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"This is crazy, Mickey," Ian said as they passed the "Welcome to California" sign. "We can't just fucking move to California."

"It's not as crazy as your eyes glowing yellow when you get angry." Mickey touched his ribs with a wince. Ian had been growing more and more erratic the closer it got to the full moon and this morning Mickey'd had to get between him and some idiot at the gas station. Ian hadn't been able to pull his punch in time and Mickey was suffering the after effects. Werewolves were fucking strong.

Ian looked wrecked. He reached out a hand towards Mickey, but didn't actually touch him. "I'm sorry."

"It was an accident," Mickey said. He kept one hand on the steering wheel and grabbed Ian's hovering hand with the other, lacing their fingers together. The last thing Mickey wanted was Ian feeling guilty about something that he couldn't control. "According to that weird guy that claimed he was a druid, you need an alpha werewolf to teach you control." He shook his head. "When did our lives get this fucking weird?"

"When one of the guys at the club decided that he wanted to chew on me." Ian ran his free hand through his hair. "Fuck, I was so stupid. I just went with him."

"You were high as a kite," Mickey said. "Not your fault that he fucking used you."

"What if this other alpha—Scott—what if he's just as bad?" Ian asked.

"That druid guy claimed he was pure and shit. A 'true alpha' whatever the fuck that means." Mickey replied. "But if he so much as looks at you wrong, I'll kill him."

Mickey would too. One of the first questions he was going to ask when they got to Beacon Hills was how to fucking kill a werewolf and if he ever ran across the bastard that bit Ian he was going to destroy him. He just hoped it didn't require actual silver bullets because silver was fucking expensive and they'd used up all of their money driving across the country.

**

Mickey parked the car. "This is it."

"I thought the free clinic was bad," Ian said. "But now I'm getting sent to the fucking vet."

"Well you are half dog now," Mickey pointed out. He got out of the car and stuck a pistol in the back of his pants just in case. It might not kill the alpha, but it would probably slow him down. "Come on."

Mickey wasn't sure what he was expecting—maybe someone that looked like Hugh Jackman in The Wolverine—but instead they were greeted by a bunch of teenagers. And, yeah, he and Ian weren't exactly old, but he felt a hell of a lot older than the kids that were waiting for them in the vet clinic.

His eyes automatically went to the older bearded guy in the back—he at least looked like he could be in a werewolf movie—but the kid in front stepped forward before Mickey could say anything.

The boy reached out one hand toward Ian. "You must be Ian. Deaton told me you were coming. I'm Scott."

Ian shook his hand and started talking to him quietly. Ian seemed mesmerized by the boy and Mickey guessed that it must be a werewolf thing. Scott didn't seem like a creep so he didn't argue when they went into the back to talk.

Another boy stepped forward, nearly tripping over his own feet in the process. "I'm Stiles." He pointed at a girl who was carrying an actual sword as if that were normal. "That's Kira." He gestured at a stuck up looking red-head. "Lydia. And the frowny guy in the back is Derek."

"Mickey."

"You're Ian's friend?" Stiles asked.

Mickey only hesitated for a second. He didn't care what these people thought. "Boyfriend."

"Oh. Cool." Stiles smiled at him. "I know how much it sucks when someone you're close to suddenly becomes a werewolf. I can give you a few pointers."

Mickey didn't believe in beating around the bush, so he asked the question that had been haunting him since Ian had told him about what happened at the club. "How do you kill them?"

Stiles gaped at him and the guy in the back—Derek—took a few threatening steps forward.

Mickey met Derek's eyes and didn't let the electric blue glare intimidate him. "The one that bit him is going to fucking die."

"We can talk about that later." Stiles shot a warning look at Derek and he stopped moving, but didn't lower his eyes. "Right now let's just worry about getting Ian through the full moon."

**

Mickey watched as Scott's mother Melissa made a circle out of some sort of dust on the floor around Ian. "That's going to hold him?"

"Mountain ash," Stiles said. He had a sort of wistful look on his face as he watched Melissa spread the ash. Mickey figured there was a story there, but he didn't care enough to ask. "The supernatural can't cross it."

Scott crouched down in front of Ian when his mom was done. "Okay, the secret is to think about what keeps you human. Find something that anchors you and hold on to it."

"Like what?" Ian asked.

"Anger," Derek suggested. He glanced at Scott. "Or love. Strong emotions work well, especially at first."

"Don't worry if it takes a while," Scott said. "It may take a few months for you to figure it out."

Everyone fell silent as they waited for the moon to rise. Scott and Stiles started playing a video game as if Ian wasn't about to sprout fangs any minute now. Mickey wished that he could smoke, but Melissa would kill him if he lit up inside and he wasn't about to leave Ian right now.

He walked over and sat down on the floor next to Ian. He gestured at the mountain ash. "Magic fairy dust, huh?"

"Our lives are really fucking weird," Ian said. He moved as close to Mickey as he could. He tried to reach a hand out to Mickey, but it bounced back and there was a flash of light when he tried to cross the ash line. "Fuck that stung." He shook out his hand.

It was a testament to the last few weeks that Mickey didn't even blink at the magic. He just reached over the line and took Ian's hand. It was clammy, but Mickey held on anyway. Scott said sweating was a normal part of the change the first time.

"Be careful," Derek warned.

"I can handle a few scratches," Mickey said. He'd been shot for Ian—twice—he could handle claws.

Ian smiled at him. "I'm glad you're here—that you made me come here."

"We're fucking together, aren't we?" Mickey didn't do anything half way. When he'd finally decided that he was with Ian nothing was going to change his mind. Not even werewolves.

Ian beamed at him and rubbed his thumb across the back of Mickey's hand. "I talked to Mandy today. She said—"

Mickey never found out what Mandy said because Ian suddenly doubled over and when he sat up he had hair growing out of the sides of his face. Mickey should have probably been more concerned about the claws that were digging into his hand or the really fucking big teeth, but he couldn't stop himself from laughing at Ian's sideburns. He looked ridiculous.

"Fuck," Mickey choked out. "I wish I had a mirror."

Ian growled at him and Mickey stopped laughing. "Hey, calm down. It's just me."

Ian studied him with his gold eyes and tilted his head like he was listening to something. He shuddered and the hair receded. "Mickey?" He dropped Mickey's hand and scooted back. "I hurt you."

Mickey looked down at the bleeding scratches on his hand. None of them were deep enough that he'd even noticed until Ian pointed them out. "I'm fine. You've hurt me worse as foreplay."

Ian smirked and Mickey knew he'd be okay.

"Already?" Scott asked. He seemed impressed. "You found your anchor?"

Ian didn't take his eyes off of Mickey. "He usually finds me."