Actions

Work Header

The Wolf in the Woods

Chapter Text

There was something that inexplicably drew Stiles to Beacon Hills that summer. Maybe it was his loneliness, being the only living soul left in the Stilinski family. Or maybe it was the feeling in his chest like a string was tied inside him somewhere, tugging, tugging him closer, drawing him in. He could never have been sure because he didn’t question it. Instead, he followed the draw and discovered a place hidden away beyond the trees. He discovered the secrets that were invisible to everyone else. And he discovered the wolf with the blue eyes that needed his help.


Small towns weren’t exactly Stiles’s thing. His family had always lived in bigger cities, sometimes in the suburbs, but never in a small town like Beacon Hills. There was one gas station, one supermarket, one small hospital and a few smaller stores, usually family owned. Everything made Stiles feel out of place, but that feeling inside his chest reminded him that he was supposed to be there.

For whatever reason that was.

Since he had moved on such a whim, Stiles had no place to stay, which left him pulling up to some house he found online. In truth, it was a smaller casita next to a slightly bigger house, but it had been in Stiles’s price range until he could find a job. At least it would be his own space.

He pulled up to the quaint looking place and shifted the car into park. The sky was falling into a deep blue as night came and Stiles was more than tired from the drive. He grabbed his duffel bag, all he had to his name and climbed out of the car.

Whoever owned the house must have been waiting for him because the second he closed the door, the front door to the house opened. An older man, possibly late forties, stepped out onto the porch and waved at him. Stiles lifted his hand to wave back as the older man stepped further into the light.

“You must be Stiles!” the man greeted, stepping off the porch to meet Stiles halfway. It was only as he started coming toward him that Stiles noticed the cane in his right hand, balancing him as he came down the stairs. He favored his left leg more than his right, using the assistance of the cane to keep him steady on the gravel. Stiles immediately rethought the man’s age.

Before he could be caught staring, Stiles shifted his eyes upward and nodded. “Yes, sir. Stiles, nice to meet you!”

The man chuckled. “Just because I have a cane doesn’t mean I’m old. Please, call me Deaton,” the man said with a chuckle, extending his hand whenever they were within reaching distance. Stiles shook it, taking note of the rough, calloused texture.

“Deaton, thanks for letting me stay here.”

“Hardly get anyone who wants to come stay here. We’re more of a pass by kind of town. Nobody stays long. Which got me curious about you. What’s made you come here?”

Stiles shrugged. “To be completely honest, I have no idea. I lost my parents a few years back and I’ve never felt like I’ve belonged anywhere. I bounced around for a while, but something here feels like it’s drawing me in. I guess I feel like I should be here,” Stiles answered, cheeks hot in embarrassment. He hadn’t meant to get all strange with a man he had only just met.

“Seems like a valid reason to me. Come on, I’ll give the grand tour. You must be exhausted.”

Stiles followed Deaton, trying to keep his pace a bit slower so that Deaton didn’t have to keep up with him. Surprisingly, the man moved fast even with a cane, making Stiles feel guilty for assuming. They arrived at the casita before Stiles could dwell in his thoughts anymore.

Deaton reached into his pocket and pulled out a key. “This is for you. It unlocks this door, however, if you need to get into the main house for any reason, just knock. If I’m not home, there’s a key hidden in one of the rocks. I work at the Vet clinic down the road if you need me.”

Stiles took the key from him after he opened the door and walked in behind him. The place smelled dusty, like it hadn’t been used or opened in a while, but when Stiles ran his fingers over the surface of a shelf, there was no dust.

“Bathroom, kitchen, living area, bedroom. I stocked the refrigerator with some essentials until you get a chance to go to the store. If you need anything, don’t be a stranger. I live alone so you won’t be a bother. You got a job set up yet?”

Stiles shook his head.

“Well, if you’re into it, I have a position down at the vet. Doesn’t pay real well, but it’s something to get you back on your feet.”

Stiles eyes widened. “Seriously?”

Deaton shrugged.

“Yeah! I mean, yes, that would be great.”

Deaton smiled. “I’ll let you get settled in and then we’ll talk details. Come on by for breakfast tomorrow morning and we’ll talk.”

“Thank you,” Stiles said earnestly. “Really, thank you, Deaton.”

“Don’t worry about it, kid. I’ll see you in the morning. Get some sleep and I’m right next door if you need anything.”

Stiles nodded and watched Deaton exit the house leaving him in the silence of his new home. He walked around, visiting each of the rooms. It wasn’t big, but there was a large bed and food in the fridge which is more than he had back at his old place. He couldn’t help but grin to himself as he settled in. Something felt right here, even if he didn’t know what it was yet.

He ended up falling asleep on the couch to the weather channel. It called for rain the next day. He only woke up to the sound of something howling off in the distance. Jerking awake, he momentarily forgot where he was, slowly letting himself take in his surroundings until he calmed down.

And then the howl came again.

It shouldn’t have surprised him. There were wolves in California, everyone knew that. What surprised him was how the howl sounded. Something mourningful and pathetic echoed in the sound and made Stiles’s chest ache. It shouldn’t have sounded like that. Stiles wondered if the wolf was hurt. Part of him wanted to go check, but then he remembered it was the middle of the night and no wolf was going to react in a friendly manner despite his intentions.

So he sat up, listening to the wolf make noises until it stopped and went quiet again.

He made a mental note to ask Deaton about the sounds in the morning, but before he could become anymore concerned, he was right back to sleep.


Breakfast with Deaton went well the next morning. Stiles ate more than his fill considering he had forgotten to make himself dinner the previous night. Deaton didn’t seem to mind a bit.

They talked about what Stiles would be doing at the clinic. It was nothing impressive, mainly just paperwork and things that Deaton had fallen behind on. Stiles didn’t care. Whatever kept him busy during the day and brought money in was fine by him. They rode together to the clinic which was only about a mile or two down the road from the house.

Somebody was already there when they arrived.

“Scott!” Deaton called as they entered the building and then turned to Stiles, “Scott is my assistant. He stays here with the animals overnight whenever I can’t. I think he’s about your age.”

A lean, brown haired guy with a slightly crooked jaw walked into the room and stopped when he saw Stiles.

Deaton spoke first, “Scott, this is Stiles. He just moved into town. He’s staying at my place until he can get back onto his feet. I offered him some work here, doing paperwork and whatnot.”

“Nice to meet you,” Scott greeted with a grin. “I’d shake your hand, but I’m covered in dog fur right now. Welcome to Beacon Hills. I hope you like it here so far.”

“Nice to meet you too. I haven’t had much of a chance to explore quite yet, but from what I’ve seen,” and felt his mind added, “I think I’ll like it here just fine.”

“Scott, do you mind showing him around? Get him set up on the desk up front?”

“Yeah, sure thing! Follow me, Stiles.”

Scott showed him the kennels that held a few dogs and one cat, all of which looked healthy.

“Are they sick?” Stiles asked, kneeling down to pet one of the dogs that had come close to the kennel gate. “They don’t look sick.”

“They’re not always sick when they come here. Bailey,” Scott pointed to the dog that Stiles was petting, “comes in for a weekly grooming. Her owner is kind of obsessed with keeping her clean and presentable.”

The dog licked Stiles’s hand and made him laugh.

“Here, I’ll show you to the desk and get you set up.”

Stiles said goodbye to Bailey and walked into the next room with Scott. The desk was set up next to the front door with a window that let light shine through into the otherwise dark office. He took a seat in the chair and watched as Scott turned the computer on for him.

After showing him what to do, Scott stepped back. “Let me know if anyone comes in or if you have any questions. I’ll just be back there with Deaton. Feel free to take a break whenever you want. We’re not super busy.”

Stiles gave him a thumbs up. “Thanks.”

Scott tapped the back of the chair before walking away into the back.

As soon as he was alone, Stiles became lost in his work. It wasn’t entertaining and part of the time he was searching the internet for random things, but it was a job nonetheless and he was happy to have one.

Eventually Stiles got bored and curious at the same time and decided to see what the wolf population was like in Beacon Hills. He had forgotten to ask Deaton about the howling wolf so he’d have to find answers on his own.

As Stiles read intently, he learned that Beacon Hills only had a small population of wolves in the area. It made sense being a small town and all, but Stiles couldn’t help but wonder if the wolf he heard had a pack or if it was alone. The more he thought about it, the more depressed he got at the thought of the wolf being alone. Maybe that was why the howl had sounded so sad.

“Interested in wolves, huh?” Scott’s voice called behind him causing Stiles to jump out of his chair.

“Oh my god!” he squeaked. “Announce yourself buddy!”

Scott laughed and mumbled an apology. “Sorry! I’m still getting used to-” he cut himself off, looking like he said something wrong. “I’m sorry.”

Stiles closed the tab he had been on and turned to Scott. “Sorry, I just got sidetracked. What’s up?”

“It’s lunch time. We wanted to know if you were down to get something to eat.”

Stiles’s eyes zipped back to the computer, finding the time and sure enough it was lunch. Somehow time had passed without him even noticing. It concerned him, but he wasn’t about to tell Scott that he hadn’t been working for a while now.

“Yeah, that would be great.”

Scott smiled and nodded. “Sweet! Well, Deaton is finishing up and then we’ll go. Maybe we can show you around a little so you don’t have to do it on your own.”

Suddenly, Stiles didn’t feel so alone anymore.


That night, whenever Stiles returned back to the house, he heard the howl again. It sounded stronger, but still sad. The sound made Stiles’s chest contract in pain like it had the first time and he couldn’t ignore it. The feeling was similar to the one that dragged him to Beacon Hills, but also much stronger. It threatened to drag him out of the house and straight into the woods.

Part of him feared what was going on with him, but the other part accepted it. He had always been a little different. A little too talkative and spastic and had too much energy. Maybe this feeling was him healing after such a long time. Whatever it was, Stiles felt the undeniable need to figure it out.

So he put on his jeans and a pair of boots and wandered into the woods like a crazy person.

It was dark and he had been dumb enough to not bring a flashlight other than his phone which had very minimal brightness. He walked slowly through the trees, watching his step so that he didn’t trip and fall on his face. That was a skill he excelled at.

There was no direction he was traveling in. The wolf hadn’t howled since Stiles entered the treeline so he had nothing to go off up. He just walked and hoped that he wasn’t stupid for following a feeling.

The moment he was about to turn around and head back to the house, telling himself he was stupid, the wolf howled again, so much closer. Stiles halted in his step, spinning in the direction he had heard it come from.

“Where are you at, wolfie?” Stiles called dumbly. “I just want to make sure you’re okay.”

Nothing responded.

Stiles took a step in the correct direction and was met with a growl. He froze, heart thumping wildly in his chest. Liquid blue eyes stared right at him a few feet away, the rest of the body blending in with the darkness of the night.

“Hey,” Stiles said quietly. “Not going to hurt you, wolf.”

The wolf growled again, taking a step forward and revealing a large paw. Stiles didn’t know the true size of wolves since he had never seen one in person, but whatever stood in front of him seemed way too large to be a wolf.

“Don’t eat me, please,” he said with a nervous laugh. “How about I just turn the other direction and we’ll forget I was dumb enough to come into the woods in the middle of the night, huh?”

The wolf snarled and crouched low to the ground.

Stiles wanted to scream for help, but somehow that didn’t seem like it was going to do him any good.

“Something’s wrong,” Stiles commented, “I can feel it. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but I came here for a reason. Maybe it was because of you.” The second the words left his mouth, Stiles felt like a dumbass. There was no way he came all the way to Beacon Hills because of a feeling for a wolf, a wolf that was going to kill him.

“Stiles!” Deaton’s voice shouted behind him and he made the mistake of turning toward him. He held up a shotgun, looking a bit unsteady on his feet without his cane. “What in God’s name are you doing out here?”

Stiles jerked back around, expecting to see the massive wolf behind him, but he was met by darkness. His mouth opened to answer Deaton, but what was he to say? He followed a feeling in his chest out here and met a massive wolf that didn’t try to kill him right away? Yeah that sounded sane. Deaton would probably kick him out and take his job away.

“I-I,” he tried to come up with a lie, but came up empty.

“Do not come out here at night, Stiles. Do you understand? There’s animals out here that don’t care if you’re just exploring.”

Stiles blinked and nodded. “S-sorry, Deaton.”

“Let’s get back to the house,” Deaton told him, motioning him with one hand.

Stiles followed even though he didn’t want to. He couldn’t help but look back every now and then to check if the wolf had really been there or not. It wasn’t.

Chapter Text

Stiles dreamt that night, of the wolf in the woods. He dreamt of the piercing blue eyes and the way the wolf didn’t attack despite Stiles being in it’s territory. It was strange, but what was even stranger was Stiles questioning himself if the wolf had even been there in the first place. Deaton hadn’t mentioned anything about it after they had gotten back to the house which left Stiles wondering if he was crazy.

When the next night came, Stiles convinced himself to go out into the woods again; the feeling in his chest hadn’t eased, if anything it got worse. But whenever he left the house, Deaton was out on his porch, reading a book like it was no big deal. Stiles didn’t think much of it at first, instead just going back inside and telling himself he’d try again the next night. And Deaton was there again the following night and the next, like he knew Stiles was trying to go back into the woods.

Deaton never mentioned it though. He didn’t ask Stiles why he was coming out of his house every night, always after hearing the howl. He never said anything about it at breakfast or when they got to the vet. It was like he was trying to get Stiles to ask about it himself and Stiles was dying to know.

On his fourth night trying to sneak out, Stiles finally worked up the courage to confront Deaton. Instead of slinking back into the house, Stiles walked over to where Deaton sat on the porch with his book. The older man looked up as soon as Stiles stepped onto the first step.

“Can I ask you something, Deaton?” Stiles questioned, getting right to the point. He wanted to know and he was tired of bouncing around the subject.

“Sure,” Deaton answered, flipping the page of his book. “What is it?”

“The woods, why don’t you want me to go out there?”

Deaton paused, placing his book on the table next to him that held his coffee. He looked up at Stiles once again and watched him for a moment. Stiles wondered if he should have just kept his mouth shut. Being new in town meant he needed to build a good reputation for himself and he wasn’t exactly making a good start.

“It’s dangerous, Stiles. Animals out won’t hesitate on attacking you if you’re in their way. You’re in their territory. I just want to make sure I’m not going to have to find your body in the woods at some point.”  

Stiles bit his lip, wanting to mention the wolf that hadn’t attacked him. “I keep hearing howls,” he explained, “every night I hear the same one. Since my first night. Did you hear it before I got here?”

“No,” Deaton answered quicker than Stiles expected. “Not that I ever noticed, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. I’m an old man, son.”

Stiles rolled his eyes Deaton wasn’t that old. He would have heard something as sad and heartbreaking as the howl Stiles heard every night. It was impossible to miss for someone who had ears.

“I read about a fire,” Stiles mentioned, hoping Deaton would know if that connected to the wolf. “Said something about how it affected a pack of wolves, burning down the woods around them. Do you think that’s why the wolf howls? Did it lose it’s pack?”

“That fire happened years ago,” Deaton answered him. “Any wolf left behind would have left the area by now. Lone wolves don’t stay in one place for very long.”

That didn’t explain the wolf he saw. If it was a lone wolf, why hadn’t it left? If it was part of a bigger pack, why hadn’t Stiles heard any of the rest of the pack? Nothing was adding up and it only made him want to go back into the trees to find the wolf again.

He thanked Deaton and returned to his house, trying to not let his mind run wild.

On his fifth night in Beacon Hills, Stiles told himself he was going to sneak off into the woods as soon as Deaton went back inside. It meant waiting longer after he heard the howl, but he could do that. As he was putting his shoes on, his phone rang in his pocket, making him jump at the sudden noise.

“Hello?” Stiles answered, unable to identify the phone number. Not that he really spoke to anyone anyway.

“Stiles? Hey, it’s Scott!” Scott said cheerfully into the phone. “Sorry for calling out of the blue, but some of my friends and I were going to go out and get some drinks. I thought you could come too, if you wanted.”

Stiles hesitated, trying to put his shoes on with one hand. “Um, oh, uh.”

Scott made a noise on the other line. “You don’t have to! I know it’s late. I just thought maybe you’d want someone to hang out with? I promise we don’t bite, normally,” he joked, trying to hide his nervous laughter.

Friends sounded nice. Hanging out with people sounded nice. Because that was something Stiles hadn’t done in a very long time. And Scott was nice and a goof, exactly what Stiles needed. They would have been awesome friends before Stiles’s parents died and sent him into this hollow place of grieving.

But then there was the wolf. He wanted to go back and see if it was still there. It was like he needed to make sure it was okay. However, he had waited four nights already. One more night wouldn’t kill him.

“Yeah!” Stiles replied before Scott could become any more self conscious about asking. “I’d love to go! Sorry, didn’t mean to make it seem like I didn’t. I just got distracted.”

“Oh! Oh, well sweet. Do you want to meet us at the bar down the road?”

“Yeah, which one?”

Scott laughed lightheartedly. “There’s only one.”

Stiles felt his cheeks burn in embarrassment. He was still getting used to the town. “Uh, right.”

Scott gave him the name of the bar and told him to meet them there in twenty minutes. As Stiles left the house, he couldn’t help but look toward the trees and wonder what the wolf was doing. He quickly shook the thought off, telling himself it was weird to wonder what an animal was doing.

The bar distracted him. He was never one for drinking, but in the presence of Scott and his friends, Boyd, Erica and Isaac, he felt more comfortable than ever. He discovered that Boyd and Erica were a couple and had been dating for a couple of years. They were all nice to him even when he got so comfortable that he reverted back to his sarcastic, strange ways.

Scott was still the nicest of them all. He stayed with Stiles when everyone else decided to go to a different bar. He didn’t make fun of Stiles for being a little more drunk than the rest of them and Stiles wondered why.

“Hey, drink,” Scott encouraged, giving him yet another water bottle he had gotten from the bar. It was probably the third one Scott had handed him. Stiles took it with shaky hands, unused to being drunk. “You’re going to have a hell of a hangover tomorrow.”

Stiles groaned, feeling a little bit sobered up. He had passed the fun drunk phase where he did shots with Erica and talked about stupid things he couldn’t even remember. At least he had impressed Scott’s friends.

“I’m going to call us both a ride, okay? Neither of us should be driving home tonight.”

Stiles nodded and rested his head on the bar, enjoying the coolness on his face.

“Sorry for getting you so drunk,” Scott said with a guilty look. “This probably wasn’t what you were imagining when I invited you to hang out tonight.”

Stiles giggled. “No, no it’s fine. I haven’t had a good time in a while. Probably since before my parents died.” The words were out before Stiles could filter them and he saw the horrified look on Scott’s face.

“I-I’m sorry,” Scott muttered.

Stiles shrugged. “It’s been a few years. I’ve learned to manage it. Sorry for being a downer. I just haven’t had many friends in a while.”

Scott looked like a sad kicked puppy and made Stiles regret his words. Why didn’t he have a filter when he drank?

“Well, I’m your friend now,” Scott said with resolve. And then like he knew how Stiles had been feeling, “You’re not alone anymore.”

If Stiles hadn’t been so drunk, he might have cried, but instead he just laughed and nodded and let Scott hug him.

 


 

Their ride dropped Scott off first and then Stiles who didn’t just stumble back into his house like he knew he should have. Deaton wasn’t outside waiting on his porch and Stiles’s mind wasn’t exactly clear. The wolf was out there somewhere and before he could stop himself, he was pushing passed the branches and into the trees.

It was dark and Stiles didn’t have enough common sense to pull out his cell phone so he stumbled around in the dark. Again, that feeling in his chest guided him in the direction he was meant to go. He followed it, even in his drunken state.

There was a crack behind him, which Stiles twirled around to and found his, the , wolf standing behind him. The piercing blue eyes looked even more intense in the darkened woods than Stiles remembered. He narrowly lost his balance, barely righting himself. The wolf growled slightly, although it hardly sounded threatening.

“So you weren’t just my imagination,” Stiles muttered, staring at the wolf. “Glad I’m not crazy. Unless the alcohol is doing this to me.”

The wolf growled again, but it only made Stiles laugh a little.

“Why does Deaton think you’re so dangerous? You just look like a big black furry puffball. I think you need something from me. Or is that just me being crazy? Well, I’m probably crazy because I’m actually speaking to a wolf like you’re going to respond.”

The wolf took a step forward and Stiles’s attention snapped back to him. It’s nose was lifted in the air, sniffing something. Stiles tilted his head curiously, watching as the wolf stepped forward again and again until it was right in front of him. It was a lot bigger than Stiles anticipated. Just a bit bigger than a normal wolf, but huge all the same.

“Hi wolfie,” Stiles murmured, reaching his hand out for the wolf to sniff.

It sniffed the palm of his hand like a dog and then licked. Stiles couldn’t stop the giggle from escaping his throat. He smiled cheesily down at the black wolf and turned his hand over, aching to brush his fingers through the dark hair. The wolf growled quietly, but made no move to stop Stiles.

“See, I’m friendly, you’re friendly.”

The wolf allowed Stiles to stretch his fingers out and run them through the thick hair. Stiles could hear the pleased sound in the back of the wolf’s throat, almost like it was human. The tug in his chest felt worse, like it was being tugged harder. He tried to reason that it was just the alcohol, but he knew it wasn’t.

“I don’t understand,” he whined to the wolf. “What are you? Why don’t you attack me? I don’t get you.”

The wolf made a noise that Stiles could only interpret as the human version of a shrug.

“Well, you should know. You’re the only who keeps howling every night like you’re going to die. And you’re the only wolf I’ve seen so far and I’ve been in the woods twice now. How come there’s no other wolves?”

The wolf didn’t answer.
“You’re not very talkative,” Stiles joked. “God, I wish you could speak so I knew why I was here. I just want to know why I felt drawn here and why it drew me to you.”

Their one way conversation didn’t last very long. In one second, the wolf was came and leaning lightly against Stiles’s leg and in the next, it’s entire demeanor shifted.

Stiles felt the wolf tense underneath his hand and lift it’s lip up in a snarl. Stiles ripped his hand back, feeling sober all of the sudden. He didn’t understand the reaction, but he wasn’t about to have his hand bitten off. The wolf growled and crouched, looking like it was ready to attack.

“No, no, it’s okay,” Stiles urged. “I’m friendly, remember?”

The wolf didn’t care, growling even louder. Stiles took a step back and stumbled slightly. Panic set in for the first time since he had met the wolf. It was the first time he had felt any fear whenever it came to the wolf and he didn’t understand why.

It was only when he heard the cock of a gun did he turn around.

“Stiles, I told you to stay out of the woods!” Deaton said in anger. “Step back.”

Stiles’s eyes grew wide at the sight of the gun as he realized Deaton was going to shoot the wolf who was still growling loudly behind him.

“Deaton, no! No, it’s okay. Everything’s fine. Just put down the gun.”

“Stiles, you don’t understand. Just step back.”

On pure instinct, Stiles stepped in front of the wolf, faced by the barrel of Deaton’s gun.

“Are you insane?” Deaton shouted. “Get out of the way before he attacks you!”

Stiles refused to move, aware that the wolf was still behind him and getting angrier every second. He needed to defuse the situation before the wolf attacked Deaton or vise versa.

Before Stiles could do anything, the wolf let out a disgruntled roar and leaped forward, knocking him off his feet and going straight toward Deaton. Before he hit the floor, he heard the sound of a wolf whimpering and realized that sound tore his heart to pieces.

Chapter Text

Someone was screaming and Stiles really wished they would shut up. The sound reminded him of a dying animal, pathetic and sad. It was only as he felt his throat become raw that he realized it had been him screaming like a banshee.

“What did you do?” he yelled at Deaton who still stood with the gun pointed at the wolf dead on the ground.

God the ache in his chest felt like a fire now, consuming him quickly. It hurt and he didn't understand. Something was wrong, something was always wrong.

“Calm down, Stiles.”

“Y-you killed it! You killed the wolf! It didn't even do anything to you!” Stiles screamed. Why did it feel like he had been shot too?

“He's not dead, Stiles,” Deaton said calmly.

“Why do you feel calling it a he?”

“I can't explain right now, okay? I gave him a heavy sedative. He's not dead so please calm down. I need you to call Scott and tell him to bring Boyd. Can you do that for me?”

Stiles couldn't stop staring at the wolf at Deaton’s feet. The longer he looked, the more he was able to see a small rise in the chest indicating that Deaton was telling the truth.

“You need to explain to me why you shot him!” Stiles retorted, using the correct pronoun for the first time. “I don't understand! He didn't do anything! God, why do I feel like I'm going to have a panic attack?”

Deaton looked at him with sympathetic eyes. “I'll try to explain later. It's a lot to take in and I didn't want you to have to learn about all of this. You're gonna think we're all crazy.”

All of this? Crazy? Stiles already thought Deaton was crazy after this.

“Just call Scott for me, please,” Deaton urged as he knelt down next to the wolf.

Stiles pulled his phone out of his pocket, feeling like all the alcohol had just left his system all at once. He still felt dizzy, but he wasn’t sure if he should blame that on the alcohol or the fact that Deaton had just shot the wolf in front of him.

Sedated.

Scott picked up on the second ring. “Hey man, you get home okay?”

Scott didn’t even sound drunk and it angered Stiles a little. Why was he the only one who felt the need to throw up behind a bush?

“Yeah, um Deaton needs you.”

“What’s up?”

“He, uh, he shot a wolf? Well, he sedated one. I think he thought it was going to attack him or me, so he shot it. I’m not sure what he wants, but he needs you and Boyd.”

There was silence on the other line and Stiles waited.

“A wolf?”

“Yeah, black fur, really big.”

“Holy shit,” Scott breathed. “Okay, we’ll be there as soon as possible. Tell Deaton we’ll be there soon.”

Every event made Stiles crave answers more and more. Why had Deaton shot the wolf? Why did Scott sound so shocked about it? What in the flying fuck was this awful feeling in his chest and why did it intensify when he was around the wolf?

Scott and Boyd arrived faster than Stiles thought was possible. Even in a small town, it seemed to have only taken them minutes to get there, but maybe this was part of Stiles’s intoxication or his craziness.

“What are we doing with him?” Scott asked as the three men began to lift the wolf.

“Bringing him to the clinic. Maybe it’s time we try again.”

Stiles didn’t understand anything Deaton was saying anymore. He trailed behind the men out of the forest, feeling a current of electricity go through his body as they left. It was quick and just barely noticeable, but he felt it.

They climbed into Boyd’s truck and drove down to the clinic. The wolf’s head laid in Stiles’s lap in the backseat. He was breathing softly, like he was asleep. Stiles couldn’t help himself and ended up petting the soft fur around the wolf’s ear.

“He’ll be okay,” Scott told him.

Stiles nodded.

Upon arrival at the clinic, they unloaded the wolf out of the car and then onto a examination table inside the main room. Deaton excused himself and went into the back somewhere to gather more supplies.

Stiles wandered over to the wolf and hesitated, feeling the need to touch him again. God, he felt so fucking strange. Whatever this allure was, it didn’t feel wrong, but he didn’t know how to feel. The wolf hadn’t even twitched since they brought him in and it only seemed to worry Stiles despite knowing he was just sedated.

“How long is he going to be out like this?” Stiles asked.

“He was struck with a light dosage of wolfsbane and another sedative,” Boyd answered him, only to be struck by Scott’s elbow in the ribs. “Hey! What? He has the right to know now.”

“What’s wolfsbane?” Stiles questioned, ignoring the way Scott was looking at Boyd.

“It’s a poisonous plant, but in small doses, it’s not fatal.”

Stiles felt angered. Deaton tried to poison his wolf.

“Nobody touches him,” Stiles growled, looking at the two men in the room. “Neither of you or Deaton will touch him again.”

“Stiles-” Scott tried.

“No! He didn’t do anything to any of you and yet you try to poison him!”

“Stiles, that’s not what happened.”

“Why are you acting so protective?” Boyd demanded. “What’s your issue? You’ve been here for what, five days, and you act like you’re the best thing for him. You’re not.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Stiles told him.

Stiles should have never come to Beacon Hills. It was too strange and made him question his sanity. He should have ignored the feeling that drew him there and left it alone. But no, now he was in this small town with weird people and a wolf he had some unknown connection to. He just wanted answers.

“Scott, Boyd,” Deaton called as he walked into the room. “I think we need to tell him the truth.”

Stiles turned wildly toward Deaton. “What truth?”

“How about you sit down?”

“No,” Stiles answered quickly, standing guard over the wolf like he couldn’t tear everyone in this room apart if he was awake.

Deaton gave him a look before nodding. “I need to give him a heavier sedative before we speak. I don’t want him waking up in the middle of our conversation.”

Stiles noticed the syringe in his hand and shook his head. “No more wolfsbane.”

“It’s not wolfsbane,” Deaton replied calmly. “It’s just a heavier sedative that will keep him asleep. Wolfsbane is purple, is the liquid in this purple?”

Stiles looked at it and noticed it was clear. “No.”

“Please, Stiles. You’ll understand once we explain all of this to you. I know it’s all very confusing, but you need to trust us. We’re not the bad guys.”

Stiles wanted answered, but he also didn’t want to leave the wolf vulnerable.

“Sedate him, but I’m not sitting down.”

Deaton nodded and approached Stiles slowly like he was the wild animal. “It won’t hurt him.” Stiles allowed him to touch the wolf and tried not to cringe as the needle disappeared into the black fur, sinking into the unconscious wolf’s body.

“There are some things you need to understand before I tell you everything,” Deaton started as soon as he was done drugging the animal. “First, none of this can be repeated to anyone outside of who I tell you. Second, you need to understand that what I tell you is going to sound a little bit crazy.”

Stiles nodded, wanting to hear more.

“Beacon Hills is, for all intents and purposes, a normal town. Except it’s not. There’s magic in it’s roots, something that draws supernaturals here. The first time we met, you told me you were drawn here. That wasn’t just some strange feeling inside of you. You were drawn here for a reason.”

Somehow that both relieved Stiles and terrified him.

“While we’re not exactly sure why yet, I have a feeling it has something to do with Derek.”

Stiles quirked an eyebrow. “Who the hell is Derek?”

Deaton looked over at Scott and Boyd who both nodded.

Deaton motioned to the wolf. “That’s Derek.”

Great, he was standing in a room of lunatics who named a wild wolf a very human name. He couldn’t stop himself from chuckling at the thought.

“I was brought here for the wolf?”

Deaton shrugged. “We’re not sure, but you haven’t stopped trying to go into the woods since you arrived and you didn’t even seem scared.”

“So Beacon Hills is magical and I was drawn here for a wolf named Derek?” It sounded like bullshit. “That’s what the truth is?”

Scott stood from where he and Boyd had sat in the corner of the room. “There’s more, but we need to be able to trust you to tell you the rest because it sounds even crazier than what Deaton just told you.”

“Fine, you can trust me. I just want to know so I can stop feeling so crazy.”

Scott took a deep breath looking nervous. “Oh, this is a lot.”

“We’re werewolves and this town is magical and Derek here is actually a human,” Boyd blabbed without hesitation.

Stiles began to cackle before he could stop himself. What in the hell had he gotten himself into? “Right, werewolves and magic? Okay, that sounds totally realistic. I’m started to wonder if I’m in an alcohol induced hallucination.”

“He’s not kidding,” Scott said softly. “We can show you.”

“Go for it, buddy. I’m all eyes.”

Scott held his hand out in front of him and closed his eyes. Stiles wondered if anything was going to happen or if they were all going to yell surprise and tell him it was all a joke. That didn’t happen. Instead, Scott’s fingernails lengthened into claws and when he opened his eyes, they were golden.

Stiles stumbled back in surprise, slamming into the examination table and jostling the wolf slightly. “Holy shit! Holy shit!”

Scott shifted back to his normal appearance and gave Stiles an apologetic look.

“Oh my God, you weren’t kidding. What the hell? Oh, I want to wake up now. Come on, Stiles. Wake up. You’re just drunk.” He tried pinching himself to no avail.

“That’s just a preview,” Boyd chuckled. “Derek’s the full package.”

Stiles looked at the wolf. “No. No way. He’s a wolf, an actual wolf!”

“He got cursed by a witch a few years ago,” Boyd answered. “Got stuck in his wolf form, lost touch with humanity and we couldn’t figure out how to switch him back.”

“Wait, what? Witches? Don’t tell me there’s vampires in this town too.”

“None I have met.”

“So he’s cursed? He has to stay like that?”

“Until we figure out how to turn him back,” Deaton answered. “I’m not as spry as I used to be with my magic. That evil bitch took a lot out of me last time she was here. I wasn’t able to help Derek.”

Stiles’s eyes grew wide. “You’re a witch?”

“And we’re werewolves,” Scott answered. “Erica and Isaac too. But don’t worry, we have some humans in our pack too. Allison and Lydia are perfectly human. Well, I take that back about Lydia. We’re not quite sure what she is.”

Stiles grabbed the edge of the table uneasily.

“A-Am I something?” he dared to ask.

“Considering you crossed the ward that I set to keep Derek in the woods to make sure he didn’t harm anyone, you’re definitely something. Only the pack is allowed to pass through and you went through like it was nothing,” Deaton told him.

“Is that why you didn’t want me out there? You thought he’d hurt me?”

Deaton nodded. “When Derek lost himself to the wolf after some time, he worried that he’d hurt someone in town so I created a ward around the forest next to the house and he was only allowed to stay in that part. It helped us keep tabs on him while we figured something out. Only, we never figured anything out.”

“How long has he been stuck like that?” Stiles swallowed, trying to wrap his mind around it all. There was a man stuck inside that wolf.

“Five years,” Boyd answered. “We tried everything. But the witch that cursed him was stronger than any of us have seen before. Whatever she did to him, it seems like it’s irreversible.”

“What does any of this have to do with me being here?”

“You’re the only one he let get close in all these years. He nearly killed Scott a couple years back,” Deaton replied, looking down at the black wolf. “Who he was before has been lost to the wolf completely, but for some reason, you were able to get close.”

Stiles gulped and felt dizzy. He didn’t want to be this magical thing. He was already strange and awkward and still getting over his parents death. This new addition, whatever it was, was not welcome.

“I need a minute,” Stiles whispered. “J-just let me process all of this, please.”

“Yeah, of course,” Scott answered. “How about you take a seat?”

Stiles wasn’t moving away from the wolf, Derek. At least there was some explanation now, but he needed time to process it.

Instead of making Stiles move away, Scott brought a chair up to where Stiles stood and placed it behind him. Stiles slumped into the seat and took a slow shaky breath.

“Just take some deep breathes. We’ll be right back, okay? Don’t think too hard about it.”

The three men left Stiles and the wolf alone in the room in silence.

Stiles leaned forward against the table, resting on hand on the wolf and one on the table to rest his head. What was going on? How were they supposed to change Derek back? How had he been stuck for so long?

He tried not to think, letting his mind clear as best as he could. Slow steady breaths were key. The longer he sat there breathing, the heavier his eyes got. It was well past two in the morning already and Stiles told himself it was okay to sleep. It would help him think through everything and wake up with a clear mind.

He allowed himself to drift into an unconscious state, still with one hand on the wolf.

Come back, his mind whispered. Revertere ad me.

Chapter Text

Stiles’s head was pounding whenever he woke up. He quickly blamed it on the alcohol and pledged to never drink with Scott and his friends again. Unfortunately, his body and mind knew that was a lie. It had been fun to drink and have fun again.

As he raised his head from the examination table, he whimpered in pain. The throb only intensified. It felt worse than a hangover, which Stiles had experienced a handful of times. The pain felt unnatural.

His vision started off blurry, but quickly cleared when Stiles blinked. In front of him, instead of a wolf, lied a very, very naked man. Stiles scrambled out of the chair, ripping himself away from the table.

“What the hell?” he screamed in a shrilling tone, tripping ungracefully over all of Deaton’s medical equipment.

“Stiles?” Scott’s groggy voice called from where he sat. Boyd was gone, but Deaton sat next to Scott.

“T-there's a man!”

The man was gloriously asleep on the table and beautifully naked. Stiles couldn't help but look at his gorgeous body, sculpted like a model. His eyes began to shift further down his body, toward where the man’s happy trail began.

“Derek?” Scott called out and the man shifted in his sleep. “Oh my God, Derek's back.”

Deaton jerked away. “W-what's going on?”

“Derek's back, he's human again.”

Stiles stared at the beautiful man and felt his mouth drop open. That man had been the wolf, the wolf that Stiles felt such a deep connection to. Somehow, after having been trapped in his wolf form for years, Derek was back.

“How?” Deaton asked in shock. “How is it possible?”

The man made a noise, rousing from his sleep. Stiles was still staring at him as his eyes opened, a beautiful shade of green stared back.

“Derek?” Scott called. “Hey dude.”

Derek's eyes shifted to blue and a deep growl escaped his throat. He moved to get off the table, falling off completely and landing on all four limbs.

“Derek, it's us. You're okay. You're back,” Scott tried, holding his hands up in defense.

Derek stared at everyone like they were the enemy. He was on defense like a wolf would be before an attack.

“Scott, go get the wolfsbane syringe,” Deaton ordered.

Stiles felt a possessiveness toward Derek, even in human form. He lurched forward, now unafraid of the man. Derek didn't react violently as Stiles stepped in front.

“No,” Stiles snapped. “I already told you no more drugs.”

Derek growled behind him, almost hiding behind Stiles like the skinny man could defend him against a magic man and a werewolf.

“Stiles, he's lost his humanity. He's feral.”

“He’s fine. Just,” Stiles took a breath, “just give me a second.”

Stiles turned around and dropped to his knees. Everything about the situation screamed at him to run, but whatever connection he felt was driving him like it had been.

“You're safe,” he said quietly, slowly reaching a hand out in front of him. “I know you might not understand, but you're safe here.”

Derek growled flashing his canines. Stiles flinched, but didn't run.

“Not gonna hurt you,” he whispered, trying to gain Derek's trust. His wolf had trusted him enough, but Derek was in an unfamiliar place and unaware of what was happening to him. “Do you remember me?”

“Stiles, he’s feral,” Scott repeated.

“Just shut up!” Stiles yelled, frustrated at the two other men in the room. They weren’t even trying to help Derek. They’d rather drug him than try to do anything to assist.

Derek only answered in a growl again, eyes focused on Scott and Deaton rather than Stiles. He was threatened, unsure of everything around him. Stiles wasn’t even sure if he could remember before he went feral since he knew close to nothing about werewolves and magic.

“They’re not going to hurt you either. I promise,” Stiles told him, getting his attention back. “Can you speak? Nod? Do anything humanlike?”

Derek watched him closely and there was a glint of something in his eyes, but it quickly disappeared and left Stiles feeling hopeless. If Derek could somehow turn back into a human overnight, there had to be a way to get his humanity back. Stiles felt some sort of hope in his chest and didn’t want to let it go.

“It’s useless, Stiles. Let’s just put him back to sleep and then we can talk about what the hell is happening,” Scott said, taking a step toward Stiles.

Derek snarled and pushed Stiles behind him almost violently. His claws were out and took a slash at Scott who made the mistake of taking another step forward. Blood flowed out of Scott’s wound, but just as quickly began to heal.

“Okay, no, I’m not doing this,” Scott growled in annoyance. The syringe in his hand began to raise and aim right toward Derek.

Derek didn’t seem to like the idea of being drugged anymore than Stiles did and reacted as anyone would have expected a feral, pissed off werewolf to react.

He attacked.

“Derek, no!” Stiles screamed as his wolf tackled Scott to the ground. He surged forward, unsure of what he was about to do, but unable to stop himself from moving.

Deaton didn’t even move, getting a very concentrated look on his face. Stiles stumbled over his own feet, feeling something unfamiliar and strange wash over him. It made Stiles’s heart beat fast and made his skin tingle.

“D-Deaton?”

Scott let out a yelp as Derek’s teeth sank into his arm. Two seconds later, Derek was on the ground twitching in pain. Scott scrambled out from underneath him and stood up next to Deaton. Stiles watched as the man opened his eyes, which had been squeezed shut and shuddered.

“Scott,” Deaton’s voice was hoarse, “get the syringe and give it to Derek.”

Stiles was about to protest, but Deaton held up his hand, silencing him before he could even say anything. He looked tired, like whatever he had done to Derek had drained him. Stiles’s mind went back to how Deaton told him he wasn’t as spry as he used to be. He wondered how magic could take so much out of him.

Derek let out a pathetic whimper and it had Stiles dropping down to his side. He hesitated before touching him, but Derek didn’t protest. Allowing Stiles to touch him, made the man shiver and let out a short sound that Stiles could only pinpoint as happiness. Derek went still under Stiles’s hand when Scott inserted the needle.

“There has to be another way other than drugging him every time he wakes up,” Stiles insisted. “It’s not fair.”

“You saw how he reacted, Stiles.”

“He was scared. He’s been stuck in a wolf’s body for years and everything was probably overwhelming and he only attacked because he was-” Stiles trailed off as he realized something. “He only attacked because he thought you were threatening me.”

“The possessiveness of an animal,” Deaton commented, coming over with a blanket. He lied it over Derek’s unconscious body. “It looks like whatever bond between you two is a lot deeper than expected. You seem to be the only one he’s okay around.”

“I don’t understand,” Stiles moaned.

“There’s a lot more that needs to be explained to you, Stiles, but it’s going to take some time, some learning. But first, we need to figure out how Derek turned back in the middle of the night.”

Scott cleared his throat. “I bet you it has something to do with Mr. I can walk past magic barriers like it’s nothing.”

Stiles gave him a dirty look. “It’s not like I knew I was doing it.”

“Maybe you weren’t aware of you doing anything last night either. Is it possible that you could have changed Derek back?”

“How would I have done that? I’ve never done magic in my life.”

Deaton gave him a curious look. “Those who lack control when it comes to magic are the ones who can do the most impossible things. You have no boundaries, no rules to live by, your body is running on unused magic and maybe you were just desperate enough to try to change Derek back.”

Stiles had been pretty desperate to help Derek at the time.

“I think I might have said something,” Stiles admitted, remembering right before he went to sleep. “I don’t really know what it means, but I whispered it.”

“What was it?” Deaton asked.

Revertere ad me,” Stiles repeated, the words just slipping off his tongue like they were natural in his mouth.

“Roughly translated to come back to me in English,” Deaton answered. “It’s not a spell, but with your uncontrolled powers, I can imagine you using it as a spell.”

Stiles had brought Derek back? He wasn’t really sure how, but with everything he was feeling lately, everything he had experienced, he wasn’t discounting anything presented to him. He very well could have used some weird magic and made Derek shift back.

“So that was me? I did that?”

“I highly doubt he would have just shifted back on his own without some assistance after so many years. I’m thinking you forced him back into his body, pushed at whatever humanity he had left and brought him back.”

Stiles looked at Derek next to him, sleeping soundly again. He stroked the man’s face, feeling the scruff around his cheeks. After looking at him, Stiles began to wonder if this was what Derek had looked like when he had been cursed. Had he been stuck in this beautiful state for years or did he age as the wolf aged.

“S-so, what are we going to do with him?” Stiles questioned. They couldn’t put him back in the woods, not as a human. If he woke up just as violent, they’d drug him again and Stiles did not want that.

“Keep him here until we figure out a more solid plan. The people of this town believe Derek died. They know nothing of the magic that is here and we’d like to keep it that way,” Deaton answered, eyes drifting down to Derek. “He’ll be safe here for the time being.”

“Can we get him a comfier place to sleep? He may have been an animal before, but he’s human now and he’s going to have some back issues because of that floor.”

“There’s a couch in the back office,” Scott suggested.

“Yes, the couch will work,” Deaton agreed. “Let’s move him in there.”

Just like the previous night, three men surrounded Derek and lifted him from the ground. Stiles couldn’t help but concentrate on the muscular feeling of Derek’s back underneath his fingertips. Everything about the man was muscle, having been an animal for so long probably only helped his cause.

They put Derek down gently on the couch and while Deaton and Scott moved away from his side, Stiles stayed.

“I think it’s best if Stiles is the only one in the room when Derek wakes up. Maybe you can learn something from how he reacts. We only gave him a low dosage, so once his body burns it off, he’ll wake up. In the meantime, Scott and I are going to try to find some answers.”

Stiles nodded. “What should I do if he wakes up?”

Scott smiled, a toothy little grin. “Just be yourself.”

It took four hours before Derek began to rouse again. Deaton had dropped off some breakfast from Stiles who scarfed it down faster than he should have. He hadn’t realized he was so hungry. Some breakfast was left for Derek with specific instructions to try to get him to eat it. Stiles cringed when Deaton handed him the plate. A slab of raw meat sat neatly on top.

At first, when Derek opened his eyes, Stiles thought he was coming back to himself. He thought that it was that simple, that he just needed more sleep. But then the look cleared and the animalistic nature returned to his face. He jerked upward on the couch, claws sinking into the cushion.

“Hey,” Stiles said softly, “hey, you’re safe.”

Derek’s eyes shifted wildly and then froze on Stiles.

“You’re okay, big guy.”

The man’s eyes quickly found the meat sitting on the plate and snarled hungrily. Stiles reached for it, only to have Derek fall off the couch and take a nose dive for it. A choked noise escaped Stiles’s throat as he ripped his hand away just in time for Derek’s teeth to sink into the meat.

“Alrighty,” he squeaked. “So we have forgotten how to speak and how to eat. We’ve got a long road ahead of us, don’t we?”

Derek made happy noises as he ate the meat and only after he was finished did he sit back up and look at Stiles. The smear of red meat covered his lips and face and made him look absolutely more terrifying than he already did.

“Good?” Stiles tried, knowing Derek wasn’t going to respond and now the man was naked again since the blanket had fallen off when he dove for the food. He quickly threw the blanket back over his nether regions. “Deaton wanted me to make sure you ate it, but it’s not like that was hard.”

Derek looked hungry for more.

“Just be yourself,” Stiles mocked at nobody in particular. He felt stupid for even saying it. He hadn’t been himself in years and now he was supposed to try and figure out his magical werewolf thing? “Let’s start basic, I guess.”

It was going to be like teaching a baby. Maybe Derek had some memory of his human years, but they weren’t going to show up if Stiles didn’t entice them.

“What’s your name? Can you say Derek?”

Derek made a strange look that made Stiles chuckle.

“No, okay, can you show me your teeth?”

Derek didn’t respond.

“Come on,” Stiles said desperately. “You gotta do something to help me out. I can’t tell if you don’t understand me or if you can’t respond or if you’re seriously just completely lost in there. I can’t help!”

As if to give Stiles some hope, Derek raised his hand and placed it on top of Stiles’s.

Stiles grinned. “You’re in there somewhere, I can feel it. We just need to bring you back.”

Chapter Text

Derek fell back asleep on the couch after touching Stiles's hand. Stiles sat next to the man, head resting back on the couch as he listened to the soft sounds of Derek's snores. Eventually, the floor got uncomfortable and Stiles rose from the ground.

The blanket over Derek's naked body only served to cover his lower region. Stiles couldn't help but look at his taut stomach, eying his dark hair as it trailed down his navel and disappeared under the blanket. Everything about his body was muscular and toned which Stiles figured was attributed to the fact that he had been a wolf in the wild for years.

Derek squirmed in his sleep, letting out a breathy whimper that went straight to Stiles's dick. An embarrassed flush crossed Stiles's cheeks and he quickly ducked out of the room, shutting it behind him.

He found Scott and Deaton surrounded by piles of books and papers. They looked deep in concentration and Stiles hoped that they had found something, anything that could be useful in bringing Derek back to his usual self.

Scott was the first to look up. “Hey! How's he doing?”

“Woke up, devoured the meat Deaton left and then promptly fell back asleep. He didn't seem to really understand me when I spoke, but he knows what food is, just not how to eat it.”

Scott sighed. “That's what we figured was going to happen. He's been a wolf for too long. We're going to have to reteach him basic things and hopefully it was trigger something in him.”

“Are we planning on keeping him here? You're going to have customers come tomorrow morning, Deaton. And what if he gets loose?”

Deaton looked up from the book he was reading. “You’re right, Stiles. He won't let any of us near him. His animalistic instincts still tell him that we're a threat and for whatever reason, he doesn't see you as one. He’s safe here for now, but come tomorrow, I’m not so sure.”  

Stiles still didn't understand why that was the case. It must have had to do with the magic inside of him, which still, for the record, made his head hurt every time he thought about it. He had never been anything special until Beacon Hills.

“So are you suggesting I take him in?” Stiles asked, catching on.

“I’m not suggesting anything, Stiles. If you think he’ll do better with you away from this place, I’ll be there to help. You’d be able to teach him the basics without anyone knowing where he is.”

“Because everyone thinks he died, right?” Stiles questioned although he already knew the answer.

“Correct.”

“Tell me what happened to him, please. Help me understand this.”

Deaton nodded, shutting the book. “Five years ago, Derek fell in love with a woman named Jennifer Blake also known as Julia Baccari. She’s highly dangerous and extremely powerful, but Derek hadn’t known that. She tried to trick him into helping her complete sacrifices to strengthen her powers. When Derek found out what she was doing, he refused and she cursed him. She made it so he was stuck as a wolf until she decided to release him. It was a punishment, to not have the gift of shifting back. By the time we learned anything about it, Jennifer was gone. She uses her magic to hide herself so we can’t find her.”

“So Derek wasn’t supposed to turn back unless this Jennifer woman came back into town and did it herself? But somehow, me whispering Latin made Derek shift back?”

“It’s a curious thing, Stiles. We don’t fully understand it, but I can feel power within you, as you felt mine when I used it on Derek. It’s like a tingling feeling and it grows as the power does.”

Stiles’s head began to hurt again.

“This Jennifer chick, she won’t know Derek shifted back, right? She won’t be able to feel it or anything?”

Deaton shook his head. “As far as we know, she can’t tell. I’d rather keep Derek out of the public eye until we figure everything out. It’s going to be interesting enough explaining to everyone that he didn’t actually die like we said he did.”

“You faked his death?”

“How else were we supposed to explain it?” Scott interrupted. “We made it seem like he died in a house fire. His family died years ago so nobody was going to come looking for it. It was to keep him safe.”

“I want to keep him safe too,” Stiles said. That was the only thing he knew for sure. Nobody was going to touch or hurt Derek again. They’d get him back. Stiles would help teach him and help him return to normal. It couldn’t be too hard.

Deaton nodded and smiled. “We’ll bring him to your place tonight. We’ll need to sedate him, but I promise it’s only for the car ride. I don’t want to risk him getting upset while we’re moving him and running off. Can you imagine what this town would think if they saw a naked man running around like he was an animal?”

“Okay,” Stiles replied, knowing it was the only way. “We’ll sedate him, but this is the last time, got it? It can’t be good for him.”

 


 

After feeding Derek again and having the man sniff his hand like an animal, Stiles watched as he slumped over, collapsing back onto the couch in confusion. His eyes flashed blue and he growled, although it turned into a purr as he became woozy from the drugs put in his food.

“I know,” Stiles said softly. “I’m sorry. I promise it’s the last time. You’ll be at my house next time you wake up. You’ll be safer there.”

Derek’s eyes slowly blinked, getting heavier as the drugs set in.

It had been Scott’s idea to put it in his food. Stiles was more shocked that Derek hadn’t noticed it when he dove to eat it. He was sure the man was going to smell it somehow and refuse to eat, however, Derek didn’t even hesitate. His teeth sank into the raw meat and devoured it just as fast as the first.

Stiles ran his fingers through Derek’s dark hair and waited until the man couldn’t keep his eyes open anymore. He felt guilty since Derek seemed to trust him the most, but in his mind, it was better than trying to stick him with a needle again. Scott was still annoyed about the healing bite marks on his arm.

The next time Derek woke up, Stiles had him lying in his bed, the TV playing in the background. Immediately, Derek’s eyes went wild, unfamiliar with the place he was in. It was the second time he had woken up and had no clue where he was and Stiles was beginning to feel bad. At least he was going to be staying here. He’d get used to it.

“Hey there, big guy,” Stiles greeted softly. Derek hadn’t made any move to get off the bed, however his chest rose and fell quickly like he was close to a panic. “You’re safe here, remember? Nobody is going to hurt you.”

Derek’s wide green eyes searched the room, maybe looking for an escape.

A hand came up to cup Derek’s face and bring his attention back to Stiles. The man let out a low growl that should have made Stiles let go. He didn’t. Instead, he touched the scruff on Derek’s cheek, feeling it scratch the palm of his hand. Again, Derek almost leaned into the touch, a soft noise escaping.

“See? I’m not a bad guy. I’m going to help you because for some reason, you trust me more than you trust the people you knew before. Maybe it’s the magic in me.”

Derek turned his nose toward Stiles's hand and sniffed gently. He had done it before so it didn't surprise Stiles. What did surprise him was the fact that Derek began to sniff up his arm, sitting up on the bed, still naked because Stiles didn't have clothes for him.

Before Stiles could react, Derek was nearing his neck and he wasn't just sniffing. No, this time, he was rubbing his cheek against the crook of Stiles's neck. Without meaning to, Stiles tilted his head, exposing his neck to the man. Derek made a pleased noise.

“Ooh kay! Okay, big guy!” Stiles squeaked as he came to his senses. Whatever Derek was doing felt nice, but Stiles wasn't sure what was going on and he didn't want it to go any further.

Derek frowned when Stiles pulled back, a real human frown and it made Stiles giggle.

“Sorry,” Stiles muttered. “Let's just take everything slow, okay? I'm still learning about you and you're still learning about me.”

Derek huffed and tried to lean forward again. Stiles stopped him by placing a hand on his chest. His skin was warm and oddly soft underneath Stiles's palm. It was only then that Stiles realized that Derek hadn't had a bath in five years. Yet somehow, he didn't smell awful.

Still, a shower was in order.

“Alright, let’s figure out how you feel about showers.”

The shower and Derek were not friends. Stiles attempted to leave Derek in there alone, after turning the shower on, briefly explaining the device and leaving it at a warm temperature. A few minutes later, Derek was growling at the stream of water like it was his enemy. Of course he didn’t like the water, after all he had been a wolf for so long.

“Okay, come here,” Stiles said, guiding Derek toward the shower. He had shut off the water to show that it wasn’t going to attack him. Derek looked reluctant, but with Stiles in the room, he moved forward a little more. Stiles had to keep telling himself to keep his eyes on the wall behind Derek’s head, not anywhere near his well sculpted abs or the parts below that.

As soon as Stiles had Derek in the shower, he pulled the shower head off the holder and sprayed it away from Derek. Within a second, Derek was growling at the thing again, teeth baring and eyes flashing yellow.

“Look,” Stiles muttered, placing his hand under the stream. “Safe.”

Derek eyed the thing but made no move to get any closer. Stiles sighed and stepped into the shower with Derek, pulling the curtain shut behind them. Still fully clothed, Stiles placed the shower head back in its place and stepped underneath it, basking in the warm.

When he stepped back, blinking the water out of his eyes, Derek was staring at him.

“Shower,” Stiles said softly. “It makes you clean, remember?”

Derek hesitantly stepped into the stream, closer to Stiles. The second the water hit him, his tense body relaxed significantly. Stiles watched as the man’s head drooped, letting the water cascade over his body.

“Good, right?”

Stiles showed Derek how to wash his hair, although he did most of the work while Derek stood there making noises that Stiles really wished he would stop making. They were so pleased and way too close to moans. When it came to washing his body, Stiles was at a crossroad. He didn’t want to touch Derek, especially since he had no way of giving consent in the state he was in, but he also didn’t want to leave Derek dirty or without a clue how to clean himself.

Finally, he came to the decision that he'd show Derek by demonstrating on his own body. As reluctant as he was to just strip off his shirt, he did it anyway. Grabbing the bottle of soap, Stiles showed Derek in great detail how to open the bottle, pour soap on his hand and lather himself up.

“Get it?”

Derek didn't nod because he probably didn't understand the words Stiles was speaking, but he followed Stiles's physical cues and repeated what he did.

“Good!” Stiles said with glee. “Good, Derek.”

Once Derek was finished, Stiles turned off the water and handed Derek a towel. The look he gave it was comical, all confused and concerned.

“Look,” Stiles said, demonstrating how to properly dry off your body. Derek followed suit and Stiles felt a surge of pride.

By the time dinner rolled around, Stiles realized he didn't have anything for Derek. Other than a few eggs, some cereal and some frozen dinners, Stiles didn't really have much in ways of food.

“Alright, big guy. We're going to have to go bug Deaton for some food. He's gotta have some sort of meat, right?”

Derek perked up at the mention of meat. Stiles had given him the baggiest pair of sweats he could find and one of the largest shirts he had and even that was super tight. Thankfully, Derek seemed to remember how to walk upright after watching Stiles do it for the entire afternoon. It was something, a glimpse toward normal.

They walked toward Deaton’s house, Derek a little unsteady on his feet after having been sitting on the couch for a few hours. Stiles did his best to steady the man, only to have him lean heavily into Stiles’s body and dip his nose into the crook of Stiles’s neck again.

What the actual hell?

“Stiles!” Deaton half shouted, half whispered, dragging the two of them inside after they rang the doorbell. Derek let out a throaty growl in reaction to Deaton’s tone and just his presence.

“Shh,” Stiles calmed Derek, patting his cheek gently to get his attention. “Deaton’s a friend, remember? The man with meat for you.”

“You came over for food?” Deaton questioned, looking a little peeved. “You could have called, Stiles. I told you that I don’t want Derek outside until we figure something out.”

Stiles rolled his eyes. “It was maybe 50 feet, Deaton. No biggie.”

Deaton opened his mouth to retort, but decided against it and closed his mouth. He led them into his kitchen and unwrapped a piece of meat.

“I usually fed him every night after work,” Deaton explained as he placed the meat on the table. Derek gave it a funny look up there, like he wasn’t sure why it wasn’t being placed on the floor.

“We’re still working on the whole proper eating thing. At least he didn’t nose dive into this one.”

Deaton chuckled and beaconed Derek forward, placing the plate on the ground. “Come on, boy. We’ll let you eat like an animal today.”

Derek sniffed the meat, eying both the men in the room. He was probably wondering if it was drugged again. Stiles didn’t blame him. They hadn’t been the most truthfully of folks so far. Eventually, hunger won and Derek dropped to all fours again and began to eat the meat on the plate.

“How’s he doing?” Deaton asked while Derek scarfed down the food.

Stiles shrugged. “Learned to shower today and he’s walking like a human so there’s that. Nothing has triggered his memory or made him completely human again. I’m worried we’re going to have to reteach him him everything.”

“Then we will,” Deaton replied firmly. “He’s back, Stiles. Never in the wildest dreams did I think he was going to turn to his human body after years of that curse, but then you showed up and it happened. Don’t give up faith. If anyone can bring him back, it’s you.”

That night, Stiles lied in bed thinking about how everything had changed so suddenly. A few nights ago, he was alone in this little town, still trying to figure things out. He wasn’t some magical person with a werewolf turned man in his house. He wasn’t anything before Beacon Hills.

Derek shifted on the bed next to him, turning onto his side to face Stiles. He was fast asleep, curled up in more of a fetal position. Stiles didn’t even bother trying to put him on the floor. He wouldn’t have had the heart to do it and it would have only fed his animal side. At least the bed was a semblance of normalcy. At least Derek looked normal like this.

Stiles tossed and turned for another hour, wishing he could sleep as well as Derek. Eventually, he picked up his laptop and opened it, tired of trying to sleep when he couldn’t. He needed to do some research if he was ever going to understand what was going on.

The first question burning in his mind was why Derek kept sniffing him and why it had felt so damn good.