Stiles woke up tied to a chair in a room so dark he couldn't make out its boundaries and wasn't even surprised. If anything, he was surprised it hadn't happened sooner. He was the weak link, the screw up human foolish enough to keep company with people who could break him with one arm tied behind their backs, never mind that they were the only ones who would put up with him. He guessed that the Argents had finally gotten tired of harassing their daughter when she didn't even know everything and was too befuddled by hormones and teenage angst to provide much coherency when she did break. As much as Stiles liked Allison and thought she was one of the best (and worst) things to happen to Scott, he knew she wouldn't have been able to hold out against her entire family forever. Not when things kept getting worse. He was impressed she had lasted so long. He didn't think he could have if it had been his mom and dad, but then again he'd been lying and fucking up his Dad's life much more than Allison was doing to her parents. She was just inconveniencing hers. He'd lost his dad their only source of income.
Every time Stiles closed his eyes he saw his mother's face just as beautiful as she had ever been, but instead of smiling brightly like his imaginings of her normally were she looked so disappointed in him. More disappointed than he thought he'd ever seen while she was alive. It made his stomach roll with nausea even trying to think of a way to fix it so he shoved the guilt away and out of sight. Compartmentalize, Stiles, he told himself. You've been doing it this whole time. Why stop now when there are bigger problems?
Bigger problems like being tied to a chair. Stiles sucked in a shaky breath and forced himself to assess the situation better. He wiggled a little in the chair, testing it and his bindings. From the way his skin was being cut into in multiple places it felt like he'd been bound to the chair by multiple zip ties. Obviously, they were aware he was human and didn't need semi-towing strength chains to keep him down. His ankles were almost as uncomfortable for all that they'd put the ties over his jeans. He couldn't see the bottom of the chair, the room too dark even for that, but it hadn't budged even a fraction when he had moved, so Stiles assumed it was bolted down. His shoes, his flannel shirt, and his helpful stash of things from his pockets were missing. The air was cold, giving him goosebumps without his other shirt, and the hard, possibly concrete floor wasn't helping things by being freezing even through his socks.
For some reason, that threw him off balance more than anything else had. Waking up in the dark room tied up was something he had been expecting to happen to him eventually. However, knowing that while he was unconscious someone had touched him to take his things from him unsettled Stiles completely.
He'd learned to be prepared in the past few months. A bit of aconite, a lighter, a mini flashlight, a mini note pad and something to write with were all incredibly useful things to have when running with werewolves. None of those things would have done him much good in this situation, but he still felt stripped bare without their slightly reassuring weight in his pockets.
Stupidly, Stiles had thought things were going to get better when Scott finally got over his hissy fit about Derek not letting him kill Peter. Because that was the problem at the bottom of it all, Stiles knew. Sure, okay, Scott did have good intentions trying to 'save' Erica, Isaac, and Boyd, but Stiles knew that was secondary and that the three new werewolves were obviously happier than they had been before, even if that happiness came at the price of regular pain and terror. For Isaac and Erica, that wasn't really a new thing anyway. Stiles had thought there would be greater strength in numbers, and there had been Friday night, but somehow that had also translated into a bigger clusterfuck because of the fucking Argents.
It had started out working. They had a plan. They had supplies. Derek had squeezed his shoulders and it had felt great. It was electrifying to finally be useful, to have done something else none of them could have when everything else was falling apart for him. Derek's hands had been warm and reassuring, like the tide was turning and Stiles would be able to go home feeling safe and a little better about his world. Of course, the Argents had to ruin that feeling.
Stiles had no doubt it was their hospitality he was enjoying at the moment. None whatsoever. Who else was fucking crazy enough to kidnap the sheriff's-fuck, ex-sheriff's- kid? Nothing would make him happier than for the Argents to disappear. It made him a horrible best friend, but he'd rather have Scott miserable and safe and put up with his emotional angst that would undoubtedly turn him into a douche bag to rival Jackson than keep dealing with the Argents. That was one family that needed to be eradicated from the gene pool, or at least needed to move far, far away from Beacon Hills.
He knew his situation was his own damn fault. It had been so quiet in Beacon Hills on Saturday, at least compared to the rest of the week, and it had stayed quiet enough through Sunday morning that after catching up on some homework and much needed sleep with no emergency interruptions, Stiles thought maybe, just maybe, he'd be able to take a trip to the grocery store to get food for him and his dad. Income or no income, they had money saved and they needed to eat. He shouldn't have gone alone. He could have dragged Scott, or even cajoled and bribed his dad with a small reprieve in his diet to get him to come along, but Stiles hadn't. He hadn't wanted to listen to Allison this, Allison that, and he still couldn't even look at his dad, suddenly in plain clothes when he was rarely ever out of uniform, without feeling like the worst son that had ever existed. He had chosen to take a scant hour to himself of normal life with no one chasing after him, no crisis to solve, no life or death deadline to meet, and he was going to pay for it.
He only hoped his Dad wouldn't end up paying more for his stupidity, too.
Gerard stared at the young man on the darkroom camera. He had expected much more of a reaction from the Stilinski boy upon his awakening, but the young man had only rocked a bit on the chair, testing it, Gerard assumed. Then the boy sat back and waited calmly, as though he had known he was going to be taken. Gerard looked down at the file they had on Genim Stilinski and skimmed it once more. It never hurt to triple or quadruple check information in such sensitive situations.
They already knew the boy was intelligent from his school records, even if physically not anywhere near as dangerous as his friends. Intelligence won many battles, though. Intelligence made the weak a threat, and the strong unbeatable. It was why his own family had survived so long. They were strong and they were smart. He had thought both of his children possessed those traits until he got word of Kate's death. It was only then that he realized she had been relying too much on her strength without using
her brain to back it up. She kept Christopher in the dark and broke the code that their community generally followed. He didn't have so much of a problem with that as with the fact that she let her acts become public knowledge. She had gotten sloppy, acted stupid, and created more problems than she solved.
That wasn't their way.
He mourned his daughter and planned to take vengeance just as Derek Hale had taken his, but to do that he had to get to the new Alpha. Genim Stilinski was his path to do so. The boy was intelligent, and from what they had discovered through the school cameras and other observations, he had the potential to be persuasive and dangerous in his own right. If things were different, Gerard would have recruited him. As it was, the boy was just touching the tip of the iceberg when it came to befriending or hunting monsters. A few more years, a little more experience, even figuring out his own importance in the little Beacon Hills Pack could make young Stilinski exponentially more dangerous.
Gerard planned to nip that in the bud.