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Next: "Hope"

Series 11 Episode 5

“Hey, Lily,” George’s voice sliced through Lily’s dream, gently reeling her out of her sleep. Her neck was a little sore from the position she’d found herself in, but that would heal in no time at all. There was no getting used to the discomfort of hospital waiting room chairs.

“What’s up?” Lily slurred, her brain not fully alert yet, “Where’s Jono?”

“He’s with Dylan and Harry, they left a few minutes ago,” George brushed her knee, soothing her with ease. Getting back with George was the best decision she’d ever made – he was always the one for her. That was nothing against Alex, though – he was a dear friend, but at the end of the day, nothing more.

“Has something happened?” Lily worried. She knew what could have happened but was choosing not to believe it yet.

“He’s gone,” George replied regretfully, “Just now. The doctor said he was very peaceful. Your mom’s in there now.”

Lily immediately sat up. Inside, she didn’t know how to feel. Her body was numb. She had nothing to say, but sadness started to seep into her mind. Pure, simple sadness. Her dad was no longer around.

“I’ll go and see her,” Lily decided. She knew the floodgates were failing, but Lily’s grief could hold off for a little longer. She needed to be strong for her mum. Jono moving abroad had been a wake-up call for both Lily and Helen. Their relationship had been much stronger in his absence, and though they still clashed occasionally, it was obvious Helen was keen to make the most of her daughter. Now, it was Lily’s time to step up.

Lily tiptoed into her dad’s hospital room, not wanting to startle Helen. Her hand was resting on top of Steve’s. it felt like the most intimate moment, but also the most heart-breaking. He was depressingly still – perhaps an obvious thing to notice, but it still broke Lily’s heart.

“Mom,” Lily gently broke the silence, her voice barely holding up.

“Hey sweetie,” a tearful Helen greeted, “Come here.” Lily allowed Helen to enclose her in her arms, and in that moment, she relinquished her grip on her tears. Her dad was gone, and her heart was broken.

Nervously, Yasmin stepped backwards. The sheriff office had nowhere to hide, and certainly no alternative way out with Oscar blocking the door. No wonder he’d been impossible to reach all day. Something was happening, and it was seriously bad.

However, Yasmin couldn’t allow her fear to consume her. Brett was by her side, and their hands were quivering. Yasmin knew how much Oscar meant to them, and they were evidently terrified – she didn’t need werewolf abilities to sense that.

Oscar stood eerily still. He wasn’t attacking, more observing, as if he were taking mental notes. Whatever was controlling him didn’t know them, and Yasmin needed to use that to their advantage. Primarily, she needed to keep Brett safe – though neither of them could heal like werewolves could, at least she had some powers to use to her advantage.

“What’s up with him?” Brett panicked. They couldn’t even hide their fear – Yasmin knew that what happened to Johnny was undoubtedly on their mind.

“I don’t know, but don’t make any sudden movements,” Yasmin replied. Oscar wasn’t the only one making observations, after all.

Slowly, Yasmin backed off around the desk, pulling Brett by the sleeve alongside her. Oscar followed, matching each step almost in-sync. Whatever it was, it looked as if it didn’t know how to navigate a human body.

“Has he really just left the door unguarded?” Brett whispered in disbelief. That was Yasmin’s hope – that Oscar would be lured away from their only exit.

“Either this thing is realty dumb, or there’s something we’re missing and we’re screwed either way,” Yasmin considered, taking another gentle backwards step. The door was so close, and Oscar surely couldn’t catch them in time.

“I think we need to make a run for it,” Brett wisely suggested.

“Okay, on my go,” Yasmin concurred, staring directly at the sharp glow protruding from Oscar’s eyes, “3…2…1…”

Before Yasmin could give the command, a figure blasted into the room and leapt over the sheriff desk, colliding brutally with Oscar. The tufts of red curls were an obvious identifier – Cody. He punched Oscar violently in the face, repeating the action over and over to weaken him.

“Stop!” Brett called out, furiously yet helplessly. Cody turned around and glared his fierce blue eyes at them; the wolf was in charge. However, Cody pulled back, Oscar laying splayed out on the floor beneath him, barely conscious with his blood splattered all over the floor, still trickling out of his nose.

Terrifyingly, Oscar jolted upright, deeply exhaling as if he were expelling something from his lungs, but there was nothing in sight. After a few seconds, Oscar made eye contact, worry filling his gaze to the brim.

“Brett?” Oscar immediately spotted. He sounded relieved, and he slowly started to calm down.

“Are you okay?” Brett immediately consoled, sitting down by his side.

“I think it’s gone,” Oscar realised, “But I felt it there. It saw everything I saw. The messages on my phone. It knew where you were, so it came here.”

“Then it knows where everyone else is,” Yasmin realised, her panic levels rising, “And it’s probably on its way to a new host.”

“Dylan,” Cody immediately realised.

“Wait, wasn’t he with you?” Yasmin realised.

“He’s gone to see Jono,” Cody replied, “At the hospital.” There was no doubt in Yasmin’s mind – they had to get there as quickly as they could.

Speed-walking to the exit, Dylan had never felt so motivated for anything in his life. Seeing Jono again was a welcome reminder of everything he used to have: the kindness, the support, and so many fun times.

How Harry would feel was another matter. Dylan didn’t even know how he felt, so how he could he expect Harry to? Would Dylan and Jono work as a friendship? Was that what Dylan wanted? So many questions, but none of them mattered unless they could get Jono home for good.

“What’s the plan?” Jono questioned, he and Harry trailing behind Dylan.

“We raid the bunker. There must be something we’ve missed. This isn’t exactly a normal situation, is it? There’s got to be a solution, there always is, we just need to think outside the box,” Dylan rapid-fired. His brain was juggling countless different thought processes all at the same time and focusing on anything other than the main goal was impossible.

“You don’t have to do this for me,” Jono insisted, but Dylan knew he didn’t mean that. It was obvious that he wanted to come home.

“Tough,” Dylan smiled cheekily. He wasn’t giving in.

“Hey,” Sammi arrived from the opposite direction, Jeremy, Felix and Freddie in tow. Her usual perky mood was absent in favour of a solemn, regretful expression.

“Hey, Lily’s up there, we’ll be back in a bit,” Jono justified, oblivious to the mood of his cousins.

“You’re leaving now?” Sammi was surprised.

“Hey, he probably needs some fresh air,” Jeremy reasoned. Dylan was confused. They’d clearly missed a headline.

“I don’t think he knows,” Freddie interjected, realising the polar opposite moods. Dylan’s heart sank. He knew what had happened.

“What?” Jono was baffled. He quickly slid his phone out of his pocket and read the lock screen, his eyes widening as the seconds passed, “Ten missed calls from Lily. It’s happened, hasn’t it? Dad’s gone?”

“I’m sorry,” Sammi regretfully confirmed, “I thought you knew.”

WHAM! The front entrance doors slammed shut as metal shutters collapsed on the outside. Dylan jumped back, startled by the abrupt noise. What was going on? How were they supposed to get out? The plan had gone out the window, and he needed to think fast.

No matter how long she’d spent trying to prepare herself for that day, Lily still wasn’t sure she was ready for the news. Was there ever a way to brace yourself for losing your dad? They may have had a frosty relationship, but he was still her father, and she’d lost a gigantic part of her life.

Annoyingly, she hadn’t been able to reach Jono. He needed to know as soon as possible, even if he clearly had other priorities with Dylan showing up. She was worried they were both pinning their hopes on a solution that didn’t appear to exist for seven years – both of them were likely to end up distraught at the end.

Regardless, Lily wanted Jono back home, and if there was even the smallest chance that they could find a way to make that happened, Lily would jump at the chance. She felt lost without her brother, and they needed each other more than ever.

Suddenly, the blaring white light dropped down to darkness. A whirring sound filled its spot, like a back-up generator had just switched on. Was it a power cut? Lily was baffled, as was Helen, who finally lifted her head for the first time in ten minutes. Her face was a bright red, coated in tears that had been streaming ever since the news broke.

“Probably a power cut,” Lily said aloud, trying to keep Helen calm. She listened closely, her wolf-hearing allowing her to focus on conversations that were probably happening a few floors down. One word kept cropping up each time: lockdown.

“Maybe we should speak to a doctor?” Helen queried.

“It’s deserted up here,” Lily replied. From what she could tell, there were only a couple of other heartbeats on the entire floor, and Steve surely wasn’t the only patient they’d had. It was eerily quiet, in fact – why was nobody coming to tell them what was happening?

“Stay here, I’ll go find out,” Lily commanded. If something bad was happening, she needed to keep her mum out of it.

Outside the hospital room, Lily spotted someone. Way down the corridor was a person wearing a white coat; finally, a member of staff. Lily started jogging, hoping to catch up with them, but they remained stood still, like a silhouette in the distance.

“Hey,” she called out. Still no reaction. However, as Lily jogged closer, her gut instinct forced her to slow down. Barely visible from the few-metre gap that was now between them was a pair of piercing orange lights, starting from where their eyes were meant to be.

Lily didn’t need to see anything else. She quickly backtracked, frantically sprinting back towards the hospital room. She needed to get to Helen and fast. Spookily, the silhouette had begun to move, and they were fast. Even with her werewolf speed, Lily was losing ground, but she was almost there.

In the nick of time, Lily slammed the door shut behind her, keeping the creepy doctor out, but he was putting up a good fight against the barricade of her strength. The door wouldn’t hold for long.

“Lily? What’s going on?” Helen was gobsmacked, but Lily couldn’t explain. She had to focus on keeping them safe.

Disjointed and muddled, Oscar had never felt so out of place in his own body. He wasn’t sure what had happened or how – the last thing he remembered was seeing Brett that morning while they both got ready for work, so how had he made it to the sheriff station, and how was it night-time? He knew nothing, and that made him all the more anxious.

Answers had to wait, though, because whatever had taken Oscar’s body seemed to be on a mission of its own, and the rest of the pack were in danger. With a day missing from his mind, Oscar wasn’t sure who was where, but he’d picked up that Jono was back, and that alone couldn’t have been good news, as much as Oscar was keen to see him. There was so much to catch up on.

Yasmin led the way to the hospital, sprinting through the quiet, dimply lit Crystalshaw streets. Oscar knew he could run faster if needed, but his body still felt strange, as if he had to figure out how to control his muscles again. Thankfully, he had Brett by his side, proudly holding his hand as they ran together. It was the perfect comfort blanket.

“How much further?” Cody called out, also not straying far from Oscar’s side. He felt like he had an entourage.

“Just here,” Yasmin called back, short on breath. The urgency was obvious – Oscar knew this was serious.

As the group turned the corner, Oscar’s fears doubled in size. The hospital shutters were down, blocking both doors and windows. There was no way in, or out. He’d never seen it before, and it couldn’t have been good news. Simultaneously, all four of them ground to a halt, joining the hordes of baffled onlookers and worried relatives.

“It’s inside,” Oscar immediately knew. His gut feeling told him all he needed to know.

“There’s nothing we can do,” Brett worried.

“I wouldn’t be so sure,” Yasmin considered, “There’s always a way in. There has to be.”

“I’ve got an idea,” Cody considered. Oscar was all-ears. He couldn’t allow his friends to be in danger.

Panicking, Jono had let his impulses take over. The first thing he needed to do was get back to Lily and their mum. He never should have left them, even for a second. Seeing Dylan had confused him, and his heart was making decisions on his behalf. They all knew there was no solution to bring him home, so why were they trying?

Therefore, no matter what the situation was, Jono needed to prioritise his family. He’d barely seen them for seven years, and finally, he had a chance to be with them in the place they belonged: Crystalshaw. In fact, Jono was sure he’d never needed Lily and Helen so much in his whole life.

“Jono, wait up,” Dylan called after him, but Jono didn’t want to talk. He knew Dylan meant well – he didn’t have a bad bone in his body – but inadvertently, he was the distraction. Jono couldn’t let himself be swayed by something that was out of reach in just about every sense.

“I need to see my mom,” Jono explained without looking round to him.

“I know,” Dylan continued, catching up to Jono and gently grabbing his wrist, “I’m so sorry about your dad.” Jono stopped, showing Dylan his reddened face plastered in tears and angst. Jono couldn’t remember the last time he’d felt such a negative cocktail of emotions.

“It’s going from bad to worse,” Jono let loose. He couldn’t for a single second direct any anger at Dylan. After seven years apart, he was still his favourite person. Always and forever meant that, even if the universe had other ideas, “I keep looking for the light at the end of the tunnel, but I can’t find it, Dyl. I’ve not seen one since I left here. Since I left you.”

“Which is why we need to get out of here,” Dylan reminded, “Go see Lily and your mom, but if you want any chance of coming back, we can’t stay for long.”

“I can’t waste time, Dyl,” Jono explained tearfully, “Let’s be realistic, is there anything else out there? You spent years looking. A few more hours won’t change anything.”

“Except it might,” Sammi called out, jogging over with the rest of the group in tow, “We found something earlier, we were going to tell you tomorrow but I think you might need it now.”

“Tell me what?” Dylan was confused.

“The basement at my new job is full of all sorts of weird shit,” Freddie took over, “Mountain ash, wolfsbane, all sorts of weapons. Look.” He gestured to Jeremy who had a picture up on his phone. Jono couldn’t have imagined just how concerning it was. The amount of guns and weapons that Jono didn’t even recognise.

“Why would this have anything to help?” Jono wondered as his eyes examined a tall, damaged cage in the centre.

“Look closer,” Jeremy zoomed the photo in to a logo in the background. The most disturbing logo.

“No,” Dylan uttered in the most fearful tone, “How can it be them?”

“Whoever owns this stuff, they’re from the Lunar Sanctum, and if anyone had a solution, it would’ve been them, right?” Sammi considered.

“Come on, let’s get out of here,” Jono decided. The end of the tunnel had started to brighten for the first time in seven years. He couldn’t lose this opportunity.

The fire inside Dylan was burning brighter and more intensely than ever. There was only one priority in his mind, and that was getting Jono back. He didn’t care how messy things were going to get, he just needed his favourite person back.

It felt weird to admit to himself that Jono was his favourite person, but Dylan’s gut was certain. His head was still championing Harry, but as much as Harry meant to him, Jono was on another level entirely. He loved them both so dearly, and nothing could change that, but Dylan knew the time to make a decision was on the horizon, and he’d have been lying if he said he hadn’t already started thinking about it.

After all, it was the only thin stopping his mind from spiralling over Freddie’s discovery. The Lunar Sanctum having any level of presence was concerning enough, but weapons and a whole damn cage? That was the biggest cause for worry Dylan had felt in a long time, but as always, he needed to focus on the positives. Perhaps they had a solution to bring Jono back? It was about time some good luck came their way, especially for Jono’s sake.

There was still one huge problem, though; they were trapped inside the hospital. The lockdown had made them sitting ducks at a moment where time was of the essence. What was hiding in the Lunar Sanctum’s basement was going to be entirely irrelevant if they couldn’t get out, and that was going to be the end of every werewolf in the world. There was too much at stake.

“Okay, what’s the plan?” Jono asked. Dylan knew how much was riding on him getting this next step right. He couldn’t let Jono down.

“Basement,” Dylan directed, “This section of the tunnels is still intact, we can at least make it to the first hatch and go above ground from there.”

“As long as nobody’s waiting for us at the other end,” Jono worried, “Whatever’s going on is more than just a lockdown drill, isn’t it?” Dylan sighed. Jono didn’t need to know the details of what had happened in his absence, but Dylan couldn’t lie to him. It went against everything his heart told him to do.

“There was an explosion, at the bar in town. We were all there for Harry’s gig. We think it was a planned attack, from the cult,” Dylan explained.

“Shit,” Jono was gobsmacked, “If this is them, we could be walking directly into a trap.”

“It’s a good thing we know those tunnels better than anyone, then,” Dylan reminded, “And I bet we know how to fight better, too.” Jono nodded. They made the best team.

“Dylan, where did Harry go?” Jeremy asked. Dylan looked around, his heart sinking. How had he not noticed Harry vanishing? He felt so immediately guilty.

“Go, we’ll look for him,” Sami decided, “There’s no time.” Dylan nodded. By instinct, he took Jono’s hand and led him to the stairs. This needed to end – for once and for all.

Suffocated. That was how Harry was feeling. Everything had become too overwhelming. Just over twenty-four hours ago, Harry was on cloud nine. He was getting ready to play a gig at his favourite place, among his favourite people. One day had changed everything, and it was too much to handle.

The explosion at the bar was one thing. Harry was only just getting used to the idea that it wasn’t his fault, but now, he had even more on his plate. Jono being back was always going to be complicated, but Harry already felt like he was losing Dylan, and it was breaking his heart.

In some ways, he couldn’t blame Dylan. Harry knew the story. He knew Dylan and Jono had never fallen out of love. He knew they were high school sweethearts, and that Jono had been there for Dylan during some of the most challenging moments of his life. A reunion was always going to reignite those feelings in time.

What he didn’t expect was to see them basically picking up where they’d left off. It was like everything Harry had built up with Dylan suddenly meant nothing, and that was a hard pill to swallow. Dylan was everything to Harry, but he didn’t want to play second fiddle.

The elevator pinged. The doors slid open. Harry had pressed a random number on the keypad; he didn’t care which floor he ended up on, as long as he could sit somewhere alone for a while.

Walking out onto the corridor, the dim back-up lighting followed him. The whole place seemed empty, and eerily quiet for somewhere that was usually so busy. However, as he walked through the barren hallway, noises began to creep into Harry’s ears. Shouting. Screaming.

Instinctively, Harry ran in the direction of the noise. Years back, he’d never have gone anywhere near a sound like that, but he’d found his inner hero since meeting Dylan, and that was something Harry never wanted to lose.

As he arrived at the waiting area, Harry quickly realised that was the same floor he’d come from. Lily was there, and it was her voice shouting. Startlingly, he noticed George lying lifelessly on the floor. Without thinking, Harry knelt to check his pulse – alive, to his relief. Before he could do anything more, the screaming started again. Lily needed him.

Harry sprinted around the corner, noticing the horrifying sight of a doctor attempting to barge open the door to one of the side rooms; specifically, the room Lily’s dad had been in. Harry knew there was no time to waste – the door was starting to cave in – so he grabbed the fire extinguisher to his left and chucked it at the doctor.

Alarmingly, he caught it. Harry wasn’t prepared for that. The doctor looked straight at him, focusing intensely on his new target with a piercing orange glow. He raised the fire extinguisher and launched it at Harry. There was no time to hide, or even react.


Eagerly awaiting Cody’s plan, Yasmin was all-ears. So many solutions were running through her mind, but each and every one of them led to a dead end. The shutters were controlled from inside the building, so there was truly nothing they could do. Or so she thought.

“The tunnels under Crystalshaw head basically everywhere, including the hospital,” Cody began.

“I remember, Johnny and I found our way there once,” Brett recalled.

“The lockdown won’t affect the tunnels, so there’s always a way in, or out,” Cody continued, “The only problem is finding the right hatch, those things are like a maze.”

“I know the way, I think,” Brett nodded, turning to Oscar, “Come on, let’s do this.”

“We’ll stay here, in case anything happens,” Yasmin directed.

“But…” Cody went to disagree, but Yasmin elbowed his arm, cutting him off. Brett and Oscar needed some alone time after what had happened, “Sure, keep in touch.”

“Will do,” Brett nodded, taking Oscar’s hand before they ran back the way they came. Cody shot Yasmin a baffled look, as if she’d intruded on something.

“They need time,” Yasmin justified. She knew what Cody was thinking, but she knew Oscar well enough to know when he simply needed Brett.

“Are you sure you didn’t just want to keep me here?” Cody’s expression turned playful all of a sudden, and Yasmin couldn’t lie, she felt a flutter in her stomach. Never before had she looked at Cody like that – the thought hadn’t even begun to cross her mind – but she surprised herself at how little her gut repelled the idea.

“Don’t flatter yourself,” Yasmin applied her poker face, though she wasn’t sure how successful it was, “I need a werewolf on hand in case, you know, shit goes down.”

“I don’t know, I mean, I wouldn’t want to mess with a nix either,” Cody continued the charm. Yasmin couldn’t lie – it was working.

Irritatingly, Yasmin’s ringtone sliced through the moment. Freddie was calling, and Yasmin couldn’t let her best friend down.

“Hey, what’s up?” Yasmin spoke as calmly as she could.

“Hey, I need your help. We’re trapped in the hospital, and I can’t lift the lockdown inside. It’s running on a back-up generator and the computers aren’t working,” Freddie explained.

“We’re outside, are you okay?” Yasmin asked the important question first.

“Fine for now, but we need to get everyone out. Dylan and Jono are trying the tunnels, but we don’t think this was an accident,” Freddie relayed.

“Neither do we, something possessed Oscar and we think it’s coming for Dylan, or any of you,” Yasmin continued, the jigsaw pieces slotting together.

“Okay, I’ll talk you through what you need to do, are you able to get to a computer?” Freddie continued.

“Err,” Yasmin scanned the area, looking at the small selection of business around them. Where would be the best place to find a computer to use?

“Café,” Cody identified, listening in.

“Got it, hold on,” Yasmin clarified. She wasn’t confident in her abilities, but she knew damn well that she’d do all she could to help out.

With Jono’s hand still firmly gripped inside his, Dylan wasn’t slowing down. Every second counted, and this plan simply had to work. There was no room for error. Nothing could go wrong.

Together, they had reached the hatch into the tunnels. It was hidden under a mat in the basement, just around the corner from where the scientists had conducted their hideous experiments on the supernatural. There was barely a place in Crystalshaw that didn’t bring back horrible memories for Dylan.

Jono lifted the mat and immediately tugged at the handle on the hatch. Locked. Dylan groaned in exasperation. How could everything be going so wrong? It was like the universe was conspiring against them.

“There must be a key around,” Jono kept a cool head, thinking pragmatically.

“I think the staff might be a little distracted by the lockdown,” Dylan panicked, his frustrations taking over.

“Hey, it’s okay,” Jono paused, taking a moment to reassure him.

“I don’t know how you’re so calm,” Dylan admitted. Every part of him was freaking out to the max.

“Because what will be will be,” Jono replied, “I’ve gotten used to the fact that the universe will get its way no matter what anyone does. I don’t have the energy to be upset about that anymore.”

“Jon,” Dylan’s heart broke. That wasn’t the Jono he used to know. Jono was the person who motivated Dylan to be the change he wanted to see. He was the reason Dylan never rolled over and gave up, “Why didn’t you tell me how things had become?”

“Because you didn’t need to worry,” Jono insisted, “And because of what we agreed. You needed to move on, and you did. I am so proud of you for doing that.”

Dylan’s emotions spilled over. He couldn’t help himself crying, even though he was doing everything he could to block it out. It took Jono no time at all to wrap him in his arms and hold him tightly, bringing a feeling of unrelenting safety Dylan had missed desperately, “I need you, Jon. I always have and I always will.”

“You’ve got Harry,” Jono tried to do the right thing, but it was far from a normal situation for either of them, “And he is awesome. He treats you like the prince you are. That’s everything I wanted for you.”

“But he’s not you,” Dylan continued. He was saying too much, but his heart was in control, and he had to tell the truth.

Abruptly, Dylan leapt up. A noise came from the hatch. A harsh, powerful thump.

“What the hell was that?” Jono questioned, sharing the same concerned look as Dylan. The noise came again, even fiercer than before. What was coming? Dylan couldn’t bear to think, but he wasn’t sure his day could’ve gotten much worse.

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Next: "Hope"

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