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"...really think that we could work something out," Scott says. "I mean, they can't be all bad. Werewolves aren't all bad."

There's a blip in Scott's heartbeat when he says that but Derek will save that fight for another time.

"You didn't see them," Lydia hisses. For once she's the one going head-to-head with Scott's 'save them all' attitude. "They kidnapped me!"

"And Stiles," Scott adds.

Derek glances over at Stiles, who's uncharacteristically quiet. He's sitting on the couch, hunched forward, elbows on his knees, and he's shaking.

Lydia rolls her eyes. "And Stiles, so that's two reasons. They're likely kidnapping other people."

Derek stands. All eyes turn to him like he's about to make some grand pronouncement. He arches an eyebrow and shrugs off his jacket as he crosses the room. "What?"

Scott blinks. "Surely, you know..."

What is with these kids? Know? Him? He was their age when his family was murdered. He doesn't know shit about vampires.

"Thanks," Stiles says, not even looking up as Derek drapes his leather jacket over Stiles's shoulders. Stiles's hands grab at the leather, pulling the jacket tight around him.

"What did you..." Derek's question trails off. They're still staring at him but it's a different kind of look, less seeking guidance, more confusion. His brow furrows and he knows he's making the kind of face that usually causes Stiles to comment—mostly about his eyebrows—but Stiles seems more shaken up than usual by whatever the vampires had said or done to him in the brief time they'd had him and Lydia in captivity.

Erica opens her mouth and Derek's frown deepens until she shuts her mouth.

He turns back to Stiles. "What did you find in your research?"

"Wait," Scott says, because of course. Derek turns toward Scott with his arms crossed, expression expectant. Scott looks between Derek and Stiles and the rest of the pack. "What, no one's going to say anything? Since when do you turn to Stiles for research? Since when do you give him your jacket?"

Stiles stands. He looks up then, finally pulling out of his head enough to pay attention to the people around him. There's still shock in his eyes, leaving them blown out in a way that makes Derek want to rip the throat out of every one of the vampires that dared touch Stiles.

"It's been a long summer, Scott," Stiles says, his voice tired. "You've been busy chasing Allison and I get that, you know. I get it. You love her. But did you really think that while you went running off in one direction, that I'd stay where you left me?"

A smile starts to curl at Derek's lips. He should hide it, should play nice with Scott, but this is what he's been waiting for. This is their turning point.

Stiles takes a step forward, then another, and another until he's shoulder-to-shoulder with Derek. It feels right, them together, like this. Derek's pack rises and suddenly it's not Scott against them, it's them against Scott.

"The vampires took Lydia because she's a banshee. She's connected to death and that makes her some kind of goddess to them. They took me because of him." He jerks his head toward Derek and the smile Derek has been holding back comes out in full force. "Because he's the Alpha of Beacon Hills and I'm his Emissary."

"What?" Scott's face falls. The air is full of Scott's swirling emotions—confusion, hurt, anger, betrayal. Only one of those is warranted, but Scott can't see that yet. Maybe he never will, but Derek knows that Stiles will try to convince him. That's just who Stiles is.

Stiles slips a hand from Derek's jacket. He's not shivering anymore, but he's also not giving the jacket up. The light starts out faint, something dismissible as a trick of the light, but then it grows, curling like smoke around Stiles's hand until it becomes a green flame hovering an inch above Stiles's open palm.

"Scotty, I'm magic."