"All right, everybody, out on the field!" Coach Finstock yells. "Move, move, move!"
Scott and Stiles are two of the last on the field, but not the very last. As they duck past Coach's back-slapping hand, Scott notices Danny hanging back to talk to Coach, a worried look on his face.
Stiles runs several yards onto the practice field before noticing that Scott isn't with him. He jogs back to where Scott stands, helmet under his arm, head cocked to the side.
"What is it, Scott?" Stiles asks, and then leans forward conspiratorially. "You sensing something with your ‘lupine intuition’?"
Scott stays still, answering in broken sentences. "It's Danny... he's lost his lacrosse equipment... again... Coach is furious... he's tired of replacing Danny's stuff... he's threatening to start someone else."
"Ruh roh," Stiles says, but he doesn't look bothered at all. "Maybe I can see some action at the next game."
Scott snaps out of wolfy-hearing-mode and gives Stiles an annoyed look. "This is serious, Stiles. Danny's one of our best players. If he can't play because of missing equipment..."
Stiles shrugs. "Yeah, but what are we gonna do?" He puts an arm around Scott's shoulders and leads him farther onto the field.
"I dunno," Scott says, shaking his head. "We could..." He stops walking, and then a broad smile comes over his face. "...we could help him find his stuff."
"You... smelling anything?" Stiles asks, making sure no one is listening.
Scott wanders ahead, stopping every couple of paces to sniff the air. A few people give them odd looks, but the co-captain-Scott-of-the-lacrosse-team gets a little more leeway than dweeby-Scott-of-the lacrosse-benchwarmers used to. He shakes his head and keeps moving.
Stiles feels a tug on his arm, and he jumps. "Yipes, Allison!" he says, clutching at his chest. "Warn a guy, will ya?"
She smiles like she's pleased at surprising him. "What's going on?" she asks, gesturing ahead of her at where Scott is doing his sniff-and-walk.
"Um... nothing?" Stiles scuffs the floor with the toe of his shoe.
Her eyebrow rises. "Nothing?"
"Okay," he admits, giving in easily. "We're in the middle of 'The Case of the Missing Lacrosse Equipment.' Scott's trying to... sniff it out."
He expects her to laugh or maybe even 'aw' adorably, but instead she bounces on her heels. "Oh, let me help out!"
"Ohhhhhkay?" He lets Scott get a bit further ahead and lowers his voice. "But what about your... father? Your grandfather?"
"I'll be careful. You remember how we took the fake cop down, right? We make a great team."
"We really do, don't we?"
Scott is suddenly right beside them. "There are too many people here, all the scents are mixing up..." His frown shifts into a smile, and then to a furrowed brow all in one extended expression. "Allison! You're going to help...?"
She nods. Stiles puts one arm around Allison and one around Scott. "We'll crack this case in no time. With my brains, her beauty..."
"My skill with a bow and arrow, you mean..."
"Which is beautiful." He pats Scott's shoulder. "And your..."
"My brawn?" Scott supplies.
"I was gonna say your wolf-iness," he says with a sly smile, "but that works."
After dark, the school is deserted, and Scott assures Stiles that the scent trail will be much easier to track. They find Allison in the middle of target practice on a tree on the school grounds. They watch her draw back an arrow, and then loose it with deadly accuracy. "Yeesh," Stiles says with a shudder. "Am I glad I'm not on the receiving end of that."
"Tell me about it," Scott says, rubbing at the place on his arm where her father had hit him.
"Oh, yeah." He stops and gives Scott an apologetic look. "You date a girl from a werewolf hunter family, you take your risks, I guess."
Allison notices them then. "Just a second, I'm almost done." Allison walks over to the tree and yanks the arrows out one by one to replace in her quiver.
After a quick lockpick from Stiles, they're inside and searching the school. "It's this locker," Scott says, surprisingly quickly.
Stiles looks both ways down the empty hallway. "Are you sure?" he asks in a low voice.
"How can you tell?" Allison asks.
"Anytime anyone touches anything, they leave just a hint of their smell on it."
"You can tell just from a touch?" Allison asks, raising her eyebrows.
"If I've smelled the person before. And there's..." Scott's face heats for a moment. "A trace of Armani aftershave in there."
Stiles and Allison give each other a confused look.
"Anyway. This is definitely where Danny’s lacrosse equipment is right now." He runs a hand through his wavy hair. “But I have no idea whose locker this is.”
Stiles strikes the locker beside him with a fist. "What now?"
But Scott is already following his nose down the hall, peering into a classroom here, stopping at the drinking fountain, starting to head into the men’s room but swerving away with a grimace, until he’s exiting into the student parking lot.
He stops in front of an empty space, no different looking than the other dozens of spaces. “The trail ends here.”
“Great!” Stiles claps and rubs his hands together. “So we know the person... drives.”
“Anything?” Stiles texts Allison.
“No, I keep checking,” she sends back. “No one has used the locker that I’ve seen. Scott?”
Mr. Harris clears his throat at the front of the room. “Mr. Stilinski. If I see that phone out again, I’m going to put it in indefinite detention.” Stiles slips it back in his pocket with a mouthed, “Sorry.” He can’t afford another detention or his dad is going to revoke his police scanner privileges.
After school, he meets up with Allison. Neither one of them knows where Scott is. “Is he on radio silence or something?” she asks. Stiles shrugs.
After looking in every classroom, they find him in detention with Allison’s grandfather. Scott gives them an agonized frown. Scott Stiles whispers that they’ll be waiting in the Jeep, and Scott nods. Principal Argent snaps his head toward the window, and all Stiles can do is wave like an idiot. Luckily, Allison gets out of sight just in time.
Allison face is filled with a mixture of amazement and disgust. "How can you eat all of that?" She gestures to the bag of fast food - Scott has already downed three hamburgers since their impromptu stakeout began thirty minutes ago. Scott’s detention was from getting caught wandering the parking lot in the middle of the school day. But he had found the car. When he was finally released, it was long gone from school, but they’d tracked it to this burger joint on the edge of town.
He swallows and gives her a goofy smile. "I'm a growing wolf?"
Allison shakes her head. "Your mom must be having to take extra shifts to pay the food bill."
He bows his head guiltily but digs in the bag for another.
She turns to Stiles, who is chewing his way through his fourth chili dog with everything. "And what's your excuse?"
At that moment, Allison notices a short guy with a buzz cut get into the car. “Look!” Both boys turn toward the car as one, mouths full of food. Their suspect starts his car, pulls out of the parking lot and takes a left onto the street.
"He’s getting away!" Stiles yells as he spits his half-eaten chili dog back into the bag and starts the engine. Allison reaches for her bow on the seat beside her.
But Scott immediately climbs out of the car. He's nearly as fast on all fours - he lopes off into the woods to cut the guy off.
Allison doesn’t tell Stiles to slow down as she deftly climbs into the passenger seat, rolls down the window and sights her target with the bow.
“Can you do that?” Stiles asks, eyes whipping back and forth between the road and Allison. He swerves a little. “Hit a moving target?”
“Just keep your eyes on the road, Stiles!” She can’t hit the tires from behind, but she doesn’t need to. She chooses a different arrow from her quiver, nocks it, releases... her aim is steady and true. The flash-bang arrow hits a telephone pole just before the car passes, and explodes in a shower of light.
The car swerves off the road and crashes into a fence.
"Yeah! We got him now!" Stiles pumps a fist in the air.
They pull up behind the car and get out, Allison nocking another arrow as she steps out onto the shoulder. The car's door flies open and their target stumbles out. He's wearing a black hoodie and baggy jeans, so neither Stiles nor Allison has any idea who he is. He looks back at Stiles’ Jeep with terror and confusion and then scrambles over the fence to take off across the field.
Allison stops and calmly aims.
"Wait, you aren't going to shoot him down are you?" Stiles asks, worry etching his face.
"No," she says coolly. "I won't even scratch him, I promise."
But before she can release, a dark shape bounds out of the shadows and tackles the guy. Stiles thinks he sees a flash of yellow eyes before they both go down.
Stiles and Allison quickly jump the fence and reach Scott and their suspect.
"Get off me, you psycho!" the guy is shouting, his voice breaking with fear.
"Not until you tell us why you're stealing from Danny!" Scott growls..
"Stealing?" he says in disbelief, looking between the three of them. He flinches from Allison, who still has an arrow nocked, flinches again at the look on Scott’s face.
“Don’t act innocent, his equipment is in your locker,” Stiles sneers. “You wanna explain that?”
“I...” he turns his eyes away, shutting his mouth tight.
“What’s your name?” Scott asks, his tone deepening. The guy clamps his mouth even tighter. Allison shifts position and aims her arrow at the guy’s foot.
“Hold up, team.” Much more interrogation and the guy might be sprouting feathers as well as bite marks. “I just came up with an elegant solution.” He quickly pulls out his phone and snaps a picture before the guy can react.
He calmly dials Danny’s number. “Hey, Danny? … Yeah, this is Stiles. … No, I don’t need your help this time. … I’m serious! Anyway, I’m sending you a photo. Do you recognize this guy?”
Their suspect’s face turns so green it’s visible even in the dim light.
“Ah, okaaaaay. That makes sense. … No, everything’s fine. He’s just helping us with something. Have a good night!” he signs off cheerfully.
Scott is shaking his head, obviously having overheard both sides of the conversation. From the look on her face, Allison is trying hard to fight her curiosity.
“Dude.” Stiles turns to their captive. “I mean, Gary. ‘No’ means ‘no,’ okay?”
Gary slumps in defeat, as much as he can while still pinned to the ground. “I just thought if he was off the team, he wouldn’t be as busy, and then we could go out...”
“‘Busy’ usually means ‘no,’ too,” Allison says with a touch of compassion, lowering the bow.
“Yeah,” Stiles agrees. “Learn it now, and save yourself a whole lotta heartache.”
Scott is still in place, as menacing as ever. “You’re going to return that equipment, right?”
“Of course, of course!” he says.
Scott’s eyes narrow. “You’re lying. Return it and we don’t tell Danny what you did.”
“And anything else of his you took,” Stiles adds.
Gary sighs. “Okay.”
Finally satisfied, Scott climbs off of Gary, and even holds out a hand to help him up. “That equipment will be back in the proper place by practice tomorrow,” Scott warns.
Gary nods, looking shaken. It’s too dark to tell, but the crotch of his pants seems darker than before. Scott would know for sure, but Stiles will let the guy keep a little dignity and not point it out. “Go then!” he says, shooing Gary away.
“Um, I...” he starts to say, and then he’s tearing back across the field toward his car.
Stiles takes a deep breath of night air, smiling. “Score one for Teen Wolf Inc.!”
Scott and Allison look at him sideways.
“The Bloodhounds?” he tries again. “Lupine, P.I.?”
Scott smirks and shakes his head. Allison covers her mouth, trying not to laugh.
Stiles shrugs and starts walking back toward the road. “Give me time, I’ll think of something. To the Wolfmobile!”
He turns to wink at them before continuing on. “Aw, come on, you gotta give me that.”