This is Stiles’ second La Shaoshain and he’s definitely been looking forward to it. While not one to partake in the sexual freedoms offered by the unrestrictive nature of the day, he likes that borders are broken down. Stiles has suspected ever since meeting Kenzi’s pack (they may not call themselves that but if all supernatural are fae, Stiles is sticking with the words he’s comfortable with for smaller groupings, and Kenzi, Bo, Dyson, and Trick are definitely a pack) that the Hale-McCall pack would be considered dark fae. At best, they might be borderline. But if push came to shove, he knows that all of them, even Scott, would choose the dark fae as a side. It’s not from an evil or twisted side of course. It’s just that the way he and his friends have grown up and the things they’ve faced have taught them that difficult choices can be necessary. And not always the choice perceived as “good”.
Stiles is pretty sure that’s why Bo won’t choose a side either. That she knows she’s a good person, seeking to save the world not just the fae, and thus she doesn’t fit exactly with the dark fae. But she’s far more willing than the light fae to make tough choices, and so she’s stuck at an impasse. And the rules of the dark side have more loopholes.
Regardless of such serious matters however, Stiles genuinely does enjoy La Shaoshain. He’s become fast friends with The Morrigan--much to Kenzi’s distaste--as she reminds him a lot of Lydia and a bit of Allison too. Trick will usually be more free with his stories of days past and Dyson lets his wolf out a bit more, in ways that remind Stiles of the pack that he always misses.
Dyson’s quiet this year, watching the festivities from the corner of the bar, as his ability to love was stolen by The Norn only a few months ago. Stiles pities Dyson, but he doesn’t know how to help, so he focuses on dancing with Kenzi and Hale and laughing at Vex gets shot down by everyone he approaches.
So he’s more than a little shocked when the door to The Dal flies open, slamming against the wall, and three members of his pack storm in. Allison has her crossbow in hand watching the room, Marin Morrell throws a pinch of what Stiles recognizes as angelica in the air--clearly to prevent anyone from doing magic for the next few minutes, and most shocking of all is Derek, who leaps through the air in full wolf form, heading straight for Dyson.
“What the hell?!” shouts Stiles as the room erupts into chaos.
“You know these people?” asks Trick, his entire face wrinkling in obvious disapproval.
Their interim emissary walks up to Trick and reaches out her hand. “Marin Morrell, I believe you know my brother.”
Trick visibly pales as he shakes Marin’s hand. “I do indeed. I didn’t realize you had claimed loyalty to anyone though. Are you no longer a...free agent?” The last bit he finishes rather delicately, as though he meant to say something else.
“You mean a mercenary?” she returns. “My partner Braeden and I are. But we owed a debt, and so I serve as emissary to the Hale pack until Mr. Stilinski here is finished with school.”
“Which is lovely and all,” interjects Stiles, “but why the hell are you here and why is Derek attacking Dyson? On La Shaoshain, a day of peace!”
Allison moves through the angry crowd to Stiles’ side, quickly pointing out that Derek isn’t hurting Dyson, just keeping him still in the corner and unable to shift.
“Because you have a darach problem,” answers Marin.
Stiles swears. “Fuck.”
“Anyone superfluous needs to leave,” commands Allison loudly, her voice carrying over the din. “I apologize for the need to cut your festivities short, but I’m afraid it is a matter of life and death. Please enjoy the rest of the day somewhere else.”
There’s a good deal of grumbling from some of the lesser fae and a fair amount of hesitation at her announcement. The Morrigan steps over and whispers to Trick that she wants an explanation later, as a darach is no good for light or dark fae, and then she and Vex begin directing people outside. Kenzi and Hale help with the light fae and a few other stragglers, and in the meantime Stiles goes to see if he can’t calm Derek down.
“Derek. Derek,” says Stiles more forcefully. Derek snarls a bit, not biting Dyson but not backing down either. Stiles tries putting his hand on Derek’s back, hoping the touch will calm him, but it’s not much better.
“Is he the one?” asks Allison from behind Stiles. He turns to see the rest of The Dal has emptied.
“The one what?”
There’s a sudden outcry at Allison’s questions.
“Dyson is not a darach?”
“What the hell is a darach?!”
“Why do you think it’s Dyson?”
After several minutes of confused yelling back and forth, Hale whistles loudly, injecting just a hint of his siren abilities into the whistle, and forcing everyone to stop and turn to him. “This is getting us nowhere,” he states. “So here’s what we’re going to do. Dyson is going to stay where he is while the hunter here explains. Derek is going to let Dyson go, but still stay guarding until we’ve managed to calm the Hale-McCall pack concerns. Now everyone sit down and Stiles, you start by explaining what a darach is and then Miss Katniss over there will continue with the why they’re here business.”
Since Hale doesn’t often snap at anyone, they all hasten to obey, finally sitting in an awkward sort of circle.
Allison starts, letting Bo’s pack of sorts know all about the time they battled a darach. The dark druid went by the name Jennifer Blake, had nearly succeeded in trapping Derek under her spell, and had she managed to convince Derek to make the sacrifice she needed, she would have gained control of the Nemeton, Beacon Hills’ ley line power source. Her crucial error was asking Derek to sacrifice his pack, rather than his love for Stiles. Self-sacrifice was a concept Derek was still learning to step away from, hurting those he loved was completely different.
“Lydia had a vision a few months ago about another Nemeton reawakening,” finishes Allison. “And of course as Stiles knows, Nemetons don’t waken naturally. A second vision informed her that it was forced, thus leading us to believe we might have a potential darach situation again.”
Stiles grimaces. “And then I told you at the last Skype pack meeting about how I felt bad for Dyson and how he sacrificed his love.”
Marin nods. “It certainly worried us. More so when I discovered a very powerful and ancient druid, who calls herself “The Norn”, lives in this same city.”
Bo leans in to interject. “But why is Derek still guarding Dyson then? Based on your story, it would seem The Norn used Dyson just like this Jennifer person did to Derek.”
“Crazy old broad,” comments Kenzi, slapping Bo’s palm at the proffered high five.
“Two reasons,” answers Marin. “First, Dyson comes from one of the few ancient lines of werewolves. We couldn’t exactly be sure that he hadn’t been working with The Norn until we got here. Second…”
Stiles picks up the conversation thread. “Second is that Derek has great control of his wolf, except when it comes to his mate, and the fact that I was in such close proximity to a non-pack wolf, the darach concerns, and the heightened sensations of La Shaoshain would have caused a more animalistic reaction.” He turns away from the rest at this point, kneeling down to speak quietly with Derek, using soothing words and reminders of things that just belong to them. Allison and Marin continue explaining finer points of dealing with a darach, and after a few more minutes, Derek shifts back to his human form.
“Sorry,” he mutters at Stiles, and slightly towards Dyson.
Dyson just nods forgivingly. “No judgment here. Protecting one’s mate is an honorable trait.”
Trick had disappeared for a moment and now tosses a pair of pants and a t-shirt at Derek. He keeps spare clothes around for Dyson anyway, Sharing an extra pair won’t matter.
Kenzi makes a depressed noise as Derek’s ass gets covered by the sweats and is no longer in her view. Stiles pats her hand in sympathy and resolves to make sure Kenzi and Erica meet at some point. He has the feeling they would get along swimmingly.
“So if I understand what you all are saying, The Norn is a darach, and when I offered to give up my wolf to save Bo, she took my ability to love instead and used it to waken this nemeton?” questions Dyson.
“That would be the gist of it.” Allison has her bow at her side, a trio of arrows on her lap that she’s marking runes into. Stiles will imbue them with the necessary power later.
Stiles tucks himself a little closer to Derek and notices Bo doing the same with Dyson. The difference being that Derek responds in kind to Stiles, rubbing his fingers against Stiles’ skin and leaning equally into his space, while Dyson keeps Bo at a distance. “The difficulty,” points out Stiles, “is finding this particular Nemeton. Once we have that done, taking down this Norn shouldn’t be too difficult.”
“What is a nemeton exactly?”
“An ancient and sacred tree.”
Kenzi snorts. “You can’t seriously be telling me that tree the old crone built her house around is magic?”
Stiles, Allison, Marin, and Derek as one turn and gape at Kenzi.
“The Norn lives next to it?” questions Stiles in disbelief. “Is she stupid?”
“Not stupid,” interjects Trick, one of his few contributions so far this evening. “She’s just very old. And comes from a time when people recognized the value of such things. Proximity meant power.”
Allison shrugs. “These days, proximity just means easy target.”
She ends up being right. With the location known, Bo and Allison quickly come up with a plan to sever The Norn’s ties to the local nemeton, remove the corrupted power by returning Dyson’s ability to love, and then establish the nemeton as an entity with it’s own power again, thus preventing it from being controlled by any but the most powerful of sorcerers.
Stiles works with Hale and Bo on the nemeton side of things, since they need locals to correctly complete the spell. Marin and Derek partner with Trick to deal with The Norn. Allison and Kenzi stand guard, since neither group is sure that The Ash or The Morrigan won’t jump in to take advantage of the situation.
In the end, the entire plan works seamlessly. So well in fact, that Dyson and Bo get about as far as the alleyway before they’re ripping each other’s clothes off. Bo’s succubus powers are infectious and Stiles is barely able to keep himself from climbing all over Derek on the ride home. In fairness, he thought it was impressive that he’d kept himself in check this long.
Allison pretty much shoves them out of the car, insisting to Kenzi that she’d love to go out dancing, and by dancing, she means anything that will keep them out of earshot of the apartment for the next several hours.
Stiles grins as he wraps his legs around Derek and lets Derek carry him up the stairs, using his position to grind against Derek’s stomach. By the time they make it to Stiles’ bed, they’re already moving to round two. Stiles pushes himself up to kiss Derek, sloppy and messy and so so hot, and thinks that this turned out to be a very happy La Shaoshain indeed.