Theo flinched as a phone is shoved under his nose. His eyes adjust quickly and the blinding screen dims to reveal a string of text messages from Scott. Sat beside him in his truck, Liam was practically bouncing in the passenger seat, his eyebrows creased and a determined glint in his eyes. Theo sighed, exasperated by the beta's boundless energy.
"What now?" He asked Liam.
"Can you not read?" Liam said urgently, "it's Scott, he needs us!"
"And? Am I supposed to care?" Liam dropped the phone into his lap. Theo turned to look at him fully, the crease on Liam's brow somehow deepening.
"I'm being serious - he needs us." The desperation in Liam's voice made Theo sigh, again, and he reached for Liam's phone realising that a new text had appeared.
Before Liam had the chance to speak, Theo had already thrown the phone at him and was reversing out of the forest clearing with an unforeseen urgency. Liam scrambled to save his phone. As he checked the screen for cracks, the message from Scott glared at him intently.
Liam lurched forward in his seat as Theo swerved through the streets of Beacon Hills. By the time he'd settled and began to put on his seat belt, they'd already arrived at Scott's and despite the cars filling the driveway, Theo managed to mount the curb next to Stiles' haphazardly parked jeep. Liam barely has a chance to catch up before Theo has leapt from behind the wheel and is stood before Scott’s front door - if it weren’t the McCall residence, Liam is sure that Theo would’ve ripped the door down by now.
Instead, Theo paused on the porch and raised his hand to knock. As Liam stopped behind him he finally took a moment to look at Theo properly for the first time that night. Liam’s eyes scoured the face he had come to know as well as his own - if not more so. In this light, Theo’s usually strong jaw looked soft and boyish, and the shadows around his sunken eyes became apparent. The longer Liam stared the worse he realised Theo looked.
“Theo,” Liam whispered, “I-” The door swung open in front of them to reveal an agitated Stiles.
“Scott’s too awkward to say but are you guys gonna just stand there or are you coming in?”
Theo’s features hardened and he stepped forward into the house, Liam trailing after him. The room fell silent as they walked in. Scott, Corey and Mason greeted Liam while the others gathered closer.
Melissa rounded the corner into the kitchen with Argent by her side both sharing a serious look.
“Why don’t we all move to the living room for this?” Melissa suggested, calm amongst the storm. The group navigated their way to the other room and took a seat. On the main sofa, Lydia and Stiles were sitting next to a brooding Derek and nearby on a smaller sofa sat Scott and Malia.
Liam shuffled to an armchair in the corner and Theo followed, perching on the arm and keeping his gaze trained on the ground. Opposite in another armchair Mason was sat with Corey in his lap. Melissa and Argent remained standing in the doorway side by side.
“Right then,” Scott started, his eyes darting around the room, “while we were investigating the sewers for Dread Doctor labs we came across one of their experiments.”
Theo drew in a sharp breath and screwed his eye shut; he steeled his nerves before looking up at everyone.
“What did you find?” He murmured. Stiles huffed and crossed his arms before speaking,
“Some project called ‘Lunar Crest’.”
Theo tensed, his hands clenching into fists. He recognised the name, something the Dread Doctors had obsessively attempted to perfect alongside Theo and the other chimera. He knew he couldn’t prevent the onslaught of memories that would arise from the packs incessant questioning. Scott leant forward to speak directly to Theo.
“We found a child,” Scott continued, “a chimera experiment like you.”
Everyones’ focus shifted to Theo, waiting for a reaction, Liam especially.
“Where is she now?” Theo averted his eyes again as he asked softly, choosing to focus on Liam in an attempt to anchor himself.
Scott’s eyes widened and Stiles couldn’t help but shoot his usual angered glare at Theo as he stood.
“I didn’t say it was a girl…” Scott began, confused.
Theo was about to ask again when the pattering of footsteps came from upstairs and a familiar scent appeared. He stood from his place next to Liam and tried to sprint from the room if it weren’t for Argent catching his wrist. It was then that a small child pushed into the room and a pregnant silence fell over the group.
“Ava?” The girl turned to Theo, clearly recognising the name.
“Daddy?” She squealed as she leapt into Theo’s arms and hugging him tightly.
“Hi baby,” he whispered as he held her close and tears slipped from his eyes.
“What the actual-”
“Stiles,” Lydia reprimanded exasperated, hitting his chest lightly, “she’s still a child.”
“Shouldn’t we be more concerned that she called Theo ‘daddy’?!” Stiles yelled back. Scott stood and placed a hand on Stiles’ shoulder.
“C’mon Stiles, let’s talk this out.” He said calmly. Stiles huffed, returning to his seat. Derek nudged Stiles’ knee with his own which seemed to calm Stiles despite Derek’s expression remaining indifferent.
“So,” Scott began, “where do we start?”