The truck's door closed loudly as turned towards the McCall house. Everyone else was already there. Their lingering chemotrails clung to the driveway, souring the air with anxiety and worry. Theo groaned, leaning against his truck, letting his head fall back. Inside was bound to be even more chaotic than the mess of signals hitting him, and he was not looking forward to it. Somehow they all seemed more frantic than they were eight hours ago. Being alpha-less was not a good look for this pack's emotional stability.

Theo pushed himself off the vehicle, fishing for his keys and locking the doors before turning back to the house. This will be fun. He nodded to himself, taking a deep breath, attempting to settle the restless pit in his stomach as he walked to the porch. One foot on the first step and all the anxious chatter inside went quiet. Theo quirked an eyebrow. His arrival shouldn't have shut down all their conversations. He knew better than to expect a positive reaction from all of them, but he had hoped for something that didn't rival the arctic tundra. Stiles's grumpy mumblings reached through the walls as he groaned and stopped at the top step. More hushed grumbling and a resounding growl from Malia filtered out, cutting off as Stiles opened the door, bat in hand. With Scott missing, the Pack-mom was in charge, which made it all the stranger they had allowed Mason to invite him.

"What are you doing here?" Stiles lifted his bat, resting the end on his shoulder. "Scratch that. I don't care. This is a Pack meeting. For Pack only. No omegas. How did you find out about this?"

"I called him," Mason piped up from behind.

Though he reeked of nerves, Mason slid between Theo and Stiles and held his ground as the other spluttered and spazzed. Ever so confident that he could manage people's anger.

Stiles' sputtering reactions almost made Theo laugh as he croaked out, "Wh- Why?"

"Because we need him." Theo stiffened as Mason stepped back and put a hand on his shoulder, shaking it a little. "We're missing Scott and Liam, our two strongest. We need help."

"Listen to the younger you. He's got a point. Let him in," Lydia said, from somewhere behind Stiles.

A thin smile cracked the neutral face Theo had kept at Mason's quiet, excited mumbling as he slipped past Stiles, standing like a wall in the doorway. He raised his bat, pointing it at Theo's chest, eyes narrowing as his upper lip twitched. Theo dipped his head, acknowledging the threat.

Grudgingly, Stiles lowered his bat, spinning on his heel, twirling his free hand over his head. "Where were we?"

Theo couldn't stop himself from chuckling and nodding slowly to himself as Stiles he marched back into the living room. He communicated just like the wolves in Scott's pack, and he didn't even realize it. If he didn't smell human, Theo wouldn't blink twice at thinking someone had turned him.

"You coming in?" Mason asked, holding the door open.

Sighing, Theo half-shrugged, gesturing at the others, "Doesn't seem like I'm wanted."

"When has that ever stopped you before?" Mason grinned at him, impish and sum.

Theo huffed, rubbing his eyes. That was a trick question. Before hell, though, he gave zero shits about who wanted him where. Nowadays, he tried to avoid places the pack gathered unless someone invited him. There were only so many times he could take getting stabbed in the hand just for existing near them. He shook his head, slow and sweeping, as he dropped his hand, letting it smack against his leg.

He stepped over the threshold, jabbing at Mason's shoulder. "I come out of this with a broken nose, I'm not answering next time you call."

"Shut up, Raeken," Stiles growled from his chair, eyes glued to the book on his lap. "You may not care about this pack, but some of us are trying to save our missing members."

"Stiles!" Lydia chided, smacking his arm.

Mason stepped out, putting himself between Stiles and Theo. "Scott trusted him-"

"Yeah, Scott trusted him the first time too." Stiles glared at him for a moment. "Did no one see how he blew right through the battle, ignored all of us?" Stiles stood, closing the book over his fingers, jabbing it in Theo's direction as he stepped around the table. "What were you running to, huh?"

Theo felt his gums and nail-beds itching at the challenging tone with barely enough time to keep them from coming out. Taking a deep breath, he tried to wrangle his inner-wolf, pushing it back, forcing it to submit.

"I was on Liam's scent trail, like I told you and Scott."

The itch grew, turning to a prickle despite Theo's attempts to get his frustration under control. He nudged Mason to the side, clearing the surrounding space. It had been years since his wolf was this out of control, and if Stiles kept pushing, he didn't want anyone between them; least of all the one person who wanted him there. His wolf bristled at the thought. The hairs on his neck stood up as Theo clenched his jaw. This wasn't the time to fight. He forced the instinctual animal out of the driver's seat, rubbing at the back of his neck, smoothing the hair.

"Did you find the end of it?" Malia asked, chewing on one of her five highlighters.

"Yeah," he forced out, hoping no one noticed his fangs. He shook his head briskly before clearing his throat. "A group of hunters guarding a van. There was a bloody heavy-duty animal crate in it. I think they were the extraction team for the others once they caught Scott."

Lydia pursed her lips. "How do y-"

"I got there as someone said they had him over their radios," snapped Theo.

"So you were useless, is what you're saying," said Stiles, turning to go back to his seat.

"Seriously, dude?" Mason huffed.

"Yes! He hasn't said one helpful thing since he's been here." Stiles turned to Theo, eyes set in a glower. "Your information isn't useful, and neither are you because we don't trust you."

"I know!" Theo growled, his eyes prickling as they flashed. Inhaling again, he swallowed back the frustration and anger. "I know," he sighed. "And I'm not asking you to."

Stiles clapped his hands together, turning back to the rest of the Pack. "Good, now that's all cleared up-"

"The van that took both of them was at the Preserve's east parking lot," Theo snipped, putting both hands in his pants pockets and taking a step back towards the door. "Liam wasn't in the van, but his scent trail led there and it was still coming strong enough from the van. It has to be where they loaded him."

Lydia slowly stood, mouthing to herself. "Stiles, get me a map of the area around the Preserve."

Stiles nodded, glaring at Theo, before running out of the room, tripping up the stairs. Malia looked between Theo and Lydia, a curious crease to her eyebrows as she chewed on a pen. All their heads jerked to the stairs as Stiles came fumbling down, rolled maps in hand.

"What're you looking for, Lyds?"

"Wherever their base is, the east entrance is the most convenient access point for them." Lydia smoothed a map over the table, scanning it, before pointing to the parking lot. "After all if you had angry, unconscious werewolves in your trunk, would you go farther than necessary when transporting them or take the easiest, most direct route?"

"Direct," Malia answered.

"Right. Lessening unnecessary risk is crucial to them." Lydia moved her finger across the paper, following the roads.

"Lots of roads that branch off near that lot," Stiles said, looking at another, smaller map.

"The majority continue to the east or northeast directions, but even they end relatively quick, except for…" Lydia scanned it again, biting her lip as her eyes flicked over the page, almost faster than Theo could see. "Two. Just two roads that continue long enough to lead somewhere viable for them to have a facility."

"Meaning?" Malia asked, coming to stand next to her.

"Meaning, we've got a more refined area to search," Lydia said, grinning, turning to look at everyone else.

Mason chimed in, joining her on the couch looking over the maps, as Malia started texting. Assuming she was letting Isaac and Derek know about the developments, the rest of the out-of-town pack would be in the loop soon enough. Letting out a slow breath, Theo leaned into the wall, half-smiling. He managed to be helpful, which had calmed the wolf and itching in his skin.

"Where was this information last night?"

Stiles' voice broke the smile, a thick scowl replacing it. "I didn't have human vocal cords. Not like you would have listened, even if I could talk. Too busy on your propped-up moral high horse."

"Y'know what, Theo. Get out. Now. Out." Stiles picked up the bat from beside his chair, swinging it onto his shoulder as he advanced on Theo. "You're not even supposed to be here, anyway. This is a Pack meeting."

Mason tried to get between the two again, "Stiles-"

"No. I'm not hearing anything else from him. For all we know, he's the one pulling the strings behind this whole thing."

"Figures you're still stuck in the same old paranoia," Theo growled through his fangs as they dropped. "See if I move a muscle next time one of you pathetic idiots needs an extra set of claws."

With a snarl, he turned to the door. His claws stabbed into his palm as he grabbed the knob and wrenched it open, slamming it behind him. Their shouting rang wordlessly in his ears as he jumped from the porch. He didn't care enough to catch the words. All the wolf wanted was to lash out, to tear and rip at something. But he couldn't. He had to stay in control. Always under control. One slip and any goodwill or trust he had gained would disappear. Dangerous things don't get third chances.

There was nothing to do but fight it back, demand that it settle and force it into submission. Every inch of him shook as he leaned his forehead onto the window of his truck, taut like a bowstring ready to snap.


Theo whipped around, one clawed hand raised, ready to strike before he processed Mason's wide-eyed fear. His claws and fangs shrank back as he stumbled back, caught by his vehicle as he gripped his head, groaning.

"I was going to ask if you were okay, but looks like I don't need to."

"Go back inside, Mason," Theo grumbled. "I'm fine."

"You sure? Because, I thought, almost clawing one of your — like three total? — friends is the opposite of fine."

"I said, I'm fine," Theo growled as he stood, his eyes glowing again without his consent.

The rumble in his chest made him freeze. He turned away, trying to hide how his hands were shaking.

"What's wrong with me?" He muttered as he reached to grab his keys, pressing the unlock button.

"The closest thing you have to a best friend is missing. If I were a werewolf, I'd be struggling with control too," said Mason as he put a hand on Theo's shoulder, gripping it softly.

Once again, his truck caught his weight as his body sagged from relief he didn't know he needed. His eyes stung and prickled as he tried to soothe his wolf as it keened for the missing wolf. He let out the breath that had gotten stuck in his lungs, choking on it as it flew out too fast. His shoulders shuddered, threatening to buckle.

"We'll get him back, Theo. Safe and sound. I know we will."

Theo bit back whatever pitiful sound pushed to squeak out of him, scowling at his distorted reflection in the truck's door. Barely visible tear tracks, glowing amber eyes, bloody lip where he'd bitten too hard… He was a mess.

"I'll see you around," Theo said as he pushed himself off the door, wiping at his face and opening the door with rough, disjointed movements.

Getting in the truck was muscle-memory. Left foot lifted to the step, then up, twist, and down into the seat while pulling the door- His attention snapped to Mason blocking his door, holding it open.

"You going to pick up the phone if I call you? Cause we need you to get him back."

"Sure, Mase. You call, I'll answer." Theo shook his head, chuckling as he jabbed at Mason's chest. "But, if it's another shit show like this, you owe me."

Mason chuckled, nodding as he backed up. "Just pick up the phone, and it's a deal."

Theo closed the door and turned on the engine, twisting around, checking for street traffic before pulling out onto the street, heading off to Beacon High, hoping to use the track for a bit. He needed a level head if he expected to get anywhere looking on his own.