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rewrite the rules

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Stiles hesitated for a long moment – long enough that the call went to voicemail. He stared at his phone, waiting for the inevitable second call. He wasn’t disappointed. His phone lit up again seconds later and started buzzing again. Not long enough for anyone to have left a voicemail, which did not bode well. He answered the call, pressing his phone to his ear. The silence that answered him did little to calm his nerves. “Hey,” he said slowly.

“Don’t even try to bullshit with me, baby Milo,” came the glacial, furious response. “You missed the Skype call twice.”

Stiles winced. Yeah, his brother was not happy with him. He only pulled out Milo when he was a step below getting on a plane, and if it had come to that over one missed phone call, he was in some deep kimchee. “What are the odds I can convince you that it wasn’t my fault?”

“Donna found a missing person report,” he said curtly.  

“Okay, yeah, that happened, but it really wasn’t me!” Stiles said. “I just got temporarily abducted by a geriatric asshole with a grudge against someone else. Not me. Not at all.”

His brother snorted. “And what did this geriatric asshole do with you while he had you?” he asked. “Play checkers?”

That had Stiles hesitating.


“Three broken ribs, a fat lip, and a black eye,” Stiles answered, giving his brother the same answer he’d given his father.

“What else?”

“Nothing else!”

“Don’t lie to me, you little shit. You’ve got a tell.”

“Over the phone.”

“What. Else.”

“Little stab wound in the thigh. Five stitches, and it missed anything critical,” Stiles said.

Harvey sighed. “And your dad?”

“Is on shift.”

“That’s not what I meant.”

Stiles nodded. “I know. He’s good. I’m healing. We’re all good on this end.” He paused. “I’m sorry I worried Donna.”

Harvey made an odd noise in the back of his throat. “She’ll get you back when you visit.” He paused, and Stiles heard someone else talking to Harvey on the other end of the call. “I’ve got a meeting across town.”

He grinned. “I’ve got homework to not do anyway,” Stiles said.

“Liar,” Harvey said, his tone mellowing. “Don’t miss another call. I don’t want to have to fly to California just to do a welfare check on you.” He hung up without so much as a farewell.

Stiles pulled the phone away from his ear with a huff. Harvey was such a diva sometimes. Still, the call wasn’t as bad as it could have been. And his research was calling his name. He tossed his phone aside and grabbed for his laptop, eager to finish reading about the Turkic Kurtadam.