Stiles knew this was not going to turn out well.
He had gone to Scott’s expecting to convince the boy that it wouldn’t do any good moping around about the loss of killing Peter himself and possibly being turned back into a normal everyday teenager. Derek himself had said that it might not work. There was nothing that Stiles would put past the older were to do to get back at the Alpha for killing his one and only conscious family member. If it meant lying to Scott to get his help in taking down Peter, Stiles had had no doubt that Derek wouldn’t lose a night’s sleep over it.
As it was, when he had arrived at Scott’s, his friend had been lying on his bed, face smothered in a pillow, dead to the world except for the faint whimpering that sounded from him. It had been a rather pathetic sight and Stiles had made no move to hide what he had thought his friend was doing to himself. The way Scott had been acting, even before the death of the Alpha, it was like the world was about to end and there was nothing he could do about.
“Dude, Scott, you need to snap out of it. This is not the end of the world. Sure, you’re a freaking werewolf for the rest of your life. Get over it. There are worse things in life.” That’s what he had said to the teen on the bed. He had felt the pent up anger rising in his system, egging him on to say more, but he had pushed it away not wanting to bring the wolf out of his friend. Having not received a response from Scott, he had walked forward and punched his friend in the back. That had earned a growl, but nothing more. As he had stared down at the shirtless back of his friend, a plan had started to form and pulled a groan from his throat.
And that was why Stiles was now driving at break neck speeds down the road thinking things were not going to end so well for him. He had taken the plan that had popped into his head, and ran with it. It didn’t matter that he had put himself in danger, just that he get some kind of response from his friend.
A thud on the roof of his jeep pulled Stiles from his thoughts of what had happened a mere 10 minutes before and into the here and now. A feral growl was whistling on the wind that seeped in around his door and he tried pushing the gas pedal down farther, only to discover that it was already against the floor. A curse slipped from his lips as he swerved the jeep onto the dirt path that wound its way through the Hale property. The distinct sound of claws on metal had him cringing for the safety of his baby, but it was a fleeting thought as he saw the Beta fly off the roof and roll across the forest floor, his back slamming into a tree with the force of a charging rhino behind the hit. If he hadn’t know about werewolves and their tendency to heal themselves, he would have stopped to check on the creature, but he was well informed on that front and left his best friend behind him, a ‘sorry, Scott’ slipping from between his clenched teeth.
It was only a few short minutes later that Stiles saw the burnt house coming into view. His plan would only work if the new Alpha was home and not looking to kill either of them. Slamming on the break and skidding, thankfully not rolling, to a stop, Stiles left the vehicle on and raced up the steps, using hands to propel himself faster towards the door that stood ajar in front of him.
Without breaking his run, he slammed the front door the rest of the way open and darted into the dark house. Breathing heavily, he tried to speak, but the words weren’t coming. He had to find Derek before Scott gained ground on him again. Making a quick circuit of the first floor and not seeing the brooding male in any of the destroyed rooms, he darted up the steps, two, sometimes three steps at a time, and made his way from room to room. His panic was starting to grow to hyperventilating proportions as he came to the realization that if Derek had been home he would have already come to see what all the commotion was about.
Not dwelling on that thought until he had checked the entire second floor, Stiles raced from each bedroom, bathroom, and storage closet that he came across. They were all empty of life. Dust was settled on all surfaces that it could get too, covering everything in a layer of grey snow. Only one of three bathrooms that he had checked was free of the dust. Now that he was standing in front of the last door on the second floor it only stood to reason that this one would also be free of the grey blanket. He was nervous about intruding on Derek’s personal space, knowing that is would more than likely cause him more pain once he got himself out of the situation he had put himself in at the present moment.
Taking a deep breath, he put caution to the wind and threw the door open, walking into the large room and finding the space clean. There was a double sized bed pushed against the far wall, made of black sheets and matching pillows. Rolling his eyes at the sight, he scanned the rest of the room to see a closet full of the owner’s favorite attire, dark jeans and white tees, a small chest pushed into a corner so that it was hidden in the shadows, lock firmly in place, and a pile of books in the middle of the room. Out of everything, the books threw Stiles off his game and jump started his ADD. What would the wolf read? He didn’t look to be the type to read those raunchy romantic types of books or sci-fi books. Hell, he didn’t look the type to read books in general.
What sounded like a mix between a howl and an enraged scream made Stiles dive farther into the room, slamming the door closed with his foot. Shit! Where am I to go now? He looked to the closet first and decided against that. It was too obvious. Running to the opened window next to the bed, he looked out only to discover that it was a straight drop to the ground below. Damn werewolf abilities! The only other option he could see was a small gap under Derek’s bed. It seemed too narrow for him to slip under, but he knew he could do it. It was a habit of his as a kid to fit himself into places no one thought possible. Take, for example, one year when his mom and he had been playing hide-and-seek. It took her five hours to find him. He had tucked himself away in a carry on suitcase and had fallen asleep in the dark space. Now that hobby of his would serve to protect him. Hopefully.
Just as he pulled his foot under the bed, he heard the sound of footsteps on the stairs. He squeezed his eyes closed and hoped that being in the Alpha’s den would protect him. Werewolves were territorial beings, weren’t they? Not to mention that a Beta in an Alpha’s room seemed to make as little sense as a vampire and a human hooking up. It didn’t seem right or natural. But then again, what was natural anymore? The supernatural had become a constant in Stiles’ life and he wasn’t too keen on letting it be the undoing of said life.
The distinct sound of sniffing had Stiles’ breath hitching in his lungs and a sudden calm to fall over his heart. He wasn’t sure what had made it calm down so much, but he was thankful for it because he didn’t want to see the muscle mass pulled from his living body after giving away his hiding place. He waited with baited breath as the door to Derek’s room slowly slid open, slipping his eyes open and seeing a familiar pair of shoes coming into view. It was Scott. The Beta-were had found him. The disembodied shoes slowly walked into the room, a small whine sounding from the body connected to them.
Stiles fear was momentarily replaced by confusion. What had Beta-Scott so scared that he was actually whimpering and whining? As the thought hit him, he heard an angry snarl from outside the house and the noises from his friend doubled as he ran out the door and down the stairs. A brief moment later and there was a pained howl followed by a triumphant growl ripping through Stiles’ ears. The Alpha was apparently home and not in the mood for a wolfed out Scott. Scrambling out from under the bed, he closed the door behind himself as he left the room and slowly made his way to the top of the stairs.
He could still hear the painful noises coming from his friend, but they were morphing into more human noises. Before long, the howl was no more than pained gasps and wheezing as Scott, probably now human, was on the ground at the mercy of a pissed off Alpha Derek. He thought about rushing down the steps to stop Derek from hurting Scott more but this was what Scott needed. He needed to feel, period. Stiles didn’t care if it was pain, sorrow, grief, fear, love, hurt, anger, or any other emotion, physical or otherwise, he just knew his friend needed to feel something besides the all-encompassing depression he had sunk into.
He also didn’t care if Scott hated him when he finally realized that it was Stiles’ plan all along to bring him here, even if he hadn’t meant for it to be today of all days. Even if Derek did take away a possible chance to become human again, Scott still needed to learn to control his inner beast. Now more than ever since there was no turning back. Shaking his head, he calmly made his way down the stairs and to the front door. It was standing wide open, allowing him to quietly exit the house and stand, shoulder against one of the porch posts, and watch the Alpha and the Beta.
It hadn’t really been a fight at all. As he had suspected, being the Alpha now made entering his den unacceptable and that was why Scott had been scared back up in Derek’s room and why, at the sound of his snarl, the Beta had fled the Alpha’s room and home. It just happened to be too late an exit to avoid a fisted hand to the stomach and a kick to the side after he was down. Now Derek was standing over Scott, his usual glare in place and fixed on Scott. No trace of the Alpha phase was visible on the older boy, but with the added boost of actually being an Alpha, Stiles didn’t think he needed the shift to take down Scott.
Glancing to his friend, he winced in pain. Scott was on his forearms and knees, head resting on the ground. Blood seemed to be dripping from where Derek had punched him, probably slashed as well, and he had a giant bruise on his back. That could only have been caused by his trip into that tree. It covered the whole of his back, showing only pink skin up around his shoulder blades. Guilt started to seep into his heart as he stared, knowing that the hit had caused Scott’s back to break and internal organs to rupture. The healing had to of been painful, if the boy had even been conscious through it.
A hand fisting the front of his shirt and a feral snarl brought Stiles’ wandering mind to the Alpha in front of him. “Why are you here?” The words were spit out through clenched teeth and a brief flash of blue showed in the otherwise dark eyes in front of him.
Rubbing the back of his neck, Stiles wasn’t sure what to tell Derek. The truth would be best but that was so convoluted in Stiles’ mind that he couldn’t think of what it was. “Well, you see….” He trailed off as the fist tightened in his shirt. Derek brought his face close to Stiles’, teeth starting to turn to fangs. “I don’t know!” he finally blurted out. “I went to Scott’s to get him to do something. He’s been holed up in his room for too fucking long that I wanted to get a reaction from him. ANY reaction,” he stressed. “He didn’t do anything when I punched him. I resorted to taunting him about Allison leaving him and going to someone normal, someone that wasn’t a werewolf. That seemed to get a small rise out of him but all he did was roll over onto his back. So, I stabbed him. I came prepared and when nothing else I did worked, even kissing him, I stabbed the bastard.”
The hand that had his shirt released its grip and pulled Stiles by the back of his neck off the porch and to his friend, anger still fueling his system. “Then what caused that?” Derek was pointing at the giant bruise on Scott’s back.
Stiles had the decency to look properly guilty. “He was on the roof of my jeep when I turned a particularly sharp bend on my way here. He flew off and hit a tree. It gave me enough time to get here and hide. After searching your house for you, that is.”
Derek’s hand slipped from Stiles’ neck and went to rub his face before shooting a killer glare at Stiles than down at Scott. The Beta had made no move to get up after he had been taken down. It appeared he was lapsing back into his depression. Stiles thought he saw the older were shake his head; it could have been a figment of his imagination as it was such a small gesture, before kneeling down and placing a hand on the back of Scott’s neck.
In mute fascination, Stiles watched as Derek’s claws extended and sunk into the back of Scott’s exposed neck. He knew what was happening, that Derek was showing him something, but it was still alarming to see his friend’s body start to convulse as the foreign images raced through his mind. It lasted for only a few seconds, and when the teen’s body stopped shaking, he slowly rolled onto his back, wincing at the pain. His blank eyes slowly came into focus, first on Derek’s hovering body, then shifting to rest on Stiles. “Why are you both looking at me like I’m a homeless puppy that’s on the verge of death?” he crocked out.
Stiles scoffed and pushed Derek out of the way. He felt rather than saw him stiffen and shoot him a glare, but ignored it to check on Scott. He placed a hand on the other boy’s forehead. “You’ve got a slight fever, but I think it’s because your body is working in over drive trying to fix itself.”
“And why would it need to fix itself? What happened?”
It was hard to hold back the laugh that wanted to erupt out of his chest, but Stiles managed to keep it out of his voice and off his face. Scott had looked so innocent asking his questions that it reminded Stiles of a time when they both were young and oblivious to the hurt and anguish in the world. It made Stiles feel all the more guilty for having hurt his friend, brother, really. Not wanting to answer, he stood and hoisted a protesting Scott up and onto his feet. He felt the hand he was holding tense to a painful grip, faintly aware that he felt at least one bone shift out of place at an odd angle, and kept the pain behind a mask of concern. “Well, buddy, we have to get you somewhere so that you can have a proper werewolf meal so that you can heal faster.”
A deliberate clearing of a throat had Stiles turning his head to look over his shoulder. “And what would you know about werewolf healing?” The question was one not heard from the Alpha before. He usually just let the two friends do as they pleased, not concerned about what they did or knew about werewolf lore. His glare was gone and instead he had a genuine inquisitive look upon his features.
Clearing his own throat as he turned back towards his jeep and slowly moved towards it, Scott in tow, “If you must know, I’ve not been researching werewolves for the past two months just for fun. I’ve invested my time mostly on website browsing, but I’ve also done my research and ordered some books that are more accurate than anything else I’ve come across.” Letting the comment hang in the air, he sped up the pace and made it to the jeep. After helping Scott into the passenger seat, he calmly walked back over to the Alpha, some of his pent up anger surfacing again. “And if you had actually invested any time into helping Scott in the first place this probably never would have happened. The only reason he seems to want this curse, as he calls it, gone is because he is madly in love with Allison.” For some odd strange reason, he wanted to add, but didn’t. He could see the shock clearly on the elder wolfs face, but he paid little attention to it. Now that he was saying it, he couldn’t stop. “And for that matter, why not use her to help him. She somehow or other soothes the beast in him, making him not shift. Have you ever thought that she actually makes him stronger? That having that connection to her is helping him?”
A hand covering his mouth had Stiles stopping. Derek’s shocked look was back to being pissed off and annoyed at the teen in front of him. “I’ve tried my best with him. He’s too distrac…”
“Bullshit!” Stiles had kicked the wolf in the shin and ducked out of the surprised werewolf’s hold. “You tried just about as hard as you cared too. Killing the Alpha never would have saved him, would it? As we see with you, you became the next Alpha. What, in killing the Alpha, would have turned him back? The bite changes the genetics of the person bitten. Killing the one that bit you would do nothing!” Stiles didn’t give Derek a chance to respond as he stomped back to his jeep, hopped in, threw the clutch into drive, and tore out of the driveway and back towards town.
It took him longer to reach his destination than it did to get to Derek’s house even though it was closer than his own house in relation to Derek’s. His dad was going to kill him if he found out about his race through town. There was nothing he could say to the man to keep him from blowing up. It was in his fatherly, and town sheriff, right to do so, but it still brought him little relief.
As he pulled into the small diner, Stiles looked to Scott. His friend hadn’t said a word the whole trip. He hadn’t even moved. His eyes were focused on something outside the window, but in front of anything he was truly seeing. It was a creepy look that spoke of unhinged minds and crazy intentions. Sighing, he put his hand on Scott’s shoulder. “Are you okay, Scott?” He didn’t mean in the physical sense, but in the emotional one.
Stiles felt like he was having an out of body experience. First he was deliberately provoking a newly turned werewolf, then he was practically pushing around a born werewolf, one that happened to be an Alpha on top of that, and now he was at a loss of words asking stupid ass questions. Shaking his head at his own lack of knowing what to do, he reached into the back seat and pulled out a shirt for his friend. He had to manually put the shirt on Scott, thank the gods it was a button up or it would have been more awkward then it already was. Then he went for the wet wipes he had stashed under his seat. At times like these he liked that his brain made him think of everything; after his first run in with claws he had bought the wipes to wash away any bloody evidence. Quickly washing off the dirt, blood, and sweat from his friends face he was satisfied that he was finally able to take him into the diner.
A few minutes later found him and Scott seated at a small booth in the back corner of the diner. The place was dimly lit and brightly colored. The booth seats were a red shimmery vinyl that made clean up’s easy and hot weather a literal pain in the ass. The walls were an egg white wash that seemed to be hiding a coat of blue underneath. There were pictures hanging on every surface of past celebrities and musicians. If he cared he could probably name every one of them.
Having already ordered a burger and curly fries for himself and a rather raw steak for the other occupant of the table, he let his mind wander. From what he knew about werewolves and what he had read in some of the books, a healing wolf needed to feed on food that was more to the wolfs liking than to the humans. It all boiled down to the fact that the wolf was the one doing the healing for the human. If the wolf was weak and injured, so was the human. He still didn’t fully understand the concept of whether it worked both ways. If the human was injured, was the wolf? If the human half died, would the wolf be able to bring it back? It was a never ending cycle of if’s and questions that Stiles saw no end in sight. It was all just too much for his already hyperactive mind.
Rubbing the exhaustion off his face, he was surprised to see his food sitting in front of him. Glancing at Scott he noticed that the wolf hadn’t touched his food either. Shoving a handful of the curly fries into his mouth, he grabbed the plate with the steak on it and cut it into bite sized pieces. The blood that oozed out of it made him gag, but it was all for the wellbeing of his friend. The fact that it was a little warm from the stove made it a little more believable that this was a freshly killed animal rather than a previously frozen hunk of meat.
Stabbing one of the bits, he held it in front of Scott. Smirking, he grabbed his own fork and stabbed his friend in the hand. The tongs sunk into the skin and he saw blood starting to ooze out just as if it had been another piece of meat being cut to pieces. His effort was rewarded when Scott’s mouth flew open in a snarl, the sound being smothered by the piece of meat shoved into his mouth. As the juices from the tiny bite seeped out and into the mouth of the wolf, and down its chin, Stiles was amazed at how fast the distant look was replaced by a set of yellow eyes and hard features before settling on brown and relaxed.
The fork he had lodged into the hand on the table was abruptly yanked from his grip and set on the table followed by a muffled, “What are you doing?”
Stiles was so ecstatic that he about cried. He could feel the tears welling up, but not spilling over. Recovering quickly, he pushed Scott’s plate back in his direction as he removed his hand from the fork in Scott’s mouth. Before he could think, his mouth started running. “I’m SO sorry, Scott. I was just trying to help. You’ve been depressed for the past month, wasting away to nothing and I couldn’t stand it anymore! I didn’t mean to hurt you but it was the only way to get you to react. I had to stab you. Then there’s the throwing you into a tree. Oh my god! I could have killed you!” His rambling seemed to go on and on, never letting up even when the waitress swung around to refill their waters.
It wasn’t until Scott gave Stiles’ own shin a kick under the table that the boy shut-up. “What are you talking about? I’m not hurt? And how can you possibly have thrown me into a tree so bad that my back would have broken?”
And it was true, as Stiles looked over his friend, the pale skin was gone. He was holding himself up and looking around as if wondering how he had gotten to the small diner. Moving over next to his friend, he pulled the back of Scott’s shirt up and saw smooth, unmarred skin underneath. Whistling low, he moved back to his own side and took a few more bites of his food. Apparently his reading had paid off. “To start off, I didn’t throw you into a tree. My jeep did. I was the one behind the wheel though. Secondly, you were hurt. I think the hit with the tree broke your back and ruptured something inside. The bruise you had was not a nice one. Not to mention the punch Derek landed on you.” He scarfed down half his burger before going on. “And dude, I am sorry, but you’re going to have to start meeting with Derek. I’m not giving you an option. The bastard needs to take responsibility as do you.”
“For what?! I wasn’t the one who asked to be bitten?” Stiles could see the frustration swimming in Scott’s eyes. “This isn’t what I wanted and I’m not going along with it. There is no way you can force me to go.”
If he had been human, Stiles had no doubt that Scott could stop him from forcing the Beta to the Alpha. Now that he knew at least one of the tricks in his most recent book was accurate, he was planning on trying out one of the others. He’d have to wait to get the right materials, but if it worked, Scott could do little more than whine and beg to be let free. “For now I can’t make you go. Give me time and I’ll find a way.”
The groan that escaped his friend was enough to let him know that he would be fine. It was with a sense of relief that they finished their meals, Scott having ordered a second steak on the medium to well-done side, and left the diner. Stiles dropped Scott off at his house without worrying that his friend wouldn’t survive the night. He had finally done something useful.
The five minute drive to his own house was enough to have the weight of the day’s events crash down upon him. His eyes didn’t want to stay open and his hand was faintly starting to throb. He didn’t quite remember why and he didn’t really care at the moment. Parking his car outside the garage, he stumbled his way into the house and up the stairs. Without changing his clothes, he let his body fall onto his bed, sleep consuming his consciousness before his head even hit the pillows.