Stiles dreams about the fire for four months before he can make any sense of what it means. It takes that long to get a clear enough picture. To know who's in danger, and why. And how.
It's the how that's important. He can't just approach a family (of werewolves, he discovered a month into having the visions) and warn them of some unseen danger. No one would believe him if he did it that way. Thankfully, he's inherited more than snark from his parents. His mom had been a seer, like him, and she taught him about psychometry before he even came into his gift.
When he knows what he's looking for, he just needs to touch things to find information. So when he sits down in the booth at the diner one of the Hales just vacated, he can pick up vibrations and more. It takes a few times, with a few different family members in different places around town, but eventually he discovers a few helpful things.
Like what family (pack) member is most likely to be able to do something when he does get all the information. Like what one of the girls is worried about, namely her brother. Like what’s happening with a hunter group that's moved into the area recently, from the Alpha. Like where the boy, Derek, is meeting his girlfriend.
Stiles could have left it there, but he believes in completionism. He's also a little sucked in by the Hale family. Seeing them die every night for months and having the power to stop it might do that. But seeing the little things, the details and facts and foibles of their lives - he's gotten attached.
He knows he shouldn't. He knows he'll have to let go as soon as he gets word to one of them and stops the tragedy. (Peter. It's going to be Peter, he's decided.) That's part of this whole gift of his: don't let anyone too close. Don't tell.
So the last piece of the puzzle is the girlfriend. He's already discovered she's a hunter. He just doesn't know how she's going to do it. Or when. So he looks for a particular clue, and then he finds where she'll be. Where she'll spend a lot of time. And then, when she's left work (probably off to lure the poor werewolf kid in some more), Stiles breaks in and starts touching things.
An hour later he's got all the answers he needs and then some. He's shaking with rage and disgust. But he's glad he did this now, because there isn't much time. She and her accomplices are striking soon, so he needs to act fast.
He buys a burner phone. He uses the number he's already found for just this. And then he texts Peter Hale the details.
The role of pack enforcer was often an ambiguous one in modern times. There were less petty territorial disputes these days, and the Hales were a respected enough family that most issues were solved via diplomacy rather than violence. Peter had killed an Omega five days into formally taking on the role all those years ago - a feral man who had tried to take Laura from them - and his blue eyes had born the price of that ever since. But over the years it had proven to be an unprecedented event.
There was still violence involved, he’d beaten the shit out of one of their second cousins a few months ago when he’d assaulted a girl in his class. And when they had to annex a smaller pack from their sphere of influence, Talia had sent him to quell any particularly unsavoury responses. It was considered more polite to send an enforcer over your Alpha in such cases. Alphas would cause irreparable damage, that would leave the other pack licking its wounds for too long. Peter, although good at what he does, would be able to say that those he had hurt would be back to full health by the next day.
It also helped that it let Talia feel like herself and her family were more civilised than what wolves had been throughout history. If you rolled all the more unpleasant aspects of policing other packs into one person.
Peter didn’t mind, he loved his pack. And he loved doing what he was good at.
Scaring the shit out of people was a particular trait of his, and since much of his role was more for show, he took to it with relish.
Something had been a little… Off… Of late however.
Talia had taken on some new responsibilities, and a stressed Alpha meant a stressed pack. Laura was growing up strong and fast, every day learning more and more from her mother, but also entering the stage of life where she thought she could challenge Talia on things. (Oh boy had that delighted Peter, when in a pack meeting he’d gone to voice his disagreement to Talia’s decision - as normal - only to be beaten to it by his oldest niece. The girl had always been a tad too spoilt for his taste, but finally all the self belief was paying in dividends)
The knock on effect had meant that whole house had been slightly on edge, the general cohesion of the pack was off, and things felt like they weren’t quite the tight pack they normally were. It wasn’t a very big threat however, the Hale pack was strong, old, and unshakeable. As long as they had each other, things would work out.
Still, Peter couldn’t shake that off-ness.
He’d poked Laura about it one time, begrudgingly inflating her self importance as future-Alpha, but the girl had been strangely evasive. Weird because her discontent was clear on her face.
“Just because Talia can’t hold court with you right now, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be reaching out to the rest of the pack.” He warned her.
There had also been a strange taste about recently. Peter could taste it under his tongue, a mixture of explosive mercury and charcoal. It hung in their air sometimes when the pack went about their business, like something otherworldly was brushing up against them.
But like Peter said, this was standard fare for a wolf pack, especially a strong one. All number of magical creatures were drawn by their power, their dominion. In the end they’d reveal themselves, try their best to obtain their protection/respect, and then fade out again. He was sure of it.
The text changes everything however.
The second he reads it he knows it would be suicide to ignore its warning. Possibly it was a hoax, or worse a trap, but either way it was a sign that they had become vulnerable.
Peter had been driving home when the text had hit. Ever the conscientious driver he had waited until he reached a red light before he even bothered to pick up the phone. He broke the speed limit once he had read it however.
“Tell me now: how do you know this? Who are you? Why are you telling me this?” Is all he has time to reply before getting to his house.
Talia is on the phone in her study, while Laura sat in the corner of the room doing some school work, although really watching her mother like a hawk.
“Leave, I need to talk to the Alpha.” Peter barks at her.
She opens her mouth to argue, but Peter cuts her off, “Right now. I’m not interested.” She looks at her mother for support, but Talia is barely paying them attention for how engrossed she is on the phone. Laura slips out the room without another word.
Peter attends Talia, only to receive a rather rushed hand in his face; Talia halfway through a particular monologue to whomever is her phone partner. In response Peter slashes his claws through the phone cord. The growl he receives has him showing his neck in submission all the same.
“Peter,” Talia begins, “you better have the world’s best reason for this.”
“The pack is in danger. Do you know where Derek is right now?”
From there, everything starts happening really quickly.
A day after the fire that didn't happen, Stiles' dreams are free of the event. He has normal, non-seer dreams for the first time in months. He wakes up and breathes a sigh of relief. The Hales must have taken his warning to heart. Not that he didn't expect Peter Hale to listen to him, but there was always the possibility that Stiles missed something.
He doesn't destroy the phone. He should. He knows he should. But there's a little something in the back of his head saying to wait, to hold off, and Stiles knows better than to go against his instincts at this point.
It's probably tempting fate to text Peter Hale again. Tempting… something. But he does it anyway.
Congrats on not dying
Maybe he could have been a little more tactful, but since when is that him?