They learned early on to hide the more fragile things in their homes, and to never, ever let Stiles borrow a pen. Or a pencil, or a marker, crayon, chalk, Lydia’s water colors that one time that no one spoke of on pain of death. Basically anything you actually wanted to use to write or draw with in the future. Because once Stiles got his hands on it, it would be ‘tainted’ by his magic, and no one else could ever use it again. It simply wouldn’t work like a regular writing utensil anymore, and sometimes did things a pen should really not do. Like exploding, or moving on its own, or other creepy not-pen things. It became something more than a pen, something dangerous.
Just like Stiles.
The first time Stiles felt like something was off inside his head, it was a gigantic asshole of a fox demon taking over, and it was bad. So, the next time things started to get a little weird, he immediately assumed that people were going to die because of him, and did the only logical thing he could think of. He ran away.
In retrospect, that was super stupid. One, because there’s nowhere to run to that doesn’t have people who could possibly be harmed, and two, because all his friends are fucking werewolves. They found him in two days, holed up in a clown motel in Nevada—Aka: Hell—with a knife, a bag of Cheetos, and a circle of mountain ash around him. Again, looking back on it all, he felt pretty stupid. At least Deaton sounded a little bit impressed when he called to ask if they found him, which was saying something, since no one else was very impressed with him. Except maybe Derek. Who seemed to think that running away to protect the pack from yourself was noble, in some warped way that Scott did not agree with, and yay, Stiles created another rift between the two of them, and it was only Tuesday.
With one pointless journey to clown-country, and everyone in the pack found out that he was feeling a little messed up again. Not the same kind of messed up as the Nogitsune, but close. He was having trouble focusing on words again—which was what really set him off, because, duh—but there was also some spontaneous combustion around his room, floating objects, whispers—again, duh—and a general itchy feeling under his skin. He felt wired. All the time. Which meant he hadn’t slept in so long he couldn’t remember the last time he even tried to sleep, and school was pretty much pointless, because that thing called ‘focus’? Yeah, he’d had trouble with that before this all started, so that was completely out the window. And, did he mention the spontaneous combustion? Because the whole ‘the dog ate my homework’ excuse wasn’t going to work any better than ‘my printer caught on fire and took most of the desk with it’. Luckily, he had managed to save his laptop, but he still hasn’t been able to write an essay up to his usual par since this new weirdness started.
So, Deaton started testing him. Or, well, running tests on him. Weird tests, sometimes with needles, sometimes with chanting. There were some needles and chanting once, that ended with the entire metal exam table melting—and thank god for werewolf speed, because those fumes were toxic, and Stiles didn’t want to die from some stupid-needle-chant test. It was one of those rare times where he actually thanked Derek, and Derek didn’t make his I Need to Take a Dump face in response. All in all, a good day for everyone but Deaton and his melted exam table. But that’s what you get for chanting and stabbing people with needles.
He stopped going to vet after that. It was nothing personal—no, wait, that was a lie. Deaton was weird, and spent more time making up cryptic sentences with as little information as possible then actually helping. It was personal, it was so personal.
So, with the Druid out, Stiles decided to try the next best thing. Derek’s brain. Or, more specifically: nagging Derek and Peter until they helped him figure it out, or Stiles successfully set fire to something they own.
“Dude, just do it.”
“Don’t call me dude.”
“And here I thought you’d have an issue with quoting Nike.”
“I don’t even know what that means, and the answer is still ‘no’,” Derek said with finality.
Stiles gave him the stink-eye over the back of the couch, and got Derek’s I Do What I Want ® look in response. Boring. Unhelpful.
“You’d help Scott if this was a werewolf problem,” he argued.
Derek reached out and flicked his forehead—which, okay, rude. “Exactly. If this was a ‘werewolf problem’, I would help. Since it’s not, go talk to Deaton.”
“Stop calling me—“
“—I melted his table. You were there for that, we nearly died.”
“No one was in danger of dying.”
Peter appeared at the top of the stairs, calling out cheerfully, “Who’s in danger of dying?”
“No one,” Derek repeated.
“Derek, you should know by now that the word ‘death’ or ‘dying’ is, like, Peter’s Bat-Signal.”
“Are you sure Stiles isn’t in danger of dying?” Peter asked, his eyes doing the flashy thing. It was so unnecessary, really, who was even afraid of that anymore? “Because i’m willing to amend that right now.”
Stiles scoffed, “Yeah, yeah, keep talking Petey. No one’s afraid of your undead-ass anymore.”
“Oh?” Peter mused, stalking closer to the couch without a second look at Derek—who was growling. “But they should be all the more afraid of my undead-ass, seeing as it is, in fact, undead.”
“Yeah, no, it’s not working for me.”
Peter’s flashy eyes happened again, but this time, it wasn’t about posturing, he was actually getting pissed. Derek’s growling grew deeper, rather than louder, but Stiles couldn’t take his eyes off Peter. He had a bad feeling that the moment he looked away, the sneaky bastard would pounce. Still, he wasn’t afraid—not really—just wary, and a little creeped out.
Peter stopped right in front of him, his face distorted in a wolfish-sneer. “Tell me, boy, why are you here again?”
“To get help from Derek,” Stiles answered, tone flippant, heavy emphasis on the unspoken ‘Not you’.
And he should know by now—he should really, really know—not to poke an angry wolf. Because Peter was always one jab away from flipping out and breaking something, or someone. And Stiles never poked just once, did he?
So, when Peter launched himself over the back of the couch at him, clawed hands reaching for Stiles’ throat, it made sense that Derek roared, and Stiles flailed backwards, and there was a lot of anger and some squeaking on his part. The thing that didn’t make sense was when Peter went from a raging, wolfed-out grown man, to a puff of… something.
“Stiles!?” and that was Derek, suddenly there and yanking him away from the couch.
“I’m okay—i’m fine, it’s okay… he didn’t get me,” he tried to assure him, patting at Derek’s arm in a lame attempt at being soothing. Glancing back at the couch, Stiles tried to decide what emotion to show first.
Because in place of that snarling, undead-wolf-man, was a pup. A wolf pup. A brownish, confused, tiny, puffy—still angry—wolf puppy.
Dawww won out over all his other reactions.
“You… shrunk him.”
“Nice observational skills, Detective Obvious.”
Derek also pointed out that, “He’s fully transformed into a wolf.”
“No, really, you’re on a roll,” Stiles replied, not taking his eyes off the puppy, that was glaring at them from the couch. “Shall I gather all the players into one room so you can give away the full plot?”
“Stiles, shut up.”
“You’re just mad because he’s cuter than you, now.”
Derek finally tore his eyes away from his evil-puppy uncle, and gave Stiles a complicated look. “Now?”
“Aaaanywaaaay,” Stiles crowed, “that happened. That was why I was here, you know, to keep that from happening. But, now it’s happened, and no one—cough—you—cough—helped me stop it before I turned your creepy uncle into an adorable floof.”
“Don’t say ‘cough’.”
It was Stiles’ turn to shoot him a complicated look. Because, seriously, this man-child. “You’re really good at avoiding things, aren’t you?”
Derek pointed at him. “Pot,” Then at himself, “Kettle. Black.”
Peter-puppy yipped, and again, daawwww. Derek was unaffected by the cute, though. Probably because he remembered that Peter was a murderous monster no matter what size or fuzziness. So, ignoring the wolf on his couch, Derek strode across the loft and opened the door.
“Time for you to go,” He said, gesturing out the door like Stiles didn’t get it already, thank you.
“You’re being purposefully obtuse and unhelpful,” Stiles pointed out. Derek gestured harder. “You’re seriously going to let this go? It didn’t have to be a puppy, you know. I could have made him explode—not that that’s specifically a bad thing.”
Another yip sounded from behind him, and a tiny growl. Yes, Stiles was getting the message loud and clear: no one wanted him here.
“I can’t even change him back,” He tried again, in one last effort to get Derek to change his mind. But he was already half out the door, and Derek was looming in his space to pressure him out further.
“Like you said,” Derek purred, sounding way too amused about this shit. “It’s not specifically a bad thing.”
“It could be.”
Nobody died, and it could have been a lot worse. But not by much.
They had to close the school for the last month before summer vacation, since the (empty, thank god) gym got sucked into a black vortex that appeared when Stiles doodled planets and space stuff in his notebook in the middle of english class.
Two weeks later, Stiles woke up to find a shadow figure standing over him, and when he screamed, the shadow thing and every window in the house broke.
Ten days and 13 new window after that, Stiles put a burrito in the microwave. He did his usual I’m Waiting for the Microwave hip wiggle and disco dance while the timer counted down, striking a pose when it went off with a cheerful Ding! When he opened the door to pull his delicious burrito out, he found another version of himself tugging it out the other side. Their eyes met. Confusion happened, and sputtering, and more tugging on the burrito—because it was his. It took him three days and several illuminating conversations with the Microwave Stiles to close his accidental portal through time and space.
Scott had taken to quoting Uncle Ben at him whenever he came over to visit, which was both hilarious and completely fucking unhelpful Scott, jesus.
But, by the end of it all, Stiles had to figure it out all on his own. As usual.
A little research into some of the books Deaton sent him home with, and the vast innards of the internet, and Stiles had come to a conclusion that made sense. Deaton had been right, all those years ago. He was a Spark, and apparently his Sparkiness has gone from moving mountain ash to, well, everything. And, yes, he did have to give in and visit the Vague-Vet again, if only to confirm his hypothesis. Which was confirmed, and while there was a lot of chiding and angry-parent-like ranting from Deaton, they finally made a lesson plan that didn’t involve needles and chanting.
Stiles would get better. He would. And he’d do it without Stupid Sourwolf’s help, too.
Look, just because he was magical, didn’t mean Stiles had to be an adult, right?
The writing had started as a way of releasing some of his excess energy, and had moved up to actually creating protective wards. At first, all he could do was basic stuff, like good-ish luck charms, water-proofing things, and a magic flint thing that could light fires anywhere. (Useless for him, because, hello, Spark. But Scott loved it to death, so he got to keep it. ) He eventually managed to ward his room from people with’ bad intent’, which backfired pretty fantastically when Derek tried to crawl into his window to ask for help looking up something. Apparently, something in him triggered it, and he was sent flying into the back yard in an explosion of light. The whole thing was, of course, hilarious, but also kind of hindering. So, he scribbled out the runes with a pen, and wrote a new one.
Derek could now enter, but Peter probably couldn’t.
From there, it was runes everything. His bag had ones for strength, so his Buffy-like stock of weapons and tools didn’t rip through the fabric any time soon. His shoes had a sort of Fleet-Feet spell on them, that made him move faster and more accurately. (He only used this on his special Let’s-Hunt-Bad-Guys Chucks, because it sort of messed up his leg muscles if he wore them for long periods of time.) He drew on his skin to channel his Spark for more specific uses, on his clothes to make a blade glance off his t-shirt, rather than stab him to death. Which was fantastic, until it wore off after fifteen minutes.
But, practical rune-writing aside, Stiles also had fun. Probably too much fun, going by the pinched look around the Sheriff’s eyes, Scotts half-burned off eyebrows, Lydia’s refusal to talk to him after he flooded her house, and Derek… well, Derek was actually weirdly cool about it. He just made it perfectly clear that Stiles was to get his magic fix anywhere but here.
Which he did do, usually. Sometimes. But Derek kept letting him into the loft when he knew Stiles could turn any one of his planning markers into a weapon, and possibly turn his entire building into a giant chew toy, or something. Not that Stiles was going to turn down the invitation, though. Anything to piss Puppy Peter off.
Or, you know, any chance to spend time with Derek.
“I’m not feeding you,” Derek said the moment Stiles stepped through the door.
“Are you always this rude to your guests?” Stiles asked, kicking off his sneakers, and plopping on the couch like he owned the place. “Don’t answer that, I think we already know. And, besides, I brought my own food. No one wants your Sourwolf snacks, anyway. Who actually eats rice-crackers?”
Derek shot him his You Make Me Constipated ® look, and shifted suspiciously closer on the couch. Just a few more inches, and Stiles could get his feet on him.
Instead of answering Stiles’ very important question, he said, “You smell like ozone, what the hell have you been doing?”
Stiles wiggled his wingers at him. “Maaaagiiiicc, oooooh!”
Derek snorted—he really shouldn’t have, it wasn’t that funny—and pulled Stiles’ legs up into his lap. This was… new, but also not new? Like, the more Stiles came over to hang out, the more tactile Derek got. At first, Stiles thought it was because Puppy Peter was actively trying to kill him, pretty much every time Stiles showed his face. He would appear out of no-where sometimes, flying through the air, jaws snapping at Stiles’ neck. Oh, he’d just bounce off—thanks magic—and start darting around Stiles and yapping. But Derek took it more seriously, and decided to protect Stiles from the tiny, super dangerous wolf.
Then Derek started touching him. All the time. A hand on his arm, or brushing against his neck. An entire arm pressed into him on the couch, even during pack meetings. And, because he’s stubborn, he never removed it, regardless of the looks they were getting.
There was that faithful time when things went to shit again, and everyone was bleeding a little, and Stiles was laying flat on his back, panting due to physical and magical exhaustion. And Derek just appeared above him, hands cupping the shape of his face but not touching, like he was too scared to touch until—until Stiles nodded. It felt like fire, his warmth, and Stiles vaguely reminded himself about werewolves running hot. But it was more than biology, he knew it, Derek knew it. It was something more, something dangerous.
So, they didn’t talk about it.
(Good things happened, and bad things, too. Nobody important died.)
They sat together, with limbs flopped across each other’s bodies. They stood side-by-side when the pack made battle plans, and fought back-to-back when the battles began. And everyone learned quickly not to bring it up, lest Stiles ‘accidentally’ do something with his magic, and ruin all their writing supplies before the new school year. Peter never got changed back, but somewhere along the line, he seemed to find happiness as a grumpy-wolf Puppy. (It was probably the way Lydia and Kira forgot who he was and picked him up for snuggles. Gross.)
Stiles visited the Clown Motel again, only to ‘cleanse it’ from his memories, and to take a picture with Derek in front of the massive clown-doll collection the owners creepily decided was a good life-choice.
They kissed on the ride home, at a truck stop. Derek tasted like french fries, and it was the best damn thing in the whole wide world.
They didn’t talk about it until Stiles got his tattoo. Three black swirls around his shoulder, like the vortex he opened up in the gym, like the only other matching tattoo out there, like a pot calling a kettle black.