“Wear a jacket when you go to Takehashi’s,” Stiles’ dad yells up the stairs. “It’s supposed to rain and I don’t really feel like indulging your truant behavior because of a cold, again.” The words are punctuated by the faint sound of the front door closing, and the roar of the cruiser’s engine.
“Fine,” Stiles mutters back belatedly, mouth twisting as he looks around the bedroom and realizes most of his hoodies are either caked in mud or in the wash. He sighs and slowly opens the closet, just a little wary. The last time he’d opened it, like four spiders had crawled out and nearly onto his feet; he’d shut the doors and started packing everything into a now overfilled dresser ever since.
Hanging inside are a number of rarely worn clothing items, mostly suits and dress clothes, but shoved in the corner is a bright red hoodie that he’d stuck in here after it shrunk in the wash. It hadn’t gotten cartoon tiny, but everyone gave him weird looks the day he’d worn it to school afterwards, so he’d just stuck in the back of the closet and forgotten about it.
He pulls it on, surprised to find it comfortable, if a little snug around his arms. As he digs the car keys out of his old pants, he convinces himself the new fit is only because he’s been getting buff.
It quickly turns out that his dad hadn’t been exaggerating, and everything outside is sad and wet. There is even a soft sprinkle of rain on the windshield of the Jeep as he drives down the old road towards Mr. Takehashi’s totally creepy house, just outside of city limits and a little further in the woods than anyone really should ever live. His dad had defended him when Stiles had started talking about Mr. Takehashi’s lack of cohesive community instinct, but that doesn’t mean Stiles wasn’t completely right, even if his door is always unlocked for visitors.
He’s got this whole speech prepared about the importance of community and lacrosse, the same one he thinks every week and the same one he never actually says out loud, but this is the first time he’s been stopped by a dark figure in the doorway, rather than the gentle lilt of Mr. Takehashi’s accent.
This is why I should stop being such a nice guy, thinks Stiles as he stares up into the face of an angry and criminally attractive guy that is definitely not Mr. Takehashi, the eighty year old agoraphobic that his dad sends Stiles over to deliver a casserole every week as an excuse to check up on him. This is also why I should convince Dad I need a taser.
The guy tries to push the door closed, but Stiles pushes back until he ends up tripping into the house.
Stiles can see him completely now, wearing a leather jacket and a plain white t-shirt, basically fulfilling any guilty Grease fantasies Stiles definitely hasn’t had, and that the room is definitely empty of tiny old man.
He turns around to ask where Mr. Takehashi is, how they’re related, et cetera, and that’s when he sees the smear of blood on the wall, worryingly close to the door frame.
Later, Stiles will deny he squeaked like a deer mouse, and insist it was a manly gasp.
“Where is Mr. Takehashi?!” Stiles yells, jumping back away from the only probable culprit. “He was a nice man, okay, and a lot of people are going to want your blood if he’s hurt, Mister.”
“Go away,” he says, grabbing the front of Stiles’ shirt and trying to spin him towards the door.
Stiles won’t have any of it, and grabs the doorknob of a coat closet for leverage, trying in vain to stay put, digging his heels into the carpet. The guy leans in when he won’t move, and Stiles feels the crazy urge to bare his throat, but ignores it, instead glaring up into the his… Suddenly creepy, glowing eyes.
“What’s going on with your eyes, man?” Stiles blurts out, nervously laughing when the said eyes narrow even more, and the man lets go of him in favor of shutting the door.
“Takehashi is out,” he says, voice gravelly, and lifts the corner of his jacket to show a horrible wound cutting through his side.
Honestly, Stiles is a little weirded out by the fact the man is still standing, let alone threatening people. “Mr. Takehashi doesn’t go out,” he insists, rather than the myriad of responses that comes to mind, mostly to do with a gaping hole in the man’s side. “He has agoraphobia, so like, I don’t believe you for a second. There’s no proof that blood is yours.”
“Sit down,” the man growls, rather than trying to defend the explanation, “And shut up.”
“Not that I’m accusing you of any kind of... Murdering. You could be a perfectly nice guy and Mr. Takehashi just took you in out of the kindness of his heart, and uh,” Stiles tries to come up with more, but he’s got the over whelming feeling that he’s still going to die a horrible death. “Is he sleeping?” he asks desperately.
“Takehashi. Is. Out.” The man enunciates carefully, shoving Stiles down onto the couch, and slumping down on the far end.
“Okay, jeez, I get the message,” Stiles says and stretches out on the couch like he’s not checking all the exits. Which is just the one, actually.
He’s so fucked.
It’s a well-known fact that Stiles can’t handle more than a few moments of silence, especially awkward silence. It’s just something in his brain that can’t deal with; all the carefully avoided eye contact and the idea that he’s being ignored for no reason.
“So, my name is Stiles,” he introduces companionably. His mouth twists down when the other man continues to pretend he isn’t there, “It’s generally considered polite to respond with your own name, in case you aren’t familiar with social convention, and are just shy.”
“Derek,” the man finally says, not even bothering to glance over as he introduces himself.
Normally, Stiles would rebuff him with something clever about the lack of companionable manners, but right now he can hear Derek’s wheezing breath, so he just nods.
“Well, this is exciting,” he says and glances around the room, looking from the antler chandelier to the buttons on Derek’s jacket and then quickly back over to a rather boring painting of the Beacon Hills mountainside. He coughs into a closed fist and beats a rhythm into his knee, before he can’t resist any longer and bursts out, “So why aren’t you totally bleeding out on Mr. Takehashi’s floor?”
Derek slides his eyes over to Stiles, and they do that creepy glowy thing again.
“I mean,” Stiles tries to awkwardly recover. “I guess you don’t have to tell me, but I’ll let you have some of my delicious food; it’s pretty much legendary around Beacon Hills.”
The other man has a look on his face like he can’t believe he’s not dreaming this right now, and not in the good sexy way.
“I’m just special,” Derek answers hoarsely, and Stiles realizes the silence wasn’t completely because of some deep, dark, brooding nature. The hole in the man’s side is the topic of conversation, for Christ’s sake, and he’s just sitting there, probably dying while Stiles is asking stupid questions.
“Was that a joke?” Stiles can’t help but ask after a few more moments of silence, but all he gets in response is the same stony face that Derek’s been sporting since he got here. “Well, that’s just totally awesome, buddy.”
Luckily, Mr. Takehashi bursts in the door a few moments later, the very picture of health, and also sporting the kind of incredibly large knife that Stiles hasn’t seen outside of Marine movies.
“You’re alive!” Stiles exclaims, jumping up from the couch so fast that he nearly upends the casserole still in his arms.
“Of course I’m alive, Mr. Stilinski,” Mr. Takehashi rebuffs hesitantly, then turns to give Derek an indiscernible look before looking back to Stiles. “Are you okay?”
“Uh,” Stiles looks around, “Yes.” He gives the old man his own considering look, “Should I not be?”
“Mr. Hale here just gets a little testy when he’s injured,” Mr. Takehashi answers, smiling softly. He puts his giant knife away, into a holster at his hip that Stiles hadn’t even noticed, and approaches Derek cautiously.
“Did you get it?” Derek asks heavily.
Stiles swings his gaze to Mr. Takehashi, just as the man pulls a packet of some kind of herb out of his pocket. He then sits back down on the couch, and gives them a defiant stare when the men both give him a look like he should be leaving.
Derek grinds his teeth, and if Stiles didn’t know better he’d think there was a bit of fang jutting out.
Mr. Takehashi just sighs and rolls his eyes, “Take off your shirt, Derek. He won’t tell.”
“Fine,” Derek growls, and Stiles definitely doesn’t stare when he strips off his jacket and then his shirt; if anyone says anything he would defend that the wound was so freakishly gross that it warranted a little staring.
It’s not as deep as Stiles had thought, but it’s surrounded by a weird web of black veins that make it a million times worse.
“That is not normal,” he says in disbelief, gaping.
They ignore him, and Takehashi does something with a lighter and the plants that both startles Stiles and creates a foul smell that quickly permeates the room. He opens his mouth to ask what they’re going to do, and maybe explain that isn’t how you’re supposed to hotbox, but it’s silenced when Mr. Takehashi takes the ashes in his hand and harshly rubs them into Derek’s wound.
Derek starts yelling, volently, and Stiles watches in horror as his entire body seems to start warping: bones popping and face elongating impossibly. After a second, the wound closes up like it hadn’t been there, and Derek is back to simply being an improbably ripped guy, though Stiles is totally doubting the sanity of this situation.
“What the fuck,” he screeches, pulling his knees to his chest, like curling up will get him out of the horror movie he’s just entered.
“You should have left,” Derek growls, rolling his shoulders and standing up. “Werewolves aren’t something for you to watch like zoo animals.”
“Werewolves?” Stiles say in a high pitched tone, before coughing in attempt to bring it down so he doesn’t startle the obviously crazy man. He looks to Mr. Takehashi, “Werewolves?”
“I thought you said he knew,” Derek directs at Mr. Takehashi, his voice going dangerously low.
“I merely said he wouldn’t tell,” Takehashi responds, going into total zen mode.
Stiles raises his eyebrows at the implication that this is totally and completely true, that Derek is a werewolf. He looks down at the casserole and slowly gets up, walking to the kitchen as the two men in the living room continue. He very carefully sets the casserole down in the fridge, closes the door, and proceeds to pinch the soft skin of his forearm as hard as physically possible. He bites his lower lip when nothing happens except the shape of fingernails slowly turning red and achy on the surface of his skin.
“If people know they’ll kill me,” Derek says angrily, “Is that what you want; was moving out here just - ?”
“Mr. Hale, I moved out here so that I could live out my retirement in peace; it had nothing to do with them or with your family,” Mr. Takehashi says firmly, voice smoothing over anything else Derek was attempting to say.
“I’m still stuck at imaginary creatures talking in the living room,” Stiles interrupts, throwing his hands up.
“It’s very simple, Mr. Stilinski, they aren’t imaginary,” Mr. Takehashi answers, turning and pushing Derek towards the couch. “I merely let you stay because Derek needs to know more people his age, and I didn’t think it would ever happen organically.”
“Oh that makes total sense,” Stiles mocks, waving his hands around. “Now I just have to wait until he finds me alone to kill me.”
“Stiles, please just sit down,” Mr. Takehashi sighs, rubbing his forehead in exasperation. “I’ll find something to eat.”
Stiles glances at Derek, who’s glowering at the TV and probably thinking about the best way to disembowel Stiles without Mr. Takehashi noticing from the kitchen. He startles as Derek’s head suddenly hitches up, staring at the window, and furrows his brow as Derek stands up slowly.
“Where are you - Okay?!” Stiles exclaims as the door flies open, a woman bursting in and holding a giant hand gun, pointed straight at Derek. He holds his hands up in reflex, but Derek grabs his shoulder as he rushes past and drags Stiles to the back door.
The woman is laughing like a psycho from the living room, and Stiles swallows thickly as he hears her kick the door closed behind her as she steps further in.
“Come out, little puppy,” she calls teasingly, “Your friend looked pretty cute, don’t you want to introduce us?”
“I should have heard the car,” Derek growls, hand over Stiles mouth as they hide near the door. “You’re too fucking distracting.”
Stiles makes an aggravated noise, and tries to get free of Derek’s freakishly strong hold. He reaches for the door instead, but Derek holds them still.
The woman is interrogating Takehashi in the kitchen, but she doesn’t seem to be shooting him with her big gun, so Stiles takes that as a good sign.
“Stop moving, and don’t talk,” murmurs Derek, finally letting up on his hold. “She won’t kill him, but we have to get out of here.”
“Go where?” Stiles whispers back, “And what about my Jeep?”
“We’re taking your car,” Derek answers, like it’s obvious. “It doesn’t matter where we go right now as long as it’s away from here.”
The trip to the Jeep simultaneously makes Stiles feel like a ninja and also like a moving target. They walk carefully around to the front of the house, ducking near windows and carefully avoiding Mr. Takehashi’s plentiful amount of sculptures and wind chimes. Derek is freakishly good at being quiet, and if Stiles hadn’t seen the pain induced shift he would’ve believed it now, watching as Derek makes half the noise that Stiles is without even trying.
They reach the Jeep surprisingly quick, and Derek climbs in without any preamble. They then manage to blaze their way out of the woods without the woman bursting through the front door and shattering anyone’s windshield with a wave of bullets.
Honestly, behind all the fear, Stiles is a little disappointed about the lack of action. “What the hell is going on?” He asks, slapping the steering wheel for emphasis.
“She wants to kill me,” Derek answers flatly, staring at something out the window.
“Well, no shit. I may have meant: why does the pyscho lady want to kill you?” Stiles clarifies, voice getting higher in pitch as he tries to mask the defensive mocking.
“I’m the last werewolf in town, probably even the county.” Derek explains flatly, giving him a threatening look.
“What about Mr. Takehashi, I thought that whole fight was about him moving out there to be… Wolfy,”
Derek turns to give Stiles a considering look, “No, he’s a shaman.”
Stiles waits for more explanation, but is offered none, and sighs heavily, giving the forest next to the highway a bored look, “So do you have somewhere I can drop you off?”
“My car was at the edge of the woods, near the high school,” Derek answers. “That is, if she hasn’t decided to burn it.”
“Wait, wait, rewind,” Stiles takes a breath, “You don't seem very evil.”
Derek gives him a look that is quickly becoming familiar, “No.”
“But the lady wanted to kill you because you’re a werewolf,” Stiles repeats slowly, “Even though you’re not trying to hurt anyone - As far as I know, anyway.”
“I know,” Derek answers slowly, turning to face Stiles. “Her family kills us, they’re huntsmen.”
“Huntswomen,” Stiles corrects, but Derek doesn’t look amused.
“The huntsmen kill werewolves,” Derek says flatly, like that wasn’t obvious from the get-go. “It used to be only the rogue ones, but she ignores the old laws. The only reason she won’t kill Takehashi is because she can’t, but she’d probably go after you for just being in the same place. ”
“So you managed to attract the crazy one,” Stiles clarifies, nodding in understanding. “That’s just awesome.”
The ride is fairly silent the rest of the way, except Derek’s quiet growl when Stiles tries to ask about more werewolf stuff. Stiles actually thinks it’s pretty interesting, especially since it feels a lot less scary after Derek just actively helped save him from a crazy human woman with a gun.
He nearly jumps out of his skin when Scott texts, asking where he is, and Stiles suddenly remembers with a groan that he was supposed to meet up and help Scott and Allison with their economics project like half an hour ago. “Shit,” he mutters, turning the car towards Scott’s house.
“Where the hell are you going?” Derek growls, reaching towards the phone and yanking it from Stiles’ hand, “Don’t text while you’re driving, idiot.”
“I have to meet my friend, but he lives near the school, so you can just cut through the woods from there,” Stiles explain in a rush, attempting to grab for his phone while keeping his eyes on the road, trying not to let the irony get to him. “Sorry, but my entire grade depends on this stupid project.”
“Great,” Derek sighs, aggravated. “You’re not getting the phone back.”
“Man, come on, that’s my phone.” Stiles tries to grab for it again, but Derek remains stony faced and holds the phone easily out of reach. “I bet you wouldn’t even get hurt if we crashed, you totally went all immortal with that chunk out of your side earlier.”
Derek pins him with a look. “What about you?”
Stiles purses his mouth and faces forward, trying not to sulk, “Point taken.”
Derek puts the phone in the pocket on the passenger door, and Stiles tries not to roll his eyes as they pull into Scott’s driveway. Derek gets out in the same instance that he turns off the ignition, and Stiles isn’t really sure how these things are supposed to end. It feels a little cheap to learn some guy’s a werewolf, escape a crazy woman, and then just wave good bye in Scott’s driveway.
He almost says something, but Derek gets an odd look on his face and lifts his head towards the house, eyes narrowing.
“What?” Stiles asks, “Did she seriously follow us to Scott’s house?”
“No,” Derek says, though his eyes remain on the direction of the house for a spare moment, “But she was here a while ago; be careful.”
“Oh, a while ago, that’s so descriptive,” Stiles mocks, before pointing in the direction of the school. “Well, you be careful, too, hope you don’t die, and all that jazz. The school is that way.”
“I know,” Derek gives him another long look, before turning towards the forest, hands shoved in his jacket pockets.
“Couldn’t even say thank you,” Stiles mutters as he starts towards Scott’s door.
“Thank you,” Derek yells, with slight sarcastic lilt, unless Stiles is mistaken, from the direction of the woods.
“Cr - ” eepy, he finishes in his head, mindful of the fact that Derek apparently has super hearing, and also that Scott’s just opened the door with a frantic look on his face.
“Who was that?” Scott asks, hands clutched inside the pocket of his hoodie, bunching it unattractively at his middle, “And why were you driving him around?”
“Slow down before you have an asthma attack,” Stiles says, pushing past him and into the house. “He’s a friend of Mr. Takehashi’s and needed a ride.”
“So you drove him here?” Scott asks, looking confused.
Stiles hates when Scott has these rare moments of insight, he’s never prepared. Luckily, Allison shows up with a sunny smile and manages to distract Scott from the question.
“Who was that?” Allison asks, and Stiles wishes he’d had the forethought to drop Derek off next to the woods before pulling in the driveway.
“Just a friend of Mr. Takehashi’s,” Stiles repeats.
“Oh, he was kind of cute,” Allison grins, with just a little too much insinuation coloring her tone “Was he why you were so late?”
“Uh, yeah, sort of,” Stiles answers, trying to brush off the conversation, but Allison’s smirk makes something click in his mind. “I mean yeah, but not like... Like how you’re thinking. At all,” Stiles waves a hand, “I was just helping him out, and there was no funny business of any sort.”
“Sure, Stiles,” Allison says, smiling indulgently and clearly disbelieving.
“Your girlfriend has her mind in the gutter, Scott,” Stiles says, pointing at her, but Scott only blinks at him with a confused expression on his face.
“Nothing, nevermind.” Stiles starts walking towards the stairs, “Let’s go start that project!”
“We can’t,” Scott says, giving him a weird look. “I told you Allison had to leave early.”
“No, you didn’t,” Stiles responds, quirking his eyebrow.
“Yeah I did, I texted it to you after asking why you were so late.” Scott explains, crossing his arms defensively.
“Oh,” Stiles says, narrowing his eyes in the direction of the woods, “That makes sense.”
“Uh, okay?” Scott shrugs. “Do you want to play Halo?”
“Sure, why not, my grades are going to go straight down the drain, but that’s cool,” Stiles mutters and sighs deeply. “Teabagging Spartans, fuck yeah,” he says louder, and pumps his fist sarcastically, spinning around to lean on the handrail. “So why do you have to leave?” he asks Allison.
“My aunt called, apparently she got done with her errands early,” Allison smiles apologetically. “We can do it tomorrow?”
“Yeah, I don’t have anything tomorrow, that’s fine,” Stiles answers, starting to feel like the beginning of the day was just a crazy dream. However, that hope falls to the wayside when he sees the crazy woman’s little Kia SUV pull in beside his Jeep. “Who’s that?” He asks, practically feeling the doom fall down around his ears.
“Oh, that’s my Aunt Kate,” Allison says excitedly, “She’s really cool, you want to meet her?”
“She is pretty cool, Stiles,” Scott agrees, raising his eyebrows. “She dropped Allison off a few days ago when we went to the movies, and said my eyes were soft.”
“That’s awesome,” Stiles responds, trying to keep an expression on his face that isn’t abject terror. “When is your car going to be fixed again, Allison?”
“I don’t know?” Allison answers, confused. “Probably a few more days, why?”
“No reason, just curious,” Stiles says, slowly backing up the stairs.
Allison grabs his arm and holds him still, giving him an odd look, and he can practically feel the smugness radiating from the ‘Aunt Kate’ as Scott opens the door with a cheerful hello.
“Hello again,” Kate grins, eyes lighting up as she looks straight at Stiles. “Have a nice drive?”
“It was... It was just great,” Stiles responds, nodding slowly with a stiff grin. “Smooth roads, and it hasn’t even started raining that hard yet.”
“That’s good,” Kate says, narrowing her eyes at him a moment before turning to Allison. “You want to invite your friends to have dinner with us? I’m sure your Dad won’t mind.”
“Um, I guess. Is that okay, guys?” Allison asks, but her expression is a little suspicious as she nods to her aunt.
Stiles tries not to groan when Scott accepts readily, and can’t think of a way to say reject the offer without being incredibly awkward.
“My dad - “
“I’m sure he’d be fine with it," Kate interrupts, smile still glued to her face. "The Sheriff works late hours, right?”
Stiles is a little horrified that she knows who he is, “Yeah, I guess.”
This practically reeks of trap, and Stiles hopes Derek managed to get away, because this is totally crazy.
Allison smiles as they’re herded towards the car, and nods along when Kate says it’d be more convenient to have them all in the Kia, since she has to drive Scott back anyway. Stiles really hopes Allison isn’t evil too, that would break Scott’s heart, and he’s just not prepared to deal with that particular fall-out right now.
They all pile into the SUV, and it’s overwhelming awkward silence before Scott, brilliantly, decides to break it.
“Why are you wearing your twink hoodie?” Scott asks, head cocked in Stiles direction and speaking quietly.
“My what?” Stiles responds, looking down at the hoodie, confused.
“When you wore it to school a few months ago,” Scott explains, like that actually means anything. “Jackson said that Danny said that red hoodie makes you look more like a twink. I’m not sure Jackson was actually supposed to repeat that though, but he probably did just to make fun of you.”
“Danny said I looked like a twink? We’re in highschool, aren't we all supposed to look like... Twinks?” Stiles says and bites his lip; this is a really uncomfortable conversation to be having in the car with a sociopath listening in.
But to be honest, he’d prefer to not have it ever.
“Well, you’re always asking if Danny finds you attractive, and doesn’t that mean he does?” Scott stresses, giving him a look.
“Danny has a boyfriend,” Stiles scoffs, reminding him with a wave of his hand. “I’m not a homewrecker.”
Scott blinks at him, before furrowing his brow in some surprise.
“Not that I want to be Danny’s boyfriend. It was just curiosity, everyone’s curious.”
“I’m not curious,” Scott disagrees, clearly not believing a word Stiles is saying.
“Okay, this conversation is over,” Stiles says with finality. “In fact, I’m wiping it from my memory banks,” he closes his eyes, “There, wiped.”
“Whatever, Stiles,” Scott says, looking out the window sullenly.
Stiles tries not to dwell on the fact that he’s apparently pissed off some kind of god to get this kind of day, and instead hopes that the he’s not going to be tied to a pole and served up as bait to a creature of the night.
...And now his brain is making metaphors about Derek being a ‘catch’. Great.
He’s just going to sit the night through quietly, ignore Scott’s intent to apparently have a ‘friends with feelings’ moment, and pray to every religion he can think of that the night does not end in bloodshed. This is, of course, when he sees Derek filling up a Camaro at the gas station across the street from the stop light, staring at Stiles like he’s just committed first degree murder, on puppies.
Perhaps shaking his head frantically and pointing at Kate wasn’t the best idea, but it was on short notice and he’s not at his best right now - he thinks the hoodie might be cutting off blood supply to his brain.
“Are you okay back there, Little Red?” Kate asks, smirk audible.
Stiles reigns in the urge to start laughing hysterically. “I’m fine, just exercising the old joints, gotta be in shape for lacrosse,” he says and flaps his arms exaggeratedly, “Getting the blood flowing.”
He ignores Scott and Allison’s looks, both staring like he’s finally gone around the bend.
Stiles will get her back for the joke later, he’s not sure how, but it’ll happen.
“Where are we going?” Allison asks, looking towards the forest, “This isn’t the way home.”
“Just have to make a pit-stop first; don’t worry, honey,” Kate explains as they pull onto a dilapidated old road.
Stiles knew this was going to happen; he’s totally going to get strung up like Clark in Smallville, but without the cool alien heritage or corn.
“Are you sure it can’t wait?” Allison questions nervously, and when Stiles sees her confused expression, he firmly and happily puts her in the ‘sane’ section of his brain. Meanwhile, Scott is glancing around the windows nervously, probably thinking this is some sort of ‘if you hurt my niece I will hurt you’ type of deal. Stiles tries to subtly look through the mirror from the back seat, check if maybe Derek took the bait, but he sees nothing, and feels a restless thread of disappointment.
“Don’t worry, I promise we’ll be home in time for dinner.” Kate smiles again, and Stiles totally isn’t imagining the crazed edge, not if Scott’s wide eyes are anything from which to judge.
The car stops at the edge of a lake, next to a dilapidated lean-to, and completely isolated from any kind of civilization. Stiles can’t even hear the road from here.
Kate starts unbuckling, and gives everyone a look to do the same.
“What’s going on?” Scott asks as gets out, starting to breath heavily; it's the first sign that he was about to have an attack.
“Scott has asthma,” Stiles says urgently, trying to look brave and not upset. “You’re going to fucking kill him.”
“He’ll be fine,” Kate says and crouches down next to Scott. “You brought your inhaler, didn’t you?”
“Yes,” Scott breathes out roughly, reaching into his pocket to use it.
“Good boy,” she says, patting him on the back.
“What are you doing?” Allison asks strongly, grabbing her aunt’s wrist. “We were just going to have dinner.”
“Change of plans, honey,” Kate answers as she grabs Stiles by the hood on the back of his neck and throws him into a tree.
Stiles tries not to whimper as she pulls a knife from the small of her back, a big one, much like Mr. Takehashi’s from earlier.
“I don’t really think this is a good time for me,” Stiles babbles, “I have my whole life ahead of me and everything.” He tries to push her back, but she’s got some sort of leverage over him, “Seriously, you don’t want to do this - I mean, it’s all just really silly.”
“What are you talking about Stiles?” Scott asks slowly, breathing heavily as Allison rubs his back in a way that’s probably more for her benefit than his.
“There’s this thing, and it’s dumb, totally boring,” Stiles waves his hand weakly, “I just really don’t want to die in this hoodie; it doesn’t even fit.”
“Aw, but it makes you look so cute,” Kate insists, punctuating the words by pulling him back just enough to smack him hard enough into the tree that he groans in pain. She takes the knife and carefully pulls it down his cheek, and he tries to ignore the sharp pain.
“You know double sided knives are illegal, right?” Stiles can’t help but say, wincing as she drags it down the edge of his jaw.
“I just love the irony, don’t you?” Kate asks, hopefully rhetorically since Stiles doesn’t see anyone answering her right now, as she leans in closer to him. “I’ve always loved that fairy tale, huntsman rescues the little girl, everyone’s happy, the wolf is dead.”
Stiles coughs, wary, “Not a lot of rescuing going on, is there.”
“Well, no,” Kate answers, a small pout as she shifts her stance, “But no one is going to know that once he shows up.” She tilts her head, “That poor little Stilinski boy, caught in the forest and murdered. Luckily that Ms. Argent showed up, who knows how many more Hale would have taken.”
“What,” Allison begins hoarsely, not sounding half as cowed as most of the people in horror movies do, “Is going on?”
“Just some family business, honey,” Kate answers, grin going sharp and just a little mad. “You’ll get used to it.”
She probably would have sprouted more propaganda if a giant, black, growly thing hadn’t come out and tackled her into the forest floor. Stiles assumes it’s Derek, once he sees the vaguely canine-like face and clawed, elongated fingers.
Scott shrieks, Allison matches him for pitch, and Stiles clutches at his hair with his hands as he stumbles away from the tree and towards them. He grabs Scott’s shoulder and clumsily shoves the hand with the inhaler in it towards his friend’s purpling face.
They watch as Derek shifts mostly back to human, canines and claws still prominent, Kate’s hand clutching around the knife as he deftly avoids her jabs and lunges. Stiles swallows thickly she nearly gets the man in his side, but instead gets her hand caught in his grip, claws wrapped around her wrist.
Derek pushes the hand towards her torso, knife point facing her own body. Kate struggles, but Derek knees her in the side and they both fall to the ground once more. The knife hand gets plunged just south of her shoulder, and Stiles is surprised to find that he can’t lift up his hands to clutch instinctively at his ears as she screams.
She’s still writhing on the ground as Derek stands, and Stiles wants to warn him, to tell him about all the endings of horror movies he’s seen, that she’s totally going to get up and stab him again, but his tongue is too thick in his mouth.
Kate stops moving, going disturbingly still, and it's then that Stiles realizes too late that there was definitely something more to the knife as he collapses to the ground.
“We have to get help, the knife was poisoned,” Derek says faintly, and when Allison says something inaudible in response, Stiles begins to wonder why they’re talking so quiet.
The worst part of waking up is the realization that he can’t remember when he went to sleep, or where he is, and what that infernal beeping is because his clock isn’t in the spot next to his bed.
“Stiles?!” his dad says breathlessly, somewhere to his left. "Are you awake, son?"
Stiles manages to open his eyes, lids feeling sticky, and he realizes that he’s in a hospital. “What’s going on?” he asks, but finds his voice won’t work because his throat is so sore.The realization is just this side of maddening.
“Don’t try to talk yet, we’ll leave the interrogation for later,” his dad tells him, practically throwing ice chips down Stiles throat. “Don’t even think you’re going to get away without telling me how delivering a casserole got turned into being caught with Scott in the forest with a serial killer.
“Serial killer?” Stiles asks, ridiculously happy to find the ice chips worked, and that he’s able to form coherent speech.
“I can’t tell you much, but,” his dad looks towards the door before leaning in, voice going low, “The knife she used has been linked to at least fifteen other murders around California alone.”
“Holy shit,” Stiles can’t help but croak.
“Exactly,” his dad nods, leaning back in his chair again, “I’m just glad you’re okay, buddy.”
“Crazy,” Stiles croaks, plopping his head against the pillow.
“And the doctors say you should be out of here soon, so don’t get too lazy,” his dad says, just as he starts to fall asleep again. He makes a humming noise in response as the drugs take effect.
By the time he gets out the hospital, everyone in towns knows, and even Jackson had come to say he was happy Stiles wasn’t dead - it had been one of the weirder moments of his life, more so than the werewolf thing even.
None of this prepares him for walking into his room after the first day back to school and finding Derek staring at him from the edge of the window. He tries not to jump out of his skin too obviously and throws his bag onto the bed.
“So, come to pay your respects,” Stiles nods, crossing his arms with a raised eyebrow.
“I was the one who took you to the hospital, paid in full,” Derek responds, stony-faced as ever, and Stiles finally takes the time to wonder what he looks like smiling, now that there isn’t any danger of killers coming to take the other man’s blood.
At least Stiles hopes not, anyway, Derek had said there were more, but he would rather be optimistic.
“I dunno, man. You didn’t even visit me there, that’s pretty cruel.”
“I was busy,” Derek insists, crossing his arms to match Stiles stance.
“My near death experience beats out pretty much everything I can think of,” Stiles insists raising his eyebrows.
“I was getting my house back,” Derek confesses, “It was time consuming because it was technically declared condemned and owned by the county since it burned.”
Stiles blinks slowly, suddenly feeling like a dick. “You’re the last survivor of the Hale fire, Derek Hale, I feel incredibly stupid right now.”
“I haven’t been back in five years,” Derek shrugs, uncrossing his arms and shoving his hands in his pockets.
Stiles nods, running his tongue along his lip nervously, and manages to catch Derek staring as he looks up.
“So uh, why didn’t you come in the front door?”
Derek just keeps staring and doesn’t say anything, looking around the room when Stiles doesn’t say anything either.
“It totally didn’t even occur to you, did it?” Stiles realizes, “That’s not healthy.”
Derek shrugs and turns back towards the window, like he’s about to climb out again, but for some reason Stiles just can’t have that and grabs his elbow. He’s honestly worried that the other man is going to do something like claw his face off, though it takes the back burner when he looks over and Derek is giving him this really intense look.
“Takehashi said we were going to meet, one way or another.” Derek says abruptly, staring at him.
Stiles blinks, but before he can ask what the hell that even means, Derek’s pressing his lips against his and pushing him against the window frame. Stiles opens his mouth on an instinct he didn't know he had, and his hand curls up at Derek's neck.
By the time they pull apart, he's is breathing hard and thinking that if he looked in the mirror he’d see that his face is actually on fire. Even Derek is a little winded, staring at Stiles with something akin to hunger.
Which is the worst metaphor to make, because Stiles feels his stomach growl at the thought.
“Shit,” Stiles sighs in frustration, and looks up at Derek, who’s eyebrows have quirked into something that makes Stiles realize that the other man might think he’s being rejected. “I’m so sorry, and it kills me to say this, but I ended up having to take an economics test during lunch and I could literally eat a horse right now.”
“Okay?” Derek responds, mouth turning downwards.
“We can make out after I eat an entire frozen pizza,” Stiles concludes and grabs Derek’s hand to pull him down the stairs. “Maybe you can have a piece if you explain to me how Mr. Takehashi became Yoda.”