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The Hounds of Hell

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THEN

The Gwyllgi paced restlessly in the shadows of Nemeton, growing more and more frustrated. Its descendents weren’t going to be enough to protect the world from this storm. They had taken too many wrong turns along Fate’s design to survive what was coming. Try as they might, the werewolves wouldn’t be enough to stop the Beast of Gévaudan when it regained its full power.

The Gwyllgi growled in irritation. Why did it always feel so compelled to clean up after the errors of others? One of these centuries it was going turn its back on this god forsaken world and leave them all to their ruin.

But not this century.

The Gwyllgi leaned back against the great tree, closed its eyes, and sought out the perfect vessel. It needed a warrior both smart and cunning, one who could wield its power with strength as well as purpose. Usually, like most unearthly hounds, the Gwyllgi claimed its hosts from amongst the recently deceased, but this time it felt like justice would best be served through the hands of one related to the source of this tragedy.

Yes, the Gwyllgi grinned, displaying its sharp teeth. The Argents would pay doubly for the pain they had wrought upon the Gwyllgi’s descendents.

= = =

Allison pulled herself from the lightning-scorched earth of her gravesite with all the strength reborn to her through the Gwyllgi’s possession. Death was her captor no more.

NOW

Allison is unsurprised to find one of her kin, hanging about her friends in the guise of a Sheriff’s deputy. She keeps to the shadows and watches as he steals body after body of the disgusting hybrids, carrying them all to the Nemeton, in an attempt to hide what’s coming from the mundane world.

It won’t work, but it’s adorable that he’s trying.

While Cerberus’ hound sees to the messy horror that is the Dread Doctors’ work, Allison prepares for the battle ahead. Or, at least, she tries to.

Allison spends more time than she knows she should watching her friends. She can’t help it. She misses them. There’s an ache inside her where her heart used to beat and in it she can hear Lydia’s laughter and Stiles’ sarcasm, she can feel her mother and father’s arms around her, and most of all, she can taste Scott’s kiss.

She tries not to feel jealous that he’s moved on, but it’s hard. He was her first real love, her truest love. Her soul still longs for him.

It’s because of those feelings that she nearly reveals herself too soon in a doomed attempt to save Scott’s life in the library. Only the sure knowledge that the world will fall if she does not choose her moment correctly stops her. She forces herself to fade back into her shadows and meditate on the fact that she is alive to save everyone, not just Scott.

= = =

The Beast of Gévaudan awakens and Allison struggles not to interfere.

She has to pick her moment or they’ll lose everything. The loss of one town is nothing in the scope of the world. And if she thought Scott was a distraction, seeing her father around town is utter torture.

“You can’t protect him,” she reminds herself, sinking back into the darkness after watching him call in the mass grave. “You can’t protect any of them.”

= = =

While Scott’s pack fights the Beast at the high school, Allison lies in wait at the Sheriff’s station. She watches the dead deputy go inside to turn in his badge and waits a beat before leaving her shadows to break into his car. When he returns she’s more than ready for him.

As he slides into the driver’s seat, Allison rises up from the floor of the back seat and presses a dagger to his throat. “Don’t move.”

“Do it,” he says, resigned.

“And start a fire?” Allison says. “I don’t think so.”

That gets his attention. “Who are you? What do you want?”

“I am your kin,” Allison whispers in his ear. “I am the Dog of Darkness, the Black Hound of Destiny. I am the Gwyllgi. And right now, I need your help to destroy the Beast of Gévaudan.”

The deputy tilts his head ever so slightly, his eyes burning with hell’s flames as he meets her gaze in the rearview mirror. “What do you require of me?”

Allison smiles.

= = =

Lydia finds them in Derek’s abandoned loft – which has served as Allison’s base of operations these past few months – while Allison is outlining her plan to Parrish. It shouldn’t surprise her, but it does.

“Jordan, wha–” Lydia freezes as her eyes find Allison’s.

“Hello, Lydia,” Allison says.

“You’re not real,” Lydia says, shaking her head as she instinctively takes a step back towards the elevator. “You can’t be.”

“Lydia?” Parrish asks, concerned. Allison stops him from taking a step forward with a hand on his forearm.

“I am real. And I’m here to help,” Allison says.

“How?” Lydia whispers. Her eyes are bright with both fear and unshed tears and it breaks Allison’s heart.

“It’s complicated. And right now I really don’t have time to explain, but –”

“No,” Lydia says, blinking away her fear and tears. “No, you don’t get to come back and not explain. What’s going on, Allison?”

Allison sighs and closes her eyes. This is not how she wanted things to go.

“Show her,” the hellhound beside her says.

And Allison does, because at the end of it all, the only thing that really matters is stopping the Beast.

= = =

The Dread Doctors are high on their victory at the school. The Beast is a marvel to them, an experiment they control and watch with growing delight. Like a nogitsune, they are hungry for chaos and pain. They never stop to think that the Beast will not protect them the way they protected it.

Allison smiles as she rips them apart with her claws. Never again. These monsters will never defile the blood of her descendents again.

When her anger is satisfied, she has Parrish burn their remains to ash.

= = =

Lydia tells the others. Allison wouldn’t expect her to do anything less. Still, it’s inconvenient.

“Allison?” Scott calls, voice devastated as he steps into the loft.

“Allison, please,” her father begs brokenly, joining Scott.

“You should go to them,” Parrish says, standing beside her in the deep shadows above the staircase. “I would.”

“Then you are weak,” Allison says, clenching her fists as she watches her heart’s dearest desires search and call out for her. “I can’t go to them. Not until this is over. Not until the Beast is dead.”

“You know, they want to save the boy.”

“That’s not possible.”

Parrish shrugs. “You could try.”

Scott and her father linger in the apartment for nearly four hours waiting for her to return. They only leave because Liam calls with a lead on Corey and Mason.

= = =

It’s a bad plan. Allison should listen to her instincts and let the boy die. If she can’t fight to save her friends, she shouldn’t fight to save a stranger. But she also knows if they manage it, the Beast will be weaker. More vulnerable.

Allison and Parrish watch from the warehouse’s shadows as Scott’s pack and his allies – Braeden, the Sheriff, her father, and, strangely, Gerard – fight the hybrid pack for control of Mason. More than once, Allison has to restrain both herself and Parrish from running to their aid, but it’s imperative that they remain hidden until the Beast appears. They cannot do anything while it remains safely cocooned within the human teenager.

Malia and Liam go down first. Then Hayden gets taken out trying to defend them from the kanima hybrid. Stiles soon follows while protecting Lydia’s back from the hybrid pack’s leader with nothing more than a wolfsbane and mountain ash infused metal bat. He’s always been too brave for his own good, Allison thinks, biting her lip as he screams.

“Stiles!” the Sheriff shouts, breaking formation to go to his son.

Allison’s father curses and tries to fill the gap, but Deucalion is quick to pounce. Only Braeden’s swift reaction saves him from taking what could have easily been a fatal blow.

“They need us,” Parrish says.

“Not yet,” Allison says.

“They’re going to die!”

“I know,” Allison says, with all the sorrow that thought brings her. “But we can’t lose our only advantage. We have to wait for the Beast.”

Parrish growls in frustration, but he remains by her side.

They watch Deucalion and the kanima hybrid fall, but just as Scott’s pack starts to rally with Malia unsteadily regaining her feet, a ferocious roar rips through the air causing everyone to freeze. At last, the Beast has arrived.

“Now?” Parrish asks, his skin already starting to smolder.

“Now,” Allison agrees, pulling a silver tipped arrow from her quiver and nocking it.

The hellhound bursts forth from the shadows, eager to tear into their quarry, and Allison follows in his wake. She aims for the Beast’s arms and legs, looking to disable rather than seriously wound. The Beast flashes its teeth at her, but its focus is mostly on the hellhound. It doesn’t see her as anything more than irritation. Good.

“Allison, look out!” Lydia yells.

Allison spins, ducks, and looses an arrow straight into the hybrid pack leader’s throat. Then she puts another in his stolen heart just to make sure he stays down.

“Argent!” Parrish roars from where he’s got the Beast temporarily pinned in a headlock.

Allison drops her bow and quiver and starts running full on towards them. Ignoring the cries of her friends and father, she takes a deep breath and calls on the Gwyllgi’s power. With as much strength as she can muster in this form, she thrusts her right hand into the Beast’s chest, closes her fist and pulls.

The Beast’s anchor is blood deep, but it’s not complete. Before anyone really realizes what’s going on, Allison rips her hand free from the teenager’s chest and hurtles the shadowy form of the Beast into the closest wall.

“He needs medical attention,” Parrish shouts, wrapping his human arms around the boy to keep him from face planting on the warehouse floor. Though the gaping chest wound went with the Beast, the arrows remain embedded in the human boy’s limbs.

The Beast howls in outrage as it slowly regains its feet.

Allison smirks as she turns to face the Beast again. If it’s a fight the Beast wants then she will gladly give it. Closing her eyes, she lets the Gwyllgi’s power completely wash over and through her, changing her shape into something that resembles a huge black mastiff with blazing red eyes. Throwing back her head she howls her challenge.

The Beast comes straight at her, confident its shadows will keep Allison from striking anything vital. Allison bares her teeth in a savage parody of a grin. No shadow can deny her call.

Dodging to the side, she lets out a deep resounding bark and banishes the Beast’s shadows. The Beast snarls and turns to swipe at her. Allison dodges again, then quickly darts in and sinks her fangs into one of the Beast’s legs.

The Beast roars and rakes it claws along her back, but Allison just digs in harder, reveling in the blood that fills her mouth. She hasn’t felt this alive in more than a thousand years.

Suddenly, Parrish is by her side, his skin hot enough to incinerate most mortal entities, and Allison pulls back so he can get his hands on the Beast. Together they tear into the Beast with claws and fangs and a power it cannot match. It doesn’t take long for the Beast to fall and shift back into what is left of Sebastien Valet.

“A-attendez. S’il te plait,” the dying man begs as he struggles to get away.

“Non,” Allison says, the instant she’s shifted back. Pulling a specially crafted dagger, similar to the tip of Marie-Jeanne’s pike, from her belt. She spins the dagger once before gripping the handle tight and slamming it down into Valet’s heart. The man’s eyes go wide and his mouth opens, but no sound comes out.

"Nous protégeons ceux qui ne peuvent pas se protéger eux-mêmes. Nous ne les chassons pas," Allison says, releasing her hold on the blade and stepping back. “Burn it,” she says to Parrish.

The hellhound nods and stretches a hand out towards the body, which immediately ignites with hell fire. It is an enormously satisfying thing to watch.

“Allison,” her father says, causing her to turn. “What…?”

He’s bleeding and pale and she wants to go to him, but she has one last task to complete before she can rest.

Shifting her gaze to Gerard she steps into Parrish’s shadow and reemerges from Gerard’s just a step behind him. Taking a second dagger from her belt, she wraps one hand around his throat to pull him against her and plunges the dagger into his chest with the other.

“Allison, no!” Scott shouts.

“For my descendents,” Allison says, twisting the blade deeper. “Talia Hale should have torn your throat out with her teeth the moment you set foot in her territory.”

Gerard’s body shudders and spasms once in her arms, before she releases her hold and watches it fall dead at her feet. Good riddance.

Her father looks from Gerard’s body to her. “W-why?” he asks.

“For the same reason you helped track down and kill Kate: he had to be stopped. Now the cycle can end and we can heal.”

“What are you?”

Allison licks her lips and prays her father will understand. “I am Allison Argent. And I am the Gwyllgi, Canine Companion to Fate and Defender of Humanity. I am both, but one. United, not separate. Dad, I am,” she shrugs, “me.”

She didn’t mean to start crying, but now that she has, she can’t seem to stop. She wants to go to her dad so badly, but he looks terrified of her. She takes a step towards him anyway, intent on showing him she’s still his little girl, but stops when he takes a matching step back.

No.

“I’m sorry,” she says, choking back a sob as she unconsciously pulls the warehouse’s shadows around her, using them to withdraw so she can avoid the rejection she knows is coming. “I’m so sorry.”

= = =

Instinctively she goes to the loft. And then to her gravesite. And then to the Nemeton. Her purpose is fulfilled and now she doesn’t know what to do with herself. She’s not alive, not really, but she’s not dead either.

She sits down and leans back against the severed trunk and just lets herself cry until she runs out of tears. If things were different, she’d want to go back to being a teenager and having what passes for a normal life in Beacon Hills, but she knows that’s not possible.

Maybe, she thinks as she stares up at the stars, she should find Derek and Cora and let them know their family has finally been avenged. Maybe bringing peace to them will help bring peace to her. She doubts it, but since she can’t stay here, she might as well go.

= = =

Five days after she’s defeated the Beast and saved the world, Allison finds herself stepping out of the shadows and into Stiles’ hospital room. It’s dark and incredibly late, but Stiles still turns to face her as soon as she appears.

“Hi,” he says.

“Derek said you wanted to talk,” Allison says, taking a seat in the chair by his bed. Apparently, even though Derek is now making a life for himself with Cora’s pack in South America, he still stays in semi-regular touch with Stiles. Go figure.

“Yeah, how are you?”

“Fine. Are you okay?”

Stiles looks at the empty space where the lower half of his left arm should be and shrugs. “No. But at least I lived.” He swallows. “Liam, Corey, and Tracy didn’t.”

“I’m sorry,” Allison says, because she doesn’t know what else to say.

Stiles reaches out with his remaining hand and Allison takes it. “Larger stakes. Parrish explained and I understand. I do.”

“Sometimes I don’t,” she says, looking down.

They stay quiet for a long moment, just holding hands and taking comfort in the company of each other. It’s nice.

“Hey,” Stiles says, finally breaking the silence. “You should go see your dad. He’s losing his mind a little not knowing where you are.”

“He doesn’t want to see me.”

Stiles squeezes Allison’s hand, getting her to look at him. “I guarantee you he does.”

= = =

Allison finds her father the next day, standing by her gravesite, staring at the stone she’s never taken the opportunity to read. He looks bad. His right arm is in a sling, there are dark circles under his eyes, and it’s clear he hasn’t eaten in days.

“Dad,” she says.

He turns. “Allison?”

She nods.

He smiles and holds out his arm and Allison rushes to his side. He pulls her close and kisses the top of her head. “Please don’t ever disappear like that again.”

Allison clings and nods against his shoulder. “I promise.”

= = =

“What now?” Parrish asks her, over coffee, two weeks after the demise of the Beast.

“I don’t know,” Allison says. Which isn’t entirely true. As the Gwyllgi she can see much of what is to come, so long as it doesn’t directly involve her. “I suppose we carry on living.”

“But…” Parrish trails off, looking at his mug. “We’re dead.”

“And yet, here we are,” Allison says. “Sitting in my father’s new apartment, drinking his coffee.”

“You know that’s not what I meant.”

“You want me to spout some sage advice? Tell you how to live your life now? Tell you it’s all going to be okay? Because I won’t, I can’t, and it’s not,” Allison says, setting her mug down on the coffee table before turning to fully face Parrish, who’s seated on the couch beside her.

“We aren’t human anymore and we have to make our peace with that. How do you think I feel? This town was my home before I died. Scott – the love of my life – still doesn’t know what to do with me and I doubt he ever will.” Which hurts in way she’d never known she could hurt.

“Not to mention my family’s entire legacy is killing werewolves and yet, now that I am the being that birthed them, I understand that they were created to help protect this world. Just the thought of hunting them makes me sick to my soul.”

Allison reaches out and places a hand on Parrish’s arm. “Things are fucked up, but that doesn’t mean we stop caring or stop trying.”

Parrish closes his eyes. “I don’t know who I am anymore,” he confesses.

“That’s easy,” Allison says. “You are Jordan Parrish and a hound of Cerberus. You can be whoever you want to be.”

AFTER

Beacon Hills isn’t the same after the Beast. How can it be when the whole town knows about the supernatural? Somehow, though, life goes on.

Allison goes back to school and hardly anyone bats an eye. Parrish leaves. Scott’s pack mourns their losses and continues to protect Beacon Hills from whatever the Nemeton draws their way. Not that it’s ever anything worse than the occasional omega or wendigo.

After taking down the Alpha Pack, a Nogitsune, a Berserker tribe, the Dread Doctors, the Beast of Gévaudan, and the Desert Wolf, Scott’s pack has acquired a reputation that keeps most of the riffraff away.

Sometimes, though, Allison can’t help but wish that things were different – that she never died, that she never lost Scott, that her friends never knew the true horrors of suffering. Sometimes she even wishes that the Gwyllgi had never chosen her.

But she keeps caring and she keeps trying and most days that's enough.