for poisoning Maddie. He was the prime candidate, actually, and currently the only viable one.
“Will she be alright?” Malia questioned. Both she and Maddie were coyotes, so they shared a bond even if they didn’t always see eye-to-eye. Malia tried to shield her emotions, but she was undoubtedly worried about Maddie.
“She’s in the right place” Theo felt similar. He was only part-coyote, but the bond was still there.
“I’m more concerned about who poisoned her. This was an organised job, nobody poisons a supernatural with mistletoe by mistake. I think I know who it might have been, too” Scott thought aloud.
“I suppose some credit should be given where it’s due” the spine-tingling sounds of Gerard’s voice filled the air from behind the group. Scott turned around, immediately filled with rage, “Young Francisco has worked superbly well.”
“What do you want?” Scott questioned.
“What’s grandpa doing here?” Malia whispered sternly in Scott’s ear. Scott ignored her, focusing on the number one problem in front of his eyes.
“What I’ve always wanted, Scott” Gerard responded, “To wipe every last one of your verminous kind from Beacon Hills.”
“And I can’t let that happen” Scott firmly answered.
“You won’t have much choice” Gerard gravely retorted. He primed a gun, as he was joined by two more hospital staff. The rest of the town was beginning to get clued up on their secret, and it wasn’t good news.
Pacing back and forth, Stilinski was anxious. He’d given Scott free reign with Frankie, and he trusted him implicitly, but the lack of communication was alarming. He’d tried calling many times, but there was no response, and it was stressing him out.
“Parrish!” he yelled out. Like a servant, Parrish poked his head around the door in record time.
“Yes sir?” he responded.
“I need you to get an APB out on Frankie Hartman. I can’t get hold of Scott and I need all hands on deck. This radio silence is unlike him” Stilinski ordered. Parrish nodded and closed the door behind him.
Slamming the door shut, Stiles was anticipating seeing Scott. They’d arrived at the hospital and noticed the car park was suspiciously empty. In a busy hospital like Beacon Hills Memorial, it was unheard of to see it so quiet. He looked at Isaac, who shared the same confusion. Anticipating that something bad was about to happen, Stiles armed himself, picking up the baseball bat from his car boot, stored lovingly in case of an emergency.
“Are you really bringing that?” Isaac was embarrassed to see Stiles pick the bat up.
“You can never be too prepared” Stiles responded. Isaac thought better than to argue, and he led the way to the hospital entrance. Appearing out of the automatic doors was a young man, of a similar age to them both. In his hand was a bow and arrow, which reminded Isaac of the weapon Allison used to carry.
“Sorry boys, this entrance is out of bounds” he said with a sense of arrogance as he primed his weapon. As he stepped out of the shadows, both boys recognised him – they’d seen him kissing Maddie in the club on New Year’s Eve.
“Leave it to me” Isaac warned Stiles. He activated his inner wolf, as if it were as simple as the flick of a switch. His yellow eyes glowed in the dark of night, and he roared towards Francisco. Picking up the pace, he sprinted towards him, but Francisco let go of the bow and the arrow pinged into Isaac’s chest. He fell to the floor, startled by the attack and struggling with the pain. As Francisco revelled in his victory against a vicious wolf, he looked around for the wimpy human he was with – no sign. WHACK! Stiles lamped Francisco around the head with his baseball bat, and he collapsed to the floor, unconscious.
“I take it back” Isaac spoke, still struggling with the pain, “I guess it has its uses.” Stiles smiled, pleased with himself. He crouched down to Isaac and yanked the arrow out of his chest with a firm tug.
“Come on, let’s go” Stiles was ready for action.
“Can we not come to some sort of agreement?” Scott pleaded with Gerard. He was desperate in that moment. Gerard wanted a full-scale war between human and supernatural. Scott wanted nothing less.
“I think it’s gone way past that with your infestation. Now you’ve brought a nix to Beacon Hills, even I have no previous encounters with such a being” Gerard explained.
“What the hell is a nix?” Malia questioned.
“A creature that has power over water, also known as your new friend Frankie” Gerard revealed, “Isn’t it ironic how the person who exposed supernatural presence in Beacon Hills is a nix?” Lydia and Malia exchanged worried glances. Gerard knew more than he was letting on, Malia could tell. For someone who lied so frequently, Gerard was terrible at controlling his heart rate. It was faster than average, as Malia listened intently.
“Hand him over, Scott, and I’ll give you and your friends a reprieve for the night” Gerard bargained.
“No chance” Scott didn’t even consider it. He was not handing Frankie over without a fight, and he was more than prepared to battle with Gerard.
“Anything that happens from here on out is your own doing, Scott” Gerard threatened.
“You think?” came a voice from behind. It was Liam, who elbowed Gerard in the face, causing him to collapse to the floor and drop his weapon. Cody kicked the weapon across the floor, well out of his reach.
“Go!” Nolan yelled to the group. They dispersed, but Scott stayed frozen on the spot. Nolan went to make his getaway, but noticed Scott hadn’t moved, and stayed alongside him.
“What’s up?” Nolan asked.
“We can’t keep running” Scott decided, glancing down at Gerard.
Faster and faster, Theo sprinted wildly away from Gerard. Following him was Liam, keeping pace just a couple of steps behind, but the others must had gone a different way, he deduced. Approaching the lift, Theo slammed his hand against the button adjacent. He pressed it continually, as if it would hurry up the lift. The doors slid open, painfully slowly. It felt even more sluggish than usual to Theo, as they hopped into the metal chamber as quickly as possible. Theo selected the basement, hoping they could hide in the morgue, and the doors slid shut again. An awkward silence passed between the two of them. Liam knew he had to mention Becky, but he had to consider his words very carefully. Theo was a ticking time bomb, and the wrong word could cause him to implode. Then again, the loss of Becky could well do that anyway.
“I need to warn Becky” Theo thought aloud, breaking the silence. He slid his phone out of his tight jean pocket. Liam knew he had to speak up now.
“You don’t” Liam corrected. Theo gave him a confused look as Liam explained himself, “Theo, she came with us to investigate Jodie’s house. We were caught…and there was nothing we could do.” Liam spoke solemnly, and he noticed Theo’s face drop as he realised what Liam was talking about.
“Don’t say it” Theo tried to block it out. He spoke quietly but firmly.
“She didn’t make it. I’m so sorry” Liam struggled to get the words out without breaking down in tears himself.
“I said don’t say it” Theo angrily responded, “Is it that difficult?” Liam didn’t react – he knew Theo was in shock. It wasn’t worth battling with him in that moment. All of a sudden, the lift screeched to a halt. They were not at their destination yet, and this worried Liam. They’d been caught. He looked over to Theo, who was staring blankly ahead. No tears, he was simply in a state of shock.
“Theo, I need you to listen. We can mourn Becky later, but right now, we need to fight our asses off” Liam had to give him a pep talk, “It’s what she would have wanted.”
Maddie’s phone kept pinging – signalling the arrival of new text messages. She stared at the phone next to her on the hospital bed but didn’t want to pick it up.
“Are you gonna get that?” Melissa questioned. She’d just finished adjusting the bed, so Maddie was as comfortable as possible.
“It’s probably just Casey, he insists on bothering me with a series of tiny texts instead of one long message” Maddie smirked.
“How’s he finding England?” Melissa asked.
“He says it’s great. Archie is perfect for him, he sounds so happy” Maddie smiled.
“Not to interrupt this love-in, but I’m gonna put it on silent. It’s giving me a headache” Frankie complained as he stood up and scooped Maddie’s phone up off the side of the bed. As he glanced at the screen, he couldn’t help spotting the top text. Maddie glanced over.
“Are you reading my texts?” she interrogated.
“It’s Scott, he says not to leave this room” Frankie read with a grave tone to his voice, “And not to let me out of sight.”
“You called for me?” Argent strolled into Stilinski’s office. He was happy to assist the sheriff with anything needed, but the lack of clarity over the phone call had him confused.
“Scott’s not picking up, he’s been gone for hours and I can’t get hold of anyone else. I’m worried” Stilinski confessed.
“Scott’s a big boy, he knows what he’s doing” Argent debated.
“Sorry to interrupt” Parrish peeped round the door once again, “But there are reports of a siege at the hospital. A few people are trapped inside, teenagers supposedly.”
“Thanks Parrish. We’re on it, send every available unit there” Stilinski ordered, before turning back to face Argent, “Even big boys need back-up.”
Meanwhile, Malia had led Lydia and Cody to the stairwell, and was heading up frantically.
“Where are Theo and Liam?” Cody asked, looking around him.
“They went another way I guess. They can fend for themselves” Malia’s survival instinct had kicked in and she was caring mostly for herself. Thinking of other people would only bog her down.
“We should be trying to find a way out, not going upstairs” Lydia pointed out.
“This is Gerard, he’ll have all the exists covered. If we hide out, they may have to abandon post and we can make a run for it” Malia explained.
“What could go wrong?” Lydia sarcastically retorted.
“Rather a lot actually” cane a voice Cody recognised. From the staircase above, he saw Jodie looking down with a smug grin on her face. The next thing he knew, a stream of water was flooding down on him, whacking him in the face…
As Gerard composed himself, Scott and Nolan stood watching. He was still on the floor, and had a bloody nose, but wasn’t severely injured. Nolan had never met Gerard before, but he’d heard the stories from the others. It was enough to terrify the hell out of him. Particularly now he knew what he and other hunters were capable of.
“Your beta is a violent weapon Scott” Gerard commented, referring to Liam.
“He elbowed you. There’s nothing supernatural about that” Scott corrected. He knew Gerard hated supernatural beings and, sure enough, there were criticisms to be made of any species. However, he knew humans could be just as dangerous.
“The rage of his inner wolf, mixed with a hormonal teenage boy with intermittent explosive disorder. A sane human would know better” Gerard was furious.
“A sane human wouldn’t take the life of an innocent” Nolan added, “Like Becky.”
“What?” Scott was baffled.
“One of his minions killed Becky unprovoked, who will be next? She wasn’t hurting anyone” Nolan was angry, and his eyes glowed.
“Nolan, remember your anchor” Scott reminded his beta. He looked deep into Nolan’s bright yellow eyes. Nolan’s breathing slowed down as he composed himself.
“Another angry beta, you’re making a habit of this” Gerard said as he stood up.
“You don’t get to judge my friends after what you’ve just done” Scott yelled. Usually calm and collected, Scott was anything but right now.
Bursting into the patient room, Isaac was relieved to see Maddie safe and sound. He’d followed Frankie’s scent through the hospital but picked up Maddie’s too. Now he’d located them both together, being looked after by Melissa. Stiles followed him through, feeling similarly relieved.
“What’s up with you?” Isaac asked.
“She’s been poisoned by mistletoe and is very fragile. I’m so glad you’re both here because I don’t know where to begin helping her” Melissa confessed.
“Err” Stiles was stumped, “I’ve never seen this before, but I’m confident Deaton would know.”
“The issue is, we can’t get to Deaton. They’re blocking the exits and we were lucky to get in” Isaac added.
“Who is? What’s going on?” Maddie was worried, “Scott texted me but it was vague.”
“Hunters” Stiles confirmed, “Including your lover boy from New Year’s Eve.”
“Francisco?” Maddie reacted. She wasn’t shocked in her response, more delighted that it confirmed what she already knew, “That’s all the proof I needed. He did this to me.”
“Hold on, speaking of hunters, Gerard managed to cure himself of wolfsbane poisoning, right?” Stiles theorised.
“Argent said he’d given him a piece of the actual yellow wolfsbane used to poison him, and it worked as an antidote” Melissa explained, “But we don’t have access to any mistletoe to do the same for Maddie.”
“I think I know someone who might” Stiles pondered.
Composed and ready for action, Liam was delighted that his pep talk had benefited Theo. The two of them stood side-to-side, anticipating whatever was to come. The lift had been still for ten minutes, but there was no sign of anything or anyone.
“Maybe it just broke down” Liam thought aloud.
“Don’t be stupid. It’s one of Gerard’s minions. It has to be” Theo said. He focused his hearing above the lift. He heard a light pitter-patter getting closer towards them, getting heaving and heavier.
“Listen” Theo ordered. Liam did the same.
“What is that?” Liam wondered, noticing the same sound. BANG! The pitter-patter stopped as whatever it was landed on top of the lift.
“Someone’s climbed down the lift shaft” Theo identified, as the top panel of the lift was lifted up. Within an instant, a gunshot was fired into the lift. Theo dodged out of the way just in time, keeping Liam out of the firing line. Without a second thought, he pounced through the panel and onto the top of the lift, coming face-to-face with their attacker. From below, Liam caught her scent.
“It’s Liah” Liam identified.
“It’s her isn’t it?” Theo responded. He could smell Becky’s blood on her clothes. There was no denying it, “Oh, I have been waiting for this.” He grinned as Liah fired another bullet, shooting straight past Theo’s head, missing only by a millimetre. He clasped his hand around the barrel of the gun and squashed it to pieces in his hands, crunching with all the pressure he could force through his hands. His claws dug in as he switched into his wolf form, feeling nothing but anger as he looked Liah in the eye. Theo lobbed the remnants of the gun across the lift shaft, leaving nothing between he and Liah now. She backed off, terrified of the beast in front of her. Theo moved forward and pinned her against the wall, placing a hand around her neck. Slowly, he began to lift her up, restricting her windpipes. She was crying, trying to break free.
“Sorry, I’m so sorry” she muttered. Theo didn’t care as she gasped for air, kicking his legs and trying unsuccessfully to break free.
“Theo” Liam yelled from below, hearing the struggling going on above. He pounced up to the top of the lift too and was horrified to see what Theo was doing. Realising Theo hadn’t listened to him, Liam stepped it up a notch. He took a deep breath, and as loudly as he could, he roared Theo’s name. Looking at Liah’s face, Theo finally realised his actions. He let go of Liah and turned to Liam as a tear formed in his eye. Liam approached and embraced him in a hug. Liah watched on, feeling horrible about herself. She was seeing the results of her actions, and she hated herself.
Finding herself soaked in water, Malia was furious. Her deep blue eyes shone through the gushing liquid. She ran out of the stream and leapt up the flights of stairs to Jodie. The water streamed out of her mouth and her fingertips, quite unlike anything Malia had seen before, and Jodie redirected the shots towards Malia. She was unphased though and pushed Jodie against the wall. Jodie shot another flow of water directly in Malia’s face from her mouth, and broke free in a moment of weakness from Malia. She continued to run upstairs, hoping Malia would follow.
“Malia!” Cody yelled from below, “Come down. She’s dangerous.” Malia growled, reluctantly following Cody’s advice.
“What the hell is she?” Malia pondered.
“I think we found our culprit for the murder” Lydia identified, “I wonder if Gerard knows that one of his own is supernatural.”
Creeping out of the hospital room, Stiles and Melissa made their way back to the front entrance. Both of them were hoping Francisco was still unconscious, but just in case, Stiles had his baseball bat to hand.
“You think this will work?” Melissa wondered.
“I like to remain optimistic” Stiles responded, mostly avoiding the question. To his relief, as they approached the entrance, he spotted Francisco’s body in just the place it had been left. Stiles placed the bat down on the floor next to Francisco, so he had both hands free to complete the mission. He reached into Francisco’s trouser pockets, and sure enough, he found what he was looking for. A pure mistletoe plant was in his right pocket. Stiles grabbed it, but just as he tried to make his getaway, he felt an arm grab onto his wrist. He looked, and Francisco had woken up.
“Nice try” his smug words contrasted with the soft tone of his Mexican accent. Stiles struggled, but Francisco had way too strong a grip.
“Try this” Melissa yelled, whacking him on the head with Stiles’ bat. The grip was loosened as Francisco slumped back onto the floor, and Stiles was freed. He took a deep breath as his heart was beating like crazy.
“I thought I was toast then” he laughed.
Meanwhile. Isaac had stayed behind to keep guard over Frankie. He now knew exactly what Frankie was, but couldn’t help resenting him over the article. Perhaps if it wasn’t for him, they wouldn’t be surrounded in the hospital by hunters. His article undoubtedly inspired Gerard’s group to join him in the fight against supernaturals.
“I’ll tell you what” he thought aloud, “Let’s have some fun.” He stood up and grabbed Frankie by his t-shirt, pushing him into the hospital room’s en suite. Attempting to struggle, Frankie was unsuccessful. Maddie leapt out of bed to follow them, worried about what Isaac was doing. He pushed Frankie into the bath, and picked up the shower hose, turning the tap on at full blast. The hose sprayed water out into the air, and Isaac aimed the harsh stream directly at Frankie’s face. Water dripped down his t-shirt, which stuck to his body with the liquid it now carried. His wavy blonde locks sagged down his cheeks, losing the volume they usually exhumed.
“Please stop” he begged, as all he could remember was his final swimming trip with his father. Memories of jumping in at the deep end filled his mind, and the struggle he felt as he couldn’t find his footing in the pool. Isaac didn’t give in. All of a sudden, Frankie’s eyes began to glow a sea blue, paler than the shade of Malia’s eyes. He calmed himself down, no longer phased by the unforgiving stream whacking him in the face. Frankie broke free of Isaac’s grip, and calmly raised his hands, stood graciously in the bath tub. Isaac and Maddie watched on as gentle streams of water trickled down from the ceiling.
“You’re a nix, Frankie” Isaac revealed, “You’re one of us.”
“Lives will be lost Scott, it’s inevitable” Gerard insisted. He had regained his posture, wiping away the droplets of blood tricking down his nose.
“I agree” Scott firmly responded, “But there’s a difference between losing lives and taking them. Nobody should have that power.”
“And yet, it’s all your kind ever seem to do” Gerard noted.
“Not all of us. The only difference between us is claws and fangs. We’re capable of the same things” Scott adamantly protested.
“You may think you’re different Scott, but you still have blood on your hands, albeit indirectly. If it weren’t for you, Allison would be at college now, and I’d be the proudest grandfather around” Gerard argued, knowing exactly which buttons he had to press in order to rile Scott.
“Allison died saving you, saving all of us. She might not be here anymore, but she showed more courage in that moment than you have or ever will” Scott emotionally responded. Listening in, Nolan was trying to control himself. Gerard’s voice alone angered him, and the fact someone hated his mere existence so much was horrifying.
“It’s not about courage, it’s about the code” Gerard continued, “We hunt those who hunt us.”
“You’d better leave then” Nolan chimed in, “Because we’ve never hunted you.”
“Your beta is outspoken Scott. He should know his place” Gerard scolded.
“We’re not stuck in the dark ages” Scott backchatted.
“I think that’s enough talk, you did your best but it was a pathetic attempt as I expected” Gerard wrapped things up.
“What are you gonna do? Rant us to death?” Nolan provoked. Before Gerard had a chance to reply, the atmosphere in the hospital picked up as a number of officers filled the room.
“This is the sheriff’s department, put your hands in the air” Deputy Parrish commanded as he and other deputies surrounded Gerard. Sheriff Stilinski followed alongside Argent.
“Take him away” Stilinski commanded, before turning to Scott, “Are you alright?”
“Fine, but he’s not the only one here, there’s more, and they killed Becky. My mom is with Maddie and Frankie” Scott confirmed.
“You guys get yourself out of here, I’ll find the others” Argent suggested, handing Scott a folded piece of paper. Unscrunching it, Scott read it in his head. It simply said “the lake house”. It was a message from Argent – a hideout location, not spoken aloud in case Gerard overheard. He looked at Nolan, nodding, and together they sprinted out of the hospital.
The pack assembled at Natalie Martin’s lake house that evening. Melissa was tending to Maddie, who was lying on the sofa. She was still weak, but Melissa had brought the mistletoe with her.
“You need to eat this, it should work” Melissa instructed. Maddie nodded, and took a bite of the mistletoe plant. Disgusted by its taste, she swallowed it nonetheless. Immediately, she felt a reaction taking place in her body. Exceptionally uncomfortable, Maddie felt her insides burning as the mistletoe worked its magic. She sprung off the sofa and onto all fours, as the mistletoe poison trickled up her throat and she spat it onto the floor.
“I better get some cloths” Lydia responded, not even slightly thrilled about the mess on the laminate flooring. She muttered under her breath, “Thank god it’s not carpet.”
Maddie composed herself, immediately feeling much better. She saw a hand positioned in front of her, to help heave herself up. She assumed it was Melissa and took advantage, but as she climbed to her feet, she saw it was Scott.
“Sorry” Maddie immediately said, letting go of the hand.
“I offered, it’s the least I could do” Scott smiled. Maddie smiled back as she sat back down on the sofa, exhausted but relieved she was in good health.
“What now?” she asked Scott.
“We think of a plan. Hopefully we’re safe here, for now anyway” Scott admitted. He left Maddie alone to rest and took a stroll to the boat house. There he saw Frankie, looking over the tranquil lake.
“It’s beautiful” Frankie commented as Scott perched next to him, dipping his toes into the water.
“You know, this world you’re a part of, it doesn’t have to be scary. We’re all here for you” Scott spoke softly. Despite all that had happened, he knew he had to be there for Frankie just as he was there for the others.
“It’s ironic really, after the article” Frankie contemplated, “If I could take it back, I would. Right this second.”
“I know” Scott reassured, “What’s done is done. All we need to do now is get through this together. Are you in?” He and Frankie locked eyes.
“You bet” Frankie grinned.