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Across the Sea

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- Sunday June 6th, 2018 -

Home. That’s the first thought in Stiles’ mind when he pulls up to the rebuilt Hale house and comes to a stop beside an unfamiliar garage. It’s been close to five years since he’s actually lived in Beacon Hills, and a lot has changed. This is new, he thinks about the garage. And so is that big-ass iron gate. The bars of it circle the building, which in itself is more like a manor than an actual house. He was there for the demolition and through most of the rebuilding, when he wasn’t away in New York for school, that is.

Most of the others were away, too. After graduation, they went off to their respective schools and universities while the ones who stayed behind — Erica, Cora, Isaac, Scott, and Boyd — helped Derek restore his family’s home to its former glory.

Who knew? The alpha werewolf with the leather fetish, the resident hottie, also has an interest in building thi- Nope! You promised not to think like this. You fucking promised yourself… At least that’s what Stiles tries to remind himself of while he strolls up to the front porch, looking around at the newest additions to the house all the while.

Chris Argent had a secret past in construction — when he wasn’t off being an asshole hunter, of course — so he helped with a lot of it, and Derek graduated from a university in New York with a degree in Architecture. The two of them and the betas apparently had a little too much fun during the construction because the house ended up being massive. Every time Stiles came back, he would find that another room had been added, or the garage had been extended to make room for a new addition to the pack.

The Hale Pack is easily one of the largest along the West Coast. Its growth was a glorious sight to behold. Stiles feels a little teary-eyed for Derek whenever he thinks about it, knowing that their benevolent alpha, who has endured more chaos and destruction throughout his short life than anyone else he’s known, really deserves it. So much changed following their High School graduation: Erica and Boyd came back and asked to rejoin Derek’s pack; Isaac and Cora returned from their trips around South America and Europe; and Peter went to the Canadian wilderness and found peace with his inner wolf.

On his travels, Peter met a pregnant human named Nadia, whose husband was killed in the Middle Eastern war, and he traveled with her for a few months before finally revealing his identity as a werewolf when they were attacked by a grizzly bear. Nadia was severely injured and begged Peter to change her, so Derek flew out to meet them with the rest of his betas when he felt Peter’s desperation and fear through their pack bond. Once he realized that Peter really had changed, Derek gave Nadia the bite. She and her unborn child were saved, and the three of them traveled back to Beacon Hills with the pack. Once little Petra was born, Peter and Nadia declared that they were mates, and the man had never before looked so happy.

After the defeat of the Alpha pack, Ethan and Aiden decided to stay in town. They swore fealty to Derek and became his betas in exchange for their lives. It wasn’t hard for Derek to allow them into his pack; he had nearly succumbed to Deucalion himself and knew it was fear that drove the twins, not belief. One day, while they were on a date, Danny was shot by a rogue hunter who was aiming for Ethan. Ethan tore the hunter apart and, by the time Derek felt the beta’s despair and rage through their pack bond and had gotten there, Danny was dying. He offered Danny the bite, and the Hawaiian lived through the change.

Aiden met a werecoyote while he was out patrolling one night, and after several months she begged Derek to take her in. She had lived in the wilderness for as long as she could remember and she desired a pack. Aiden was absolutely smitten with this wild woman, and Malia was just as smitten with the idea of using Aiden as her ‘forever chew toy’, as she put it. Their dynamic is something else, Stiles thinks.

Scott graduated with a degree in Veterinary Medicine and Science. His ability to leech pain definitely helped him score extra points during his training, and now he and Allison have taken over Deaton’s clinic. Allison also successfully manages one of the most lavish training academies in Northern California. Everyone in the Beacon Hills Sheriff’s Department is required to take her firearms and hand-to-hand combat courses twice a year. Ironically, even though she’s human, she’s more of a monster than any of her pack. She and Scott have had a couple of rough patches over the years, but they are star-crossed and all that jazz. He finally bowed his neck to Derek once Allison informed him that she wanted to have a strong pack to help raise their babies one day.

It was such a clever play that Stiles felt whiplashed for several months. Who knew it just took feminine wiles to convince his best friend to join Derek’s pack? After high school, some people really do grow up.

Lydia actually managed to get a Fields Metal in half the time it normally takes. She and Jackson, who is surprisingly not as much of an asshole anymore, went to school close together, and he graduated with a degree in Political Science while she is still in school. If you ask Stiles, the title of her degree will be ‘Youngest Mathematics Genius with the Best Hair in Three Centuries’. She has decided to finish the program from home. Her need for pack wouldn’t allow her to stray far for much longer anyway. She has successfully mastered all aspects of her banshee abilities, and with all of her power unlocked, her desire for the love and connection of a pack now rivals an alpha’s.

Kira went back home to Japan for three years, where she honed her kitsune abilities and learned the ways of war from a clan of Japanese samurai. She moved back to Beacon Hills eventually and immediately asked for a place in Derek’s pack. He accepted her with open arms. The small threats that came intermittently through Beacon Hills proved that the pack needed training in different areas of combat, especially after they lost three of their betas to a poison-spitting group of demons, so Allison and Kira got together and created the perfect training program for the betas. She began helping Allison with the training academy shortly after joining the pack.

Stiles himself relocated to New York once he found out from Deaton that he comes from a long line of powerful witches. He needed space, and Derek supported Stiles’ decision, even going so far as to give him his and Laura’s old apartment in the heart of the city. Derek had continued paying for it after her death, not wanting to let that piece of his sister go. How close Derek and Stiles became after that came as a shock to everyone, what with how many walls the alpha used to slam the boy into, but they somehow became tolerant of each other rather quickly after Stiles discovered his abilities and basically decimated the alpha pack, saving Cora from their evil. Stiles was afraid of the raw power inside of himself which he couldn’t yet control, and Derek fully understood the boy’s need to get away for as long as he needed. Stiles took over the rent for the apartment once he got a steady job, and while he was working, he met another witch who introduced him to natural forms of magic using herbs, oils, stones, and the elements. He quickly found a way to continue enhancing his craft and education at the same time by studying Natural Medicine at New York University.

He quickly excelled in his self-control, his magic, and ultimately, all areas of his life. He returned to Beacon Hills every chance he got to visit his dad and the rest of the pack and was shocked about how quickly he searched out Derek after arriving every time.

He was in constant contact with the alpha. They Skyped nearly every day, and Derek requested Stiles’ assistance on pack matters when he wasn’t there in person. Stiles was an amazing tactician and Derek respected his opinion more than anyone else’s. It came as no surprise to anyone when Derek extended Stiles an offer to be the pack’s emissary once he graduated and moved back home, a position second only to the alpha’s mate. An emissary is a connection to the spirit world, and is also the main pack member that an alpha can depend on to provide counsel in times of distress. An emissary’s magic is strong and will grow even stronger with a stable pack, just like an alpha’s own. Derek trusted Stiles with that power.

Stiles accepted the offer immediately, realizing how much everyone in the pack had matured in recent years, especially his alpha. Stiles watched Derek blossom into an amazing leader during his time away, and he quickly became enamored with the man. Stiles kept him updated on all of his comings and goings in New York and Japan after he accepted the position. They shared everything: successes, failures…even their favorite weekly television shows, which they would sometimes watch together via Skype. As his return to Beacon Hills got closer, they both grew restless. Even though Stiles had been sporadically appearing back in Beacon Hills to help with the rebuild of the Hale House, this time would be different; now he would be coming home for good.

Stiles tried to go on dates, he really did, but no one could measure up to Derek. Though he knew that nothing could possibly come from his one-sided feelings, he just felt so guilty letting anyone else close to him in such a way when his heart wasn’t in it. It was unfair to the other person, and he felt like he was doing something wrong. Derek never gave him the impression that they shared anything more than friendship, never hinted that they were possibly connecting on a deeper level. His burgeoning feelings could have easily been caused by the bond between emissary and alpha, Stiles was never really sure. He promised himself that he would only look at Derek as his alpha and nothing more. Derek had worked so hard to get their pack to where it was today, and he knew that his own stupid emotions would only get in the way of that. That was his train of thought almost every day for the past five years.

I will not fuck this up. I will not fuck this up.

Once his feet touched the soil of his hometown, he felt a sharp tug towards his pack. He could put a picture of each of its member’s faces, locate them on a map, right down to their house numbers. He hadn’t felt power like this before, this quiet call to come home. The call that came the loudest was warm like a summer night. It sang like blackbirds, and it smelled of earth, of rich soil, sweet meadows, campfires, and it sounded like thunder. It made Stiles’ stomach flip in anticipation.

He finds himself slightly nervous when he reaches the beautifully sculpted, stained glass front door and raises a fist to knock…until, that is, someone opens the door before his knuckles can actually make contact.

Fucking werewolves, he thinks with a hint of frustration.

Derek Hale stands on the other side of the threshold in overalls, the straps of which are tied around his waist, and he wipes sweat away from his forehead with the hem of his tank top.

Lucky ass tank top, Stiles thinks as he stares at his alpha.

“Forget you had a key, Stiles?” Derek asks with a cheeky grin.

Keys are the furthest thing from Stiles’ mind, too distracted is he by Derek's relaxed appearance in his too-tight tank top, by his perfectly sculpted shoulders, and the stubble that would make even a nun question her beliefs. He’s grinning. Fucking grinning, the smug bitch. I can’t even think straight right now, and he’s grinning. “I…lost it. Yeah. Sorry about that.”

Stiles is pretty damn sure Derek caught that lie. If he hadn’t, then the bright red flush currently creeping up his neck and across his cheeks definitely gives him something else to worry about. I’ve been in Beacon Hills for a total of six hours, and at the Hale Manor for less than five minutes, and Derek’s perfect face is already messing up my foolproof ‘Don’t Look at the Alpha with Fucking Heart Eyes’ plan. Before Derek can give him all kinds of hell for ‘losing his key’, a mane of curly blonde hair flies between them, causing Stiles’ heart to swell for a second time in less than a minute.

“Batman!” Erica shrieks at the same time Stiles screams, “Catwoman!” The two-person puppy hug in the threshold seems to draw even more attention, and before Stiles knows what’s happening, Cora is squeezing her way past Derek to get in on the love. They’re all so excited to see each other that they miss the way Derek looks at them with a small smile on his face. The content, joyous scent wafting off of them is obviously contagious.

“When did you get into town?!” Cora asks cheerfully, her smile a welcome sight over her normally broody demeanor.

The four of them walk further into the manor and find their way to the living room, where Isaac and Boyd are watching the latest DC movie. Stiles has always been a Marvel man and, obviously, he’ll need to show the two betas the error of their ways. When Stiles, their alpha and their two mates enter the room, the two men look up and smile as Stiles says just that. It no doubt feels good to have their annoying, traveling pack member back and in the safety of their home, even if they don’t know of his new status.

Isaac and Boyd get up and lightly hug Stiles, not so subtly scent-marking him in the same way Cora and Erica had. Stiles notices that the only pack member who hasn’t touched him in any way since his return is Derek. It shouldn’t bother him, but it does. He’ll no doubt have to report to the alpha at some point later on, when the welcoming committee has calmed down and left him to his own devices. He knows the only reason Isaac and Boyd have scented him is because he’s been gone for close to 8 solid months, and the times he was around before then were only for school breaks while the manor was being built.

“This is more like the X-Mansion than I remember it, you guys. It’s amazing!” Stiles tells them all, a hint of awe in his voice.

“You should see your room,” Cora says with a smirk.

Stiles doesn’t think anything of her words himself, but he does notice that Derek’s ears become tinted pink in response to them.

Cora slaps the alpha on his back. “Why don’t you go show him, Derek?”

Derek looks like he’s just wishing for the floor to swallow him whole, causing everyone to snicker. He snaps Erica’s finger when she pokes his shoulder in amusement. “Fine. C’mon, Stiles, let me show you to your room. Shouldn’t the rest of you be outside training with Allison and Kira?” he asks smugly, hoping to get rid of them all so they don’t bother him any more.

They all groan but listen to their alpha, mumbling under their breaths as they trudge towards the back of the house.

Stiles watches them until they disappear from sight.

Derek is quiet as he takes the younger man up the two flights of stairs to his room, but it isn’t awkward. It feels comfortable, and as Derek points to everyone else’s rooms on the way, Stiles tries to remember them all from his past visits. While Derek’s room is on the third floor, across from the library, Stiles’ is on the second, and when they reach it, Derek looks shy, almost unsure of himself. As he pushes the door open, he watches Stiles’ face carefully. “I’m glad you’re home,” he says, his lips curving up in a small smile when he scents the surprised excitement and unbridled happiness that begins rolling off of his companion in waves.