Not all monsters were created equal.
There were plenty of nasty, malicious things that were out to take what they could get while they could get it. Demons tended to be smarter. They were willing to wait, to bide their time until the perfect opportunity arose. That was what made them so dangerous. Even worse, as of late they were getting out of hand. Blame it on the apocalypse; blame it on a general lack of discipline. For one reason or another it wasn’t just the underlings who were surfacing any more. There were some serious big bads who were rearing their nasty black eyed heads. Things which hadn’t been seen in centuries.
Northern California was a little off the beaten path for the Winchesters, but there was something brewing in Beacon Hills.
. . .
Stiles had never put a whole lot of stock in religion. What was the point in believing in a deity who let so many terrible things happen? Alright, not everything was terrible. His father had taught him to be thankful for the little things that made life awesome. Like fast food and cutting class for no good reason and when hot girls actually talked to him. When those three things happened in unison? Oh yeah, on those days he was pretty sure that there had to be a god.
Things weren’t perfect. Everybody knew that. No matter what happened, you always had to at least make an attempt to look on the bright side. It was something that his dad had told him not long after his mom had died. At the time it must have sounded really profound, but Stiles realized now this dad had only said it because it was what he thought his kid needed to hear. He didn’t believe it himself. He never had.
But you know what? Stiles couldn’t afford to wallow in the past. There were times when it would just sort of creep up on him, but he had become a pro at turning his discomfort into sarcasm. That went double for any of this werewolf stuff. What the hell were you supposed to do when your best friend sprouted supernatural sideburns in the full moon and tried to gnaw your face off? You did what you had to. Chain ‘em to a radiator, lock ‘em in a box, throw ‘em off a goddamn cliff if that’s what it took.
It had only been a few months since his change. Scott had taken to the curse like a pro and when he had finally stopped being an asshole and just agreed to let Derek teach him, it had felt like things might finally calm down. Seriously, he could only take so much of this. Being constantly stressed was bad for him. Not only because it completely fucked up his sleep cycle, but he could only have so many panic attacks before his heart decided to call it quits. Being a teenager was bad enough. He was still trying to get over the fact that the girl he’d had a crush on since third grade was losing her mind and that she was still in love with her douche of a boyfriend who was a goddamn lizard.
Maybe if he could turn into something the chicks would dig him. If being a gecko worked for Jackson, maybe he could get away with being something slightly cuddlier. Was there such thing as a were kitten? Lydia loved kittens.
It was Derek who caught him paging through the PDF of the Argent family bestiary on his laptop. The stubbly, grumbly werewolf had just finished beating the ever loving shit out of Scott since he had no idea how to dodge a punch. It was like his face was a magnet for fists. If it wasn’t for that nifty healing thing he could do, his nose would probably look like a mangled ham hock.
“Research?” Derek asked as he moved to sit on the rickety wooden stairs next to where Stiles was perched, his back to one of the rotting beams that held the roof of the porch aloft. Stiles glanced up over the edge of his laptop, meeting the pair of hazel eyes that stared down at him from that stern face.
His mouth opened to respond and then closed again. Smiling suddenly, he closed the top to his computer and shrugged as he hugged it against his chest, doing his best to look completely innocent. “Ah, no. I was just… dicking around.”
“Porn?” Derek was completely dead pan.
“What? No. Christ. You know I can’t get wi-fi out here anyway and… no. Is that really where you mind goes first? Dude. Not cool.” Stiles huffed as he shoved his laptop back into the backpack at his side. Glancing back up, he noted that the black haired man was still looking at him. Raising his eye brows, the boy sighed. “What?”
“Why do you bother coming out here every day with him?” The slightly older man nodded toward Scott, who was still on his hands and knees in the front yard, trying to catch his breath. “Even Allison doesn’t come out most of the time. But you do.”
Stiles blinked, his response coming so quickly that it was obviously something he had practiced time and time again when he was alone. A script. What he was expected to say. “Scott’s my friend. I want to be here for him, ya know?”
Derek held the boy’s gaze for a long moment before he rolled his eyes and pushed himself up from the stairs. Shrugging off his black leather jacket, he tossed it onto the porch next to Stiles. “Okay. You keep telling yourself that’s why and I’ll keep acting like I believe it.”
“W-wait. I. Hey. What? Derek…”
The werewolf smirked almost imperceptibly as he ignored the human, rolling his shoulders as he walked back over toward Scott, cracking his knuckles as he came up alongside where the Beta knelt. Reaching down, Derek scruffed him by the back of his shirt and yanked him to his feet. “We’re not done yet. On your feet, McCall.”
“He’d turn you in an instant,” a familiar voice said from behind him. Looking back with a start, Stiles frowned as he saw Erica standing there. She leaned against the wall, her long blonde curls tied back in a lose pony tail, wearing a pair of jogging short and a t-shirt that were potentially more distracting than the tightly fitted clothing she usually had on. When she spoke, her eyes weren’t even on Stiles, they were latched onto Derek.
On a scale of one to obsessive, Erica’s infatuation with her Alpha was hitting some very critical Phantom of the Opera levels. It didn’t matter how many times he turned her down, she seemed certain that one day he was going to realize what a catch she was. He had made her, after all. Turned her from a pathetic, overlooked bit of dust into something more desirable. Derek made her better than she could have ever been on her own.
“If you wanted it. The stronger the pack, the stronger the Alpha, and all that bullshit,” she said as she watched Derek landing another unfortunately timed punch to Scott’s ribs. “You’d probably be a complete puppy on your own, but that’s what we’re for. We’ll toughen you up in no time.” Her rich brown eyes turned to him then and she smiled. “What do you say, kid?”
“Kid? Erica I’m like four months older than you.”
She sighed. “Stop trying to be cute. I can smell it all over you. We all can. It’s like a cross between fear and… desire. What is it that you’re so hungry for? Is it the power? No… I don’t think that’s it at all. ” Suddenly Erica was kneeling down next to him, her hands on his shoulders as she leaned in close, closing her eyes and bowing her head so that the tip of her nose dragged against the back of his neck. Stiles’ eyes went wide as he tried not to move, goose bumps rising to the surface of his skin. To be honest he wasn’t sure if he liked it or not. On one hand, hot chick. On the other hand, psychotic hot chick. On the other other hand…
Swallowing, he mumbled, “Erica I, um, really, it would be great if you could just… You’re kinda… With the things… pressing against my back and…”
As she pulled back, the blonde snorted under her breath and smiled. “Suit yourself, but remember, you’re never going to be a real member of this pack until you’re one of us. How many times is Derek going to have to save your ass before you see just how weak you really are?”
“Not interested,” Stiles said as he slung his bag over his shoulder and hopped off of the porch, stalking toward his jeep where it was parked at the edge of the clearing. He turned to call out to Scott, to let him know that he was going home, but it seemed pointless when his friend was face down in the mud again with Derek’s boot on his back. Instead he just lifted a hand in a vague sign of fair well, a gesture which was returned by the Alpha as he looked after the boy as he got into his car.
. . .
Barbas had felt the pull toward this place for some time. Why was it always the sleepy little hillside towns which ended up with so many creatures running amok? One of these days he would have loved to be summoned to a slightly more interesting location. There had to be at least one were-creature in Hawaii. Unfortunately he went where his children gathered in large numbers and Beacon Hills had become one of those hot spots. They were fun to play with, all of those adorably snarly things that had taken their form from the original abomination that he had crafted so lovingly with his own two hands. It had been a lark at first, but he had come to appreciate the creatures for what they were. Hot blooded killers, every last one of them. No matter how hard they tried to avoid that fate, when the chips were down, every last one of them would sooner tear out their own mother’s throats than suffer on their own.
Having so many gathered in one place wasn’t going to do him any good without a host, though. It had been ages since he had taken a meat suit of his very own, but it was like riding a bicycle. You never really forgot how to possess a human. In Barbas’ opinion, the younger the host the better. The young ones were so full of vitality and all those amazing hormones. Constantly pulsing with adrenaline, wearing a teenager was like slipping into a warm bath full of piranhas. He liked the challenge.
There was bound to be at least a few do-it-yourself demon summoning idiots in any town. People who thought that they could just call up the powers that be and make demands. Beacon Hill was no different, but he had little interest in sticking around to hear what that particular group of idiots wanted. They had simply saved him the trouble of creating a rift into Hell, allowing him to claw his way up with relative ease instead of fighting tooth and nail the whole way. Everyone wanted out, after all. All that mattered was how badly you wanted it. With Lucifer unchained and Crowley tangled up in other affairs, guys like him were left to their own devices.
It was quite dramatic, the ritual the kids had used to summon him. Judging by the scent that hung in the air, they had mashed up some combination of juniper, honey, and dead dog. A perennial favorite. There were only two of them - a boy and a girl, both of whom couldn’t have been more than fourteen years old. Smart enough to know how to summon a demon but not smart enough to know how to contain one. Not even smart enough to give him something to inhabit. Both of them were completely unsuited to his needs. He would have to look elsewhere.
In the meanwhile, he thought it might be worthwhile to show these children just what they were dealing with. No good deed ever went unpunished with Barbas.
. . .
“Ugh, sorry kid. I know I said I was going to be able to hang around tonight but something came up.” Mr. Stilinski had only just gotten home a half hour ago and he was already heading right back out the door. From what Stiles had been able to overhear from where he sat on the couch, there had been some sort of accident down at the Beacon Valley Farm. The main barn had caught fire.
As he stuffed his cell phone back into his pocket, he shot his son a hopeless look. “Try to eat something other than a bowl of cereal for dinner, would ya? Freeze dried marshmallows aren’t exactly part of a well-balanced diet and it would help me feel like a slightly less horrible parent if you at least microwaved yourself a TV dinner.”
“Yeah, sure, no problem.” He could follow directions, when he wanted, but right now the siren song of chalky bits of sugar shaped like hearts and clovers was just too strong to resist.
It was going to be one of those particularly boring nights where no amount of sugar was going to make the shitty reruns on TV any more interesting. It was as he was going to the refrigerator to retrieve the milk for his third bowl of cereal that the lights started to flicker. With his spoon still in his mouth, he furrowed his brow and pulled a chair out. Clambering up onto it, he flicked at the light bulb in the lamp above his head. It seemed to be screwed in properly, but something was causing it to go absolutely ballistic. Hopping off of the chair, he rubbed the back of his neck, trying the switch instead. It was only as he moved closer to the doorway that he saw the lights in the living room flashing as well. Alright, now it was starting to freak him out.
“The hell?” he muttered around the spoon as he left both the cereal and the milk forgotten on the kitchen table. Wandering out into the living room, he went to peer through the front window. The sky was roiling, a massive storm front pushing across the sky like a thick dark blanket. Well, that would explain the screwy power. What it didn’t explain was the nagging feeling of dread that was curdling in his stomach.
Maybe he could give Scott a call. Yeah. That was a good plan. See what good ol’ Scott was up to. So long as the storm didn’t hit too fast, he could still have enough time to drive over to his house before things went to shit.
One ring. Two rings.
“Answer your freaking phone, Scott.”
“Hey Stiles. What’s up?”
Finally, thank god. He pulled the spoon from his mouth and flung it at the couch.
“Yo. Uh, are you busy? Like you aren’t out with Allison or anything are you?”
“No, I actually just got back from Derek’s. Why?”
“I need to get out of the house for a while. My power is on the fritz and my dad said I should keep myself out of trouble. By the way, what’s your mom making for dinner?”
“Fantastic. I’ll be there in like ten minutes. I just need to… hold on. What is that?”
The strangest smell wafted over him, strong and acrid, like rotting eggs. Sniffing, he tried to pinpoint where in the world it was coming from, but it had just sort of filled the space of the living room. The room itself had begun to shudder and shake, the lights going completely dark as Stiles dropped his phone to the floor.
“Shit. Earthquake. Shit, shit, shit!”
“Dude, what are you talking about…? Stiles? Hello?”
Safest place in an earthquake was what, the bathroom? He could have sworn that he saw something about getting into the tub. He didn’t make it quite that far. Half way down the hallway, something tripped him and he tumbled forward, falling straight onto his face. Grimacing, he rolled over onto his back just in time to see an apparently sentient cloud of blackness swirling up around his body.
“Not an earthquake. Holy mother of f-”
As he gasped, the thick black smoke forced its way into his mouth, choking off his air as it wormed its way down his throat. Everything became fuzzy and slowly, as if waking from a dream, he found that he was no longer in control of his body. All of his senses worked, but it was like he was trapped inside looking out with absolutely no say in the his limbs reacted. In fact, he realized belatedly, he couldn’t even speak.
Someone else was speaking for him now.
“Yes. I think this will do nicely.” Stiles could hear himself talking, feel his lips moving, but he wasn’t the one coming up with those words. He was being moved, pushing himself up from the floor and brushing himself off. Flicking on the bathroom light, he found himself confronted by his own face in the mirror. He smirked and turned his head slightly, looking impressed. “Not bad. I expected the one human in a pack of wolves to be like a chewed up scrap of meat, but you’re all shiny and new. They must really like you. Not as much as you like some of them, though.” He chuckled. “Maybe we ought to go pay your friends a visit.”
No. No, no, no. Stiles could feel the seething rage of the thing that had taken him over. It wanted nothing but suffering. It wanted pain, it wanted blood, and it was going to use him to get its fill.
“Or better yet. Wait for them to come to us.”
The two bodies they pulled out of the smoldering barn were charred beyond recognition.
Sheriff Stilinski frowned as he watched the EMTs loading the two crisp, lifeless corpses into the back of the ambulance. Once the fire had been put out, there was little left in the way of evidence. When they had gotten to the farm, the structure had lit up the night sky for miles around, an inferno which would have taken out everything around it had it not been in the middle of nowhere. That this fire had only killed two people was a miracle.
Of course they would have to cross check with dental records to determine their identities, but the two bikes which had been left next to the fence at the end of the road were a good sign that the victims had been kids. Just a couple of kids who had broken parental rule numero uno. To think that all this had been caused by a bonfire gone out of control. Thank god for all the times he had told Stiles not to play with matches, the kid had actually listened to him.
“Excuse me. Sheriff?”
Stilinski turned to see two men in simple black suits, standing like shadows against the flood lights the police department had set up to illuminate the scene of the crime. The taller of the two – and boy was he tall – flashed a badge that he didn’t quite have time to read before it was stuffed back into a jacket pocket. The other man, a guy who looked like he would have been more suited to a cat walk than a crime scene, had his arms crossed stiffly across his chest and was looking toward the barn.
“Yessir, that’s me. How can I help you boys?”
“I’m Agent Clarke, and this is Agent Kilmister. We’re with the FBI -”
“FBI. You’re kidding.”
“Ah, no…” The hazel eyed man looked slightly flustered. As if on cue his partner turned, dropping his arms and shoving his hands into his pockets. Glancing to Clarke, Kilmister sighed.
“There have been a number of arsons in the vicinity of northern California, so we’re checking out anything that could be remotely suspicious. We don’t want to step on your toes here, Sheriff, but would we be able to check out the scene and ask a few questions?”
Stilinski shrugged, looking between the two agents. Maybe it was just his imagination but the two of them looked like they could have been brothers. Shaking his head slightly, he motioned toward the barn. “You can do whatever you like, but there isn’t a whole hell of a lot to look at. The building is damn near burnt to the ground. Not much to see but a bunch of scorched farm equipment. Lucky there weren’t animals in that barn. Don’t know what those kids were doing in there though.” He sighed.
Clarke put a hand on his shoulder sympathetically. “Accidents happen.”
“Yeah. I’m aware,” he said with a frown. Looking to the hand on his coat, he side stepped to avoid further contact. He wasn’t exactly the touchy feely sort, at least not with strangers. Scratching the back of his head, he looked to Kilmister. The shorter, bow-legged man looked like he was chomping at the bit to poke around. “Might as well make the most of your time. I have to go take care of all the paper work. Speaking of which, do me a favor and swing by my office before you leave town. We can compare notes, see if there’s something more to this.”
“We’ll see what we can do,” Clarke said as he tucked his hair behind his ear. For the life of him, Sheriff Stilinski had never seen an FBI agent with hair like a rock star. Whatever. So long as they did their job and didn’t screw up his crime scene, he welcomed the help.
. . .
“Stiles? Dude, open up. You can’t just flip out on me and then not answer your phone.”
Scott was pounding on the front door and was on verge of knocking it down if his best friend didn’t open it sometime in the next five seconds. The last thing he had heard was Stiles screaming “earthquake”, a crash, and then nothing. He wasn’t always the most attentive friend, but with the Argents still out for blood, any sign of danger made him nervous. It didn’t matter that they were Allison’s parents; they were both completely out of their minds. Her grandfather was even worse. It honestly wouldn’t have surprised him if they tried to use Stiles as some sort of werewolf bait.
The deadbolt thudded and the knob turned slowly. Stepping back, Scott realized that his claws had already begun to push through his fingertips, instinct taking over. Something about this just didn’t feel right. Much to his relief, it was only Stiles standing in the doorway, grinning like an idiot. Scott scowled and furrowed his brow, putting a hand against his friend’s chest and pushing his way into the house. Looking left and right, sighed.
“What is wrong with you?” he asked as he turned to look back to the brown eyed boy as he closed the door. “My mom already thinks I’m nuts. Pretty sure that you having mental breakdowns isn’t going to help that. She’ll end up putting me on Stiles prohibition again.” Sniffing, he looked around with a frowned. “And what the heck is that smell?”
“Nothing wrong with me. I’m on cloud nine now that you’re here buddy. By the way, have I ever told you how awesome you are? I mean, really, Scott.” Stiles was hooking an arm around his shoulder, smiling and jerking him toward the living room. “Scott. Scott-o. The Scott-meister. Beam me up, Scotty. Yeah. You’re a real pal.”
“…Are you drunk?”
“What? No. Of course not. Just glad to have my best friend in the whole wide world here with me. Because that’s what we are, right? Buddies. Amigos? Yeah. That’s probably why I let you copy my homework. And why I don’t keep secrets from you, even though you’re constantly keeping secrets from me. You know, like making out with Lydia. We must be friends, because I don’t know why I would go through all of this trouble for you all the time. Like all this bullshit I have to do to keep the Argents from finding out that you’re boning Allison.”
Scott stiffened, stopping short even as Stiles drew his arm back and turned to face the lacrosse player, a look of smug satisfaction on his face. McCall was horrified, as well he should be. The kid wasn’t even that bad of a friend – just slightly selfish and absent minded like any other guy his age. Plucking all of those juicy tidbits from the depths of Stiles’ mind and twisting them to sound particularly scathing worked like a charm, though.
“Stiles, I…I’m really sorry,” Scott mumbled self-consciously as he crossed his arms and looked away. “I didn’t realize that you felt that way.”
You know me better than that, don’t you? Man, Scott, you know I would do anything for you. It’s what friends do. Don’t listen to him. Aw, come on… Just go, you moron. Get out of here. Please, Scott.
Barbas snorted softly, amused by the rush of fear that he felt from the boy who was now just along for the ride. It only increased when he reached out to grasp the Beta by the shoulder, harder than Stiles ever would have been able to manage even on a good day. Crying out in surprise and pain, Scott was easily pushed down into the chair that he had been led to.
“Awfully talky in there, kid. Oughta consider yourself lucky that I need you to get around or else I might slit your pretty little throat just to shut you up. Now, where were we?”
“W-what are you talking about? Stiles…?”
“Stiles can’t come to the phone right now.” He chuckled.
“I don’t… wait, what?” This idiot had no idea what he was dealing with. Just like all the others, he got himself all chewed up and thought that just because he was a werewolf he had been initiated into some big, bad club where everyone knew everything there was to know about the occult. Wrong.
If that hadn’t clued him in on the fact that it wasn’t his dear, sweet friend who was running this show, the impossibly strong hand wrapped around his throat should have been a better indication. Gasping, Scott reached up to clutch at Stiles’ wrist, staring up at him in horror. Poor boy. He looked so betrayed. Barbas’ borrowed fingers were this far away from being able to tear out McCall’s throat, and that was without any of those lovely sharp claws that all of the puppies in this town were sporting.
He may have created these things, but he hated them. The demon hated the way that they moved and the way that they smelled and the way that they felt the need to band together in packs as if they were family. They were nothing but abominations. Fails experiments. Children who still had too much humanity to embrace what they were born to do. They were made to be killers.
Scott wasn’t a killer. He was the farthest thing from a killer.
“Sorry, does that hurt?” Stiles smirked. With his hand still firmly wrapped around the other boy’s throat, he sighed and tilted his head back, rolling his neck with a contented sigh. Closing his eyes, he drew a deep breath before opening them again, the whites and the honey brown irises replaced with an all-encompassing blackness. That was when Scott tried to scream.
“Oops. None of that now. We wouldn’t want anyone to hear you now would we? That would just be… awkward.” Shrugging, Stiles leaned in far too close, making a face as he looked Scott square in the eyes. Within, his host was frantic. Climbing the walls. Clawing at the darkness that kept him firmly out of the driver’s seat. He was begging, he was screaming, but it was nothing that Barbas couldn’t easily ignore. This kid wasn’t the first meatsuit he had ever worn.
An inhuman whine was all the Beta managed to get out. Dark eyes were flashing yellow and his visage changed from completely human to that sad, silly in-between. A human face with wolfish features. Barbas had crafted Alphas by hand – they were what his children were supposed to look like. Hulking, nightmarish creatures. Betas had come along as a fluke. An Alpha’s bite didn’t create another just like it… Instead it created this lesser thing. A monster with a conscience. That went double for their bastard offspring.
“Wolf got your tongue?” the demon crooned.
Scott growled, gnashing his teeth as his desire for self-preservation outweighed not wanting to hurt his friend. He thrashed, kicking and clawing, but he wasn’t making much leeway. The Beta’s claws dug deep into Stiles’ forearm, but the boy’s face remained passively uninterested. Even as the blood welled to the surface and dipped down between Scott’s fingers, he rolled his eyes.
“You do realize that this body still belongs to your friend, right? You cut this kid up and that’s all on you, bro. Actually, maybe you could stand to get a bit of frustration out. Go on then, bleed ‘em dry. I’m not going to let him die because golly gosh, I kinda like it in here.”
At that, Scott retracted his claws.
The Beta’s neck broke with a sickening crunch, his body slumping over in the chair before toppling to the floor. Perhaps the next one would be more of a challenge.
. . .
When Sheriff Stilinski arrived home, all of the lights were off and the door was thrown wide open. As he neared the entryway, his hand went to rest cautiously on the butt of his gun.
“Stiles? Don’t tell me you went out and left the goddamn door open. Even you aren’t that absent minded.” There was no answer. Flicking the switch back and forth, the hallway light flickered and died above his head. Glancing up at the useless lamp, he frowned. Slowly, he slid the gun into his palm as he rounded the corner into the living room. Even in the dark, he could see the body sprawled out on the ground, unmoving.
“Shit. Stiles -”
Shoving the gun back into its holster, he tripped over the edge of the rug as he dropped down beside the body. He grasped the boy by the shoulders, dragging him over onto his back. Even before his head had fallen back, neck bent at a wrong angle, Stilinski knew that it wasn’t his son who he had pulled into his arms. Crooked jaw slack, dark eyes staring blankly out at nothing, Scott wasn’t breathing. He had no pulse. And judging from how cool he felt, he had been laying here for at least an hour if not more.
Pursing his lips, the sheriff drew a shaky breath and reached for the radio on his belt.
“I… I need an ambulance at my house. We have a sixteen year old male down with a broken neck.” He swallowed. “No life signs.”
“Dad?” Sheriff Stilinski looked up to see Stiles in the doorway, his shadowed face wrought with horror. “Wh… what happened to Scott? Oh, god. I was out of the house for like ten minutes. I went to the store and – oh crap. Is he..? Is he breathing?”
The demon wasn’t planning on going anywhere for a while. Burning this bridge would make getting around far more difficult. Although he would have liked to see just how quickly the boy’s brain came unhinged if he had to watch his very own fingers pluck out his father’s eyes, it wasn’t worth it. If he wanted to get close to the others, he would have to do it the old fashioned way.
. . .
The school was crawling with officers the next day, but Barbas wasn’t really surprised. There had been a thorough investigation at the Stilinski household the night before, Scott’s body had been taken in to have an autopsy performed, and the policed had combed the premises for evidence. They found nothing, of course.
There was no motive, no suspects. The way that the boy’s neck had been broken would have required an incredible amount of force, they said. No one could have done that with their bare hands. Needless to say, Mrs. McCall had been in hysterics when she came to the hospital. Stiles had merely watched from the waiting room, sitting slouched in the chair with his hands folded in his lap.
All the while, the boy trapped within the demon was screaming. He kept screaming throughout the night. He was screaming when they got into the jeep and went to school.
You son of a bitch I swear to god I will find a way to get you out of me. Whatever the hell you are, you can’t stay in there forever and the second you’re out I am going to make you regret ever fucking with my friend you sick -
“Ugh, I get it. Mute.” He turned up the radio until it drowned out the infuriated teenagers angsty ranting.
The moment he was in the door, the mass of the student body spread, rippling apart like Moses parting the Red Sea. They stared at him, whispered, but no one dared to say anything to his face. Scott had been Stiles’ best friend since they were kids, everybody knew that. The way they were looking at him now was like he was cursed.
As he continued down the hall, he felt a tug at his sleeve. Glancing back, he saw the little red haired thing that his host had a crush on. Forcing a smile, Stiles stopped in front of his locker, rubbing the back of his neck. “Eh. Hey Lydia.”
“I’m so sorry. I can’t imagine. I just… I heard everything.”
“Did you?” he said, doing his best to suppress a laugh. “Hear everything?”
The girl blinked. “Yeah. I mean. I’m sorry, you probably don’t want to talk about it. I get it…But if you need someone to talk to, you know you can call me.” Giving him a dubious look, she held her books to her chest as she hurried away to her next class. She was the only one who dared to say anything to him all day, in fact.
It wasn’t until the final bell rung and the halls had begun to clear that the one he really wanted to see showed up. Wasn’t it nice how life worked out sometimes? The halls were virtually empty by the time the Alpha found him at his locker. Before he had even turned to look, he could hear the brute sniffing around behind him. Oh, right. He probably still smelled vaguely of sulfur because he hadn’t been able to bring himself to put any of the boy’s disgusting aftershave on this morning. Next time he’d suck it up and go for the Old Spice.
There was a hand on his back, grasping his shirt and swinging him around so that they were face to face. Stiles flashed the Alpha a broad smile, making no attempt to move as the larger man’s hand slammed against his chest, pinning his back to the locker.
“Oh, hey Derek.”
Eyes narrowing to slits, Hale let out a warning growl. Bowing his head, Stiles could feel the wolf breathing deep, trying to reconcile the oddity of the demonic scent. It was just one of those things you couldn’t easily cover up. No doubt this idiot had never tangled with one of his kin before, though.
“You don’t smell right.” Derek muttered.
Squirming, he brought up his hands to take Derek by the shoulders, squeezing tight enough to bruise and push him back until he was able to see that set of angry hazel eyes as they widened in surprise. The pain didn’t even register on his face, but the creature had a look of dawning recognition that this was beyond what he had expected.
“Nothing gets past you, eh lover boy? Don’t stand so close, you’re going to make this poor kid get a nose bleed. Have a heart. Or… do you want his instead?”
“Who are you?”
“Doesn’t really matter who I am. Or what I am for that matter. All you need to know, pretty eyes, is that this kid seems to have a real thing for you. Which means that I have a real thing for you. Which means that you and I are going to have a whole lot of fun.”
“Nobody’s having any fun on my watch,” Coach Finstock said as he appeared, the men’s bathroom door swinging shut behind him, a newspaper tucked under his arm. He had only caught the last few words of their conversation. Giving Stiles and Derek a suspicious once over, he sighed. “Stilinski, the bell rung like fifteen minutes ago. Get your ass home. And you. Do you even go here? You look a little old to be in high school.”
Finstock shook his head disapprovingly as he started down the hallway away from the two of them, muttering to himself, “Knew there was something fruity about that kid.”
Looking after the inattentive teacher, Stiles smirked and gave the Alpha a coy wink. Squeezing one hand hard enough to be able to twist the larger man out of his way, the boy slipped beneath his arm and shoved his hands into his pockets as he casually strolled away.
“As I see it, you’ve got two options. Either you come with me or more of your friends are going to die.” He glanced back to where Derek stood rubbing his shoulder with a frown. Bright hazel eyes shot up, a glimmer of horror and understanding shining there. “Oh yeah, Scott was just an appetizer. Boy didn’t have any instinct at all. Wasn’t even worth the trouble…”
“You killed Scott?” Derek growled.
The demon rolled his eyes. “Smart dog. Can you shake paws too?”
“Enough. You touch any of them…”
Stiles just chuckled as he pushed open the door and trotted down the stairs, heading toward his jeep. Pulling keys from his pocket, he ignored the way that the taller man crowded behind him, knowing full well that Hale wasn’t stupid enough to pick a fight here in public. “I’ll touch whoever I damn well please. What are you gonna do about it?”
The hazel eyed Alpha clenched his jaw, taking an unsteady breath and huffing it back out again. “If I come with you, you’ll leave the others alone.”
“That’s what I said.” He was already opening the door and sliding into the seat.
“Isaac, Erica, Boyd.”
“Yep.” He made a move to close the door but Derek caught it.
“Jackson. Lydia. Allison. Their parents. All of them.”
The demon sighed. “See, now that’s an awful lot of people…”
“Okay, okay. All your puppies, and your mentally deficient friends, and their equally pathetic parents are all off of my hit list. Is that good enough for you or do you want to make me sign in blood? Cause this kid here has plenty of it.”
“No. I’ll come.”
Patting the passenger seat, Stiles grinned, quieting the human’s helpless protests within him. “Then hop on in, buddy. We’re going to your house.”
. . .
“You haven’t seen or heard from him in two days?” Dean Winchester asked with a frown as he crossed his arms over his chest.
“Not so much as a text message,” Sheriff Stilinski said as he tapped a pen nervously against his desk, his eyes pointed downward at the pile of paper work in front of him although he wasn’t concentrating on it.
“I mean, his best friend was just murdered -”
“In our house,” Stilinski said with a sigh as he looked up to Sam. “Scott was murdered in our house, Agent Clarke. Hell, I hardly want to be in the house any more. I would understand if Stiles wanted to get away. His mom passed away around this time three years ago. It’s tough for a kid like him. I just need to know where he is.”
“And that’s why you called us in? We’d love to help, Sheriff, but we’re arson investigators not missing people… finders.” Dean frowned.
Sam smiled apologetically. Taking his older brother by the shoulder, the taller man turned away from the desk and lowered his voice so that only Dean would be able to hear him. “It could be related. Friend shows up dead in his house, kid disappears, all the typical signs of demon activity? You saw the sulfur on the doorstep. Tell me I’m wrong.”
Making a face, Dean grumbled. “Or it could just be that the guy didn’t want to stay in a place that reminded him of his dead friend. Ever think of that?”
“It’s worth looking into,” Sam argued quietly.
“Fine,” Dean muttered before turning back to Stilinski and nodding. “Alright. We’ll check it out. See what we can do. You take care of the murder investigation and we’ll look into what happened to Stiles. Deal?”
“Thank you. I… really appreciate it. Call me as soon as you find anything out. I’d check with his friends. Here…” The Sheriff scribbled a few names and addresses down on a scrap of paper, handing it over to Sam as he looked between both men. “I mean it. If anyone knows anything. You call me.”
. . .
“Figured you’d be cozier here at home,” Stiles stated as he turned off the engine, leaving the jeep parted just outside of the burnt out old house.
He had figured that the Alpha would jump on him the moment he got out of the car and he was right. All Derek could see was the weak human body that he had taken but not the strength that now flowed through it. Fair enough. Barbas knew that this idiot was going to do everything he could do avoid hurting the frail little human meat suit that he inhabited, so letting the Alpha pounce on him and knock him around a little.
Holy shit –
The boy yelped as Derek tackled them, knocking both demon and vessel to the ground, pressing him down hard into the moldering leaves that littered the packed earth. All Barbas could do is laugh, brown eyes flooding black as he looked up at the scruffy man pinning him to the dirt. “Careful now. You’re scaring the poor kid.”
Derek snarled, his faces inches away. “This body isn’t yours. Stiles doesn’t deserve this.”
“Nah,” the demon agreed. “He’s a good guy. Deserves better, right?” Shifting beneath the body over top of his, Stiles squirmed and arched. As he rolled up beneath the Alpha, Derek’s hand tightened around his throat in warning. “Shit. Won’t let me fight. Won’t let me fuck. What good are you?”
“Why did you bring me here?” Derek demanded.
“Thought we could have a little bonding time. You know, one on one, man to man, creator to creation talkies.” With very little effort, Stiles pushed the Alpha off of him and sat up, rubbing his throat. “That kinda stung. Watch the wind pipe, buddy.”
“W-wait. What do you mean creator?”
Oh good. He was curious. Dragging Derek to his feet, the demon caught him by the front of his shirt and led him into the big, half burnt out house. The kid’s memories had led him to pick this as where he could keep the local Alpha locked away for as long as he pleased. That crazy Argent woman had already utilized the facilities below, setting up the loveliest little torture chamber. Turning a charbroiled basement into a homey abode, well decorated with all the tools he wanted and plenty of chain to keep the big bad wolf at bay.
“You know. Creator. I am, in a fucked up sort of way, your god. I don’t suppose you’re interested in getting down on your knees and worshiping me a bit?” The red-toned glare that Derek shot him answered that question. He smirked. “Alright then.”
Without further ado, he took Derek by the back of the neck and scruffed him, leading him down into the poorly lit cellar. The room that the hunter had turned into her personal playground was still perfectly intact, the only thing out of place being a pair of broken handcuffs that dangled from the iron struts that held up the ceiling.
Cuffs weren’t enough to hold someone like Derek. No, he was a special case. A natural born lycanthrope, an Alpha, and a young man with anger issues on top of all that. Barbas could see the uncertainty and displeasure on the hazel eyed man’s face as he avoided looking toward the cuffs or the electro-shock machine which had been left behind after Kate’s death.
With the wolf distracted by the lingering scents of old blood, sweat, and pain the demon cracked him hard across the back of the head and Derek fell limply to the ground.
. . .
It was a bucket of cold water that brought Hale back around to consciousness. Groggy, he tried to move but found himself seated on a cold metal desk chair and fastened to the wrought iron bars that Kate had strung him up from the last time. Instead of cuffs, he had been bound in place with chain. It locked his ankles to the legs of the chair, squeezed tightly around his stomach, slipped up around his throat and kept his arms stretched high over his head. Derek tugged and twisted, but if he pulled too hard at his arms or legs the links around his throat tightened to cut off his air.
“Awake? Good.” Stiles stood a few feet away, twirling something small and purple between his fingers. Lifting it to his nose, he smiled lopsidedly. Before the Alpha could protest, the black eyed demon had moved to straddle his lap. “I was considering cutting on you a little before you were up, but what good is that? This is a two person gig, Derek. You, me, all of these nifty sharp pointy things. Bit of sunlight shining through the cobwebs for ambiance. That’s about as romantic as you can get, dontcha think? I even brought you flowers…”
The soft purple petals of the tiny flower which Stiles had been holding brushed against his lower lip, the slow drag of the plant against his skin beginning to burn. Jerking his head back, Derek grunted and flinched. Stiles raised an eye brow, black eyes gleeful as he drew a line down along the Alpha’s throat with the blossom. Every inch of skin the flower touched reacted violently, turning rosy and tender.
“Does that hurt?” he asked sympathetically. “Funny how something like you would be susceptible to something like a flower. Silver I can understand. But flowers? Sad. Although, this particular flower is poisonous to humans as well…”
Giving the purple blossom a thoughtful once over, Stiles slid one arm around Derek’s neck and pressed closer. Licking at his lips, the demon grinned and popped the flower into his mouth, letting the petals cling to his tongue. The hand at the back of Derek’s neck grasped his hair, jerking the Alpha’s back as he forced a rough kiss on him. Struggling despite the way that the chain tightened around his throat, Derek thrashed in a desperate attempt to get the boy off of him. It took only a moment - the quick, unrelenting press of the demon’s tongue into his mouth, forcing him to swallow the quickly disintegrating flower. It burned from the moment that Stiles’ lips were pressed against his, a nauseating fire that engulfed his mouth and rolled down into his stomach.
He only stopped fighting because he was trying desperately to keep breathing. As the wolfsbane attacked his system, he squeezed his eyes shut, gasping. It was as if he were being ripped apart from the inside, even the smallest dose of the plant turning his body against itself. Biting at Derek’s lip, the demon slowly pulled back. Cupping the Alpha’s cheek, he pursed his mouth into a small pout. “So sorry. But that should keep you in check. Don’t worry, it’s not enough to kill you. You just might feel a little… under the weather.”
Derek’s hazel eyes had gone hazy, delirium setting in as he looked at Stiles, breathing heavily. “Why…?”
Blinking a few times, the black faded away from Stiles’ eyes, leaving them the wide, unassuming brown that the werewolf was used to. Furrowing his brow slightly, the demon brought a finger up press against Derek’s lips. “Shh. Don’t ruin it with words. I wouldn’t want to have to gag you. Now, we wouldn’t want you healing up too quick. The aconitum should help, but just to be sure…”
There was a sudden sharp pain as Stiles drew a pure silver letter opener from his back pocket and drove it deep between the Alpha’s ribs. Hale roared in pain, throwing his head back as he clenched his fists. Hissing, he drew a deep breath only to whimper as his lungs ached. The demon made a pleased sound as he pushed the makeshift knife deeper, twisting it just enough to wretch another cry from the Alpha.
“What’s wrong? I know if you really wanted to, you could break out of these chains. You’re an Alpha, Derek. Crème de la crème of all the mangy dogs. What is it? Don’t tell me that you’re that attached to this skinny little twerp.” The demon slid off of Hale’s lap, sighing as he walked over to the table where the electro-shock machine was sitting, covered in spider webs. Reaching down, he ran his fingers over the half rusted tools which Kate had left behind, finally settling on a straight razor.
Flicking it open, he tested the blade on the edge of his thumb which began dripping red the moment the sharp edge touched his skin. Licking the blood away, he ran his tongue over his lips and chuckled. “Perfect.” Turning the blade over in his hand, he brought it up toward his throat, hesitating with the tip of the razor catching the low, dusty light that filtered through the barred windows behind the Alpha.
Derek’s red eyes went wide and he let out a low snarl.
“Oh don’t worry. I need this body. Moreover, I like this body. The kid doesn’t know how to shut up but he’s a good ride. Believe me, if I could trash him I would but that isn’t how it works for folks like me. Alas.”
“…Never answered my question,” Derek managed through dizzy, shuddered breaths. The wolfsbane had really gotten into him by this point. He must have felt like he’d been hit by a truck and then dumped into a vat of sewage. The usually confident man was pale and sweating, his eyes blood shot. Fingers were clenched into loose fists but he wasn’t pulling at his chains now.
“You really aren’t in any position to be asking questions in the first place, kiddo.” Stepping closer, Stiles bit the edge of his lip as he leaned in and put one hand on the back of the metal chair, looking down at the seated Alpha. Derek looked so small now, slumping as the sickness took over, blood spreading out across his white t-shirt and causing it stick to his skin. The silver instrument was sticking straight out from his chest, shiny in the sunlight.
“You’re like a work of art. You know that? Absolutely beautiful.”
But Derek was a blank canvas and this was only the beginning.
“You have no idea how messed up this kid really is.”
Barbas had been wearing Stiles for the better part of a week, treating Derek like a shiny new toy that he just couldn’t wait to break. The boy himself had gone quiet after the first few days. Shock, the demon imagined. The shock of watching his hands wrapped around the alpha’s throat, his hands dragging a razor across skin that bloomed red beneath its edge or coming this close to gouging out one of the wolf’s pretty hazel eyes – Stiles couldn’t handle it. Panic had become dread, which in turn became something far more self-destructive.
“If I gave him back control, he’d kill himself just to stop me. Noble, don’t you think? He just can’t stand seeing me hurt you. Poor guy. I would almost feel sorry for him if it wasn’t just so damn entertaining to keep you here.” It was still surreal to Hale to hear such cruel words coming through in the boy’s voice.
All Derek could do was glare. The demon had become tired of the alpha’s sad demands to let the boy go, so he had broken his jaw. Not that it wouldn’t heal eventually just like everything else. They had already made their deal and relinquishing his stranglehold on Stiles was not part of that. Demons were a whole lot of things, but they had one golden rule: You never break a promise. Barbas had promised to leave the others alone, but no one had ever mentioned the brown eyed boy.
At this point the wolf must have healed the same broken bones at least ten times. Stiles had found a better way to keep Hale from causing him any problems. Tying him down to the chair was just too restrictive, so he had opted for keeping the alpha heavily dosed with wolfsbane. He still had some fight in him, though, so the demon did what made the most logical sense. He had slipped a sparkly pink collar around the man’s neck, attached the leash, and tied him up like a dog to the wrought iron bars in the basement.
Derek hadn’t found it amusing, but the demon certainly did.
“Everyone he loves just keeps on dying. Sad, isn’t it? You don’t really know a whole lot about this kid though, do you Derek?” Stiles was sitting a few feet away from where the alpha had been tied up on the ground, leaning back in a rickety wooden chair with his feet kicked up on the nearby desk. He was looking at his nails, squinting at the chewed on edges. “Bet you didn’t know that his mom died when he was thirteen. Just a couple of years ago, really.”
Hale shifted restlessly, trying to ignore the taunting.
“She died slowly. Painfully. Cancer’s a bitch and she was riddled with it. Came on all of a sudden too. One day the whole Stilinski family is happy and healthy and lovin’ life. Oh yes. And the next? Mommy dearest isn’t feeling so well. Doc says she has cervical cancer.”
Now that had gotten his attention. Derek raised his eyes.
It had gotten the boy’s attention too. After several days of silence, he was rattling the cage again. Felt like he didn’t like the demon discussing his dead mother. Best part about having access to someone’s body, though, was having access to every dark, horrible memory they had floating around. Stiles had a mind like a vice. The kid didn’t forget anything. Eidetic memory. It was like flipping through a pop up picture book of nightmares.
“Do you know how chemotherapy works, Derek? They pump you full of drugs. They call it medicine, but it’s poison, you know? Fill you full of toxins that keep your cells from working right and hope that the cancer dies. Doesn’t just kill the cancer, though. Kills everything. Sweet little Stiles here? He had to watch his mom deteriorating day by day. At first she was just tired all the time. Too tired to keep up with an energetic kid like him. Then the nausea set in. She could barely eat and what she did get down usually came back up again.
It was when her hair started falling out that he knew something was really wrong. Long, red hair… probably why he has such a thing for that Lydia chick. He used to brush it for her, when he was younger. He said it made her look like a princess. Isn’t that cute? It was like his security blanket. Then she was getting pumped full of drugs and it was falling out. Coming out in clumps in his hands. He was terrified. Afraid to touch her at all. Like she would fall apart if he did.
When it got really bad, she ended up cutting it short just so it wouldn’t be so obvious. Stiles went in with her to the salon and demanded that they cut his hair just like hers. He’s been rockin’ that style ever since. Not big on change this one.” The demon ran a hand idly over his short brown hair and shrugged. “Personally I think he’d look good letting it grow out a little, but you humans are so damn sentimental.”
Derek growled. Stiles rolled his eyes before they flashed to sold black and he back handed the alpha solidly across his already bruised face. Jerked sideways, Derek grunted as the pink leash kept him from falling over, collar biting into his throat.
“Hmph. It might be rubbing off of me. If I knew what was good for me, I would have killed you already. Stupid mutt,” he said affectionately.
. . .
Beacon Hills was inching slowly toward chaos. Fires, inexplicable deaths, and people simply disappearing. The Sheriff had his hands full with sorting out an increasing number of leads which went absolutely nowhere. Not to mention a continuing string of deaths that seemed completely unrelated to both Scott and the arson. A mechanic crushed by his own lift. A woman killed in her hospital bed only hours after giving birth; only days after husband had been brutally murdered.
Everyone in Beacon Hills was dying and he couldn’t do a fucking thing.
Scott was dead, Stiles was missing, and it was easier to page through the file on the McCall case after he had gotten at least half way through a bottle of Jack. The other guys in the station were sympathetic, but they didn’t get it. Scott wasn’t just his kid’s friend. He had treated Scott like one of his own, because the truth was that he had always planned on having more kids but… well, life didn’t always go the way you wanted it to. He couldn’t find any connection between Scott’s death and the two kids they found in the fire. Aside from the fact that they were all young, which meant nothing at all.
Sam and Dean were having just as much luck as the Sheriff. Their first stop had been to speak with Mrs. McCall who couldn’t manage to do much but cry between explosive bursts of rage. They decided to ease off the gas pedal slightly and while Sam went to question Scott’s girlfriend Allison, Dean found Jackson Whittemore.
“And you think I killed Scott why?” the jock asked, quirking an eye brow as he scooped up a ball in the net of his stick. Dean bristled, jaw set as he crossed his arms over his chest. He hadn’t even said anything about this kid killing Scott. He had just introduced himself and asked if he had a few minutes to talk about the situation. All of the other players had left the field, but Whittemore was still practicing alone. Everything about the blonde screamed arrogance.
He reminded Dean way too much of himself in high school.
“Look, guy. You aren’t being implicated. I just want to know if you had any ideas about who could have possibly…”
“Let me stop you there.” Jackson slung the stick over his shoulder, shifting his weight as his other hand rested on his slightly cocked hip. Looking at Dean hard, he narrowed his eyes. “My dad is a lawyer. I’m not answering shit unless you go through the necessary steps. You want to call me in for questioning? Show me the papers, and then we’ll talk.”
“H-hang on a second -”
“Busy.” Jackson stated bluntly as he started to walk away.
Dean was so not in the mood for this. Catching the boy by the back of his uniform, he spun him back around and took a firm grip on the mask part of his helmet which protected his face. With an angry grunt, he tried to pull away, but the hunter had both a height and a weight advantage over the kid.
“Now listen up, asshole. One of your friends was murdered and another one is missing. You don’t think that warrants a short chat with your friendly neighborhood FBI agent? Because I promise you that whatever line you think there is that I’m not willing to cross, I will waltz right over that boundary if it gets me what I need to know. I’m not above beating the snot out of a smart ass punk like you. I know your type. You put up a good front, but you’re chicken shit just like the rest of ‘em. Now spill it.”
The blonde’s eyes went wide behind the mask and he scrambled to keep his footing as Dean hauled him off balance, leaving him hanging awkwardly by his mask, hands grasping the supposed FBI agent’s wrist.
“D-dude. Relax. I don’t know a-anything. Scott and Stiles? I mean I hang out with them because my freaking girlfriend is like BFFs with Allison, but that’s it. We’re all on the lacrosse team. Scott’s okay, Stiles sucks. Far as I know there isn’t anybody who would want either of them dead. I mean, for fuck’s sake. Who would murder a sixteen year old?”
“That’s what I’m trying to figure out,” Dean muttered.
Jackson grimaced. “…will you please let me go now?”
With a huff, the hunter dropped the boy and reached into his pocket to take out his cell phone. Ignoring the melodramatic way the boy remained on hands and knees, he turned around and hit his brother’s number, waiting for Sam to pick up. Before he could get out so much as a ‘hello’ there was sharp pain at the back of his neck and everything went numb. Toppling heavily to the ground, Dean watched as Jackson loomed over him, skin curiously mottled and eyes glowing an eerie yellow. Oh, and he has claws. Those hadn’t been there before.
The boy was taking off into the woods at the edge of the lacrosse field and all Dean could do was watch. Unable to move, he lay sprawled on his side with the phone just out of reach.
“Dean? Dean. Hello?” Sam’s voice came through, distant and crackling.
“Shit. Now we’re going to have to put out an Amber Alert on a freaking prick of a monster kid too. Just what I was hoping for. Oh yeah, Dean. It’s too quiet in the Midwest. Why don’t we go check out that thing on the coast? Yeah, it’ll be great. Take care of a few skin walkers, couple of vampires. No big deal. Goddamn it Sam.”
. . .
“Dean? Dean. Hello?”
Sam looked at his phone in confusion, making a face before closing it and sighing. Dean had a terrible problem with accidentally butt-dialing him at the worst possible times. His brother either needed to get a phone that closed or needed to stop putting said phone in his back pocket. Turning his attention back to the weepy brown haired girl, he frowned.
“Sorry. Agent Kilmister seems to be having some technological trouble. Ah, anyway. You were saying something about a… Derek Hale?” Sam glanced down briefly at his notepad, double checking the name.
Allison sniffed. “I don’t trust him. Scott and Stiles had been…. had been hanging out with him and… he’s just… He’s a…”
“He’s a criminal,” Mr. Argent added from where he sat at the dining room table next to his daughter, eyes fixed hard on the younger Winchester. “Acquitted, technically. But still dangerous. His family has a long history in this town.”
“Bad history?” Sam asked.
Putting his hand on Allison’s shoulder, Chris squeezed gently. “Why don’t you go up to your room. Agent Clarke and I have a lot to discuss. I’ll let you know when he’s gone.”
Without any argument, the girl left the two men alone. Waiting until he heard her door close on the second floor, Chris smirked and reached behind him to remove a small handgun from the waist of his jeans. Putting it on the table, facing toward Sam, he raised his eye brows.
“Clarke and Kilmister? You could at least try to come up with aliases that aren’t from the same band. Props for creativity though. So… who are you really? No more lies. No more covers. Just the truth, if you don’t mind.”
Sam swallowed. He hadn’t brought any weapons because it hadn’t seemed like it would be necessary while interviewing a seventeen year old girl. Lesson learned. “Winchester. Sam Winchester. And my brother Dean is out talking to some of the other kids. We’re just trying to help out, figure out what’s going on around here. We don’t mean anyone any harm…”
“Winchester.” Chris blinked. “You aren’t… Are you related to John?”
“John was my father,” Sam said uncertainly, eying the gun.
Suddenly Chris laughed and Sam stared at him in disbelief. Taking the firearm off the table, he stuffed it away under his shirt again. With a broad smile, Argent stood up and shook his head, walking over to the refrigerator and getting out two beers. Tossing one to Sam, he opened the other and made a vague ‘cheers’ gesture.
“John was a good man. I was sorry to hear that he died. I worked with him a few times, a long time ago. I was barely more than a kid, but my dad started us early… Hmm. I guess you probably went through the same thing. He was a real no nonsense sorta guy.” Chris chuckled, bottled poised against his lips. “John Winchester. Man, he was one of my hunting idols.”
“He shouldn’t have been anyone’s idol,” Sam grumbled. “But yeah, I guess he was a good hunter. So you’re a hunter? Does Allison know?”
“Myself, my wife, and my father. There are a few others local to the area too. And yes my daughter knows even though it’s a fairly recent revelation. We wanted to keep her in the dark for a few more years but unfortunately the situation around Beacon Hills demanded that she be properly prepared.”
“The werewolves.” Chris paused, putting his bottle on the kitchen counter. “Are you here for something other than wolves? This place is pretty tame compared to some places, but that’s kind of our family specialty. The Van Helsing’s had vampires. Us Argents get the dogs. We have a kanima running around too, but we’ve been working on that…”
“No, no. I didn’t even know there was an issue with werewolves around here. My brother and I are looking for a demon. There was sulfur at the Stilinski house, a lot of other evidence to support that whatever got Scott was demonic in nature. Not a dog.”
“Huh. Alright. I’m going to be honest with you, Sam. I go out of my way to avoid that sort of thing, but I’ll help you any way that I can. Best we can do for now is start with what I know. If you couldn’t find any leads at the sheriff’s house or at McCall’s place, your best bet is to give the Hale House a once over. Even if the pack isn’t involved in Scott’s death, he spent a lot of time there.”
Sam frowned. “Scott hung out with werewolves?”
“Scott is a werewolf. Was a werewolf. You get the idea.”
“Man.” The younger Winchester let out a breath. “How many are there?”
“There used to be more. My sister… Let’s just say she did a better job than she should have. Killed off a whole family of them. There were two survivors. Derek and his uncle, Peter. It’s kind of a long story, but all you need to know is that Peter is out of the picture and Derek started his own pack. Besides Scott, he turned three other kids.”
“Okay. We need to get on this. I’ll call Dean and we can meet up at the Hale House.”
“You have any hope of recovering Stilinski’s kid?” Chris asked after a moment.
“He’s been gone without a trace for five days and if we’re looking for a demon, I’m afraid that he may have been taken for a ride. There’s only so much we can do. A lot of the people we exorcise survive, but not all of them. If we find Stiles, there isn’t any guarantee that he’s coming back alive.”
Argent nodded, turning his attention back to his beer, just glad that it wasn’t Allison.
Dean phone rang over and over again. Sam was about to hang up and try again when his brother picked up, panting on the other end of the line.
“You okay, man?” Sam asked. “Sound like you just ran five miles.”
“Fuckin’ monster kid. Jackson. Got me with some sorta poison. Can barely move. If it isn’t too much trouble… can you come scoop me off of this goddamn soccer field?”
“They play lacrosse.”
“What. EVER. I fell on my lighter and it’s jammed into my thigh and it fucking hurts. You get your ass out here right now or I swear to god, I get to pick where we eat for the next year.”
Sam sighed. “I’ll be there in ten.” Closing his phone, he looked to Chris. “You coming?”
“Of course. Your brother sounds like a real treat. Mind if we take my truck?”