Sometimes being a witch sucked. Stiles pulled the dark jacket closer to him as he continued walking through the chilly forest side. His home was warmer, and frankly he would rather be there. But, he had promised that he would go out and look everyday and he was going to stick to his goals for once. He looked down at his shaking fingers, easily making out the intricate ink patterns that stopped at his knuckles. People often said that they were beautiful, their elegant swirls and runes continuing up his arms and over his chest and back. He didn’t mind them; after all he didn’t put them there to begin with. The more that his spark of magic grew, the more they graced his pale skin. As colds as it was outside, Stiles loved it, his spirit was that of nature; the pull of the wilderness always calling. Unlike most days that he ventured outside to the lonesome trees that sheltered his small home, today he felt something strange. There was a tug in his gut that was tempting him to go farther into the forest than he normally would. He ran his fingers through his chestnut colored hair, its length making it stick up in an array of angles. He let out a frustrated huff and laid his palm flat on the rough bark of the nearest tree.
He breathed in the scents of Mother Nature’s perfumes that flowed in and around him. A scent that he did not recognize made his nerves tingle and the darkening forest light slightly under the interesting glow of his runes. He peered through the trunks of the trees, letting more of the calming blue light to seep from his arms as he took his jacket off. He stiffened as a howl rang out not far from where he was. Alison, one of his very good friends, was out of town with her familiar. Who was it then? Stiles took a sharp intake of breathe before carefully continuing on, deeper into the mess of tangled branches.
He stilled. There in the crumbling ruins of what appeared to have once been a house, stood a wolf the color of charcoal. The chilling glow of its scarlet eyes made Stiles pull all of his magic back, closing himself off from the being. He had felt it in the core of his being. It was definitely a familiar, but it didn’t seem like one that would take a liking to someone with Stiles’ personality. He had retreated quick enough that the beast had not taken notice to him yet, but Stiles wasn’t sure that he wanted him too. He wanted a familiar really bad, but maybe not that bad. Even from his eyes you could tell that the wolf was frowning. Due to his personality, however, Stiles gave a stout nod and gently stepped out of his hiding spot behind a tree. He was noticed immediately and he stopped his movements as the large wolf started growling. Stiles could see the muscles tense under the course looking black fur. He prayed to Mother Nature and held his hands up in surrender.
“Whoa there sour wolf I’m not here to kill you or anything!” The wolf lowered to attack and snarled. “Okay, okay! Jeez man, er, well, I mean, I guess you could be a lady wolf, but you don’t really seem like a lady- you look like you could probably take down a car so, I guess I should probably explain myself or… maybe I’ll just stop talking…” loud growling was coming from the wolf and frankly, Stiles didn’t want to be lunch today. He sighed and put his jacket back on, suddenly chilled from the tense conversation. He was a pretty adventurous guy but that didn’t mean he wanted to literally dance with the wolves.
Stiles turned, not waiting to see if the wolf was going to pounce at him or not, and continued back towards home. It didn’t matter how much he wanted a familiar; that one clearly didn’t want him. He hadn’t walked very far before he could feel the presence of the creature following him. He let it, curious to see why. He got to the border of his own small house that admirably been there for longer than he had been alive; and that was a long time. Before he could step within the border line, however, the wolf came crashing at full speed in front of him. Being as clumsy as he was, Stiles fell hard on his tailbone in surprise. He wasn’t going to go as far as to say there was concern in its eyes, but it looked worried. Granted if anyone other than himself or other magical creatures came near the border they would be toasted alive. Stiles, on one hand, wanted to go inside where it was warm, but on the other, didn’t want the familiar to know that he was a witch. Unfortunately, his stomach made the decision for him.
Tired and hungry, Stiles shrugged his jacket off again and let his spark dance free from behind the pulling runes and sidestepped, of what Stiles would call, a confused wolf. Letting the cerulean magic flow easily along his fingers and into the shield, Stiles smiled. It glowed brightly before disappearing again and Stiles waved at the wolf, which had visibly backed away, and entered. He felt the wiggly touch of the barrier as he passed and pulled his keys out of his pocket. He paused from unlocking the door when he felt the shiver of the line again. There, the familiar stood and stared with its menacing eyes before lifting its head proudly and snorting as it leaped over the line again. This time the border wasn’t the only thing that shivered. A husky voice has resonated within the folds of Stiles’ unprotected mind,
Beware Witch. This forest belongs to me.
The chill of the dawn air danced through the open window and Stiles opened his eyes slowly. Sighing, he stretched and got unsteadily to his feet, making his way to the small kitchen. His low hanging sleep shirt was little to prevent the cold wind making goose-bumps rise on his arms. As Stiles poured milk on a bowl of home-made Wheaties and sat down on his sinking sofa that he had bargained for. He wasn’t the cleanest of witches that for sure. One thing that was clean was his board. Alison had always said it was a mess and she couldn’t understand a word of it, but to Stiles it was as organized as anything. It was lists and lists of different remedies, spells and data on the surrounding area. He lived for the soul purpose of helping the environment and the wide range of creatures in it. The humans were unaware of the way that Stiles was always tampering with the weather to make sure that the forest and plants were getting the elements they needed. Often he went into town and gathered materials while stopping to give the local store some of his healing lotions that anyone could use. Today was one of those supply run days.
After hastily getting dressed in a light blue tee and some khaki shorts and slipping his backpack of supplies on, Stiles stepped out, taking a minute to lock the old wooden door. Whispering to one of the flowers on the white picket trellis, it brightened and more buds began to grow. Pleased, Stiles started on his way to town, making sure to reinforce his border as he shivered through it again. In an instant, he could feel the pull in his gut again, this time it being much closer to home. Stiles stilled and slowly started pulling from the roots in ground to map out his surroundings. He felt the jolt as his roots connected with the wolf’s form hiding just out of sight, clearly watching him. After a long night of practice, Stiles had relearned how to build his mind walls back up, hopefully avoiding any more awkward, and rather terrifying conversations with the familiar. Choosing to not engage further with the creature, he took a deep breath and continued on his walk. Disconnected from the roots, Stiles could no longer track its location, but it didn’t matter much as he could tell that it was tracking him. Pretending like he didn’t even notice, continuing at a swift pace; only stopping to gather certain plants (not without thanking them for their service of course.)
Stiles almost tripped when he felt the air ripple with change. He was almost to town, the wolf still in track of him, when a wave of magic trickled through the ground and all the way up the runes swirled on the back of his calves. Clearly, his little wolf problem had became a little human form problem. No matter of brain walls can block natural conversation. Stiles sped walked into the local depot and waved at the man with graying hair behind the counter.
“Good morning Stiles! What can I do for you this fine morning?” Stiles laughed as he pulled off his backpack and placed it on the counter, pulling the odd array of shaped jars out.
“I’m here to drop off some more of my, er, lotions and stuff. You know.” the older gentleman nodded with a pleased look on his face as he sifted through the assortment. Stiles took the time to brows the rest of the shop looking for some herbs that he couldn’t find on his walk this morning and promptly grabbed some holly berries while he was there.
“Fair trade, peddler man?” the man laughed and nodded while Stiles grabbed his bag, putting his new items. Grinning, he set off again towards home, waving at the various towns people as he walked. He could still feel the lingering tingle of the familiar as he walked but he paid no mind the creature, hoping it would leave eventually. It didn’t.
As he reached the forest again he waited for the creature to change back, but he never felt the change. It was odd but, still playing to the act of innocence, he carried on to a small clearing. It was flourishing with every plant and flower imaginable. A Garden of Eden one could say. It was where Stiles meditated to try and release he excessive amount of magic. The weather was usually pretty good the rest of the week after one of these sessions.
Stiles sat down, cross-legged in the middle of the field and started humming willing his tune to weave itself in and around the many plants. Through his calming breaths he didn’t notice the figure standing at the edge of the trees, watching silently. In fact, he didn’t even break his focus until he felt the ripple of magic thump through the ground again. His rich hazel eyes opened in a rush to find, not startling red, but shining, pale green ones. Caught so off guard, Stiles raised his arms so fast he brought a tangled wall of vines up as well, covering himself in an automatic defense. He could have sworn he heard a snort from behind his wall and he frowned as he whispered for the poor vines to return, thanking them.
There, before him, stood a man of large stature dressed in a simple black tee shirt and dark jeans. His face was stony and a light beard shown through. Although the eyes were a different color there was no doubt in Stiles’ mind that this was the same familiar that had been trailing him. When he spoke it was like crunching gravel, smoothed over by rain,
“I may have been mistaken about you, Witch. Perhaps this forest was never mine to begin with.” Stiles laughed at that standing up and pulling the different flowers that had wiggled into his hair. Setting a hand on his hip, he reached out the other in a gesture of peace.
“Name’s Stiles, nature witch and weather extraordinaire! And you would be?” He looked at Stiles’ hand questionably until catching his care-free aura. He shook firmly and abrupt, sending a wave a shocks up Stiles’ arm.
“Derek.” His eyes trailed along the many runes that were etched on Stiles’ pale skin, clearly curious as to why they were there. Stiles could almost see it in the way that his eyes darted that he wasn’t going to leave him alone, but now that they had actually spoken (on peaceful terms anyways) Stiles wasn’t so afraid. He looked the familiar up and down and decided that in the long run, they were now partners. Laughing to himself he gave a rather sly grin to the man and gestured with his hand.
“How about we go and have a few cups of herbal tea at my place. You don’t seem to be in anyone else’s company today.” He winked and Derek shook his head following Stiles back to the small home, watching in fascination at the sprouts of blooming flowers opening wherever the witch stepped.