Work Header

Another Path: Sacrifices and Ghosts

Chapter Text

Stiles runs through the familiar woods of the preserve dodging branches that seemed to leap out of the blackness of the night and leapt over fallen logs that appeared determined to send her crashing to the woodsy floor. Just a bit further-almost there. The thought ricochets around Stiles' brain, pounding louder and louder in time with her frantic heartbeat.

Crashing sounds from behind Stiles-right on her tail. If she were to look behind her, she would have undoubtedly seen the red-black eyes of a dark witch. The same witch that slaughtered her pack one by one—saving Stiles for last. With an extra burst of adrenaline and desperation, Stiles is able to find a reserve of speed and continues to fly through the woods of the preserve making her way towards her destination—the Nemeton. She cannot fail. She must get to the Nemeton or else everything—all the deaths, the sacrifices, the torture she had endured would be for nothing.

Breaking through the clearing, Stiles could see the large stump and immediately began to head towards it without slowing or stopping. Before Stiles can reach it however, a force from behind throws her body ass-over-teakettle and she lands on the ground and rolls until her injured body comes to an abrupt stop against the base of the Nemeton and lies there in a crumpled heap.

Attempting to gather her breath and assess the numerous amount of damage to her body, Stiles tries to move as little as possible but she does raise her eyes when she hear footsteps approaching. The witch is sauntering haughtily towards Stiles with the gait of the already victorious and overly pompous jock Stiles had originally compared her to when they had first met. The witch is tall—even more so now that Stiles on the ground, her willowy shape seeming to blend with the night air around her. She is wearing a black floor length dress that hugs her curves and shows an overly generous amount of décolletage which simultaneously complements her dark skin tone. Her violent red hair and her sharp red-black eyes are the only features that stick out from her otherwise shadow-like appearance—her dark magic swirling around her and clinging to her and obscuring her features like mist.

“You thought you could outrun me, child? Your pack of dogs tried and they were faster than you. What thought, what delusion, could have captured you so fully that you believed yourself more capable than them?” The witches voice was husky yet dripped with condescension.

The witch continues to step through the foliage and undergrowth of the preserve but does not head towards Stiles but instead begins to prowl in front of her, glancing at her as if she is attempting to solve an interesting puzzle.

Stiles says nothing but glares at her, watching her in return. With her breath back but still in pain, which Stiles pushes through, she sits up in the spot she had landed in. The witch does not appear angry that Stiles had provided her with no answer to her question—almost as though she did not expect one. Stiles could feel the power of the Nemeton at her back and in the roots beneath her hands. Remaining silent, Stiles lift herself up slowly, just enough to sit upon the large stump and rest there breathing heavily.

The witch takes notice of her change of position and comes closer but does not cease her searching stare.

“You killed my coven—cut them down as if they were nothing. Ruthlessness. I can admire that. Value, even.” The witch searches Stiles' face but continues when she remains silent, “You are a killer—unlike that rag-tag ‘pack’ you were with. I wonder if you would join me--or if you see yourself still as my enemy.”

“I only repaid in kind what you delivered upon me.” Stiles bit out as she continue to glare at her. “I will not join you—I would rather kill you slowly and painfully for all that you have done.”

“Tsk, tsk, Stiles. Such harsh words to pass between creatures of magic kind. What would your father, the sheriff, say?”

I wouldn’t know because you murdered him. The words are ready but Stiles bites her tongue. Instead she continue to watch the witch as she watches Stiles. She appears to be searching Stiles' face, her eyes sharp as they sear into hers—as if they could see through Stiles.

So distracted with her face, Stiles did not see her move until she was right in front of her and Stiles felt cold and heat mingle with pain. Looking down, in shock, Stiles saw that she had an athame buried in her chest. Stiles can feel the knife grate against her insides with every rasping breath she takes.

Tearing her eyes from the blade embedded in her chest and the blood spilling out of the wound, Stiles looks up into the witch's electric eyes. They appear oddly soft as they take in the plains of Stiles' face. Stiles can hear the wet gasps that escape from her mouth. The witch lifts one hand and begins to caress Stiles' face and run it through her hair.

“Shh Stiles. It’s all over now.” She soothes as she beings to lay Stiles back onto the wooden surface of the Nemeton’s trunk. So occupied with her own ministrations she misses the way Stiles' left hand had found its way into the pocket of her jacket. Pulling her hand back out, Stiles clenches her fist tightly around the powder there. The last card Stiles have to play. The play that was only to be used in the direst of circumstances.

Stiles can feel the cool wood at her back and can feel her lifeblood draining out onto the stump. The same stump that had taunted her, broken her into pieces, and repaired her, would now be her final resting place. Stiles begins to wonder peripherally what the people who will find her will say when they come upon her body in such a place? Perhaps they would think that the rumors surrounding her, crazy Stiles Stilinski, falling into a bad crowd despite being the sheriff’s daughter were always true?

Pulling herself away from her sluggish thoughts and the growing dimness of her vision and the cold seeping into her body as her blood sluggishly trickles out, Stiles notices that the witch is talking. What is with the bad guys monologing? Stiles can’t help but think as she rambles on.

“…a pity, it’s really quite a waste. Your talents would have been useful. C’est la vie, and all that. Goodbye Stiles.” She makes as if to stand but Stiles grabs onto her with her empty right hand and gasps, “Wait!” She stills and looks down at Stiles but eventually pulls upright when nothing but wet gasps escape her lips. Stiles didn’t need the witch to be touching her for this plan to work—she just needed her to stay close for just long enough.

With the last of her energy, Stiles throws her left hand up and release the magic that had built up in her chest. The red sand flew into a perfect circle above Stiles' body, brightened and turned into a ring of fire that swept outwards. The sands would reach every corner of Beacon Hills and burn out anything supernatural with dark intentions. The witch beside Stiles started to scream shrilly and burn. Stiles watched as the flames engulfed her body and she attempted to run but was instead stuck to where she stood both due to the spell and the pain of the flames. Stiles could feel the spell dissipating at the same time as it reached the borders of Beacon Hills. She could feel herself slipping away but held on tenaciously, stubbornly— Stiles was nothing if not stubborn. She needed to see the witch burn.

The screaming cut off abruptly and the witch fell, as though someone had cut her strings, into a pile of smoldering ashes and bones. Stiles sluggishly moved her eyes from what was left of the witch who stole everything from her to look at the stars and the moon. They were both bright tonight despite the darkness. The moon was full and while that once filled Stiles with a sense of giddiness, now she only felt numb and tired. Her breaths were slower like her heartbeat. Stiles' time was ending. With one last long look at the moon, Stiles let out a gasp and finally lay silent. Her final words disappearing in the breeze and silence of the preserve Stiles used to love so much, “Zrobione.”


“Derek, slow down!” Talia shouts as she walks leisurely behind her fifteen-year-old son as he races through the woods of the preserve. She would be stricter in her reprimand if not for the fact that Derek looked so happy. Derek had begun to mope when he found out that the girl he had had a crush on, Paige, was moving away. She had hoped that the feelings that had manifested after Paige had left would resolve themselves but as the days drug on, she could not help but worry. Today however, the worry was receding as she took in the happy, excited countenance of her son—it is a happy revelation.

Talia’s cheerful mood subsides suddenly as she first feels a small shuddering sensation—nothing physical but as though something large had been magically altered and second as she catches the scent of rich copper. Shaking off the sense of foreboding she feels from the supernatural ‘after effects’ of magic, she swiftly takes off towards where the scent of blood originates. She can hear Derek as he quickly switches directions to follow behind her. She considers commanding Derek to return home to be safe but changes her mind when that could possibly put him and her pack in danger. Instead she allows him to catch up and continue following the scent of blood.

The trail leads the two Hales into a clearing—one Talia recognizes well as she sees the massive stump of the once towering Nemeton tree. Seeing the tree as it is does not surprise her but what does is what is laying on the surface of it. The still body of a young woman lays on it. She is unmoving and the scent of copper is overwhelming. Stepping closer, Talia takes stock of the surrounding area and deems the there is no threat and that whoever did the horrible act before her is gone. With that in mind, Talia walks to the tree to look at the young woman. She is laying on her back, her brown hair is long and tangled with leaves, sticks and dried blood which makes it appear almost black in some places, she is rather pale with moles dotting the skin of her face and neck. She is wearing sturdy clothing—jeans and a once white v-neck shirt along with a leather jacket that appears to be a size or two bigger than her frame. She is also covered in scrapes, bruises, and dried blood which appears to have its origins in the gaping hole on her shirt. Though there is evidence of where she was injured, the wound is closed. Not gone completely but as though the wound is months old. What catches her attention more than the lack of wound is the slow heartbeat she can hear. It’s not possible. She should be dead.

“Derek! Call Deaton now and tell him to meet us at the house! Tell him it is an emergency and when he need him in his capacity as a human healer!” Talia barks as she moves even closer to the prostrate girl. She does not look up but she hears Derek pull out his phone and make his call. She zones out of the conversation too preoccupied with the odd mystery in front of her. She snaps back into reality when Derek touches her shoulder.

“He’s on his way.”

“Good. We must move her to the house. Help me.”

Both mother and son each grab an arm and lift her up. The girl remains silent and dangles between them as the two Hales begin to tow her home.