“That’s it,” Allison cried out in fury. “I am never going to accompany that, that monster. He is a child, who can only think about those winged freaks and leaves his common sense behind every time sees one! Today he wanted to go through the river over to this one bush near which one was fluttering by. Without giving any thought to his very human assistant that is not as crazy as he to go swimming in a sweltering river or be just that oblivious to anyone else except, again, I quote, those winger freaks!” Allison fumed at Scott who looked on with a grimace on his face.
He didn’t know what to say really. Stiles was the expedition head and he was here to interact with the human shaped but butterfly winged and colour tinged ... beings. Scott also knew that once Stiles got entranced in his work, he basically went off the human grid mentally and everything else just left his mind. Those were things that he pointed out to Allison repeatedly when she wanted to join the expedition, reminding how Stiles can get, and at the cost of two afternoons of no contact, how Allison can get in such maddening situations. But Allison had been too excited to be part of the group so he stopped trying to convince her otherwise.
So here they were, in the middle of the Amazon, with a bunch of tough guides. The expedition had many members, for Stiles Stilinski was just that good at research for each of his expedition had brought forth results and new specimens every time. He had been a lepidopterist for many years, but then he found out about the humanesque ones and he was hooked. Stiles had been responsible for the remaking of a few homoneminis hives in Berlin, in Brazil, Australia and one in Japan. They had been fascinating to watch and attempt to communicate with and Stiles could not get enough.
Hardcore omnivores, they seemed to portray a social structure that was different from the humans, hence their scientific names, which essentially meant, in their case, ‘unlike humans’. Their wings were colourful and good for camouflage, with colours and designs varying from region to region. They had very light follicles on their body and wore no clothes, no discernible difference found between the males and females, implying that they did not seem to work on those lines. No one had seen how they do procreate or anyone among them like a child.
They were territorial over their area, seeming to have a symbiotic relation with other wild animals smaller than them. It was unclear if they were the genetic mutation of the crossed DNA of butterflies and humans or were the result of a linear mutation that resulted in their mix of genomes. They seemed to communicate between each other via their wings that led linguists to believe that perhaps they have a very limited vocabulary and thus positions and inclinations of their wings sufficed to make the others understand their intent. Stiles, who had been studding them for years now, had doubts about that theory.
According to Stiles, their eyes showed too much intelligence and consciousness. Maybe they were merely being cautious in the presence of humans, who had never been good news for even their own species. They hunted animals and birds and seemed to have no problem digesting local fauna as well. The meticulous log that Stiles maintained for the local kaleidoscope showed them to have an ample knowledge about vegetation and how to take care of their cuts and bruises. All in all, they were like a high functioning human ancestor with less vocabulary skill and aptitude.
That is, until Stiles came upon one rummaging in his tent, looking through his clothes and giving one or the other a lick every now and then. Stiles had seen this one before, both simultaneously shy and bold, as in he never came as close as some and he stared more than the others, almost marking Stiles out as he simply tried to find everything about them. According to Stiles, they were amazing, and everything about them worth recording and preserving while at the same time making efforts to make sure that they don’t end up extinct like some.
Allison stopped being his guard when he went on more searches, exchanging with Boyd instead, so that Allison and Erica took over the date compilation and Boyd took over as Stiles’s life saver, casually pulling on his shirt when he is about to tumble over from a cliff without getting hysterical like Allison about how Stiles was trying to kill himself and give Allison a heart attack at such a tender age. Stiles had to concede that there were instances when things looked like that, but there was no way he wanted to be eaten up by his favourite creatures as was the norm for them when an elder died.
This one though, with wings longer than his height (and Stiles is totally going on conjecture over the ‘he’) was tawny coloured, with black eyes and wings the skein of silk and lilt of calm oceans. Blue and black, the wings rose from his back like two folded page and yet there was life there, in the minute shivering that set paper on Stiles’s table to aflutter. The wings were rather like those of a month, heavy to look at, seemingly thicker than a petal and a slight fuzz blurring it’s sharp edges. They also gave off the weird and intimidating and intoxicating smell of blood and honey.
Stiles stepped in and he turned around, crouching onto the ground, teeth snarling. His eyes were magnificent. Stiles pulled away the bunch of wild flower he had picked up on his way back to his tent, set a good 15 meters away from the main tents. He pulled those out and handed them out to Stiles. Flowers had a special place for them, for they used to collect pollen from flowers and then bath in it before going on long and low flights over the land. It was an amazing sight like a rainbow coming live and moving with intent over one’s head, rushing wind collected in a speck of colour.
He unwound from his crouch and plucked the bunch right out of Stiles’s hands. His hands were blood warm and peach fuzzy. He licked the flowers and Stiles decided that he would call him Derek from now on for he looked like a kid he had once seen in a picture book given by his mom who was named Derek and kind of had the same kind of eyes as this Derek. He had appendages by his head that looked like ears but he had never seen any behaviour that indicated that they could actually hear something. So, when Stiles said hey, he also made a point of waving at Derek.
Next thing Stiles knows, Derek is licking his hand and basically slurping over it while holding onto the base of his hand, his very pointed teeth and in a number in excess of a human scrapping his skin every now and then. Stiles is not sure if he should start screaming or try to get a more hands on experience of Derek. The discussion is cut short when Derek glomps onto him and starts beating his wings loudly inside the confined space as he licks and licks and Stiles lets out a ‘oh’ of comprehension as he attempts to push Derek away from him for some space.
Derek moves away from him, a frown on his face looking peculiar on him. Stiles says, “You, you go by taste and I taste good to you, how dogs go by smell huh buddy?” and smiles widely at him
Derek stares a bit and then smiles back as wide, looking spectacularly frightening with the sharpened and pointed teeth and eyes that do not seem to compute the reason behind the show of teeth. He starts licking Stiles again and Stiles takes this opportunity to glide his hands over Derek, finding how the muscle cord under his skin like thick iron cables, somehow thinner ropes of flesh packed together, the musculature different enough to register even through touch. Derek nips at his neck and shoulder a few times, opening and closing his wings in lazy arcs and give off a very content air.
Finding him very cute, Stiles gives him a kiss just below his eye and Derek steps back, looking both shocked and happy and the bounds right out of the tent. Stiles is still standing in shock when Derek returns like a whirlwind, a stack of berries and other ripe fruits that drip juices onto the floor and flowers that are just on the shade of moulting and leaves and grass that Derek proceeds to throw on the ground with a huge huff and a louder and bigger clap of his wings, pull Stiles onto him and lay on the ground that now is covered in dirty leaves and grass and starts licking the fruits clean before presenting them to Stiles.
Stiles looks on bemused at Derek and the fruit he proffers and hesitantly takes it. They are edible berries and in spite of being coated with Derek’s saliva, Stiles eats one and Derek just about starts to vibrate. He sucks some fruits inside and the pulls Stiles to him to line up each other’s mouth before spitting the fruit pieces right into Stiles’ open mouth. Stiles clamours to gag at that and throw them away but Derek is looking too intently at him and Stiles still remembers the pointed teeth he saw earlier, so he just chews everything up and swallows quickly. Derek looks delirious at that.
Then there is a sudden rustle right outside the tent and before Stiles can get up, more of them come into the room and Derek pulls Stiles tighter to him. They all stand around the pair on the ground and keep looking at Derek and Stiles with odd looks. One suddenly steps forward and goes to their knee, face neutral and says, shocking Stiles enough to make him gasp loudly, for he had never heard any of them talk, “My child has taken you for his, and his decision is final. If you agree, you are welcomed to visit anytime, but if you reject, never show your face near here ever again. You have to decide this instant.”
Their lips never moved, expression never changing, but there was no doubt as to who he had heard just now. Stiles, who had his hands around Derek too, nods frantically, the thought of never being allowed to come back too harsh for him and even though it had been just a few hours at most, he is already fond of Derek. Unable to nod quickly enough, he blurts, “I accept, I accept to be Derek’s!” Their faces register shock at that, his intent and decision coming through clearly even though they cannot hear his words of affirmation. They turns to Derek, kisses his brow and then with a mighty pull, rips Derek’s wings in half on each side.
Stiles screams out louder than Derek, who seems to shed his fuzz rapidly as the remaining parts of wings on his back disintegrate into silken fluff. Stiles attempts to shield Derek behind him, having never thought of them doing such a thing and then they are no longer there, except the one who was kneeling before the pair. They said, “You promised and your promise must be your word now. We leave ‘Derek’ in your care now, see that you do not hurt him. He should be able to ‘speak’ and ‘hear’ soon enough like you and will be able to pass off as one of you.”
“However,” they continued, “you must never let him have honey no matter how much he begs for that will be poison to him now. He will always be welcomed home, but he will never get his wings back. There will be no use asking him about us either as he will no longer remember to give an answer. Love him well and keep him better and maybe one day we will share our secret with you again.” Saying so, they got up and stepped out of the tent. Stiles immediately turned to Derek to access his injuries and instead stilled as he looked at the very human and naked man lying on the floor or his tent.
Stiles peered over his shoulders and saw his wings now tattooed over his back in their full glory and in precise colours, as if in tribute to what he had lost. Stiles cupped Derek’s face and put his forehead to his and whispered to him, marvelling when Derek turned astonished eyes at him and the sounds he could hear now coming out of Stiles’ mouth, “I will always be there for you.” Derek breathed back into his face, exuding a sweet smelling aroma and said in a broken and croaky voice, “Mine.” He hugged Stiles to himself and added, with his face pressed into Stiles’s throat, “As I am yours.”