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Next: "Adapt"

Series 4 Episode 9

Three weeks on. The accident was distant history in Diego’s mind, but the effects were still going strong. He hadn’t been to school for three weeks either, and they were getting pretty frustrated at his absence without a note from the hospital.

His parents were none the wiser to his true injuries, either. He couldn’t possibly tell them what happened. They’d never have believed it anyway. His so-called friend had coerced him, tricked him, into something horrendous. He didn’t even have the wounds to show for it any longer. The bite wounds on both arms had totally healed within a day, which creeped Diego out like crazy.

Now he felt like he was going to throw up. The constant nausea, headaches and drowsiness were grating on Diego but he hadn’t actually thrown up yet. He rushed into the bathroom next door, flung the toilet lid up and prepared for the vile sensation.

Nothing happened. Diego was confused. However, his body began to convulse instead. He felt himself shaking like mad. His insides were burning up. Hotter. Hotter. Then…nothing.

Diego stopped shaking, regathering his breath. He looked in the bathroom mirror. His eyes glowed a bright, burning yellow, until they slipped into a dark burgundy. His teeth were shaped more like sharp, pointy fangs.

Diego panicked. He had to have been hallucinating, right? There was no way that could have been real…

His body shaking out of control, Dylan was terrified. He couldn’t stop. The potion Edwina had given him had obviously reacted badly in his system. The chalice had smashed to the ground, and he felt Jono holding his hand.

All of a sudden, he stopped. Sweating like crazy, Dylan took a moment to gather himself. Jono, Edwina and Deaton were all crouching down next to him. He had somehow landed on the floor, but he didn’t realise how or when that happened.

Before anyone could comment, Dylan felt the unpreventable urge to wretch. He reached for the bucket as a relatively small amount of liquid found its way up and out of his mouth. Without actively looking, Dylan noticed it was clear and kind-of gooey. He didn’t fancy a proper look, though.

“It worked,” Jono smiled.

“Did it have to be that dramatic?” Dylan looked to Edwina.

“It worked, quit while you’re ahead,” Edwina smiled kindly. She was right. It had indeed worked, and he was so grateful. Both her and Deaton had done so much for him.

“Thank you. Both of you,” Dylan added.

“Of course,” Deaton replied, “I think Scott would have killed me if I didn’t help you.”

“How do you know him?” Dylan wondered.

“I was his boss,” Deaton answered, “We taught each other a lot. He was very complimentary of you.” Dylan felt a sweet, tingling feeling inside. As if he’d made a success of himself.

Dylan’s phone buzzed. He checked it instantly and saw a text from Drew: “Meet at bunker immediately.”

“We gotta go,” Dylan said to Deaton and Edwina, “Thanks again. I owe you everything.”

“Take care,” Edwina smiled. Dylan took Jono’s hand and ran with him to the car. It was time to kick some murderer’s ass.

Pushed towards the huge tree in the clearing by Diego, Yasmin was trying desperately to think of a way out. However, it seemed pretty unlikely. If she didn’t think she could outrun Julia earlier, she certainly couldn’t outrun her, Diego and one other that was also there.

However, Yasmin stayed alert. If there was even one single moment that could allow for a speedy escape, she was going to take it. Ultimately, the key was to avoid rushing.

In the meantime, talking would help. She had some unanswered questions that would definitely delay proceedings.

“What’s the deal, Diego? I’m having a hard time figuring shit out,” Yasmin probed.

“I need a pack, and Dylan Drummond’s pack, well, it’s just about the best pack for miles. Honestly, you guys are making quite an impression,” Diego explained.

“Didn’t you hear? Your last guy…” Yasmin tried to hit back.

“Yeah, you won’t do it, blah blah blah,” Diego belittled, “Look, there are two options. You can join me, or die. Your other friends found that out already.”

Yasmin gulped. It didn’t take a genius to work out who he meant. Drew and Lily had been missing all day, and Lily’s car was burning like mad.

“Why am I here, then? At some stupid tree,” Yasmin tried to hold herself together.

“This is called the Nemeton. It’s one of many around the world. They’re supernatural beacons,” Diego explained, “Nobody quite knows all of its powers, but I read a little myth. One about nixes.”

Yasmin gulped again. This didn’t sound positive in any way. Their walk came to a close as the tree stood just inches away from Yasmin, and Diego placed both of her hands onto the trunk.

“I’m not a nix,” Yasmin corrected, “Not fully.”

“Not yet,” Diego replied. A shot of electricity vaulted down the tree and onto Yasmin’s hands, filtering through her body. It hurt like mad. So much for that way out.

His face stinging like crazy, Freddie sat himself back up against the wall of the cell. His face had been beaten pretty badly, but at least it would heal. However, things could get tricky for real if he didn’t get out soon. He needed to check in on Josh again.

“Dude, you still there?” Freddie called. His voice remained quiet, but that’s all he needed for Josh to hear him.

“Just about,” Josh croaked. He sounded even worse than Freddie felt.

“They beat you too?” Freddie clarified.

“Nope, I walked into an open cupboard door,” Josh responded. At least his sarcasm hadn’t been lost.

“I worry it’ll be even worse next time,” Freddie admitted. He didn’t want to think there would be a next time ideally, but he couldn’t be naïve.

“I know. We gotta get out,” Josh concurred.

“How though? We can’t get past those doors,” Freddie thought aloud.

“I don’t know. Got a spade on you?” Josh confusingly questioned.

“Huh? No I damn well don’t,” Freddie was baffled.

“Darn. I was hoping we could dig a hole out,” Josh added the punchline. Freddie raised a smile. Then he had a brainwave.

“Josh, you’re a genius,” Freddie exclaimed.
“I am? Oh, sure,” Josh sounded confused.

“Can’t go under, but we could definitely go over,” Freddie looked upwards, “Tell me you’ve got a skylight in your cell.”

“Yeah, but it’s way out of my reach,” Josh answered pessimistically.

“Dude, you’re a werewolf,” Freddie reminded, “We can jump. I’ve got a bar I can swing from to help. You?”

“Same. Okay, we better get this over with,” Josh didn’t sound confident, but Freddie was pleased with his plan. It was definitely their best shot.

Freddie brought on the wolf inside. As always, he thought of his mum, and the grief he felt when she died. That was like the switch to turn the wolf on and off.

He focused on the pole dangling less than a metre below the skylight. His target was locked. Freddie leapt up, bouncing off the left wall, springing to the right, then reaching and locking his hands on the pole successfully.

Freddie swung for a few seconds, gathering his strength and trying not to look down. All he had to do now was smash the skylight, making as little noise as possible. He and Josh had to be in sync for this to succeed.

“Josh, where you at?” Freddie queried.

“Err, I’ve got a problem. They caught me,” Josh replied, defeated. Freddie was torn now. He was still hanging from the pole, which could quite easily give way any second, and he had to decide between himself and Josh rapidly…

Feeling more motivated than he had in a long time, Jono felt a fire light up inside his stomach. Having Dylan by his side, knowing everything was back to normal, wasn’t just comforting, but it gave him his mojo back. Now he was ready to solve this murder mystery once and for all.

Climbing down the ladder to the tunnels, Jono was surprised to see Drew waiting for them outside his bunker. This signalled an emergency, and Jono’s bubble was bursting already.

“What’s the deal?” Jono questioned, as if he were a reporter arriving on the scene.

“You’ve missed some crazy shit,” Drew began, “We know who the murderer is.” Jono was all ears. Nobody had heard from neither Drew nor Lily all day; obviously they had been pretty productive.

“Don’t leave us in suspense,” Dylan hurried.

“You know the Fenrir? Well, there’s a whole damn pack of them,” Drew detailed, “Led by Diego.”

“Diego?” Jono was shocked. He had trusted in Diego while Dylan had lost his memories. His support was so important, “The double-crossing swine.”

“You’re gonna hate him even more,” Drew added, “He tried to kill Lily and I.”

“What?” Jono was raging. He wasn’t ever one to get angry, but when someone he loved was threatened, he felt exceptionally protective, “Where is she?”

“She’s fine, she’s at another bunker right at the end of these tunnels. She’s got to take it easy,” Drew continued, “He tried the memory loss on us, but we figured it out anyway.”

“Where’s Yasmin?” Dylan queried.

“Yasmin? I’ve not seen her,” Drew answered. Yet more alarm bells were ringing for Jono.

“Yasmin, Freddie and Josh came to find you,” Jono notified.

“They were here,” Dylan added, “Their scents are lingering.”

“I need to go to Lily,” Jono told Dylan.

“Go, we’ll be fine,” Dylan commanded, offering a kind, sympathetic smile. Lily was his priority. He had to be there for his sister.

“Sorry Mrs. Gardner, was it one sugar or two?” George kindly asked, needing a reminder. Working on a Sunday was far from ideal, but he enjoyed his job. Working part-time at the elderly people’s home was pretty cathartic in some ways, and there was nothing more interesting than hearing the stories of the residents either.

“Just the one, my dear,” Mrs. Gardner replied from her living room next door. Though George never showed favouritism, Mrs. Gardner was definitely the resident he enjoyed talking to the most. She had fascinating stories of growing up, and George could sit and talk to her all day long.

He tipped one teaspoon full of sugar into her mug of tea and went to pass it to her, when he spotted Noah in the kitchen window. George quickly placed it on Mrs. Gardner’s coffee table next to her armchair in the living room before heading to the window and opening it slightly.

“Outside the door, meet me there,” George whispered. He couldn’t raise any alarm bells with Mrs. Gardner. Closing the door to her room, George was shocked to see Noah already outside.

“You don’t waste any time,” George commented.

“You’re the only one I can find,” Noah explained, “I need your help. Badly.”

“I’m at work. I can’t miss this,” George reasoned. He had bills to pay. He couldn’t miss a shift, it could jeopardise his whole job. Noah glared his eyes in response.

“I’m sorry. I can’t control it. I feel like I need to throw up,” Noah answered, “Ed is gonna be going crazy.”

“You broke out? Are you crazy?” George was concerned. He was now harbouring a fugitive. Noah was frustrating him with his lack of transparency.

“I couldn’t stop myself,” Noah justified, “I need to find Dylan, that’s all.”

“George,” he heard Mrs. Gardner call out.

“Be right back,” George told Noah, before closing the door and heading back inside.

“Is everything okay, Mrs. Gardner?” George put on a brave face, trying to act as if nothing was wrong.

“It’s okay George dear, I heard every word you said. Your friend needs your help,” Mrs. Gardner confusingly said. Huh? How did she hear?

“It’s not what you think,” George quickly defended himself.

“You need to find the Nemeton in the forest,” Mrs. Gardner instructed. The Nemeton. George had no idea what that was, but he was sure to find out, “Go and take your break.”

George smiled gratefully at her. Any questions he had could wait, Noah needed him.

Knife to his neck, Josh was trapped. His and Freddie’s subtle plan obviously wasn’t as subtle as they thought, and one of the Fenrirs, the one who beat him up, must have heard them talking. Freddie was almost out, but all Josh could do was stare longingly at the skylight, wishing he had been just that bit quicker.

“Go, Freddie,” Josh yelled, “I’ll be fine.”

“I can’t leave you,” Freddie responded.

“Don’t be wet, I can defend myself,” Josh lied. He didn’t have any idea how things would turn out, but it wasn’t worth both their lives.

Josh felt the grip tighten around his neck. The glass of Freddie’s skylight shattered. He had gone. Before the Fenrir could react, Josh heard a deafening howl. Freddie had called for back-up. They weren’t going down without a fight.

A few moments passed while the Fenrir re-evaluated his options.

“Move,” the Fenrir commanded. Josh wasn’t going to argue with a blade that sharp so close to his skin. He moved out into the corridor, somewhere along the system of tunnels.

Within seconds, Josh heard a swoosh behind him, the Fenrir crashing to the floor as if he were pushed over. The knife clinked to the floor beside him. Instantly, Josh kicked it far out of the way. The Fenrir tried to lunge for Josh again, but Drew appeared, picking him up and lobbing him across the corridor, knocking him out stone cold. Behind Drew were Dylan and Freddie, heeding the latter’s call.

“Let’s get out here,” Dylan decided.

“They took Yasmin,” Josh mentioned.

“I think I know where,” Drew added, “This way.”

“Wait, I have an idea first,” Dylan commented. Whatever it was, Josh was all-ears. The last thing he needed was a repeat showdown with a Fenrir like that.

Minutes passed, and Yasmin stayed attached to the Nemeton. She wasn’t sure she could move even if she was able to make an escape, and interrupting whatever was happening could make things even worse.

It really hurt, though. Bolts of electricity were still shooting through her body, every one just as painful as the last, and although she tried to keep a brave face, Yasmin couldn’t stop tears slipping down from her tear ducts like runaways. She felt weak and defenceless.

“Halfway,” Diego announced. Halfway? Yasmin wasn’t convinced she could last much longer, let alone the same time again. She felt different. Worse. Further away from herself.

Yasmin tried to keep her mind focused elsewhere instead. She imagined a door in her mind and shut it on the pain, preferring to imagine she was at home in her bedroom. She pictured her chemistry textbook, the one she needed for her next exam, and recited the periodic table.

“Hydrogen, helium, lithium…” she muttered under her breath.

The bolts stopped. Yasmin fell backwards crashing onto the ground. The Nemeton had released her. The process was done.

Diego knelt next to her, putting his hands on her cheeks frantically and intrusively.

“Show me your eyes,” he commanded. Yasmin was panicked. He was erratic and obviously very unstable. She had to keep him satisfied, but she didn’t know what he meant. He could clearly see her eyes.

“I’m showing them,” Yasmin gently insisted.

“Your other eyes, show me them,” Diego demanded. Other eyes, like Dylan’s wolf eyes? She had them too? Even if she did, Yasmin had no idea how to activate them. She was stuffed.

Before she could justify herself, a rapidly moving figure threw Diego across the clearing in one swoop. Rushing back, it was clear. It was Noah, rescuing her.

“What the heck are you doing here?” Yasmin questioned, knowing he should be in a police cell.

“Ask later, we need to go,” Noah explained as George rushed over to join them.

“If it isn’t our newbie,” Diego had recovered and was walking back over, “You’re too late, she’s a full nix now. On the bright side, it’s your turn now, Kosinski.” Yasmin gulped as she looked around her. Not only was Noah in danger, but she was somehow covered in a puddle of water in the middle of a hot summer’s day.

Trying to sit up, Lily was still feeling weak. She couldn’t quite manage to sit upright, and her chest was hurting like mad. Drew had gone to find Dylan, but she was really noticing his absence. She felt safe with her new friends, but she couldn’t stay with them forever after all.

“Woah there, take it easy,” the medic reminded, rushing to help Lily. Just about, with this helping hand, she managed to find a reasonably comfortable upright position, “How are you feeling?”

“Shit,” Lily candidly replied, “I hate this. I feel weak.”

“You survived,” the medic noted, “That makes you strong.” Lily nodded. She wished she had that level of confidence in herself.

“What’s your name?” Lily wondered.

“Kamilah,” she responded, “This is Monty.”

“Nice to meet you,” Lily smiled. The bunker door heaved open. It certainly squeaked a lot less than Drew’s did. Monty stood up, his bright yellow eyes glaring in the dimly lit bunker, ready to attack,

“Hello? Lily?” a delightfully familiar voice greeted.

“It’s okay, he’s my brother,” Lily informed Monty, “Jono, come in.” Jono peeped his head round, making eye contact with Lily before rushing to embrace her in a hug, “Careful, mind the stitches.”

“Are you okay?” Jono queried.

“Yeah,” Lily lied. She knew she was far from okay, but Jono wasn’t aware of this. He had been through so much crap of his own. He didn’t need her burdening him.

“Really though, tell me. I don’t believe you’re fine,” Jono admitted, “I know you, better than anyone.”

“Darn,” Lily got caught out. It was true, nobody knew her better than Jono, and vice versa, “I feel anxious and weak. Ever since Taylor’s death, I can’t cope.” She felt her eyes dripping with tears, like she couldn’t turn the tap off.

“Maybe you should see a doctor or someone who knows their stuff?” Jono suggested. It made her even more anxious to think of such a formal setting, but Lily knew she had a problem. She owed it to Jono to tackle it.

“Would you come with me?” Lily questioned.

“You try and stop me,” Jono smiled, hugging her tightly, “I’m here for you always. For a chat, for a cry, whatever you need.”

“Love you, bro,” Lily raised a smile too. Lily had been dreading a conversation like that, but this is what she needed to improve herself. She was so grateful for the ones she loved.

Walking behind Drew, Dylan was prepared for a confrontation. Anybody who abducted his best friend and expected sympathy would be sorely mistaken, and that’s without even considering everything else Diego did.

They were approaching what Drew called the Nemeton, some sort of tree for the supernatural world. Dylan didn’t totally understand, but he believed in Drew. Now he had Freddie and Josh with him too, a formidable team that he believed in, one-hundred percent.

He had a rough plan in his mind too, but he felt slightly concerned about a full pack of Fenrirs. One of them was undeniably strong, let alone several. However, with Yasmin’s life in the balance, Dylan wouldn’t stop at anything.

“It should be around here,” Drew explained, “We kinda found it by accident before.”

“There,” Josh pointed out. Sure enough, through a clearing in the trees, the biggest tree sat alone. Straight ahead in his line of vision was Noah, pressed against the wide trunk of the beautiful yet mysterious tree. Yasmin and George were both there too, alongside Diego. Whatever was happening, it looked bad. Dylan had to intervene.

“Hey!” Dylan called over, marching into the clearing, “I think we need to talk.”

“Ah, here he is, the golden boy. The person everyone in this pack is so desperate to protect,” Diego began, “Do you enjoy having minions running around after you, Dylan?”

“They’re my friends, don’t you get that?” Dylan tried talking to him. He had to be given a chance.

“No, I don’t, because my own friends abandoned me. I want a pack like yours, Dylan. One that’s reliable, loyal and friendly,” Diego justified.

“You need to earn it. You can’t force people to protect you, that’s not how a pack works,” Dylan reasoned.

“I already have a full nix on my side,” Diego pointed to a frightened Yasmin who was being helped from the floor by Freddie, “And the Nemeton is ensuring I have another Fenrir too.” He looked to Noah, pressed against the trunk, screaming in pain. The process must be underway.

“I gave you a chance,” Dylan explained, “Now you leave me no choice.”

Dylan primed his claws. Drew chucked him a jar, which Dylan opened rapidly to coat his claws with the contents – the memory loss serum he expelled. He dodged a swipe from Diego, who was also displaying his claws, ready to fight. Dylan wasn’t going to be hit by them again, though.

Behind him, Drew took out a young, female Fenrir, while Freddie and Josh were fighting a middle-aged male.

Dylan made his move – he swung his claws at Diego’s chest, but Diego caught his wrist, twisting his arm and breaking the bones.

“Pain makes you human,” Diego chuckled, seeing Dylan’s claws retract and the serum drop to the floor.

“Using my own trick against me. Very clever, but too slow,” Diego added. That was their only supply of the serum. Now Dylan really was screwed.

However, just as Dylan was giving up hope, he saw a needle sticking out of Diego’s neck. It had just been stabbed in, and the contents released into his body. Diego swung around, the culprit getting swiped deeply by his claws: Lily. Blood sprayed out of her chest violently as she lost balance, falling into Jono’s arms. Diego fell to the ground too, thudding onto the hard mud.

“Lily! Oh my god, is she okay?” Dylan frantically crouched next to her.

“I don’t, I…” Jono panicked, tears rolling down his cheeks. Her eyes were shut, and Jono was in too much of a state to check her pulse, so Dylan did it himself.

“She’s alive, just,” he relayed. Her pulse was very weak and slowing down. She wasn’t going to last long.

Jono held her hand tightly. It broke Dylan’s heart to see them both like that. People he adored so much. He needed to be there for Jono more than ever.

All of a sudden, Lily jolted awake.

“What happened?” she questioned. Dylan was confused. Her pulse had picked back up to a normal state. She pulled up her top to examine her wound, but there was no trace. No sign of either the new wound or the one from earlier.

“You healed,” Jono replied, just as baffled as Dylan. He hugged his sister tighter than ever, so grateful.

“Dylan, a little help,” Freddie called, just as Noah jolted backwards harshly from the Nemeton. Dylan caught him just in time in his arms.

“Noah, are you alright?” Dylan questioned worriedly.

“Err,” Noah stirred, “What did it do? I feel…fine. I think it’s gone. It’s cured me. Only one wolf left.”

Dylan glanced up to the Nemeton. He had no idea what it was, but it hadn’t done them dirty after all. He was awestruck, and he still had his pack with him, too.

That night, Yasmin had taken Dylan to the lake. It was situated on the opposite end of the forest to Dylan’s house, and she had never seen it at night, but it looked so pretty. The almost-full moon was shining down on top of it, the ripples making for such a soothing atmosphere.

“How are you feeling?” Dylan queried.

“Okay, I guess. I don’t know if it worked, but I don’t feel the same,” Yasmin answered honestly.

“If you’re not sure, then this might not work,” Dylan reminded.

“Dylan, I was sat in a puddle of water on a hot summer’s day. A nix summons water. It’s more than a coincidence,” Yasmin noted.

“Okay. I’m here for you,” Dylan kindly smiled.

Yasmin took a deep breath. She stripped her clothes off, down to the bikini she had put on underneath.

“Here goes nothing,” Yasmin said, breathing deeply, before slipping into the water, submerging herself fully. She held her breath the best she could, scared to open her eyes as her legs flapped under the surface, but she opened them nonetheless. Yasmin felt it happen like it were a reflex that she could not control. She then opened her mouth, like she could breathe in the water. It felt so natural.

Rising back to the top of the water, Yasmin locked eyes with Dylan.

“Woah, your eyes,” Dylan took his phone out, putting the camera onto selfie mode and holding it to Yasmin. She saw it for the first time. Her eyes were glowing an unnerving yet beautiful sea blue.

“I’m a nix,” she acknowledged. Yasmin wasn’t sure how she felt about this, but she was alive and in good health. That’s what mattered.

The day had finally come. Sophomore year was over, and Dylan was dressed unusually smartly. He had never been in court before, but it was a special day after all. The judge had just granted Josh’s adoption order. He was officially one of the family.

Everyone had come along, the whole pack. It had only been three days since Diego and the Nemeton, and it was like nothing had happened for the most part. The memory loss serum had worked, perhaps a bit too well as they could barely recall their names. Nevertheless, Drew administered the serum, from his own body after drinking one of Edwina’s cocktails, to the two remaining Fenrirs – the ones that imprisoned Freddie and Josh. Now they could live their lives out separately and away from harm.

In other good news, Noah had joined them, freed from the confines of the cell at last. Ultimately, the evidence that locked him up in the first place was thrown into doubt when Drew and Lily spoke about the Fenrir they saw tampering with one of the crime scenes. Dylan never doubted him for a second, though.

Furthermore, Noah seemed to be a proper werewolf now. Everyone was in good spirits. Josh was happier than ever, Lily was in good physical health still, and Freddie and Yasmin were in good spirts too. Drew was still trying to track down Allyn, with little success so far. Her pack had cleared out their bunker, so he was back to square one.

“Come oh, photo time,” Caroline announced. Dylan had barely spent time away from his mum once his memory came back. He hated to think of how distressed she must have been, even if he knew it wasn’t his fault.

Now he had to endure a group photo, with Josh front and centre. Dylan hated photographs like that, but it was worth it for his family. Dylan had Jono on his right and Caroline on his left; there was no place in the world he would rather be.

Dylan linked hands with Jono and smiled. He couldn’t wait to make many more memories with the person he loved the most.

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Next: "Adapt"

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