Disclaimer: I own none of the characters or the places unique to these fandoms. I do own any original storyline ideas that come up within this writing.

Title: Fullmoon Sushi
Author: The Red Hoodie (formerly A Tail For Lemonade/Capsicle)
Rating: T for things
Shows: Teen Wolf, Lost Girl
Summary: There's a new monster in Beacon Hills. Kenzi is also new in Beacon Hills. She bonds with Stiles and Allison and ends up meeting someone she never thought she'd see again: Derek Hale. As if that's not enough, this monster has an agenda and Kenzi is right in the middle of it.
A/N: So I've always wanted to write a Kenzi story and I was hooked by the Stiles/Kenzi ship thanks to tumblr, but after I actually WATCHED Teen Wolf, my feelings changed a bit and this popped out. It'll be quite long, I don't think I'll split it into chapters, but I hope you read and enjoy it because I had fun writing the characters and 'verses mixing. Just one thing to keep in mind: this takes place early season 2 of Lost Girl, and between season 1 and 2 of Teen Wolf, as timelines go, okay? Don't hate me if it's like half a shade of AU, timeline wise.


In the dark of night, under the stars and moon, a hooded figure clutching a book and a flashlight stumbled through damp leaves, toward the tree line. The lake was a glorified pond, but it was still and discerningly creepy without much light to illuminate its depths.

The figure stood on the edge, toed in a rock and listened to the sound of crickets and the occasional frog croaking. Crouching, the book flipped open across knees, a gloved hand flipped the pages, the other holding onto the light. Once it settled on a page of text opposite an inky drawing of a monstrous fish creature, the figure smirked and stood, looking out across the body of water.

Holding the book open with one hand, a small voice began to read the tongue-twisting text at the top of the page. It was in some ancient language similar to Latin, but not quite. The voice got sturdier and louder as it spoke, until the alien words were carried all the way across the waters. Once the page was finished, the figure's arms dropped and shadowed eyes looked across the still waters…only to begin shining as the surface began to ripple…

88

The parking lot was filled with silent, empty cars. Well, mostly empty. A pale hand, with long thin fingers curled into a fist and rapt against the thin window, causing Stiles Stilinski to jerk awake, hands moving defensively in karate chop motions.

"What the f—" he cut himself off when he saw the face on the other side of the window. It was a new face, a girl's face. Pale and round, with clear blue eyes, and black hair.

"The bell rang," she said loudly, motioning toward the school.

Stiles' eyebrows raised and he fumbled to grab his bag off the passanger's seat and open the door at the same time. The girl took a step back so he could jump from his precious Jeep and gave him a smile once he closed the door.

"I heard the bell ring and saw you, so I thought I would be nice and wake you up. And, considering this is my first day here, you can use the excuse that you were helping me to get out of being late," she said in one longm sweeping breath.

"Yeah, yeah, sure," he nodded, noticing her rather extreme black outfit, gloves covered in skulls, studded jacket and boots that looked like they could kick him right in half.

"I'm Kenzi," she introduced herself, taking a few steps backward before twirling around. He followed, one hand clutching the backpack strap on his shoulder, the other hanging limply by his side. "If you can just bring me to the principal's office, I think we'll be good."

Stiles swallowed and tried to look ahead of him but he kept glancing over at her. "I'm Stiles," he said after a rather awkward pause, the words loud. He cringed and kicked himself mentally.

"Stiles…I can dig it," Kenzi said thoughtfully, tugging on the strap of her own pack slung over her shoulder. "So, Stiles, any reason why you were crashing in your car instead of in class?"

He stumbled over the first stair, but managed to catch himself before he fell flat on his face. The disastrous winter formal had happened just two days prior, Lydia hadn't woken up for more than a few seconds and she was still on the edge of critical condition. He had taken to sleeping at the hospital…sleep being the operative word, since the chairs there did not make the best of beds. "Girl…things," he answered, walking into the building behind her.

The halls were empty, creepily empty, even in the morning. Stiles pointed Kenzi in the right direction and they continued walking side by side, her massive boots making sounds that echoed off the lockers.

"You said you were new right? Where're you from?" Stiles asked, passing the stairway that led up to his first class.

Kenzi bit the inside of her cheek and shrugged. "Everywhere, dude," she said, slipping her hand around his arm, causing him to tense up and almost miss the office that was on the left. She saw the sign and veered toward it. Just as they came up to it, the door opened and the principal took one step into the hall. He wasn't a very imposing man, with sort of a baby face and thin blonde hair.

"Mr. Stilinski," he said, an odd look on his face because, for once, the Sheriff's son wasn't with Scott McCall.

Fearing awkwardness coming up, Kenzi took the initiative to explain the situation. "Hi, I'm Kenzi Williams, new girl," she started, slapping on a convincing smile. "I was sort of lost and Stiles was nice enough to help me out so I was wondering if you could write him a note or whatever it is you do here, to excuse him for being late for class?"

Stiles stared at her like she was some sort of alien, while Principal Thomas was actually taken by her short speech. "Certainly, come in, both of you," he stepped aside and waved them in. He walked around to the other side of his desk, scribbled something down and came back around to shove it into Stiles' hand.

"Thank you, sir," Stiles said, lifting the note in an awkward salute before darting out of the room.

Kenzi sat as the Principal closed the door and then settled behind his desk. "Miss Williams, correct?" he started. She nodded. "I was just going out to meet you, but it's just as well you came here. I've got your class schedule here and a school map. We don't want you to be roaming around the halls looking for your classes, and since it's a two story school, a map will make it easier." He pulled out a few papers before handing them out to her.

She reached forward and took them, glancing over the schedule and trying to find her first classroom on the map.

"I'll walk you to your first class, introduce you, make you feel uncomfortable," he added with a light laugh as he stood.

Kenzi scoffed and stood as well, shoving the papers into her bag. "I'm sure I'll survive," she said in what she hoped wasn't some sort of underhand flirty tone, because that was not what she was sent here for.

88

"Scott…Scott…Scott!" Stiles whispered, leaning forward to get his friend's attention.

"What?" Scott finally hissed, turning his head just a little to show he had heard.

"Why did you let me sleep in my car? I was late…"

"Sorry."

"What were you doing? Making out with Allison? Man, she's gunna get you killed!"

"Why am I not surprised it's you two?" the teacher interrupted, causing Stiles to sit back in his seat quickly and bite down on his tongue. "Care to share with the class?"

Both boys shook their heads, but Stiles spent the remainder of class staring holes into the back of Scott's head.

The sound of the bell was a welcome one, more so today than any other day since the beginning of the semester. Stiles raced out the door after Scott.

"And guess what happened to me this morning?" Stiles asked, knowing Scott had been too preoccupied to have caught any of the conversation that had gone on in the silent halls after the first bell.

"You woke yourself up?" Scott replied sarcastically.

Stiles sighed. "No, man, I met a girl."

"That's surprising."

"Hey…okay, sure, but she's the new girl."

"Another one?" Scott asked, thoughts flicking to Allison. "Do you think she's…?"

"Part of another werewolf hunting family sent here to kill you and Derek?" Stiles finished. "I…don't know. She was dressed in some punk…gothic, weird outfit and she got me a note for being late."

"Was she hot?"

Stiles opened and closed his mouth before punching his best friend on the shoulder. "Scott, she could be here to kill you, I don't think it should matter if she's attractive."

Scott rolled his eyes. "But she was hot."

Stiles let out a breath, defeated. "Yes, alright, she was in the realm of very attractive, but you know—"

"Lydia, I know," Scott said, spotting Allison. "Gotta go!" He left without another word, leaving Stiles by himself in the middle of the hall.

88

"Is it cool if I join you?"

Stiles looked up midchew at the tall thin girl dressed in black. He stared at her blankly, so she raised an eyebrow and moved to sit down next to him, quite literally pushing him over to the next chair.

"Hi, I'm the new girl, Kenzi," she said cheerfully to Scott.

"Oh yeah, hey. I'm Scott."

Stiles swallowed and glanced between his best friend and the girl beside him. "So…how's the first day going? Any—"

"Hey." All three of them looked up as Allison walked over.

"Allison," Scott said warningly.

She just rolled her eyes and sat next to him. "Jackson's not here and anyone else in this school doesn't really care about either of us so I'm sitting here." Turning her attention to the girl she was sitting across from, she smiled. "Hi, I'm Allison. You're…new, right?"

"Yup," Kenzi said without a hitch at the obvious couple's argument. "Kenzi."

"Kenzi…I haven't seen you in any classes…are you a sophomore?"

Kenzi glanced between the three of them, fork hovering before her open mouth. "Um…no. Senior. Is that a problem? Because…does it look like I care who I hang out with?" She shrugged and took a bite of food that wasn't that bad. At least…it was better than what she and Bo always ended up cooking.

Stiles and Scott glanced between themselves, their previous conversation about the new girl coming to mind. Allison didn't notice and gave her a warm smile.

"It's fine. Let me tell you, we're not your average group. I think you could fit in."

"Allison," Scott said again, the thought of the safety of those who ended up around him coming to mind.

Allison looked back at him with stubborn eyes. "What? Can't I make new friends? It'll make my dad think I'm actually getting on with my life."

Kenzi chewed slowly, eyes focused on the tray of food in front of her and Stiles sat jittery beside her, twirling his fork in rubbery pasta.

"How're you liking yo—"

Stiles was cut off by Allison. "Are you doing anything tonight?"

"Um…I didn't have anything planned," Kenzi said.

"Good," Allison smiled. "You and I are going out. Or…possibly staying in since my dad isn't letting me out lately. He barely let me out of the car today…" She glanced over at Scott.

"Like…to study?" Kenzi asked, again choosing to ignore the obvious tension between the couple sitting on the other side of the table. She wasn't here to actually go to school, but it wouldn't hurt her to not look like an idiot in class.

Allison tilted her head with a twinkle in her eye. "Absolutely."

88

Kenzi was hovering by the front stairs, her head bowed, eyes squinting at the phone in her hand. She shaded the screen with her hand so she could read the text sitting there from Bo.

Where are you? How are you? If you die, I'm going to kill you.

She smiled at Bo's concern and was just hitting reply when Stiles appeared next to her. She looked up quickly and hid her phone in her jacket pocket. "Hey," she said, flashing a smile.

"Heeeeey," he said, gripping his backpack strap and scuffing a shoe on the sidewalk. "How was your first day?"

"Okay. I'm waiting for Allison. She's going to give me her address so I can go over later," Kenzi said, ignoring the vibration of her phone in her pocket. It was Bo. It had to be Bo.

"Right. Uh…do you need a ride to…home or wherever you're staying?" He shifted his weight from foot to foot. He really…he wanted to go back to the hospital to check on Lydia, but he didn't want to be totally rude, since Kenzi seemed like a nice, normal person.

She shook his head, sensing that he wanted to be somewhere else. "Nah, I'm good. I'm just staying at an apartment near the sheriff's department so…I can walk or something." She shrugged. She had grown used to walking many miles in five inch stilettos, but was mentally patting herself on the back for wearing her least high, and chunkiest of boots for this trip. It seemed like she would be doing more walking than she actually cared to do, but there was nothing she could do about that. "Don't worry, I'm a survivor," she teased lightly. "I'm pretty sure I can take care of myself."

During the daytime, yes. He was skeptical of her spending any amount of time out at night, even with Peter dead and no longer killing and stalking in the night. "Okay. Be careful," he said, hesitated and then turned and walked across the grass toward his Jeep.

Kenzi watched him quizzically. Something was…odd about him. Not just him, but Allison and Scott as well. The whole town was on edge and she started to wonder why Trick thought it smart to send the powerless human girl into a town that obviously deserved help of the fae kind.

She was just about to pull out her phone again when someone touched her shoulder lightly. She turned and found herself facing Allison.

"Sorry, have you been waiting long?" Allison sounded apologetic, pushing a notebook into her bag.

"Not really. Just caught Stiles before he left…he was obviously itching to go somewhere else so I didn't hold him up."

Allison nodded slowly. "Oh…he's probably going to the hospital. Lydia…he spends just about all his time there."

"Lydia?" Kenzi raised an eyebrow. "So that's the girl…noted."

"Do you need a ride?" Allison asked, tilting her head in the direction of the parking lot. "I could ask my dad to drop you off or…you could just come to my place and we can hang out for a while? Or…gosh, I didn't even ask if you had a car, sorry."

Kenzi waved a hand. "No problemo, mi amigo. One, I don't have a car, I'm stuck walking, or taking the bus. Two, I actually…" She thought of Bo and how she had to call her back soon or the succubus might try to suck information about where Kenzi was from Trick. "If dinner comes with the studying deal, then I'd love to come."

Allison smiled, big and forced. She was trying to cover up the uneasiness of her home life. "Dinner is definitely involved." Seeing a flash of red, she looked up to see her dad putting their SUV into park and getting out. "There's my dad, wait here?" Allison walked swiftly to the car and, from Kenzi's perspective, had a fight through tight lips and clenched jaws, her father glancing over at Kenzi once or twice and making her slightly uneasy. Finally, Allison turned and waved her over.

"Dad, this is Kenzi. Kenzi, my dad, Chris Argent," Allison introduced.

He held out a hand, a smile on his face, but something dark and guarded in his eyes. Kenzi felt like she was about to shake hands with the enemy, but did so anyway, pumping his arm and then yanking her hand back. "Since we're being introduced I'm guessing you said it's alright for me to invade your home and learn all there is to know about Beacon Hills from your daughter?" she said in a hopeful tone, trying to best to act a bit less like herself.

Mr. Argent looked over at his daughter. "Let's hope she doesn't tell you all there is to know, some things are best found out on their own," he said in a creepy protective-yet-possibly-psychotic voice.

Kenzi was suddenly wishing she was staring down the Morrígan instead of this guy dressed in plaid. She gave him her best 'No, no I am not freaked out by this situation' smile and climbed into the back seat of the SUV after he opened the door. Allison sat next to her and there was a few seconds of silence as he walked around to the driver's seat. Kenzi watched the safe school slip away and wondered just what sort of weird crap was going on in this town for Trick to send her here. He wouldn't just send her on a vacation…the guy was nice, but not that nice.

"How long have you been in town, Kenzi?" Mr. Argent's voice startled her into reality.

Lie, lie, lie! the voice in her head told her. "A week. I didn't want to lose any more time this school year since it's my last," she said, her normal spirit zapped so she sounded like some normal high school girl. She frowned slightly and slipped her hand into her pocket, fingers circling her phone.

"You're a senior? Allison is a year behind because of my job. We've had to move around quite often."

Kenzi made an 'O' with her mouth and glanced over at Allison, who was looking down at her lap, where she furiously trying to break her cell phone with just force of determination. It was pretty obvious that Allison was on the outs with her father. Kenzi was knowledgeable when it came to that sort of thing. Time to bring out the true Kenzi and make the situation better—or so she hoped.

"Hey, nothing wrong with that. My cousin was kept back two years for reasons that were not so cool," she said, trying to push aside her own uncomfortableness.

"Are you living with your parents or family?" Mr. Argent asked, glancing into the rearview mirror.

Again, she felt like she was being interrogated. She wondered how far away the Argent house was. "No," Kenzi said, dragging out the word slightly. "I'm eighteen so I've got an apartment in town. My aunt lives in a few states over and she's helping me with money." Drag Bo into the equation why don't you? the voice said again. She knew Bo wouldn't mind pretending to be such a figure in Kenzi's life if it was needed for her to play a cover; that was pretty much all the succubus did as a P.I.

Allison's father nodded and fell silent, the car filling with tension. Kenzi was thankful when her phone vibrated and she saw that it was Bo calling again. "It's my aunt," Kenzi said into the car, not wanting to come off as rude. Something told her not to get on this father's bad side. "Aunt Bo!" Kenzi answered, almost too loud.

"Aunt? What are you—"

"Yeah, I've settled in fine," Kenzi continued. She wasn't deaf, so her phone volume wasn't up that high and she could only hope that neither of the Argent's were eavesdropping. "I've still got a box to unpack but I'm going to do that tonight."

"Oh, I see…you decided to use me in whatever little scheme you and Trick are pulling off. He told me he sent you somewhere, but didn't say what for. Are you in trouble?" Bo's voice, however peeved, was welcome after the awkward twenty-questions game.

"No, of course not," Kenzi replied. "I'm fine. Today was my first day in school since all the papers had to go through. I met some people and I'm going to catch up on what I've missed with one of them tonight."

"I thought you didn't want to play a student again after that last fiasco," Bo mentioned.

Kenzi rolled her eyes and switched the phone to the other ear. "I'm eating, Jeez, don't worry about me. If you stop by the Dál, tell Uncle T that I'll come visit soon." Where the hell did that come from? She mentally shrugged, hoping it made her conversation sound more convincing. She just wondered what Bo was going to do to get Trick to tell her where Kenzi was and what he had sent her here for. To be honest, even Kenzi wasn't sure…yet.

Hanging up, she slipped the phone into her pocket and let out a breath as the car pulled to a halt in front of a nice looking house. Allison darted from the car and Kenzi followed, hoping she wasn't going to offend anyone. Just as they stepped inside, a middle aged women with short hair came into the foyer. Kenzi immediately felt the hair on the back of her neck stand up.

"Allison, who is this?" the woman asked, her voice as guarded as her husband's.

"Just a friend, Mom," Allison said with a sigh. "She just moved here so I'm going to help her catch up with homework, is that a crime?"

Kenzi gave what she hoped was an apologetic smile as she followed Allison up the stairs. The house was nice, not to mention an actual house with real walls and not a somehow electrified-and-plumbing supplied building in the middle of a dusty field. Allison's room was down a hall. She motioned for Kenzi to come in and then closed the door behind them.

"Finally," she let out a breath it appeared she'd been holding and tossed aside her bag. "So, so sorry for my parents. We're not on the best of terms."

"Oh really, I didn't notice," Kenzi said sarcastically, eyes sweeping the nice warm colored room. She let her bag fall to the floor next to the circle chair in which she sat down in, thinking she should get one for her room back home. "It's fine. I just didn't want to cause any more tension or whatever. Are you sure it's okay if I'm here?"

Allison perched on the end of her bed and looked at Kezni as if she had just sprouted another head. "Another person in this house is just what I need. Another, non-family person," she added in a mutter. "I don't have many friends here that my parents like."

"You mean Stiles and Scott?"

"Yeah. Though…I'm not even sure what my dad thinks of Stiles…mostly…Scott." Allison's head dropped. "And Lydia…they don't seem to mind Lydia."

"Right, Lydia." Kenzi pulled out her mental file of nothing that she knew about the girl attached to that name. "What happened to her anyway? You said she was in the hospital."

Allison looked up slowly. "If I tell you, promise you won't transfer schools?"

"It takes something ginormous to make me change my mind. Believe me, I'm stubborn."

"Our winter formal was Friday. And…Lydia got attacked by an animal or something out on the lacrsose field," Allison said softly, choosing her words carefully in a way that Kenzi knew well. Allison was withholding information.

"That's a bummer." Kenzi sat forward—as much as she could in such a chair—and clicked her heels together. "Is she gunna be okay?"

"She hasn't woken up yet, that I know of. The doctors say that her bruises are healing normally, but they just have to wait for her to wake up."

"Which is why Stiles is there all the time? In case she does. Because…he's totally got it in for her, hasn't he?"

Allison looked at her quizzically. "How…did you know that?"

Kenzi shrugged and tried not to look smug. "It's a gift. I'm good at putting things together."

"Very cool gift." Allison glanced over at the closed window to her left before back at Kenzi. "Do you really want to go over homework? If you're really into it, we can, its fine. It'll take my mind off of things."

It had been a handful of years since Kenzi had actually been a high school student. She didn't know how long she'd be here, but if she wanted to not look like a complete idiot and call too much attention to herself, she'd need to brush up on a few things.

"I don't want to be a downer but since you've got so much going on…let's hit the books. At least for like…I dunno, an hour or some other absurdly long time. Good?"

Allison nodded, thankful that Kenzi was taking the initiative. "Good."

88

They didn't actually study. They looked at a few books, most of which reminded Kenzi of some sort of funny story, resulting in her blurting things out and catching Allison's attention. Censoring the fae bits, Kenzi spent most of the time telling Allison about her various adventures with her Aunt Bo. Allison seemed to need a pick me up, so Kenzi picked only the most hilarious of stories and the two of them were often caught up in a fit of laughter.

Needless to say, very little homework actually got done.

Dinner was almost as uncomfortable as the car ride to the Argent house. Kenzi mentally cataloged Victoria Argent as one scary mother, and she felt like she was sitting on pins and needles during the entire dinner. She talked too much. She tried to make jokes that weren't rude. She tried not to feel like every blink was being scrutinized. She just tried to ease some of the obvious family drama off of Allison, because it didn't take a genius to see how much life was wearing down on the girl.

"Thank you for dinner," Kenzi said in her most polite voice as she was faced with the scary parents. "I um…"

"I can give you a ride," Allison intervened, taking a step forward.

"I don't think so," Mr. Argent said sternly. "It's after dark."

"I'm going to give her a ride, Dad," Allison said forcibly. Kenzi sucked in a breath as she was pulled through the house to the doorway leading to the garage. She didn't say a thing as Allison unlocked the doors to the small black car and the two of them got in. It wasn't until they were on the road that she spoke again. "That probably was the worst idea, ever. I'm so sorry for inviting you over."

Kenzi shrugged a shoulder and played with the zipper on her jacket. "I'm half glad that I came. Seems like you needed someone to be the middleman between you and your parents." She didn't directly ask to know what was going on, but it was hinted in her tone.

Allison gripped the wheel, eyes facing out the windshield. "My aunt was killed recently," she said in a chilled voice. She didn't tell Kenzi that 'recently' meant the same night Lydia was attacked.

Kenzi's expression fell slack. "I'm…I'm sorry."

"Between that, and Scott, my parents and I are just not getting along any more," Allison continued, saying things she had really wanted to say but had no one to tell.

Kenzi stayed silent in her seat, something very unlike her.

"It was selfish of me to ask you to come over. I'm sorry, I shouldn't have brought you into this. You just moved here...you don't have to be involved." Tears threatened, but she controlled them, swallowing and focusing on the illuminated road in front of her. She tried not to think of werewolves and her part in setting a man on fire just days before.

"It's...it's fine, really," Kenzi said softly, catching the drift that this was a really emotional time in Allison's life for a number of reasons.

"It's not...I'm sorry," Allison said again, a whole number of emotions washing over her. "Um...you said you lived near the sheriff's department?"

"Yeah, I've got an apartment just down the road."

Allison nodded, a few loose curls from her hastily put up ponytail bouncing. "Did you know Stiles' dad is the sheriff?"

Kenzi's eyebrows rose slightly. "Really? I did not know that." Yet another thing to note. She was tempted to call Trick as soon as she got home, but she knew that he wouldn't tell her anything more than when he first asked her to run this little errand. So instead, she would just continue trying to keep track of whatever she found out from the locals, though she doubted Trick was interested in a bunch of teenage lives. Or maybe he was…who was she to know how he got his rocks off.

"Yeah, he doesn't seem it, right? I guess that's why he hasn't been kicked out of the hospital for stalking Lydia," Allison mused.

"Stalking?"

"It could be considered stalking. Lydia's parents see him there all the time and I think they get why he's there."

"Ah." Kenzi glanced out the windshield, trying to figure out where they were. They might be close...and they also might not. "I guess being the sheriff's kid has its benefits. I could have used a few of those," she added in a mutter, squinting out the side window.

"I would take practically anyone over my dad right now," Allison said after a moment.

"C'mon, he can't be that bad. He's probably just worried about you. Didn't you say Lydia was attacked by an animal? I bet he's just watching out for you. I mean, if I were an animal with the mind to find someone to munch on, I would totally pick you with your lush hair and sculpted-by-some-Greek-artist jawline. Have you seen yourself in the mirror lately?"

Allison laughed lightly. "Thanks...I think?"

Kenzi tilted her head to the side. "It was a compliment. I do not plan on turning into an animal and attacking you."

Allison got quiet, and Kenzi saw the hard look in her eyes as they passed under a street light. "I didn't think you would," she said finally. "Now...tell me which way to go. We're close to the station."

Kenzi leaned forward in the seat, trying to catch her bearings. "Oh, down there!" She pointed to the left at the intersection just after the sheriff's office. "Right over there." Her building was just like every other one: made of red brick with black bars over the door. Pretty hard to distinguish, but somehow she was able to pick it out.

Allison pulled the car over and parked. "This is it?"

"Yep," Kenzi said as she unbuckled her seatbelt.

"You live here all alone?"

"It's not the first time."

Allison swallowed, a flash of worry mixed with fear crossing her face. "Just um…stay safe? I'll see you in school tomorrow."

"Right," Kenzi said, furrowing her brow slightly as she got out of the car and closed the door. She took a step back, waved to Allison and then turned to walk up the front steps. She fished out her key for the barred door and then walked inside the hall. She tried not to focus on the fact that both Stiles and Allison told her to be careful as she started her hike up to the top floor.

Once there, she slipped the deadbolt over and flopped down on the couch, unzipping her boots and placing them carefully aside. Then came the odd minute or so where she got her feet accustomed to walking on bare feet. Amid her walk around the small apartment, she tossed aside her jacket—after pulling out her phone—and hit the send button to call Bo.

"Finally! Kenzi, what the hell?" Bo answered.

Kenzi curled her toes. "Well, I missed you too, Bobo."

"This is serious. You shouldn't be going off on your own."

"I'm pretty sure I stayed alive all those years before I met you…" Kenzi sighed. "Don't worry, Bo, really. I'm totally fine. I'm not even doing anything involving fae."

"Are you sure?"

"Um…"

"Kenzi. I know Trick asked you to do something for him, but no matter what I do, he won't tell me."

"Did you try your seduction methods?"

"Ew…no. I doubt they would work against the Blood King anyway. He's an uber-fae, isn't he?"

Kenzi shrugged as she made her way to the bathroom. "The hell if I know."

"You're not going to tell me where you are either?"

"Nope. And I don't think your tricks will work on me through the phone." Kenzi cackled like an evil witch.

"I can have Dyson track your phone."

Kenzi gasped. "You wouldn't."

"I could."

Kenzi glared at herself in the mirrow. "Um…I'm in California. I'm pretending to be in high school. That's all I can tell you."

"High school? I thought you weren't going to pose as a student after the Kappa incident?"

"Yeah well…it was Trick's idea."

Bo let out a breath as if she had just sat down after pacing. "And I can't convince you to just come back?"

"Not yet. I'm going to see this through." Kenzi didn't add the fact that she needed to feel like more than a sidekick. She looked at herself in the mirror and started making faces.

"Then I'll just have to sit back and wait. I swear, if you die—"

"You'll kill me. Got it," Kenzi said, winking and thumbsing up herself in the mirror. "Unlike you, I have to actually be up early to go to high school, so promise not to keep on freaking as long as I call and let you know I'm not dead?"

There was a pause. "It's a deal. And you're doing all the dishes for two weeks when you get back!"

"Bye!" Kenzi said loudly over Bo's words, grinning as she hung up and put the phone on the counter. Turning back to the mirror, she bit her lip and tilted her head before groaning and walking out of the white tiled room. "Whoever invented school hours to start at eight in the morning was a freaking MORON!"

88

Kenzi was in her own little world, bee-boping to her own humming, so when a horn honked right beside her, she jumped, hand going to her chest as if she had just heard a gunshot.

"Holy crap," she muttered, looking over to see Stiles sitting in his Jeep on the road next to her.

"Scared you, didn't I?" He looked much more rested than the previous day, and he was wearing a gleeful sort of smile.

"Just a bit," Kenzi said, fixing the strap on her shoulder. "Are you offering me a ride?"

"Sure, get in."

Kenzi saluted with two fingers. "Aye, aye." Smiling, she walked around the front of the car and crawled in.

"Did you go over to Allison's?" he asked once he started driving again.

"Yeah. And let me tell you, her folks are whack." Kenzi shivered at the memory and clutched her bag in her lap. "Seriously, the creepiest people I have ever met. And I have met a lot of creepy."

"Heh, yeah."

"She also told me your dad is the sheriff." She reached over and jabbed him in the side. He actually jumped and exclaimed. "Why didn't you tell me? Your cool level just went up like fifty percent, dude."

"You think?" Stiles tried to hide a smug smile and cleared his throat. "Most people think it's annoying. Until they do something bad. Then it's all 'Oh, Stiles, you're my best friend right? Can you ask your dad to go easy on me?' Pfft. Sure, only if they pay me."

Kenzi chuckled. "Seriously, dude, you are so a boy after my own heart."

"I'll uh…take that as a compliment?"

"You better," she teased, glancing around. She spotted school buses and kids. "Are you always this nice to new girls?"

Stiles shook his head. "No, no, of course not. I just let them walk five miles to school, don't stop them from finding all of Beacon Hills' jerks and tell my dad to throw them in jail."

Kenzi smiled as they had to weave through sleepy high schoolers to the parking lot. "Then I guess I'm lucky, hmm? Sweetness. I like you, Stiles. And…what is up with the happy act? Yesterday you were like totally vampire broody."

"Oh!" Stiles exclaimed, jerking the car to a stop. "Sorry. Um…Lydia…Wait, I didn't tell you about her. Or did I? God I'm getting old, I can't even remember what I did yesterday."

"Allison pretty much explained the whole crazy animal attacks thingy to me last night. Go on, go on," she encouraged. Maybe it was because she had been living with Bo and not wanting to hear about her and Ryan, that Kenzi was missing the excitement of the talk of crushes with another person. Even if that person was a sixteen year old boy.

"She woke up," he blurted out as he stopped the car in a spot and cut the engine. "Like, really, really woke up. They weren't sure until now but they say she'll make it."

His face lit up like the New Year's ball. He looked like a dork and she patted his shoulder. "You look like its Christmas and Santa just brought you a girlfriend."

"I don't think it was Santa," he said before thinking. "She's-she's not my girlfriend."

Kenzi grinned. "Oh but you want her to be!" She pushed open the door and jumped to the asphalt.

They met up at the front of his Jeep and walked across the grass. "Thanks for the lift, by the way," she said, bumping shoulders with him. "I hope you know that I expect a ride home now."

"Yeah, sure."

"Oh…" She spotted the familiar red SUV pull up in front of school and a tired looking Allison crawl out and slam the door. "I'm going to talk to Allison. See ya at lunch, Jeep boy!" She winked at him before jogging over to Allison.

88

"I know I'm a horrible cook but even I'm not entirely sure what the hell it is I'm eating." Kenzi made a face at her tray.

"Just close your eyes and pray," Stiles said from opposite her. Scott and Allison were both absent from the cafeteria, and it didn't take a genius to know they were together.

Kenzi let out a snort and dropped her fork, pushing the tray back and slouching in her chair. "Are you still going to spend every hour you're not at school at the hospital?"

Stiles shrugged. "Her dad has noticed my being there," he admitted, tilting his eyes upward with a thoughtful expression.

"Does he pack a shotgun?" she asked around a mouthful of whatever she was eating.

"I don't think so," he said, though a flash of panic crossed his face.

Kenzi grinned and leaned across the table, grabbing her face in her hand and squeezing his cheeks. "Even if he does, who could resist that face?" He rolled his eyes and she released him, a smug look overcoming her face.

"Uh, yeah, thanks, I think," he nodded vigorously, shoving a neon orange French fry into his mouth and glancing toward the cafeteria doors, spotting Scott.

"How's Allison?" Kenzi asked in a low voice once he sat down next to her.

Scott looked at her in that same guarded way he looked at Allison's father when he realized the man was out to kill him. He didn't like Kenzi infiltrating his little circle of friends. "She's fine," he said, though that wasn't really all that true.

Kenzi bit down on her cheek and stood, the seat scratching loudly against the floor. "I've gotta go meet with…Mr. Harris, I think? I don't think he likes me," she shrugged, grabbing her tray and stepping away from the table before looking over her shoulder and adding, "I still expect that ride after school, Stiles."

He nodded at her, mouth full. She let out a sigh and weaved through tables to dump the horrible food into the garbage can. Her phone vibrated in her pocket and she slipped into the hall to answer it.

"Yo," she answered, pausing to lean up against some lockers.

"Kenzi," Trick's voice came through the phone. It was weird; she never thought that the Blood King would resort to using a cellular device. It made her giggle. "How are things?"

"I have no idea," she replied. "You still won't tell me why I'm here and why you didn't send Bo or anyone else fae-y."

"I thought you would trust me after all this time."

"I do, I do. But c'mon man, what is going on here? Or did you just want to get rid of me so you wouldn't have to keep giving me free drinks?"

Trick let out a Kenzi-inspired sigh. "That is not the case. Just stay, I feel as if something is happening there and felt that you were the best person for the job. Trust me, I wouldn't have asked if I didn't think you could handle it."

Kenzi couldn't stay angry with him and resisted a smile despite the fact that he couldn't actually see her through the phone. "Alright, alright. I'll trust you, just this once."

"Keep in touch. Bo is hammering me for information about where I've sent you."

"Don't I know it." She pulled the phone from her ear for a moment to read the time. "But, Trickster, I've gotta run. You sent me into teenage territory, we have bogus schedules."

After a quick goodbye, Kenzi hurried down the hall toward one of the lab rooms.

88

Kenzi bumped into Stiles in the hall—literately, she was walking out of the girls' room and knocked him over.

"Holy shiz, dude, watch where you're going," she said as he stood and she brushed fake dust off his shoulders.

"Hardy, har, har." Stiles tugged his shirt into place.

"I needed to talk to you anyhoo." She tugged him over to her locker by his elbow. "I have to stay after school. Chemistry teacher said I have to seriously work on my shiz."

"No way, really?"

She tilted her head. "You sound pleased. Not sure if I should be creeped out or…"

"Huh? No, what?" Stiles shook his head. "No, Harris gave me detention tonight. I was gunna try to find you and let you know."

"Oohhh." Kenzi shut the locker with a clang. "And this would mean we'll be spending some hours after school together?" She faced him with one of her signature 'Oh this is gunna be fun' looks that she often got while setting out on a new case with Bo.

Stiles, unaccustomed to 'the look' blinked widely at her. "Uh…yes?" he said slowly, voice thin.

"Then you can still give me a ride, si?"

"Yeah…seems it worked out that way."

"Good." She patted him on the chest and headed down the hall.

He couldn't help but look after her, and nearly jumped out of his skin when he found Scott standing in front of him. "Oh my God!" he exclaimed, before pushing him on the shoulder. "I thought sneaking up all sneaky and stalkery was Derek's deal. What the hell, Scott!"

"I don't trust her," he said looking over at the retreating slim figure of Kenzi.

"That's a first," Stiles muttered, shifting the bag on his shoulder. "Why? Does she smell funny? Did you do that werewolf lie detector thing that Derek does all the time?"

"Why…why do you keep mentioning Derek?"

"What does that have to do with anything? You just said you didn't trust Kenzi. She's…I think she's harmless. I don't expect her to try to kill me unlike someone I know."

"Stiles, this is serious."

"Exactly! If you're seriously mistrusting someone, it should be Allison's dad, okay? Not the new girl just because she showed up after a bunch of shit went down," Stiles defended. He knew that Scott wanted to be with Allison and was willing to risk his life for it, but it was ridiculous and tiring. It was times like these, when Stiles wondered just how skewed Scott's sense of reading people was when he trusted the daughter of a hunter and not some nice, new girl who seemed harmless.

"Just…watch her tonight, when you're with Harris," Scott requested.

Stiles lolled his head back and let out a sigh. "Fine, fine. I'll let you know if she tries to kill me, happy?"

88

Kenzi kicked Stiles' foot as they walked down the hallway. "You look way too comfortable being in school after everyone's gone. Do you do this often?"

Stiles shrugged. "Eh…maybe one or two times."

"Liar."

"Okay, maybe a few dozen or…something," he muttered.

She grinned. "That sounds about right."

"I come off as a dude who sits in detention a lot? I'm not sure I want that reputation." They reached the classroom and he pulled open the door, letting her walk through first.

"Thank ya kindly, sir." She walked through the door but her face fell when confronted with the sour Mr. Harris.

"Alright, sit. Get comfortable, you'll be here for a while," he said nodding toward the tables. "And Stilinski, don't sit there."

Stiles frowned and sat by himself at one of the tables. Kenzi raised her eyebrows at him from across the room. Harris stayed by Kenzi, flipping to the proper pages in the textbook, pointing out things and handing her a packet of papers for her to fill out for credit.

"And so…how long will this take?" she asked as he started back toward the blackboard.

Harris' voice didn't change. "Hour and a half. You can give me what you've done here and the rest you can give me Thursday."

Her jaw dropped. "This is like a months worth of work…"

"And I assume you've done most of it before at your previous school."

Kenzi muttered something in a slew of Russian swears under her breath and leaned over the mounds of homework. Trick was going to get a major Kenzi whooping because of this.

88

It was dark when they were let out. So much for under two hours. Stiles dozed off once or twice. Kenzi thought about shooting herself or the teacher once or twice because she had never been good at chemistry and she was stuck here doing work she didn't care about. She didn't get nearly enough papers filled in as was expected of her—Harris' face said it all when she handed in all the guesswork—and she really didn't care. It wasn't like she was actually here to receive an education.

"I could think of a hundred different ways to hurt that dude for punishing us like that," Kenzi said under her breath as she angrily paced out of the school, Stiles right beside her.

"It would be morally wrong for me to condone such behavior, being the son of the Sheriff but…I won't tell if you don't." Stiles was trying to act that being out at night didn't bother him. It didn't freak him out and make him want to run inside and lock the door, but after all he'd seen, night was not a particularly great time to be out in Beacon Hills.

Kenzi's laugh echoed down the hall before she burst through the front door out into the night. The moon was bright and close to full, and it illuminated everything in the valley. The rays glinted off of the buckles on her jacket as she hopped down the stairs. She was just glad to be out of the stuffy classroom and she was already forgetting all of the things she had just learned about chemistry.

"You're still taking me home right? Pretty please, with a cherry on top? I don't want to try to find my way back in the dark," Kenzi begged comically.

"I didn't stick around detention just for kicks," he responded, pulling out his keys. "If I had been able to go earlier, I would have high tailed it and you'd be on your own. But, alas, that is not the case."

Kenzi chuckled. "I am so glad I found you on that first day. I like being chauffeured around." She pulled open the door to the growing-popular Jeep and climbed inside. It wasn't as badass as Bo's car—Kenzi had a thing for classics in yellow—but its driver made up for its lack of esthetic charm.

"You said you're place is by the sheriff's station?" he asked as he started the car, the headlights flooding the empty lot with light.

They didn't get far from the school when Stiles' phone rang and he fumbled with it before answering on the last ring. It was Scott.

"Where are you?"

"In the car. Late detention…you know how much Harris hates me."

"Can you come to Derek's?"

"When?"

"Now. Right now."

Stiles let out a whine and glanced over at Kenzi. "Do I have to? I haven't eaten anything since like eleven."

"Stiles!" Scott said in his, 'I'm your best friend and just do what I say because I'm also a werewolf' voice.

"Okay," Stiles finally folded, dropping his phone onto his lap. "Uh…mind taking a side-trip?"

Kenzi shrugged. "Yeah, sure." She pulled her phone from her pocket and sent a text to Bo:

Hanging with the teenagers. Chemistry blows. Call ya later. Tell Trickster I'm still kickin'.

"Where're we headed?" she asked once she hit send.

"Derek's…it's just this guy that Scott knows," Stiles said, sounding put off from being unable taking her home. He was; like he'd told Scott, Kenzi seemed like a nice normal girl and the last thing he wanted to do was drag her into his werewolf infested life. Maybe he could ask her to just stay in the car…

"That sounds really shady. Should I be worried? Cuz I feel like I should be worried."

"What…no. I mean, Derek isn't thaaaaat bad."

Kenzi narrowed her eyes and playfully punched him on the shoulder. "If you say so, I'm trusting you," she said, voice a shade too serious.

Wherever they were headed, Kenzi was getting the creeps. It was dark, the moon was all big and looming in the sky and they were suddenly driving through a forest and she expected Dementors to come popping out to suck out her soul. Sorry Bo, she thought frantically as the Jeep crept over damp underbrush and its headlights finally landed on what looked like the creepiest place she had ever seen in her life. There was a small clearing of trees and the moon shone right down, so the Jeep's lights weren't even really needed to see.

Stiles cut the engine and squinted outside. "Doesn't look like Scott's here yet." He pushed open the door and slipped out.

"Wait! Are you leaving me in the car? So not cool, dude," Kenzi said, getting out of her side of the car, sinking a tiny bit into the squishy ground.

"He lives here?" she asked, shutting the Jeep's door and squinting her eyes at the dark, charred house. "And I thought my place was bad," she muttered, thinking of her place with Bo and the lack of solid walls.

"Yeeeeah." Stiles joined her. "Derek!" He walked forward through the blanket of damp leaves.

Kenzi crossed her arms and followed, stopping by the tree a few feet from the stairs, peering into the dark doorway, but seeing nothing but black. She got a chill up her spine and wondered when the organ music and bats would be showing up.

"Derek," Stiles grumbled, leaning against the poor side of the stairs straining his neck toward the door. "Scott? Anyone who has a special relationship with the moon?"

Kenzi furrowed her brow at his choice of words. She didn't see anyone outside or moving inside the house. She joined Stiles at the base of the stairs. "I don't think anyone's here," she said, voice low because it was too quiet here.

A second later, there was a creak of a footstep and the front door swung in. Derek Hale walked slowly onto the porch, his gaze focused on the girl next to Stiles. "Kenzi?" he said after a prolonged silence.

"Holy Hale," Kenzi gasped, eyes wide, taking a step backward out of shock.

Beside her, Stiles glanced between the two of them. "What? You…you know each other?" he squeaked.

"I…didn't realize the Derek you were stalking about was this Derek," Kenzi said, elbowing Stiles sharply in the ribs.

Stiles stood slackjawed. "How…in the hell…do you know Derek Hale?"

Kenzi cleared her throat and opened her mouth to speak when another car pulled up, interrupting the scene. She turned to see Scott and Allison get out and Derek walked down to stand between her and the tree.

"Scott, Scott, Scott!" Stiles exclaimed, rushing over—skidding on some leaves and bouncing against his friend—like a wolf was on his tail. "You'll never believe this! Kenzi and Derek know each other!"

Scott's eyes narrowed over at the girl in black, whose heartbeat was a bit faster than average. His eyes read suspicion. "How?" he asked, the three of them joining the girl in question and the werewolf.

"How do you know Derek?" Allison asked in a softer tone, reaching out and squeezing Kenzi's wrist slightly since she looked like she'd just seen a ghost.

Kenzi blinked and shook her head, feeling Derek's eyes on her. "Past….many past shenanigans."

"It doesn't matter," Derek broke through the high school babble. "Did you hear about the missing girls?"

Stiles shoved his hands into his pockets, trying to both ignore and figure out the situation brewing between Derek and Kenzi. Maybe Scott was right and no one new showing up in town was an accident. "Yeah. Dad's thinking of putting down another curfew, no one allowed out after dark or something."

"Because that worked so well last time," Derek said sarcastically.

Stiles rolled his shoulders, looking over at Scott, who was doing the same thing Stiles was: trying to figure out what connection Kenzi had with Derek. Only, Scott could possibly hurt her if he really got angry about it and that set Stiles on edge.

Kenzi glanced across the faces of her fellow students. "What happened last time?"

"It was that were—" Stiles' eyes bulged out at his slip of tongue and Derek's hang slipped around the back of his neck to stop him but was too slow and he breathed out, "—wolf."

The Beacon Hill crew froze and stared at Kenzi; she was new, they knew absolutely nothing about her—except Derek, but Stiles, Scott and Allison didn't know how well the Alpha knew the little goth girl—and now the slipped "w" word could potentially screw everything up.

"Werewolf?" Kenzi repeated, surprised by the strained faces surrounding her. "There are werewolves here?" That must have been why Trick send her…or maybe not, since Bo or Dyson or Hale or anyone besides human Kenzi would be far better against a wolfy beast.

She surprised them with her even tone, and both werewolves heard her heart beat evenly and not skip or change. Which shocked both of them, though neither showed it.

"You…you know about werewolves too? Why aren't you freaking out, you should be completely freaking out." Stiles narrowed his eyes suspiciously at her. He wanted to be right about her; that she wasn't here to kill either Scott or Derek, but he was beginning to be swayed…

"Um…" Kenzi felt like she was in a Petri dish with all those eyes on her.

"You know about werewolves?" Derek echoed, voice calmer than Stiles'.

Kenzi shrugged. "Sure. Never met one personally but—"

Stiles made a snorty squeak of a noise, shaking his head. "Never met…" His eyes went back and forth between the two werewolves within their circle.

Kenzi's eyes widened as she turned slowly to look up at Derek for the first time since Soctt and Allison had arrived. "You're…you are a werewolf?" Well…that changed things.

"Yes," Derek replied after a moment.

Kenzi slowly nodded, processing the new information. She finally nodded and shrugged, looking back to him. "That explains all the excessive growling," she said, deliberately slowly.

Derek rolled his eyes before giving her a 'I can't believe you said that' look; it was close to a 'I will rip your throat out with my teeth' look but she didn't seem peeved at all by it. He should know better when it came to her.

A moment or two later, the kids got the undertones and did a mix of uncomfortable coughing and eyebrow raising and—in Stiles' case—looking anywhere but at another living being.

"Aren't you a little…young?" Allison pointed out.

"I'm um…a bit older than I let on," Kenzi said sheepishly.

"Can we please stop talking about this," Derek said loudly. "There are more important things going on, like girls disappearing without a trace."

"And why is that our business?" Kenzi asked, crossing her arms and pressing her lips into a thin line.

"If it's…" Scott started.

"Supernatural," Allison continued, "related, we sort of fix it. Or try. Plus…"

"It's my territory," Derek finished in full Alpha fashion.

"What's the plan?" Stiles asked hands shoved into his jeans pockets, glancing back and forth between Derek and Kenzi.

"Patrolling. Look for any clues, any tracks, traces." His eyes were on Scott. This was a test for Scott, time to start using his wolf powers for good.

Kenzi was still processing but she put on a good front. She and Bo fought supernatural things all the time, right? How different could this be? Besides the fact that she realized didn't know a thing about the three teenagers and past acquaintance and she would rather not romp around through the woods at night with them. She should have stayed in the Jeep. Or told Stiles to drop her off before coming. But then again, she wouldn't have been able to see Derek…which was both awful and epic at the same time.

"You, are staying here," Derek said suddenly, cutting through her thoughts. She had missed whatever the four of them had been talking about.

"Excuse me?" Kenzi retorted, an expression on her face that told him she was ready for a fight. "I don't think so, buddy."

Derek was used to being resisted…by Scott. Even Stiles went along with what he asked these days. But he reminded himself that this was Kenzi and that he should know better. He tightened his jaw and fists. "Fine."

Stiles lifted an eyebrow and once again saw Kenzi in yet another light. He'd never seen Derek fold to anyone's will before. Scott didn't know what to make of the girl. He still didn't trust her. There were too many unanswered questions, and her connection to Derek didn't make him like her any more. And Allison didn't think about it too much. She had too much to deal with; learning about what her family did, dealing with her aunt's death and being back here where she died made her anxious and she was more into wondering how Derek could stay here, in a house where so many people had died.

"Don't we get like…weapons or something?" Kenzi asked, thinking of the perfectly sharp dagger she had in her suitcase back in her apartment in town. If only she had known… "Cuz I'm not going out into the dark spooky forest without anything to defend myself with. Hello, human Kenzi."

After a rather intense staredown between the two of them, Derek disappeared into the house and reappeared a moment later with a kitchen knife. Okay, not the best, but it would do. Kenzi snatched it from his hand and didn't bother thanking him.

Allison handed Kenzi a flashlight from Scott's car. "I'll share with Stiles. Scott…"

"I'll head out alone," the younger wolf replied.

"I guess that leaves us," Kenzi said, flipping the knife in hand. Sure, Bo was better when it came to the weapons wielding, but that didn't mean that Kenzi didn't take her training seriously. She knew how to stab something nasty; she knew where the best places to hit; and she could handle a kitchen knife.

Both Stiles and Allison seemed reluctant, but Derek just told them what to look for and started off. Kenzi followed, flicking on the flashlight and keeping pace with him as best as she could.

It had been a shock for both of them to see each other. It was hard to tell which was more surprised. Kenzi felt absolutely floored, and she had no intentions on hiding it, and Derek wasn't saying much about anything.

It had been years since they'd seen each other last. Three and a half, actually, but who was counting?

Kenzi was eighteen—he was eighteen too—and she had just ran away from home and was staying with a cousin in an apartment complex. The same one that Derek happened to be staying at, alone. Laura had just left him on his own for the first time.

Her cousin was out one day and a blizzard rolled in, knocking out the electricity. It wasn't the first time she'd been without power, but it was cold and she didn't know anyone else in the city so she knocked on the doors on floor—there were only three; one of them didn't answer, another answered only to cuss her out and slammed the door in her face; the third opened and revealed a bed-head, wifebeater, scruff wearing Derek. She'd thought he let her in because she had a bottle of Jack Daniels with her. He couldn't actually get drunk, his body healed too quickly for that, but he let her in because he had nothing better to do and he didn't do the lone wolf shtick too well. And even bundled in a fluffy blanket and pink slippers, she was hot. That definitely helped.

"Sooo," Kenzi-of-the-present said, flashlight bobbing up and down. "I have no idea what I'm looking for."

"Then why did you insist on coming?" His voice was thin.

"I never back down from a challenge," she said with a shrug.

He knew that too.

They never talked much. No, take that back. She talked, often, usually about nothing, she just never shut her trap. Until he did it for her. They were young, and they were both running from things, and what better way to release the tension than to clash teeth and tug off clothes and break a few appliances along the way.

He liked to growl and she would tug his hair and laugh more often than anyone had laughed around him since before the fire. He liked to just get to it and she would have to do all the work when it came to getting clothes off. She would bring food and they'd have another go at it and the only time he didn't let her come around was during the full moon.

"So this is where you grew up hmm? Quaint, I guess." Kenzi's thoughts drifted back to the burned and charred house now far back through the trees. He told her that his parents died in a fire once, when they were eating egg rolls out of white box cartons. "So you're just not going to talk at all? Really?" She waved her flashlight around again, her other hand loosely hanging onto the small blade in her hand. She missed her katana.

She spewed stories that never happened, that she wanted to happen, mostly just to ease the silence. Then he would leave for work and she wouldn't come over for a day or three. He never came to her, she would always end up at his door, usually empty handed. She wasn't needy; she was young and he was there and he never asked questions.

He didn't know her real name or why she'd left home. All she knew about him was his name and that his family had been killed in a fire, but he had a sister. But they never got farther than that before his lips crashed against hers and her hands traveled down his chest to his jeans and he nipped and licked her neck and they broke the already useless blender.

"You know, I don't think you ever actually liked me," Kenzi mused, arms flailing momentarily as she stepped into a dip. "Which is, you know, fine. I was just distracted by that face and I didn't mind being used...for like once. That never happened again."

"Shut up," Derek finally broke his silence.

"Excuse me?" She stopped walking and shone the light at his face.

"I said, shut up. I can't hear anything over your fucking talking. Shut. Up." He pushed her hand aside and brushed angrily passed her.

Kenzi stared at his back, making faces. Only…he disappeared too quickly and she whirled round and round in circles, trying to find him. The trees were too thick, the moonlight was caught in the canopy and she was suddenly alone.

"Fffff—" she started, scrunching up her face angrily. Of course, she made him angry and he left her alone in the dark woods—which were starting to get foggy, oh God—and all she had was a knife.

"Wait, Derek," she whispered, taking tiny steps forward. "I'm sorry about not shutting up. Please don't leave me out here alone, it's seriously creepy."

She didn't hear any response, and she cursed under her breath, gripping the knife and trying to see, but it was nothing but shadows and growing fog and her heart raced. She was about to reach for her phone when something grabbed her ankle. She let out a yelp as hand clamped down around both legs, even with her kicking. She fell onto her stomach with a groan and, in a final act of fight against flight, she twisted around to try to stab whoever had her. She couldn't see anything in the dark, and was dragged across the forest floor. She reached for something to grab onto, but only resulted in dropping her knife and flashlight. The ground gave way beneath her knees and she found herself being pulled down a tunnel. In a final burst of breath, she yelled:

"DEREK!"

Her voice traveled through the trees, reaching the wolves and humans both. It was only Derek, however, that showed up in her sight for a moment before she was tugged down into damp darkness.

88

Scott arrived not long after, just in time to find Derek attempting to dig up the roots of a tree.

"Derek, what are you doing? Where's Kenzi?" Scott asked.

Derek got to his knees. "The…whatever is taking the girls got her," he said. "I saw her being dragged underground right here but there's nothing. No tunnels, no caverns, nothing close by."

"Does the air smell funny around here?"

Derek furrowed his eyebrows, noticing the subtle scent as well. It smelled like… "Fish," he said aloud, just as Allison and Stiles came into the vicinity breathlessly. The fog was gone, and there was nothing but clear skies and moonlight.

"What happened? Where's Kenzi? I heard a yell," Stiles said between breaths.

Scott turned to his best friend. "She was taken…by whatever it is that we're hunting. I dunno what it is."

Just then, an obnoxious ringtone blasted out into the still forest. Allison spotted the face-down phone in the leaves and picked it up. "It must be Kenzi's." The name that came up was Trickster.

Derek plucked the phone out of Allison's hands and answered. "Who is this?"

"Who are you?" Trick's warm, yet stern voice came through.

"I asked you first."

"Where is Kenzi?"

Derek swallowed and glanced down at the spot where he had seen a flash of her hands before she was gone. "Why should I tell you?"

"Because I'm the one who sent her to your town, boy."

He had no idea who was on the other line, but the power in his voice was impressive, even to the new Alpha. "She was taken," he replied finally.

"I was afraid of that." Trick rustled with some papers on his end. "Tell me what happened. Don't ask questions, Kenzi's life depends on it."

"There have been disappearances of women. A few of them," Derek glanced over at Stiles, who held up three fingers, "three of them. We decided to investigate. I don't know what happened, but when I showed up, the air was foggy, Kenzi was being dragged underground and the air smelled like fish."

"It's worse than I thought. Is there a body of water around? Anything with animals living inside of it."

Derek wracked his brain. "There's a…lake."

"It's a leviathan."

"What?"

The three teenage faces around him were pleading with him for answers as to what was going on. Derek growled low and popped the phone on speaker.

"Leviathan," Trick's voice sounded odd in the empty forest. "An ancient…creature. Fishlike in nature. It is both a fish and a man, it eats fish as well as man."

"Why should I believe you?" Derek asked, glaring at Stiles who was about to open his mouth to say something.

"Because I'm aware that you are a shapeshifter and I assume that you've been looking for this creature."

Derek faltered. "How did you—"

"This is not the time. Kenzi's life is at stake. It has only been a few minutes, she should be safe for at least twenty-four hours. The leviathan has taken her to his lair under the lake. I'm sure there will be a tunnel that leads to it."

"The one she was dragged down…it disappeared as soon as she was under."

"That happens. You'll just have to find a new one. It will probably be close to the lake And there is a special way to deal with the beast."

"Kill it, you mean. I can't just rip its head off?"

"No! Absolutely not. It will only duplicate and make things worse. To save Kenzi, and I'm not giving you the option of not saving her, you have no idea how powerful I am, you'll need a special weapon. I'll have to send it to you."

"What? It'll take too long. What if she dies!" Stiles squeaked out. Scott clapped a hand over his mouth.

Trick didn't mention anything about the new voice. "I will send it through non-traditional means. Give me your name. Your full name. I will send the weapon to you as soon as I can acquire it."

Derek gave out his name and Trick told him to go to his place of residence and wait. If he tried going after the leviathan now, there would be no telling what would happen to Kenzi.

"What…what the hell was that about?" Allison asked once the phone call was over. "Do you believe him?"

"Yes," Derek said, though his expression showed that he wasn't sure why.

"That thing…the weapon or whatever…should we really wait for it?" Scott asked.

"We are waiting for nothing. I'll handle this," Derek clarified.

"No way," Stiles shook his head. "I'm going with you. It's my fault for bringing her with me."

"I don't know when the weapon will be here." Derek was just trying to figure out a way to talk Stiles out of coming. He could always scare him into it.

"I don't care. She's my friend, alright? I really don't care whatever thing you two had going on, I just want to help…her."

"You can't argue with that," Allison said softly.

Derek growled in annoyance. "Fine. I didn't know that becoming an Alpha meant that no one would listen to me. This is fantastic," he said sarcastically, walking back into the darkness toward the Hale house.

88

Stiles couldn't sleep. Kenzi's bag was still in his Jeep, and he was still trying to process everything that had happened. Kenzi knew Derek…intimately. It made him cringe, though he had no idea as to why, exactly. Probably because he still thought of her as a high school student, and a normal one at that. But all of that was obviously a lie.

And the fact that she had been taken by some mutant mermaid and some mystery guy was sending an ancient weapon to kill the thing and that Derek had believed that, baffled Stiles' mind. Just a month ago, Stiles didn't even know werewolves were real and now suddenly there was this new thing and probably multitudes of other creatures. He could drive himself mad thinking about it, so he forced his eyes shut and rolled over, though he never really fell asleep, and dreamed about sitting in the hospital, waiting…

88

Kenzi coughed, though her tongue felt like sandpaper and she blinked. She saw nothing but darkness and struggled against binds that reached from her shoulders to her knees. She could only take shallow breathes and nearly choked on the stifling scent of fish.

The last thing she remembered was being dragged and a flash of Derek's face…but it wasn't exactly his face. Or maybe it was the fact that she only saw it for a fraction of a second before she was underground. And then she blacked out. She didn't even remember if she was knocked out, but her head didn't hurt so she guessed that she had just passed out.

"How embarrassing," she muttered, though the words didn't come out exactly like that. Her tongue wasn't working all that well and her throat was dry.

The fact that she couldn't see anything didn't scare her as much as it should have. She couldn't have gone blind, could she? That was just…preposterous.

Just then, she saw a little glimmer of something to her left. It looked like when sun shone through an aquarium or polar bear exhibit and the water-waves shown on the walls or pavement or people. The light was bluish and wavered. Kenzi couldn't move, but she still clenched her fists.

She didn't know what she was expecting, but the thing—the fae—that walked into her vision was one of more startling she had seen. Most looked human unless they wanted to; she didn't think this one could look human. It was more eel or river snake than man. It had no legs, but a long coil of slick body covered in scales. It had a somewhat humanoid torso, with scaled arms—ended in three thick talon'd fingers, with fins at it's elbows—and a neck on which sat a snake-like head, like a king Cobra's, hood and all.

Kenzi tried not to show fear as it slithered over. Around its head bobbed three blue orbs of glowing water. She knew it was some sort of fae magic, and she wasn't swayed by their beauty, since it turned wide, lidless eyes on her. They screamed that the fae was not a good guy and Kenzi swallowed a dry lump in her throat.

"Someone needs to stop tossing fish into toilets," she huffed as the thing came closer. With the light, she could see that she was in some sort of small, earthen walled chamber, and she was pinned against the wall, held tight with slimy seaweed. "Gross."

Orbs floating around it, the leviathan stopped in front of Kenzi and opened his short snout, revealing snake-fangs that popped down and it let out a hiss. She noticed it didn't have a tongue…but didn't have time to say anything about it before it sliced at the seaweed around her abdomen. It fell, though her hands stayed tied by her hips.

"Dude, ever heard of a breathmint?" she huffed, just as its claws—they were cold and covered in a slime like fish eggs—sliced through her shirt and a moment later sunk into her flesh. She let out an unexpected scream as the talons dragged across her stomach, and was heaving from the pain as it peeled away a strip of her flesh. Her vision blurred and she stared after the thing as it disappeared, leaving the orbs bobbing. The wound stung, and she wondered if she would bleed out down here when the fae came back, two fish in its hands.

One fish was fed the strip of flesh and pushed into another flying orb of water, where it flipped and turned. Kenzi thought she was going to throw up. The other fish was pulled apart, its fleshy parts gathered into the leviathan's fist and shoved into her mouth, scales and all.

88

Derek shuffled around most of the night, unable to sleep. He thought he heard a scream, once, but it might have been nothing. He kept looking at Kenzi's phone, watching the battery bar carefully; it had been almost full when Trick had called, but he was prepared for it to suddenly die and screw up the whole situation.

He wanted to take a drive, run, do something but he needed to stay put. It was about to drive him up a wall when he felt an odd tingle, like electricity flowing through the air of the remains of his family's home. And then, something like a lightning bolt seemed to come from nowhere, sending out a burst of light from the former den. There was some smoke, the light faded and Derek walked cautiously around the stairs to the room. There in the middle of the floor—close to the blood stain left by Kate Argent just days before—lay a long wooden weapon of some kind. The air around it flickered and crackled, and Kenzi's phone rang from the other room.

"Did it arrive?" Trick asked once the phone was answered. He sounded out of breath. The transportation of devices that way took a lot out of even the strongest and eldest of fae. It was also tricky to get the object to go to the proper person. It was usually easier if the one sending had blood or something personal from the person who was the receiver, but Trick didn't have that luxury.

"Yeah, crackling lightning, burst of light," Derek said, walking back into the room. He didn't move to pick up the weapon.

"Good, that's what's supposed to happen." Trick sounded more pleasant than the previous evening. "The leviathan is strong and slippery…literately. The mace that I've sent, it's filled with special herbs in a concoction that will intoxicate the monster to give you time to hit it."

"And where am I hitting it?" Derek asked, picking up the mace. It was completely wooden, except for the bands and dull studs on its bulbed end. He sniffed the air and coughed at the scent from it.

"It's rather potent," Trick mentioned. "The leviathan's weak point is behind its head, at the base of its…well where its neck would be. It has a tail and is incredibly fast; you'll have to be quicker."

Derek swung the mace through the air. "What if I bring a distraction? Will that help?"

"Most likely."

"How do we find where the tunnel is?"

"It has many tunnels like the one from last night. They open and close at its will, but there has to be one that is constantly open. It will be near to the water's edge, perhaps in a hill or where the soil is richest. Use your nose to track it. It should be easy enough." He was used to working with Bo, who always seemed to be at the right place at the right time; Trick had no idea what the shifter's experience was.

After Trick made sure—multiple times—that Derek knew what he was doing, Derek prepared himself. He took everything in stride—or so he tried. He had never met any other shapeshifters besides wolves; he'd heard stories, of course, but that was the extent of it. Trick said that this was a monster, and he hadn't mentioned the word 'shift' so Derek was unsure of what exactly they were dealing with here.

It was two in the afternoon when he got the call. Half an hour later, he was sitting in his car, the mace wedged in the backseat even though it filled the cab with the stifling herb smell. Derek was going to just go save Kenzi himself, but thought that Stiles should come along, if only to just be a distraction.

He called Stiles along the way, telling him to be outside. Stiles, who was in the middle of his last class, didn't even care and skipped out right in the middle of a lecture. He was just bursting out of the door when Derek pulled up.

The last time Stiles was in Derek's car, he and Scott were running from Kate Argent as a decoy. Whenever they went out on little excursions, Stiles' Jeep was always the car to suffer. However, Stiles hopped in without a hitch, demanding to know what was going on and why the windows were down when it was cold out.

Derek didn't say much, mostly just "That's the weapon that was sent" and "You're just supposed to distract it".

Stiles bit his tongue.

Derek didn't threaten him.

It was a tension-filled car ride.

The lake was at a sort of in between the school and Derek's place. It wasn't far from a large suburban area with a bunch of identical, brown colored homes.

"I'm not exactly getting the evil lair vibe here," Stiles said, stepping out of the car. Maybe it had something to do with it still being light out. He had expected to be doing this under moonlight. He would never admit it Derek, but he was glad they were looking for Kenzi under the sun instead.

The lake was empty, surrounded by trees. No houses were built near it, because the soil was too unstable for foundations. Which was just their luck. No one would bother them.

Derek pulled the weapon from the back and left his jacket in the car. Stiles was manning a flashlight.

"Hold this." Derek shoved the mace at Stiles. "And stay by the car." He started walking away with no explanation. Derek was a seasoned wolf; he knew how to use all his senses, he had been doing it since birth. It was just a matter of cutting out the unnecessary ones to try to find where the tunnel entrance was. The lake was more like a pond, but it was still of a good size and would take hours searching by normal means.

Once a few yards away from his car—and Stiles—Derek closed his eyes took a deep breath and concentrated. He cut out Stiles grinding his teeth, the rumble of traffic on the other side of the trees, the birds. He knew searching for her heartbeat wouldn't work; he hadn't really heard it in so long, he could easily mix it up with someone elses. So he went by scent. The water was musky, the trees were strong with pine and then he caught it; it was fish, but different than the usual fishy smell. It was reminiscent of the previous night in that fog. It was more like fish mixed with a rotting flesh undertone. He listened for underground movements, anything to give them a push in the right direction.

"Derek!" Stiles broke his concentration. "Are you just gunna stand there or are we actually gunna look for her, huh?"

Derek growled, fisted and unfisted his hands before walking back to snatch the mace out of Stiles' hands. He didn't say anything, just glared and then took off to the left. Once under cover of the trees, his eyes glowed red with Alpha power. It didn't feel much different than Beta power, but he knew that was because he didn't have a pack yet. He had to gain that power, and that was for another day. For now, he had enough to find Kenzi.

Trick was right. Derek guided the way to a dip in the forest floor, a tiny creek at the bottom and a loamy hillside. There was a hastily covered tunnel entrance there. Stiles flicked on the flashlight and Derek pulled aside the halfheartedly placed covering with one hand. It wasn't a very large tunnel. They wouldn't have to crawl, but they sure as hell wouldn't be able to stroll right in.

Derek went to pull himself in, but Stiles grabbed his shoulder. And proceeded to let go as soon as Derek looked behind him.

"Uh…is there a plan?" Stiles asked.

"Yeah. I go in and kill the thing while you distract it." Derek pulled himself into the tunnel.

"Again with the Batman and Robin," Stiles muttered, before following.

The tunnel was dank and smelled like dirt and mushrooms and even Stiles wanted to gag from the smell, so he didn't even want to think what it was doing to Derek's nose. He shuffled along a few feet behind, the beam of his flashlight bouncing around and being little help except for him to be able to see where Derek was going.

The tunnel went four feet before dropping suddenly. Derek stopped, peering over the edge. Behind him, Stiles tried to look over his shoulder.

"What? What is it?" Stiles asked, voice close to a whisper.

"Give me the light," Derek demanded, reaching a hand behind him. Stiles handed the flashlight to him and Derek directed the light down the tunnel. It wasn't a ninety-degree drop, but it was pretty sharp and then it curved back, parallel to the surface a ways down. That must be where the bottom of the lake started.

Derek tossed back the flashlight and gripped the edge of the tunnel, lowering himself down, mace tucked under his arm and against his body so it wouldn't get caught. His boots sunk into the soft soil. It would be slow going, but they could still make a somewhat stealthy entrance as long as the leviathan wasn't waiting for them at the bottom.

"Derek," Stiles started as he waited for Derek to get far enough down to start climbing himself. He wasn't looking forward to it. "So what happened between you and Kenzi?"

Derek gritted his teeth as the light dimmed. "You really want to talk about this now?" he hissed.

Stiles lowered himself into the tunnel and decided that scooting along on his butt like when he would go down stairs as a kid, was the best way to go. "Uh…if I die down here, I want to know," he said, the flashlight again shooting all around the tunnel.

Derek kept his head bowed to try to look where he was going and so he didn't get clumps of dirt in his face. "Why do you care?"

"Was she like…your girlfriend perhaps?" Stiles asked even before Derek finished his own question.

Derek glared into darkness. He knew Stiles wouldn't give this up until he gave an answer, and they needed to be quiet to make a sneaky entrance. "Sure."

"C'mon, Derek, that's not an answer."

"We weren't…" He never thought of Kenzi as anything really, except Kenzi. There was no real word for what they were; it was always sex, Chinese food—it was always Chinese—and elaborate storytelling from Kenzi. Sometimes they'd eat first. And that was it. He didn't even consider her a friend. But this was no time to be picky. "Yes. She was my girlfriend for a while. I never told her about the wolf thing because it didn't matter. Happy?"

Stiles shrugged and slid down the tunnel a bit too fast. He had to jam his heels into the soil to quit from hitting Derek. "Uh…sure."

"Good. Be quiet. We want to surprise the thing, not announce our arrival before we're even under the lake."

They continued down the last few feet and were in a larger tunnel where Derek could stand, but he still had to duck. It was wider and Stiles tried to squeeze himself next to Derek to see where they were going. The flashlight hit nothing.

Derek walked ahead, senses alert, mace in one hand, his other trailing along the dirt and stone wall. It went forward, then turned sharply to the right. Derek stopped and put out a hand to hold back Stiles as he glanced down. He could see a bit of light and he closed his eyes for a moment and found Kenzi's heartbeat. It was irregular, a sort of fast, fast, slow beat that didn't sound good. At least he heard it; it meant she was still alive.

Derek motioned for Stiles to turn off the flashlight and follow him silently. They crept down the tunnel. Luckily it was so moist that their steps didn't make a sound in the dewy soil. The stench of fish and flesh clogged Derek's nose, but he tried to block it out and concentrate. The light, a weird blue sheen, got brighter and once again Derek slowed, hugging one of the walls. He kept Stiles back with an arm and peered around the corner.

There was a large cavern there, filled with pockmark pools filled with glowing water and fish. A number of glowing, floating balls of sloshing light hovered around the cavern ceiling. He didn't see the leviathan, but he heard Kenzi whimper and his grip on the mace tightened.

Stiles lurched forward. Derek didn't have time to stop him before he was standing by one of the pools, looking at the fat fish swimming. He might appear to be fearless but he stank of the emotion and he felt like he should have gone to the hospital and said goodbye to Lydia before coming.

He nearly peed his pants when he saw the creature slide into view. It was nothing that Hollywood could come up with; part fish, part snake, it was the width of a young teen and longer than Stiles could even see.

"Oh shit," he let out before the leviathan let out a hiss and went to strike. Stiles jumped out of the way and the snake-thing smashed his face into one of the pools, disturbing the fish. "Shit, shit, shit!" Stiles clambered to his feet to avoid another attack by the leviathan, running in the opposite direction as Derek, which wasn't really planned but worked out just how it should have.

As soon as Derek moved the mace through the air, the herbs' sent mingled with the air and the leviathan let out another screech, stopping mid-strike at Stiles and whipping around its tail. Derek narrowly missed it, but it caught his leg on the way back and he ended up on his back on the compacted floor; he heard something crack and it felt like a rib. The leviathan squawked—really, it sounded more like a bird than a fish or a snake—as Derek swished the mace in the air above him. The monster shied away from it like it was flames, and behind it, Stiles grabbed one of fish from the water—it slipped at first and he had to grab it again, which was hard enough to do when your life wasn't in danger—and threw it. It got the leviathan's attention and Derek jumped to his feet, power pumping through his veins as he hit the leviathan right where he was told to; where the hood from the cobra part of his upper body met the almost-human shoulders. The leviathan seemed stunned, and it froze, like an animal did when it was spotted. As if being still would keep Derek from seeing the enormous monster in front of him.

Derek, half turned with his eyes and fangs, let out a primal growl and sent another blow at the leviathan's back. He thought the mace had cracked, but it seemed to be in one piece as the leviathan thrashed, blood leaking down its back. Both Stiles and Derek backed up to the walls of the cavern as the terrifying creature shrieked and shuddered and finally landed on the ground with a thud. At that moment, the glowing, floating globes also fell, coming down like water balloons and cutting off the light.

The mace in Derek's hand began to warm, and suddenly the air around his hands was crackling with electricity. Instead of disappearing in a flash like it had appeared, there was simply a pop and the weapon disappeared in a small cloud of smoke.

Stiles fumbled with the flashlight on the floor by his feet, shining it at the presumed dead monster. "What…the hell," was all he said, before a feeble voice called attention:

"Stiles?" It was Kenzi.

Following the leviathan's tail, they found the separate smaller cave, where Kenzi was tied against one of the walls. Derek walked forward to free her, and Stiles held the flashlight.

"Derek," Kenzi gasped out. "What are you doing here?"

"You expected a sixteen year old kid to save your ass?" was all he said, his nose filling with the scent of her blood. He noticed the gouges across her abdomen.

"C'mon, I helped," Stiles protested, eyes widening at the wounds he spotted before Derek pulled Kenzi's arm around his shoulders, grabbed her behind the knees and picked her up like she weighed nothing. "Is there another way out?" Stiles whispered, even though they didn't need to be stealthy anymore.

Derek thought of that. Getting back up that tunnel with Kenzi in such a state would be difficult. He doubted she could pull her own weight.

"Can't you just do something wolfie and find another tunnel?"

Derek stepped carefully over the leviathans long tail, Kenzi's face nuzzled against his neck. Her heart was still beating wrong and her breaths were short. "I can make it," he said finally, calculating in his mind of just how they'd get up that twelve foot tunnel.

Stiles didn't argue and Kenzi was muttering incoherent things. Stiles led the way this time, lighting where Derek could step and not slip on the wet rocks or the leviathans body.

"Stupid merman fed me to his fish," Kenzi said when they reached the biggest of the tunnels.

"What?" Derek said, voice harsh.

"Why'd you think I've got Wolverine marks on me," she said softly. She would have chuckled if she had the strength.

"What the hell?" Stiles squeaked. This just kept getting more freaky by the second.

Derek didn't say a thing, only stared ahead of him, down the hall, to the left and finally to the upwards tunnel. "Think you can make it?" Derek asked in a rare show of his version of concern.

"Yes," Stiles scoffed, holding the flashlight between his teeth and crawling up. Up was surprisingly easier, since he could just dig his hands into the dirt and pulled himself up to the last leg of tunnel. He turned around once there, shining down the flashlight. "Now what?"

"You're gunna pull her up," Derek instructed, before slowly letting Kenzi down, though he kept his hold around her firmly so she wouldn't fall over. "It's not that far. She'll lift her arms and you pull her up. Can you handle that?"

Stiles got a determined look on his face and nodded, setting the flashlight on the edge of the tunnel and leaning down on his elbows.

"Dude," Kenzi said weakly. "I feel like I'm floating. Are you holding onto me?"

He was about to explain to her what was going on, but decided against it. "Just put your arms up and try not to bleed on me." While her wounds appeared to have coagulated, the strain of pulling her up the tunnel might break them open again. "Ready?" he asked up the tunnel.

"As I'll ever be, I guess," Stiles said none too confidently.

Derek set his jaw and gripped Kenzi around her hips—thank God she was so small and light or this would have never worked—and Stiles reached for her hands and nearly bit down on his tongue at the weight nearly puling him into the tunnel. But he dug his knees into the soil and began to pull her up. Derek was tall and the tunnel wasn't all that long now that he was standing in it and Stiles successfully pulled up Kenzi without completely bringing the walls down. He helped her as best as he could out of the last stretch of the tunnel, but it was only very crouchworthy and there wasn't much Stiles could do.

She was clinging to him outside under the darkening sky when Derek pushed himself from the tunnel. The three of them were covered in dirt and could probably pass as three bums if they wanted. Again, Derek picked up Kenzi and they walked silently through the few trees to the lake edge and to his car. Stiles climbed in back and let down the passenger's seat before Derek laid Kenzi down on it. In the light, her stomach looked bad, but not as bad as down in the tunnel.

Derek drove them into town. The school came first. He dropped of Stiles, who also said he'd take Kenzi to the hospital. Derek didn't say anything, but helped Kenzi into Stiles' Jeep before driving off. He would go and wash off, and go over to Kenzi's place.

Stiles cleaned himself off as best that he could at the hospital and came up with an elaborate story as to why he and Kenzi were covered in dirt and what her wounds were from. Kenzi began to peerk up when they gave her an IV and cleaned the wounds, dressing them and telling her they could have been worse if it had ripped through the muscle and not just her skin. Once she was back in Stiles' Jeep, wearing his shaken out flannel because the front of her shirt had been ripped off, she was looking peppier and more like herself.

"Thanks for coming to get me," she told him sincerely as he drove down the road toward her apartment.

"Some guy called your phone and told Derek what to do," Stiles confessed, not even trying to understand what the hell had gone on down in that cavern. "I just insisted on coming and Derek used me as a distraction."

"What a little were-ass," Kenzi said with a slight chuckle.

Stiles half smiled and glanced over at her. "Are you…are you okay? With everything that happened?"

Kenzi heaved a sigh and then winced. "Um…it's sort of what I do. Fight evil monsters with my best friend," she said. She never meant to tell him any of that, but it just sort of slipped out.

"You're not joking?"

"No."

"Oh my God," he let slip. They drove passed the sheriff's station and he saw his dad through the window for a split second before he went on driving. "Um…that's news to me. Is anything you told me true?"

"I don't know," Kenzi said softly, squinting her eyes at the review mirror. "I don't remember what I told you. But I usually don't lie more than needed. I mean, I'm obvs not a high school student. Everything else was all me."

He just nodded. "Oh, okay." Her place was up ahead and he pulled over. He had told Derek the address before they parted ways, because he had a feeling that the werewolf would want to make sure Kenzi was okay, no matter how he brushed her off at the school.

Once upstairs—he had to help her, and it was lucky that her bag was still in his Jeep because they would have been locked out—she told him he could take anything from the fridge and let in Derek if he showed up before she shuffled off to the bathroom.

There was next to nothing in the place. It came furnished, so there was a table and three chairs, a coffee table, couch—no TV—a full kitchen with sink and fridge and stove…there weren't any boxes or anything to show that she had moved in. Which sort of made Stiles' heart sink a little because he figured she would be leaving soon.

He found nothing but some cheese in the fridge and opted to drink some water from the tap. Just then, he heard the roar of Derek's car and went to let him in from the street.

"She's in the shower," Stiles said once they were up in her apartment, though it was obvious from the noise.

Derek just nodded, freshly showered. He pulled Kenzi's phone from his jacket pocket and laid it down on the table with the chairs. He and Stiles awkwardly sat there, saying nothing.

In the bathroom, Kenzi was cursing, her usual personality coming back. "I wish there was some sort if fae goop that could heal these slashes since someone decided he wanted to make Kenzi-sushi," she sighed.

Derek heard her and half-smirked, but dropped it and shook his head when Stiles asked.

Finally, Kenzi came out in fluffy pink slippers—she must have a thing for them, Derek thought—and a bathrobe that she had nixed from Bo before coming. "My heroes," she said with a genuine smile as she sat at the table with them.

"Kenzi told me something interesting in the car," Stiles said, looking pointedly at her.

Kenzi rolled her eyes. "Yeah. And you want me to explain? Of course you do." She shook her head, hair hanging in wet clumps. She sucked in a breath and hastily told them that she met Bo, a succubus, and the two of them sort of fought creatures like the leviathan on the daily basis. She left out most of the story, only telling them the skeletons of her life story for the past year.

Derek was quietest, Stiles face held a million expressions. Kenzi didn't mind telling them. She would have preferred not to tell Stiles, but he had already seen the leviathan so there was no reason for her not to. By the time she finished, she sat back and looked at them hopefully.

"And to think I knew a werewolf this whole time." Her eyes shown as she looked over at Derek.

"I think my head is gunna explode," Stiles moaned, holding his temples between his hands.

Kenzi put a hand on his shoulder. "Dude, take a chill pill. A few days from now, you won't even remember."

"Except that there will be a giant snake-fish corpse thing under the lake for an eternity," Stiles pointed out.

She made a 'I didn't think about that' face. "Besides that."

Just then, Stiles' phone rang, causing all of them come to their senses. He answered and had a hasty conversation with his father before pocketing the cell.

"Well, that'd be my dad telling me to get my ass home for dinner so…if you leave town, tell me first?"

Kenzi nodded, standing and crossing her arms. "You got it, Jeep boy." She gave him a wink and he left.

Stiles was gone, leaving just the two of the standing by the small table, him in jean and leather and her in a purple bathrobe. Kenzi glanced up at him. "Soooo..." she started, holding onto the strap around her middle.

"Yeah?" Derek faced her and waited expectantly.

Kenzi sucked in her bottom lip before speaking. "So, I usually get saved by my soul-sucking bestie, and I don't usualy get to thank her properly for saving me as often as she does because I actually like being alive."

He looked down at her, saying and doing nothing.

She swallowed and then threw her arms out to either side. "Oh hell," she muttered, closing the gap between them, standing on her toes and slipping her hand behind his neck, pulling him down to kiss him. He was familiar, even though he was a bit more muscular, with a bit more scruff along his jaw, and there was that fact that she now knew he was a werewolf. She sort of expected him to just humor her, let her kiss him and then push her off.

He did no such thing.

He stood stiff for a moment, before he grabbed her and pulled her flush against him, causing her to squeak, the bandages around her stomach doing nothing to stop the jolt of pain that shot through her as she pressed against him. She didn't stop and he took it as encouragement, a growl growing in his chest, roughly pushing his tongue between her lips. Kenzi sucked in a half breath before her mouth was enveloped again. She moved her hands up his muscular chest to his shoulders to nudge off his jacket. He let go of her for a moment to shrug it off and toss it, catching her again before it even hit the floor. One hand bunched up the fabric at the small of her back and the other cradled the back of her head, obviously messing her damp locks, but for once in her life, Kenzi's mind was not on the masterpiece that was her hair. Her hands met at the back of his neck, fingers scraping against skin and pushing through his hair.

He growled again and she moaned. He spun them around—she was light as a feather even without werewolf strength—and backed her up against a wall. She gasped again—damn that freakin' leviathan with its need of Kenzi sushi—one hand falling to his shoulder to steady herself. His fingers pressed against her thigh almost painfully, and she wondered why the hell she liked it so much—she had gotten over the rough sex thing after they split back in New York those years ago—but after her ordeal, she would take anything, and Derek was there and willing. He kissed her neck; she felt his teeth scrape against her skin and she shivered, gasping out his name.

It came out on a puff of air and then he was attacking her mouth again, tongues fighting. He pressed her against the wall with his hips, her knees to turn jelly and one leg lifted as he pushed back the robe. One of her hands trailed down his chest, oh so sculpted under her fingertips and his other hand moved to her breast, her hand slipped under the hem of his shirt.

And the fates were fucking ridiculous, because after the night she had, she deserved this, but no, just then her phone rang, a rather loud, obnoxious LMFAO song. Both of them froze, as if they had just been dosed with reality. Which wasn't fair. Derek rested his forehead against her shoulder and she took her hand slowly back from the button of his pants. She swallowed, not sure if she should say anything, agonizingly silent seconds spreading out between them before he pushed himself away from her, and he turned away, swooping down to pick up his jacket all in one motion. Kenzi was thankful she was against a wall otherwise she was sure she'd be a puddle on the floor. They had been...so close...she was about to stab whoever was on the other line.

"Derek," she said, still breathless.

He didn't say a thing as he shrugged on his jacket, keeping his back to her for whatever the reason. Once the jacket was in place, he finally looked over his shoulder at her. "Bye Kenz," was all he said before he disappeared out of her apartment.

Her phone was still ringing and she sort of stumbled the few feet to the table and a look of livid fury crossed her face at the name that popped up. "Hale, you mother...were your siren ears ringing, telling you that you had to call me THIS. VERY. MOMENT?" she answered the phone.

"Whoa, mama," the fae on the other side of phone muttered. "Is that any way to answer the phone?"

Kenzi made her way to the couch, plopping down and listening to her heart fall back to a normal beat. "Yes. When you've interrupted-"

"Wait wait, I'm at the Dál, gunna put'cha on speaker," he interrupted.

She held her tongue, since she had no idea who was going to be listening in. Then suddenly, her ears were filled with several different voices saying her name and asking if she was okay. "I'm fine," she said bitterly, staring at the wall opposite her, watching the ghosts of her and Derek getting all hot and bothered.

"That's all you're gunna say?" Bo's voice came through the babble.

"Was the leviathan killed?" Trick's voice came immediately after.

Kenzi sighed and pushed her fingertips to her eyelids. "Yes. They killed it with the special wooden thingy," she sighed.

"Are you hurt?" Dyson's familiar voice cut through her short depression.

"Just a teensy weensy bit," she said honestly, putting a hand gingerly on her abdomen. So she wasn't looking the sexiest under her robe...maybe it was best that she and Derek didn't...she almost let out a snort. There was no way Derek would have gotten her undressed. She had always done the work when they were together before. If only she hadn't gotten this call...

"Are you okay? What happened?" Hale asked, concern in his tone.

"Just got a little sliced...I'll have some rather warrior-girl scars if I can't get some fae mojo to fix me up," she said, trying to pep herself up but it was difficult and she slumped down.

"Just come back here and I'll help you," an unexpected voice-Lauren's-filtered through.

Kenzi nodded even though they couldn't see. "Aye, aye, Doc. I'll try to snag a ticket of some transportation and head homeward bound."

"It almost sounds like you don't want to come back," Bo mentioned.

"No...you just interrupted something important," Kenzi muttered, before sitting up-and wincing. "Actually, I'm wiped after the whole, kidnapped by a giant monster fish and turned into sushi. I'll fill in the deets when I get back. Bye, bye!" She hung up amid their massive protests. She tossed the phone onto the couch next to her like it was on fire, whispering that it was evil and crossed her arms, sinking down and resting her head against the back cushion. She closed her eyes and gingerly crossed her arms over her abdomen, meaning to just rest for a second, but she slipped into a deep sleep filled with what would have happened if Hale hadn't called.

88

Kenzi left the next afternoon on a bus. It was in the afternoon. She was wearing her loosest outfit that she brought with her, and they were practically just her pajamas, striped cotton pants and a lose sweatshirt over a regular black t-shirt. Stiles and Allison came from school to see her off. Scott didn't come, but Stiles assured her that he was sorry he thought she wasn't trustworthy and he was glad she was okay.

Allison gave her a hug and thanked her for helping at home. She said that she wished Kenzi was staying another day, because her aunt's funeral was the next afternoon. Kenzi apologized but said she really needed to get back. She needed Lauren's help with stitching up her stomach so she didn't scare away any potential hotties who wanted to get up in that.

Stiles sort of stumbled over his words and Kenzi just gave him a hug and then punched him in the arm and told him to stop being a dope and just go for it with Lydia. He had saved her from a huge leviathan, there wasn't anything scarier than that. Except maybe Allison's parents.

Kenzi watched them leave—Allison's parents wanted her home now and Stiles was her ride—and she was disappointed but not surprised that Derek hadn't shown up.

The attendant was throwing luggage on the bottom of the bus, and everyone was mulling about on the pavement in light jackets, hugging family and friends. Most of them. Kenzi hooked her fingers around her elbow and bit down on her thumb, watching the luggage get thrown hard into the storage.

She didn't even notice someone new had shown up until…

"Kenz."

She refused to look pleased. She turned around, looking nonchalant. "Derek," she said, dropping her arms. The events of him-saving-her and their little steamy moment at her apartment flashed before her eyes. Then it was gone and she was cool.

"Disappointed that you came?" he asked, walking closer and stopping a foot in front of her, his hands in his jacket.

She tilted her head to the side and looked up at the sky. "No," she said finally, meeting his eyes. "I mean, besides the almost-dying-and-turned-into-fish-food thing…it wasn't all bad."

"Heh, yeah." He smiled, but not really. It was a sarcastic smile if there could be such a thing.

"I might just pop in again sometime," she mentioned, testing the waters.

"Don't bring along any more leviathan."

She tried not to, but failed at breaking out into a smile. "You're stupid," she muttered, taking a fistful of his shirt and kissing him. "I didn't bring it with me. You were just lucky I was here."

"Sure."

"C'mon, get on the bus. Ain't got all day," the driver said loudly behind Kenzi.

She let her hand run down his chest for her own guilty pleasure before stepping back. "You know, it was nice to see you again," she said, taking another small step away from him.

"I can't say the same," he said, though she knew he wasn't being completely honest. He had liked seeing her too.

She grinned and turned to step onto the bus last. She got one step on before she leaned back. "Hey, be good to Stiles, okay? I mean it. I'll come back to kick your ass if you don't stay in check."

He looked at her with a shake of his head and turned around, though she saw a glimpse of a smile on his face before his back was to her and she was forced onto the bus.

She sat in her seat—by the window, so she could snooze, thankfully—and rested her head back against the headrest. She closed her eyes as the bus lurched forward and then rolled smoothly on.

She probably wouldn't take another trip if Trick asked her to, but she was glad that she went on this one, no matter how painful, literately, the experience had ended up being.

She folded her hands in her lap and crossed her ankles, wanting nothing more than to fix the slice-age on her stomach but she was actually disappointed that she had to leave now. She hadn't been here long, and a part of her wished she could stay for another few days at least. Which was weird, since she never wanted to stay any place all that long. Maybe coming here had changed her. She just knew for certain she would never eat another piece of fish…every again.