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Enemy Lines

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Stiles Stilinski is nine years old when the foundations of his world are irrevocably altered.

Back then he was just a kid, and as any kid of his age, his world is small, consisting of his parents and friends or school, video games and unfortunately for him, homework.

He knows there’s something going on in the grown up world, though. He can tell adults seem to be more tense than usual for boring old people. He also notices whenever his mom changes the news channel, like she wouldn’t want him to see something. But Stiles doesn’t really care. He’s more concerned about the latest video game his friend Scott bought than whatever is going on in a world that seems to be miles away from his own.

Only when the terror hits his town directly is he forced to face the truth.

One morning he and Scott are waiting for the school bus with a bunch of other kids from their block, when a man approaches them. At first, Stiles thinks it’s a homeless person, because his clothes are filthy and his hair is a frizzy mess.

But then the man is right in front of them, and his hands are claws. Enormous claws, so big they are almost as long as one of Stiles’ forearms.

And Stiles just freezes, fascinated by what’s unfolding in front of him. He stays there like a fool while the man’s ears elongate, and suddenly there’s fur everywhere as his jaw seems to break and rearrange in an impossible angle, showing big, animalistic fangs.

One of the kids starts to scream, and that seems to make the man react. He darts forward and grabs her whole face with one hand, tossing the kid aside like a rag doll.

And that’s when panic breaks loose.

Everyone starts running, pushing and screaming. Everyone but Stiles, who stays there, completely petrified.

The beast-man seems to notice him and his bright yellow eyes pin him with such pure hatred, even a nine year old who knows nothing about life understands something is terribly wrong with that person.

And as the monster raises his claws and bares his fangs in a deafening roar, a gunshot blasts through the neighborhood and the monster drops dead in front of his feet, splashing blood on Stiles’ face.

Hours later, he is in a hospital room surrounded by strangers who want to know how he is feeling, but Stiles honestly has no idea. His mind goes over and over the way that man’s body convulsed and changed right in front of his eyes and somehow he’s disconnected from the terror. All he feels is an odd fascination for what he saw.

He can hear his mom arguing with the doctors, though. And after a moment, he realizes his dad doesn’t seem to be agreeing with her, which is the first thing that truly scares him that day.

“Lycanthropy is not passed along like that,” she is saying. “My son is fine, he’s not infected!”

“Honey, let them run some tests, just in case,” his dad is trying to reason with her.

“There’s no need for that,” she insists. “That werewolf was a mere Omega; he didn’t have enough power to turn someone, even if he wanted to. He was lost and alone. He panicked, that’s why he attacked!”

And that’s when everyone starts talking at once and Stiles can’t understand what they are saying anymore.

A couple of days later, after the doctors finally ran some tests on him, they go back home and his mom has the talk with him.

For any other kid, the talk would consist of flowers and bees and how when dad and mom love eachother very much... But not for Stiles. His talk is about lycanthropy, pack dynamics, wolfsbane and the moon’s cycles.

And after that, Stiles’ world expands.

He no longer lives blindly in his small world and starts seeing what is really happening around him.

For starters, he notices the werewolf family living outside town in a big house lost in the woods. The Hales have always lived in Beacon Hills, but Stiles never connected them to werewolves until now. His mother explains how she’s recently started working with the Alpha of their pack, trying to create a peaceful atmosphere in their town. She praises them constantly; their control, their kindness, their loyalty. And Stiles can’t help but like them, because it’s obvious his mother does, too.

Stiles never accompanies her when she visits the Hale house, though. She says it’s too dangerous, because there are too many cubs and inexperienced teen wolves living there. Dealing with a few at a time is usually harmless, she says, but going into their territory can be tricky sometimes. And bringing more humans than necessary could be considered a challenge anyway.

But that doesn’t prevent him from observing the younger Hales at school, wondering what it is like to live like they do. He knows they all live together; aunts, nieces, siblings, couples, grandfathers and cousins. There are even rumors that some of them are humans, but no one knows for sure.

When he’s twelve, things quickly change for the worse.

His parents start to fight more. Or maybe Stiles is old enough now to notice; he doesn’t really know. He believes his parents love each other, but they have very different visions of what’s happening and how it affects them.

His father doesn’t want his wife taking any part in protests or support groups for werewolves. And his mother doesn’t understand how her husband can be okay with the negation of human rights werewolves are receiving.

That's when the Argent family moves next door.

His friend Scott instantly picks up an interest in the younger daughter, a cool looking girl called Allison and soon they are dating, turning Stiles’ friend duo into a trio.

Allison doesn't seem to know what her family is a part of. Stiles tries to explain about the council meetings his dad attends with her father and grandfather, and how her family is trying to ban all werewolves from Beacon Hills. But Allison doesn’t seem interested. Or maybe she is, and she just doesn’t agree with Stiles’ opinions that take a little bit too much after his mother’s.

Stiles knows they are friends only because of Scott, anyway. But not everything is so bad. Hanging out with Allison also means hanging out with her best friend and Stiles’ first love, Lydia Martin. So, all things considered, Allison is cool.

His father is promoted to Sheriff then.

His mother is very excited, thinking he’ll fight for the human rights for everyone. But soon she and Stiles realize that his father only accepted the promotion to make sure their town was a safer place without the threat of werewolves. And so he starts working with Gerard Argent, Allison’s scary grandfather and the biggest promoter of the anti-wolf bill.

At first no one knows about the ghettos the government opens all over the country but soon, enough families have disappeared for the public eye to develop an interest. And that’s when the news starts encouraging people to inform the authorities of any neighbor, acquaintance, family member or friend who might be infected.

It’s for safety reasons, they say. They just want to keep the werewolves in reclusive, safe places for everyone’s sake. There’s even a campaign where national TV cameras visit the camps and show smiling children and content adults.

Some people compare the situation with Germany many years ago, but that discussion never goes far because people are too scared, simple as that. They want their families to be safe. There have been too many attacks, so of course werewolves are considered a threat.

Stiles accompanies his father to one of his meetings and hears Gerard Argent speaking against the ghettos. He believes they will only cost money to the state. The solution is not containing the epidemic, he says vehemently, but eradicating it.

The Hale kids stop going to school abruptly after this. One day they just stop going and no one seems to care or wonder why. The rumor says they are home schooled now and that’s enough to calm the people who had protested about were-kids attending the public school.

Stiles asks his mother about them now and then, but as time goes by and the situation gets worse, she shares less and less with him.

She's the main voice of America's biggest Humans-Wolves integration group. At some point, she starts receiving threats through mail and voicemail, which makes her paranoid about Stiles accompanying her.

His parents have a big argument when the Senate starts working on a new law to ban any kind of aid for werewolves. His father wants his mother to stop before she’s sent to jail.

Stiles observes him kneeling in front of her, hugging her waist as he cries and begs her to stop. But Stiles knows nothing can change his mother’s mind. She believes in what she’s doing.

After that night, his parents stop fighting. Stiles can’t really understand what happened, but they seem to reach some kind of mutual understanding, turning the Stilinski house into a neutral place from then on.

Stiles is fourteen and even he's aware the situation can't last much longer in the country.

The Argents create a neighborhood group to establish the security on the streets. They call themselves the Hunters, although it's just a bunch of people carrying rifles and guns, who go around killing werewolves in what they call self-defense, which is now registered as legal by the law in thirty two states.

No one has seen the Hale family in almost a year, since the ghettos went public. Some people believe they left town, but Stiles suspects his mom is still visiting them now and then. He can tell because, sometimes when she comes back home there’s a certain frown in her face, like the frustration she is feeling is too overwhelming somehow.

He goes with her to a pro-wolf protest where she is supposed to read a speech, and he discovers there’s a new group of people attending the protests now: humans with signs saying ‘furry lovers go to hell’ or ‘don't be surprised when the big bad wolf kills you.’

His mother doesn’t seem surprised, though. And when things start heating up between the two groups, she immediately tells him to run away. He doesn’t understand at first until he sees the police marching against them.

So he runs, and when he’s blocks away, Stiles turns around and sees uniformed men beating on his mother’s colleagues indiscriminately while the other group cheers from across the street.

That's when his mom’s approach to the situation changes. First, she forbids Stiles from accompanying her anymore, and then she begins to be more secretive about her activities.

On TV they start showing the disturbances in Chicago.

No one can predict what ends up happening in that city, though. What starts as a simple pro-wolf protest escalates to riots, where a young were-kid is murdered, turning the events into a civil war that changes the country forever.

The government sends military forces to the area but they misjudge the situation. There are too many well organized wolves and humans working together and in the end, they besiege the city.

A lot of people die, and when the city turns into a Wolf City, the first of many, a massive exodus of humans are allowed to leave to safer places.

Soon after that, there’s a massive attack against the ghettos. After several break-ins, the places are officially closed. The government is too busy fighting the wolves outside to keep the ones inside.

Soon the news talks about other cities like Chicago and things escalate from that pretty quickly.

That's when Gerard Argent starts acting crazy, too.

He speaks of war before anybody else dares to. He terrorizes everyone who listens to him with stories of humans being ruled by monsters if they don’t do something about it soon.

Stiles’ mother keeps fighting, though. She loses a lot of people along the way, but that never stops her. She believes humans pushed werewolves to this situation, and that both parties still have time to fix this. But no one seems to listen to her anymore.

Stiles is fifteen and co-founder of the pro-wolf group in his school. One day, he arrives to their usual meeting class and finds it trashed and filled with offensive graffiti. He thinks he’s angry, until one of the girls from the group appears with a broken nose, and then he understands what rage is.

He goes straight back home to tell his mom, but she doesn't react as he expected.
He’s suspected for a long time now that there's something going on his mother won't tell him, but this is the last straw. When he explains about the attack and she doesn’t even bother to reply, he decides to take matters into his own hands.

That night, when she sneaks out of the house, Stiles follows her all the way downtown to a dark alley, where she meets up with a stranger.

His mother exchanges envelops with a man driving a big truck. And when the man seems to be content, she makes a gesture to the shadows and two teens are suddenly coming out of the darkness.

They look like siblings. Both tall, with dark hair, pale eyes and matching broody expressions on their dirty faces. The sister, who looks older, hugs Stiles' mom in a tight embrace while the boy stands there.

It takes Stiles a while to recognize them. After all, it’s been almost two years since he last saw Laura and Derek Hale.

He observes Derek, the way he fists his hands and clenches his jaw when Stiles’ mom pats his back and he understands Derek hates humans.

He turns around and Stiles can see he has a big bruise on the side of his face. Immediately, he understands something awful must have happened, and the uneasy feeling in the pit of his stomach makes him sick.

Stiles’ mom cups Derek’s cheek, speaking something Stiles can't hear and then the siblings are climbing inside the truck without a glance back.

Stiles understands his mother has paid that driver to take them out of Beacon Hills, but why? And more importantly, where are the other members of their family?

When the truck leaves, he decides to come out of his hiding spot to confront his mother, tired of all the secrets she’s obviously been keeping from him and his father.

"Stiles, you shouldn't be here!" She freaks out when she sees him, rushing to his side. “It's not safe."

Stiles has never seen her like this.

"Mom, it's not safe anywhere," he exclaims, pointing around them.

"It's even less here," she cups his face with both her hands and looks him straight in the eye.

"I knew you’d end up following me one day," she whispers. “But why did you have to pick today of all days?”

She smiles sadly, and takes a deep breath.

“I made a mistake when I kept you out of this,” she starts explaining resolutely. “I thought you could have a normal life, but how could you, when we’re heading into a war? There’s a lot I want to tell you about, but this is not the place. We have to go back home. We need to-”

There's a sound in the alley that makes his mother freeze.

"Hide," she hisses, pushing him back between the big garbage cans he had been hiding a moment ago. "No matter what, don't come out."

He tries to protest but she's shoving him down so hard he stumbles back.

“I love you,” she whispers. And then she’s turning around and rushing away.

Stiles stays there completely petrified. He can barely breathe. It's too dark to see them but at least he can hear his mother’s voice.

And when she says Gerard's name, Stiles' heart makes a double flip in his throat.

"You shouldn't have done that," the man purrs.

"You won't be able to hurt them now," his mom replies in a defiant tone Stiles knows well.

"Don’t be silly. I always finish what I start," Gerard threatens. "And I don’t like it when people insist on standing in my way, you should know that.”

“Cry me a river, why don’t you?” his mother snaps back.

Gerard sighs. “I’m so tired of dealing with you, darling.”

Following up, a shotgun blasts through the darkness.

And Stiles is suddenly screaming, deafening himself with the intensity of his own raw voice. He darts forward and palms the filthy ground until he finds his mom.

He finds her lying in a pool of her own blood, and as Stiles holds her to his chest, he realizes it's too late. She’s gone.

"You shouldn't be here, boy," Gerard startles him.

Stiles makes a move to attack him but the older man is faster, pressing the barrel of his gun against his temple.

"Don't even think about it," the man hisses.

"You think I enjoyed killing your mother?” he continues. “It pains me to sacrifice a fellow human being, but she had lost her way. Those who run with wolves end up badly. Remember that, kid."

Stiles feels the tears running down his face as he clenches his jaw. He's never felt such hatred before. His whole body shakes as he clutches his mother closer to him.

"I'm letting you live so you can do something for me," Gerard says casually.

"Dream on," Stiles spits the words out.

"Feisty," Gerard sounds amused. "But what if I said it's actually something for your father? How feisty would you be then?"

Stiles raises his face and stares at his mother’s killer straight in the eye.

"Your dad's fate is in your hands." Gerard runs the barrel of his gun down Stiles’ cheek. "You see, if he ever finds out the truth of what just happened tonight, I will have to kill him.”

“Do you understand what I’m saying?” Gerard insists when Stiles doesn’t even flinch. “I don't want to. Your father is a good man, but I will if I have to."

Stiles’ mind is a frantic mess, but somewhere in the deepest part of his rational consciousness, he understands what Gerard is implying. So he nods slowly, feeling the gun caressing his skull as he does.

"Your mother was killed by one of her beloved werewolves," Gerard informs him. And Stiles immediately understands his plan.

"And how are you going to make a shotgun look like claw marks, halfwit?" He grits through his teeth.

He can't even look down at his mother. If he does, the reality that she's dead and he’s talking with her killer will finally hit him. And he can’t lose it, not yet when he’s still negotiating for his father’s life.

"Do not worry about it," Gerard smiles. "All you have to worry about is your father believing this was the werewolves' fault. Which is true in a way, if you think about it."

Later that night, Stiles can’t remember how he went from the alley to the hospital, where he’s now with his father.

A doctor explains how it's not a good idea to see his mother’s corpse because of the terrible claw marks, and Stiles collapses in a chair.

He has his first panic attack, although he doesn't know that back then. All he knows is that his mother is dead. Murdered by a psycho who didn’t have enough with killing her and blackmailing Stiles to lie about her death, but who also dared to manipulate her body.

And he can't breathe, he can’t see; he's going to break into a million pieces.

During the next days, he's tempted to tell his father the truth so many times he loses count. As they get his mother ready for a closed casket funeral, all he can think about is going to the secret wolf commune downtown and spread the news, knowing someone would go to the Argent house to pay his mother tribute. But he's scared for his dad, and there are innocent people living in that house, anyway. Like Allison. He can’t do that to Scott.

After the funeral, he finds out what Gerard had done that night before he killed his mom.

He went to the Hale house and burnt it with everyone inside. Humans and werewolves alike died, even the children and toddlers. Stiles doesn't know how the older siblings escaped but there’s no sense in wondering now.

He learns from Scott, who heard from Allison, that Lydia met this snobby looking guy called Jackson and they are leaving town, heading south where it seems things are safer. Stiles supposes he should care more, but he can’t feel anything right now. So he just lets it go.

As the years go by, his father gets more and more involved in the war that finally breaks loose in the country. He fervently blames the wolves for what happened to his wife, and Stiles just lets him do so.

He keeps the lie during the years, keeping the guilt locked inside as he supports his dad in his crusade, because he doesn't want to lose the only family he has left. And because he can no longer support what supposedly killed his mother, right? It’s like the lie he created took over his life, and he can’t escape.

Until one point, where he begins to see the werewolves differently. At first, he feels he’s betraying his mother’s memory, but after a while, that’s not even enough to make him stop caring.

The guilt roots and twists inside of him and he no longer wants to tell his father, not because he wants to protect him, but because he thinks his father will blame him. Because it was Stiles’ fault. All of it. And he knows. So how couldn’t his dad if he knew the truth, too?

He's eighteen now, and humans still resist in Beacon Hills.

The country has been divided, the borders forged by humans’ and wolves’ blood alike. And they are technically not in America anymore.

The north is Wolf Nation, where humans are either used as slaves or killed. The south is for the humans, where werewolves are killed on sight or used to experiment on.

Even while Beacon Hills is as safe a place for humans as any can be in that region, accidents still happen. That’s the reason why they find half the body of a girl in the woods one day.

And when his father insists, he calls Scott and they join the search parties to find the other half. That’s how Scott ends up being bitten and all hell breaks loose all over again.

Allison’s family chases him through the woods, no matter how she and Stiles try to reason with them. And so Stiles does something he thought he’d never do again.

He helps a werewolf.

He can’t stop thinking of his mother as he guides Scott to the safe house she used in the past. He hasn’t visited the place in years. And for a moment, he allows himself to hope the building won’t be there anymore and he won’t have to face it after all.

But when they turn right at the end of the deserted street, he sees the building still looks exactly the same as he remembered.

He leaves Scott there and promises him they will fix this. But on the next full moon, when Scott loses control and nearly kills Stiles, he realizes he can’t do this alone.
He remembers the secret nest of people helping werewolves cross borders that his mother was in contact with, and Stiles starts plotting a plan.

But it doesn’t matter. Because the next time he goes to the safe house, Scott has disappeared. He just runs away one day without even saying goodbye and he never comes back.

Stiles feels tempted to burn the safe house, to make everything disappear. But in the end, he just goes home to find Allison waiting with a note Scott gave her for him before running away.

He takes the note in a trance and thanks her before going inside his place. But he never reads it. He can’t handle it. The fact that he lost yet another person is too much. He’s made of anger and resentment. He no longer cares like he used to. So he tears the letter apart and tromps all over it.

After that, he loses touch with Allison. She tries to visit a couple of times, but he never answers. And a few months later, the Argents leave Beacon Hills.

He runs into his father talking with Chris Argent, and hears him explain they are going north to the wolf territories to participate in the war. They secured this town and now it’s his father’s responsibility, but there are still many places where hunters are needed, Chris informs him proudly.

Allison tries to say goodbye before they leave, but Stiles hides in his room and refuses to see her. He’s not proud of it, but he had enough goodbyes for a lifetime.

After that, he just lets the days go by as he turns twenty in a world where people die every day defending their territory against monsters.

But Stiles doesn’t know who the monsters are supposed to be, anymore.