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32; The Search

Miles and miles of desert and still El felt no closer to finding Derek. Her entire body felt rigid with nerves. How had she not noticed he was missing- taken? If he hated her for not noticing sooner she would understand. If they didn't find him so that he could express how much he hated her then El would hate herself more than she already did.

"The way you look they'll never let us back over the border," Paul commented and El could tell he was only trying to lighten the mood. But his inability to sound anything but condescending failed to lift her spirits.

"You look like you've committed a crime."

The crime of being a terrible friend.

"Elie... don't worry- Derek's probably off having a margarita somewhere talking to some pretty Mexican girl with an accent. Totally alive and everything."

She made a face, "are you even human? You seriously are incapable of being empathetic."

Paul grit his teeth together as he followed closely behind the blue jeep. "When you've done the things I have you begin to forget."

"What kinds of things?"

He flashed her an impossibly sweet smile, "do you want to talk about me or do you want to rescue your lost puppy? Because we're here."

As Paul came to a stop, El looked out the tinted window. She could see dirt stretching out to the horizon as the sun beat down on the small, quaint town. People moved along the dusty road giving her strange looks as they passed while whispering in their native tongue.

"Where is here?"

He pushed up his sunglasses as he dusted off his jacket. "Somewhere you don't want to be for long."

"You said you knew how to get there, right?" Stiles asked for the millionth time as he got out of his Jeep.

"I did."

"So are you going to tell us?"

"Stilinski, would I willingly drag your annoying ass all the way to Mexico if I wasn't?"

Stiles blinked and gaped in the way he did when he didn't have a retort of wittiness. "I guess not, no."

"So shut up for five seconds and let me speak."

Malia quickly came to Stiles's side and let out a low growl. Paul moved his glare towards her, but it had softened. "Don't make me snap at you too, beauty."

El hummed a laugh at Stiles's shocked expression. "Beauty?" He repeated and looked over his shoulder towards Malia and then to Paul and then back to Malia. "Did he just call her b-"

"Can you please just tell us how to get to the Calaveras." Scott interrupted with no defined expression. El looked at him with less hesitation since they all had diverted their attention to him.

"Can I just remind you that this is a terribly bad idea?" Paul said as he fished for his wallet in his back pocket.

Lydia nodded, "I agree."

"If only they were half as smart as you, Red." Her brother muttered and drew two cards with the imprint of a skull from his wallet. "Don't lose it," he extended his arm out for Stiles to take it but then decided better of it and gave it to Lydia instead.

"We're going to split up from here. El, Scott, Kira, Malia and myself will go in first. You and Lydia will go in a while after. Until then try not to piss off the locals."

Kira was quick to go to Scott's side and El shifted her gaze away. "But Malia is coming with me," Stiles declared and grabbed a hold of her hand. The werecoyote was confused as ever as she examined their entwined hands.

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