The letters sneak behind her eyelids quietly but whisper loud enough to alert her of the wolves on the prowl.
“Gamma, rho, beta, alpha,” she breathes as a wolf stalks into her vision which each letter she names. Their eyes glow before one letter slithers into view near her left hand. Psi. The symbol slides into place, settling on her wrist. She jumps and tries to remember the words of her father, the hero, Jean Chastel, the one they called Argent. They are not like us. They are monsters, beasts, abominations. They cannot continue, and it is our duty to end their stories so that Gevaudan does not happen again.
She exhales, rises to her feet, and nocks a silver arrow in her bow. The gamma rises to its feet and shifts, fur leaving his body. He sniffs the air before moving towards her. Her hands began to tremble fiercely. Try as she might stay them, nothing can stop her shaking.
“Young one,” the young man says, his French rough, “Why do you bleed so?”
She gasps, the edges of her vision going blurry and the arrow falling from her bow to the ground, useless.
“Do not come closer,” she says, collapsing on her knees, attempting to staunch the nearly forgotten wound on her side. She nearly screams--her blood (or, what little remains of it) boils with some sort of feral ire that claws at her insides. “I am Arya, daughter of Argent.”
The man slowly descends to meet her, his hands emitting a strange light.
“Daughter of Argent,” he says, softly as the leaves rustling in the darkened woods, “Your wounds are deep, and the poison deeper still.”
Arya’s arm legs start to twitch and she begins to convulse in pain.
“It is the magic I have found!” she howls, writhing. “It is the magic that has removed the silver in my blood, that has cut me off from my family.”
“It is the magic that can save you,” the man murmurs, laying his hands gently on her side. “I am Grigory, son of Gamma and Phi.” The pain starts to lift, but her wound continues to bleed. Grigory’s hands continue to pulse with an otherworldly light.
“Arya, child, the magic you speak of,” another voice says, deeper, darker, and more authoritative. “You must use it.”
Arya closes her eyes and tries to reach for the beast inside her. It rears its head before meeting her straight on. Her right hand begins to pulse with a dull gray light as the first wave of pain rushes to her temples. Grigory brings her hand to rest over his own. Arya feels the bleeding stop, her wound reknitting itself. The fire in her veins no longer torments her. She looks up in amazement, the mortal wound gone. Her body sings, vibrantly alive.
“I owe you my life,” she says to Grigory, nodding at the alpha. “How can I repay this debt?”
The alpha looks at her, red eyes stoic.
“You can leave your past behind, Arya, and join us.”
Arya feels her heart drop.
“That is a price I cannot pay,” she says, rising to her feet.
“To whom will you return?” another voice says—this time female. The beta steps forward. “Your family has disowned you for becoming who you are.”
The woman’s words sting, and Arya stares hard at the ground. She catches another letter floating in her vision, near her right hand. Chi.
“I shall give you a choice, Arya,” the alpha repeats. “You may run with us as both a healer and a fighter, or I shall put you out of your solitary misery.”
Arya makes her choice. This time, it’s much easier.
“I am Arya, she who runs with the wolves,” she says, clasping her hand to her breast. “Silverbane.”
The werewolves howl into the night: sure, confident, and strong.
Derek is a creeper. Stiles is unfazed. Nothing and everything has changed.
Some of you may have seen this already posted on my livejournal, but this is my second take at this story. It's hard business, yo.
To Stiles, it seems like everything is finally falling back into some semblance of normal again. Gerard is gone, Derek’s re-cemented his power, and things are finally in control. Of course, except for the fact that Jackson’s running around all wolfed up and the even more disquieting rumors of the impending Alpha pack. But other than that, things are finally quieting down again in Beacon Hills.
“Smooth sailing or something,” he muses one afternoon to his dad.
“What?” the sheriff says, looking up from where he’s sitting at the table.
“I said smooth sailing for you guys, now that you don’t have to deal with all those crazy murders, right?” he says, snagging some food from the refrigerator and heading up to his room.
“The smoothest you can get with crime,” his dad replies, his voice carrying up the stairs. Stiles just grins and sits down at his computer. But there’s a shadow in the reflection off his monitor and—
“Oh my god! Dude, you can’t just do that!”
Derek glowers at him from his corner (since when does Derek have his own designated corner? This is Stiles’ room) and motions with his eyebrows alone for Stiles to shut the hell up. Stiles shuts the hell up. Well, as much as he’s able to.
“What are you doing here?”
“Jackson’s a Zeta,” Derek says flatly. Stiles gives him a confused look, an eyebrow cocked and lips pursed.
“What does that mean? I mean, I’ve done my research and all about pack structure but I’ve never come across a Zeta.”
Derek snorts, rolls his eyes, and stands up. He walks towards Stiles slowly, as if the floor is going to swallow him whole at any moment.
“He’s my second.”
“He’s your what?!”
Derek’s face doesn’t change expressions. As usual. Because Stiles’ wellbeing and ability to safely capture oxygen for his body to use does not concern the likes of Derek freaking Hale, Alpha werewolf extraordinaire.
“You need to be careful around him. Even though he’s finally a wolf, he’s still dangerous.”
Stiles finally sucks in a breath of air. Sweet, refreshing air.
“More dangerous than he was as a freaking lizard-shaped killing machine? How can you even beat that?”
Derek pads towards Stiles’ window, leaning against the wall and looking out the window. The crescent moon shines weakly outside among the clouds.
“The Zeta is usually the most volatile of the pack. They’re as strong as any Beta, but they’re completely their own being.” He scrubs at his face with his hands. “Unless we can find a Chi, Jackson has the possibility of reverting back to what he was before.”
Stiles’ brain finally jumps on board and tries to catch up.
“You mean like personal backsliding?” he asks. He furrows his brow and scrubs a hand over his short hair. “Just how hard is it really to be a werewolf? Like how stable do you even have to be?”
Derek sighs as he turns away from the window and goes to sit back in his corner. He doesn’t answer Stiles because when does Derek ever play his cards? Never. That’s when.
“Lydia’s a Delta, if you were wondering,” he ends up saying, picking at the passant on his jacket.
“Makes sense, since she’s different from your average werewolf,” Stiles answers, biting his lip in an attempt to focus. “But you mentioned… a Chi. What’s a Chi?”
Derek glowers at him for a bit before rattling off his answer, sounding like a textbook.
“The presence of a Chi in the pack legitimizes it. A Chi’s presence allows for the accelerated acceptance of an Alpha, and protects the pack from a Psi.”
And now, Stiles is thoroughly lost. It’s really hard to do that to him, especially once he’s interested. He settles for flailing his arms and trying not to fall out of his chair.
“A Psi? Slow down Derek, you can’t go spouting off terminology at me that you’ve never explained before.”
He swears that he can see Derek’s lips quirk upwards before he reassumes his usual stoic expression.
“I don’t know what the role of a Psi is, but all I know is that it’s not good for the pack. My parents always were talking about finding a Chi before a Psi found them.”
Stiles taps his chin.
“And why are you telling me all this?”
Derek freezes. Stiles is shocked because nothing that comes out of his mouth catches Derek off-guard. Ever.
“Because you need to know,” he grumbles, standing up and moving towards the window with his stupid lupine grace. “And the Chi and the Psi are humans.”
With that, he vanishes out the window.
“And that helps me how?” Stiles grouses to nobody. “Ugh, Derek!”
There's a new kid in town.
I'd love to hear opinions from all of you on Ryan! Comments are greatly appreciated. :)
“I’d like you all to welcome your new classmate, Ryan Nichols,” Mr. Harris says blandly. The black-haired teen in question raises his hand to fake some sort of wave, already bored before sitting down next to Danny. He gives Danny an appraising up-down, quirking an eyebrow. Danny doesn’t respond, just staring hard back at Ryan. Stiles’ jaw just drops. Ryan’s not overly attractive, but he’s pretty far up there, maybe a bit under Danny. He’s sporting a very tailored gray button down that’s casually left open, a white vee-necked tee, and navy skinny jeans finished with the only real splash of color on him: bright blue Converses. And, like Stiles notes, Ryan’s not unattractive. Why Danny doesn’t respond to the newcomer’s blatant ogling is a little bit beyond him.
“Dude,” he says, nudging Danny. “He just checked you out. Aren’t you going to do anything?”
“I have standards,” he says, looking back at Stiles a bit condescendingly. “Just because some guy checks me out doesn’t mean that we’re going to do anything.”
Stiles attempts to turn his focus back to Mr. Harris as he drones on about covalent bonds and their properties. Of course, he can’t pay attention. Some things have higher priorities in his mind than chemistry. And in his defense, this is chemistry, just not the brand that Mr. Harris likes to teach. He reaches around Danny and taps Ryan’s arm.
“Hey,” he whispers. “Am I attractive?”
Danny snorts and Ryan looks at him strangely, eyebrows furrowing.
“Um, I guess?” he says, bristling. “I mean, not as fuck-worthy as the guy next to me, but I’d give you a shot. Why?”
“Mr. Nichols, I know you are new here, but that doesn’t excuse you from disrespecting me, or the class,” Mr. Harris says, turning around to face his students. “Detention.”
Ryan rolls his eyes, glares a bit at Stiles, and then returns his focus to the board. Stiles just does a mental victory dance.
“Mr. Stilinski, if you believe that this is something to celebrate, you can join Mr. Nichols in detention as well.”
“Yes, you did dance,” Ryan hisses when Stiles looks at him. Danny sighs.
“Get a room,” he says, giving them both a curt smile.
“If the three of you showed the level of interest in chemistry as you did for each other, then we wouldn’t have this problem,” Mr. Harris says, fixing Danny with a stare. “Detention for you as well, Mr. Mahealani.”
And that’s how Stiles ends up with two boys giving him murderous glances all period while he attempts to focus on chemistry. That manages to quiet him down better than being slammed into walls by a certain sourwolf. But then, it’s not like he stays quiet for long, even when that happens.
After the bell rings, both Danny and Ryan slap their things into their bags and sprint out the door. Stiles finishes slipping his books into his backpack and waits for Scott. They walk into the noisy hallway.
“Dude,” Scott says as they walk towards his locker. “What were you thinking today?”
“I was thinking that Ryan is not unattractive and that Danny should climb that not-so-tall tree,” he replies, maybe a little too quickly. Scott cocks an eyebrow as he stops to spin the dial on his locker, the bustling hallway continuing to stream past him.
“Why are you so hung up on Danny getting with Ryan?” he asks, shuffling things between his backpack.
“Because I don’t understand why Danny wouldn’t want to,” Stiles replies, flailing his arms a bit. “But whatever, we all have detention, it’s not like I gave the new kid a good impression of me.” Scott slams his locker door shut.
“Well, that’s for sure,” he says as they head for the cafeteria. “You got him detention.”
“Shut up,” Stiles says as they get in line for whatever food-shaped objects the cafeteria decides to serve. The guy in front of them turns around, and… “Oh, hey Ryan.”
“Try not to get me detention for the rest of the week?” Ryan growls, shifting on his feet. Stiles isn’t sure, but he thinks he sees Ryan’s eyes flash silver. It could just be the light. Scott sniffs and puffs his chest out. Ryan turns to look up at Scott, and… nope, his eyes are clearly silver. “I’m leaving, calm down.” He steps out of line and Scott deflates.
“Dude, what did you even do?” Stiles asks, swatting at Scott’s arm. Scott turns back to look at him.
“I’m not really sure,” he says slowly. “But I think that Derek, Jackson, Lydia, and I are no longer the only werewolves here.”
Really, it’s just Stiles’ luck that he and Ryan share exactly the same schedule. Ryan walks haltingly into each classroom, locks eyes with him, and almost visibly groans. It’s not until history (the last class of the day before detention starts) that Ryan even tries to talk to him again.
“So, I guess we have a lot of classes together,” he says as he sits down next to Stiles and pulls a notebook out of his worn olive-green messenger bag.
“So it would seem,” Stiles replies good-naturedly. “I’m Stiles.”
“And you know who I am, seven different times now,” Ryan says, chuckling a bit. “Sorry if I made a bad impression earlier.”
Stiles, being coordinated as he is, chokes on air.
“I should be apologizing to you for getting us all in detention.”
“Well, there is that.”
Ryan shrugs and grins.
“What’s done is done,” he says.
Mr. Kalina begins to lecture the class about the Second World War, and Stiles can’t help but let his focus wander. He’s read through so many books on this particular part of history that he’s pretty certain of his ability to literally puke (Okay, maybe not literally… but he’s almost there. Word vomit is a difficult art) the information back at anyone who asks him. He taps his pencil on his thumb and looks at Ryan, who is busy doodling in his notebook. Stiles has a brilliant idea (he swears he can hear the light bulb click on) and he scratches a note on a piece of paper.
You already know this stuff too?
He tries to subtly slide the note towards Ryan. As soon as Mr. Kalina faces the board, Stiles plops the note unceremoniously on Ryan’s desk. The boy smirks a bit at Stiles before unfolding the paper. Stiles doesn’t even notice the note return to his own desk.
I don’t know most of it, but I’ve got family history in this one and that’s all that matters to me.
Stiles starts to tap his lip with his pencil. His curiosity has been piqued and really, it’s good that he’s not a cat because he would have probably used up all nine of his lives. And then some. Maybe he’d have borrowed from Scott, because Scott is a good friend. Or something.
I’ve got time. Kalina’s time, but it’s time.
And that is how Stiles learns that Ryan Nichols is half-Japanese, and that his family had been up in Seattle for a couple generations until some other family business brought them south to California. Somewhere in between all the information that’s relayed, Ryan sketches an eye on the paper. A realistic looking eye. And suddenly, Stiles is reminded of the confrontation in the lunch room.
Dude, what went down in the lunch room? Your eyes turned silver or something.
The bell rings, and Stiles hands Ryan the note. The other boy unfolds it hastily, and the small smile he’d been wearing before drops from his face.
“What are you talking about?” he asks. Stiles can hear a note of panic in his voice, faintly coloring the end of his question. “I have no idea what you’re saying.”
With that, Ryan grabs his bag and races out of the room. Stiles trips several times in his attempt to follow him.
“Wait!” he says, sprinting after him, down towards the chemistry room. He bursts through the door and almost into Mr. Harris. The teacher’s eyebrows fly up his forehead.
“Mr. Stilinski, if you were this eager about the learning that was supposed to be going on in my classroom, there wouldn’t be any need for you to be in detention.”
Mr. Harris gives his arm a magnanimous sweep over the empty seats.
“Your kingdom awaits.”
Stiles rolls his eyes a bit before heading to the lab bench on the middle of left side. Danny comes in a little afterwards and sits at the bench furthest behind Stiles. He pulls his books out nonchalantly in stark contrast with Stiles worrying with his watch. Ryan can’t miss detention, he thinks. He can’t, it’s his first day, he’s got detention, there’s no way he can miss it. Well, he can, but then if Ryan misses detention, he can’t ever tell Stiles what went down in the lunchroom.
The clock clicks to a quarter after two and Ryan swings the door open, his mouth working a piece of gum. He swaggers into the classroom and takes a seat next to Danny, not-so-accidentally jostling him. Danny glares at him, Stiles breathes a sigh of relief, and Mr. Harris tries to look bored.
“You may all leave at three fourty-five. No sooner, no later. No excuses.”
As soon as Mr. Harris seems suitably distracted by his book, Stiles hefts his things to the lab bench in back of him, facing Danny and Ryan. Danny is attempting to look unfazed while Ryan leans a bit into his space with his chemistry textbook.
“I’m not sure I really get this,” he whispers. “Would you be able to explain any of this to me?”
Danny gives him a longsuffering stare before they start to look over the worksheet that Mr. Harris had assigned earlier that day. Stiles rolls his eyes and tries not to smash his head into the table. He’s not getting answers.
Ryan is not subtle, and Danny can't understand what is going on.
I'm working really hard on this, I promise!
Four o’clock comes far too soon for Danny. He’s begun to enjoy working with Ryan, even though the guy’s clearly gifted in other areas (“I honest-to-god don’t get it. This isn’t something to get into your pants, I promise.”) and has a killer sense of humor. He can’t find it in himself to glare as icily as normal at Stiles when he gives them both a look as he walks out. Mr. Harris clears his throat.
“Gentlemen, I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”
“Mr. Harris, can we have a few more minutes?” Ryan asks. “Danny’s helping me with the worksheet that you gave out today.”
Danny notes that Harris smiles a bit and seems to be pleased. He nudges Ryan.
“We can go to the library if you want to keep working.”
Ryan just looks at him, eyebrows furrowed.
“The school library is…” The bulb goes on. “Oh. Sure.”
Danny can’t help the grin that breaks across his face unbidden. Ryan begins to pack his things up.
“Thanks, Mr. Harris,” he calls as they both leave the classroom. Mr. Harris looks a bit disgruntled before mumbling a “bye” and managing a halfhearted wave. Danny eyes Ryan suspiciously.
“Harris has never done that,” he says, holding his backpack straps. Ryan just looks at him childishly, fiddling with his bag.
“I’m just kind of a big deal,” Ryan says, bumping into Danny. “Library still?”
Danny nods as they walk out into the parking lot.
“Want a ride there?”
“As much as I’d like to ride anything of yours, I have my own car,” Ryan replies, jingling keys at him. He leans on the driver’s side of a vibrantly cobalt Dodge Challenger.
Danny nearly passes out.
Ryan smiles easily.
“Me drive too,” he says, giving his best impression of a Neanderthal. “Meet you at the library?”
“Race you there,” Danny challenges as he unlocks his Yaris. They peel out of the student lot, tires squealing.
Ryan wins, and it’s maybe only because Danny has fallen a little bit in love with the flash of blue that is Ryan’s car as it flies along the roads at barely legal speeds. He spots Ryan sitting at a table at the far end and waves to him. Ryan looks up from his books and waves back, grin lighting itself on his face. Danny can’t help but smile back.
“Hey,” he says.
“Hey, yourself,” Ryan replies, patting the chair next to him. Danny sits.
“So, are you getting the hang of it?” he asks, pulling his chemistry textbook out and setting it on the table with a surprisingly noisy thump. The librarian scowls at him.
“Yeah,” Ryan replies, “But I’d like to ask you a few more questions.”
And that’s how Danny spends most of a Monday afternoon in the library with Ryan, studying chemistry. He’s tempted to drop a corny pickup line because though Jackson hates it, it’s totally his thing. Being a nerd. And regardless of wanting to only be cool and smart in front of Ryan, he feels like doing it. On impulse. Danny ends up dropping a line and when he does, Ryan’s laugh is totally worth it.
“You’re such a dork,” Ryan says, jostling shoulders with him. “I love it.”
Danny goes silent.
“You like it?” he asks slowly.
“Yeah,” Ryan says, grinning. “You’re smart, and you shouldn’t be afraid to show it. I mean, heck, you shouldn’t be afraid of showing anything that you have.”
Danny feels a small, quiet smile light itself on his face.
“Well, I’m not afraid of showing some things,” he replies, as the grin breaks out completely across his face. He giggles when Ryan pokes his dimple.
“Thanks for helping me,” he says, leaning forward and smiling. Danny prepares himself for a kiss, or something, anything really. And is promptly shocked when Ryan starts packing up his stuff. He can’t help but feel a bit affronted because honestly, it’s not like Ryan’s subtle or anything. He lets Ryan leave (but not before doing a digit swap because Danny is not that awful) and spends a ten minutes calming his hormones before getting up and going home.
They call me Silver Eyes. Or something.
Stiles heads over to Derek’s after he’s safely out of detention. He’s panting on the doorstep when Derek opens the door.
“What are you doing here,” Derek says flatly. “Don’t you have homework.”
“What do silver eyes mean?” Stiles wheezes as he doubles over and tries to catch his breath, lying shamelessly on the porch. Which, on second thought, might not be strong enough to support his weight. Whatever. The porch is going to have to deal with it.
“Silver?” Derek asks, shoving his hands in the pockets of his leather jacket. “Um…”
His answer is lost to Stiles’ heart pounding in his ears.
“Wait, wait, wait, Derek, let me just,” he says, rolling over and lying on his back. “I need to catch my breath.”
“The Psi,” Derek repeats, a wild look in his eyes. “It’s the Psi.” There’s a beat in which Stiles’ breath returns to normal, but Derek’s eyes continue to look increasingly crazed. “Where did you see someone with silver eyes?”
“At school,” Stiles says, sitting up.
“Did you get the guy’s name?”
“Ryan—We’re not killing him, Derek!”
Derek scowls, the feral spark in his eyes fading.
“What do you propose, then?” he asks, voice a bit growly. Stiles holds his hands up in surrender.
“We let him stay here until he starts to threaten us. Then we can force him to leave.”
Derek narrows his eyes.
Stiles tells Scott about their new predicament. Unsurprisingly, Scott tells Isaac, who tells Erica and Boyd (recently returned from their run-in with the Alpha pack). He also tells Allison by way of a note, who doesn’t tell her father (thankfully) but does tell Lydia, who then tells Jackson, who then proceeds to skip school for the next few days. Stiles just hopes he isn’t tearing around in the woods buck naked because… well, because. The only werewolf he’s willing to think about buck naked is—
“Stiles, do you have an answer for us?” Ms. Gennaro asks, breaking through the haze. Stiles looks down at his copy of Othello, mouth working. He sees Ryan scratch something on a piece of paper in large letters, holding it up so Stiles can catch a glimpse of it out of the corner of his eye.
“Witchcraft,” he says shakily before the previous night’s reading comes back to him. “Othello was accused of using witchcraft.”
Ms. Gennaro shoots him a quizzical look before nodding and continuing with the class discussion. He thanks Ryan quietly before delving back into his own thoughts.
It had been a month since Ryan had shown up and so far, there weren’t any signs of malevolence. Derek had instructed his pack and a grudging Scott to keep an eye on their classmate. Isaac, Erica, and Boyd circled far too distantly to pick up anything, Jackson had of course disobeyed, Scott ended up flat-out refusing, and Lydia had been smitten instantly by Ryan’s wit, brains, and clothing choices. Which by default, left Stiles doing Derek’s dirty work (as per usual). He hadn’t been pleased.
“Read the next act and be ready to discuss it during next class,” Ms. Gennaro says as the bell rings. Ryan stands up and waits for Stiles to finish packing, a habit the two of them had fallen into before heading to Kalina’s classroom for history.
“Thanks for the save, man,” Stiles says.
“No problem,” Ryan replies, shifting his bag. They step out into the bustling hallway. Stiles doesn’t miss how Ryan smiles at Danny as he passes, shoulder-checking the lacrosse player. Danny’s mouth quirks before he waves his fingers. Stiles chuckles.
“He’s so gone on you,” he says, smiling as they walk into Kalina’s classroom. They sit next to each other in the back row of the classroom.
“You think so?” Ryan asks, eyes dreamy as he pulls out his notebook. He smiles. “Who are you after?’
“Lydia,” Stiles replies without batting an eye. He’s not too sure anymore, especially after that showdown in the warehouse with… well, the weres, and Jackson as a giant freaky lizard that was apparently about to get worlds more freaky according to Derek. But it’s his default answer, and Stiles is a creature of habit. More than he’d like to think he is. “I’ve had a crush on her since the third grade.”
“Oh,” Ryan says, zipping his backpack up. “Isn’t she dating Jackson?”
Stiles swallows. Ryan’s mouth twitches.
“Yeah, she’s dating him, but…”
“But?” Ryan asks, eyebrows quirked.
“I mean, Jackson almost died earlier this year, and nothing really helps to bring people together because of a near-death situation caused by rampaging liz- I mean, yeah.”
Ryan looks at him, eyes narrowed. Stiles tries to keep his breathing normal and heartbeat steady. He knows that Ryan is some sort of supernatural being, but he doesn’t know how aware Ryan is of the rest of the supernatural community in Beacon Hills. And what, they have a supernatural community. Not online, a real live supernatural community. How is this his life?
“He nearly died?” Ryan says more than asks, each word colored by faint curiosity. “How?”
“Oh, uh lacrosse, you know, it’s pretty intense,” Stiles says, nodding his head and hoping that he pulls off casually confident well enough for Ryan to buy his lie. Ryan either just plays along or actually believes him because the suspicion melts out of his eyes.
“Ah,” he says. “Well, good for them, huh? But then bad for you since you’re kinda into Lydia.”
Stiles side-eyes his friend before sighing slowly.
“Yeah,” he says, running a hand over his head. “I guess.”
“Hey,” Ryan says, awkwardly patting Stiles on the arm. “You’ll be okay.”
Derek finally calls an emergency pack meeting two weeks later.
“There are many roles in a pack,” he starts, voice gruff. The teens gathered in the burnt-out living room remain largely unimpressed. “Most of them contribute to the pack, but there is a role that serves to split up a pack.”
“So…?” Erica asks, leaning against Boyd’s chest. “As far as we know, you’re the Alpha, we’re all Betas, no problem.”
“Well, Jackson’s a Zeta,” Stiles says, fiddling with his keys. He can feel everyone looking at him so he shrugs nonchalantly, metal jangling in the silence. “I mean, Derek told me. That’s what he said.”
“And what’s that supposed to mean?” Jackson asks, words venomous and shoulders tense. Lydia squeezes his hand gently.
“It means that you have the capability of turning back into the kanima,” Derek says, crossing his arms. “Until you’re entirely secure in your identity, you’ll always have that possibility.”
“Anything else that Derek told you?” Jackson grits out, looking angrily at Stiles. Stiles shrugs again, still messing with the keys. Derek really needs to work on the whole communicating-with-other-people shtick. Well, people-other-than-Stiles. Important stipulation.
“Something about a Chi and a Psi,” he says, making slight eye contact with Derek before looking back at his hands. He slouches further on the couch. “Why don’t you tell them all about this stuff.”
Derek looks slightly disgruntled before he starts to speak.
“The Chi is a pack member that deals in magic and is human,” he says. “The Chi cannot be turned, and is associated with the protection of the pack.”
“And the Psi?” Lydia asks, twirling her hair around her finger. “What awful things do we need to know about this brand of crazy?” Derek shifts uncomfortably.
“The Psi is associated with destruction,” he says quietly. “They’re also magic users who cannot be turned. And they tend to use tridents as weapons.”
Stiles chokes on his breath. The inside of the living room melts away and he finds himself standing next to a wolfed out Derek standing in front of Ryan and Danny, a trident protruding from Ryan’s chest. He blinks and shakes his head.
“Tridents?” he says, voice pitched. “I don’t exactly know what happened, but that first day I met Ryan I had like a vision or something of him being stabbed with a trident.”
“Was that when you were staring off into Ryan’s eyes that day in the cafeteria?” Scott asks, frowning. Stiles nods vigorously, thrumming with energy.
“There’s no way that such a powerful thing would go and use its own weapon on itself,” Stiles continues, looking at Derek pointedly. “So Ryan’s not a Psi.”
Derek’s face twists into a scowl.
“Okay,” he grits out. “Dismissed.” Stiles breathes a sigh of relief as he jumps up off the couch. The rest of the pack files out the door easily, chattering on about the exams they have in the coming weeks. Derek glares at him as he walks by. “Just because you’re right about that doesn’t mean he’s not dangerous,” Derek hisses as he follows Stiles out the door. “You don’t know everything about what he is and what he isn’t.”
“Yeah, yeah, okay,” Stiles says flippantly, spinning his keys around his fingers. The key ring digs into his fingers a little bit, but it’s enough to keep from snarking back at Derek.
“I’m serious, Stiles,” Derek says, voice deepening and eyes barely hiding a flash of crimson. “The last time you got involved—”
“I ended up saving your ass from drowning,” Stiles snaps, whirling around to face Derek. “Look, I don’t know why you think I’m so useless! I’ve saved all your werewolf asses countless times and this is how you say thank you?!”
Derek growls but then sniffs the air, letting out a slight whimper. The rest of the Betas fall to the ground, coughing violently. A girl with long brown hair slips out from behind a copse of trees, golden dress fluttering behind her as she walks.
“Alpha Hale,” she says icily.
“You are?” Derek chokes out, starting to keel over. Stiles catches him before he hits the ground with an “oof”.
“Psi Argarya,” the girl says stonily, touching the back of her neck with her left hand. A silver trident materializes in her right hand, and she brandishes it threateningly at the pack. Stiles gasps.
“That’s it,” he says, smacking Derek repeatedly on the arm. “That’s the one.”
“Yeah, I see it,” Derek says, wheezing.
“Your pack has until the summer to either leave this place or be destroyed,” the girl says, twirling her trident casually and planting the tines in the ground. A silver cage materializes around both Stiles and Derek, lifting slowly into the air. Derek rolls onto the bars and hisses loudly.
“Stiles,” he says, voice strained. “Silver.”
Stiles’ mouth opens and closes a couple times before hoisting Derek up to his feet hugging him close to his body.
“Hold onto me,” Stiles instructs, gears spinning wildly in his head. “Put your feet on mine and stand on them.” Holy damn that’s a mistake because Derek is heavy because muscle is so freaking dense and ow ow ow ow. Stiles reaches for the bars of their prison. “Any time you want to let us out would be pretty awesome.”
The Psi smirks and narrows her eyes.
“Cute,” she sneers, licking her lips. She runs a hand through her hair. “I also know there is a Chi nearby.”
“Don’t you even dare,” Stiles finds himself saying. Derek stomps on his foot in protest.
“Shut up,” he huffs against Stiles’ neck, and wow. Not even the time to pop a stiffy, body. Really.
“You should listen to your mate,” the girl says, looking at her nails and then snapping her fingers. The cage lowers back to the ground and dissolves, leaving Stiles wobbling under his and Derek’s combined weight. “What I will do is what nature demands.”
“Really now,” Stiles remarks. Derek stomps on his foot again and that sends them toppling backwards. Stiles lands back-first on the ground with a face full of tall, dark, and handsome werewolf. And really? Really. Boners. Inappropriate public boner. Stiles already has that awkward merit badge, and in several flavors too. But this time he gets to add “inappropriate public boner touching a person” to his collection because that is Derek freaking Hale all over him and there’s no way this can get any more embarrassing. Stiles may have to tell Ryan about this because Scott isn’t going anywhere near the topic of Derek with a ten-foot pole. While Stiles is very much on the topic of Derek with a pole. Of sorts.
“Alternatively,” the Psi says, “If you happen to dispatch the Chi, I will let your pack remain.”
“Nobody’s killing anyone,” Derek growls, pushing himself up off of Stiles’ body (and raging erection, so not the time). “Leave.” Derek’s claws slide out with a snick. The girl stares brazenly back at him.
“You’ve only seen the smallest amount of magic I can use,” she says, spinning her trident. It suddenly disappears. “If the Chi isn’t gone by summer, I will be disappointed in the utmost.” She curtsies and then vanishes in a flash of light. Scott rolls over on the ground.
“That,” he wheezes, “Was worse than the time that Mrs. Argent tried to kill me. And that was awful.”
Derek looks from where he’s standing down at Stiles, eyes darting towards his crotch before coughing loudly.
“I’ll drive everyone who got hit by the wolfsbane home,” he says, now pointedly avoiding meeting Stiles’ gaze. Stiles snorts.
“You got whammied yourself,” he says, propping himself up on one elbow. “Isn’t that pretty much the same as a drunk person offering to drive?” Derek growls.
“If you would like to drive everyone home, then be my guest,” he grits out, balling his hands into fists. He’s halfway back to his house before he turns around again. “And keep your hands to yourself.”
Stiles flushes a bright red.