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Break my trust to break my heart

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It had started like an itch on her brain, something she couldn’t scratch, but she hadn’t paid it too much mind. If only she’d paid more attention she wouldn’t be here.

Here being a club two towns over from Beacon Hills, because she had fought back against using the Jungle for this. Another drink was placed in front of her, the bartender obviously more interested in making money than screening for underage kids. “This one’s from the redhead down at the end,” he muttered turning away as the teen turned to look.

The guy wasn’t a natural redhead, definitely box dye, but a redhead would make Artemis angry.

She tossed back the drink, a vodka cran, not her taste, but it was free and it wasn’t like she was really making her own decisions at the moment. She set the glass down and made her way over to the man, neither of them pausing to talk for long before heading out onto the dancefloor. His hands, unwelcome, slid over her hips, gripping them tightly and he plastered himself to her back. They danced, which she could almost block out as it happened, but then he swept her hair to the side, aiming to start kissing her neck. She wanted to scream, cry, or throw up, maybe all three, but she couldn’t.

Not even three minutes later she knew she was saved when the arms around her hips were forcibly separated from her body and she was shoved into the arms of another man, a real redhead who she knew well. “Hey, what the hell man!” The guy she’d been dancing with yanked himself away from the slight black man who’d pulled him away.

“She’s underage and a Sheriff’s kid, so walk away now.”

The guy’s eyes went wide and she wished she could laugh, but nothing about this situation was comical. He split and she found herself hustled out of the club, neither man saying anything although the tense set of their jaws told her all she needed to know.

She followed them quietly to a black Camaro, and that’s when she knew how the night was going to end.

Derek Hale leaned against his car, anger thrumming under his skin as he watched his daughter strut out of the club. He’d refrained from going in himself, knowing that he would act too instinctually and regret it. Teddy and Cary had volunteered to come with him and he was grateful that Cary took after his father, Vernon Boyd, because Teddy looked ready to punch through a wall. Not that he wouldn’t heal, but Derek was hoping the young man would grow out of that behaviour like his father, Jackson had.

But neither of his betas concerned him at the moment.

“We’ll see you back home, Alpha” Cary told Derek once they made their way over, tugging Teddy after him.

“So, you’re not going to look at me?” Derek murmured as Cary’s truck pulled out of the parking lot, Teddy already ranting to his friend about the situation.

“Is it going to change the lecture you give me?” Jinx looked up, her eyes, so much like Stiles’ own, glinting with harsh sarcasm to match her devil may care attitude.

“Get in the car.”

She paused, then followed his instructions.

Derek took a deep breath then opened the driver’s side door and settled in for the drive home. The moment he was in the car he could smell it, the scent of another person, a man all over her. He just refrained from growling as he pulled out of the lot.

“What the hell were you thinking?”

“About what?”

“Jadwiga do not test me tonight.”

“Oh no, full name,” she muttered.

Derek let out a growl of frustration at that, quickly surveying their surroundings and then pulled the car off the road and parked on the shoulder.

“Answer me, now.”

“What, I’m not allowed to have fun?”

“That’s not what this is...”

Jinx wanted to panic, but she couldn’t, it wouldn’t let her.

Derek turned in his seat to look at her, watching Jinx stare out of the window, completely disinterested.

“We’d never force you into anything, you know that right? The mate bond needs to be willingly accepted.”

Jinx felt herself hum in agreement, but she couldn’t turn to look at her dad, her Alpha.

“If you don’t want to be with Artemis you don’t have to,” Derek spoke quietly, but his voice remained firm, “But you cannot taunt her like this. I won’t have anyone in our pack willfully hurting another. Do you understand?”
In his pack, that was the key that Jinx grabbed onto, she still had a chance to protect them. So she said, “Yes” using her own voice for the first time in awhile.

The crack in her voice must have garnered her some sympathy, because her dad reached out to squeeze her shoulder and she let him, despite the pain it caused her. It’s not like she was feeling it anywhere but her own head anyways, her body’s chemosignals wouldn’t change. Her dad drew back his hand and started up the car again. The rest of the ride took place in silence.

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They finished the drive in silence, but Jinx didn’t immediately leave the car. She didn’t want to face Artemis, or maybe she did, if only it would mean breaking free from being trapped inside her own mind. But she’d dug her grave, and she was determined to not drag anyone else down into it.

“She’s over at the cottage. Go have a shower; your dad will want to talk to you,” Derek told her, frustration evident in his tone.

Jinx just nodded and finally exited the car, slamming the door behind her in a flair of defiance. She entered the house, head high, looking for all purposes as if she was proud of herself. Except all she was doing inside was screaming.

Artemis knew her mother wanted her over at the cottage to keep her from bumping into Jinx, but she needed to know the teen was okay. Whether Jinx was set on breaking her heart and their fledging bond or not, Artemis cared too much about her to not check on her.

Except her good intentions went right out the window when Jinx breezed up the staircase to her room smelling like another person. She hadn’t expected that. She thought the teen had just taken off, to get some space, but obviously space was only something she wanted from the pack.

Artemis felt a low growl build in her throat, causing Jinx to pause, watching the older wolf emerge from the shadows. For a moment something indescribable flickered over Jinx’s face but her scent never changed.

“Need something, Argent?”

Those three words drained Artemis’ anger, and just left her feeling empty.

“J...” she tried to speak but didn’t know what to say.

“It’s my life, Artemis; you don’t own me.” No matter how much Jinx wished that someone owned her, because anything would be better than being enslaved to this thing.

Even as the wolf reached out for her human, perplexed at how calm Jinx’s scent still was, Jinx stepped back to neatly avoid any contact. “Have you ever thought that maybe I don’t want you to touch me?” This was true, to an extent, which is how Jinx had gotten this deep into things. Half-truths and borderline lies when employed skillfully didn’t cause werewolves concern. She didn’t want Artemis to touch her; the pain would be too much for her to deal with at the moment.

It was at that moment that both her Dads made an appearance at the top of the stairs. “Artie,” Derek’s voice was soft but firm, “We asked you to stay at the cottage.”

“And I should’ve,” Artemis murmured, hurt eyes flickering to her unrequited mate and then her Alpha. She didn’t spare Jinx another glance as she left, Derek following her to the door where Scott was waiting.

For the moment it was just Jinx and her Dad. She had a suspicion that the rest of the pack was at the cottage too. Moon, she was screwing up their dynamics big time, but somehow it wasn’t enough chaos or strife yet.


Stiles was furious. Not only had he been worried sick about his daughter, but watching her treat a pack member with such blatant disrespect, and her potential mate at that, made his magic crackle. “I believe your Alpha gave you an order, didn’t he?” His voice was tight, but not indicative of the rest of his emotions yet.

“Yeah, I’ll take the shower,” Jinx said, while privately thinking that she’d need to shower with burning hot water and scrub herself raw to get the feeling of those hands off of her.

“What the hell are you doing, Jinx?” Stiles asked, teeth gritted.

“Living my life.”

“Don’t give me that. You’re toying with her and upsetting the whole damn pack. What do you want? Attention? Because you’ve got it.”

Yes! Yes! She screamed inside her head, but her voice wasn’t her own. For months she had been hoping that her Dad, clever, intuitive, and schooled in the supernatural, would figure it out, but weeks and months passed with nothing. She was totally alone.

“Well, you’ve got our attention, Jadwiga. What do you want? You know this isn’t how a pack works! You know that this especially isn’t how we work.”

Sparks were meant to protect and nurture harmony, at any cost. Ironically, Jinx felt she was doing a pretty good job since the rest of the pack was certainly united these days.

“Well, I never asked for any of this!”

Those words hit Stiles, and Derek, who’d reappeared after seeing off Artemis, like a slap in the face.

“I never asked to be a Spark or part of a pack or to have a mate!”

It was true, she’d obviously never asked for this, but she wouldn’t have wanted to change it for anything. It was part of the reason she hadn’t put herself down yet, because she’d hoped desperately that she could keep her pack intact.

“What are you saying?” Derek’s voice was low, but his eyes were red, warning her now.

“That if I could, I wouldn’t be here right now and that me being part of this pack is the worst thing in my life!” It was all true. She wanted to be far away so that she couldn’t hurt the people she loved and her presence in the pack was currently a point of toxicity. The truth of her words didn’t keep the sting out of them.

Derek had to keep breathing, slowly and deeply, to avoid trying to roar his daughter into submission to the pack that had raised her. Stiles’ hand on his arm was the only anchor keeping him grounded.

Stiles on the other hand, was now crackling with more furious energy.

“How dare you...” he hissed at his daughter, shocked at her outburst. It wasn’t so uncharacteristic anymore, but to outright dismiss the pack, like it was nothing, like family was nothing. He wouldn’t stand for it.

“Go to your room. You’ll stay there, except for school until we see fit. You don’t want to be part of the pack, then see what happens when you can only be here” Stiles hoped increased proximity would produce quicker results. It had been the top option amongst the pack when he and Derek had sought their family’s advice.

“Whatever,” Jinx practically snarled. Soon a locked door stood between the two men and their daughter.

Derek pulled Stiles roughly into his arms, his wolf whining for pack connection in light of the fight. “I know it’s harsh...” murmured Derek as he pressed a kiss to Stiles’ forehead as his mate’s body shook slightly, coming down from the emotional high, “but we agreed. It has to be drastic because it has to work.”

“It has to work, Der. We can’t lose her.”

On the other side of her door, Jinx was doubled over, her repressed emotions running riot beneath her skin. She pushed, pushing him back for a moment, just a few moments as she crawled over to her computer to put the next phase of her plan in motion. With one click she was exhausted, and collapsing on the ground, she felt the darkness overwhelm her again.

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The next day found half of the pack in the Hale house eating breakfast, though conversation was quieter and less jovial than usual for a Friday morning. Allison had accompanied Artemis that day; the wolf had decided she wouldn’t hide away. Her brother, Toby, Jinx’s best friend had come with his sister in a show of solidarity. He was pissed at his friend.

But Jinx breezed through the kitchen, grabbing nothing but a coffee. She ducked away from various pack members and left, calling out that she would be home after school as per her parole restrictions.

Two weeks later, not much had changed for the pack. While Jinx was following her punishment to the letter, nothing in her attitude was shifting and it was causing real tension amongst the younger pack member in particular. Their friend and packmate had essentially dumped them for another group of people at school and she never let people scent mark her.

For Jinx though, everything had changed. It had led her to this and now she was anxiously waiting in the school office, trying to look innocent and praying that she could get what she needed before the end of day bell rang.

“Miss Stilinski-Hale?”

“Yes, Miss Brown?”

“I’ve got your paperwork here,” the lovely office lady said, passing over a large brown envelope.

“Your fathers must be proud,” Jinx remembered to nod and smile, “Well, the Sheriff doesn’t know yet — this is a surprise from Papa and me.” She made a shushing gesture with her finger and winked.

“I’ll keep your secret then, darling. Congratulations!”

“Thank you, Miss Brown.”

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Jinx’s hands clawed at her sheets, panting as a scream tore from her throat. Shivering, she had never more grateful for her magic. It had been so tied with her dad’s originally that the new wards and charms she’d put on her room were well hidden, except if someone was looking, and right now no one was looking too closely at her.

“They don’t care,” the voice was soft, soothing even, but it made Jinx whimper in fear. She didn’t want to see her but appear she did. Claudia Stilinski, beautiful, but then the sliver of moonlight hit her face and it twisted. She became nightmarish and the laugh the thing, Jinx wouldn’t, she couldn’t think of it as her grandmother even when it took her form.


Stupid girl.

She’d let the demon lure her into its trap with the face of the person she wished to know the most. She’d thought herself, clever or lucky, maybe both to be visited by her grandmother and in the beginning, it had been bliss. It had been time for just her, to learn and grow. By the time she’d realized how often she was lying and keeping secrets the shade of Claudia had started becoming harsher with her, culminating in a day when it shoved her against a tree, hands around her throat, choking her.

Jinx wasn’t sure why she hadn’t said anything that day, but she hadn’t and she simply fell further.

No, that’s a lie. She knew why, because that day the nogitsune, she’d seen it’s outline then, had threatened her pack. She’d suffer a million times over to prevent them from suffering due to her mistakes.

Which led her here, to fear, no, not fear, terror and pain as her constant companions. Her room would be doused in the chemo signals, but she’d trapped it in the wallpaper, somewhere they’d never look.

“You’re lucky I’m letting you do this,” the nogitsune Claudia trailed her fingers over Jinx’s hair, smoothing it, almost lovingly, “I wouldn’t mind feeding on this chaos a little longer, but the guilt and strife leaving without a word will inflict upon you will be a satisfactory meal. The anger of the pack isn’t as delicious as your pain, Jadwiga.”

Jinx cringed at the perfect pronunciation of her name as it fell from the demon’s lips. Only her dads could say it correctly every time.

The thing’s hand hadn’t stopped stroking her hair and she felt tears start to pool at the corners of her eyes. “Why don’t we check in on Artemis while I send you back to sleep?” The demon’s hands gripped her from behind, like they were hugging and Jinx’s tears began to fall in earnest. “Night night, little fox,” and even as she struggled she felt herself falling into the horrific dream space the nogitsune crafted that allowed her to view the ramifications of her actions.

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Artemis was eating a quiet dinner with her mom who had driven up to visit at Stanford.
“You didn’t have to come all this way you know,” Artemis told her mother, although she loved having pack in her apartment, it made it feel more like home, especially since… well, since Jinx had never set foot in the place. It wasn’t much of a home when her mate was elsewhere, “I’m okay.”

She wasn’t, but if she wanted to pretend she was she damn well could.

“Artie,” Allison began, but her daughter held up a hand, the image Jinx saw wavered the haunting chuckle of the nogitsune distracting her until she looked back and the image was steady again, “I’ll save you the lecture. You’re right. She isn’t worth the heartache. I’m going to ask Alpha to formally free me from my courting duties at Christmas, for all our sakes. I just can’t care anymore,” and Jinx’s head began to spin, the image dissolving just like her bond with her mate would. Artemis would be safe!

But only without her.

“I’m the only one who cares about you now, little fox. The only one, just let me in a bit more,” Claudia’s voice was off, threatening rather than soothing, but despite the imminent threat to her life Jinx had to smile as the darkness seeped back over her, pulling her into another round of nightmares. Artemis would be safe once she was gone, she was sure of it.

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*Of course, ^ that’s not what happened at all, because the nogitsune is a manipulative bastard.

So, let’s see what actually happened:

Artemis was eating a quiet dinner with her mom who had driven up to visit at Stanford.
“You didn’t have to come all this way you know,” Artemis told her mother, although she loved having pack in her apartment, it made it feel more like home, especially since… well, since Jinx had never set foot in the place. It wasn’t much of a home when her mate was elsewhere, “I’m okay.”

She wasn’t, but if she wanted to pretend she was she damn well could.

“Artie,” Allison began, but her daughter held up a hand, “I’ll save you the lecture. You’re right, at least in your own mind, but mom, she’s worth this, all of the heartache and indecision. That might make me stupid with love, but I love her despite it all. I’m going to continue my courting duties. I just can’t not care,” Allison smiled sadly at her daughter, but nodded in understanding.

“She’s the one who you can’t breathe until you’re with,” Allison’s eyes misting a bit as she thought about her and Scott.

“Yeah,” Artemis replied, “Mate bond be damned, she’s the one I want and until I get a formal rejection, in writing, as per tradition, return of courting gits and all, I will not give up on us.”

“You can’t deny that she has changed though, Artie.”

“I keep falling in love with her anyways,” the wolf admitted, “and not with the her of last year either. I still love this Jinx.”

“We’re always here, sweetheart.”

“I know and I’m grateful, because she’d driving me up the wall at this point.”

Both women laughed lightly, and when Artemis’ laughter turned to tears she just curled up with her mom, trusting her to keep them safe as the physical manifestation of her pain flowed down her face leave saltwater tracks behind.

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House arrest had done nothing to improve Jinx’s attitude, so much so that her best friend, perhaps he was her former best friend, Toby McCall didn’t know at the moment, was grateful to find the house quiet after school on the last day of term for the year.

His relief only lasted a few moments when he realized that an absent Jinx meant a missing Jinx, which meant a miserable pack. His anger built as he dialed the Sheriff’s station, waiting for Stiles to pick up his call.

“Toby? Is Jinx with you?” Stiles sounded a bit frantic when the call connected.

“No, I was calling you because she isn’t home.”

“Someone from two counties over just dropped off the Jeep for me at the station. Her phone’s in it and neither Boyd nor Peter will tell me what it smells like, which means it’s bad.”

Toby’s anger started to morph into confusion and a tinge of panic. Jinx always made it easy to find her, like their reaction were trophies, but sending the Jeep back – that was something completely new. It made Toby uncomfortable.

“Anyone home?” A voice, Artemis’ called out as she and Teddy came through the front door having road tripped back from Stanford together.

“We’ll meet you at the station.” Toby had just hung up the phone and turned to his packmates when he felt a wrenching in his chest. He gasped, gritting his teeth as something burned within him, but he was more concerned with Artemis who had actually collapsed, growling, claws sliding out and eyes flashing, like she couldn’t control it.

Then Derek was there, scooping up his injured beta, holding her close as she whined and growled through the pain. “What’s happening?”

“Mate bond strain,” gritted out Derek as he tried to offer as much comfort as possible to his beta, “it’s non-consensual which is why it’s hurting her.”

Finally, Artemis came back to herself, eyes closed as she got her breathing under control. “What do you mean non-consensual?” gritted out the beta as her claws slid back in with great effort.

“Someone’s trying to break Jinx’s pack bonds,” Derek’s voice was dark, “Where is she?”

“Gone,” that was Boyd’s voice as he and Scott appeared in the doorway, the latter going immediately to his daughter, who clung to him tightly as if she might never let go. “Stiles is coming,” he told everyone, but Derek already knew, feeling his mate’s fury and panic as it neared the house.

Allison was driving like a woman possessed, both of them having come to the same conclusion that Derek had about their recent chest pain. She had hardly stopped when Stiles launched himself out of the car tearing up past the pack in the foyer to his daughter’s room. He wouldn’t believe it unless he saw it.

Her door was locked. He slammed against it, “Jinx! Jinx, open this damn door!” It didn’t budge. At a nod from Derek, after he tore his husband away for half a minute, was all Boyd needed to break down the door.

The room was normal. Too normal. Stiles’ eyes flickered over everything, from the perfectly made bed to the bookshelf. It was too organized. Too tidy. Too superficial.

“There’s nothing here,” Toby murmured, having entered in after Stiles.

“There has to be something,” growled Teddy, “Artie…?”

Everyone turned to look at Artemis who was looking at a framed photo of her and Jinx. “There’s a piece missing, from the glass,” the wolf’s eyes darted around the room to search for the missing piece of clear glass that might offer them some clarity. She reached out to take the photo from the wall and in her haste tore off some of the wallpaper. She barely kept from dropping the photo, the rest of the wolves making similar choking sounds to hers.

“What is it?!” Stiles was on the edge of a panic attack. Instead of saying anything, Derek pulled him close and concentrated, pushing his sensory perceptions into his mate.
Pain slammed into Stiles, and then terror crashed over him in waves. The only thing keeping him upright was Derek. “What, what the hell?” he gasped out.

“The wallpaper absorbed her emotions,” murmured Peter who’d arrived, Chris, John, and Melissa in tow. The beta’s eyes were unusually dead as he teetered in the doorway, “It can’t be though, it’s dead,” he whispered, his tone heart-wrenchingly sad.

“You know what caused this?” Derek asked.

It was like Peter hadn’t heard him, as his eyes traveled over the room, but not really seeing anything he walked to a wall and without hesitation slashed its paper with his claws. “Nogitsune,” growled Chris as his eyes met Peter’s, “But how?”

“That demon, the one that possessed Claudia?” Melissa interjected, “What does it have to do with Jinx?”

“Pairs,” whispered Stiles, “It comes in pairs, doesn’t it? But one didn’t want to share her power so it left, to lie in wait… in the nemeton? It wasn’t completely gone?”

His brain whirled through his conclusions wondering how on earth he’d never contemplated the reasons behind Jinx’s mood changes. She had been… still was… possessed!

“Oh my god,” his legs couldn’t hold him up any longer and Derek just pulled him closer as the Alpha let out a low, mournful howl, echoed by the rest of his pack.

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Jinx had awoken to claws on her chest, her father’s red eyes gazing down at her, claws breaking the skin. She’d been foolish to think leaving Beacon Hills would get her more than one or two hours of sleep. It had only been twelve days, but without the distraction of the pack her strife, guilt, and sadness had to feed the nogitsune on its own. It was almost freeing, except for these wake up calls wherein the demon tortured her while wearing a packmate’s face. This was her punishment for preventing the fracturing of her pack bonds. Even if they couldn’t care for her, Jinx would protect them with her life.

She closed her eyes and let the hateful words wash over her. She let the claws draw blood, thanking the moon and nature itself that she was suffering, not her pack.

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The pack felt like it was in shambles. Everyone was in shock. Derek took two weeks off, and Stiles forced Allison to take at least a week. That didn’t stop her from coming into the Sheriff’s station every day and sitting with him. The deputies all knew that something had happened to Jinx, and what Stiles had come up with was as close to the truth as possible – that she’d been experiencing symptoms of the same disease that killed her grandmother and that out of fear of what that’d do to her family, she’d fled. An APB was out on her in official channels and in the hunting community, but no one had seen anything. Stiles’ murder board had been cleared for a map of the US upon which he was sticking pins in possible places his daughter would go.

Cas and Dean were out looking as were Sam and Bobby.

Artemis had refused to take classes in the summer, only traveling back to Stanford for mandatory exams, and then she came home again. She ran the preserve religiously while her mind tortured her with the possibility of what Jinx might have been suffering right under her nose. The not knowing was worse she decided.

She’d taken to sleeping in Jinx’s room, forcing herself to suffer just a modicum of what her mate had, and after half-heartedly trying to get her to leave members of the pack started to join her. Derek and Stiles were with her most nights, as was Toby, the rest of the pack rotated through at least four nights a week.

A month went by with no news. Even their bonds had stayed muted, and try as she might, Artemis couldn’t even get a snapshot of her mate’s whereabouts.

Until, one morning in early June the familiar rumble of an Impala rolled up the lane.

Stiles rushed out to the porch, looking at Dean, both men were exhausted, but the latter nodded. “We’ve got a lead.”

Derek’s eyes flashed in relief as Stiles dared to hope.

“She’s heading to the old Crowe house,” Bobby told the assembled pack after he and his boys had been fed and watered, “There’s only two reasons she’d go there…”

“Exorcism or suicide,” Stiles said the words Bobby obviously hadn’t wanted to say.

Most of the pack growled at his words, “We won’t know which one is more likely until we see her,” Lydia stated, trying to calm everyone down although her voice shook, “How long until she gets there?”

“A day, maybe less,” Sam told them.

“So, how are we supposed to…”

“Cas and I will take care of it. Everyone, go pack; we’re heading into a battle for Jinx and her mind. Pack accordingly,” Stiles rattled off his words, sending the rest of the pack off to prep, but he called Chris back. As Cas popped into Stiles’ workroom, the hunter and Spark stood face to face, “Pack a loaded gun, you know which one. If this goes the way I think it will… she’ll use my mom against you.”

“Stiles, I won’t… I can’t…”

“This is her worst nightmare Chris, if it comes down to it and she asks… it’ll be you, not me, not Derek, not Artemis, but you.”

Chris nodded jerkily then left to join Peter.