The masked shadowy creatures came out of nowhere. Scott and Derek bared their fangs and turned the loft's black light dancefloor into a battleground. The shadows were strong. One threw Derek to the ground, right after having its neck snapped. Then Scott stood alone. All he knew was that these things attacked Isaac and Lydia earlier. They were attacking his pack. Something primal growled within him. From deep in his throat Scott let out a howl of rage. One of the shadows swung its sword.
Suddenly a ball of light shot out from behind him, striking the creature and disintegrating it. Another one ball flew over his head. Scott ducked and turned around.
A boy, about his age, stood in front of the window. It was too dark to see clearly, in his black clothes he was just a silhouette against the sky. He wasn't looking at Scott, but at the creatures. One appeared in front of him. It swung its sword at him, but the boy waved his hand and the creature was lifted up in a swirl of light and tossed aside. The shadowy creatures, who probably knew they could not win, disappeared. The boy looked around the loft. Derek was lying on the floor still trying to pull himself together. Scott stood up and shifted back to human form.
"Who are you?"
The boy took a couple steps forward, not saying anything. Scott made out his face, but what really struck him was the scent. There wasn't any fear. But there was something off about it, something just a bit different.
The door to the loft opened. Scott turned around for second to see Lydia, Kira and Allison standing there. When he turned back around, the boy was gone.
They were sitting on the terrace of a villa overlooking a calm, clear lake. Lilith, goddess of chaos and transformations, sipped a cup of chamomile tea. Her red hair curled over her shoulders and down her back. A garden snake slithered up and down her arm.
"Your brother owes me the debt, not you."
"Which never would have happened if he hadn't gone back in time to save me. It's time I save him. Besides, I'm older and more powerful. Whatever you want me to do, I can do it." He met her eyes with a steady gaze.
"You'll be away from your family for a year and a day. You won't be able to see them or talk to them."
"Better me than Chris."
It wasn't just the physical danger. His brother was strong, and smarter than him, but Chris still had depression. Very well managed depression, of course. But if he went off alone to who knows where, no one would be there to make sure it would stay managed. Chris sure as hell wouldn't tell anyone about it.
"You'll be acting as a whitelighter to a werewolf."
"A werewolf who has risen to be an Alpha through character and strength of will alone. A true Alpha, they call them. Very rare. And this boy, Scott, has an especially great destiny. You will need to guide him and his pack."
"What's so special about him?"
Lilith smirked. It made him slightly uneasy. "All in due time. But do you really want to do this? They are not fond of witches, you know."
"I've dealt with demons. I can handle werewolves."
"If you fail, I will go back in time and rescind my help. Your future will be lost."
She flashed her stone white teeth in a smile. "Well, if you insist." She stood up. The snake flickered its tongue in what appeared to be amusement.
"When do I leave?"
She held out her hand. He took it without hesitation.
The morning after Halloween, Scott and Stiles were sitting in Stiles' room. Scott had just come back from dropping Kira off at home. She seemed pretty okay with him being a werewolf, so that was something. Stiles had said he had some news to share before school.
"Teleported?" Stiles opened and closed his mouth like a dying fish.
But Scott was first. Because Scott's news was weirder.
"Yeah. He teleported in the loft, shot the masked guy with some energy ball, and left before you showed up without saying anything."
Scott shrugged. He pulled Stiles' desk chair without asking and came over and sat down next to him. Stiles lay back on his headboard. The golden streaks of sunrise seeped through his curtains, making his face look a little less pale. They all had trouble sleeping lately, but Stiles had been hit the worst.
"So what, there's a weird supernatural thing that doesn't hate us?"
"I don't know. I guess."
Stiles chewed on his lower lip. He glanced out the window for a second.
"What if he is your angel? Like, the mask guys are demons and an angel came here to help?"
"That'd be nice." Scott pictured the boy. He probably was at the party earlier, Scott just didn't notice him in between Kira's fox aura and Allison and Isaac's, well. . . He would see Argent before school to talk about the shadow things. Maybe there was a ritual they could do or some "monster be-gone spray" they could order off Amazon.
"Hey, Scott, you're not listening."
"I said, I think I may have written on the board."
Mrs. Yukimura felt the Oni's death not as a pain but as a foreboding. Her daughter had come home and gone straight to bed without so much as a word. She was going to have to explain this to her soon. Kira's innocence couldn't last that much longer, as much as she would wish otherwise.
The kettle screamed as the water boiled. Mrs. Yukimura steeped her tea and watched the sunrise over the town. There was still time.
There were few things in this world that could kill an Oni. If one of those beings was allied with the Nogitsune, or God forbid the host,heaven help them all.
"You can't go!"
Wyatt sighed. He put down his suitcase next to his bed. Everyone was supposed to be out for Halloween, but apparently Chris had ditched his party. Why did his brother have to be such a nerd?
"You said you'd take care of it, not leave in my place."
Chris leaned into in Wyatt's face. Wyatt watched his brother scrunch his eyebrows in a desperate attempt to hold back tears. He pulled him into a hug.
"It'll be okay, Chris. I promise."
Chris pressed his wet eyes intohis brother's shoulder. "You can't leave us."
"You know I have to or she'll undo everything. You saved me, Chris. Now, let me save you."
Chris pulled away. He wiped his eyes with the back of his sleeve.
"Good. Now, you have to be the oldest while I'm gone. Make sure Mel doesn't blow anything up and tell PJ that she can eat pasta once in a while and clean out my locker and don't touch my car or my weed and if anyone at school asks, I'm in witness protection and spend time with Henry and-" His watch beeped. Time to go. He hugged him again, squeezing him so tightly he almost couldn't let go. "And take care of yourself. We don't want you to get hurt."
"I love you, Wyatt." He almost never said that.
"I love you too little brother."
He orbed to Beacon Hills Preservation before he started to cry.
Allison ran through the hall as the warning bell rang. She was late, her dad had told her about his run-in with the shadows years ago as he was driving her to school and in her horror she had forgotten her math notebook in the car and so she was late and they were definitely all fucked and-
"Oh gosh!," Allison crashed into a boy and they fell to the ground in a heap. The paper the boy was reading landed next to her head. The boy snatched it. A ring he wore accidently caught in her hair, yanking out a few of them.
"I'm so sorry," he said. The boy pulled himself up first, and then held out a hand. Allison let him help her up and stood face to face with an angel. An angel with eyes so blue,she could swim in them. He smiled.
"I'm really sorry."
"It's okay, I was the one running," Allison said. She glanced down at the slip of paper. A schedule. "You're new?"
"Yeah, just moved here. I'm Matthew."
"Nice to meet you, I'm Allison." She clutched her bag to her chest. The second bell rang.
"Want to help me find my class so you can use me as an excuse?"
She laughed. She hadn't done much of that in a while. "Sure."
They walked down the hall as students darted into rooms. Allison felt so relieved to be talking about normal things that she didn't notice him sticking her hairs in his pocket for safe keeping. As Matthew entered his class, flashing her a smile as he did so, her phone beeped. It was her dad.
She wasn't normal anymore.
Scott copied down what was on the board. He came early to try and find if the guy from last night was there. Stiles was home, trying to get some sleep on Scott and the Sheriff's orders. The twins were following him around to try to help, even though both he and Isaac hadn't forgiven them for Boyd. His powers were still hard to control. Everything was taking its toll. Scott didn't know how much more he could take of this. He was so lost in thought that he didn't notice the door open or a boy hand Mr. Yukimura a note.
"Class, we have a new student. Matthew Smith."
The scent made Scott jerk his head up and stop writing in the middle of the letter p. The boy, the angel, was standing in the front of the classroom with a book bag slung over one shoulder. Scott watched as he made his way to the back of the room without so much as a glance in Scott's direction and took a seat behind Kira. Did he not recognize him?
For the rest of the class Scott only half listened to the lecture. The other half of his attention was on Matthew. If he could stop these shadows then he needed to talk to him. Now.
For a few minutes, he leaned against a tree and looked out onto the town below. The lights were blurred by the tears, and anyway, the view was nothing compared to the Golden Gate Bridge.
Then he made his way to a one story white house not far from the woods. Lilith told him his host would be expecting him. At the door, a man in his early forties greeted him.
"I'm Dr. Alan Deaton. I've been told you would be coming tonight."
"Thank you for your hospitality." Dr. Deaton helped his with his two suitcases. They entered the living room. It looked pretty normal for a Druid. Then again, his own house looked pretty normal for a witch.
"They didn't tell me your name, however."
"Matthew. Matthew . . . Smith." Smith? Really? Dr. Deaton smiled. The archdruid, the head druid, had smoothed his way by saying he was a type of angel beyond their understanding (whitelighters weren't that confusing of a concept, but whatever). So the guy already knew any name he gave would probably be fake.
"And I see you have your ring." He gestured to the amethyst ring that Lilith had given him.
"I came prepared."
"Well let's get you settled in. Your room's in the back." They went down the hall, past bare white walls. At the end was a little guest room with a bathroom attached. It was a small room overlooking an oak tree near the house. A generic picture of a boat was the only decoration in the room. Empty, but nice. At least he wouldn't have to wait to shower.
"I heard you know my charges." Wyatt set down the luggage on the bed.
"Yes. They're less experienced than you are I'm sure, but they are quite capable already."
"You work with the Alpha, right?"
"Yes. Scott McCall."
"What's he like?" He knew that whitelighters were supposed to get to know their charges themselves (because Aunt Paige complained about it), but considering he was getting his first charge at seventeen, Wyatt figured breaking the rules would be okay.
"He's still unsure of himself, but he tries to fight whatever comes his way." Dr. Deaton smiled. "He has a knack for inspiring people to follow him."
"That's good. And the rest of his pack?"
"His friends Stiles, a human boy, Allison, a human descended from a line of hunters-"
"He has a werewolf hunter in his pack?"
"Yes, and a werewolf, Isaac, and a banshee, Lydia."
"A werewolf pack and there were only two werewolves?" Wyatt snorted. "Why not have a coven full of leprechauns while you're at it?"
Dr. Deaton laughed. "There are other, more traditional groups in Beacon Hills as well. But considering the way these kids were thrown together, they managed pretty well in my opinion."
"Even with awakening the Nemeton?" Lilith hadn't sent him here totally unprepared.
"Yes, even with that." The druid didn't flinch. Wyatt sat on the bed, leaning back on his hands.
"You didn't know where the Nemeton was? You're a druid."
"Not all druids know these things. Some are more experienced-more powerful-than others."
If Chris were here, he would say this was utter BS and spend the whole year mistrusting the guy. But Wyatt got the sense that Dr. Deaton wanted to help these kids. He was their emissary, their other guide. But he was also a druid, an enemy of witches. Wyatt would work with him, for now.
"Now, I'll let you get settled in. Have you eaten?"
"Would you like some tea?"
"No, thank you."
"Then, good night." Dr. Deaton left. Instead of packing, Wyatt checked his phone. He had planned on scrolling through Halloween parties and use a spell to see which one was right. But there was only one party his charges could be at in this small town. A blacklight party in a loft.
Wyatt sighed. Here goes nothing.
As soon as history class ended, Scott rushed out of the room. He waited for Matthew to walk out and tapped him eagerly on the shoulder, a bit too eagerly because he almost pushed Matthew over. Good one, McCall.
"Oh I'm so sorry. Matthew right?"
He waved his arms like a bird trying to fly in a desperate attempt not to fall over. Scott bit down on his lip to stop himself from laughing. Matthew managed to right himself.
"Yeah, can I help you?"
He didn't look any different than any other boy his age. Better looking, sure, but nothing out of the ordinary. He wore regular clothes, except for a ring with a purple stone Scott noticed reflect light from a window. In class he hadn't said anything, just took notes like everyone else. But Scott remembered the scent.
"Um, yeah, could we, uh." Scott gestured that he should follow him. Matthew did. They made their way through the hallway into the music room. The room was empty, curtains drawn and lights off. Scott shut the door. Matthew didn't react beyond throwing his book bag down.
"I saw you, last night."
"At the party?"
"No, after. You killed those shadow creatures"
"Oh. Oh!" His eyes widened. "Right, Scott, is it?"
"I'm sorry." He held out his hand. "I should have introduced myself but I wasn't paying attention in class. I came in after attendance and I couldn't really remember what you looked like. I was going to look for you later today, but you're here, which is good." He shook his hand quickly and up and down.
"It's okay." Introduced himself?
"I'm Matthew, I mean you already knew that." He rubbed the back of his hair awkwardly. Scott smiled. He got that.
"And I am here to be your, um, guardian angel."
"My what?" Stiles was right? Well, first time for everything.
"Well there are different terms people use, but let's just keep it simple. Anyway, I have been assigned to watch over you and your pack for the next year, to guide and protect you in your fight against evil."
He was actually an angel. Scott was talking to an angel. He resisted the urge to cross himself. What did his old priest say about angels? Oh God, did he know Gabriel? Did he know God? He realized Matthew was still talking.
"Well technically the Oni aren't evil." Matthew stared off into space like he was remembering something. He shifted his weight from one foot to the other and back again. "They're Japanese spirits controlled by a master and have no will of their own." He took a couple steps to the piano and drummed his fingers on the top. "Traditionally they are summoned by kitsune, a Japanese fox spirit, to fight against other kitsune, usually dark kitsune or void. They have a name. I mean, of course they have a name. Nogitsune, I think that's what it's called. Feeds on chaos or fear or something." He tilted his head. His blonde hair fell into his eyes. He was kind of cute, in an angelic sort of way.
Scott rubbed his temple. He was getting a headache trying to keep all this straight. "Kitsune?" Fox spirit-oh no.
"Yeah. What we need to do is figure out who summoned them and why."
"Well so far they just touched my friends and left this weird symbol on their necks like a backwards 5. They felt really cold for a while, but now they're fine."
"Marking them for something. Doesn't sound too serious."
"And I think the girl I went to the party with is a kitsune. But she's really nice, I don't think she'd do anything."
"What's her name?"
"Kira. Her dad's our history teacher."
"Well kitsune are usually women, so I think that leaves him out. Does she have her mom? I mean, does she live with her mom?" Matthew scratched his head.
"Yeah. I don't know where she works."
"Tell you what, I'll check her out and look at Kira and see what I can find. The Oni can't be summoned during the day, and they're not hard to beat from what I saw. So I wouldn't worry that much. But just in case, let me look into it first, okay?"
"Okay, I guess." Not worry? Did he see-wait no of course he saw, he fucking killed the damn things. With energy.
"Did you tell anyone else about me, by the way?"
"Uh, no, just, my friend Stiles. And Derek saw you for a second."
"Stiles?" Matthew frowned. "Do you think I could speak with him?"
"He's at home right now. He's not feeling too well."
"Alright. Anyway, keep an eye out for anyone showing suspicious behavior. It could be possession, or enthrallment or something. They'll probably be mortal since mortals are easier to possess. Cool?"
Scott realized his mouth was hanging open. "Yeah." He didn't know what to ask considering he couldn't wrap his head around half the stuff this guy had said. He never felt so stupid and so out of the loop, and that included math.
"Cool. I have to go find out where my science class is. See you later." Matthew patted his shoulder, grabbed his bag and left the room before Scott could think of a reply. But what reply is there to guardian angel?
Of course he didn't notice Matthew had plucked a couple of hairs from his shirt.
It was the first time he had ever introduced himself to a charge, and really he shouldn't have had to do this for another 10 years, but still, could he have been anymore awkward? No wonder Scott looked at him funny. There he was going off about dark spirits and what not and this kid had never even seen a demon. At least he hadn't blown his cover.
The Beacon Hill High School lunchroom was crowded with people talking and eating. Wyatt usually sat outside or in the gym back at his old school. His friends would do a little practice on the baseball field if the weather was nice. But now he was at this new place with no one to sit with. No friends, no teammates, no family. Good thing he had a job to do.
Wyatt already knew there weren't any cameras in the school. (Apparently they had them, but they took them down. Small towns were quaint.) So Wyatt found an empty bathroom and orbed to the address he managed to find. The bathroom faded into a teenage boy's room. A few pieces of clothing and papers scattered the floor. Stiles, a skinny pale teenager with bags under his eyes and messy hair, stared at him with shining eyes. He had hoped Stiles was alone and was used to supernatural stuff by now.
"So do you have wings hidden under your jacket?"
A bit too used to supernatural stuff, apparently.
Stiles waved his arms around as he shot question after question at him. Maybe that's what having new witches as charges felt like. Maybe that's why Aunt Paige complained about one college student from years ago.
"Look." Wyatt sat at the edge of the bed. "I'm here to ask if you've seen anything weird lately. Unusual."
"Why, what's going on?"
"Possession?" If it was possible, Stiles paled even more. Wyatt mentally kicked himself.
"Don't worry, I've seen worse." No he hadn't, but he heard of worse.
"How do you know if you're possessed?"
"It depends on what's possessing you. But lapses in memory, strange behavior, nightmares-"
"I think I might be the one possessed."
Wyatt did not expect it to be that easy, in his family it never really was
"Well it might just be the ritual you performed. From what I was told, you, Scott and a girl named Allison were in an ice bath for several hours."
"There are much easier and less dangerous ways to find people. I understand why you did what you did, but next time something like that happens please just let me handle it. You were using magic you don't understand."
"Okay, next time we need to find the creepy magic tree you can lead the way with angelic bread crumbs."
"Thank you, I will." Wyatt was a Halliwell. He was no stranger to sarcasm.
"How can you tell if I'm possessed?"
"Well-" Wyatt nearly snapped his fingers. "You can give me a lock of your hair."
"It's not a full proof way, but it's the easiest. Just one lock of hair."
Stiles leaned back against the headboard of his bed. "Isn't giving your hair to magical creatures dangerous? Like you can use them to control them or make voodoo dolls or witchcraft something?"
Did this guy just compare witchcraft to fucking voodoo? Wyatt had half a mind to smack him.
"If I wanted to kill you, I could just do it with this." Wyatt summoned an energy ball into his hand. He gave Stiles a look. Stiles yanked out a piece of hair.
"Thank you. Now get some rest. I'll take care of things."
"Do you have a halo?"
"No, right now I'm playing mortal kombat though." Stiles gave him a weird look as he faded into light and Wyatt was back in the bathroom. It took him a few minutes to realize that Stiles wasn't talking about the video game.
"An angel." Mr. Argent looked through the camera in his car.
"It was when Derek and I were fighting the shadow creatures -the Oni," Scott said. He saw Allison and Isaac in the car as well. They were about to see a reclusive Yakuza crime lord to get information about the creatures Argent had saved his life from the Oni a while back. Scott and Lydia were in Scott's room skyping with them.
"His name is Matthew," Scott continued. "He's in my history class."
"Matthew?" Everyone turned to Allison. "I think I met him this morning."
"What did he say," Mr. Argent asked.
"Nothing really. He seemed like an ordinary guy."
"He said he was going to be here the next year. He was assigned or something. And he can kill these Oni."
Mr. Argent shrugged. "We can try it. But I'm not sure about this kid. I've never heard of anyone who's ever met any angel."
"Does anyone have any better ideas," Lydia asked. "There is apparently an evil fox spirit that feeds off chaos roaming the streets in someone else's body. If some guy knows how to stop them, he can claim to be a god for all I care." Scott bit back a comment about blasphemy.
"I think we should trust him," Allison said.
Mr. Argent sighed. "It's almost sunset."
"Where will we find them," Isaac asked.
"They're looking for someone possessed," Scott said. "They think it's one of us. If we all stay together tonight, they'll come looking. I haven't been marked yet."
"Where do we wait for them," Lydia asked.
"I have an idea," Scott replied. "My house."
The other talked about what to set up. Scott let his mind wander. Matthew said don't worry about Kira, he'd handle it. So he kept his mouth shut.
Deaton was still at work. He wouldn't be home until late, but he said Wyatt could help himself to whatever was in the fridge. No Mom or Chris there to make dinner, and the silence was slowly driving him insane. Wyatt just gave up and ate a baloney sandwich in front of the TV.
Everyone would be worried sick about him. No one, not even Chris knew where he was. Beacon Hills was only a two hour drive from San Francisco, but it felt father away from Heaven. But until his year was up he was stuck here, on the edge of civilization, working with Druids and werewolves and Goddess knows what else to eradicate a Japanese fox spirit. Being a witch sucked.
Wyatt checked the clock on the nightstand. Almost sundown. He shut the TV off and picked up the pad of writing paper he scribbled on earlier. He went into the guest bathroom and shut the door.
Left ajar for darkness to find
Now I close these doors
Protect the world of their minds
From evil evermore
Wyatt took out a lighter from his pocket and carefully burned the piece of paper. Next he burned the locks of hair he collected. He could feel his magic wafting out with the smoke of the flame.
Let his will be done.
His new phone beeped. Courtesy of Lilith, along with enough money for witch supplies and other essentials. He exchanged numbers with Stiles to keep his mind at ease, although he told him he could just call his name and he'll be there. Mortals and phones, whatever.
Everyone is going to Scott's house to wait out the Oni. You can go too.
He might as well meet everyone at once. Wyatt sipped in the air like it was a drink. He stared his reflection in the eye.
He a child of a Charmed One. The chosen wielder of Excalibur. The Twice Blessed witch. Any damn shifter or spirit who thought they could get the best of him had better think again.
Wyatt blew out the match. He smiled at himself.
I'll be right there Stiles. Just have to take care of something first.
Kira lay on her bed, texts books and papers lying on her floor. Instead of studying, she stared at the lightbulb in her hand. It glowed as if it was stuck in a lamp. The glass felt warm to her skin. Why could she do this? First her pictures showed a "fox" aura, and now she was a human battery. It was almost as if she were a kitsune from a mythology book. The sound of bells ringing shook her out of her thoughts. She turned around.
"Kira, is it?"
A boy around her age stood before her. A bright glow quickly faded around him. Her door had been locked, so were the windows . . . Kira threw the bulb. The boy ducked and the bulb shattered against the wall.
"Woah, easy." He held up his hands. "I just want to talk."
Kira scrambled off her bed. "Who are you?"
"My name is, is Matthew. I'm here to help you."
"What are you? How did you get in here?"
Matthew leaned against her desk. He gripped the edge of the table and stared out the window.
"Do you know what angels are?"
"Yeah. Angels. Divine messengers, feathery wings, harp, talk to prophets on hills and in caves."
"Well I'm nothing like that." He looked at her now. "I've never even played a harp. But I am here to help you. If you'll let me."
Kira let out a breath she hadn't realized she had been holding. "How?"
Matthew stared out the window again. "Tell me about the pictures," he said after a minute. "How did this all start?"
Scott paced his room. Allison, Isaac and Argent were still talking to the Yakuza boss. He had told them things that lined up with Matthew's story, although he was a lot more fatalistic. The way Matthew talked to Scott, it was like he had everything under control. Scott couldn't help but get his hopes up.
The door opened. Scott realized he hadn't clued his mom in. He ran down the hall only to find his dad standing in the kitchen. His laptop sat on the table.
"What are you doing here? And why do you still have a key?"
"Funny you mention keys. Because while I have a key to this house, I'm not exactly sure how you got a key to my office."
He spun the laptop around and a picture popped up of Scott and Kira.
No one said anything for a minute.
"Let me help you out here. This usually begins along the lines of it's not what you think or let me explain."
Scott glanced at the window. Almost sunset. "Dad, let me help you out. You need to leave."
"I will. With a satisfactory explanation."
"Go get a warrant." If he didn't even tell his mom for months, why the fuck would he tell him?
"I don't need a warrant. I'm your father."
"No you're a gene donor. I got my hair color from you and that's all I got." His mom walked in the door. "So you're not allowed to play tough dad with me."
He wasn't even angry, because what was that other than the truth?
"Hey," Mom said. "What's going on?"
His dad didn't move. "Maybe you should explain."
Where was Stiles when he needed him? Even if he couldn't think of an excuse he could think of something to say to distract him. Scott couldn't even think straight. All he could see were his dad's judgmental eyes on him.
"Maybe I just wanted to piss you off," he blurted out before he could stop himself. "Because the only time you ever give me the time of day is when you're yelling at me."
"So that's it, a cry for attention?"
"What-"his mom tried to cut in but Scott wouldn't let her.
"I've been crying, Dad. Crying for 6 fucking years. If you haven't cared then, what makes me think you ever will?"
His dad was taken back. His mom just stood there, not saying anything. He wish she didn't feel guilty like he knew she would-it wasn't her fault.
"No Rafe, you look. Stop pretending that you care about me. I could be lying here on the floor dying and you wouldn't give-"
"Scott." His mom pointed behind him. The Oni stood there, empty eyes staring at Scott. Maybe it was because of his anger, maybe because he had to protect his parents. Either way, Scott flashed his red eyes and let out a tiny growl.
The Oni glided towards him. Its katana was drawn. Scott clenched his fists. But before he could lunge at the damn thing, his dad stepped in front of him.
Scott watched as the Oni turned his attention to his dad. With a single move it sliced his father's chest. Blood seeped through his white shirt. Scott felt his breath get caught in his throat.
Then the Oni turned to him.
"I swear that's all I know." Kira clutched her comforter as she watched her guardian angel spin around in her desk chair. "I wish I could help."
"No, this is good, thank you." He leaned forward and clasped his hands as though for prayer. "I think I might know who the possessed person is. Then all I have to do is perform an exorcism and we're good."
"Okay." Kira nodded quickly.
"Now, one last question. Have told your parents any of this?"
"No." How could she tell them? She could barely ask her dad to buy her tampons at the store.
Matthew leaned back in the chair. "It'd probably be better not to. For now at least."
"So I'm a kitsune."
"Yes. Not that there's anything wrong with that."
"Cool. I have to go help Scott with some stuff, but I'll talk to you later."
"Okay. Oh, I don't have your number." Kira pulled out her phone. Matthew chuckled. "What?"
Suddenly the lights darkened. The sound of whips of mist echoed through the room. Kira jumped off the bed. Matthew yanked her arm and pulled her close to him.
"What's going on?"
Matthew opened his mouth to answer, but suddenly he gasped. A spirit, an Oni, had his neck in its fist. In a second, Matthew was released. He fell to the ground like a dead body. His twitching fingers were the only thing telling her he was alive.
The Oni turned to her. Its mask had no eyes, just holes of black. Kira tried to move, but her legs wouldn't-couldn't-listen to her. The Oni hesitated a second, then grasped her neck as well. Her body turned to ice, to darkness. It let her go, and she fell too. She fell right next to Matthew, and saw the kanji on his neck.
Deaton had done the job well. The house was fortified against any supernatural creature. That also meant he, Derek and the twins were trapped inside, but still. The Oni paced around the perimeter of the house, looking for any weaknesses.
The twins guarded the front door. They still insisted that they should join Scott's pack. Scott wasn't sure. They had been brought up in an abusive pack and "rescued" by Deucalion. If left to their own devices, they wouldn't likely kill anyone. But when they hadn't been left to their own devices, they killed the boy who had sat next to him freshman year of English and drew sketches of anime. They killed the girl who visited his mom in the hospital and stole all the pens. Scott couldn't forget that. Nor could he forget they wanted to join him more out of protection than comradery. Could he trust them?
Derek lounged in a chair near the door. He looked more bored than anything else. Angels did not impress him. Scott was impressed that he had been following him around all day without him knowing about it. When this was over he needed register for some Alpha classes or something.
His parents were in the living room. His mom was trying to stop the bleeding. He could hear his dad asking for him, saying he had to tell him something. Scott tried to shut out the words. This wasn't happening. This wasn't the time.
"Where did Dad go," he asked, 10 years old and too young to understand what drunk was. His mom blinked hard. Her eyes were red.
"He left, sweetie. He left."
"When is he coming back?"
He went to his abuela's that weekend. When he came back, his dad's things were packed in boxes and shipped somewhere else.
He didn't get to come back and pretend nothing happened. He didn't have the right to discipline him or give him that look. That was his mother's look.
The shattering of glass drew Scott out of his thoughts. An Oni had broken through the window. Derek and the twins moved to stand in front of him. Betas guarding their alpha.
"Guys, don't." They turned to him. "Don't try to stop them. It's okay."
Aiden tried to say something, but Derek moved him out of the way. He nodded at Scott. Ethan stepped aside.
The Oni moved like mist. Scott stood his ground, not moving, not fighting, not running. He wouldn't let anyone die for him, ever.
One Oni moved to him. It touched his neck. Scott's breath escaped his lungs. His muscles shut down, and the floor rose up to catch him.
Wyatt threw himself on his new bed. Talk about baptism by fire. One day here and he already had a dark chaos spirit and a bunch of clueless teenagers to deal with. At least he didn't have to give any grand speeches about destiny. It seems they already were fighting evil by their own free will, without any Elders forcing them to. Made his job easier. Still, he wished his family was here. He never thought he would have to fight alone.
There was a knock on the door.
Dr. Deaton opened the door. "I heard you had a run-in with the Oni."
Wyatt pointed to his neck. "Not exactly what I planned for my first tattoo."
He chuckled. "I'm going to have to leave tomorrow for a couple days. There's money for food. You have my number if you need me."
"Where are you going?" He had never been allowed to have the house to himself. Even a few months ago when his parents went to some hotel one weekend he had to stay with Aunt Phoebe. Wow, a whitelighter and an adult. He was growing up.
"It's just to get some things I think we may need." Wyatt didn't ask him to elaborate. They both had their secrets.
"Cool. Promise not to do cocaine in the bathroom and stuff."
"Much appreciated. Good night."
He wouldn't do drugs. That being said, a little witchcraft wasn't out of the question . . .
Even though they had almost been killed today and an evil fox spirit was on the loose, for some reason Allison felt better than she had in a while. Like everything was going to be okay. Like she wouldn't have nightmares tonight. At the traffic light she squeezed her dad's hand. He smiled at her.
Things were looking up.
Scott went with his parents to the hospital. His dad was going to be fine, just fine. So he went to go find Stiles. His mom had given him something to help him sleep. He followed his scent to an empty operating room. Stiles was facing away from him.
"Hey Stiles? You okay?"
He turned around. "Yeah. What's been going on?" He followed Scott into the hallway.
"My dad was stabbed by the Oni. He's going to be okay."
"That's what they're called. Anyway, I feel bad because right before that I yelled at him and then he got stabbed trying to protect me."
"Don't feel bad. It wasn't your fault." Stiles patted him on the shoulder. "It's his fault. He left you. He abandoned you."
"Hell, what's to say he won't find a way to blame you for this, huh? His 'screwed up excuse for a son.' You don't need him." Stiles smiled. "You have me."
"Yeah." Scott didn't say anything else as they took Stiles' jeep home. He was too drained to think. About Kira, about the angel, about the spirit, about his dad, anything. Stiles respected that. He was such a good friend. And he was right.
They did have each other.