"Yo Stinky, Wendy around?" Robbie asked as he looked around for the redhead.
Stiles rolled his eyes and grabbed his sling shot and aimed an eraser at the back of Robbie's head. Once he had his target in sight, he fired.
"Nice one!" Dipper exclaimed, fist pumping the air.
"TEN POINTS!" Mabel cheered as she high-fived Stiles.
Robbie turned around, angry with his fist raised. Stiles, having fought plenty of monsters and dealt with Jackson most of his life, didn't miss a beat. He picked up Stan's billiard 8-ball walking stick, twirled it between his fingers and jabbed Robbie's chest with it. (Thank you Kira for some Japanese Style fighting lessons!)
"Got something to say, Valentines?" Stiles asked with a smirk.
"It's Valentino." Robbie hissed.
"Like it matters. But you've spent over five minutes within this establishment without purchasing any of the fine merchandise. I'll kindly ask you leave. Exiting fee is $5." Stiles responded in a serious voice.
"I am not paying to leave here!" When Robbie stormed to the door, he found it jammed. He turned around to Stiles and demanded, "Open the door, dweeb!"
"I'm not joking around."
"Neither am I. Ten bucks."
"WHAT!? How do you jump from six to ten?" Robbie demanded.
"With math. Want me to make it $15?" Stiles asked with a sly smirk.
Robbie grabbed his hair and pulled, groaning. He pulled out his wallet and slammed a $10 bill on the counter. "Now let me out!"
Stiles grinned happily as he placed the bill in the register. "Soos. Door."
Soos opened the door from the other side and let Robbie through. Then he saluted Stiles before heading back out again.
"Kid...that was beautiful." Stan came out of the back and wiped a fake tear from his eye. "Who'da thunk a sheriff's kid could be so mischievously cunning?"
"Oh come on Grunkle Stan, Stiles is family. Course he's gonna be all Pine-tacular!" Mabel exclaimed.
"Tricksters value rules as much as rule-followers. Can't break a rule if there aren't any, and the better you know them, the easier it is to get away with stuff." Stiles explained.
"Kids, take notes. Wise man speaking." Stan instructed.
"Did I hear Robbie?" Wendy asked as she came from the back.
"You should probably get your ears checked, because you did, and his voice is annoying." Stiles replied.
"Nice!" Dipper fist bumped him.
"Heh!" Stan slapped his shoulder.
"Ha!" Mabel high fived him.
Wendy punched his shoulder playfully, "Jerk. Robbie's not that bad."
"There are plenty of words I can use to describe Robbie, but since I'm in the presence of a lady, children, and a senior citizen, it's best I don't." Stiles replied.
Wendy scoffed a bit, "Whatever dude. Anyway, I'm heading out to hang with the gang. You ought to come. It'll be great fun."
"I'd love to but I'm expecting a call soon. I'll catch hell from my own fiery red-headed friend from Beacon if I don't answer." Stiles shrugged nonchalantly.
"You should come anyway when you're done." Wendy pressed on.
"What do you say Grunkle Stan?" Stiles asked the old man.
"I got no problem with it. Dipper can cover closing for you." Stan said.
"What? What do I have to do it? What if I'm invited?" Dipper demanded.
"Sorry dude, but we were thinking of going to see the new movie. It's rated R." Wendy apologized.
"See, Dipper'll handle it. Now get goin' before I decide you gotta do some over time." Stan ordered.
Wendy saluted him before turning to Stiles, "Text me, bro."
Once she was going Mabel spoke, "I think Wendy likes Stiles."
"Totally." Stan agreed.
"Most definitely." Soos joined in as he entered the Shack.
"Oink oink." Waddles added.
"What? No she doesn't...I mean...uh..."
"Don't worry, Dip. I like Wendy, but just as friends. Sides, it's almost time for me to go home. Long distance relationships never work out." Stiles said as he nuggied Dipper's head lightly.
Dipper chuckled nervously and sheepishly.
"Truer words were never spoken..." Mabel said sadly as she took out a picture of Mermando.
Dipper sighed, "But what if Wendy does like you like you? Even if it's only a summer romance. After all the junk we've been through this summer, she deserves a good romantic experience."
Stiles rolled his eyes, "Dipper, there are too many factors in me not going out with Wendy. One, you're my bro. It's against the bro-code. Two, and maybe that should be one but don't judge me I have ADHD, we're family. I can't do that to family. Three, like I said, it's almost time we all head back to California and well...yeah, we're gone. Long distance doesn't work that well with romance. Four, she reminds me a bit too much of an ex-crush who...well, we're friends now too, but it still too hard not to make comparisons and that just can't be done in a relationship."
"He's right." Mabel nodded with mature confirmation of that last reasoning. Soos nodding along too.
"Geeze, what? You gonna give out the ten commandants for this crud?" Stan asked as he rolled his eyes.
"I like making lists, Is that a problem?" Stiles retorted.
"Just sayin'!" Stan retorted back.
"Anyway, five...I'm kinda focusing on the mind and the soul. I'll leave the heart for a bit down the road." Stiles said as he gave Dipper a gentle smile.
Dipper returned it. He and Stiles were a lot a like. Dipper was sure he'll be like Stiles when he gets older, and thinks it's awesome. The fact that Wendy seems to really like Stiles, makes him happy. Sure, it also made him jealous...but Stiles respected his feelings, which made it hard to be jealous. But it made liking him even easier.
"OHMYGOSH, STILES!" Mabel cried as she and Dipper ran to their cousin.
"Stiles! Are you alright?"
"H-how long...have I...b-been gone?" Stiles asked between pants. He was bruised and cut up, and his breathing was irregular.
The twins shared a concerned look.
"Like...five minutes? Maybe?" Mabel shrugged.
"Where did you go?" Dipper asked.
"Globnar..." Stiles replied weakly.
"WHAT?!" The twins exclaimed in unison.
Stiles sighed, "Look...I dunno how or why but..."
"No, no, we know what it is. But...why- who- challenged you?" Dipper asked.
Stiles looked at both of them oddly before shaking his head a bit. "His name's Matt...or was. I'm not even sure. Apparently he time traveled from the past to my present and I thought he died, but apparently he didn't. He wanted revenge or something and challenged me to Globnar."
Dipper and Mabel looked at each other before looking back at their cousin, then back at each other. They had a silent conversation before Mabel asked gently, "So...what did you wish for?"
Before Stiles could even open his mouth to answer, his phone rang. It was Lydia. He picked up, and before he could say something, he heard the question that he was asking himself.
"What did you do?"
"I dunno how I feel about sending you off lookin' like that. Your old man's never gonna let you come back. You sure you don't wanna stay a bit longer?" Stan asked as they packed up El Diablo with Stiles's things.
The plan had been that he'd go back with the Twins but seeing as he's cause...something, he was heading home early.
"Given Weirdmageddon, I think we're all a little worse for ware." Stiles replied. At the look of his Great Uncle, he added, "I'd love to stay. You know I love it here as much as the twins, but...I've made trouble I gotta deal with."
"You mean you fixed things. I get it kid. I knew since you arrived that you carried more burden on your shoulders than any teenager should. Trust me...I know what that's like. All I'm sayin' is...you ever need a safe haven to run away to, the Shack's open."
Stiles smiled, but knowing how much Stan 'hated' sentimentality, he added, with a faux skeptical expression, "What's the catch?"
"Weekend boating trip and all the jokes in the joke book." Stan replied, knowing what Stiles was doing.
Stiles pretended to think about it, "That's a steep price...but I'll think about it."
"Do." Stan agreed. And then asked, "Whatta ya doin' for Spring-break?"
"Something illegal probably." Stiles automatically replied.
Stan laughed and slapped Stiles's shoulder, "Well, always remember, you've got family up here. And we're leaves from the same tree...or whatever people say."
"I figured I'd find you here."
Stiles turned away from his mother's grave stone to look at Lydia and offered her a slight smile. He turned back to his mother's stone as Lydia joined him.
"I thought you'd be with Allison or Aiden." Stiles commented after a pause.
"Allison's with her dad and Aiden's with Ethan." Lydia replied. There was a bit of silence before she continued. "Scott's with Kira as they talk things out. Parrish is with your dad trying to help the Hales regain a sense of what's been going on. It's weird...it seems like only those of the pack remember what really happened. Anyone else...as far as they know, the Hales escaped an almost tragedy."
"I was selfish." Stiles replied.
Lydia turned to look at him with a confused expression. "Stiles...I'm not sure how you did it, but you did an impossible feat. You brought back a family and others who, let's face it...didn't mean as much to you as they did others. You could have brought back your mother...why didn't you?"
Stiles took his time to answer, and Lydia could almost see the cogs turning in his head. Given the sensitive matter of the situation, she waited patiently for him to come to a conclusion.
"She died..." Stiles finally decided. It was a statement. Clipped, short, to the point. "It was so damn hard losing her. Up until the crap we went through after Scott got bitten, it was the worst thing that ever happened to me...sometimes, it still is. But...the world kept turning. Nothing too drastic changed with her leaving us. Dad still had to go to work, I still had to go to school. We suffered, but the world still kept going...
"The Hales though...when they died, everything went to shit. Sure it wasn't immediate, but it happened. They protected Beacon Hills for generations...when they died, they took all their knowledge with them. All those bitten afterward had no clue, no idea...no real help. Any information we needed had to be bribed, threatened, or bought out after serious negotiation. Sometimes we even had to steal it or hope against hope that we'd get lucky." Stiles paused as he took a deep breath, and Lydia could see how his eyes were glossed over with unshed tears. "It just seemed logical- to bring them back- instead of her."
"I don't see how that's selfish. In fact...it seemed like the opposite. You're putting the safety of the town before your own desires. And I mean...you also brought back Allison, Aiden, Erica, and Boyd."
"Heather too...and Harris." Stiles added. Then he licked his lips before continuing. "I could have wished that Kate had never set them on fire. That she'd get caught or figured out or something..."
"Have it be so Scott never got bitten at all..." Lydia mumbled. Already piecing together what Stiles was getting to.
Stiles nodded. "I could have made it so we'd never know unnecessary death and misery...but I was selfish. I...I didn't want to go back to a life where I wasn't friends with you and Malia and Kira and Liam. I didn't want to go back to a life where me and Scott are at the bottom of the food chain. Gods know if the Hales ever would have figured out Malia was stuck as an animal or what they'd do with that information...but it was mostly that...I...I didn't want to be alone." Stiles turned to look at her, tears falling free, "I'm sorry Lydia."
"For what?" She asked, exasperated.
"You could have had the perfect life...and-"
"And nothing!" She cried, stopping him. "I used to be afraid of showing people how smart I was. I was so consumed by society's rules that said I couldn't be both beautiful and intelligent that I chose to give into my vanity. But you made me realize I could be both because I was! And hello! Scott may have been bitten, but some of us were born something else! Let's face it, my grandmother was still a Banshee locked up in Eichen. I would still a Banshee even if Scott remained human. You were always so helpful to me, even when I didn't deserve it. When, and I'm sure it's when not if, my Banshee powers presented themselves regardless of werewolves or not, you would have been drawn into the supernatural world anyway because of me! So I'm glad you were selfish and kept us as a pack. Kept us as a family with all our memories. Because it's scary...and being alone sucks! It's pure insanity, as you know, so remaining as we are..if it's selfish, you're not the only one who is...okay?" Lydia asked as she took his hands in hers. They were both crying, emotional about the mess that's become their lives. Stiles nodded and Lydia pulled him into a tight embrace that he eagerly returned.
Stiles groaned as he flopped onto his bed. It'd been a long day.
He wanted to make sure himself that all the Hales were really back, and they were. They were also housing Erica and Boyd. Lydia tells him that Chris has paid for Isaac's ticket so he'll be on the next available flight. Stiles never thought he'd see Chris Argent so happy, but when he passed by, Stiles could have told him his truck was being towed after having it vandalized by gang members and that repairs would cost a couple thousand dollars, and he wouldn't even bat an eye. Lydia forwarded him a pic Danny sent her of Aiden and Ethan. It was weird seeing the brothers happy without any malicious intent to be happy about, but it was there.
He checked in on Heather and Harris too. Lydia was right, no one outside of their pack(and maybe those who were aware of what was really happening in Beacon) realized these people died. In Heather and Harris's cases, they've 'been in a coma'. Heather's was caused by overdosing at a party and Harris's by a car accident. At least that's what the files Melissa grabbed for him said. She wanted answers but he merely shrugged and said he was trying to make sense of it himself.
At the moment, only Lydia knew he was the one behind it. And even she didn't have specifics, and he wasn't feeling like sharing.
From Lydia: Derek's arriving in the morning.
From Stiles: And Cora?
From Lydia: Later into the night.
He was about to text something else when his phone began to ring with an unknown number. As hesitant as he was about answering it, he didn't want to not answer. There were so many new players on the board, brought back because of him, that it'd be reckless not to answer.
"Ah, Stiles. I'm not interrupting you, am I?"
"Great Uncle Ford?"
"Yes, it's me. Are you busy?"
Stiles sat up in bed, rubbing the sleep out of his eye, "No, no. What's up?"
"Listen...I know you and Dipper decided you wanted to live your own lives rather than continue on my work." Ford began and a small knot of guilt grew a smidge bigger in Stiles.
"Great Uncle Ford, I-"
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to upset you. I understand that what's a passion for me, may not be for you. And Dipper was always a bit more excited about it than you."
"It's not that I don't find it fascinating. It's just that...I know how dangerous it can be. Dipper...he just sees an Indiana Jones movie. He didn't fully grasp how dangerous the supernatural is until the end with Bill and the Weirdmageddon."
Ford sighed deeply, "I know. Which is why I'm sorry to bother you with this."
"With what?" Stiles asked, immediately on alert.
"Dipper is too young. You are too, but I need help. There's not many I trust-"
"You can trust Grunkle Stan." Stiles stated.
"I know. He's coming too. But we still need your help."
"What? What's going on?" Stiles demanded a bit more urgently.
"I'd rather not say over the phone. Can you come at once?" Ford asked.
"...I'll be there by noon."
"What are you doing here?" Lydia asked as she opened the door a bit more to let Derek in.
He stepped in, hands in his jacket, looking uncertain and confused. Though most expect him to be over joyed and relieved, Lydia wasn't most people. It was normal for him to be confused. It was clear to all of them that Derek never really got to process what had happened to him and his family. Her conversation with Stiles popped into her mind. When the Sheriff and Stiles lost Mrs. Stilinski, it was hard but in time, they learned to move on. To accept she was gone and remember her fondly. Derek was burdened with too much guilt and responsibility and dread and grief. All too much for one person to bear, human or otherwise.
"Scott doesn't know where Stiles is. And he's not home..." Derek replied.
Stiles had texted her some time ago. His explanation wasn't satisfying, nor did it explain anything, but it was clear. He was away. And he was unsure of when he'd return.
"I know it was him." When Lydia just stared blankly at him, he clarified. "He was the one who brought them back. Do you...do you know how?"
Lydia sighed and shook her head, "No. He hasn't said."
"So it was him?" Though it was phrased like a question it was said as a statement.
"Let's be honest...in the pack, the only ones with enough knowledge to pull this off is either me or him. And more so him." She smiled but scoffed a bit, "He' the only one mad enough to try the impossible."
"Where is he? Is he hurt? Tired? Was it like a spell that's drained him?" Derek kept ranting on possibilities he's obviously been thinking. And she can't blame him. As a supernatural creature who knew that the impossible was actually possible, how many times has Derek looked into this? How many spells and rituals did he look up? How may shaman, witches, deal makers, and other sources did he visit?
"I don't know what he did." She admitted. "He was a bit banged up but he never mentioned how it came to be. And well...he's not here."
"Okay, where is he? Scott hasn't seen him, and he's not at the hospital or the station-"
"No, Derek." Lydia shook her head. He stopped and looked at her imploringly. "He's not in Beacon."
"What? Why? Where is he?" He demanded.
"I don't know. Some sort of family emergency."
"Do you know what happened? When he'll be back?" Derek prompted.
"That's just it...Stiles doesn't know either."