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Mieczysław

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When Mieczysław Stilinski is 16, he marries a woman whose hair burns like the morning sun and whose face is dotted with stars. She is undoubtedly beautiful, but he knows nothing about her. She is but another pretty face among the throngs of people bustling through his village. Their consummation is a cold affair. He avoids looking at her face- it would be too personal; too real.

He grows fond of her over time. Her knowledge is plentiful and her voice is like a breath of spring. She brings him joy unlike any other, and yet he can’t find it in himself to love her. Mieczysław wants a warmth she cannot give him and he knows she’s picked up on it though she pretends she hasn’t.

When Mieczysław is 17, his wife dies to birth their daughter. After the pained cries have died down, the midwife shakes her head at him sorrowfully, a dejected look on her withered face. He clutches the wailing baby closer to his chest, unable to feel anything but the cold waging war outside and the bad feeling in his gut that he dares not decipher. He names the baby Agnieszka after her mother. There’s something so painfully wrong with everything.

He cares for Agnieszka painstakingly, rarely letting her out of his sight. Months go by peacefully before one morning he wakes to pained cries shattering the calm. His daughter refuses to be silenced, so he bundles her up and hurries to the midwife. She answers at the second knock, ushering him in before the cold can take him too. She looks over the baby carefully, checking for symptoms. She says the cold has weakened her and that he can do nothing but keep her warm and pray to the lord for her recovery.

Agnieszka sleeps fitfully and Mieczysław watches over her. He cares not for the darkness that gathers beneath his eyes or the dead weight that befalls his limbs. His thoughts linger on the unsettling feeling in his gut and it only grows when his daughter quietens for the first time in weeks, settling against him. He leans forward, face nuzzling her smaller, softer one. He holds his daughter as she passes away. And for the first time in more than 10 years, Mieczysław lets the tears fall while he cries into his daughter’s prone chest. He buries her next to his wife, the simple markings portraying nothing of who they were.

At 18, his aunt urges him to marry again. She says he must pass down the line and birth a strong child. He refuses to think of the notion. To carry on would feel like an insult towards his buried wife and baby. Over time, his aunt becomes more insistent, and Mieczysław busies himself with work. He doesn’t eat. He doesn’t sleep. All he feels is metal molding beneath his hands and the sharp curves of his work. He thinks of his wife and what becomes of his thoughts is a small ring that fits on his finger perfectly. He wears it as a tribute to the short time with his family.

He grows weaker and Mieczysław isn’t too bothered by it. His life no longer holds something for him. One night, he goes to his wife and child’s graves, laying down onto the grass. Somewhere behind him, a bang resonates through the air, followed by a piercing howl. Mieczysław shuts his eyes and lets the darkness wash over him.

There’s a sharp pain coursing through his body. Mieczysław snaps his eyes open, flinging his hands to his neck. It’s wet. The skin has been ripped through, as though by an animal, and Mieczysław can feel the wetness seeping into his clothing. Breathing harshly- how is he still alive? - He turns his head, only to inhale sharply at the sight before him. Red eyes stare back at him.

With an aborted yell, he jerks back, staring wide-eyed at the head lying next to him. The eyes that stare back at him are vacant, and the mouth is pulled into a snarl, showcasing sharp teeth. For the first time since waking, he takes a good look around and finds a massacre. There’s blood everywhere. There’s a headless body slumped next to a tree, pale in the moonlight and coated in blood. Mieczysław tries not to stare at the part where the head should have been. Lying adjacent to the body is a wolf. It’s giant, bigger than the wolves around these forests. Neither the body nor the wolf is moving, so he stumbles to his feet and after a wobbly step, sprints home. The trees blur together and before he knows it, he’s home.

His hands shake as he comes upon the bowl of water he filled in the morning but never used. Shaking his head, Mieczysław leans forward and dunks his head, resurfacing with a gasp. Blinking his eyes open, he looks down at the water and-

Red.

His eyes are red.

The red mingles with his own brown eyes as if fighting for dominance, and he blinks again to understand.

“Why?” He murmurs to himself. “Lord Why?”

He- the midwife, he needs the midwife. She will understand, she’ll fix him. He leaves his house in a whirlwind, sprinting to her house and throwing himself against the door, banging loudly. Hurried footsteps sound behind the door before it opens. The midwife takes one look at his eyes and pulls him by the front of his blood-soaked clothes with surprising strength. She manhandles him into a chair, pressing a wet cloth to his neck and ignores him as he jerks back.

He’d forgotten about his neck. Mieczysław watches with keen eyes as she wraps the wound with a cloth before staring at him with solemn eyes. She lets her fingers glide over the crease of his eyelid, before muttering one word into the silence of the room.

Śmierć

Death

Chapter Text

The midwife tells him he cannot stay in the village anymore. Her voice is warm but there is an undertone of worry. She says bloodlust will come soon. Heeding her words, Mieczysław packs his scant few effects and leaves under the cover of the night, masking his face as to not be seen. Standing at the foot of the forest, fingering his ring and staring back at his home, Mieczysław wonders why he feels startlingly empty.

The journey onwards is uneventful until he finds his stomach aching and his gums itching painfully. His mind clouds up and he begins eyeing the animals around him with a feeling that scares him. His dilemma isn’t only restricted to his days, they haunt him at night as well. He dreams of biting through skin, feeling the warmth of blood spill into his mouth and thriving meat thrum under his teeth. He wakes up heaving onto his side. The human part of him is revolted; the… other part of him is hungry.

It's twenty days into his journey when he finally breaks. He spots a fox snuffling around his fire, its red fur illuminated brightly. The urge to fill comes once more but stronger. Without realizing, Mieczysław treads forwards, eyes flashing ruby red. In the dim lighting of the fire, Mieczysław feasts upon his prey with tears streaming, the moon his only witness.

After that night, he decides that knowing what he is is going to help him more than running away from it.  He reads books upon books, memorizing creature that feast upon flesh and lurk in the night. None of them quite match him. None of them have flashing red eyes and razor sharp teeth. The search to figure out what he stops when Mieczysław comes to the conclusion that perhaps no human has ever met one of his kind. It weighs on him, though, niggling at the back of his mind like an irritating headache. He never quite stops completely.

So Mieczysław breezes through history, watching Empires rise and fall, learning new languages. He’s alone through most of it and it’s the feeling of loneliness that weighs on him heavily. He never ages, and the number of times he’s been accused of being a witch begins to annoy him.

He can’t die. Or at least not with something normal. The first times Mieczysław comes to this conclusion, he’s being shot five times in the chest, feeling each one rip through his heart. They do absolutely nothing. His skin mends back together, skin overlapping. Disappointment settles in heavily after that. Fire dances on is skin, harmless; drowning does nothing because he no longer breathes; hanging is simply uncomfortable; slashing at him with a knife is like being poked with a stick.

He tells no one of his predicament. Simply because there’s no one to tell and because he knows no one will believe him. They’ll call him crazy, shove him into an asylum and pay no attention to his protests. That, or they’ll try and kill him, and Mieczysław has realized that the fun of seeing people’s faces when they find out they can’t kill him gets old fast.

There’s a name for something like him now: vampire.

Through all the madness of being alive for hundreds of years, Mieczysław watches over his relatives. He makes sure to visit them every day, lurking in the shadow, never quite making his presence known. Years and years later, a little girl with blue eyes and blond hair sees him, though, peering up at him with an innocence he finds himself wishing he still had. But Mieczysław grew up in a time where a child was already an adult coming out of the womb.

“Who are you?” She asks him, and Mieczysław crouches low, looking at her with his whiskey eyes. There is something profound to it. Or perhaps he’s just crazy.

“Mieczysław.” He says. “You shouldn’t talk to strangers.” And then he’s gone and the little girl becomes another niggling headache at the back of his mind.

After that, faces become imprinted books in his mind. There are archives upon archives of important and unimportant people through his admittedly long lifetime. When Mieczysław loses yet another friend, he realizes that perhaps reconciling with his family will help. He tracks them down and comes up with a name.

Johnathon Stilinski.

The man is ridiculously easy to track down. Mieczysław doesn’t know what he’s going to say: “Hello, I’m a thousand-year-old vampire creature who is actually your ancestor, and no, I’m not mentally insane.”

He ponders on it for a long time while heading to the man’s destination. It’s a small town in Boston, named something he can’t be bothered to remember. Standing at the front door, Mieczysław knocks twice hesitantly, glancing behind himself every so often. The door opens and those eyes, Mieczysław knows those eyes.

The little girl from all those years ago. Mother, his mind whispers, and yes, she must have been his mother.

John looks him over, confusion clear on his face. “Can I help you?”

“Yes,” Mieczysław says. And even though he knows the answer, he finds himself asking, “Are you John Stilinski?”

“Yes,” John says cautiously, stepping forward so his body is covering the opening. “Do I know you?”

“No, we’ve never met.” Mieczysław rubs his hands together absentmindedly. “I’m a relative. An old relative.”

“Really?” Mieczysław can tell John doesn’t believe a word he’s saying.

“Yes, I know your mother.” Well, that’s not what he meant to say.

John straightens, eyes narrowing onto him with an intensity that should be intimidating but isn’t.

“Look, kid, I don’t know what you want, but I’d rather you didn’t bring my mother into this.”

Shit, he screwed up. “I know it looks suspicious but if you would just let me see her, I’m sure she’d know me.” Mieczysław is walking a tightrope here. The little girl he once knew is probably well into her life by now, there’s no way she would have remembered him. But Mieczysław is lonely enough that he’s willing to take that bet.

John still doesn’t look convinced, but the hard look on his face has lessened, though not by much. Looking over Mieczysław’s appearance, he seems to come to the conclusion that the younger looking man is harmless.

“Fine. One wrong move kid and I’m gonna make sure you know that it isn’t okay to do this to people.”

“Yes, yes, thank you!”

The car ride to the hospital where John’s mother is being kept is a tense and awkward affair. If Mieczysław were anyone else, he might have tried to break the silence, but he hasn’t lived as long as he has and not learned a thing or two. Before he knows it, they’re walking through the door of the room. The woman in the bed is old, frail and yet so familiar. Mieczysław might have only met her once, but those eyes will forever be ingrained into his brain.

“John? Is that you?” Her voice is but a whisper in the room.

“Yeah, it's me Ma. I bought someone who says he knows you.” John sends a look towards Mieczysław, gesturing for him to go forward. He does so, tentatively walking up so that he’s next to the railing of her bed. She looks up at him and stares. Her half lidded blue eyes are wide open now, staring at him unflinchingly.

“I-“ Her hand trembles, landing on his cheek softly. Mieczysław makes an aborted gesture, caught unaware. “You-you haven’t aged a day. You like you did all those years ago. How?” Behind them, Mieczysław hears John inhale sharply.

“You know him, Ma?” John comes closer, standing at the old woman’s other side.

“I could never forget that face and those eyes.” She’d settled back. Mieczysław wasn’t sure if she was in shock or if she knew something.

“You remember me from all those years ago?”

“You told me your name and not to talk to strangers.” Her hand gripped his jaw softly, turning his face. “Tell me your name.” She orders softly, and he can do nothing but oblige.

“Mieczysław,” He murmurs, glancing up at John minutely. “Mieczysław Stilinski.”

Her eyes close, a look of sharp understanding dawning on her face.

“I knew it. I could never forget those eyes; tinged with red as they were.”

Chapter Text

Mieczysław is banished to stand in the hallway and wait for John to finish speaking with his mother. A few nurses pause as they pass him, eyeing the boy who sits next to Ma Stilinski’s door. He supposes it looks suspicious; a strange boy lurking outside a resident’s door.

John opens the door a few minutes later, looking at Mieczysław as if the boy- man- is the most interesting mystery he’s ever seen. There’s open disbelief in his eyes, and Mieczysław isn’t even surprised. He’s garnered those kinds of looks before; the disbelieving, wide-eyed denial.

“She’s asking for you.” Nodding, Mieczysław brushes the imaginary dirt off of his jeans. He wonders about what she’ll say and if she’ll tell him how she suspected all along that he wasn’t human.

The old woman is sitting up now, cushioned on fluffy pillows that support her thin frame. She’s looking at him with clearer eyes.

“You’re not human.” She murmurs, voice still quiet. “I don’t understand but I knew a woman like you once.” At that, Mieczysław strides closer, leaning in intently. He’s only met one of his kind once and that was many years ago.

“Kana.” Ma Stilinski leans back, looking fond and nostalgic. “Beautiful woman, youthful and young. She looked young but she talked about things I never understood.”

“Do you eat?” Mieczysław shakes his head. He can eat, but it does nothing for him. His tastes lie more towards flesh and blood.

Ma Stilinski nods. “She didn’t eat either. Said something about never needing it.” She pauses, looking sad. “I haven’t seen her in years.”
“I don’t know quite know what I am,” Mieczysław admits quietly. He truly doesn’t know what he is.

Ma Stilinski looks at him with sad eyes and he doesn’t know if he likes that or not. He’s never liked pity but he’s learned to live with it. She doesn’t need to pity him, though. He’s pretty sure she’s going through her fair share of shit and he doesn’t need to add his supernatural dilemma on to it.

“You told John you were related to us.”

Mieczysław nods, toying with the ring on his finger. The one that represents his wife and child, long since dead. “Yeah, I’m what you would call an ancestor.”

“How old are you?” It’s John. The man’s been standing behind them, quiet and sullen. His world’s probably been turned upside down.

“Old,” Mieczysław smirks wryly. “Closer to a thousand, maybe more.” John stares at him with wide eyes, shock plain on his face.

“You look 17-18,” John breathes. “How the fuck are you so old?”

“Language.” Ma Stilinski chides gently, and the younger man looks rightly chagrined. Something inside Mieczysław aches softly. He barely remembers his mother.

“I was turned young.” He says, mind flashing back to the woods and the blood and bodies. “I think I was 17, but age was shaky back then.”

“Why did you come to me?” John asks.

“I guess I just thought I needed to reunite with my family.” Mieczysław rubs the back of his neck sheepishly. “Also, I need a place to say.”

“You can stay at John’s house.” Ma Stilinski speaks up, looking at John with steel eyes. This boy might be old and probably powerful, but he looks like a child and she will not have him sleeping on the streets. Plus, he’s family and Stilinski’s cherish family above all else.

John, seeing the look in his mother’s eyes and knowing not to oppose nods. He might not fully trust the man in front of him but if Mieczysław had wanted to attack, he most likely would have done so. “We have an extra room.”

“Thank you.” It’s the sincerest Mieczysław remembers ever being. These people have no need to trust him but they do anyways.
And with that, everything is settled, and they drive back to John’s house in empty silence. It’s a nice neighborhood, Mieczysław muses, with identical houses and nice flowers. He feels starkly out of place with his ratty clothes and bag filled with books and a spare hoodie.

“Claudia, I’m home!”

“John?! Where’d you go in such a rush?” A woman hurries out of another room, leaning up to kiss John. She settles down before catching sight of Mieczysław, and he’s graced with the sight of brown eyes and a pale face. She’s quite lovely, but something doesn’t feel right.

“And who might you be?” She offers him politely.

“Mieczysław.” He answers. “I’m a distant relative of John’s.”

She mouths his name, furrowing her eyebrows briefly before turning to John. “You didn’t tell me we would be having visitors.”

John grimaces. “It’s kind of a last minute arrangement. Mieczysław is staying for a while.” At this, John sends a questioning look over his shoulder, and Mieczysław nods. He has nowhere to be and staying for a while will do him some good. He’s never really had a settled life.

“Well, okay.” Claudia sighs, gracing him with a small, motherly smile. “I’ll get the spare room ready.”



Mieczysław falls into a routine with John and Claudia. He wakes up, washes his face and goes down for breakfast, simply opting for coffee. He hunts at night, going into the woods nearby. If Claudia notices that he doesn’t eat, she doesn’t mention it, aside from the usual worried glance. John will leave for work and then later, so will Claudia. He roams around the house, cleaning, and reading. Sometimes he sits down at their computer and searches up random stuff. It feels strange not to be doing something.
One day, Mieczysław loiters in the bathroom and realizes that the mirror is actually a door to a cupboard. Against his better judgment, he opens it and is might with the sight of what seems like a million pills and medication. It’s all for Claudia, and Mieczysław realizes that she’s not going to make it. The thing he sensed about her on that first day was the stench of death. John’s not going to handle it.


He’s right. He’s right and Mieczysław wishes he fucking weren’t. Wishes that this woman would get the chance to live because he sees himself in these two. Sees Agnieszka and himself but with more love and devotion. He watches her slip, forgetting who John is and who he is. She screams about death and the things she sees. Through it all, John bears the brunt of it, keeping his head up when the man looks like he wants nothing more to do than break down and cry.

She passes away with John in her hospital room. Mieczysław lurks outside, feeling like an intruder when he can still hear their whispered goodbyes through the wall. He can still hear John’s sobs. They go through the funeral and through the ‘I am so sorry’ and ‘May she rest in peace’. They’re both genuine and not. He herds John through them, placing a hand on the man’s shoulders and steering him around the place.

He tries to keep John from drowning, but the man embeds himself in the bottom of a bottle and sinks into the soft dizziness of being too drunk to understand. Mieczysław cleans and cooks and takes care of the man he barely knows. One day, when John sits on the sidewalk and stares blankly into space, Mieczysław comes and sits beside him.

“I had a wife once.” He says suddenly, and John tilts his head to the side, too tired to fully turn. “Her name was Agnieszka and I think I could have loved her.”

This is painful, but John is going through something, so Mieczysław will bare himself and his agony and let the younger man know what happens when you try and drown away the feelings.

“We got married young. It was arranged and I didn’t even know her. Mind you we didn’t have rings and dresses. It was simple and we had something okay going on. She was intelligent and we talked about seeing the world and doing things. I didn’t love her.” Mieczysław says it bluntly because he hadn’t loved her. He’d been achingly fond of her but not in love.

“We had a daughter, and she didn’t make it through the birthing.” His hand strayed towards the ring, twisting it around. Next to him, John is quiet, staring at him with half lidded eyes.

“I named the daughter after her mother and God I loved her.” Tears sting the back of his eyes and Mieczysław swallows thickly, remembering his daughter. “I loved her so much. I’d go to work and I’d think about her and how much I loved her. She was the loveliest baby ever, though I think I might be biased.” Mieczysław chuckles dryly, remembering her small face and the grabby hands she’d make at him. The smiles slides off of his face at what he’s about to say next.

“She got ill and then she didn’t make it.” John is quiet, and when Mieczysław looks, the man is pale. “I buried my wife and child next to each other. And then I was ready to be buried next to them.” Mieczysław turns to John.

“It doesn’t get easier John. It hurts every day and I don’t for a second stop thinking about them.” It’s the painful truth. “You shouldn’t be ready to just give it all away, though. I live on because I can’t die but also because I fear that if I died, so would the memory of my wife and child. I don’t think I could live with myself if that happened.”

There’s a silence before John nods, closing his eyes and leaning forward so that his forehead meets his knees. “Yeah, yes- I get it. I understand.”

It’s not okay, Mieczysław thinks, but it will get better. Claudia Stilinski and Mieczysław’s wife and child will live on. At least if he has anything to say about it.



A few months later and Ma Stilinski is sent to live with John’s brother. A few weeks later and John asks Mieczysław if he wants to go to Beacon Hills with him.

Mieczysław says yes without so much as a thought to how much trouble this will get him in.

Chapter Text

It’s a nice house Mieczysław supposes. It’s smaller than the last once and there’s a barely passable garden around back. There’s not a lot of things it has in common with the last house and Mieczysław hopes that will help with the healing process John is going through.

The move to Beacon Hills had been… strange. Nothing had gone wrong, but Mieczysław got the idea that something wasn’t particularly right about the place. It stank of something old and foreign and made Mieczysław’s lips curl into a snarl. Something was hidden beneath the picture of a happy town.

Strangeness aside, things had been going pretty well. John had gotten a job at the Beacon Hills Sheriff Department and Mieczysław had gotten to know the area better, scoping out anything suspicious. It was normal. Almost too normal. Mieczysław was waiting for the other shoe to drop, and come Friday, it did. Not in the way Mieczysław expected, though.

“I think you should try going to school,” John says suddenly, sitting at the kitchen counter while Mieczysław rummages around in the fridge, looking for something to drink.

“What?” Mieczysław replies eloquently, popping his head up to stare at the man. “John, I haven’t been to school for centuries. Never mind the fact that I don’t need to go to school; anything they teach, I’ll probably already know.”

John heaves a sigh before taking a long sip of his coffee. “Look, Mieczysław, if we want to fit in, you’re going to have to go to school. Maybe you’ll enjoy it and decide to stop figuring out my cases- yes I saw you.”

Mieczysław scrunches his face up in distaste, put out by the idea of having to spend boring hours learning things he’d probably lived through. Also, teenagers. Mieczysław kind of hates teenagers, ignoring the fact that he looks like one. It’s a good idea, nonetheless, and if nothing else, Mieczysław will at least have some form of entertainment to occupy him.

“Fine,” He acquiesces, and the matter is dealt with.

Beacon Hills High School is everything Mieczysław thought it would be. There are kids milling about, sitting on cars and chatting to each other. The loudness of everything makes him flinch, and he wonders why he ever agreed to this. He’s seen what school does to kids, how it dulls them down until creativity doesn’t even exist. His studies when he was human were almost non-existent. He learned from books and experience; from years and years of being self-taught.


When Scott wakes up, instead of birds and the smell of breakfast, it’s to the sound of his mother yelling at him.

“Scott, you’re going to be late!”

With a loud groan, he tosses his feet to the side and stands up, blinking blearily at the clock. He’s got maybe 15 minutes to change, which to him seems fairly reasonable. Nodding, Scott vanishes to the bathroom and reappears 5 minutes later, smoothing down his hair while still brushing his teeth. His bag is ready and he’s okay with the shirt, jeans, and hoodie he’s shoved on.

Alright; breakfast.

There’s coffee in his favorite mug and a piece of toast sitting on a plate. Quickly eating the toast and drowning his coffee, Scott runs out the door, shouting a quick goodbye to his mother. Derek’s car is parked on the side of the street, clearly waiting for him, so he quickly opens the back door and climbs in.

“You’re late!” Lydia chimes in from the front. Besides Scott, Allison nods, leaning in to peck him on the cheek.

“My alarm didn’t go off, it’s not my fault,” Scott argues. It’s a useless argument, knowing Lydia.

“You forgot to set your alarm, didn’t you?” Isaac asks dryly, smirking at Scott. He’d been sitting silently in his seat, watching the scenery pass by with Derek’s fast (and somewhat reckless) driving.

Pouting, Scott turns away. So what if he forgot his alarm; they aren’t going to be late. Scott can already see the school coming into view, and it fills him with slight dread. Something’s gonna happen. Scott can feel it in his gut, weighing down on him. Next to him, Allison gives him a questioning look, having noticed his sudden mood swing. He shakes his head, giving her a feeble smile.


Sighing, Mieczysław taps his foot, waiting for the woman to hand him his schedule. Looking up he nods at her when she hands it over. Quickly, he walks out, unwilling to remain trapped in the office longer than necessary. The halls are crowded with students who give him passing glances. More than once someone will stop and stare at him, and Mieczysław doesn’t understand their need to ogle at him like he’s some shiny new toy.

Swiftly navigating through the masses, Mieczysław pauses at his classroom, hesitating for a second before entering. This is it. He’s officially a student in a high school. The teacher in front glances up before standing. She walks over to Mieczysław and holds her hand out.

“Good morning, I’m Ms. Flemming, the math teacher.”

Nodding, Mieczysław shakes her hand firmly. “I’m Mieczysław Stilinski.”

Ms. Flemming’s brows furrow in confusion at the name. Mieczysław realizes he will have to make this easier.

“Just call me Stiles.”

Stiles.

How long has it been since he’s said that name out loud? Too long if the word feels different.

Stiles used to be the name Mieczysław would give anyone who couldn’t quite pronounce his name. It had evolved into something special; something cherished. Mieczysław loved the name and the memories it brought with it, both good and bad. It was the name he went back to when life became too much. It was the name he used when he wanted Mieczysław Stilinski to just die. Stiles was the name of the child in him, wanting to live all the things he’d never gotten a chance to. Mieczysław and Stiles are the same and yet so different, and Mieczysław will appreciate the reprieve it gives him.

In front of him, Ms. Flemming nods, bringing him out of his thoughts. By this time the class has filled up with students. Turning around to face the class, Ms. Flemming addresses the class.

“Class, this is Stiles. He’s a new student, so I expect you to show him some hospitality.” She gives a pointed glare to the class. “Stiles, take a seat next to Lydia.”

Lydia raises her hand, giving him a once over. She’s pretty, stunning even, but he’s not interested in trying to get a date. She’s a high schooler and he’s a thousand-year-old vampire. It would be kinda gross, not to mention strange. Weaving through the seats, Stiles nods at Lydia before taking his seat.

It’s only when he’s sat down in his seat does he notice the pungent smell of something coating the air. Discreetly, he eyes Lydia, but she smells human, not entirely, but enough so. It’s not coming from someone in front of him, so the person with this scent has to be behind him.

Absent-mindedly, Stiles turns his head slightly, but it’s all he needs to do before his eyes meet someone else’s. They’re brown, but that’s not what interests Stiles. No, it’s what’s behind the eyes that get to him.

Wolf! His mind snarls helpfully, and yes, this boy is decidedly very wolfy. There’s something that lurks behind those eyes. A predator in every sense, just like him. He knows the look in the boy’s eyes; one of caution. The one an animal would get looking at something they don’t know. An unidentified threat.

How interesting.

Slowly, Stiles gives the boy a smile, turning around to face the board. It’s been 40 maybe 50 years since he’s met a wolf and Stiles kind of misses having something supernatural to give his attention to

This is fucking perfect.

Absolutely fucking perfect.


“Scott?”

His finger twitches.

“Scott?”

Amber eyes flash in his mind.

“Scott…”

A slow, creeping smile.

“Scott!”

A hand reaches out, slapping the back of his head. Scott jerks, twisting his upper body to look at his offender. Annoyed (but worried) brown eyes stare back at him, so different from the amber eyes he’d had in his head.

“Scott, are you okay?” Allison asks. Jackson and Lydia, who are across from them, look on suspiciously. They’re sitting in the cafeteria and Scott’s food has slowly but surely cooled in front of him, untouched.

“I’m fine, it’s just-“

“The new kid.”

Scott shifts his eyes to Lydia, who looks at him knowingly.

“There’s something off about him,” She says quietly. “The moment he sat next to me, I felt like screaming.”

A hush falls over them and Scott doesn’t know if he should be afraid or suspicious. The moment the boy- Stiles- had entered the class, Scott had known something was off. He smelt heavenly, like home and everything Scott wanted, but wrong. There hadn’t been a personal scent, there had just been that something else. And his heart beat; so steady, almost mechanical, never speeding up or slowing down.

What got to Scott the most, though, was the smile. The slow, somewhat lazy, smile that had stretched across the boy’s face. It was like he’d immediately known that Scott wasn’t human. Stiles knew something that Scott didn’t and if Scott had learned anything from past experience, that was never a good thing.


Sighing, Stiles shuts the door to his bedroom behind him and lies down on the bed. He had gone hunting just prior to getting home. The forest nearby was large, and while it did give Stiles a bad feeling, he enjoyed the sense of freedom it had given him.

Getting up, he walked to the bathroom, his mind wandering to the boy in his first class. The wolf boy. Stiles was intrigued. The boy- Scott, he had learned- was clearly wary of him, if the younger boys glances said anything. He wondered if Scott thought Stiles was here to try and fight for the land, or if Scott’s pack knew if he was here.

Suddenly, Stiles stops, his hand just shy of touching the doorknob of his door. There’s something- someone- in his room, and judging by the scent, they aren’t human. Quickly, he twists around.

Whiskey meets cerulean blue. Eyes flash red in the moonlit room.

Slowly, a sharp smile settles on the stranger’s face.

“So, you’re the one who’s making my Betas upset.”

Chapter Text

“I’m guessing you’re the Alpha?” 

The man in front of him nods nonchalantly, looking as if this is the calmest he’s ever been. They eye each other before the Alpha slinks closer with all the grace of a natural born wolf. Stiles doesn’t move, letting the other man circle him predatorily.

“And who might you be?”

There’s a purr to his words, almost mocking. Stiles doesn’t rise to the bait; werewolves are territorial of their space and Stiles isn’t looking to take over.

“Stiles Stilinski,”

The Alpha stops in front of him, only a scant few feet away, and holds out his hand.

“Peter Hale, Alpha of the Hale pack.” The man- Peter- says. There’s a clear challenge in his eyes, and Stiles has never been smart enough to back down from a challenge.

Stiles grips his hand and shakes it firmly, making sure not to squeeze too hard. Peter seems to deem it good enough because the man lets go without breaking his hand, though that wouldn’t necessarily do anything harmful to Stiles.

“Any reason you’ve decided to come to Beacon Hills? There’s not much to it.” Peter says conversationally, but Stiles can read between the lines, ‘What are you doing here and do I need to kill you?’

Stiles thinks about it for a moment and then decides that answering truthfully will probably be less likely to get him killed.

“A relative of mine lost his wife a month or so ago, so we decided to move here to get away from… from the memories.” Stiles feels something inside of him ache fiercely at the thought of Claudia. “I’m not looking to take over the territory, ok? I could be less than interested in that.” It can’t hurt to be blunt.

When Stiles looks up, he sees a flash of something that looks strangely like sympathy pass through Peter’s eyes, but it’s gone so quick it might just be his imagination. The werewolf’s tense muscles relax and his rigid shoulders slump minutely. Stiles wonders about it but keeps the questions to himself.

There’s soft moment of silence before Peter turns away to crouch on the windowsill, preparing to leave. Stiles assumes the meeting is done with and turns away. Peter’s voice stops him.

“Tomorrow, three o’clock.”

Stiles looks back and squarely meets Peter’s eyes with a nod. There’s no point in asking questions because Peter disappears out the window, leaving only a howl behind him.

The vampire waits for a moment, standing still in the dark, spartan room where Peter’s scent lingers. Then, after a thought, he turns away to walk out of the room.


As Peter runs through the forest, basking in the burn and stretch of his muscles, his thoughts wander to the boy- man, really- he’s just met. 

When the pack had come in, quiet and strangely somber, Peter hadn’t known if he should have been worried or happy that they’d finally shut their mouths. Scott had sat at his feet, oddly close for the puppy-like beta.

“What’s got you all quiet?” Peter had asked, and Scott had muttered under his breath.

“The new kid in school… he smells weird.”

And that had certainly been an unexpected surprise. The werewolves in the pack were at the point in their lives were their senses didn’t trouble them; why was the smell of some kid so disturbing?

Ever the psychic, Erica had chimed in, eyes mischievous. “Scott said he smelled like all his dreams and wishes come true.”

“I didn’t say that!” Scott had squawked, waving his arms around for emphasis. “I just said he smelt nice, like home or something. But weirder.”

“And Lydia said he made her want to scream,” He added petulantly, arms crossed over his chest. Across from him, Lydia raised a razor-sharp eyebrow dangerously.

By this point in time, Peter’s eyebrows had expressed so many emotions he almost felt like Derek. The issue proceeded to get worse when Scott tried to explain the smell coming from the boy. Then everybody was speaking all at once, and Peter decided that visiting this kid would probably be more effective than watching his betas act like arguing children (which, really, they kind of were.)

Now, after meeting with Stiles, Peter can understand what Scott meant about the scent. It’s warm and tempting, and it reminds him painfully of the way the Hale house smelled before the fire that had consumed it (everyone was safe, though, was what Talia would always say). The scent isn’t all lovely because Peter has a more refined nose than Scott and he can smell the death that lingers like the second skin. It’s not the death of others, but rather the death of oneself.

Stiles isn’t dead. He doesn’t seem dead. Peter’s not too sure he’s right about that, though. Stiles’ heartbeat was mechanical, never speeding up or slowing down, and if it weren’t for Peter’s honed senses, he probably never would have noticed that Stiles didn’t breathe. Which means Stiles is definitely not human, and –very likely- dead.

Overall, Peter considers the meeting a success. He’ll have to prepare for any altercations that might happen at the meeting tomorrow. He has very little hope that Scott won’t start something. That boy’s always been too much trouble, and while Scott may mean well, his actions don’t always portray that. Something will go wrong, Peter thinks as he opens the door to the newly renovated Hale house, something always goes wrong when it comes to this pack. Still, Peter can’t help the rush of fondness that courses through him at the thought of his pack, craziness and all.


 

After Peter leaves, Stiles opens the hallway window, scours the perimeter of the house, and sprints to the woods, opposite of Peter. There’s a thirst in him now, one that he hasn’t felt in quite some time, and now, with the moon high in the sky, Stiles will hunt.

Trees pass by him in a blur, dark smudges against the canvas of nature Stiles speeds through. A scent catches his nose and he veers off sharply to the right, feet silent against the mud and leaves littering the earth.

There’s a quiet to this time, where everything is dark and natural, and Stiles, though he hates it, feels like a predator. It’s a feeling he both hates and loves. Hates, because it means he’s stuck like this forever, trapped in the body of a child who’s destined to roam the earth forever, watching loved ones fade.

And loves, because the feel of hunting sends adrenaline coursing through him, sharp, quick bursts that make him feel alive- the most alive he’s ever been. There’s nothing but him and the wild, playing a game of tag that will end in spilled blood and red, glistening teeth.

Stiles has been doing this for years, whether he wanted to or not. The need to feed grows and grows until there’s a rock in the pit of stomach dragging him down. Chains shackling his ankles till all he can do is stand in place and eye the people around him with hunger.

Stiles never feeds on humans, though; it would be too much.

So Stiles crawls in the night, slinking into the shadows and watching anything that so much as skitters by with keen eyes. To his left, something growls, and Stiles’ head whips around to stare, lifting his nose to smell the air. A coyote comes into his line of sight, trotting along, and Stiles tenses in anticipation.

He waits.

Waits for the right moment.

The coyote stops, raises its head, and stares away from Stiles. In its moment of stillness, Stiles lunges, baring his teeth and sinking them into the course fur beneath him.
The coyote thrashes before going limp in his hold, letting him drink in peace. The blood rushes through him, and the rock in his stomach becomes a pebble.

When Stiles is done with the coyote, he buries it, out of respect. He may feast on the animals but that doesn’t mean Stiles will treat them as if they are disposable. They are the things keeping him from going insane and Stiles will do what he needs to give back.

Stiles shifts around, turning to head back when a piercing whistle rings in the air. He barely has a second to get down before an arrow embeds itself in the tree behind him, right where his head would have been. And in Stiles moment of hesitation, an arrow rips through his shoulder, forcing a startled cry from him.

The arrow burns for a moment, and his body rejects it, pushing it out vehemently. He helps himself and grips the hilt of the arrow, twisting and pulling until the arrow hangs limply in his hand. Stiles runs, speeding away from the arrows and bullets trailing after him.

A voice shouts in the distance, “Follow it!”

When Stiles comes to, he’s left the scene behind him and is crawling through the window, body moving on autopilot. Blood stains his clothes and Stiles tries not to get it on the walls or the window. He doesn’t need to worry John any more than the man already is.

Stiles flicks on the light to his room and glances at the arrow, breathing harshly despite the fact that he doesn’t even need to breathe. It looks familiar, a sight that Stiles is sure he’s seen before carved into the wood.

It’ll hit him later, but for now, Stiles strips his clothes and gets ready to scrub the blood off of himself and hide his clothes.


 

John groans, throwing an arm over his eyes. A minute or two go by where John thinks he might fall asleep again, and then his alarm suddenly blares next to his ear and he whacks it with the previously mentioned arm. Light filters through the open window and a cool breeze blows into his room. A quick glance shows that its 7 o’clock and John makes a displeased sound at the back of his throat before heaving himself out of bed. Making quick work of getting his clothes, the bleary eyes man wanders into the kitchen.
It’s strangely empty, when usually at this time Mieczysław would be up and occupied with the crosswords in the newspaper. The other man is insistent that he can beat them and every day, without fail, he does. Over and over again. John doesn’t know if it has anything to do with Mieczysław’s pride, but John suspects it has something to do with the routineness of it. Mieczysław wants something constant and John (and the newspaper) provide that.

Humming lightly, John pours himself another cup of coffee and goes to find his housemate. Mieczysław isn’t in his room and neither is he anywhere else in the house. He’s probably gone out to hunt, and even now, after months of living with Mieczysław, that word makes John wince. It makes the older man sound like an animal when really, Mieczysław is the smartest and kindest person John has ever known; sad and sometimes annoying but still someone John is proud of knowing. He would never call Mieczysław barbaric, even though he knows what Mieczysław is and what it entails.

Slumping lower into his chair, John’s head falls back at an awkward angle. It’s uncomfortable and he’ll surely have a crick in his neck, but he can’t find it in himself to care. From where he’s slumped, John can hear the front door click open almost inaudibly and light footsteps are heard for his benefit. Mieczysław appears in his line of sight, and the look of worry on the younger looking man’s face is enough to make John sigh.

“I’m okay,” John murmurs, pushing himself up. “I’m fine, just a bit tired. You want me to make breakfast, or-?”

Mieczysław eyes him for a long moment before shaking his head, whiskey eyes still trained intently on John.

“I’ll make breakfast and get some coffee going,” He heads over to the kitchen and calls back, “You should probably get ready for work!”

John’s eyes linger before he turns away and heads up to his room, not deigning to mention that he’s already had a cup of coffee. Two cups might actually keep him awake for the rest of the morning.


Contrary to what John might think, Stiles does know that the younger man had already drunk coffee. He saw the mug sitting on the counter, but because he’d seen how drained John looked, Stiles had let him get away with it. Absentmindedly brushing past another student, Stiles walks towards his parked car.

Neither of them has been doing all that well after Claudia’s death and the move. He knows John stays up far too late and throws himself into deputy work. It’ll kill him; Stiles knows because he was the same, and if the vampire from all those years ago hadn’t gotten to him first, the toll his work took on him would have.

He’s heading home to wait for Peter. Stiles assumes that’s where the other man will pick him up, but now, Stiles can see Scott and Lydia walking towards him intently.
Stiles slows down, letting them catch up with him. Lydia walks with him then spins towards him, effectively stopping his movement.

“Peter want us to take you back to the house,” Lydia says, and to others, she might look poised, but Stiles can see the poorly hidden fear behind her gaze.

“I have a car,” Stiles points out, gesturing towards his newly bought (and quite broken) car. “And I’m not leaving it here or letting anyone else drive it.”

Lydia purses her lips and flicks her eyes towards Scott briefly before looking back at him. Then, she says, “You can follow us in your car, that way you don’t have to leave it here.” Nodding at him, she walks away, Scott trailing behind.

For a moment, Stiles wonders why Scott even came with Lydia if he wasn’t going to say anything.

He shrugs that thought away and follows the car in front of him. The drive is long, leading into the woods that Stiles usually hunts in. They go down a winding road before he begins to see peaks of a house, large and towering in the middle of the woods. The car slows to a stop in front of Stiles and he follows suit, before throwing the door open and walking behind the tense group of teenagers leading him to the entrance of the house.

The house itself on the inside is nothing special, but the pictures on the walls catch Stiles’ attention. A picture of a child; a picture of a large, grinning family; a picture of a surly looking man with blue eyes, and plenty more. They all speak of something, and Stiles is fairly surprised that the house is normal and cozy and not some sort of den he’s been amusingly imagining.

He’s led into the living room, and in exactly five seconds, there’s a gun to his head, bared fangs and claws, and a very, very familiar looking face.

“What the hell is he doing here?!” The man with the gun to his head snarls and Stiles has to take a second look before recognition dawns on his. By then, his mouth has already moved.

“Well, if it isn’t little old Chris Argent.”

 

Chapter Text

 

Chris is 24 when he meets the boy with amber eyes and pale, mole-dotted skin. The boy inclines his head, not taking Chris’ offered hand, and introduces himself as ‘Stiles’. 

 

Chris can’t stop himself from raising a brow at the name, but despite everything his father did to him, his mother raised him right, and he nods back at the man. His hand, that’s been held up for the entirety of their greeting, falls limply by his side, close to the gun strapped to his hip.

 

He’s in Italy (Perugia specifically), surrounded by beautifully old architect, standing in the middle of a barren walkway. Chris is supposed to be hunting, instead, he’s sitting next to a boy under a heavy curtain of rain, introducing himself as ‘Carson’. 

 

‘Carson’, as he’s taken to calling himself, is a young widower traveling to Italy to get away from the heavy burden of his parents trying to remarry him. It’s the alias he’d set up when they’d first come to Italy, hunting a rogue omega that had evaded one too many hunters. Suspicious, but not uncommon. 

 

The rain peters out around them, becoming faint droplets that flash in and out of existence as they fall. Stiles continues to sit idly beside him, murmuring lowly about the history of the city they are sitting in. The younger man hasn’t moved aside from occasionally tapping his foot or the jittering of his knees. Chris wonders what Stiles is waiting for as he sits on this bench with a man he’s never met, talking almost amicably. 

 

A shout sounds nearby, “Carson!” and the bearer of the name stands up, sharing a last parting glance with Stiles before walking away. His partner waits outside of a building, an umbrella hanging over his head, leaving him fairly dry. 

 

“Who was that?” Devon asks him, glancing back. Chris glances back as well, but Stiles is gone, leaving the street empty and eerie. Chris feels a shudder go through him. 

 

“No one,” He says; it feels heavy on his tongue. “No one.” 


He forgets about Stiles easily enough, his mind focused on tracking and talking with witnesses. The omega continues to evade them, leaving differing tracks and untraceable leads. It’s unexpectedly smart, to an extent where Chris thinks it might not even be an omega, but he banishes that idea quickly enough, knowing how ridiculous it is. There are no other creatures that could do something like this. 

 

A week goes by before he sees Stiles again; this time in a grocery store. The younger man is holding a shopping basket, tucked slightly behind him so that Chris can only see an edge of red. 

 

Stiles seems to see him because he turns around and waves. Chris waves back feebly, feeling terribly out of place. The weapons hidden on his person feel wrong, but he gets a feeling from Stiles, one that leaves his skin cold and clammy. 

 

“Carson,” Stiles greets. “Lovely seeing you again.” There’s amusement glinting in his eyes. It gives him a devilish look, and trepidation courses through Chris.

 

It takes a second, but Stiles quickly notices Gerard, who’s accompanied Chris for some reason unknown. A flash of something lights up his eyes a bit but it’s gone as quick as it came.

 

“Good morning, Stiles,” Chris replies diplomatically. “How are you doing?” 

 

Stiles’ shoulders droop and a frown worries his lips. “Fine.”

 

Unsurprisingly, Chris doesn’t quite believe him. He won’t call Stiles out on it, though, considering the younger man’s look isn’t particularly inviting.

 

 “This is my father, Gerard.” Chris introduces, tilting his head towards the other hunter.

 

Stiles smiles- it looks more like an animal baring its teeth. “Lovely meeting you.”

 

Gerard doesn’t answer except for a nod, his (fake) friendly smile contrasting with the sharpness of his eyes.

 

“Well,” Stiles says, brushing away imaginary dust from his clothes. “I’m gonna head home. It was nice seeing you again, Carson.” Stiles looks at the older hunter with a, frankly, very fake smile. “Gerard.”

 

Chris nods, letting his eyes trail after Stiles’ lean form until he can no longer see him. Then, Chris turns around and tries to make sense of the rock that’s settled in his gut. 

 

The next week, he and his fellow hunters manage to find a trail; it’s the first (and only) one.

 

It’s somewhere around one in the morning, and they’re trudging through muds, soaked to the bone. The field around them is quiet, save for the occasional sound of thunder and crackles of lightning. 

 

Behind him, Devon sniffles, staring distastefully at the sky. “Bad day to go hunting, especially in an open field. We’re wide open.” 

 

Chris gives an imperceptible shudder, feeling more aware of the wide expanse of nothing surrounding them on all sides. If they are attacked, only their weapons will help. 

 

There’s a rustle to their left and Chris freezes, holding his breath. When nothing happens, they continue forward. The ground sinks beneath him, squishing uncomfortably and holding his feet still for a second before he continues on. Chris lifts his foot again and brings it down, except there’s something there. It squishes, sinking lightly into the mud. 

 

Chris takes an aborted step back. Devon bumps into his back, letting out a questioning sound. 

 

“What the- Chris, what, what’s there?” 

 

“Pass me your flashlight.” 

 

Devon pats around for a bit, searching for the flashlight they bought with them but haven’t used. Soon, he’s passing it over, and Chris shines the light over the mysterious object he’s stepped on. He has to kneel down to take another look before his eyes adjust. 

 

It’s a hand.

 

A hand that sticks out of the ground, finger limp, and when Chris shines the light over a flash of silver catches his eye.

 

“What the fuck?” Devon murmurs, peering over his shoulder curiously. 

 

Chris stares longer, ignoring the rain running down his face and sticking to his eyelashes, distorting his vision, because this is perhaps one of the most bizarre things that have happened so far on this trip. 

 

They continue to stare longer, the two other members of their group coming up to investigate as well. Chris ponders it for a bit, wondering why a hand is stuck out of the ground in such a peculiar fashion.

 

He shines the light over the fingers when something shines again, and Chris leans in, taking a long look at what is apparently a ring settled snugly on the finger.

 

There’s a rustle to their left again, and now, now Chris understands.

 

The Argent family crest stares back at him, splattered with rain and tiny specks of blood.

 

 His eyes go wide and he turns around, lashing out an arm and shouting.

 

“This is a trap! Leave- we have to- go now! Now!” 

 

They stumble back, hands reaching for weapons. Weapons won’t help them now, Chris thinks, it’s already here. And true enough, something lunges from the left, tackling them to the ground, swiping claws and using fangs. 

 

Devon shouts something over the commotion while the creature’s claws catch Chris, tearing deep gouges into his back. 

 

A gunshot rings out, followed by a rapid fire of bullets. 

 

The creature’s gone suddenly, leaving nothing behind but four injured men. 

 

There’s a calm before the storm, and then they’re all getting to their feet and running away, back to where the car is parked. It’s the most unprofessional Chris has ever been on a job but he’s shaken and unable to give a damn.

 

On the way back, the field is empty with no signs of life. 

 

 Chris fights the urge to shift under his father’s stare; Gerard Argent isn’t happy with his son.

But then again, when is he ever happy with Chris? 

 

Never, Chris thinks bitterly, he’s never happy. 

 

The hunt was a bust, but Chris knows now that whatever’s been causing trouble; it’s not an omega. Even surrounded by rain and mud, senses muddled, Chris had felt the too slippery skin and claws that curled inward. Two things werewolves didn’t have… at all. 

 

Gerard, however, doesn’t agree. His father’s sure that whatever attacked them was an omega. He’s stubborn, one of the traits that Chris himself inherited, and sure of himself in a way that is entirely too infuriating. Chris hates him, yet, at the same time, not really. Gerard and he will never agree with each other, and even now his father argues, saying that the trail is exactly like what an omega would leave behind.

 

Chris knows, though, that things are never as they seem. And that hand, tearing through the ground as if someone were trying to climb out, an Argent family ringing settled naturally on the right ring finger, was definitely unusual.  

 

He doesn’t tell Gerard about the hand, feels like its personal somehow. 

 

“There’s nothing else out there, Chris.” He says, eyes half-lidded and firm like steel. He knows something, Chris is sure, because the man doesn’t say anything else, remaining silent and contemplative. 

 

Chris is dismissed with nothing but those words and that stare to keep him company. 


"There was something there, Kate, and it wasn't a werewolf." Chris paces in his room, mind running a mile a minute as he thinks of every possible creature it could have been. The Argent house has always hunted werewolves, long before people had stopped believing. They don't focus on other creatures (if other creatures are even out there). 

 

"You sure you weren't seeing things?" Kate's voice jars him out of his thoughts. "You said the trail was exactly like the trail an omega mutt would leave. And it was raining, Chris." 

 

"It attacked me, doesn't matter if it was dark. I felt it." There's something missing, Chris thinks, something that niggles at the back of his mind but he just can't quite seem to grasp. 

 

"Dad didn't think it was anything else," Kate points out, and Chris scowls; Kate will choose what their father says over anyone. If Gerard says roll over, Kate will roll over. If Gerard says kill innocent people, Kate will kill innocent people. It irks him at the same time as it sickens him. She's a marionette and Gerard has all the strings in his hands. 

 

"Dad isn't always right, Kate," Chris says sharply, and the other end of the connection goes quiet. He can practically see Kate gearing up to argue with him. 

 

"What's all this about, Chris? You would never have argued with dad before." Kate asks, voice slow and probing. "What is it, Huh? Victoria? Your stupid plan to retire? What, you found a new werewolf friend and suddenly we don’t matter anymore?!”

 

And there it is. 

 

"My relationship with Victoria is none of your business, Kate," He says firmly. "And if I want to retire early, then I will retire early." His relationship has always been a sore subject, simply for the fact that he and Victoria weren't in love and some days he couldn't even stand her. But their engagement brought together two powerful families from the hunter line and he couldn't fuck that up. 

 

"You're 24, Chris, normal people don't retire at this age," She shoots back, voice rising. 

 

"Regular 24-year-olds don't hunt werewolves. Regular 24-year-olds don't come home injured. Regular 24-year-olds are supposed to be living life and actually being fucking happy, Kate!" Chris snarls back, and Kate inhales sharply. It’s probably the most emotion Chris has shown about what he thinks in a long time.

 

“And when, Kate, would I have found a werewolf friend?” Chris asks, “Dad’s got you watching me 24/7 in fear of me running off and killing everybody.”

 

“Fine, then, but you’ve got no reason to go thinking there’s something else out there because there isn’t Chris. There isn’t. Werewolves, on the other hand, are out there and if we don’t stop them then someone’s going to get hurt and it’ll be all your fucking fault!”

 

Kate’s tone is snide and Chris must physically refrain himself from trying to reach through the phone and throttle her. She infuriates him and Chris doesn’t even know why he bothered calling her.

 

“There are other things out there, Kate,” He counters, “Just because we’ve only ever hunted werewolves doesn’t mean there aren’t other things out there. It wouldn’t make sense.” 

 

Chris knows, knows that whatever it was that he felt attack him wasn’t a wolf. He’s a thousand-and-one percent certain, and if Gerard and Kate don’t want to agree with him then fine, he’s not going to waste more time on them. Chris hangs up, cutting off Kate’s shrill voice.

 

Frankly, he’s sick and tired of Kate and Gerard- of his family and his entire life.

 

He throws the cell phones onto the bedside table, ignoring the violent vibrations that are surely a result of Kate calling him repeatedly to chew him out.

 

When he falls into bed, the thoughts of Gerard, Kate, and the mysterious creature are shunned to the back of his mind.

 

It rains harder the next day, matching wonderfully with Chris’ despondent mood. He’s sitting under the pouring rain, on the same bench, but this time there is no chatter to take away from his thoughts.

 

Gerard had sent him off, citing that he and the rest of the hunting party were going out and that Chris needed to stay back and watch for any suspicious signs. Chris doesn’t believe a word of bullshit that comes out of Gerard’s mouth but he’s too drained to argue.

 

The rain continues on, speeding up and pelting at him like harmless bullets that sting. Off to the side a car speeds by, sending a wave of water towards him. Chris huffs, his head falling back to hit the back of the bench as he stares at the sky. Slowly, his eyes droop, and he snaps them open, rubbing a hand over his wet face. They droop again, but this time, Chris lets them close against his better judgment.

 

So Chris sleeps.

 

And he sleeps.

 

And he slee-

 

“Carson! Hey, man, it’s not cool to sleep in the rain, you’ll get sick.”

 

Chris raises his head sluggishly, blinking bleary eyes to stare at Stiles who’s leaning over him and wearing an amused yet worried expression.

 

“Seriously, man, you shouldn’t sit, let alone sleep, in the rain,” He says, and it sounds like Chris is playing it in slow motion in his head. “Especially not this type of rain.”

 

Looking around again, Chris rubs both hands over his face and turns to face Stiles, who waits patiently for him to gather his bearings.

 

“Thanks,” Chris’ voice is low and scratchy, and he swallows before pursing his lips in annoyance. Everything feels blurry around the edges, but that’s probably because of his impromptu nap.

 

“No problem.”

 

Stiles pauses, and then slowly lays a hand on Chris’ shoulder. The younger man (who’s actually older) helps him sit up, gentle but firm. There’s something off about his expression, but at the moment, swaying and still half-asleep, Chris doesn’t notice.

 

“What’re you doing in the rain anyway?”

 

“Just waiting,” Chris says, “My dad’s gone out and he told me to look around.” It’s not a lie, but really, it’s not exactly the truth either. Stiles seems to accept it though because he nods before tugging at Chris’ shoulder.

 

“Let’s get out of the rain.”

 

Acquiescing, Chris staggers to his feet and lets Stiles tug them into another direction. Slightly more awake, he narrows his eyes and looks at their surroundings. A few people mill around, rushing through the rain in blurs. In front of them, an old building sits, walls yellow and chipped with age but still standing tall like a fortress. The roof extends slightly, leaving just enough space for Stiles to usher them out of the rain and into reprieve.

 

The rain around continues to batter down while Stiles shakes the water out of his hair and swipes a hand through his brown locks, making them stick out every which way. Chris wipes his face with his still wet hand and blinks sluggishly. He feels more than a little lethargic, which in itself is strange because Chris is usually instantly on guard, in tune with his reactions and instincts.

 

Stiles eyes him for a moment, something indescribable in his eyes, then asks “Are you sure you’re okay?”

 

Chris nods before shaking his head and rubbing his eyes. The dull throbbing in his head has gotten worse. The pattering of the rain feels harsher to him, rattling inside his skull violently.

 

“I’ll be fine-“

 

A sharp ringing cuts him off, and for a split second, Chris recoils both because of the noise and the meaning. Holding up a finger to Stiles, he digs a hand into his pocket and takes out his phone.

 

“We need you here, now.”

 

That startles him into awareness, and Chris is answering before he can even think.

 

“What’s wrong?”

 

Devon’s voice comes through, hoarse and scratchy. “Gerard’s down. We don’t know what happened, but something came at him and it’s… it’s not good.”

 

“Condition?”

 

“Uncertain. He’s in surgery right now.”

 

All the while he’s talking to Devon, Chris turns to Stiles, who’s watching him with pensive eyes, and mouths ‘I have to go’ before rushing off into the rain at the other man’s nod. Behind him, although Chris can’t see, Stiles quirks his lips and reaches his hand to the back of his head, rubbing away the lingering blood that’s still in his hair.

 

One of the lucky things, Chris thinks, is that the Argents have their own infirmaries in all their bases. All it takes is one harsh look from Chris and the guards in front of Gerard’s doorstep aside leniently, letting him through.

 

Gerard looks terrible, hooked up to a respirator and a heart monitor, tubes winding around him. Even in sleep the man looks like a soldier, rigid and laying right on his back. Devon, who’s accompanied him, steps up tentatively, looking unsure but valiantly trying to hide it. Chris can’t say he blames the man for his grimace; he doesn’t know what kind of face he himself is making.

 

It’s surreal, really, to see Gerard like this; in all his life Chris can remember only one time when the man had been injured and it had been nothing more than a knife to the arm. Gerard hadn’t even blinked back then, eyes hard as iron as he’d struck a bullet straight into the opposing man’s brain.

 

That certainly didn’t happen this time. No, this time the hunting party had found Gerard convulsing on the ground, surrounded by foreign blood. The stakeout hadn’t meant to take long and Gerard certainly hadn’t been alone, but it seems that his assailant had been prepared because the rest of the hunters were dead, spread out over the scenery grotesquely.

 

Chris settles into the chair beside the bed, and Devon ducks out of the room, not quite concealing his relieved sigh. The oppressive atmosphere hanging in the air is enough to make even Chris want to leave but he soldiers through it prepared to stay by Gerard’s side as any second would. Kate would usually be the one doing this, being Gerard’s second and all, but seeing as she isn’t here right now, Chris has to step up to the job.

 

He finds, sitting here by his unconscious father’s side, that he really isn’t well-equipped to handle this situation; Chris is used to being out, usually trying to find the assailant. The occurrences in which Chris has had to sit by his father’s side have been few and far between.

 

Heaving a sigh, Chris lets his head fall back uncomfortably and resolves to keep his eyes awake, despite how hard it might seem at the current moment. His will, though, isn't strong enough and heavy eyelids block blue from view. He doesn’t sleep, though, prepared to keep vigilant.

 

When Chris opens his eyes, Gerard lays in front of him, unmoved. Everything in the room is the same, sterile white and smelling strongly of medicine.

 

There is, however, a warm hand resting between his shoulder blades.

 

Chris looks up, blinking, and inhales sharply at the rustic red eyes staring amusedly back at him.

 

“How’ve you been, Chris?” Stiles says teeth tinted red.

Chapter Text

It's difficult to put into words- into emotions- what staring into the eyes of a monsters feels like. The floor drops beneath you, an uneasy weightlessness that pins you to your seat. Lead floods the senses, a thick cloth blocking out everything but the unsteady thump of your heart as it beats violently against your rib cage.

 

It is even more difficult to describe the monster’s bewitching smile.

 

Chris can say, without a doubt, that none of his nightmares have ever felt so vivid as the one before him; the bright, unyielding sharpness prodding at his eyes and rendering him unable to look away from the amber eyes pinning him to his seat.

 

Stiles continues to smile at him, Chris' silence affecting him in no way, and of course it isn’t, Chris thinks, he's just a nightmare and nightmares don't react to you.

 

"I’m feeling kind of rejected here, Chris,” Stiles drawls, “You haven’t even answered me yet. Also, staring, which is very rude mind you.”

 

When Chris doesn’t give him a response Stiles goes still, the sharp smile dimming down into a pensive frown. The hand that’s still placed between his shoulders- Chris had forgotten about that- clenches slightly. And yeah, yeah that is a very real and cold hand gripping him in a very reality assuring way.

 

Chris lurches forward, slick hands grappling at the gun at his side. Stiles’ hand falls limply from his back and the other man does nothing to defend himself against the barrel of Chris’ gun. For some strange, inexplicable reason, Chris doesn’t shoot.

 

For a long reprehensible moment, neither men move. Then suddenly the door of the room bangs open and Devon stumbles in, gingerly holding his side and clenching his gun in his blood-soaked hand.

 

He takes one look at the scene and doesn’t hesitate in leveling his gun on Stiles and shooting Chris a worried look. Despite the two guns trained on him, Stiles doesn’t look the least bit affected and Chris can’t help but shudder at the complete lack of concern he displays.

 

“What the fuck are you doing here?” Devon spits out, glaring.

 

Stiles rocks back on his heels and pats Gerard’s bed, ignorant of the way Chris’ face tightens around the edges or the way Devon fingers the trigger of his gun. “Just visiting little old Gerry here, you know, we got a lot to talk about.”

 

Devon doesn’t lower his gun and by his narrowed eyes and set mouth Chris can tell he doesn’t believe a single word of bullshit that’s coming out of Stiles’ mouth.

 

“That’s a load of crap and you know it. Gerard fucking knew it was you.”

 

Swiveling his eyes from Devon and Stiles, Chris barks out a question,

 

“What did Gerard know?” Devon flicks his eyes over to him but doesn’t deign to give him a response. “Devon, what did Gerard know?”

 

Red eyes gleaming, Stiles smirks and tilts his head in Chris’ direction, never taking his eyes off Devon. His hand, pale and bony, continues to rest on Gerard’s bed, purposefully relaxed.

 

“Oh he doesn’t know does he?” Stiles swipes his tongue over his red teeth and practically preens. “Heir of the famous Argent hunting line and he doesn’t even know a life outside of werewolves. Kind of sad.”

 

Chris’ agitation is witnessing new levels and at this point, he’s not so certain who he should be pointing his gun at. “What are you talking-“

 

“Chris, it’s nothing, he’s messing with us- trying to pit us against each other.”

 

“No, no, c’mon Devon, just tell him,” Stiles goads relentlessly. “Look at the poor guy, considering all his father has hidden from him shouldn’t he know?”

 

“Shouldn’t he know that werewolves aren’t the only things he should worry about? Or that his father’s drowning this family in the sewers.”

 

As Chris’ gun slowly lowers subconsciously and Devon tries to convince him otherwise, Stiles’ hand goes to his back pocket, silver quick, and the next thing Chris knows is he’s sinking his nails into Gerard’s neck.

 

Three bullets, fired in quick succession, do nothing to slow Stiles as he vaults over Gerard’s body and escapes like a shadow through the open window. Devon follows up with one more bullet before he rushes over to Gerard’s side and curses.

 

And Chris- all Chris can do is stand there with his gun held limply in his hand and watch the curtains flutter violently in the wake of Stiles’ escape. Millions of thoughts and yet nothing at all pass through his mind at rapid-fire speed, sending him careening to a blank halt.


 

“What the fuck was that?”

 

Devon doesn’t lift his head up at Chris’ sharp query. The tense set of his shoulders and bowed back don’t flinch, not even when Chris hauls him back by the shoulder to stare him in the eyes.

 

“What the fuck was that, Devon?”

 

Chris Argent can be a patient man but after today, from finding out the man that he considered somewhat of an acquaintance was a monster, to Gerard being in critical condition and a hairs-breath away from death- he isn’t feeling very patient at all, definitely not in the face of Devon’s passiveness.

 

“Chris, I’m not supposed to tell you, Gerard is,” Devon says stoutly.

 

“Gerard’ll tell me shit, Devon, and you and I both fucking know he isn’t going to make it.” Chris spits back, vehement.

 

His father is going to die soon, Chris thinks, but he’ll be damned if he doesn’t get some answers before that happens.

 

“Stiles… he’s what we’ve been hunting all this time isn’t he?” It dawns on him like sleeping; slowly and then all at once. “There is no omega. Gerard was lying to me… and you knew and didn’t tell me.”

 

The other man averts his eyes but it’s enough to make Chris lean back as if struck. The betrayal from Stiles feels insignificant in comparison to the pain he feels now, betrayed by the man he’d called a friend, in some cases even family. Gerard, Chris could understand- the man never told him anything- but Devon, whom he had trusted to be honest with him.

 

This is not the way Chris had envisioned ending his day. This was never supposed to happen and if it did, it would only be a nightmare.

 

Here, in this dimly lit room, sitting next to a man who hours ago Chris would have called a good friend in a heartbeat, there are no words left for him to say.


 

Gerard’s death is announced with less fanfare than what Chris had initially expected. Then again, perhaps it is because the Argent clan know that this was a man who embodied cruelty in every word spat upon their hope and belief in condemnation.

 

They are not so kind as to forget that.

 

The funeral is set for a later date and Gerard’s body is traveled back to the U.S, where Kate will decide what is to be of his funeral while Chris looks over the will. Devon goes with Gerard, never once turning back to face Chris as he limps away. Chris, for his part, is less than upset to see him go.

 

These days there isn’t much to do. With their main leader gone they turn to Chris, like little toy soldiers that bend and contort however he may wish. They are sent off on expeditions to survey the surrounding areas and build up a rapport on what there is and what there isn’t.

 

Stiles, for the time being, is a small bleep on Chris’ troubles. Well, until he shows up in Chris’ bedroom in the middle of the night. He doesn’t hesitate in pulling out his gun and bluntly threatening Stiles with a bullet to the ass.

 

“You know a gun won’t do me any harm,” Stiles’ amber eyes flick absentmindedly around Chris’ sparsely furnished room.

 

Chris’ doesn’t respond but he holds the gun tighter in his grasp and doesn’t give away the fact that holding it makes him feel safer.

 

“Look,” Stiles starts. “You can keep holding the gun and threatening me, I just need you to listen.”

 

“To what?”

 

“Gerard hid some very big, ugly things from you, Chris. I’m here to make sure you know what’s really going on.”

 

At that, Chris settles against the wall next to the door. It’s useless to trust Stiles after the man has given him so many reasons not to, but the undeniable spark of rage and grief

 

Chris feels at the mention of Gerard and all the things he hid from Chris makes him hungry; yearning for something to feed the fire that’s threatening to become a full-blown inferno.

 

“And why would you tell me?” Chris retorts, voice sharp and bothered. He curses himself for the brief show of emotion.

 

Unlike he had expected, Stiles doesn’t cling to the vulnerability and attack him. Rather the man gazes at him with two shrewd, suddenly red eyes and doesn’t utter a single breath for a long moment. The stillness of his chest draws Chris’ eyes and he can’t help but stare at the man who lives even in death.

 

“Gerard had reasons for hiding what he was involved in, unethical as they were. You’re his oldest son, Chris, and despite him being your father you hardly agreed with him.”

 

“Why would I believe you?” The thundering beat of his heart thumping wildly bellies the steel mask Chris sets upon his face.

 

Stiles smirks and the look is so alien on his boyish face that Chris has to stamp down a flinch; Stiles doesn’t look a day older than 17, maybe 18.

 

With a hand on his gun and another on the doorknob, Chris stares at the monster in front of him and tries to arouse the intrepidness he could once claim he had. He’s lost it now, under the dredged up wave of short-comings and uncertainty.

 

“Because you want to know. You’re the Argent Patriarch, Chris and under you, it won’t crumble like it did so long ago.”

 

So, Chris lets him speak and balks at the words that spill from Stiles’ mouth indiscriminately. The sliver of understanding that creeps into his mind at Gerard’s regular behavior makes him want to retch. There are no words as to describe what Chris feels now, knowing all his father’s secrets and knowing they go against the very core of his being.


 

Stiles comes upon the sequestered secret back in Gerard’s 40s. The underground system that once served as the Argents bunker is worn down and a melting pot of smells.

 

Dirty water runs wild and the stench of disease makes Stiles scrunch up his nose in disdain.

 

He can hear the sounds that emanate from further down the dank tunnel, those of metal and the sloshing of water as people move to and fro. Unlike them, Stiles keeps his footsteps feather light and peers further. It has been three days since he caught wind of gossip from passing wood nymphs that couldn’t keep their voices down.

 

The gossip that Stiles heard is utterly ridiculous, enough so to actually be real. So Stiles does what he’s good at and sticks his nose into risky business and checks it out.

 

He’s not disappointed.

 

The mass of dirt and sorrow that moves sluggishly before him is a sight that would make weaker men quake and retch, but Stiles has been alive long enough to know that the spectrum of things he will see down here is going to get worse.

 

To think that Gerard would stoop this low is not unbelievable; there’s always been something wrong about that man.

 

A small almost human-like creature walks by him, orange eyes dimmed and hands shackled together with a type of chain Stiles has seen before, however sparse. Pale pink blood streams down the side of its head, matting into the dirty blond hair.

 

Slave trades for creatures isn’t something new; hunters round up the ones they can’t kill and take desperate measures to ensure they’ll never see light again. It’s cruel and unjust and so, so common but it still makes him coil in anger, despising this nature to dominate that all beings have.

 

Settling into a small crevice near the exit, Stiles stills; no breathing, no blinking, no reaction other than the slight lift of his lips. His patience wears off because after exactly five hours Gerard marches by, back ramrod straight and his ever-present walking cane tapping along with him as if an extra leg.

 

He lifts the cane and nudges aside a fallen creature disdainfully. The limp body flips onto its side and it is but skin and bones, a broken down skeleton that bathes in the sewer water with an anguished expression of pain on its sickly pale face. Somewhere to the side, someone stifles a sob.

 

Argent pays them no attention and continues his marching gait, ignorant to the clawing hands that seek to decimate him. Stiles himself wants to reach out and tear him into shreds; wants to make the Argent family atone for what they cannot deny.

 

All in due time, however, all in due time.

 

Night falls and the slaves are herded into a line near the wall of the bunker. Stiles slyly slips behind one of the guards and places a finger on his lips when a young creature spots him.


 

There is a man behind the guard, Stafos thinks blearily. A man bathed in shadows who places a finger on his lips and stares straight at him as his eyes go rustic red.

 

Stafos knows what is going to happen before it even does. The man, lightning quick, clamps a hand over the guard's mouth, harshly forces his head to the side and sinks his gleaming canines into the now bared throat.

 

A tiny gurgle that only they can hear and the body is dragged back into the dark. Those red eyes are still watching him, though, assessing him and Stafos hates that he trembles slightly under those eyes.

 

The patrolling guard notices the disturbance and walks by, gun held aloft. He sends them a glance but none of them have moved from their positions along the cold metal walls of the tunnel. There is a sudden stillness is the air before a hand reaches out and wraps itself around the guard's neck.

 

The gun drops and his hands fly up to his throat, pulling and grappling at the hand that gets tighter and tighter. Stafos swears he can see the veins in the man’s neck bulging obscenely.

 

Finally, after what seems like hours, the guard goes limp and drops like dead weight, face half hidden in dirty sewer water.

 

A human steps out of the darkness. A lanky man with short brown hair, red eyes bellying the sheer weight of his averageness and adding to him a feral wildness that Stafos has only seen in the worst of the worst down here.

 

Down the tunnel a bell clangs, its shrill sound permeating through the thick silence clogging the air and making the red-eyed man snap to attention. He bustles forward and disappears once more into the darkness but this time Stafos can no longer see the luminous gleam of his red eyes.

 

They sit there for hours, him and the others before gunshots and shouts echo through the tunnels and destroy whatever calm they have left. Stafos shivers and curls inwards when a pained scream ricochets off the metal walls and rings in his ears like church bells.

 

Silence. One second, two seconds, 3 seconds, 4 seconds-

 

The ensuing cacophony of loud, bursting sounds, drown out their screams.


 

Somewhere deep inside the maze of confusion, the Argents have built, Stiles grins, teeth the color of his eyes.

 

It seems Gerard will let no one live.


 

The lanky man rushes back and smiles at them with bloody teeth, motioning with his hands to follow him as his voice is drowned out by the deafening booms still splitting the air.

 

No one questions him as they stumble over themselves to follow him for they’re not foolish enough to think staying in this wretched place will provide them comfort.

 

Stafos takes no relish in the burn of his muscles as he runs but the heady feeling of hope that’s risen inside of him pushes away the discomfort in place of survival. There is fresh air near, he can smell it; a soothing balm on his nose as the scent of dirty water and sweat and blood is breached over.

 

Metal walls Stafos has known for so long come to an end as a gaping hole blinds him. Sunlight and the brilliant blue of the sky make tears well in his eyes. They clamor out in clusters, each griping at the soil of the Earth as they pull themselves out.

 

In his peripheral vision, he can see one of the earth nymphs cry out in happiness as it bleeds into the ground, becoming one with what it has been denied for so long.

 

There are so many of them, Stafos thinks, watching as more and more pour out and disappear in flashes. Even the ones that had been taken so long ago are seen again, letting loose a flood of relief in Stafos because he remembers them- the ‘pretty ones’ that all of them knew of but never wanted to mention.

 

How can one being do all this? How can one being accomplished what Stafos had dreamt of for years?

 

Apparently with much ease.


 

Gerard Argent fires another bullet at him while Stiles ducks a whistling arrow sailing through the air where his head had been.

 

Four on the left and six on the right, while Gerard brings up the rear with bullets. Not so bad, he mulls, most of their weaponry will do a bare minimum amount of damage to him so there isn’t anything to worry about.

 

So long as he gets them far away from the freed slaves everything will work out to perfection.

 

Of course, life is never easy and as the saying goes, “Don’t jinx it.”

 

One of the arrows hits and, surprisingly enough, knocks Stiles to the ground with the impact. Blood spills through his fingers, wet and messy, and before he can push himself to the ground and make a dash for it, Gerard is there, tipping the barrel of his gun underneath Stiles’ chin.

 

“Well,” Gerard says, the distaste in his tone does nothing to cease the anger sparking in his eyes. “The little rat who killed all our men isn’t so swift after all.”

 

I’m certainly not a rat, Stiles thinks witheringly, the least he could do is give me the courtesy of calling me something truthful.

 

However, it all ends wonderfully in the end; Stiles escapes, takes down seven men with him, steals Gerard’s gun and sets their pretty little base on fire.

 

All in a day’s work truthfully.


 

It starts with a slave trade and plummets from there. The use of creature, docile or otherwise, for purposes that Stiles doesn’t mention but Chris knows anyways is enough to strike him down. Gerard wasn’t the ringleader but the extensiveness of this slave trade that used to grow like cancer underground does nothing to diminish the fact that Gerard provided for it and was a member of its core foundation.

 

All those creatures they caught, all those humans that rebelled against everything the Argents stood for and were never seen again; all those instances make startling sense now.

 

Chris wants to cry and hurl and curl up into a ball so he can never have to face the wretchedness of this ever again.

 

The satisfied and slightly sadistic look in Stiles’ eyes had given him little comfort.

 

The sheer inability to do anything makes Chris fume so he ignores the looks his soldiers send him as he strolls down the hallway and mulishly ignores the cries that follow after him. If the Argent people cannot wait one day without giving him grey hairs and adjusting themselves accordingly, Chris will dig a hole in the ground and lie in it, ready for death.

 

His feet, ever against him, take him back to that same dreaded bench that he and Stiles had met at. Fate is laughing at him, surely, when Stiles himself sits down gracelessly next to Chris, in the exact same position as he was a week ago.


Chris Argent is unamused with this horrible turn of events.

 

“What do I do now?” He asks bleakly and the question hangs in the air between them.

 

“Do as you feel you must,” Stiles says calmly. “I’m sure you won’t fuck up as badly as your dad.”

 

Chris feels an old flare of anger at the mention of Gerard but it is gone as quick as it comes; there’s no use in being rude to a dead man.

 

“Wonderful words of encouragement, really.” He replies dryly but despite himself, he holds the words close, repeating them like a mantra in his head so to flush away his lingering insecurities.

 

Seriously, now, Chris turns to Stiles, eyes following the curves of his face and the bright whiskey pools of his eyes. “You can’t come back.”

 

Stiles’ eyes flick towards him once before he turns away. “Why?”

 

“The Argents have a warrant out for you so the next time we see each other I’m gonna have to pull a gun on you.”

 

Head tipped back Stiles barks out a sardonic laugh and gives him grin full of teeth. “I look forward to it, Chris, but you’ll likely never see me again.”

Chapter Text

Peter swivels his head from Chris to Stiles, bemused. Despite the gun in Chris’ hand, there is no animosity in the gesture, and Stiles is relaxed, leaning back with a smile that would on anyone else look more like the baring of teeth. This seems like a good time to interrupt but Peter seldom knows what to say in this strange situation so he waits for the trigger to go off or one of the men to make a fucking move.

“Huh, you weren’t kidding about the gun,” Stiles remarks amusedly, head tilted to the side as if Chris is a particularly interesting specimen in a lab. Next to him, Scott is tensed and Allison is eyeing her father confoundedly, probably because she’s never seen Chris pull a gun out on a teenager (Peter has, but that’s a story for another time).

“And I thought you said I’d never see you again,” Chris says back, quick as a whip. Peter feels weirdly left out in this conversation as if he’s watching an episode from a later season of a show that he has never seen before. “You still have a warrant out on you.”

Stiles waves his hand dismissively, while Chris tucks his gun back into the hem of his jeans before crossing his arms imposingly. There’s less of a comradery between them and more of a mutual respect; almost like the one Peter has with Chris but without the goading and smart-aleck responses that come of their own volition. 

Well, at least they aren’t trying to kill each other.

Still eyeing Chris shrewdly, Stiles flicks his gaze towards Allison and then the ring on Chris’ finger, understanding dawning on his face. “Wow. You got old, and you got married.”

“Yeah, I did; humans do that in case you haven’t noticed.”

Chris Argent actually knows sarcasm, Peter thinks absentmindedly, watching out of the corner of his view as Derek scrunches up his eyebrows in a very clear expression of impatience. He needs to get that boy’s eyebrows plucked, honestly.  

“You know him?” Allison murmurs to her father, not quiet enough with a bunch of werewolves in the room and whatever the hell Stiles is.

“Oh yeah,” Stiles grins, his hand bouncing a jaunty rhythm against his thigh. “Your dad and I go way back. Like I knew him when he was an itty bitty little baby.”

“I was twenty-four,” Chris says blandly, glaring. “And you haven’t aged a day.”

Stiles taps a finger to his temple. “Not human, Chris.”

Finally, Peter heaves a sigh and neatly steps in between them, trying to look more confident than he really feels (judging from the way Derek raises those damn eyebrows of his again, it’s not working). “Why don’t we all just sit down and talk properly instead of standing around and acting like we’re meeting Chris’ ex.”

Said man scrunches up his nose in tandem with his daughter while Stiles eyes Chris, contemplating. He scrunches up his nose after a moment and makes a faux haughty expression.

“You were cuter when you were twenty,” Then, Stiles leers. “Not that you aren’t good looking now but you’re married Chris and I’m no homewrecker.”

Chris makes another disgruntled face, as if the thought of Stiles finding him attractive is repulsive- to Chris, it probably is, seeing as Stiles looks the same age as his teenage daughter.

“So, meeting,” Stiles points at Peter abruptly. “You called me here for some reason so get on with it. I have to get home in time to make sure John doesn’t burn dinner.”

Right, they’re here for a meeting, which has somehow gotten lost in translation. Peter gracefully sets himself down on one of the longer sofas, smiling slightly as his pack gathers around him naturally.

“You’re not here for territory,” Peter says obviously. “But as Alpha of Beacon Hills, I still need to know why you’re here and what you’re plans are.”

Stiles rolls his eyes, reminding Peter startlingly of the teenagers in his pack. “John, a family member of mine, lost his wife a couple of months ago and he hasn’t been dealing with it very well. We decided that moving away for a while would be good for us.” Stiles sighs, leaning back exhaustedly. “It wasn’t good for him so we came here and now he’s a deputy and I’m a high school student.”

Somewhere to his left Scott makes a sympathetic sound low in his throat, and Peter wants to chide him for blatantly showing his cards, but Stiles is being truthful and he can’t fault Scott for being somewhat of a bleeding heart.

“Look, we’re staying as long as John wants to stay and even so, I’m not looking for trouble.”

“You said he’s a deputy,” Chris says abruptly. “Is he Stilinski?”

Stiles nods in affirmative, looking as though he knows where the question is going but is no hurry to let it reach its destination.

“Stilinski is human,” Chris says and Peter finally understands. “And you are not.”

Stiles shakes his head, not unlike a parent would to a child. “John is human, yes, but that doesn’t matter, especially not when Stilinski’s are a long line of humans.”

“Then how is he your family member?” Lydia asks, so quiet up until now that Peter has almost forgotten her presence.

“He’s my descendent and I’m his ancestor,” Stiles replies back slowly, tasting the words on his tongue. “I’m older than him and what makes me what I am is not hereditary.”

Wait a minute.

“You’re older than Deputy Stilinski?!” Erica almost screeches, blue eyes wide. “You’re like seventeen!”

How is it that Stiles can look so amused at them, Peter thinks despairingly. If he’s older than the deputy than he’s older than Peter, which begs the question: how old even is Stiles?

“Technically, no,” Stiles says in response to Erica’s question. “I’m somewhere in my nine hundred, maybe even thousands, but that begs to be questioned because birthdays were really not recorded back then and I only know my approximate age because I’ve been counting the years. Might be more, might be less; definitely near the thousands, though.”

Well, that answers that question: really fucking old. Stiles could be considered one of the ancient wonders of the world with how old he is. Around Peter, the pack is buzzing with questions and denials and ‘really? You’re really that old?’ and Peter himself can’t really believe it but the look in Stiles’ eyes reminds him of those thousand-yard stares, the ones only those who have been around for decades have; Peter’s grandmother used to carry that look with her everywhere she went.

Peter raises a hand and bellows, “Quiet!” before turning back to Stiles. “Ok, you’re old, we get it. How did you meet Chris?”

From her perch next to Scott, Allison perks up, turning inquisitive brown eyes to her father. “Yeah, how did you two meet? You’ve never mentioned him before.”

In the background, Stiles jokingly mimes a hurt expression but he himself looks interested in Chris’ answer.

“He killed my father.”

Silence plummets in the room and Allison turns disbelievingly from Stiles to her father, who looks so unaffected with what is going on that Peter wants to shake him and demand answers, which is doing nothing for his stress levels and graying hair.

“What?” Derek croaks, stunned and horrified in equal measures. The thought of anyone killing his father and then sitting and joking with him is unbelievable.

“It’s true,” Stiles pipes up. “I met him while he was on a hunt in Italy and killed Gerard before telling Chris the truth about some of the things he was blind to.”

Chris ducks his head, as if in mourning, before he lifts determined eyes onto Stiles. “I cleared them all out. Disbanded every single one of them as soon as I could; the Argent household no longer associates themselves with… with that abomination.”

The smile Stiles sends Chris is nearly imperceptible but it’s there and it’s one of the truer smiles Peter has seen on Stiles’ face. Though he doesn’t particularly know what they’re talking about the palpable sorrow that clings to the air makes him want to look away because this is private and personal and so heartbreaking.

“Thank you,” Stiles whispers. “Thank you. I told you you’d be a good leader, Chris, you’re nothing like your father.”

Perhaps if it had been anyone else the comment might have been almost insulting but to Chris, it looks as if a physical weight has been lifted from his shoulders. Allison looks as though she’s never seen anything like this before; they don’t mention Gerard Argent around Chris because it brings this flare of anger into his eyes that makes them uncomfortable. Yet here Stiles is, Gerard Argent’s killer, who doesn’t light that flare of anger but rather abates it.

Muddling, this conversation is but also enlightening.

As serious as the meeting should be, Peter is already feeling the heavy weight of sleep dragging at his eyes, which is ridiculous because the day hasn’t even progressed into the evening and Peter is not the type of man to take naps.

However, the situation is taken out of Peter’s hands when Stiles gets up and wrangles his way out of their house, mentioning ‘John’ and ‘bad cooking’ and ‘will blow the house up’ frequently as he slips away like water through their fingers.

It is only after when Peter is dragging an unwillingly Isaac to bed while he acts like a petulant child, does he remember that he forgot to question Stiles about what he is or speak to him of the pack meetings that would be occurring in the following months to come.

Oh well, Peter thinks sleepily, dropping onto his bed with a euphoric sigh, he’ll ask Stiles some other day.


John isn’t a bad cook, really, it’s just that Stiles prefers that the man stay whole and healthy rather than drowning in gallons of grease and take-out. Claudia, if she were still alive, would have teased Stiles of being a mother-hen but as she is not here to do so, Stiles is content to shove John out of the way- gently because his strength is monstrous- and take over.

This makes the other man grumble as he stands sullenly to the side and lays a soft hand on Stiles’ shoulder.

“How was the meeting?” The question is casual, but Stiles can hear the undertone of steel that says John won’t hesitate to threaten someone for Stiles. It’s warming, and Stiles wonders why he never sought out company before, why he’d lived a life of sparsity and loneliness.

“Fine,” He answers truthfully, absently stirring the soup he’s making. “Met an old friend.”

“Yeah?”

“Chris Argent,” Stiles says, “He mentioned you.”

John hums, nodding. “He supplies us with our ammunition- owns a private weapons company.”

Not what he’s expecting but considering Chris’ actual career choice a weapons company makes logical sense in the long run; no one will question his excessive use of firearms and Chris can continue to do some good.

“Should I be on the lookout for big bad wolves trying to blow the house down?” John asks, equal parts amused and wry.

Stiles rolls his eyes, a startlingly teenage expression for someone his age. “Last I checked, John, we aren’t little pigs with bad decision-making skills.”

John shrugs. Here, joking with Stiles, it may not seem so much as a valid concern, but John knows better than to let his guard down, especially in foreign territory. If the Hale pack labels them a threat, John has no doubt that they’ll be booted from town, and with Stiles’ apparent penchant for trouble, he is very unwilling to test Fate’s temperament.

“How’d you and Chris meet?”

Stiles, the little shit, looks over at him and smiles, faux mysteriously. “It’s a very long story, but basically there’s a lot to do with killing his father, freeing slaves, and sitting on lonely benches in Italy.”

The younger man blinks twice, slowly, before reaching out to lay a hand on Stiles’ shoulder. “Make the long story long. Now.”

By the end of the night, they’ve drained three bowls of soup- or well John has, Stiles had merely sipped- and John is three seconds from having an aneurysm. Or heart attack, whichever came first.

“Not that I disagree with anything you did back then, although you shouldn’t have toyed around with Chris so much, you know you can’t just go around killing people, right?”

John’s expression has settled on exasperated once more, after spinning through incredulous, confused, angry and a myriad of other one’s Stiles is too tired to name at the current moment.

“I’m not an idiot, John- shut your mouth, I know what you’re going to say,” Across from him John shuts his mouth with a sharp click and a sarcastically raised eyebrow. It amuses Stiles immensely how John respects him just because Stiles is his senior by a couple hundred years but still won’t hesitate to show him cheek.

They stare for a while, hazel on amber, before John slumps, looking for all the world like a puppet whose strings have been cut. It’s a disheartening look on him, one Stiles never wants to see, especially not aimed at him.

“I just,” John rubs a hand over his short cropped hair. “I worry about you. Stiles, just ‘cause you’re old and occasionally wise doesn’t mean you aren’t going to get into trouble and get hurt.”

The warmth blossoming in Stiles’ chest doubles, filling up every crack and crevice he thinks must be breaking his body apart. John’s care, no matter how quiet or stubborn, is a soothing balm on the burn left behind from Stiles’ self-appointed solitude. There has been no one, not since Florian- an elderly French man who had seen through Stiles immediately and jubilantly cajoled (read: manipulated) Stiles into staying with him while the man lived out his last days- and even then the slight pain has not receded, even after close to thirty years.

“Look,” knowledgeable of the fact that if he doesn’t reassure John now the man will spend the rest of his days worrying, Stiles says. “I will kill. I know I will because there has never been a town where I haven’t been forced to kill… but for you, I’ll keep it tame.”

It isn’t a lot and considering Stiles’ nature John has every right to be dubious, but there is a trust here, no matter how shaky or new, that is just strong enough for John to nod and accept Stiles’ words at face value.

And despite the unsaid, it means something larger than John or Stiles.


The relationship between Stiles and the pack remains tremulous for a long while, and Isaac questions whether they’ll get anywhere. Peter has already taken the initiative to bring Stiles into their current complication- a series of dead bodies turning up on their land, covered from head to toe in cuts and bites, nothing left untouched except for a hollowed-out chest cavity and a singular bite to the neck.

Stiles’ had stomached the scene well, simply gazing at it wonderingly. When Peter had asked what he was thinking about he’d said, “The insides have been eaten, which doesn’t really narrow it down, but they’ve left the blood.” His tongue had peaked forward, licking his lips, almost as if the scene enticed a level of hunger in him.

Although Isaac has qualms about Stiles and his evident creepiness, he’s willingly to bridge that gap if it means they’ll be able to prevent the death of more innocent women. Besides, it isn’t as though Stiles is all that hard to talk to, with all the puns and a surprising love for comic books that Isaac would not have expected but does seem entirely believable.

So, Isaac does something completely and utterly out of his comfort zone: he starts a conversation. Normally this would be easy, but after living so long with an abusive father Isaac has become in tune to recognizing when someone is dangerous, even if they might not look so. Stiles… Stiles screams lethal, even if he is pale and lanky and surprisingly clumsy.

They form a friendship though, awkward and stilted though it may have started out. It still is kind of awkward and stilted, but there’s no more of a need for tenseness or aborted hand gestures. It does help that Scott had picked up on Isaac’s plan and had joined in, albeit tentatively.

Surprisingly enough Isaac finds himself hanging out with Stiles and Scott on weekends, usually at the movies or as the pack has come to know, Stiles’ favorite diner. For something not human, Stiles takes great joy in greasy food (even if he does dodge around the question of why he never seems to put on weight) - Isaac sort of feels bad for Sheriff Stilinski because everyone knows that Stiles won’t let the man eat anything that has so much as grazed more than a teaspoon of oil.

On a less fun note, the deaths multiply and become more and more alarming. The same pattern appears; hollowed out chest cavity with a singular bite to the neck, and a majority of the blood left behind.

Stiles, for his part, grows more and more pensive, as if he knows something specific but is not yet certain.

“I’ve seen this before,” He says, kneeling next to the body. “The scratches don’t mean anything, not really.”

“Maybe it’s like a reverse-vampire?” Erica throws out, shrugging. “You know, instead of drinking the blood they take the heart to feast on?”

Stiles’ lips do this weird thing, a halfway point between a smile and a smirk, as if Erica’s words are amusing somehow. “Trust me, reverse-vampires would just be regular people, and this is definitely not human work.”

The next body to show up also comes with a side of Chris Argent, who visits and goes over with Stiles through a list of creatures that could be culprits. Stiles’ elusive behavior is a point of contention between the two, and while Peter will never question the alliance between them, the tension is equally undeniable.

“Why hollow out the chest cavity and go through all that trouble, but then leave the blood, if they don’t mean anything?” Boyd questions over coffee, watching as Stiles paces, all jittery limbs. It’s a stark contrast to the absolute stillness he will fall into at times; so reminiscent of a predator in hunt that Peter has snarled at him on more than one occasion.

“Because you put a lot of stock into the ‘whys’ of everything, and less about the innate instinct behind it. More often than not, it means nothing to monsters but to satisfy something inside. If it were a magic user, I’d believe the blood would have meaning, but if this is what I think it is, then there is no magic involved, just a vendetta.”

You…

The bodies pile up, and Stiles’ countenance grows grimmer, and he spends many days in the library with Lydia at his side, undeterred by the myriad of languages and genres that fill Peter’s library. He knows something, it is apparent in the way he’ll pause and stare into open space as if a memory were playing out right in front of him. Peter finds that out of all of them, he’s the one who brings Stiles out of it easiest, just a simple snap of his fingers and he would be back, acting as if nothing were wrong.

One day, Stiles doesn’t show up, and his absence is startling in face of the frantic hecticness that has overtaken them. Peter expects him to show up later- to appear out of nowhere as he is so prone to do; Stiles takes queer pleasure in giving people a fright. So, in the name of caring more than he should about someone he’s just met, Peter ventures out into the big bad world and easily tracks Stiles’ tempting scent to the quaint house just outside the bustle of the town. 

Sheriff Stilinski isn’t home so Peter ventures nearer, except he’s stopped when his foot won’t budge. All of a sudden Peter is aware of the fact that he can’t move forward- backwards yes, but the moment he lifts his foot to move forward he is halted. Breathing in carefully, Peter hunches lower and stalks as close to the invisible barrier as he is allowed to. 

The swell of suspicion is depthless, rising far above Peter’s walls and spilling over perilously into his barren wasteland. Stiles is responsible of this, no doubt, but the reasoning for it is still murky, still too blurred to make out the answers. 

For some reason Peter feels breathless as if his chest is rising too slow but his heart is like the wind, howling as the rain cuts through everything. It’s odd, so odd because there is no smell of rain but rather the cloying scent of lavender, reaching into his head and choking up his throat and Peter doesn’t even remember where he is. 

It’s peaceful, almost, when the night in his brain sets and soothes his ache.


Staring down at Peter, Stiles lets his shoulders slump, no longer as tense as they were when he’d found the werewolf collapsed outside the barrier Stiles had set up after the first night Peter had visited him. This has assuaged any of his previous doubts, banishing them back to that little cave that Stiles often ventures near in his darkest moments. The thought that she is here, especially after so long, is slightly disconcerting, if not thrilling. 

A part of Stiles is looking forward to it; he’s looking forward to sinking his teeth into her neck and tasting the finest of bloods.

There is nothing better than meeting the ones who got away, especially when he hasn’t drunk in so long and the heavy weight of his desires has chained him to the thought of sinking his teeth through tough flesh and tasting iron. The flesh Stiles can do without; it’s the blood he wants. He remembers the last time he came upon her, and it must be her, for who would leave such galling paintings behind for him.

Stiles remembers holding her down, ignoring her fingers as they tore through his skin with immeasurable strength; her snarls had ripped themselves out of her throat as if they were being chased by Hades himself. Most of what happened after that had been blurry, tinted white as he’d let himself loose, let himself take as much as he’d desired; it was only through luck that she had gotten away from him.

And now she has come back, like a slinking weasel who knows no better; one who thinks she could come and play his game again, even after he’d bled her half dry the last time they’d seen one another. This time, however, she’s biding her time, a smart move on her part because Stiles likes the game. He luxuriates in the feeling of being the predator, the hunter; it makes the very core of his being light up.

Stiles is a genial soul, for the most part, not often partaking in salacious violence unless he sees fit to do so, but there’s a part of him, the part that awoke when he died all those centuries that takes pleasure in this. It lives for the hunt, the knowledge of knowing, of being, the better species. It is not arrogance, he knows, but plain fact. When one, such as him, has lived for so long the vulnerabilities of others became clear as if a window wiped free of dust for the first time in decades; and Stiles has learned that exploiting other’s weaknesses becomes another instinct of life.

These bodies are unexpected, though, and their creator even more so, but it isn’t her that’s making him uneasy, it’s the pack. Stiles, while not fully part of them, has grown a level of trust with them, and in the cases of Isaac and Scott a comradery. He has a snarky, intelligent friendship with Lydia that is communicated entirely through the least amount of words possible, something that suits them both perfectly fine; and Peter, who snarls and snaps but won't hesitate to banter with him. They exchange barbs and fling meaningless words back and forth, all while hiding smiles, and although Stiles trusts Peter to some degree he doesn’t know if Peter feels the same.

And now here he is, Peter, laying on the couch in the living room, knocked out by Stiles’ basic shield; the fae he’d come across three centuries ago had refused to teach him more than the basics, telling Stiles that his kind was too unsavory to fully trust. Mieczysław had, in a fit of sudden anger wrought on from hunger, bared his red eyes and hissed, clenching a hand around the wicked thing’s delicate throat.

The fae had run off, and he’d never gotten the chance to apologize and thank it.  

Idly turning off the tap, Stiles snatches up the painkillers John kept in the cupboard and wanders back to the living room. Peter is unmoved, exactly as Stiles left him minutes ago, face pinched into an expression of annoyance. Stiles knows his rest will not be peaceful, not when the barrier had knocked him out so quickly despite his less than mortal nature.

Setting both items down, Stiles stares at his face for a bit before checking the barrier once more and texting Scott to tell him that Peter was at his house, lest the younger wolf comes looking and find himself knocked out too; Scott would be less than pleased, knowing his tendencies to jump into things. Now, business taken care of, Stiles ventures back into the kitchen and rolls up his sleeves, prepared to make sure that when John comes home he will eat his dinner and enjoy it, yearnings for greasy food be damned.


When Peter comes to it is still light outside, but his head pounds and his eyes blur, and he wonders if he drank some of Derek’s mystery vodka for the second time or if Jackson ‘accidentally’ knocked him out again with a tackle. Looking around he notices the painkillers and water set on the table, and immediately knows that he’s probably not home because God forbid one of his betas ever do anything to help him.

After drowning the painkiller, Peter notices that there’s noise coming from somewhere, and finally looking around, realizes that he’s in the Stilinski house; the warm brown throw that Talia sent as a welcoming gift is thrown over the couch (how she knew their address Peter would never find out), and the carpet is covered in haphazardly thrown pillows and books from eight different decades from what Peter can tell.

Getting up with a groan makes him feel even older than he really is so Peter stifles it, trying not to remember that some days he thinks his back might be hurting from old age before he reminds himself that no it’s just because of pack training. The next couple of steps are shaky at best, and down right wasted at worst, but slowly he gets better enough to break out into a stride towards what he thinks must be the kitchen, which he’s never really been to.

And yes, Stiles is there, facing away from Peter like he hasn’t heard him come over, which Peter knows is a fucking lie because Stiles is always eerily aware of his surroundings. He’s cooking too, sleeves rolled up and hands flying about all over the place as if he’s trying to get as much as he can just through sheer motions, not worrying about the spills and stains on his own shirt that make him look like a Jackson Pollock piece. With a cough, Peter steps forward, announcing his presence in a way that doesn’t involve having to aggravate the pounding in his head and the roiling in his stomach.

“I honestly thought it would take longer for you to wake up,” Stiles remarks, setting down a cup of pure black coffee in front of Peter and humming at his groan of appreciation. “But then again I didn’t take you as someone who would pass out easily.”

“I feel like I had fifteen shots of Derek’s special vodka,” Peter rests his forehead against the marble counter and sighs at the cool that seeps through his heated skin. “And the last time I did that I woke up with a giant dick drawn on the back of my neck somewhere in Mexico.”

Stiles laughs, reaching down to take something that smells heavenly out of the oven. “Who was the culprit?”

“Scott and Jackson, which wasn’t surprising. Actually no, it was surprising that they worked together but not that they did it.”

“What did you make them do as punishment?”

Peter smirks fondly, remembering the absolute fun he and Derek, who Peter had recruited, had had when drawing multiple tiny dicks all over Jackson and Scott's bodies. It was petty and very childish, but the amusement had been well worth the amount of glaring Melissa had done as she’d said, “God, you couldn’t have just dumped a bunch of ice down their pants or something, honestly Peter?” Even then she hadn’t been very serious, and her frowning hadn’t been enough to hide the way her eyes crinkled in amusement and how she patted him on the shoulder as if commending him and Derek for their revenge.

“Not so much ‘make’ as ‘did’ to them in return,” Peter says and watches the way Stiles’ mind, silver quick, picks it up and visualizes the idea for him; he is graced for the first time in hearing Stiles laugh boisterously, something he never does, not even with the Sheriff, who is one of the only people around who can make Stiles laugh and smile genuinely, without false or hidden intentions. Even then it is only a smile or a chuckle, or a snort that seems too soft for someone of Stiles’ brazen nature.

The rest of Stiles cooking is spent in silence until Peter speaks up again, biding his time but also immensely curious. “You have some type of barrier around your house,”

It’s a statement, not a question because Peter is confident that he is right, that what he felt is almost identical to the barrier he once felt around Deaton’s house when he was younger and just as willing to break into people’s houses. A bit like I did with Stiles, Peter thinks, remembering that first night when he’d stolen in through the window to face the man with salacious red eyes.

“Yes, it is a barrier,” Stiles’ hands still for a moment, the first second of pause Peter has seen in the entire times he’s been here. “One that I built about a week ago.”

Why do you need a barrier? Goes unsaid but Stiles must hear it in the silence anyway, intuned as he is with the way people work and how words cannot always be produced in moments of immense curiosity and suspicion.

“The thing we’ve been hunting, I know her, she and I are quite well... acquainted I guess you could say,” Stiles shrugs awkwardly, no grace in his movement, and so human that it makes Peter’s hands twitch in want to still him, to feel if Stiles is really as delicate as he sometimes seems or if his entire appearance is an allusion to something more dangerous that lurks beneath. “We met a while ago and if I were alone I wouldn’t bother with a barrier but I live with John, and if anything happened to him Claudia, may she rest in peace, would find me and gouge my eyes out with a melon baller.”

The bluntness startles a chuckle out of Peter. “I can relate to that; Talia would do the same if Derek got hurt on my account.”

They don’t discuss it any further than that, and when John comes home he cordially invites Peter to dinner and watches him the way Peter reckons he watches the criminals in their custody, all interrogative eyes and blank faced. Peter takes it all in stride and carefully avoids mentioning Claudia or anything pertaining to dead bodies, and instead asks about how they are settling in and how Talia will want them to visit for dinner because she’s extra like that.

Talia lives in the heart of Beacon Hills, encapsulating herself mainly with human affairs and those of other clans that come and go, looking for refuge. The rest of the family lives with her, while Peter lives on the outskirts, because he is Talia’s right-hand man and there is no one better to handle the less than pretty side of the world than Peter, who takes everything in with a jaded edge and more viciousness than his parents had ever thought healthy; they still don’t think it is particularly healthy but Peter is efficient at his job and as long as everyone is safe they are willing to accept the occasional cruelty Peter indulges in with some of their less than favorable characters. It also helps that when it comes down to it he can be the ruthless Alpha to Talia’s negotiative one.

Initially, they had been opposed to Derek joining him- hell, even Peter himself had been opposed but Derek had, sometime in his difficult life, laced his spine with chromium and would not bend to the whims of others when it was his life being tossed back and forth. Finally, they had agreed that Derek’s choice would be his own, and somehow after all these years, Peter has somehow managed to gather a ragtag group of teens and adults who go around killing other creatures with him in an effort to keep their town safe.   

In the days following the dinner, when Stiles returns to the pack meeting he is more forthcoming, less elusive about what he knows, and slowly they manage to peel away the layers and unearth what is causing the murder.

Of course, by then everything manages to go down the fucking drain and Peter wonders if it’s him or if it’s Stiles, and why the universe decided to put them together if either were the case.


Somewhere along the way, he gets complacent, allows himself to be dragged further into all the politics that take place between species. Stiles has never been very political, however skilled he may be at directing the conversation away from himself, and in the past centuries, he has avoided human life more than he has immersed himself in it, which hasn’t allowed for proper socialization to take place. He’s met the greatest politicians and leaders of all time, allowed them to peer into his brain and soul and speak to him no different than they would their equals, and then is on his way again, a new piece of wisdom logged into his mind and emotions a whirlwind.

Despite the hardships, Stiles has enjoyed the life he’s lived. There are heartaches, certainly, but those heartaches stretch over a thousand years and coalesce into a pain that brings a smile onto his lips because it embodies the fragility of life around him, and even though he has no family left, no foundation to his name because men like him don’t get gallant stories, there is enough soil for Stiles to plant his garden and let it grow, wild and untamable. There is enough happiness in his life to override the bitter, if only for a moment, but a moment is all Stiles needs.

The pack, though Stiles knows they will vanish eventually, is a spot of joy that will warm him enough for years to come. They aren’t immortal (and that’s fine because he would not wish that on anyway who is not just slightly crazy) and although that may not mean much to them, normalized as their mortality is, Stiles spends many of his days worrying about what life will be like in the next century, or how long another millennia will take because the first was so tiring. The thinking and wanting and hoping are sometimes too much; the main reason Stiles had lived a life of solitude for nearly two centuries, sick as he had been of memories and aches that could not be soothed by company at the time.

So now he doesn’t think, doesn’t even move, as his track the stalking figure that prowls around his bedroom, and for a moment, a single stretching moment, he thinks about chasing her out, out of town and across the ocean, chasing her while they pass through Africa and Asia and Europe, down into islands that remain untrodden by man’s feet . He wants to vanish, to drown himself in the feeling of being wholly animal once more- just like he was all those years ago, under the moon and spilling first blood upon his tongue and worshipping the flavor. Instead, he swiftly sends off a text to the pack and then sets his phone down on his side table, eyes flickering between amber and rouge, watching her akin to the way cats watch their prey, steady and prepared, every muscle quivering with anticipation.

She moves first, ever impatient, and she’s awfully quiet now, quicker now than she had been the first time, and Stiles has always remembered her not because she was particularly special, but because her eyes had been too familiar to ignore, had sent every hair standing on edge and made his teeth ache with the urge. It’s like an addictive drug, he thinks, the longer you wait for it the more you want it. And the chase makes it worse, makes everything inside him burn not from strain (you never really strain something dead) but from exhilaration. He’s missed this, truthfully; there’s something about this small town’s shiny veneer that makes his skin itch uncomfortably.

They pass by a small cabin, into a thick cluster of trees that have feet sinking into hard dirt. This late at night the air stings, and from somewhere to his right, far far away, a wolf howls frenziedly into the night, sounding as if a broken alarm clock, and with one final push of his foot into the ground Stiles catches his hand to her neck and sends them sprawling. He thinks that from a different view they look reminiscent to the hunting scenes in a nature documentary, all quick and harsh grace.

His grip around her neck gets tighter, and even though he’d like to kill her once and for all now, he hauls them up until she’s standing with her claws biting deep into his arms. Peering closer, Stiles can see that she hasn’t particularly changed much- older, yes, but still sporting sickly yellow eyes and sallow skin stretched tightly over her face. A persistent skeleton, he thinks, one that doesn’t know when to give up. He can smell the blood under her fingernails, human, and it makes him even more furious than the sight of those bodies had; there’s just something about her that makes him hate, something about the way she acts the sends alarm bells ringing through his head.

She’s still thrashing, legs aiming to hit him where she thinks he’ll hurt; it does nothing more than annoy him at this point. Part of him wants to know her name but the other part wants her to die like this, nameless and so unimportant that the superiority in her eyes is a delusion, another piece of evidence to how absolutely worthless she is in the aspect of being an intelligent creature.

You’re nothing, he thinks and it’s so hateful the small shred of humanity inside of him flinches away from it, thinks it so cruel to die knowing all you ever were was just a small speck of dust in the eyes of others. She deserves it, though, he can tell just from the way she smells, all rotting flesh and the stench of death that sticks around to the worst of the worst. Gerard had that smell, he remembers. It would swirl around the man and never leave, a loud, blaring indicator that set off every one of Stiles’ instincts whenever he was nearby. He hasn’t smelt it in a long time, but it still brings back the mixed tingle of alarm and blood-lust. It would be easy to give in to the urge, to just snap her neck, but Stiles hasn’t hunted in so long, and the pounding at his skull grows like battle drums signaling war and he only has so much self-control before caving.

His mind made up, Stiles draws nearer, stares into her eyes long and hard before he leans in and rests the tips of his teeth onto her neck. Her smell is almost enough to turn him away but the pounding of her pulse against his thumb is too enticing to pass up, so he sinks his teeth in and holds hard, ignoring the way she thrashes and screeches. It’s euphoria, the closest to ecstasy a creature like him will ever get, and unwittingly, he feels himself unwind, the tension he hadn’t known was resting beneath his skin fleeing away.

He doesn’t hear the rustling to his left but truthfully, even if he had, it would not have been enough to pull him away.


It’s pack night when he gets the message. Or rather, it is unofficial pack night because the teenagers of Peter’s pack have wormed their way into his house and are steadfastly ignoring him as he sends them irritated glares brought on from the too loud chirping of crickets and the stress weighing him down. From the commiserating looks Derek is sending him, he’s not the only one feeling like absolute utter fucking shit. 

Which is, frankly, putting it lightly. The mounting headache rises higher and higher, almost in sync with the cacophony of shouts, and with a particularly vicious snarl at them, he stomps his way outside. The moon, its presence ever silent, calms him down slightly, taking away the edge he’s been feeling since yesterday. Peter spends a good few minutes outside, soaking in the fresh air and sinking his fingers into the soft soil, feeling grounded and surer than he has in a long while.

By the time Peter gets the text message his headache is almost gone and he’s picking at the grass by his feet, feeling not unlike a child rolling in the garden. His phone, mostly forgotten in the heat of the moment, vibrates loudly, drawing him out of his meditative headspace. Snaking down a hand and fishing out the device, he feels the breath whoosh out of him the moment his eyes land on the text.

She’s here, it reads, so blatant in its simplicity he almost questions its authenticity, but Stiles’ name is glaringly bright at the top of the message and he knows intrinsically that this is not a joke or delusion. The thing they’ve been hunting has decided to show herself, and Peter’s lurching to his feet, howl spilling from his throat instinctively. There’s a pause of silence before his pack gathers around him, Derek by his right and Scott coming up to his left, both of them questioning. Peter tosses his phone to them and takes off, but not before uttering a terse “Get Chirs”, trusting they’ll understand just as he did, and as he bounds away another howl rips its way from his throat, a clear call for Stiles, wherever he is, to wait.

There is no answering howl or even a shout but Peter isn’t truly expecting one back. The trees thicken the farther he goes, dark shades of green and blue casting shadows around them as the ground shifts from hard to soft, indecisive in every move. The scent of the sky right before it rains thickens, grows stronger with every stride and with his heart pounding in his throat Peter comes upon the sight of Stiles. He casts a lanky silhouette against the backdrop of the woods and Peter almost doesn’t see what’s going on and even when he does it takes a long time for him to understand. Because it's Stiles like Peter has always known him.

Except it’s Stiles, with his hand around a woman’s neck and his teeth buried to the hilt in what looks like an artery, blood dripping a sluggish path down his chin and onto the grass below. It’s startlingly red, especially against the paleness of Stiles’ skin, a factor that is made all the clearer in the silver light of the moon. Peter hears it more than sees it when Allison comes to stand next to him, a gasp falling from her lips at the sight of the missing aunt she thought dead.

“Aunt Kate?”

Everything is made even clearer when Derek lets out a strangled cry and turns right around as if he cannot bear the sight of the woman before them and then it clicks, and Peter knows exactly who she is.

And only then does Stiles turn to them, teeth a messy red and eyes fluctuating between amber and scarlet. His hand, pale and veiny and entirely too human, never once loosens its grip around Kate Argent’s limp neck.