Everyone was out. Derek sent everyone ahead, going back one last time to make sure no one had been left behind.
He stepped over countless bodies distributed in the wake of battle, fights still lingering around him. Derek searched for anyone he knew, anyone he could still save.
His gaze stopped on a face he’d seen only one, pixelated and blurred. His heart thumped unevenly in his chest.
"Quentin," he breathed, falling to his knees beside his body. There was nothing he could do for him. His eyes stared cold and empty towards the sky, beneath thick glasses. His body felt warm but stiff.
Derek gently took the glasses from his face, sliding his eyes shut before putting them on again, making sure they were even. This was a man who’d betrayed everything he knew for them, and they’d gotten him killed.
He was sick of people dying.
With the strength only an alpha wolf could possess, he slung Quentin’s lifeless body over his shoulder. A handle fell from his lifeless hand, and for a moment, Derek contemplated it before taking it up in his other arm. He carried his body towards an area more clear of carnage, near the center of the square, and laid him down, arranging him on his back so that he could almost be sleeping.
If people slept with their arms over their chest, that is.
He fixed down his hair and readjusted his glasses, coughing slightly. He had no idea what to say, what to do. He hadn’t known Quentin, not really. Only a single conversation tied them together.
And yet… he represented something bigger than either of them alone. He represented the bridge between two worlds, and the willingness to try.
He never deserved this.
Derek knelt next to Quentin’s body, bringing out the singular other weapon he’d managed to salvage from his home. This deserved sentiment - value. Things Derek didn’t have in abundance. But Quentin would be remembered, and Derek would send him off as best he could.
He placed the handle between Quentin’s folded hands, rising again and looking down. He looked like a king of old - all that was missing was a boat and velvet robes.
"Thank you," he said quietly, because that was the most important thing he could offer, and then he closed his eyes, a moment of silence for a fallen soldier as he slung Quentin’s bag over his shoulder.
He opened them just in time.
A rebel girl fell to her knees, her throat slashed open and bleeding, and the man behind her was him.
As he ran closer, he could spot the differences - the softer jaw, the rounded nose. But from afar… the man was Derek. A doppelganger. A memory flashed before his eyes, of Stiles, bruised and bloodied and crying as someone took yet another piece of innocence away. Of the face that grinned behind him.
Derek snarled, and the other looked up, a smile slowly etching it’s way across his face.
"I thought I might see you!" the other shouted, twirling the still-bloodied knife in his hand. Derek brought his own out to the fore - dropping Quentin’s bag with the promise to go back for it later and wondering bleakly how similar this man truly was to himself. Derek was brilliant with a blade, but if he was too, it would not be an easy fight.
Though this man seemed like one to play with his food, Derek preferred to stay silent in battle. He leaped, swiping out with his blade as the other backed away, laughing. The man lunged and Derek arched away, using his fist to send a blow to the other’s face.
When the bruise didn’t heal, the man looked at him, appraising suddenly. “An alpha, huh?” His grin turned feral. “It will be my pleasure to inherit your pack.”
Derek snarled, and the man darted back, laughing maniacally. He wanted so many things - to make him feel every pain Stiles had felt, to slit his throat like he did to the girl he did not know but mourned for, because they’d all worked for the same thing. He couldn’t make him hurt the way Stiles had, but he could do this for him, and for the girl.
He could kill. It always came back to what he was best at, didn’t it?
When the other lunged for him, Derek was prepared. He was in the mindset of a killer, now - a place that, once he left to it, was hard to leave unless his prey was dead. As a born wolf, his instincts were sharp, more piercing and intuitive than that of someone bitten. He and the wolf were as separate as they were whole, and in that moment, he gave in to the movements of the animal, keeping his mind free for strategy.
"Gonna kill me?" The man asked as they circled, neither baring throat or back to the other. Derek smiled, small and cruel, but the Capitol man only laughed. He hadn’t realized how truly dangerous Derek could become.
"He was good, you know," the other said, casually, dodging a blow and taking another in rapid succession, but remaining upright. "Your bitch. Hot and tight. Might ask for another go with him after we’re - "
Derek interrupted him with a punch to the windpipe, causing him to reel backwards, coughing. He went in for the kill, but the knife came out once more, and he sprang away, circling once more.
"You don’t like that, do you? Me talking about him." The Capitol man’s smiles were all feral, as if the animal inside him had already taken over. He was clearly insane, the way so many in the Capitol were. Someone other than Derek might have pitied him for that.
Instead, he let his leg fly out to the man’s chest, using the speed only his alpha title could have given him to get behind him before he fell, pressing the blade to his throat.
"I don’t," Derek replied, the first words he’d said to the man the entire fight. "And now you’re going to die for it."
He slid the knife through the other man’s throat at the same time a small, dull pain struck him in the side.
Even as he frowned, trying to figure out what had happened, he instinctively brought his blade through the man’s windpipe, making sure that it would be an injury his healing could not catch up with. Pain flared out from what had started as a dull ache, and he dropped the man’s body, only barely managing to sheathe his own blade before he fell to his knees.
The voice was vaguely familiar - a wolf he’d met on the crafts, maybe? - but unrecognizable. His mind felt fuzzy, suddenly, like he’d been dropped on his head. “Derek!” The voice called out again, this time close to him.
He turned at the sound, mouth falling open in surprise. The voice - Jon, his fuzzy mind supplied - was next to him now, a hand on his shoulder, helping him to his feet. He stumbled, bleary, almost distant from his surroundings. Quentin’s bag was still in his hands - Jon took it and slung it over his own shoulder.
"We have to get out of here," Jon said, carrying almost half of Derek’s weight as he blindly shuffled forward. "The hovers are leaving in five."
Derek tried to pick up the pace, but it was practically futile. Each few steps seemed heavier than the last - it felt like he was sinking, a pinprick in his side at every jostle. He let his free hand wander down his body to the source of the confusion, pulling out a sharp, clear dart. It had once been full, but seemed empty, now - the only thing that remained was a trace of blue liquid that hadn’t quite emptied itself.
The hovercraft loomed over them, but Derek was transfixed by the weapon in his hand. That bastard, he thought hazily, and before Jon could get him to a chair, he collapsed, a groan of ‘wolfsbane' leaving his lips before the world went dark.