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Looking on the Brighter Side of Dying

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Being dead sucked. As a certified, bona fide, dead-and-buried ghost, Laura Hale could swear to that.

As a cub, she'd loved ghost stories. There were legends, things that went bump in the night, and then there were things that went bump in the night. Being one of the latter made a person curious about the former. She'd pored over books, had begged to hear the tale of the Wolf of Gibraltar or the one about the humans buried in the old barn. The spookier, the less real, the better.

And now, here she was, less real than even those stories. There was probably irony in that. Derek would have laughed, if he laughed at much of anything anymore.

She drifted around the Beacon Hills Preserve, footsteps making no noise, scent leaving no trace. Overhead, the sky was the beautiful, clear blue of late autumn, but the cold wind didn't touch her. Neither did the sun in summer, or the rain in spring. If she tried really hard, she could interact with things, but feeling them was a different matter. Most things were wrapped in clouds, and living things were so hot that they practically burned. Real world stuff just didn't touch her anymore. Including clothes. The haunting part of the afterlife was surprisingly full of nudity.

It was All Hallow's Eve, her second one since dying, and—surprisingly—mostly just another day for ghostly activity. Maybe it was a little easier to push things around, to be a shape in the corner of someone's eye, but it really wasn't worth the effort. Even if she managed to make contact, what could she do? Get someone to tell Derek to stop blaming himself for everything? Yeah, sure, that would go over great. Then he'd just blame himself more. She knew how her baby brother worked.

A distant crackle of leaves made her go still, head cocked and nose to the wind, old instincts still in play even though there was literally nothing that could hurt her anymore. Smells, like touch, were mostly muffled, but some scents were so familiar that even a ghost could make them out. Scents like pack.

Laura followed the scent at a lope, dodging trees by habit, nostrils flared for the least hint of her brother. She went about two hundred yards before recognizing the direction and sighing.

Of-freaking-course he would be there, she muttered to herself, words lacking air to carry them anywhere. Much as she wanted to, Laura couldn't even be annoyed. It wasn't like she didn't go there plenty, wasn't like she hadn't slipped off once a year to come back to California and walk the spiral around it. She just sometimes wished her brother could let go, hadn't understood why he'd smelled like guilt after the fire.

Now that she knew about Kate, though, it all made perfect sense. Even Derek's issues. Especially Derek's issues. She just wished Kate had joined her in the afterlife after Peter had gotten their revenge, just so that Laura could spend the rest of eternity showing her what a monster really was.

The old house looked the same as ever when she arrived. Derek's scent was all over it, confusing her inhibited nose when she tried to sniff him out. Laura considered looking around—he couldn't have gone far, Derek wasn't the type to brood in a hurry—when another crunch of leaves interrupted her thoughts. Someone whirled through her from behind, all flailing arms and burning-sizzle of living skin, followed by another someone lower down.

Laura screeched and discorporated, spreading out across the yard instinctively. Thinning out like that made all of her senses wonky, even sight, but she could make out the blur of two bodies circling each other, their warmth stabbing through her like white-hot pinpricks. With a shaky non-breath that did nothing to settle her nerves, Laura pulled herself back together, stabilizing in the middle of the porch.

It was Derek and a boy. The boy. The Stiles kid that hung around with the Peter-made wolf, Scott. Derek was in wolf form—two hundred pounds of actual wolf form, which Laura hadn't even been sure he knew how to take, had been afraid was one more thing she should have explained before dying. He circled Stiles like he was hunting, crouched low, red eyes intent. Stiles was much the same, but clumsier about it, unsteady in the leaves, nerves making him quick to jump when Derek feinted.

The sight made Laura's heart—for lack of a better word—lodge in her throat. Not a full moon, she whispered to herself, easing down the steps to watch closer. Derek wasn't out of control. If he'd gone feral, he wouldn't have been toying with Stiles the way he was. But Derek should have known better than to hunt a human. Once a wolf's adrenalin got going, they did stupid things.

She'd met Stiles' mom once, at the high school when she'd been following Derek while he stalked Scott and—by extension—Stiles. Nice lady, easy to talk to, and it had been a relief to have someone to interact with. Laura didn't want to have to tell her that Laura's brother had accidentally eaten her son.

Not that there was anything she could do. She put herself between them, but all that ended up doing was making Stiles shiver when he passed through her and mutter about being cold all of a sudden. Derek took advantage of his distraction to pounce, getting a mouthful of Stiles' plaid overshirt and yanking him to the ground.

Derek, stop! Laura shouted, teeth going sharp with frustration. She yanked at her hair. Damn it, you know better than this!

Predictably, neither of them noticed. Stiles rolled out of the shirt and back to his feet, tackling Derek from the side. They wrestled in the leaves, the boy surprisingly agile as he twisted around Derek, dodging teeth and claws. He got his arm around Derek's neck, elbow trapping his throat, and Derek froze, then sagged to the ground.

What? Laura stared at them, fingers still tangled in her hair.

"I'm pretty sure throwing the fight is still cheating," Stiles grumbled, dropping down to the leaves. His shirt was torn in three places and he was sheened with sweat, but there was no mistaking the smile on his face for anything but honest. "Cheater."

Derek lowered his ears and whined, tail thumping the ground. He leaned into Stiles' side, weight pressing firmly in a way that—to a wolf—was unmistakable. Stretching over, he bumped his muzzle under Stiles' jaw, rubbing.

Laura blinked, rubbed her eyes, then blinked again. But nope, her brother was still there, being affectionate. With a person.

What the actual fuck?

Stiles laughed and met Derek's weight with his own, body language easy and comfortable. It obviously wasn't something that was new, or that he didn't understand. "Yeah, yeah. You know, if you wanted to be on top, you could have just said, instead of making me work for it. Unless you wanted an excuse to play?" Pulling away, Stiles grabbed the hem of his shirt and pulled it upward. Surprisingly defined muscles shifted under pale skin as he tugged it off and tossed it over by the plaid.

She should leave. Right now. Before Stiles stood up and unbuckled his belt, before Derek nuzzled his crotch, holy fuck. But Laura stayed right where she was, close enough to touch if she stretched a little, watching as Stiles' pants and boxers dropped as her brother—her brother—rubbed his furry cheek across the kid's growing erection.

There was no sign that Derek was going to change back. If anything, he seemed to settle more into his skin. He worked himself across Stiles' legs and hip, nuzzling the line where thigh turned into hip, lapping at bare skin. Stiles fingers ran across Derek's muzzle, his neck and cheek and throat.

It would have been nice if Laura could have claimed that shock kept her where she was, but she knew better. Since dying, shock had tended to make her discorporate, or to pop out of a place entirely and reappear near where she'd died, which happened to be a relatively inconspicuous spot in the woods. Shock didn't make her feel flushed, or tingle with arousal.

Definitely not shock.

Derek was all dark fur and long limbs, muscular on four legs as he was on two. It made Laura think of the peeks she'd snuck those times they were sharing hotel rooms, after the fire. They'd been all each other had, and she'd been a new alpha. Packs were supposed to be an alpha, her mate, and their betas. But hers had only had an alpha and a beta. And, well... There'd been instincts—urges that just happened, thoughts that had made her go for three hour runs to escape Derek's scent everywhere.

Stepping back, Laura took a seat on the porch again, elbows balanced on her knees. The wolf and his boy were back to wrestling, but there was nothing about it that suggested either was trying to win. Her brother—fuck her sideways, her brother—had knocked Stiles to the ground and was using his muzzle to boss him around, bumping whatever limb he wanted moved. Stiles went with it, already knowing how to roll over onto his knees, how to angle himself make it easier. He was skinny for someone who ran with a wolf pack, all long, coltish limbs and soft places.

Laura caught herself licking her lips. She couldn't feel temperature very well, but it turned out she could get hot. She watched as Derek nuzzled up the inside of one pale thigh, tongue darting out, pink and wet. It dragged a long line up to vanish between Stiles' ass cheeks.

With a groan, Stiles dropped his head down, hips pushing back into Derek's tongue. Pale skin flushed deep red with arousal. Little, panting noises escaped him with every swipe of Derek's tongue. His eyes were half closed, mouth hanging open as Derek's tongue worked at him. One of Derek's paws pushed at his knee, claws leaving red lines where they scraped, and Stiles obligingly spread them wider. Sunlight glinted off of something as it trickled down the inside of his leg. Saliva, maybe, but there was a lot of it for that.

She wondered if Stiles had prepped himself before coming, if he'd spent the whole of that silly match slick and loose, feeling the excess lube slick on his skin. If that was why Derek had lost so easily. Laura could easily see it, the boy twisting on those long fingers, or maybe with a toy, getting himself ready with too much lube just so Derek could lick it off and ruin all his work.

The thought made her breath catch, and her hand slide down between her legs. She pressed her palm to her cunt, biting her lip to muffle a noise neither of them could have heard anyway.

"Oh God, Derek," Stiles panted. "Just—oh fuck—just fuck me already."

Derek's teeth nipped the back of Stiles' leg, leaving a dark red spot that was sure to bruise. Then he growled and bumped him, pawing at the leg of Stiles' abandoned jeans. Laughing, Stiles reached and dragged them over, fumbling through the pocket to pull out a foil packet of lubricant. Those fingers looked exactly the way Laura had pictured them as Stiles slicked himself up again under Derek's growling command.

If Laura had been alive, she never would have done this. Hell, if she'd been a better sister, she never would have done it. It was a private moment. But they couldn't see her, would never know. Derek would never know. So she let her fingers curl across herself, rolled the heel of her hand down while Stiles made a quick job of it, then braced himself in the leaves again. Then Derek was rising up, forelegs bracing around the boy's ribs and—

Fuck. Laura slipped down the step more, teeth sharp against her lip and eyes flashing red. She slid another finger into herself as Derek mounted Stiles, his own alpha red eyes glowing even in sunlight.

The sex was fast, almost brutal. Stiles didn't even try to touch himself as Derek pounded into him, but he was rock hard and leaking precome. The memory of scent, of musky arousal and sex lingered in the back of Laura's throat like a ghost of another sort. Pleasure curled through her, spiking with every sound, every crunch of leaves and brush of fur on skin. Derek was whining, a deep noise that she wasn't sure Stiles could hear. Or maybe it didn't matter if Stiles could hear it, because the hungry moans coming from him were almost enough to eclipse everything else.

She couldn't see everything; it wasn't like porn, there was no camera angle, but what she saw was even better than a close up. It was the arch of Stiles' back as Derek rutted into him, the flash of white teeth at the back of Stiles' neck as Derek held him in place, the red flush across his chest as he moaned for more.

Unconsciously she matched Derek's pace, her other hand bracing herself against the porch steps as she rocked down into it. Hard and fast, urgent, without a chance for the poor human under him to catch up. It was only a few minutes before Stiles came, untouched and screaming, come splattering across the leaves under him. His whole body clenched and curled, and Laura's did the same, cunt tightening in sympathy. Heat rocketed through her. It lodged in her throat, stealing her voice when she tried to cry out.

A minute later, Derek groaned, hips snapping in earnest. He shuddered, shoving in and holding there. Laura knew what was happening, knew that Derek was tying Stiles, stretching him and locking inside. Her airless whimper matched Stiles'.

Using practiced, smooth movements, Stiles lowered himself even more, balancing them both lower to the ground so he wasn't taking all of Derek's weight, and yes, they'd clearly done it before. Derek nuzzled the back of Stiles' shoulder, huffing contentedly.

Laura sighed and relaxed back into the porch. Pulling her fingers out of herself, she gave them a curious lick to see if she tasted the same as she had before dying. (She did.)

Guilt was a distant, fuzzy thing, lurking just beyond the edges of reason. The boys would be locked together for at least ten minutes, maybe more. Plenty of time for her to enjoy the show. She could feel bad about peeping on her brother and his boy later.

Or maybe she wouldn't. Being dead already sucked enough. No reason to go ruining one of the few good things left to her in afterlife.