23 February 2013 @ 10:39 pm
Prompt: #072 Loyalty  
Title: “Ch Ch Cha changes “
Pairing/Characters: Adam Lambert/Brad Bell, Neil Lambert, Leila Lambert, Lee Cherry, Monte Pitman, OMCs
Rating/Content: R / Minor character death, were on were violence
Word Count: 22 x 100
Beta reader(s): the awesome @aislinntlc

Author's note: This is back story for my series All the Little ‘Weres Asleep in their Den This story takes places 10 years before Adam and Tommy meet. Adam and family (blood and heart) are werewolves. You don’t need to have read any of the existing stories in the series to understand this one.



***

"Challenge!"

The word echoed around the room, cutting through the grief that saturated the air, startling everyone.

"What?" Leila asked, her voice rough with heartache.

Wolves shifted, making space for a short, light skinned he-wolf to step forward. The smell of confusion and anger wove through the crowd as he spoke. "I challenge the cub for leadership of the pack."

"No," Leila said, her hair obscuring her sorrow as she shook her head. "My husband just died. You can't ask for this now."

There was a soft sound from beside her. "He can," Lee said. "Eber’s death changes everything."

***

Adam heard everything: the low growls and high yips, the unspoken pain of a pack without a leader. He could smell their grief thick in his nose; taste it at the back of his throat.

His father was dead. Their Alpha had been killed, neck torn open, by a pack of wolves who should never have been in their territory; should never have been on American soil. The invaders had lost, but the pack bled.

Neil knelt across from Adam, both of them staring at the bloody form of the wolf who had -- who would always be their father.

***

"Adam--" Lee’s hand was warm on Adam's shoulder. "Challenge has been called. What do you answer?"

Adam looked up, confused. They had wounded to deal with, borders to check, children to comfort. Children to comfort.

"We need --"

Lee squeezed Adam’s shoulder. "The challenge."

Adam tossed his head, tears spilling across his cheeks. He couldn’t think past the hole in his chest. But he had to. He was Eber’s heir. With Eber dead, Adam had to hold the pack together. The pack was his responsibility. But he wouldn’t be their leader until he’d faced any and all challengers.

***

Standing, Adam turned to face the circle of wolves around him. His elders and crèche-mates looked back at him, but too many faces were missing.

The 70+ wolves standing represented the WeHo, Burbank, Santa Monica and Inglewood packs. There should have been double that number but the Akamai Ōokami, demon wolves, lap dogs of the Yakuza, had torn a huge hole in their ranks before discovering that the Wolves of LA were not an easy target.

Hi legs shaking, blood seeping from a gash on his back and cuts on his arms, Adam fell back on ritual. "Who calls challenge?"

***

“I call the challenge,” the pale wolf answered. Adam watched him step out of the crowd, a handful of wolves at his back, and fought back a snarl.

Of course it was Malcolm Bres. The he-wolf was a rogue who’d tried to claw his way through the Anaheim and Burbank packs but found himself out on the streets each time. He’d only beaten the Alpha of the Topanga pack because Henri had pancreatic cancer. They all knew Henri had been planning to step down in favor of his niece. Shanda had disappeared a month after Malcolm took over the pack.

***

“He’s scum, Adam.” Monte stepped up beside Adam. “He kept his strongest wolves out of the fight and sent the dissenters and weaker wolves to die.”
“I know.”

“He refused to help rescue Inglewood’s trapped pups or allow his doctor to help with our wounded.”

“I know,” Adam said again. Everything Monte said was true-; that didn’t change the path ahead.

“He’s not worth your blood. The Lambert clan has given enough this week!"

Adam put a hand on Monte’s arm hoping his friend would understand how grateful he was for his support. “You’re right. But is there another choice?”

***

“This is insane.” Brad tugged Adam toward him, fear and exhaustion etched into his face. “You can barely stand up. You’ve been fighting for days!”

Adam pressed his head to Brad’s forehead without a word and breathed in his lover’s scent. There was nothing to say. They were all exhausted. Short on food and sleep, too many injured, too many dead. Nothing changed the fact that the pack, and its life, now fell to Adam.

He tilted his head, kissing Brad’s lips softly before stepping away. With a deep breath Adam looked up and around at the wolves around him.

***

“Malcolm Bres, Alpha of the Topanga pack, I Adam Lambert, heir and Alpha designate of the West Hollywood pack accept your challenge."

A growl of approval rippled through the gathered wolves then cut off as someone shouted, “Let me through!”

After a moment of confusion, the wall of wolves parted to let a middle aged she-wolf pass.

Malcolm shifted form part way before one of his lieutenants caught his arm and whispered something to him. Malcolm snarled and pulled away, but held his form mid-way between human and wolf; his tail thrashing behind him as he turned on the she-wolf.

***

“You have no voice here, bitch,” Malcolm barked.

“I have more voice than you, betrayer. You took what was not yours.”

“I won the pack in open combat.”

“And killed more than you had a right to.” The she-wolf took a step into the circle and addressed Adam. “I am Destra Gomez, sister and beta to Alpha Henri Gomez.” She raised a hand and pointed at Malcolm. “He killed my daughter Shanda, heir to Topanga.”

Malcolm snorted. “Bitch was a sore loser and a lousy lay. Slipped out of bed when we were through, took herself off to softer pastures.”

***

Snarls echoed through the room and the smell of rage filled the air. Adam could feel the collected wolves fighting their instincts to shift.

“You should learn to hide your kills better.” Beside Destra a young he-wolf, a crèche-mate of Adam’s, unwrapped a bundle revealing a pelt that Adam remembered from high school. The fur was dark brown with black “socks”, and used to curl as it dried.

“Topanga disavows Malcolm Bres as Alpha and leader and requests that the council of Alpha’s honor our demands that he be removed from our territory and banned from Los Angeles County permanently.”

***

“Shanda was my friend,” Adam said softly, his eyes still on the blood encrusted pelt. “I’ll honor her pack and fight in their name as well, if they’ll have me.”

“Done, Alpha,” Destra said.

Around them, wolves whispered, the mix of opinions obvious from the smells spiraling through the air.

Adam shifted, black and gold fur flowing out of his skin, over his bones. His jaw elongated and he dropped with a soft huff onto clawed paws. He paced into the center of the room, raised his head and howled in defense of his pack and his right to lead.

***

Malcolm met Adam with a howl of his own, his smaller gray-brown form light on its feet. The two wolves paced around each other, testing for openings, looking for weaknesses.

Malcolm paused, his eyes flicking from wolf to human and back, then he rushed at Adam. Adam danced sideways and tried to draw Malcolm’s attention away from his aching back leg and bruised shoulder. He stumbled, over-corrected and Malcolm pounced. Sharp teeth scrapped along Adam’s flank, pulled back and, before Adam could get away, sank deep into his flesh.

Desperate, Adam threw himself to the ground with Malcolm under him.

***

For a moment it looked like Adam’s larger size would overpower Malcolm, then Malcolm released his grip on Adam’s shoulder and slithered away snarling.

Adam huffed, trying to get enough air in to move, then forced himself to his feet. He braced his legs and waited, watching Malcolm circle him.

Malcolm barked a challenge, Giving up so soon, mutt?

Adam ignored him.

Malcolm barked again then charged at Adam. Adam met him head on, taking the full weight of Malcolm’s body in his chest. He grunted, forced his lungs to keep working, while his back legs dug into the ground.

***

Angling his head, Adam sank his teeth into Malcolm’s neck.

Malcolm howled, enraged. He snapped at Adam, teeth and claws scraping Adam’s legs, sending tufts of black fur into the air. Adam held on, fighting against the pain of reopened wounds until he felt Malcolm shudder and go still under him.

Adam growled his challenge, yield.

Malcolm dipped his head, tail down and ears back.

Adam unlocked his jaw, exhaustion dragging at his muscles.

Yield, and I’ll allow you and yours safe passage out of LA.

Malcolm surged forward, his jaw clamping down on Adam’s flesh. Not a chance, cub!

***

Pain burst across Adam’s stomach, whiting out his vision. He howled, thrashing against the teeth attacking him but that only made things worse.

Taste just like your father, Malcolm spit into Adam’s thoughts with an image of Eber struggling against Malcolm and two of the tattooed Demon Wolves. Bet you’ll die just as weak and pathetic as he did.

Adam tried to pull away, tried to scream and claw at Malcolm, at the blood soaked images in his head but each twist brought more agony.

Then, abruptly, teeth and claws were gone and Adam was left with only pain.

***

He’s mine! Malcolm roared.

Adam could hear jaws snapping and claws grinding against bone. Malcolm howled again, then fell silent.

Adam tried to force his eyes to focus, force his mind to plan against the next attack, but there was nothing left. He closed his eyes and lowered his head, defeated.

There was a rumble of sound beyond the edge of the battle ground. Adam raised his head and blinked in surprise as the Alpha of Santa Monica’s pack stepped forward, two of his lieutenants at his back.

“I stand with the West Hollywood pack and its Alpha, Adam Lambert.”

***

Fuck you! Malcolm barked. The cub lost, WeHo’s pack and their bitch are mine.

“No. They’re not,” Another voice said. Adam slowly swiveled his head to the right where another wolf, the Alpha of the Burbank pack, was standing. “I stand with Adam Lambert, Alpha of the West Hollywood pack.” A dozen or more wolves stood nodding with him. “I take the challenge of Malcolm, Alpha-killer.”

“So do we,” Cassidy, Inglewood’s beta, and titular leader until their Alpha recovered, waved to the wolves around him. “Inglewood, Burbank, Santa Monica and Topanga stand with West Hollywood and their Alpha, Adam Lambert.”

***

“The packs have spoken,” Lee said a large silver knife in his hand. “Yield or die.”

“Screw you, all of you! Malcolm spat. He gathered his legs under him to jump, but Monte, in full wolf form, surprised him. Charcoal gray fur overwhelmed brown as Monte shoved Malcolm to the ground and sank his teeth into the back of Malcolm’s neck.

The crack of vertebrae filled the room.

Adam sighed.

His pack was safe.

He closed his eyes and let go. His body sagged against hard stone. He tried to breath and ended up coughing blood onto his front paws.

***

“Adam!” Someone shouted.

Hands tugged at his head, shaking him. “Adam! Come on man, look at me!”

Adam opened his eyes. Lee was kneeling beside him. “It’s over. You’re safe.”

The pack? Adam asked, fighting to stay conscious just a little longer.

“Safe,” his mother answered. He tried to turn his head to look at her and yipped in pain. “Don’t move, sweet-heart.” Her hands stroked gently across his ears.

“Adam, fuck--" Brad sobbed as he settled on Adam’s other side. “Don’t you fucking die on me, bitch!”

Adam pushed his muzzle into Brad’s hands and closed his eyes.

***

Waking up sucked. Everything ached. If it hadn’t been for the warm body sleeping beside him, he would have happily closed his eyes and never taken another breath.

“Shit,” he said, his ribs protesting when he shifted against his pillow.

“You really don’t understand the words ‘lie still’ do you?” Brad mumbled, face still mashed into the mattress.

“How long have you known me?” Adam countered.

“Never mind.” Brad pushed himself upright and glared. “Stay put. I’mma go get Lee and stuff.” Brad pecked him gently on the lips and slipped out of bed. “Sit. Stay.”

Adam rolled his eyes.

***

When Adam woke again, Lee was perched on the edge of his bed with the leaders of the other four packs.

“Welcome back.”

“Hey.” Adam tried to sit up and winced.

“Don’t even,” Brad growled putting a hand on Adam’s shoulder. Adam decided he was too tired to resist and let Brad smooth a blanket around him.

“The Alpha’s have met and made some decisions,” Lee said, then turned to Destra.

“Thank you for what you did for us, and for Shanda.” Adam started to argue but Destra waved him to silence. “You are worthy of your pack. And ours.”

***

Adam stared at Destra. He’d fought for Shanda’s people and her honor, nothing more.

“Our elders and the Council of Alpha’s agree. Topanga is now a part of West Hollywood, if you agree.”

“If-- what?” Adam looked from face to face. “I don’t understand.”

“You won more than leadership of your pack, Alpha,” Jackson, Alpha of the Burbank pack said. “You won the respect of all the County packs.”

“Will you have us?” Destra asked.

Adam looked over at Lee, who smiled. “The decision’s yours, Alpha.”

Taking a deep breath, Adam turned to Destra, grinned and nodded. “Yes. Hell yes!”

 
 
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thraceadams: Adam NCOE[personal profile] thraceadams on February 24th, 2013 08:35 am (UTC)
WOW that was intense and I LOVE the background info now :D Can't wait to read the future fic :D
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wynkat: adam frontier[personal profile] wynkat on February 27th, 2013 01:17 am (UTC)
Thanks hun! Future fic soooooooon! lol
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leela_cat: Adam - hoodie[personal profile] leela_cat on March 11th, 2013 02:52 am (UTC)
Oh hell yes. this works very nicely as a backstory for that 'verse.
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wynkat: Adam eye and bindi[personal profile] wynkat on March 11th, 2013 03:50 am (UTC)
:D Thanks!
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