Derek's eyes were bright red as he looked at the bleeding mess in front of him. He turned to look at his pack, each with varying expressions. Allison sobbed into Scott's shoulder, hands gripping the ripped shirt he was wearing. Scott stared at the mess with a mixture of hatred, relief and sadness. Jackson was white in the face, almost ready to vomit, Danny keeping a serious face and gently patting Jackson as a source of comfort. Isaac and Boyd stood together, expressionless, but Erica looked on with a face full of triumph. Lydia watched with a cool, calculated expression while Stiles was staring at Derek, as if trying to gauge his reaction to everything.
Chris Argent was kneeling in the blood, tears streaming down his face as he looked at the dead members of his family. Victoria's face was still in the angry sneer, even in death, while Gerard's face was barely recognisable from all the blood and ripped flesh. Derek couldn't find it in himself to regret his actions, all he could feel was the power and victory in his veins. Once again, his pack was safe.
"You understand why I did what I did." Derek's voice still had the hint of the wolf, but it wasn't posed as a question. Chris looked up, sadness and exhaustion etched on his face while he tried to hold back the sobs.
"I do." His voice broke and he once again returned to the dead in front of him. Allison sobbed louder while Scott attempted to soothe and calm her. Derek moved from his spot, wiping his hands uselessly on his pants. The blood wasn't going anywhere, but Derek at least tried. He knew he had nothing to worry about when it came to Chris. As far as he was concerned, they were even. The Argents would not be punished for the death of his family while the Hales would never be punished for the death of the Argents.
Derek turned to his pack, seeing the sorry state they were all in. But finally, after so long, they were all safe. They had survived together, with a few scars, but survived nonetheless. As Derek looked at each of them, he felt pride flow through his bones and he couldn't ask for a better pack.
Stiles watched as Derek finished speaking to Chris and turned to them. He could just imagine the state they were in. All the wolves had their clothing ripped and hanging off them from their shifting, barely managing to be decent. Blood covered the whole pack, in varying amounts. The worst was Derek, but that was due to him killing the most. Protecting his pack as was his duty as alpha.
This had been the hardest thing that they had faced together. The Kanima had been difficult from a few weeks ago, but that had been no loss when it was finally killed. Now, though. It was a lot harder. Allison had a connection to these people, no matter how evil and twisted they were. The pack was going to feel this nightmare for a long time.
They were safe, though. How long had it been since Stiles actually felt he was safe? It could have been just before his mother died, or even just before Scott got bitten. Since then his life had been one supernatural headache after another and he hadn't known how he was going to make it. But he had, relatively in one piece, but still okay.
It had been the plan to finally get rid of the hunters war that had been waged. They had wanted to avoid killing anyone because it was Allison's family, but tonight had gone the only way it could have. When Gerard had found out Allison's position in the pack, the pack had vainly hoped that she would be enough to keep him from killing them. Instead, he had captured Isaac and Danny, Danny being human himself, and trying to torture and bait the pack.
When Allison had found out, she had been so angry, trying to rally her father into helping, especially since Danny was human and that would go against the code they swore by. His father had wavered, but her mother had demanded Allison to join them otherwise expect her pack to die, her included. It had been a turning moment, and both Chris and Allison had understood who had the power with the hunters.
Chris had discovered where they were keeping Isaac and approximately how many hunters. He had tried to get Derek to spare his wife and father, but Derek had made no promises. The wolves had then forged ahead and attempted to get their pack mates free. Chris' information had been correct, but Gerard had managed to capture Allison during their raid.
When the pack had realised that one of their own was held captive by her own grandfather, they had first believed he would do nothing to hurt her. But when Allison refused to deny her position in the pack, even going as far as to say she was in love with Scott and therefore his mate, Gerard had publically denounced her as an Argent and no longer viewed her as his own blood. Victoria had openly agreed with the statement, turning to Chris to do the same and therefore cement her removal from the family and allow her to be killed.
Only Chris had shot Gerard in the back, causing Allison to get free and Derek to kill Gerard, the alpha form reaping vengeance on the man who had dared threaten his pack. When Victoria went to kill Chris for going against her, Derek had shot out and sliced her throat cleanly with a claw, standing still as the woman gurgled and died, the sneer firmly in place.
That brought them to where they were now, in an abandoned warehouse littered with dead hunters and Allison's family. Chris had lost his wife, father and sister in the fight against werewolves, barely managing to not lose his daughter in the crossfire. But he had made his decision. He lived by the code and now that his daughter had joined the pack, even though she was human, then he would support and help protect. He had aligned himself as an ally to the pack.
Stiles watched as Derek turned to the pack and motioned them to leave with a flick of his head. He glared over at Scott and Allison to stay, if only for Chris. Scott nodded and the rest of the pack left them. Stiles watched with his mouth firmly shut, still in a state of shock. He could vividly still see Gerard holding the gun underneath Allison's chin, the hatred easily seen in his eyes. They had tried to reason, claiming the death of his daughter was due to her own insanity and need to kill wolves, but he was too far gone in his grief and supposed need for revenge. So there was another body on the pile.
They all got into the cars, planning on meeting at Stiles' house since it was closest. Derek's house was in the middle of being rebuilt and Stiles was the only one besides the Argents with a house big enough for everyone. The Sheriff wouldn't be too happy that he was bringing the pack along, but it was the best they could do for now. They seemed to all pair off, Danny and Jackson getting in the same car along with Boyd and Isaac. Lydia and Erica were already driving away which left Stiles and Derek. Stiles had given his keys over to Scott so that he could drive Allison home later which meant Stiles and Derek were in the Camaro.
"Give me the keys." Stiles said calmly, the alpha turning to look at the human with a growl. His eyes were still tinged red but Stiles wasn't scared by him. As much as Derek was the big bad alpha, Stiles knew that Derek was struggling with his role and sometimes it took a larger toll on him than what everyone else thought. Stiles wasn't dumb, though, so he could always tell when Derek just needed someone. They're relationship had grown over the whole Kanima and crazy hunters, Derek finally admitting to trusting Stiles enough to confide with him sometimes.
Derek handed over the keys rather reluctantly and Stiles calmly got into the car to drive away. Derek was sitting stiffly in the car, the silence stretching between them but Stiles unwilling to break it. The tension in the air was strong, but Stiles kept up his calm façade. He knew he was still suffering from shock, he just hoped it would hold on until he got home and he could break down without worrying about ruining Derek's car. Funny how despite everything that had just happened, the worst he could think of happening would be ruining this car. Not even his dad's imminent freak out compared.
Derek turned to Stiles after a while, his eyes having lost that wolf red to them. It was silent communication to Stiles, especially when he glanced and saw the pain and exhaustion in his gaze.
"I understand." Stiles said simply and Derek seemed to slump against the passenger seat at that. Stiles himself felt a little more relaxed with his alpha calm, but he waited for more. Despite Derek telling him things, there was always that little bit of hesitancy. Plus, Derek wasn't much of a talker anyway. Stiles was just really good at reading between the lines, something he knew Derek appreciated because there was things Derek couldn't verbalise.
"That doesn't make it any easier." Derek said softly and Stiles grimaced but nodded. Derek wanted a confirmation of what he had done, which was why Stiles had let him know he understood. Derek had wanted what was best not only for his own pack, but for others who might get in the hunters way. It was clear with the kidnapping of Danny and the almost death of Allison that they would stop at nothing, not even humans, to get what they wanted. Derek had saved a lot of future lives, but he was right. Knowing that didn't make things easier.
"The right thing is never the easiest thing to do." Stiles said, internally proud of himself for sounding so full of wisdom. He had his moments, few as they may be, but they were still good moments. Stiles was intelligent, which was pretty much a must since he was so involved in this supernatural world. It helped keep him alive, a hard feat if you looked at all the trouble he seemed to always get himself into.
"She hates me." Derek whispered to the windscreen, despair in his voice. Allison did hate him, but how could you not hate the person who had killed your own mother? Mothers were different than grandfathers, especially grandfathers who you rarely saw and tried to kill you. That said, Allison's mother had denied her daughter as her own, which made the situation harder.
"Of course she does. But don't think that you're the only one she hates. She'll hate her mother with a lot more venom for disowning her and wanting her dead. It's going to take some time, but it's Allison. She's strong and she knows the truth. And she's got Chris who will be mourning with her." The silence returned but it was no longer laced with tension, instead it was just fatigue that permeated through the car. They got to Stiles' house just as the rest of the pack was getting in. His dad was standing at the porch and watching them all come in, worry and anger on his face as he took them all in. When Stiles got out of the car, he saw his dad's shoulders relax and he felt bad for putting his dad through this kind of turmoil.
"Stiles, what the hell?" His dad said, but there wasn't anger in his tone. It was more a reluctant acceptance that his son was always going to be in the middle of danger. "Where's Scott and Allison?" His dad was smart enough to deduct the lack of two members of the pack.
"It's a long story best told in the morning once everyone is cleaned up and well rested. I don't think we'll see them tonight." His dad looked at Derek and nodded, letting them in before closing the door behind them. Stiles saw just how weary Derek looked and knew that if Derek was forced to give orders tonight, he might get snappy and say something really dumb that he would regret later. Since it was Stiles' house he figured that they had to listen to him.
"There are two showers, one upstairs and one down. Isaac and Boyd go upstairs and Erica and Lydia take the one downstairs. I'll grab clothing for you guys. Whoever gets out first, Jackson and Danny swap with them. I'll grab blankets and dump them down here for everyone." There wasn't a question of who was sleeping where; the pack needed to be together especially after tonight. This wasn't the first time they had puppy piled at Stiles' house, which meant that he had a change of clothes for all of them. He figured he was an omega in the pack which translated to not being surprised whenever he found pack members' washing mixed in with his own. He just took it in his stride.
They obeyed without a fuss, his dad seeming a bit unsure of two people in a shower at the time, but before he could say anything about it, Stiles put a hand up and stopped him.
"They run on the full moon naked and they're too exhausted to really care at the moment. I think they'll be fine showering together. Plus if someone collapses they can be helped without a fuss." His dad closed his mouth and nodded at the logic. Stiles pulled a dining room chair for Derek before disappearing upstairs and grabbing clothes for the pack. When he got back to the lounge, he handed Danny and Jackson their clothing just as Isaac and Boyd returned.
"I'm going to bed, Stiles. I've got an early start tomorrow so whatever you need to tell me will have to be at the station sometime in the morning. Is there anything that I should be prepared for?" His dad was clever alright, and Stiles took a moment to think before nodding.
"Just one of the warehouses. I don't know how long until it's police worthy, but just heads up." His father nodded before escaping upstairs. Isaac and Boyd had already collapsed on the floor in the lounge, Lydia and Erica joining them a few moments later.
Derek had his face in his hands when Stiles turned to look at him. In the light of the kitchen, he looked horrible and just so tired. Stiles could sympathise, tonight had been hard physically and emotionally on everyone. Killing was hard for all of them, despite being werewolves. They tried to be a peaceful pack, but sometimes it was unavoidable.
"Come on, big guy. Let's go get cleaned up." Stiles touched Derek's shoulder, green eyes looking at his with a grateful smile. Derek wasn't out of it, he knew Stiles was looking after his pack while he tried to regain himself.
"Thanks, Stiles." He whispered ever so softly and Stiles could only nod his head. He heard Jackson and Danny coming downstairs and joining in the puppy pile which meant both bathrooms were free. "I think I'll be ok." Stiles understood that Derek was offering Stiles his own shower rather than forcing Stiles to share. Derek was covered in a lot more blood than everyone else, and it was well known that Stiles could only handle so much without being sick. It was a miracle he had lasted so long. He smiled before going upstairs and locking himself in the bathroom.
The room was warm from the other showers, the mirror fogged up. Sighing as he undressed, Stiles felt himself start to shake, the shock finally wearing off. He quickly got in the shower, putting it on as hot as he could before collapsing on the floor and holding himself in the foetal position. He was never comfortable watching people die no matter how much they deserved it. He could still remember the horror in Allison's eyes as she realised that she was going to die. Scott had yelled out, wanting to do something but unable because of the gun.
It was horrifying, watching your pack mate about to die. Stiles wasn't even a wolf but he felt his heart ripping at the sight. He could feel the tension as Gerard denounced his daughter quickly followed by Victoria. Then he saw the flicker of hatred in Chris' eye before he shot his own father in the back. That moment was so ingrained, Stiles just instinctly knew that Derek could make it alright, that he could save Allison. And he did.
It wasn't as if Stiles was even crying for them, instead he was letting the water just wash the day away, wishing that the images and feelings would disappear with the blood and sweat. Unable to stop shivering, Stile just sat there and let the water go, feeling the heat leave and the colder water beat down on him. He couldn't even find it in himself to care.
At some point the door opened and he heard the water being shut off just as it had gone completely cold. His head was in his knees, eyes squeezed closed as if he could stop it all from flashing in his mind. A towel was thrown over him and strong hands pulled him out before rubbing him down and helping him to his feet. Stiles stood up and looked at Derek's understanding face. He let his alpha help him dress before half carrying Stiles down the stairs and moving to the centre of the puppy pile, dragging Stiles with him.
Derek was a good alpha. He cared about his whole pack, whether human or not, and he made sure they were looked after. Sometimes he struggled, like when Stiles had needed to take over, but he recovered and he never overlooked. Derek had a special connections with the wolves of his pack, some crazy connection due to them being pack, but despite not having that with the humans, he worked that much harder to include him. Stiles snuggled closer to the warmth of Derek at his side, feeling Lydia rest her head on his side while Erica tangled her legs with his. Jackson was behind him, cuddled closely with Danny who was resting on Isaac's belly. Isaac was tangled with Boyd who had somehow managed to tangle himself with Derek, who was half covered by Lydia. It really was a puppy pile, and Stiles truly felt like part of the pack. Because he was.