“If the bards of old the true has told
The sirens have raven hair.
But over the earth since art had birth,
They paint the angels fair.”
Stiles isn’t exactly human.
He’s known this his entire life. He’s known this since his cries rang through ocean air, and his mother soothed him with her Song.
He knows exactly where he was born, sharp rocks jutting out of the cold sea. If driven, he could walk there straight from Beacon Hills to wade into the ocean. From the stories his mother had told him, his father had waited barefoot in the sand while she had borne him as dawn broke, sky phasing through soft yellows and pinks before settling into clear blue.
He knows that if he ever bears his own children, he will bring his own family to that exact spot and bring his children into the world amid sharp rocks and salty water.
They will be christened by the salt and sky just as he was.
But, to be technical, Stiles is a siren. And, even before Scott became a werewolf, he had to suppress the urge to open his mouth and Sing by swallowing down pill after pill of Adderall. Now, though, Scott’s a werewolf, and it’s not like Stiles can say, “Hey buddy! Welcome to the non-human club! Hope you’re having fun!” when all Scott can think about is Mr. Argent trying to kill him or Peter Hale summoning him to jointly kill some dude.
So, Stiles shuts up and throws himself into research and pretends to be surprised that the Argents are hunters (even though, deep down, he remembers his mother smoothing down his hair and explaining why they can never sing this far inland). He just grimaces and swallows down more pills and hopes to G-d that he doesn’t open his mouth and kill someone.
Stiles thinks about the various ways that his true nature could have been revealed. It’s a bad habit of his, but when Scott is out in the woods with fur and fangs flying, he thinks about his (possible) revelation. He thinks about it so that he can prevent it. He thinks so he can stay assured that he appears to be normal.
He once thought of these:
He could have been five and sitting in the sandbox. He could have been humming underneath his breath. And, Scott would have taken his sweet head and bashed it against the big iron nail that stuck out of the sandbox. And wouldn’t Stiles have smiled the sweetest smile while licking Scott’s blood off his fingernails before crying when he realized what he had done?
He could have been ten and sitting by his mother’s bedside. The beeping of the medical equipment had always wanted to make him sing to cover up the noise. His mother’s voice had been weak then, and as her body grew thinner and thinner, Stiles had only wanted to hold her hand in his and stand on the shore and Sing out to the sea. He wanted to hear their Voices harmonize and watch the sea roil.
But now, he thinks about luring the Alpha into the water and drowning him. He thinks about Scott behind him, bleeding or puking out that gross black stuff, and his fingernails lengthen into claws. The sea is calling even stronger now that everyone he loves is in danger.
And, all he can think about is that he can’t help.
Stiles holds a few truths close to his heart.
a) His father will always love him.
b) Scott is stupid but well-meaning
c) If he closes his eyes and the wind is just right, it will caress his cheek in the same way that his mother once had.
d) His name is unpronounceable, and it’s okay. (It wasn’t okay when he was five and crying in kindergarten when everyone made fun of his name, but Stiles got an extra cookie for not running home like on the first day of school. So, he learnt maybe it was okay that his name was hard to say. It’s his and Mom’s special thing, anyway).
He’s added a few more since then. More out of necessity than want, really.
a) Scott is a werewolf. So is Derek Hale. So was a majority of the Hale family who lived out in the woods and whose matriarch had known his mother, even if they rarely interacted.
b) The hunters are back. And, Allison might become one of them.
c) As a werewolf in love, Scott makes stupid but well-meaning (but seriously stupid) decisions. (Stiles had already known this, but the addendum was necessary in his mind.)
He also knows this:
When he closes his eyes and falls into sleep, sometimes he will wake up on the shore. He’s not really there, but it’s nice to pretend.
Sometimes, he dreams that his hands have morphed into claws, that his Voice rings true and clear. The water laps at his feet, blood staining it. His hands are outstretched. His Voice grows louder and louder. The seas throw themselves against the rocks, crashing and roaring.
He wakes up hungry.
Stiles’s wrist still tingles from where Peter Hale had gripped it. Well, tingle might not be the…most reflective word. It feels wrong, mostly.
He can feel Peter’s bloody finger lifting his chin, taking him away from Lydia lying like a rag doll on the ground. Peter stares and stares and stares and stares. He looms and gesticulates and does everything he can to show how insignificant Stiles actually is in the scheme of things. How unhelpful he really is.
And Peter wants to make him howl.
To make him run in the woods. (Their woods)
To make him bear their children.
Stiles gets that all from Peter’s mouth hovering over his wrist, saliva dripping down onto it. And, Stiles knows that he is right to rip his wrist away.
Because yes, being bitten might account for Stiles’s pre-existing condition of Siren/Non-human, especially explaining his condition to Scott. But, he sees the looks Scott gives in his direction. Grateful that Stiles is still “normal.” Scott needs normal. And so does Stiles.
The next weekend, Stiles begs his father to go to their little beach. Even though he doesn’t open his mouth there at all, he can feel some of the tension sweep out of him. His father lays a reassuring hand on his shoulder.
It’s enough, he thinks at the time. (Later, he’ll think it was enough to get him through hell.)