Stiles’ fingers drummed on the dashboard and Erica turned and offered him another glare, though there wasn’t much heat in it. “Sorry,” he mumbled clenching the steering wheel until he his knuckles were white to keep from fidgeting.
He looked down at his lap where his phone was annoyingly silent. Derek had stumbled out of the warehouse carrying, a half dead Scott, and barking instructions. “Call Deaton, tell him I’m brining Scott in then get them out of here.”
Stiles had nodded not arguing, the last thing his dad needed was for the deputies to find him at yet another crime scene. He grabbed Erica and Isaac and herded them toward his jeep as he dialed the vet. He was halfway to the Subway Station before he realized where he was going. Stiles hadn’t heard from Derek since.
“He’s gonna be ok right?” Isaac asked and Stiles nodded. He didn’t trust himself to actually say anything because both of them would know he was lying. He had no idea if Scott would be ok. But Isaac needed to believe it. Apparently a head nod wasn’t enough for the beta though and Stiles took a deep breath.
“Derek’s got him,” Stiles said. “He’s gonna be fine Isaac,” Stiles looked up into the rear view mirror to look him in the eye and said as steady as he could manage. “He’s gonna be fine.”
Isaac nodded once and relaxed back into his seat as they pulled into the abandoned depot and parked. Stiles was halfway to the door when Erica grabbed a handful of his jacket, jerking him to a halt. “What?” Stiles looked around for a threat, reaching out for Isaac’s arm.
“Something’s wrong,” Erica said sniffing the air. “It smells like...hunters.”
“How many?” Stiles asked and Erica shook her head.
“I don’t…I don’t hear anyone but I smell….something.” she grunted in frustration.
“Ok, you two stay here,” Stiles said, pulling Erica’s fingers off his jacket and maneuvering her and Isaac around to the side of the building. “If I say run, I want you to take my car and go.” He dropped the keys to his jeep in Erica’s hand and swallowed around the lump in his throat. “Go to my house. My bedroom window’s open. My dad should—just be quiet and lie low until Derek can get to you ok?” He turned toward the door but didn’t get very far.
“No,” Isaac reached out for him and Stiles stopped. “We should go, we’re—“
“Werewolves,” Stiles said looking at the two of them. “Which is exactly why you shouldn’t go. I’m just a kid, a human kid. They won’t hurt me.” He winced as soon as the words were out of his mouth because even he didn’t believe them.
“Stiles,” Erica protested.
“No,” Stiles snapped, clenching his fists at his side. “Jackson is still out there somewhere along with whoever the hell is controlling him and you guys are the ones who can stop him before the hunter’s find him. If I say run, run.”
“Ok,” Erica nodded, moving back to stand next to Isaac.
Stiles took a deep breath and walked into the station, wincing as the large steel door creaked closed behind him. “Don’t shoot,” Stiles called out into the seemingly empty space, his voice echoing back to him a couple times over. It was much louder than he thought it would be. “It’s just. Stiles.” He said trying to calm his nerves because he knew that Erica and Isaac would be able to feel it even outside. “You know, son of the Sherriff,” he said hoping the hunters had been too busy chasing after Jackson to hear the news that his dad was no longer the law in these here parts.
“Stiles?” A ragged voice called out in the darkness and he frowned when he realized who it was.
“Boyd?” Stiles hurried further into the room and saw him leaning against the trailer. He was pale and sweating and in obvious pain. “What’s wrong? What happened?” Stiles slid to a stop in front of the other man and started checking him over.
“I was shot,” Boyd said through clenched teeth. “But it’s not healing. Derek said the bullets were laced with something.”
“Wolfsbane,” Stiles breathed out. “Which is why Erica thought she smelled hunters.” He turned to the door and called for the other two. “Erica, Isaac, get in here.” They were at his side before he could blink.
“What happened?” Erica asked, bringing a hand up to Boyd’s neck and he leaned into the touch.
“He was shot,” Stiles said. “I need you to go get the black duffel out of the back of my car.” Erica didn’t move and Stiles sighed. “Erica,” he called her attention back to him. “Look, I can help him but I need the black duffel out of my car.”
She nodded and hurried off.
“What can I do?” Isaac looked between Stiles and Boyd frantically.
“Help me get him inside,” he nodded to the trailer and Stiles stood up, trying to get an shoulder under Boyd’s arm when Isaac pulled the other Beta to his feet in one smooth move, and dragged him away. “Or you can just pick him up with your super werewolf muscles.” Stiles mumbled and followed them into the trailer. “Lay him on the bed.”
Isaac set Boyd down a lot more gently than Stiles thought he was capable off then grabbed the other man’s face in his hands. “Hey,” Isaac smiled and Boyd looked at him. “Stiles is gonna fix you up ok. He’s got you.” Boyd nodded.
“Isaac, does Derek have any alcohol lying around here?” Stiles asked.
“There’s some scotch in the office,” Isaac pulled away from Boyd.
“Go get it,” Stiles said and Isaac nodded before walking out of the trailer.
“Alcohol doesn’t affect me anymore,” Boyd reminded Stiles as he grabbed the bottom of Boyd’s shirt and pulled it up so he could get to the bullet wound. Stiles sighed when he saw the three oozing holes in Boyd’s side. Of course nothing about this day could be easy.
“It’s not for you,” Stiles said. “I’m about to pull three Wolfsbane laced bullets out of a poison delirious werewolf. I need some liquid courage.” Boyd let out a bark of laughter. Stiles idly wondered why Derek even had the alcohol around if it didn’t affect him. Stiles knew why his dad drank, knew it was so he didn’t have to think, about his mom, about Stiles, about work. There were a lot of things Derek probably didn’t want to think about sometimes. Stiles wondered if Derek ever drank himself to the point of exhaustion, trying to get one step ahead of his metabolism in the hopes of just one moment to forget it all.
“Here,” Erica set the bag on the mattress next to Stiles and he dug through it until he found what he needed. Isaac shoved a bottle of scotch into his hands and Stiles twisted off the cap before taking a big gulp. He smiled over at Boyd and then poured some of the scotch over a pair of tweezers.
“I need you guys to hold him down,” Stiles said and Erica and Isaac moved to either side of Boyd. Erica slipped a hand in Boyd’s and laced their fingers together as Isaac grabbed his shoulders. Stiles took a deep breath and dug the tweezers into the first bullet wound.
Boyd howled in pain but Stiles kept going, grabbing the bullet and pulling it free. He dropped it on the table next to him and went back for the second one. Boyd howled again and this time Erica joined him. Stiles looked up to see that the claws on the hand Boyd had intertwined with Erica’s were out and digging through Erica’s palm.
Stiles stopped and Erica shook her head. “I’m fine, keep going,” she panted and Stiles nodded, digging out the second bullet and going after the third.
“You’re ok, you’re gonna be ok,” Erica murmured and Stiles saw her smoothing her free hand over Boyd’s forehead. “You’re gonna be ok,” she said again, resting her head in the crook of Boyd’s neck.
“Last one,” Stiles promised as he dug the last bullet out of Boyd and sat back to take a breath. “Now for the hard part.”
“That was the easy part?” Boyd panted and Erica laughed into his neck.
“Don’t be a baby,” She said with a tight smile.
Stiles grabbed the small wooden box and opened it, pulling out the dried Wolfsbane and laying it out on the table next to the bullets. Isaac leaned forward and looked over his shoulder, reaching around him to pick up the box and Stiles’ hand clasped onto Isaac’s wrist halting his progress .
“Don’t touch,” Stiles said and Isaac nodded moving back to Boyd. Stiles burned the Wolfsbane, watching as blue smoke curled up from the burning flower and scooped it into his hand, bringing it back over to Boyd. “This is gonna hurt,” Stiles warned before sprinkling it into the bullet wounds.
He covered the wounds with his palm, pressing as hard as he could and Boyd growled this time as his body surged off the bed. Isaac tightened his grip and Stiles kept his hand firmly over the wounds watching as the angry red veins slowly started to recede. By the time they were gone, Boyd was passed out, either from exhaustion or pain, probably both.
Stiles allowed himself a second to breath and Isaac and Erica hovered over Boyd, making sure he was ok. Stiles watched as Isaac reached across the sleeping Beta to slide his hands in Erica’s hair and drop a kiss to her forehead before pulling back to nuzzle in Boyd’s neck.
He turned away, giving them their privacy and went about cleaning up the mess. Packing the bullets away with the Wolfsbane back into his duffel and cleaning the table with the scotch, hoping the alcohol was strong enough to kill any left over Wolfsbane essence.
He moved to the other side of the mattress and grabbed Erica and Boyd’s intertwined hands. She jerked her gaze over to him and he smiled. “Let me see,” he said softly and she nodded, extricating her hand from Boyd’s and allowing Stiles to look it over.
“It’ll heal,” Erica said watching as Stiles cleaned the claw marks gently.
“Doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt,” Stiles shrugged and looked over at Isaac. “How’s your arm?”
“Fine,” Isaac said. “Healed already.”
“The blood on your shirt,” Stiles nodded at him. “Where’s it from?”
“Jackson,” Isaac growled out.
“The venom?” Stiles’ head shot up, his expression worried.
“I’m assuming it would have kicked in by now if he’d used it.” Isaac assured him.
“Ok,” Stiles nodded. “Ok.” He finished patching up Erica’s hand then grabbed the bloody rags and carried them out of the trailer to dispose of. He forced himself to take a few deep breaths and then pulled out his phone. A quick glance at the screen showed that Derek still hadn’t gotten back to him yet. He cursed under his breath and dialed his dad who didn’t pick up until the third ring.
“Hey dad, sorry did I wake you?” Stiles bit his lip. “Yeah I know curfew was three hours ago, but Scott had a really bad asthma attack and Mrs. McCall is working the night shift and you know I hate leaving him alone after one of those.” Stiles closed his eyes, knowing that his dad didn’t believe a single word that was coming out of his mouth. “No I won’t be home in the morning, I’ll just go straight to school from Scott’s. I’ll see you after wor—I’ll see you tomorrow night,” Stiles corrected himself at the last minute. “Sure, we can talk then. Love you.” Stiles hung up the phone before his dad could reciprocate because he was scared for the first time in his life that his dad wouldn’t reciprocate.
He took a second to pull himself together because the last thing Isaac and Erica needed right now was for him to break down. The tightness in his chest eased slightly when his phone beeped with a new message and he looked down to see Derek’s name on his screen.
Scott’s fine. Bringing him back to his house to sleep it off.
Stiles sent back a quick ‘thanks’ and moved toward the trailer. “Everything ok?” Erica asked her eyes drooping as she curled up against Boyd.
“Yeah,” Stiles smiled, covering up the obvious lie with the truth. “Scott’s fine, Derek’s taking him home.”
“Good, that’s good,” Isaac seemed to relax a bit more.
“How’s he doing?” Stiles moved forward and slid the back of his hand across Boyd’s forehead. His temperature was running hot but then werewolves always ran hot.
“He’s fine,” Erica said. “His heartbeat’s steady.”
“Good,” Stiles smiled. “That’s good.”
“You look dead on your feet,” Erica said, grabbing his hand and pulling him down to the bed, draping him sideways across the mattress behind the three of them.
“Yeah, well I created a magical circle of mountain ash and interrogated the crazy lizard’s equally crazy puppet master, not to mention probably epically failed that pop quiz in English,” he turned to Isaac. “When did we start reading Don Quixote?”
“Wait that quiz was on Don Quixote?” Isaac lifted his head and Stiles smiled over at him, carding his fingers in the other’s boys hair and ruffling it a bit. Isaac leaned into his touch and Stiles smiled wider. He remembered a time not too long ago that Isaac flinched away from any sort of contact at all. So he ran his hand through Isaac’s hair a few more times for good measure.
“How did you know how to do that?” Isaac asked, his voice a sort of purr. “With the Wolfsbane?”
“Watched Derek do it once,” Stiles said, his own eyes starting to droop as the day caught up with him. “I’m just gonna take a quick nap ok,” Stiles yawned. “Wake me if the world’s about to end. Or something.”
Erica hummed which Stiles took as an agreement and he closed his eyes, allowing himself to sleep.
Derek saw Stiles’ Jeep outside so he wasn’t surprised when he was assaulted with the boys scent the second he walked in the depot. He was very surprised however when he didn’t see anyone inside. He could hear four heart beats, smell four distinctly different smells and followed his nose to the trailer. He stopped halfway there when he noticed the smell of Wolfsbane lingering in the air and his heart lodged in his throat. He’d forgotten about Boyd. Between losing his chance at the Kanima, Scott and Victoria Archer it…slipped his mind. He was obviously the world’s worst Alpha and he wondered how he was supposed to take care of four Beta’s when he couldn’t even take care of one.
His heart beat spiked as he hurried to the trailer and tore the door open. He froze when his eyes landed on the bed. Isaac and Erica were curled up on either side of Boyd who appeared for all intents and purposes to be perfectly fine. And the only cause he could find for that was the teenager who was sprawled across the top of the mattress above them. His mouth was open and he was drooling on his shirt but he had one hand in Isaac’s hair and the other fisted protectively into the material of Boyd’s t-shirt.
Isaac whimpered and squirmed, likely reacting to Derek’s still frantic heart rate and he forced himself to calm down. Scott was fine, back at his house and his Beta’s were obviously ok, the evidence right there in front of his eyes.
“Shhh,” Stiles said through a sleep filled haze as his fingers tightened in Isaac’s hair, running his nails over the boys scalp. Isaac relaxed immediately and Derek watched the whole scene with a sort of detached sense of understanding. Stiles had picked up where he left off. Taken care of his Betas while he took care of Scott.
Stiles blinked himself awake and made a move to sit up when he saw Derek standing in the doorway. “No,” Derek said a bit too quickly and Stiles froze. “Don’t move, you’ll wake them.” Derek toed off his shoes and stepped fully into the trailer, letting the door close behind him. “Besides, you look exhausted.”
“People keep saying stuff like that,” Stiles murmured whipping his drool on his shirt. “A guy’s gonna get a complex.”
“Maybe you should just sleep more,” Derek suggested, kneeling down on the mattress and lifting Boyd’s shirt to check for himself that the boy was ok.
“Yeah, I’ll be sure to pencil that in, you know between school, saving Scott’s ass, and destroying my dad’s career.” Stiles snorted. He watched as Derek ran his fingertips over Boyd’s abs where the bullet wounds would have been. “He’s fine, I got here in time.”
“Just happened to have Wolfsbane lying around?” Derek asked pulling his fingers away much to Boyd’s annoyance if the grunt in his sleep was any indication. Stiles loosened his grip on Boyd’s shirt and patted him a few times, appeasing him for the time being.
“It’s one of the many things I keep around in my little werewolf bag of tricks.” Stiles shrugged. “You look two seconds away from passing out and we’re taking up your bed. You want me to wake them up and take them home?”
“No,” Derek said, lifting his shirt over his head. “They obviously need to be here and tonight…I kind of need them here.”
“I know the feeling,” Stiles said, his heartbeat rising a bit when Derek reached for his belt buckle. He gave Stiles points for keeping his voice even though. Derek allowed himself a smirk, popping the button on his jeans and letting them drop to the floor. “Where are you gonna—“ Stiles cut off mid sentence as Derek climbed onto the mattress, wedging himself in between Isaac and Boyd. They both immediately turned to curl around him and Derek’s whole body seemed to sigh at the contact.
“I should go,” Stiles said suddenly. “This is personal pack time and I should…go.” He finished lamely but made no motion to actually move.
“If you leave now they’ll get worried,” Derek said nodding to where Erica had an arm wrapped around Stiles’ leg. “And you’re pack too,” Derek looked at Stiles before pulling himself up a bit more on the mattress and dropping his head on the arm Stiles had stretched out toward Isaac. “Stay.”
“Ok,” Stiles nodded allowing himself to get more comfortable.
“Thank you,” Derek said. “For taking care of them.”
“It’s what I do best,” Stiles said.
“It is, isn’t it?” Derek asked with a soft smile.
“Everyone’s gotta have a thing right?” Stiles shrugged.
Derek stared at him and he could feel that Stiles wanted to look away in embarrassment but he didn’t, holding Derek’s gaze. The idea that taking care of his pack could be Stiles’ thing was more appealing than Derek had the energy to think about at the moment so he made himself think about something else.
“What did you mean earlier?” Derek asked changing the subject. “About destroying your dad’s career?”
“He uh, he got fired tonight,” Stiles said tearing his eyes away from Derek’s to look at the wall behind them. “They’re calling it a leave of absence but everyone knows what that means.”
“It’s not your fault—“
“But it is,” Stiles said with a hollow laugh. “He told me it was. Having the Sherriff’s son stealing cars and showing up at crime scenes and getting restraining orders for kidnapping doesn’t exactly help a guy’s career.” Derek opened his mouth, no idea what to say but knowing that he needed to say something. “I really just don’t want to talk about it ok?”
“Yeah sure,” Derek nodded, letting his cheek rub against Stiles’ arm.
“You know, every time I try to do the right thing, I just end up screwing it all up,” Stiles said.
“Join the club,” Derek snorted.
“We should have t-shirts made,” Stiles suggested.
“You don’t screw everything up,” Derek offered. “That thing you did tonight, with the Mountain Ash. That was good.”
“Wow, did it physically hurt you to say that?” Stiles shook his arm a little, jostling Derek’s head and he turned his face so his cheek was pressing against Stiles’ forearm to keep it still. “Not that it did any good. We lost Jackson and we still don’t have any leads on who’s controlling him.”
“We’ll figure it out,” Derek said not moving his cheek from Stiles’ arm, his breath ghosting across Stiles’ inner elbow. He could feel Stiles shiver underneath him. “We’ll save Jackson.”
“Oh so we’re saving him now?” Stiles asked. “Two days ago you were the head of the “Let’s kill Jackson!” squad.”
“A lot can change in two days,” Derek shrugged. “Two days ago you were ready to shoot me in the head.”
“I knew you heard that,” Stiles murmured, obviously knowing that Derek would hear that too. “What changed your mind?”
“Jackson’s mine,” Derek said. “When it comes down to it, even though the bite didn’t take, it was my bite so he’s my responsibility. He’s pack. I forgot how important that was until tonight. You protect your pack no matter what.”
“I get that, I do,” Stiles said. “But at what point are we just…tilting at windmills?”
“I thought you didn’t read Don Quixote,” Isaac mumbled, nuzzling closer to Derek.
“Go to sleep Isaac,” Derek and Stiles said together and Isaac huffed. “We’ll save Jackson.” Derek said again when Isaac’s breathing evened out again. “And then we’ll figure out how to get your dad his job back.” Derek glanced up at Stiles and smiled. “You protect your pack.” Derek said firmly.
Stiles pulled his hand from Boyd’s chest and slid it under Derek’s chin, fingers hooking behind Derek’s ear and he pulled himself forward, pressing his lips against Derek’s softly. Derek froze and Stiles tried to pull away. “I’m sorry, chalk that up to sleep deprivation or lack of Adderal or too much Addreal—“ He was cut off when Derek’s hand grabbed the back of his head and pulled him back in. Derek’s kiss wasn’t as soft. He poured all his tension from the day into it, licking inside Stiles’ mouth when he moaned against Derek’s lips.
“Dudes, we’re right here,” Boyd mumbled and Stiles pulled away, resting his forehead against Derek’s as they both turned to the Beta.
“Go to sleep Boyd,” they said together.
The room was quiet as they all settled in. “What changed your mind?” Derek asked. “I’m assuming you don’t want to shoot me in the head anymore.”
“Yeah well your head’s not so bad,” Stiles shrugged. “It’s got your face on it. Which is good, for you know, looking at. Or kissing. It’s really good for kissing, there should definitely be more of the kissing.”
“Stiles,” Derek grunted.
“You care about them,” Stiles said seriously. “And I figure, if you care about them, people no one ever bothered to care about before, well, you couldn’t be all bad.” Derek sighed as Stiles heartbeat slowed and he drifted off to sleep.
When he closed his eyes he could feel Scott, safe and sound and alive in his bed at home. If he tried even harder he could feel Jackson, poking around at the edges of his senses. He looked around him at Isaac and Erica and Boyd, alive and safe and there because of Stiles. And then Stiles shifted closer, his forehead bumping softly against Derek’s, his nose edging into the spot behind Derek’s ear as he took in a deep breath and Derek felt for the first time in a long time that maybe they’d be okay.
“But you know, it was mainly the kissing.” Stiles said after a couple of minutes.
“Go to sleep Stiles,” Isaac, Boyd and Erica said together and Derek smiled as he drifted off.
They’d be more than okay.