Stiles didn’t need anyone to tell him what he was doing here. He knew perfectly well that what he had spent the last few months doing was illegal, but he didn’t care. His father had always taught him to fight for what he thought was right, and while he didn’t think this was quite what the small town sheriff had meant, he had still taken the words to heart.
And Stiles happened to think that when a major international weapons manufacturer had been hunting wolves illegally for years, they deserved to be exposed. Stiles didn’t know how they had gotten away with it for so long, but he guessed that large sums of money in the right places were involved.
When Stiles had first heard the rumors, he was determined to figure out how much truth there was to them. He had spent months breaking down the company’s defenses, and finally he had what he needed; evidence. Within 24 hours of leaking the documents, Argent stock had dropped to a record low level, and were left facing the allegations of animal cruelty and illegal hunting.
And in the meantime, Stiles could sit back and watch everything unfold. At least for a few days, until the FBI showed up at his door to arrest him. Which was how he found himself here, stuck in a small, dimly lit room in some nondescript government building, his hands handcuffed to the table in front of him while he waited for someone to come in and question him.
Just as he began thinking he would be stuck in the room all night, the door opened. Stiles squinted against the light shining in through the open door, trying to make out who had just entered. He had to blink frantically for a few seconds while his eyes adjusted to the new light. Once he could see again, he looked up at the man in front of him.
He was a fairly tall man with dark skin and a bald head, the beginnings of a beard on his chin, looking at Stiles with a curious look in his eyes. He wore a charcoal grey suit, with black dress shoes and a white shirt. “Hello, Mr. Stilinski,” the man said calmly. Stiles didn’t bother to object; they obviously knew who he was.
“I’m Supervisory Special Agent Alan Deaton,” the man, Alan Deaton, continued. “I’m with the FBI, and I assume you know why you’re here?”
Stiles barely suppressed the urge to roll his eyes at the man’s formal tone. He figured he should try not to make things worse than they already were. He knew he was most likely going to jail, and opening his mouth to spit out some rude comment surely wouldn’t do him any favors. “I know why I’m here,” Stiles confirmed, nodding. “But I don’t know why the FBI would be interested in little old me. I’m not sure if I should feel flattered or offended.”
The man’s expression never wavered while Stiles spoke, and when he was finished he merely raised an eyebrow delicately. “I’m sure you already know this Mr. Stilinski, but what you did would normally result in jail time.”
“Normally?” Stiles' face took on a look of confusion. “I’m not going to jail?”
“That all depends on the next few minutes. I’m here to offer you an alternative to jail, if you want it.” Deaton looked at Stiles intently, and Stiles tried to keep his face void of reaction while his brain processed the information it had been given. “If you accept, you would come work for me, as our technical analyst.”
Stiles frowned down at the cold, metal table in front of him before looking back up. “And what is it that you do exactly?” he asked. He figured that he should at least figure out exactly what the offer was, before getting his hopes up. He didn’t regret what he had done, but he knew that his dad would kill him if he went to prison.
“I run the Behavioral Analysis Unit at Quantico. We hunt psychopaths.”
Stiles frowned again. He didn’t see where he could possibly fit in with a group of FBI agents who chased after murderers. “And what would you need me for?”
For the first time since entering the room, Deaton smiled. It was a small, barely there smile, but Stiles saw it. He wished he knew what it meant.
“We’ve been watching you for a while now, and you’re talented. Too talented to spend time in jail, when you could be out here, helping us catch criminals. We’re always on the lookout for fresh talent, and we could really use someone with your particular set of skills.”
Stiles went to run his hand through his already disheveled hair when he remembered the handcuffs. “Fine,” he sighed heavily, knowing he really had no other option here. As soon as he spoke, the door opened again, and a second man entered.
The new man looked strong, to put it lightly. His white shirt stretched tight over his broad chest and arms. He was, like Deaton, also wearing a suit, but his was completely black instead of grey. He had soft green eyes, black hair and powerful eyebrows that turned his expression down into a scowl. His jaw was covered in stubble that Stiles had a sudden urge to rub up against. The man, or agent, was gorgeous.
The man walked over to the table, holding Stiles’ backpack. “Hey, give me that,” Stiles insisted, rattling his handcuffs so they clanked against the metal table. The new agent ignored him, speaking directly to Deaton instead.
“We removed his laptop and his smartphone. Everything else is harmless.” The agent put Stiles’ backpack on the table, and then reached down to unlock the handcuffs holding Stiles’ hands to the table. As soon as his hands were free, he flexed his fingers and tried to rub the stiffness from his wrists.
A few moments later, when the feeling was more or less back in his wrists, he grabbed his backpack and smirked up at the gorgeous agent still standing next to him. “Oh, I don’t know, agent, I’m pretty sure I have a banana in here somewhere, and I can do a lot with my mouth that I wouldn’t exactly qualify as ‘harmless’.” He winked up at the agent, whose face remained seemingly unmoving, but Stiles was sure he could see a blush rising on his cheeks. Mission accomplished.
The agent, whom Stiles still didn’t know the name of, merely rolled his eyes and handed Stiles a large, sealed envelope. “All the info you need is in there,” he said, before turning to leave. Stiles stood up, stretching his legs and grabbing his backpack, assuming he was free to leave since he wasn’t going to jail.
“Hey,” Stiles said, causing the agent to stop in his track and to turn back towards Stiles and Deaton. “What’s your name?”
The agent stared at Stiles for a few seconds, as if trying to see if Stiles was actually interested in hearing the answer or not. After apparently determining that he was, the agent answered. “I’m SSA Derek Hale.”
Derek Hale, huh? Stiles would make sure to remember that. “Nice to meet you, Derek Hale, are you also with the Behavioral Analysis Unit?” he asked, a hopeful expression on his face.
Derek nodded, apparently not going to give Stiles any other answer than that. Well, that was fine, but Stiles was sure he could get him to warm up to him. Stiles may seem like a spastic annoying child, but he had grown a lot since high school. He could even be charming if he wanted to.
“Cool,” he said. “I’m Stiles Stilinski. Looking forward to working with you.”
That made Hale frown. “Stiles? That’s not your name,” he said.
Stiles laughed. “Yeah, and I’m sure you have my real name on file somewhere, right? Even I can barely pronounce it. If that was your name, you’d get a nickname too, trust me.”
Derek didn’t say anything else, just nodded again and turned to leave. This time, agent Deaton followed him out the door, only turning in the doorway to let Stiles know that he was free to go, and that they would be in contact with him later to make further arrangements about the job.
Stiles was left in the interrogation room feeling slightly confused, not totally sure what had happened or why, but he certainly wasn’t going to complain about not going to jail. He made sure he had everything in his backpack – except for his laptop and cellphone, which he seriously hoped they were planning on returning – and put it on, exiting the small room and walking through the station outside.
Once he got home to his tiny shoebox of an apartment, he sat down on the couch and opened the envelope. It was a small stack of papers. The first one was some sort of vague job description, explaining that they wanted someone with a background in computers who could help retrieve information for cases quickly and efficiently.
Another was a list of his fellow team members and their respective titles. SSA Alan Deaton, whom he had already met, was the unit chief of the team. Then came SSA Scott McCall, SSA Lydia Martin, SSA Erica Reyes, Kira Yukimura, communications liaison, and of course, SSA Derek Hale, whom Stiles had also met.
According to the letter included in the envelope, he wouldn’t be starting for another few months yet. He apparently had to take several FBI tests to make sure he was fit for the job. Even so, Stiles felt sure he wouldn’t be forgetting Derek Hale for quite some time. Especially not when he had working with him to look forward to.