Stiles is the kind of girl who rolls out of bed and throws on a pair of dirty jeans. She has never owned a hair brush, and only shaves her legs during field hockey season. She owns exactly one tube of lip gloss, a gift from her grandmother, and it’s only been opened twice.
Her aunts blame her father for her decidedly unfeminine behavior, but Stiles has been like this since she was a little girl. It’s not her dad’s fault. If anything, her inability to function like a proper girl is all on her mom. That woman told Stiles she could be whoever she wanted to be. This is how Stiles came to be a sixteen year old girl with ratty hair and a dresser full of ripped flannel shirts.
This morning, after falling out of bed, she slides on a pair of torn jeans. They aren’t even her pants; She stole them from Scott a year ago. They’re the only ones in her closet that are even remotely form fitting, Scott being slimmer than she is, and they really do make her ass look fantastic. Not that she would ever admit that to anyone.
After tying up her hair and throwing on some Old Spice, Stiles races down stairs. She’s late for school, and she really can’t afford to be.
When Stiles gets home from field hockey practice, Dereka is sitting on her bed, flipping idly through one of her folders filled with werewolf research and notes. Stiles sighs, tossing her backpack towards her desk. She crosses her arms over her chest.
Dereka Hale is the kind of girl Stiles’ dad would point out and say, “That one is a piece of work.” She is femme fatale personified, all leather jackets and smoky eyes. She looks like the kind of girl who spends more time in bars than she ever did in school, and it’s a look that’s working for her. She is everything Stiles has never tried to be, and so glad for it. She could never pull it off the way Dereka does.
“I’m not even surprised,” Stiles says. “I should be, but I’m not.” This is something that happens with alarming frequency: Dereka breaking and entering. Come to think of it, Stiles can’t remember a single time Dereka used the front door to get into any building. “Why are you here? In my room. Why did you break into my room?” She asks, tired. Field hockey is hard.
“I need your help,” Dereka says, her voice deep and husky, “with Scott.”
Stiles rolls her eyes. “I can’t make Scott do anything, you know that. He never listens to me.”
“Then make him,” she says, like it’s that simple. She swings her legs around until her boot clad feet land on the floor. Dereka looks up at Stiles. “It’s in his best interest to be part of the pack, and you know it.” She waves Stiles’ research around pointedly.
“I know, dude. Okay? I know. But Scott isn’t just going to follow you around like a lost puppy. You haven’t really done anything to earn his trust, you know?”
“Shut. Up.” Dereka growls, launching herself from the bed, shoving Stiles up against her own bedroom door. Again.
All of the air rushes from her lungs, and Stiles can’t, for a fleeting moment, remember what they were fighting about. All she knows is Dereka’s body pressed up against her own. It feels really nice, all soft curves and warm skin under her thin gray t-shit, until she realizes that Dereka’s eyes are glowing red and her teeth are pointier than they had been.
They stay like that for a second too long, Dereka trying to frighten her and Stiles being frightened. Dereka sighs, moving away from Stiles.
“I can’t take this from all sides, Stiles,” she says, sounding so heavy and so drained. She tucks a lock of straight, inky black hair behind her ear. Dereka’s shorter than Stiles, by at least three inches, and when she looks up at her through her lashes, her eyes are green again. “I never thought I’d sink this low; that I’d have to ask you, of all people-”
“-and I wouldn’t be here if this wasn’t my absolute last resort. I can’t be worrying about Scott on top of everything else, okay?” Dereka touches Stiles’ shoulder, gripping lightly at the black and gray plaid fabric. “Okay?”
Stiles ducks her head, nodding. Dereka’s right, of course. Scott would be stronger with a pack.
The hand on her shoulder tightens before it’s gone completely. When Stiles looks up, Dereka’s disappeared, curtains swinging in her wake.
It takes two days, some wheedling, a bit of black mail, and some straight up, good old-fashioned emotional manipulation, for Scott to agree to see Dereka. He does so under duress, but Stiles can’t find it in herself to care. She is running out of patience.
They’re in Dereka’s warehouse lair, which somehow manages to be creepier than the burnt husk of her family home. Stiles looks around and sees Erica and Dereka and no one else. They look out of place in this dingy old building, what with their perfect hair and spiky heels.
“Look what the cat dragged in,” Erica purrs. She leans into Scott’s personal space and breathes in deeply. She angles her body just so, and Stiles can see right down her shirt. She’d have be dead not to appreciate that view.
“Erica,” Dereka growls, and she backs off. Scott glares at them both, and Erica smirks back. It’s truly a thrilling display of pack dynamics. Stiles yawns.
“I’m here, Dereka. What do you want?” Scott grits his teeth, taking a step towards the Alpha. Dereka looks at him, her face perfectly blank, and tilts her head to the side.
“You need me,” she says, and it’s true. Stiles can see how true it is. Every day that Jackson goes unchecked, or Lydia spends losing her grip on reality, is a day wasted as far as she’s concerned.
“No, you need me!” Scott exclaims, and Dereka levels her with an impressive glare.
“There’s a difference?”
This causes Scott to pause, and Stiles can almost see the gears in his head turning as he pieces things together. She rolls her eyes.
“That’s what I’ve been trying to tell him, but he’s so thick-” Stiles complains, and Dereka fixes her with hard look. “Shutting up,” she says, backing off, her hands held up defensively.
“You’re saying that this is a mutually beneficial relationship?” Scott asks, his brow furrowed.
Stiles nods dramatically, and Scott scratches his head.
“I really can’t have you running around on your own, Scott,” says Dereka, “and I need your help with Jackson.”
“I don’t trust you,” Scott says, like anyone trusts anyone else around here.
“That’s fine,” Dereka grunts, “I don’t trust you either.”
There’s an uncomfortable, lingering silence riddled with tension. Stiles clears her throat. “This is good. Progress! We’re making progress!” She claps Scott on the shoulder. “Can we maybe talk about saving Jackson? Because I still have an essay to write and two tests to study for tonight, so.”
Dereka nods, gesturing for them to come further into the back of the warehouse. Scott goes after only a moment of hesitation.
It’s a start.
“Scott said that you convinced him to ally with Dereka.” Allison says without preamble. She’s cornered Stiles in the girls bathroom, the one with the screen that pops out of the window. It’s where some girls go to smoke during class. Right now though, there is no one else in the room, and Stiles is reminded of just how scary Allison can be. She’s the badass daughter of creepy-as-fuck hunters who knows how use a crossbow better than Stiles knows how to do anything.
So yeah, she’s a little intimidated.
“Yeah,” Stiles says, washing her hands. When she’s done, she dries them on the hem of her button-up shirt.
“Do you really think that’s a good idea?”
“I do, actually, yeah.” Stiles says. She crosses her arms over her chest and juts out her chin defiantly.
“She tried to kill Lydia, Stiles! and Jackson.”
“That was before. This is now, and we need her help. Finding who’s controlling lizard-man is top priority, in case you forgot!”
Allison frowned. “I know! I’m just worried about Scott,” she says.
“So am I,” Stiles admits. “I am always worried about Scott. This is what’s best for him, really. Think about it, Allison.”
“I know,” Allison’s voice shakes, “that you care deeply for him-” Stiles raises an eyebrow but doesn’t interrupt. “-I guess I just want to make sure that you are doing this for the right reasons.”
“What do you mean?”
“I want you to know that I’m not going anywhere, Stiles. I love Scott, and I know you do too, okay? I know.” Allison says in a rush, like she’s trying to get it all out before she explodes. Stiles’ eyes widen as the realization hits her. Allison thinks Stiles is in love with Scott. Sweet, scary, beautiful Allison is worried that she’s trying to steal him away by forcing him into Dereka’s pack. It’s laughable.
“Allison,” she guffaws, “I’m not in love with Scott!”
“It’s okay, Stiles, really-”
“I’m a lesbian!” Stile laughs at the look on Allison’s face. Three parts confusion and one part shock. “Oh my God, you didn’t know?”
“I- no one told me,” Allison stutters, shaking her head.
“Not even Lydia? Because she had Jackson threaten me with a restraining order once,” Stiles says. “Never mind, I didn’t say that. It never happened.”
Allison giggles nervously. Stiles rubs her hands over her face, embarrassed.
“Not in love with Scott then?”
“Not even a little,” Stiles confirms, making a face at the thought of kissing Scott. She remembers when they were little and Scott didn’t brush his teeth for three months, or the time he ate dirt on a dare. Stiles doesn’t want her face anywhere near his.
“Good, good. Glad to hear it. Okay.”
“This wasn’t awkward at all.”
“Nope.” Allison shoots her a strained smile. “So you aren’t trying to get rid of me?”
Stiles scrunches her nose, and shakes her head. “No way. Not that I even could; Scott would follow you anywhere.” Ducking her head, Allison smiles. She looks remarkably lass intimidating like this, all aglow with love, her cheeks flushed and her dimples flashing.
“Well, I’m going back to class, if we’re done here,” Stiles says, sidestepping the other girl, and moving towards the door. Allison reaches out like she’s going to stop her, but thinks better of it and nods instead. She says, “Thanks, Stiles.”
Stiles waves her a lazy salute, and leaves the bathroom.
She isn’t actually good at field hockey, but the coach lets Stiles play in most of the games anyway, even if it’s only for a few minutes. The turnout for the field hockey games is nothing like the lacrosse turnout, but her dad makes a point of showing up for most of them. He loves that she’s into sports. Or, at least, into field hockey. She thinks he likes that when people side-eye her, he can just call her sporty and that’s the end of that. It’s not that her dad, or really anyone, cares that she’s a lesbian, so much as the towns folk take one look at the rats nest she calls hair and they turn and run the other way.
Today though, three days after her talk with Allison, Stiles’ dad isn’t sitting in the bleachers watching her game. Dereka is though, which comes as a complete shock. Stiles nearly falls off the bench when her sees her. She has to flail her arms to keep from falling over.
“Watch it, Stilinski!” Coach shouts, gesturing with her clipboard. Stiles flushes, sliding further down the bench. She hasn’t been put in today’s game, and after that fabulous display of coordination, she doesn’t think she will be. Stiles sighs. She fixes her skirt, pulling it down to her knees and brushing out the wrinkles.
For the rest of the game, Stiles can feel Dereka watching her, but when it’s over, Dereka’s nowhere to be found.
Stiles is walking down the hallway, towards the front of the school, tying her hair back as she goes. She’s on her way home, having been forced to stay behind for detention. Mr. Harris claims that he doesn’t care for her, fundamentally, as a person, but he keeps making her stay after hours. It doesn’t make sense, and the one time she tried to explain that to him he asked if she was trying to threaten him with a sexual harassment accusation. At this point, it’s easier to just go with the flow, take the detention and move on with her life.
She’s thinking about her homework, and Scott’s unhealthy need to talk about Allison all the time, and any number of other semi related things, and she isn’t paying any attention to where she’s putting her feet. Stiles runs into something large and solid. She puts her hands down by her sides, her hair tie only looped around half as many times as she’d like, and her hair is falling awkwardly around her face. Irritated, she looks up, expecting to see a wall or a door. Instead she sees a black t-shirt and a broad, muscular chest.
Hurriedly, she takes three steps back.
“Dereka wants to see you,” Boyd says with a smirk. He’s looking down at her with calculating eyes, and Stiles really wishes she’d been nicer to him before he was turned. He seemed like a decent guy a few weeks ago. Now, he just seems like a jerk. A jerk who could kill her anytime he wanted to. Like there weren’t already enough of those running around, Dereka had to go and make more.
“What for?” she asks, folding her arms over her chest. Boyd’s sure smirk falters, like he can’t believe Stiles is going to be difficult. “She could’ve just texted me. She has my number. And so do you, for that matter. You don’t have to pull this mysterious werewolf shit on me, okay? Totally unimpressed.”
Boyd’s eyebrows knit together, and Stiles almost feels bad for him. Dereka hasn’t really been teaching the New Mutants humility. Or like, wolvanity, or whatever. Stiles must be the only human they can try their scare tactics out on properly. She sighs. “Fine. I’ll get in touch with her.” She smiles up at Boyd, patting him lightly on the chest.
He still looks vaguely confused when she side steps him and walks away.
Stiles is in the process of fixing her hair with one hand, while the other digs through one of the pockets in her cargo shorts for her cell phone. She bursts through the front door, leaving the school behind her as she charges towards her Jeep. She’s about to make good on her promise to Boyd and text Dereka, when she notices the woman herself leaning against the bumper of her sleek black car, parked next to Stiles’ crappy Jeep in the otherwise empty lot.
“Oh, hey,” Stiles waves. “I was just talking about you.”
“I know,” Dereka replies, like that’s totally normal. They stare at each other for a full minute, before Stiles bites the bullet and asks Dereka what was so important.
“-and like, you could have just called me or something, okay?” Stiles rants, gripping the strap on her backpack. “Oh! I am not at your beck and call. I can’t just be there whenever you want me. I have something almost resembling a life.”
Dereka watches her blankly. She looks beautiful like that, her mouth down turned and her jaw set. Stiles wonders, and not for the first time, if that’s how attractive she looks scowling, how pretty she would look if she just smiled? It seems like a waste to apply all that make-up, then spend the majority of the time frowning.
“No you don’t,” she says, and Stiles winces, because it’s a little bit true. “And I just wanted to say thanks. For Scott.”
“Oh,” Stiles says, startled. She’s never heard Dereka say anything like that before. Mostly she just growls and expects people to understand. Stiles blinks, opens her mouth, and blinks again. “You’re welcome?”
Dereka walks forward and stops just in front of Stiles, pausing to tilt her head to the side. “You missed a spot,” she says, fingering a few strands of hair Stiles’ fingers missed in the struggle to put it up. Dereka smirks, and Stiles watches the way her lips quirk upwards, pink and pretty.
“Hey, yeah. Thanks,” she stutters, brushes at the side of her head, working the stray hairs into the fold. “Thanks.”
Dereka smiles, actually smiles, and says, “You’re welcome.” Stiles can see blindingly white teeth peeking out from under her lips, and for a second she forgets how to breathe.
“I don’t have to listen to this bitch!” Jackson shouts, struggling in Boyd and Isaac’s hold. The pack had dragged the boy down into their warehouse lair for further questioning. Scott convinced Jackson to follow him into this part of town with the promise of answers to all of Jackson’s many and varied questions. Stiles doesn’t think it’s the best idea, but at this point they are running out of options.
“This is your Alpha,” Erica snarls, tugging sharply at Jackson’s hair. “Show some respect.”
“Haven’t-” Jackson inhales, his lip curling, “haven’t you heard? I’m a giant lizard. I have nothing to do with you freaks!”
Stiles laughs, shaking her head. “You weren’t saying that a few weeks ago, dude.”
“Stiles,” Dereka warns, her voice low and dangerous. Stiles mimes zipping her mouth shut and throwing away the key. Scott smiles at her from across the room.
Jackson thrashes around, trying to free himself from his captors, but Isaac and Boyd hold strong. Everyone watches him until he tires and sags in their arms. It’s pathetic. Stiles has known Jackson their whole lives, and she never once thought she would pity him. She does now though. This boy with his obvious lust for perfection. He went too far, and too many people have paid the price. He knows it, she can see that he knows it, but he just keeps going, keeps pushing. He’s tired and scared and just so human it hurts. It makes her sad.
“This isn’t a joke, Jackson.” Stiles says, breaking the silence. All six heads snap to attention, focusing on her. She swallows audibly. “Okay? This is real. You have to trust us enough to help you.”
Jackson’s eyes narrow, and his face takes on a pinched quality. He stares at Stiles, locking and unlocking his jaw. He’s angry, anyone can see that, and she can’t help it when her stomach drops. She’s felt a lot of things in regards to Jackson over the years, but she has never once been afraid of him. Not until now. Now he looks like the kind of guy who could turn into a vicious werelizard and take them out. He doesn’t look human anymore.
“And why would I do that?” he grinds out.
“Because if you do, you’ll get to be a werewolf,” Scott says, speaking up for the first time since tricking Jackson inside. “It’s what you wanted all along, right?”
The room is quiet except for Jackson’s rapid breathing. He’s thinking, his eyes darting everywhere, focusing on nothing. “How,” he asks on an exhale.
Scott nods and explains, Stiles adding in bits here and there, stuff he either forgot or never knew. When it’s over, Jackson is shaking.
“I don’t want to be that,” he sighs, sounding wrecked. “I don’t want to feel like that.”
“Good,” Dereka declares, gesturing for her betas to let go of the boy. Jackson slumps down onto the floor, shamelessly curling in on himself, his arms wrapped around his knees. He’s still shaking, and Stiles is reminded of just how young they all really are.
She steps forward, nervously, towards Jackson, and drops down to her knees beside him. Carefully she places a hand on his back. He stills for a moment, and no one breathes, least of all Stiles, who can feel her heart jumping up her throat. Jackson makes a noise halfway between a sob and a giggle and launches himself at her.
“Oof!” she huffs, surprised. Stiles wraps her arms around Jackson’s shoulders. She looks up and Scott and Isaac have averted their eyes, flushing with secondhand embarrassment. Erica looks like she’s stifling a laugh. Stiles gestures at them to leave, please god leave, before Jackson sees them. They look to Dereka, who nods. With lowered eyes, the trio walks away, into another wing of the warehouse. Boyd stays, his face impassive as he hovers by the door.
Eventually, Jackson falls asleep. This is a huge relief for Stiles, since she doesn’t want to deal with the embarrassed, teary-eyed lacrosse co-captain after he spent most of the night crying on her shoulder. His ego is fragile enough as it is without awkwardly disentangling himself from her.
“Oh my God,” she sighs, carefully dragging her body out from under Jackson’s. She pillows his head on her red and yellow plaid over shirt, and leaves him in the middle of the room, sleeping on the concrete floor. Stiles shuffles off to the side, away from Jackson, before stretching her arms over her head. Yawning, she flexes her muscles and bends backwards. She can feel her body loosening, and it feels amazing after sitting on the floor half the night. She groans, straightening her spine, and rubbing at the base of her neck.
When she looks up, Boyd is gone and Dereka is staring at her with an unreadable expression on her face. Stiles flushes, pulling at the hem of her t-shirt.
“You are a good person,” Dereka says, like she’s just now figuring that out, and Stiles wants to be insulted, but mostly she just feels really drained. “Go home, Stiles.”
She doesn’t have to be told twice.
“I don’t know what you did to Jackson,” Danny says, pulling up next to Stiles while she’s at her locker. It’s been five days since they kidnapped Jackson and took him to the warehouse. Ever since then, Jackson has made it a point to be near a member of the pack at all times, and it’s usually Stiles that gets stuck with him. “But keep it up.”
She doesn’t look at Danny as she rifles through her locker. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“He’s been, I don’t know, nicer, or something.” Danny sighs, and he sounds just as tired as everyone else she knows. Being Jackson’s best friend isn’t exactly a walk in the park. Stiles is learning that very, very quickly. She has a new found respect for Danny. Jackson is needy and avoidant and mean. Stiles can’t count the number of times she’s thought about punching him in the face this week, especially after trying to talk about his birth parents. He’d just sneered at her and stalked away.
Stiles is not cut out to play Jackson’s shrink, but she’s doing it anyway. Otherwise, they’d have to kill him. And while Stiles wants to sometimes, because holy fuck is that kid a jerk, she doesn’t think the pack could live with themselves if they did. If they did have to take Jackson’s life. So, Stiles puts up with his temper and his lewd remarks because hey, it’s better than having blood on her hands.
And if she honest with herself, she doesn’t really think Jackson deserves it.
“Just- thanks, Stiles,” Danny says again, and it sounds like he really means it. Stiles looks up at him and nods seriously.
When Danny turns away, her phone vibrates in her pocket. She expects a text from Scott or Allison, or even Jackson, whose magical powers of superhuman paranoia have probably already heard that Danny stopped to talk to her, and she’s surprised to see Dereka’s number flashing on the screen under the name HBIC. Curious, she opens the text and blinks.
thanks, it says, and, keep up the good work.
When she tells Allison about it later, the other girl laughs. “Well,” she says, “Dereka knows she couldn’t do it without you.”
“Why, because I’m the only human?” Stiles scrunches up her nose, shaking her head.
Allison sighs, “no, because she’s about as nurturing as a rabid mongoose.”
Stiles laughs, because it’s true.
Dereka is in Stiles’ room when she gets home from field hockey practice. She’s impossibly gorgeous leaning against the wall next to Stiles’ bedroom window, hands shoved into her pockets. She looks up at Stiles, all blank stares and downturned lips.
“Front doors, dude, do you use them?” Stiles asks, rushing to shut her door. Her dad isn’t home, but that doesn’t mean he wont drop by, or come home early. The last thing he needs to see is an ex-possible-felon in her bedroom. Dereka growls, and Stiles backs away, raising her hands defensively. “Windows are cool too!”
They stand there, on opposite sides of Stiles’ bedroom, in complete silence. After a moment Stiles opens her mouth, but Dereka beats her to the punch. “Shut up,” she snaps. “Just- give me a second, okay?”
Stiles nods, and closes her mouth. She bites on her lips nervously.
Dereka makes a sound like a strangled cat and smacks her head against the wall. “I’m not good with… emotions,” she says. No, really? Stiles wants to snark, but stops herself. She would like to live to see her seventeenth birthday, thank you very much.
“After Kate, it was just me and Laura, and I think I forgot what it was like to- to care about other people.” Dereka shudders, and digs her hands further into her pockets. She meets Stiles’ eyes and clenches her jaw. It’s the most Stiles has ever heard Dereka say all at once, and she might be in shock. She must be in shock, because she doesn’t start talking about therapy or hugs or Dereka’s lack of those things. She just stands there.
“I just- oh, fuck it,” Dereka growls, stalking forward. She backs Stiles into the door (again, seriously?) and shoves her hands into Stiles’ hair. “You should brush this,” she says, and Stiles nods distractedly. She can’t think when Dereka is so close.
“I’ll ah, get right on that,” she stammers, but doesn’t move. No one moves, except to breathe, and Stiles doesn’t need super werewolf senses to feel every one of Dereka’s heartbeats. She is impractically close, amazingly close, and Stiles can feel the warmth of her radiating through her t-shirt.
Dereka glances down at Stiles’ lips, and she knows, the second before it actually happens, that Dereka is going to kiss her. When she does, it’s weird, and Stiles doesn’t react at first because holy shit Dereka is kissing her and how do lips work?
Stiles regains her senses just as Dereka presses closer. She makes a startled noise, like a drowning mouse, and grips Dereka’s shoulders, pulling her until they are chest-to-chest. Stiles can feel Dereka’s breasts against her own and at this point, she has lost all coherent thought.
Dereka’s hands brush down Stiles’ sides and cup her ass, lifting her without finesse. Being nothing if not a quick study, Stiles wraps her legs around Dereka’s waist. Dereka holds on to her, keeping her in place with an impressive display of werewolf strength. Stiles is taller than Dereka when standing, and this extra height gives her further leverage to just go to town on the other girl. It’s amazing and hot and she can’t get over how warm she feels in her skin right now.
Stiles leans forward, further into the embrace, just as Dereka steps backwards, towards the bed. They teeter, stuck in a will-they-or-won’t-they moment, before crashing to the floor. Stiles groans in pain. Under her, Dereka grunts.
“Are you okay?” Stiles asks, rolling away from their pile of limbs and bruises. Dereka thrusts a hand out, grabbing at Stiles’ leg. She latches on and pulls Stiles back into her personal space, ignoring her squawk of indignation.
“I’m fine,” she says, “come here.” Dereka draws Stiles in and touches her face. Stiles looks at her and she breaks out a manic grin. This is better than anything she could have ever imagined. When she saw Dereka standing in her room she had thought, oh someone is in trouble or, oh God, please don’t let her kill me! I have an econ test in the morning!
This though? It’s almost too much. “Pinch me, I’m dreaming,” she says, only partially joking. Dereka smiles anyway, her cheeks flush with color.
“Shut up,” Dereka says, and she leans forward, pressing her lips to Stiles’ neck. Stiles sighs, and her eyes roll into the back of her head.
Yeah, she could get used to this.
Since Scott (who is still Stiles’ best friend, despite getting incredibly close with Allison, Isaac, and, strangely, Jackson) was bitten there are many aspects of Stiles’ life that have changed. She still the girl who wears old cargo shorts, but she’s grown a lot, as a person. She’s saved lives, faced villains, and lived to talk about it. She’s wracked up an impressive resume if she ever wants to try her hand at superhero-ing.
People don’t see it though; they can’t. It’s all a big secret. And yeah, Stiles gets it. Can’t have the good people of Beacon Hills finding out about the things that go bump in the night. She just wishes people would stop side-eyeing her when she walks down the street.
Though, that doesn’t happen nearly as often as it used to. She started brushing her hair.