Stiles groaned as he tossed his book bag onto the floor for a second time. Less than a week into his first summer break as a college student and already he was going crazy.
“But why do I have to call you?” Scott’s voice came from Stiles’ computer speakers. “We’re already talking.”
Stiles sat back up and pulled a face as he began rummaging through the mess of papers on his desk. “Because I can’t find my phone. It was in my bag and it’s not anymore. You call me. Phone rings. Profit!”
“Did you check your laundry basket? I didn’t have a phone for like two weeks last fall because I forgot it in my pocket and Mom refuses to check them anymore for stuff.”
“How are you in college?” Stiles leaned his elbow on his desk. Scott just shrugged on his monitor and pulled out his phone. There was a slight delay from Scott on screen dialing and Scott’s ringtone blaring. Stiles sat back quickly and stared at the phone where it sat next to his keyboard.
He picked it up slowly and faintly heard Scott snickering at him. “Good thing it wasn’t a snake.”
“Yea,” Stiles agreed slowly, “especially since it wasn’t there a second ago.”
“Right, dude, whatever. Go read some comics or something and veg. Not every school finishes when yours did. Unless of course you want to help me figure out some of these essay prompts?” Scott tilted his head and smirked when Stiles quickly refused. “Go. Relax. I’ll talk to you in a few days.” Stiles nodded and muttered a goodbye before Scott signed off.
“What the everloving f...” Stiles tugged at his hair as he paced around the living room, sighing. He’d made three separate circuits between the kitchen and the front door before he realized his dad was leaning against the wall watching him.
The Sheriff raised an eyebrow at him as Stiles turned and walked through the other room again. “Lose something?” he asked with a sardonic tone.
“Other than my mind, he implies,” Stiles grumbled to himself as he leant over to pick up the newspaper from the coffee table from where he’d dropped it only a minute ago. “My grip on sanity... A few crayons out of the box... A shitload of marbles… My rocker, I am off of...” The entire time Stiles muttered to himself he wandered around the room looking on every flat surface including behind the potted plant near the door.
He glanced up when he heard his dad call his name. Repeatedly. “Stiles! What are you looking for?” The elder Stilinski had straightened up and was underlining each word with his coffee mug.
“I made it and then set it on the counter to go get the paper from the front porch and it’s not on the counter so apparently it’s grown legs and...”
“What are we talking about?” Stiles paused in his ramblings when his Dad caught his arm as the young man had gone past him towards the kitchen.
“My coffee,” Stiles replied with ‘duh’ implied. The Sheriff side eyed him for a moment before forcibly turning Stiles to face the kitchen table. “That... coffee.” His father hummed from behind him as Stiles moved to pick up the mug from the table. “I left it on the counter.”
“Obviously not. Now can you stop with the guided tour of our front room and give me the sports page?” Stiles opened his mouth to retort but allowed it to snap closed again, dropping down into the nearest seat. He tossed the paper towards his dad and stared at the cup of coffee in front of him, eyes darting up to the counter and back again.
Kicking the tire of his Jeep probably wasn’t his brightest idea, Stiles thought as he leaned against the vehicle and rubbed his toe through his sneaker. “Oh my god,” he groaned, straightening up and dropping his head back against the door, eyes closed and teeth grinding together.
“Problem?” The voice was familiar enough that Stiles found himself answering before he opened his eyes.
“I dropped my keys and managed to kick them to the direct center point under my Jeep.” Stiles straightened up and found Derek smirking at him from a few feet away. “Wanna turn into a puppy, wiggle under there, and fetch them for me?” The sarcasm kicked in on defense and Derek’s smirk turned into more of a glower, leaving Stiles feeling oddly off centered. “I mean... I...” Stiles dropped his head back again. “Sorry.”
He heard Derek move closer and the creak of the other man’s boots as he apparently stooped down to look under the vehicle. “There’s nothing under there.”
“Wha...?” Stiles dropped down next to Derek and peered into the darkness. The pair straightened up at the same time and Stiles found himself backing away quickly as Derek moved forward to look into the Jeep.
“They’re on the seat.” Stiles stepped closer again and looked in to find his keys right where Derek had said.
“Somethings fucking with me,” the younger man said in a sure tone. He could see Derek staring at him as he yanked open the door and grabbed the keyring. “Seriously fucking with me. This door was locked. Those keys were under the car.” He turned to find Derek still just as close, staring at him incredulously. “Seriously,” Stiles asserted, “shit keeps moving around. First my phone moved out of my bag onto my desk and then my coffee moved to the table and...”
“So something is ‘fucking with you’ by... making life easier?” Stiles bit back the urge to stick his tongue out in response to Derek’s logic. “Maybe you’re just tired after finals.”
“Don’t try to common sense me, Mr Werewolf.” Stiles shook his finger in Derek’s face. “That stopped working when I saw dudes with glowy eyes and too much facial hair rampage through my high school.” Derek let out a growly sigh before turning away and stalking across the parking lot towards his own car without another word. Stiles watched him drive off before turning his attention back to the keys currently warming in the palm of his hand.
fourth time’s a charm
Stiles took a deep breath before stepping off the path into the woods of the reserve. “This is a bad idea,” he said softly into his phone. He could hear Scott on the other end of the line moving through the woods about a mile down the path.
“It was your idea,” Scott whispered, the sound of leaves rustling around him slowing.
“Yea, well, you’re the one who should know better than to agree with my ideas in the first place.” Stiles tried to shield the glow of his phone in the darkness.
“I did,” Scott countered, “but you said you’d come out here without me if I said no.”
Stiles let out an agreeing murmur as he paused near a large tree. “Potential poltergeists are serious business, Scotty.”
“Potential sleep deprivation is more serious. And I’m talking about you.” Stiles made a face at his phone as he slid his keys from his pocket. “What sort of poltergeist helps stupid college kids find their lost cups of coffee anyway?”
“Maybe it thrives on confusion.” It was the same argument they’d had back at Stiles’ house. “Maybe it’s trying to lull me into a false sense of confusion before it strikes with an evil vengeance.”
“Maybe there’s nothing false about your sense of confusion,” Scott mumbled. Stiles took a deep breath. “Okay,” his friend said, “I’m in position. I should be able to get there fast enough if something happens. Like your messy death.”
Stiles took a deep breath before tossing his keys as hard as he could in the direction Scott should be hiding. “Always the optimist,” he said softly. “Now optimistically listen for me to optimistically scream bloody murder.” He switched off his phone and pocketed it before Scott could get the last word.
“Optimism...” he whispered to himself as he leaned back against the tree. The plan was to give it a few minutes before he started trying to ‘find’ his keys. And by keys he meant asshat of a poltergeist or leprechaun or whatever the hell was messing with his life. He found himself halfway through some pop song he’d heard on the way over when a creaking limb had him whirling to face the opposite direction.
He cleared his throat before calling out into the dark woods. “I know you’re out there,” he lied as confidently as possible. The movement stopped for a moment before starting again, just as loudly. “You’re so unsubtle a brick could take lessons,” Stiles called out. He was beginning to question the logic of Scott being so far upwind and was about to head in his direction when a man came into view.
“Did I frighten you?” the stranger questioned, still walking towards Stiles. The young man could only shrug in response as he took in the other man’s shaggy hair and torn clothes. “Should I try harder?” A flash of blue and Stiles took off running in the other direction.
“Scott!” he shouted as he crashed through the underbrush, “Now would be a good time to get your hairy ass...aaah!” He stopped so quickly he tripped and landed flat on his back, the strange werewolf staring down at him with a grin.
The werewolf shook his head. “You can’t outrun me.”
“Sure I could,” Stiles argued, pushing himself backwards until he hit a tree. “I’m just not wearing my “oh shit a monster wants to eat me” shoes.”
“Monster,” the omega growled. “Is it the eyes?” The flashed blue again as Stiles tried to stand up. “Or the teeth?” He snarled, fangs catching what little light the waxing moon shed.
Stiles pulled his head back as the man leaned closer. “It’s the breath,” he choked out, “definitely the breath.” The man grabbed Stiles wrists as he tried to push the werewolf away, twisting them until the brunet feels the bones grind. “I’m not alone out here.”
“I know,” the man whispered right in Stiles’ face. “But I’m willing to bet that my teeth are faster than his legs.” He clicks his teeth at Stiles once before letting go of his wrists and grabbing his hair instead. Stiles pushes against his chest, fingertips pressing in as he tries to strain his neck away as the omega leans in.
All Stiles can think of is pushing the werewolf away with everything he is. Living. Surviving.
The lightning nearly blinded him before he fainted.
The Waters And The Wild
Stiles came to slowly, staring up at a dark sky for an eternity before turning his head enough to see the still foot of his attacker half covered in leaves. It was enough motivation for him to move, to sit up and push away a bit as he struggled to steady his breathing. He watched the body for several long moments, waiting for twitching that didn’t come. Curiosity had nearly pushed him into action when Scott suddenly appeared beside him, dropping down in front of him with a frantic look on his face.
“What... Stiles!” Scott turned Stiles to face him, forcing their eyes to meet. “Are you okay?”
Stiles shook his head minutely and then nodded slowly. “Yea. I don’t...” he hesitated, eyes drawn again to the body of the Omega.
“He’s dead.” Scott turned to follow his eyeline. “His heart isn’t beating at all.”
“Oh my god...” Stiles felt something inside of him break and his dropped his head into his hands as his body started to shake. Scott was on him quickly, grabbing onto his shoulders and whispering his name in a frantic tone that did nothing to calm Stiles down. “I... I did that,” Stiles whispered. “I killed him.”
“How?” Scott finally forced his face away from his hands. “Stiles?”
“I don’t know,” the young man admitted. “I just... didn’t want to die.”
Scott shrugged. “Well... good job with that then.” The laugh that bubbled out of Stiles’ chest aches but it was enough to stop the trembling. “All I know,” Scott continued, “is that I heard you call out and then there was nothing and then there was this... light.”
They sat in silence for several minutes while Stiles’ breathing slowed. Finally he pushed his friend away enough to stand, still refusing to look back at the body. “We need to call my Dad about...” he swallowed thickly. “And Deaton. We need to call Deaton.” Scott nodded quickly beside him and then paused before shaking his head instead.
“Deaton’s not in town,” the brunet explained. “He’s at a vet conference in San Francisco.”
“Of course he is.” Stiles rolled his neck a bit. “So who do we call about the magical lightning I’m suddenly shitting out?”
Scott just shrugged as they started walking back towards the jeep. He stopped short after a minute and grabbed Stiles’ arm. “Did you really... out of your...?” Stiles pulled a face at him and rolled his eyes before attempting to force the other man to continue walking. “Wait,” Scott insisted, tugging at Stiles’ arm. “Your keys?”
“Oh…” Stiles glanced around and then took a deep breath, reaching into the pocket of his jeans. He withdrew his keys and jingled them in his friend’s face. “Don’t even ask.”
“This is a stupid idea,” Stiles hissed at Scott, grabbing his arm to stop his friend from knocking on the door in front of them.
“We have to let Derek know about the Omega,” the young werewolf countered. “We don’t have to mention that you’re the one who... ya know. And it’s kinda late to back out now.” Stiles is about to question that when the door slid open and Peter Hale looked at them both expectantly. Stiles grumbled about werewolves and their freaky powers as he pushed past the older man into the loft.
“Speaking of freaky powers...” Peter followed after him, leaving Scott to pull the door closed. Stiles rounded on him with a dirty look and the older man just smirked back.
Derek was leaning against his desk as they walked in and Stiles felt compelled to hang back, edging along the room until he was little more than a shadow. He watched Scott and Derek interact and the entire time Peter was watching him.
“Stiles!” The brunet snapped his attention back to the younger members of the pack. Derek was looking at him with an exasperated expression. “How. Did. You. Get. Away?” It was obviously not the first time he’d asked and Stiles refused to acknowledge that his train of thought had been off the track.
“I shot lightning out of my ass,” he snarked. Derek cocked an eyebrow at him even as Scott snorted. “I ran. Towards Scott. The Omega must have gotten nervous.” He glanced away from the pair and caught Peter’s eye again. Turning back he found Derek and Scott back to their quiet discussion, this time leaning over the map Derek keeps to track all the shit that happens in their quiet little town. “I’m just gonna...” he gestured towards the door, ducking out quickly before anyone could say anything else.
He was halfway to the stairs when he heard someone behind him. “You smell funny,” Peter whispers near Stiles’ ear. He turned quickly and backs up until he hits the door.
“I’m really not a fan of this proximity thing,” Stiles forced out as Peter took a step closer. “Namely because you’re a psychopath who likes to kill small animals for fun.”
“Big ones too,” Peter replied with a shrug. “But you would know all about that wouldn’t you? Or did I mishear that part of the conversation?” The comment made something inside Stiles go cold and he would have went straight for the exit if it wasn’t blocked by two remarkably stubborn supernatural creatures.
“I didn’t do it on purpose,” he ground out. Peter at least had the decency to stop smirking quite so smugly. “And I don’t want to do it again.”
Peter nodded and took a step forward, eyeing Stiles up and flaring his nostrils. “You smell like ozone,” he said after a moment. He grabbed Stiles’ hand so quickly the young man couldn’t do anything to stop him. “And thunder.”
“Thunder is a sound,” Stiles grumbled as he tried to tug his hand out of Peter’s tightening grip.
Peter just shook his head and looked back up at Stiles face. “Thunder is a feeling. It rumbles inside of you like an animal trying to escape.” Stiles swallowed thickly as Peter’s grip tightened further, edging into painful territory. “It’s like something tugs at your core harder and harder until you can’t fight it anymore.” One more squeeze and Stiles was officially grimacing. “It builds until you either explode or collapse.”
“Stop,” Stiles forced out through his teeth. He tugged on his hand, trying to free it from Peter’s but the werewolf just held on that much harder. “Peter... Stop. Let go.” He pulled again, his eyes locked on Peter’s. The man just shook his head minutely and tightened his grip hard enough to send Stiles to his knees. The younger man heard Scott call out his name even as he felt the burning grow inside of him. “STOP!”
Peter was nearly halfway down the hall before Stiles could blink, hand held in front of himself tinged black. “Oh my god...” Stiles dropped down onto his ass, shaking. Scott was at his side instantly but they were both staring at Peter as the other man shook his hand, the burns healing almost instantly. He got to his feet and wiped the residue off on his jeans, eyes locked on Stiles as he did so. Derek was standing in the doorway to the loft with a confused look on his face.
“Good,” Peter said in an amused voice. “Good.”
“How was that good?” Derek questioned as Scott helped Stiles to his feet. Stiles took a step away from the other man as soon as he was steady enough, running his hands over his hair.
“Your mother would be proud.” Half of the things Peter ever said came off as non sequiturs so Stiles wasn’t surprised but he shook his head anyways. “It skips generations sometimes or... disappears altogether.” Stiles didn’t say anything, just tightened his hands into fists and waited for Peter to get bored with the silence and continue.
“It’s a fae thing,” Peter continued eventually. “Their stories are more mixed up than ours are and the blood is weak. There’s never a guarantee from one child to the next if it will pass.”
“Consider me unenlightened,” Stiles snapped, turning on his heel. “Because you still haven’t actually told me anything.” Peter looked back at him unimpressed. Scott had moved to stand midway between the two of them and Derek had moved closer. “So I’m a genetic lightning rod?”
“That would imply that you attract it. You don’t. You generate it.” Peter lifted his eyebrows in a way that implied that Stiles was an idiot for not realizing it himself. It reminded him a bit too much of Derek and that thought made the fluttering inside of him spark. Something must have shown on his face because Scott took a step back and Peter just looked pleased.
“I don’t remember Mom’s maiden name being Van de Graaff.” Stiles leaned back against the stairwell door. “So... I don’t...” he hesitated and glanced at where Peter’s hands hung at his sides. “I don’t want to hurt anyone else.”
“Then you learn to control it,” Peter said in a tone that implied it was just that easy. “But first you have to learn where it comes from. Find the thunder inside and grab hold of it.”
“Right...” Stiles breathed out. Peter nodded at the resigned look Stiles knew was on his face.
“And since I know how much you like to research things,” Peter said sarcastically, “I’ll email you some things to get you started.”
“Wait,” Stiles called out as Peter made a move towards Derek’s loft in an obvious dismissal. “How do you know these things? About my mom?”
The older man hesitated for a moment before turning back and meeting Stiles’ eyes. “The Hales have always lived in Beacon Hills but we’re far from the oldest family here. It pays to know about your neighbors.” His words made the fluttering inside of Stiles rumble and he could tell the man wasn’t telling him the entire truth. “Come back the day after tomorrow and we’ll talk more.”
“Who said you can deal with this here?” Derek questioned, blocking Peter’s way.
“Like I want to risk breaking my things.” Stiles could see the scoff visible on Peter’s face. The young man took a deep breath in an attempt to settle the fluttering in his stomach. “You can go shopping and buy some... I don’t actually care what you buy.” Derek only rolled his eyes in response, moving aside so his uncle could pass. He caught Stiles eye for a long moment before following, closing the door behind him with a resounding thud.
“So...” Scott said after a minute. Stiles turned to find his friend grinning at him. “I wonder when you’ll get your wings and tiara.” Stiles shoved Scott halfheartedly against the wall before forcing open the stairwell door and making his descent, Scott trailing after him chuckling.
Stiles shuffled through the papers in his hand, tossing a few aside before spinning his chair towards the bed where Scott was laid out. “So... it’s not just lightening. Fae control all sorts of elements but instead of one person being able to control everything the power’s gotten... weak. Diluted. Most families can only do one anymore.”
“So your mom could make lightning?” Scott asked the ceiling. Stiles shrugged.
“I don’t know,” he admitted. “There’s a lot of stuff here and Peter said it skipped generations sometimes. From the looks of it...” he shuffled the papers again until he found one he’d attached with multiple highlighters. “From the looks of it the power doesn’t set in until adulthood which is different for everyone. Fairies don’t exactly care about the voting age.” He twirled around in his chair some more. “Maybe she was just waiting to tell me until I was older.” The words came out softly and he heard Scott react by sitting up but he kept his chair turned away.
“Do you think your Dad knows?” The question was enough to force Stiles around again. “I mean... if your mom could then there’s a good chance he knew about it, right?”
“I don’t...” Stiles took a deep breath. “I don’t know and I don’t know how to ask.” Scott nodded before dropping back flat on the bed.
They spent awhile in silence, Scott apparently dozing off while Stiles read through the mountain of information Peter had forwarded to him. Some of it was about werewolves and Stiles had to wonder about the man’s obvious ulterior motives.
“I got ahold of Deaton,” Scott said eventually, breaking the silence with a sleepy tone. “He said he can’t get back any sooner than planned but you’re in good hands.”
“Right,” Stiles scoffed. “Peter Hale is a totally helpful individual.”
“He didn’t say that,” Scott said with a horizontal shrug. “He just said you’d be fine as long as you kept your emotions in check.”
“My...” Stiles leaned forward and stared at Scott’s feet. “Of course! The hand squeezing thing.” Scott tilted his head enough to side-eye Stiles from his reclined position. “Peter was trying to... creep me out enough. Make me mad or, I dunno, desperate. Like in the forest.”
“Ooh,” Scott nodded along. “It’s like being a werewolf except with less claws and more...” Stiles snorted at Scott’s impression of an electric chair.
“I could totally go as Electro for Halloween this year.” They both started laughing at that point, Stiles dropping back into his chair with papers strewn about. The door opened slowly then with the Sheriff poking his head in.
“Boys,” he said in lieu of a greeting, coming in and leaning against Stiles’ desk.
“Hey now,” Stiles smiled up at him, “I will have you know that I am eighteen and therefore an adult in the eyes of the Federal Government.”
The Sheriff made his ‘I’m placating the fool’ face. “Of course you are.” He glanced at his watch before continuing. “I wanted to let you know that the anonymous tip that was called in about a body in the woods? We didn’t find anything but an old campsite that was properly cleared away.”
That made Scott sit up straight. “Wait... what?” Stiles leaned forward. “Did you look where we told you to?”
“And 500 yards all around that spot. That’s how they found the site.” The Sheriff shrugged. “If this is a furry thing then maybe the guy healed up and walked away.” Stiles shot a dirty look at Scott who had the decency to look a bit repentant.
“We never actually checked him.”
Stiles made an aborted strangling motion towards his friend before wagging a finger at him. “You are the worst werewolf ever. And I’m counting Derek.” He ignored the pained look on Scott’s face and turned back towards his dad. “So, to sum up this meeting... no dead werewolves in the wood.”
“Not recently.” The Sheriff straightened up and made a move towards the door. “And I really don’t want to know why there was an almost dead one to begin with. Not before a double shift, at least.”
Stiles nodded, watching his dad leave. The flutter in his chest was back and he felt like every hair on his body was standing on end. He could hear the front door open and suddenly jumped up, rushing out and down the stairs, managing to catch his dad at his car.
“Stop,” he hollered at him from the porch. The Sheriff turned at gave him a suspect look. “I just need...” Stiles stopped just in front of him and took several deep breaths, hand held up to stop his dad from speaking. “I just... Was Mom...” His dad’s brows beetled and Stiles had to force the question out. “Was Mom different? Like... special in a way that totally isn’t covered by a Hallmark card?
The Sheriff didn’t say a word for a moment but his face softened in a way that Stiles knew, deep down, that it was true. “Son.” The word was soft and reassuring as his dad set his hand on Stiles’ shoulder. “She was... I don’t actually know what she was. She never said and I never asked beyond the first time.”
“How did you know?”
“She got mugged in college and her attacker came away with second degree burns ringing his wrist. Four of them, one a complete circle and the others nearly so.” The Sheriff grinned sadly. “Your mother had long fingers. Like you.” Stiles bit his lip and looked down at his own hands. “I wish I had something to tell you, kid, I really do. She told me it was a family thing and every generation was getting weaker. That was one of the only times she’d been able to use it at all. I think...” he forced Stiles to look up. “I think she thought you wouldn’t get it at all. We never talked about it after that time and, to be honest, with everything else I just... I had other memories to hold onto that were more important.”
“Yea,” Stiles nodded and cleared his throat. “Well...” He held up his hands and thought about the fear he’d felt in the woods. It was enough to make a small spark between his fingers but it faded away quickly. “She was wrong.” He cocked half a smile that his dad echoed.
“You be careful,” the eldest Stilinski said slowly. “After all the crap that’s gone on with you in the middle I don’t...” he paused for a breath. “Be careful.” Stiles nodded and stepped back, gesturing the Sheriff towards his car. He watched as the older man drove away, breathing deeply and forcing himself to think of less depressing things like green spandex and blasting a Hale in the face.
Stiles crossed his arms over his chest as Peter circled him. Derek was lounging on the couch with a book, apparently ignoring the staredown happening in the middle of his home. “What are you doing?” Stiles finally asked when Peter was on his third time around.
“Different families have different strengths. Some more than one.” Peter finally stopped in front of the young man. “Some can even read minds. Can you read my mind?”
The teenager took a look at Peter’s leer. “No but I’m going to guess that ‘eww’ would be an appropriate response.” Peter smirked at that before moving to stand behind Stiles again. He jumped when he felt a jab in his back. “Seriously?!” He whirled around. “We’re poking now?” Peter only shrugged and took a step back.
“The only way to get control is to let it go,” the werewolf offered.
“Gee, can you vague that up for me?” Stiles swatted at Peter’s hand when the man reached out towards him.
“Sure, Buffy.” Stiles glanced over towards Derek when the other man snorted, face still firmly behind his reading material of choice. “Your powers are similar to our shift. When your emotions get the better of you then sparks fly. The problem for you is that you need to learn to recognize the feeling and control it so that it only happens when you want it to and not just when you’re exceptionally anger or afraid.”
“Th..the,” Stiles stuttered and took another step back, “The poking doesn’t do anything!” Peter raised an eyebrow at him before taking a swing at his head instead. He obviously wasn’t trying to hurt Stiles since he could easily dodge. “Neither does that,” he insisted. “I know you’re not actually going to do harm.”
“I could,” Peter offered. “If you ask nicely.”
Stiles was about to make a thoroughly mature retching noise when Derek spoke up for the first time since he’d gotten there. “I still don’t understand why you’re doing this here? Can’t you antagonize each other elsewhere?” He raised his head finally and cocked an eyebrow at Stiles when they made eye contact.
“Good!” Stiles glanced over at Peter where the man was standing, now several feet away. It was then that he realized that the flutter was back in his chest and, glancing down, saw the spark dancing along his fingers.
“I don’t...” He watched the spark flicker before looking back up and catching Derek’s eye again. The younger wolf was leaned forward, book forgotten in his lap. Derek tipped his chin towards Stiles’ hands and brought the teen’s attention back down to where the spark was brighter, stronger.
“Good,” Peter repeated softly. “Focus on it. Feel it inside of you. Whatever is going on in your head? Stick with it.”
“I don’t know what’s going on in my head,” Stiles ground out as the light began to dim again. “There’s nothing...”
Derek snorted out, “Typical.” Stiles was about to snap at him with the spark flared again so brightly it hurt to look at even though Stiles couldn’t drag his eyes away. His chest felt like it was going to explode as the flutter turned into an avalanche.
“Now rein it in,” Peter said, stepping forward again. Stiles shook his head minutely, raising his hands slightly to look at them more closely. “Stiles, you need to control it, not let it control you. Take the thunder and quiet it.”
Stiles shook his head slightly, barely hearing Peter as the blood rushed past his ears. He knew he was panting now but he couldn’t help it, couldn’t help the need to force as much air as possible into his lungs. Peter had stepped farther back now as the electricity lit Stiles up from the inside. Everything disappeared except for the light and the pain and the fury.
“Stiles!” The teen blinked and jerked back into himself. Derek was standing in front of him, Peter looking over his shoulder. “Stop. Now.” Stiles flinched as Derek grabbed for his hands, forcing the light out in the split second between the werewolf going into motion and their skin making contact.
“Don’t,” Stiles hissed as he drew back. The brunet backed up until he bumped into the table that had served as a basis for so many planning sessions. “I could... can’t... oh my god.” The thunder felt like an echo in his chest and he closed his eyes against the sight of Derek and Peter staring at him warily.
“And I think that’s enough for today,” Peter said quickly. “Well done and all.”
“Well...” Stiles looked at Peter and stuttered, “What... how was that well done? I have just as much control now as I did before.”
Peter shook his head and looked very pleased with himself. “You. Stopped.” The man’s tone couldn’t have been any more condescending but they cut through the panic building inside Stiles’ head. Derek had moved back while Stiles’ eyes were closed and he sat back down on the couch, grabbing for his book as if the scene no longer interested him.
Stiles breathed out in a rush of noise and straightened up, shoving his hands in his pockets. “Good game then,” he nodded. “I’ll just...” He pointed towards the door and moved past Peter, pausing for a moment at the step before turning and looking at the two men. Derek’s nose was in his book but no one said the Alpha had ever stopped being socially awkward over the years. “Thanks,” Stiles ground out. “Continued adventures tomorrow, same time, same channel?” Peter just shrugged noncommittally, which Stiles took as an affirmative. Derek glanced up long enough to make some drawn out eye contact before focusing back on his reading material of choice. Stiles just nodded at them both and rushed out of the loft. He didn’t slow down until he was three blocks away, realizing with a start that he’d left his Jeep behind in his rush to get away from... whatever he was getting away from.
Stiles stared at his hands and imagined... Jubilee from the X-Men if he was being honest. Pretending to be in life-threatening situations hadn’t worked the last two times he’d met up with Peter so he was hoping a new technique would bring back his spark. And then he chuckled.
“It’s almost like you’re taking this seriously,” Peter remarked in a bored tone. He’d given up on poking Stiles into lighting up and instead reclined on the couch only half paying attention. Scott sat on the edge of the desk, feet kicking back and forth while Stiles tried to get something going.
“Maybe it was a fluke,” the younger werewolf suggested. “Maybe Stiles’ power isn’t as strong as you thought and he’s just... outta juice.”
“It’s more like he’s a defective string of Christmas lights,” Peter said with a sigh, pushing himself to his feet and walking over to the teen. “We just have to figure out which bulb is broken.” Stiles mutter something along the lines of “I’ll break your bulbs” which only made Peter smirk petulantly.
“You could try,” Peter hissed, leaning in close. He pushed at Stiles shoulders, causing the teen to take a stumbling step backwards. Scott shouted but Stiles just held up a hand, straightening up and keeping eye contact with the werewolf currently circling.
“You already tried this once,” he said in a low voice, “it didn’t work then either.”
“All that means is that this time I have to hurt you a little,” Peter countered, moving quickly to tag Stiles shoulder hard enough to make the brunet grunt. “Darn.” The man didn’t look too put out by the prospect of hurting the teen. He moved again, this time kicking at Stiles’ feet and forcing him to step back quickly across the floor. They kept going across the loft until Stiles hit the brick wall and realized he was trapped. “Well?” Peter asked, shoving at Stiles’ chest each time he tried to push off the wall. “C’mon!”
The roar that echoed through the loft made Stiles’ heart stop for a moment. When it restarted it thundered against his rib cage and he felt the hair on his arms stand on end. It wasn’t until he saw Peter spin to face the loft door that he realized who had done the roaring.
“Yo, Derek,” he said slowly, pressing his flaring hands against the wall to anchor himself as he turned his head to see the Alpha on the step leading into the loft. Peter backed away, all nonchalance and non threatening movements. It made Stiles want to snicker but the seriousness of the look on Derek’s face was enough to reign him in.
“What the fuck?” Derek ground out as he stalked over to Peter, ignoring Stiles just a few feet from him. “If you’re going to play punching bag can you pick someone who isn’t the Sheriff's son? Or at least not do it here?”
Peter hesitated, glancing at Stiles before turning back to Derek. “So it’s okay that I beat him up? Just not here. It’s more a location thing than anything else?” Derek sneered at his uncle before stalking away, disappearing up the spiral staircase without another word. “Good to know,” Peter nodded at his retreating back.
“Don’t even think about it,” Stiles ground out when Peter spun back towards him with an amused look on his face. “No more punchbuggy on Stiles’ face.”
“I never actually touched your face. Didn’t get the chance.” Peter sighed before walking back over to the couch and dropping down. “It did work though,” gesturing to where Stiles’ hands were still sparking slightly.
“At the expense of my rotator cuffs.” Stiles moved away from the wall and rolled his shoulders around in their sockets. The way the light trailed after his fingers amused him for ten whole seconds before he focused on the fluttering inside and forced it away with a single deep breath. He ignored Peter’s approving noise and moved to sit next to Scott, staring at his dormant hands where they rested in his lap.
“Sooo,” Scott drew out after several minutes, “that was fun.”
“When does Deaton get back?” Stiles questioned, kicking his feet in time with Scott’s. The other boy just shrugged. “Great that’s... That’s great.” Stiles took a deep breath before pushing off the table and tugging on Scott’s sleeve to force him to follow. “Who want’s curly fries? I want curly fries. Getting beat up on always leaves me famished.” He flipped Peter off as they passed him on the way out of the loft, ignoring the man’s amused face when a single spark lit up his finger like a candle.
Stiles walked in a circle around Derek as the other man stood statue still, arms crossed over his chest. “You said I couldn’t beat him up here,” Peter called out from his vantage point on the couch. Derek just tightened his face a bit, eyes squinting as he looked everywhere but where Stiles was. The teen stopped in front of the Alpha, staring straight into his face until he flickered his eyes over enough for Stiles to catch them and force eye contact.
“This is a bad idea,” Derek said firmly.
“No shit,” Stiles agreed, “but we have to try. I have to... not kill people.”
Derek huffed a sigh out of his nose. “You haven’t killed anyone. The Omega is still roaming around.”
“Which is an even better reason to get some control.” Stiles flailed his hands in Derek’s face. They had been sparking the entire time Stiles had been in the loft but he was blaming that on Derek’s surliness from the moment he’d opened the door. The werewolf moved enough to keep any charge from jumping the gap but straightened up again as soon as Stiles pulled away.
“So have control,” Derek said as if it was the obvious answer. Stiles grumbled and felt it rattle in his chest. “Doing well so far.” A slight eyebrow raise was all it took for Stiles to swing at Derek, feeling all the better for the singeing sound when Derek didn’t move quite fast enough to save the spark from catching the end of his hair.
“Fuck you,” Stiles snapped, stepping in and feinting another swing at Derek’s head before nearly landing one on his stomach. Derek’s face went from passive to intrigued in an instant and Stiles felt the thunder grow like a storm inside of him. He kept swinging, putting every lesson his dad had ever taught him about self defense to practice. Every blow nearly landed and every time Stiles felt his anger ebb away into something more... filling.
“You’re. Such. An. Asshole.” He kicked at Derek’s knee while the werewolf was focused on his hands and the satisfaction that it landed outweighed the fact that Derek barely tripped up. Another swing and a miss at his chin, jab at his chest, knee towards the stomach... And then he made contact. It was fleeting, only fingertips, but the jolt it sent up Stiles’ arm was enough for him to know how much energy had passed between them.
Derek stumbled back, bumping into the table before righting himself. There was a red mark on his neck where Stiles had caught him. The teen made a shocked noise as Derek rubbed at the mark with a grimace on his face.
“Well that’s going to take awhile to heal.” Stiles didn’t jump when Peter’s voice came from beside him, just reached out in a stealthy manner and tapped the man on his wrist before he realized what was going on. The Beta cursed, stepping away quickly and wrapping a hand around the injury. “Rude,” he bit out. Stiles was about to make an incredibly witty comment regarding ointment when Derek huffed out a laugh. Both Peter and Stiles turned to stare at him and found the other man staring at the ground, one hand at his neck, shoulders twitching.
“Uh...” Stiles shook his head, blinking his eyes repeatedly to ensure he wasn’t suddenly hallucinating. Derek looked up and even though all that was left of the laughter was a small smirk it was enough. Stiles took a step backwards when he felt his hands flare up. “Sorry, sorry...” He turned away, wringing his hands together and focusing on settling down his tumultuous brain. It took way too long to get the energy under control and when he turned back around he could see Peter and Derek locked into a silent argument. “Should I...?” he pointed towards the door when the men looked up.
“Yes,” Derek said, talking over Peter. “I think that’s enough bodily harm for one day”
Stiles smirked as he walked backwards towards the door. “You’re only saying that because the poor wittle wolvies are the ones who got hurt.” He stuck his bottom lip out in an exaggerated pout and snorted when Derek growled at him. He was still laughing in the stairwell until he realized this his hands had started firing off again.
“What the f...” He blew out a breath and focused. There was a warmth inside him that was unlike anything else, like a firestorm instead of a tornado. Minutes ticked by until the heat faded away leaving only a shadow like a scorch mark across his chest.
Stiles wasn’t sure if it was a crashing sound that woke him or if the crashing sound was a result of him being startled awake. Either way, he was awake now, the entire town was probably awake now, and he decided that blinding himself was his least favorite thing to do. Ever. And that includes being kidnapped by random insane peoples.
“What the hell, Stiles?!” Scott stumbled from to his feet, rubbing at his chest where there was an obvious burn mark.
“What the hell to you, dude!” Stiles flailed around, electrified hands lighting the room in an odd shade of bright. “What are you doing sneaking up on me? I have a front door!”
“I didn’t want to wake your dad,” Scott said softly.
“Too late.” The teens turned to find the Sheriff leaning in the open doorway, pajama shirt eschew.
“Worst. Werewolf. Ever.” Stiles hissed at Scott.
The Sheriff flipped on the light and sighed. “Scott... Are werewolves allergic to doorbells?” Scott shook his head quickly. “How about cellphones?”
“No, sir.” Stiles rolled his eyes as Scott kept staring at his Dad like he was about to be grounded for a month.
“Well they are allergic to wolfsbane and I happen to keep a full magazine of special bullets in my room next to my service sidearm. See where I’m going with this?” Scott nodded slowly, eyes so wide Stiles wondered if they would pop out. “Good. I’m going back to sleep. G’night, boys.”
Stiles waved at the man before grabbing his pillow and launching at Scott. The werewolf let it hit his head and chucked it back even harder. “What was that?” he hissed, coming over and dropping onto the foot of Stiles’ bed. “You glowy hands of doomed me!”
“I didn’t know it was you,” Stiles snapped back. “I thought it was an intruder... or Derek...” Scott just stared at him, one hand over his chest. Stiles sighed and reached out to his friend. “I’m sorry,” he said slowly. “Seriously. I didn’t mean to... ya know.” He wiggled his fingers and the light caught the edge of Scott’s grin.
“Yea, well, how about you put that away?” Stiles shrugged and took a couple of slow breaths to calm his heart rate. It was enough to get the flare down to just a tingle he could feel under his skin, like it was lying in wait.
“Sooo...” Stiles prompted, poking Scott when the silence started getting to him.
“What?” Scott tilted his head before remembering he’d come with a purpose. “It’s the Omega. Derek said it’s back and it’s circling towards town and there were threatening... scratches or something.”
Stiles snorted. “Threatening scratches? Seriously? That’s what we’re going with?” He dropped back onto the bed and starfished out across it. “You bumbled in here to warn me about scratches.”
Scott pushed Stiles foot aside enough to stretched his own legs out, folding his body so he was laid out across the foot with his legs near Stiles’ chest. “Derek told me to,” he confessed with a shrug. “He thinks the Omega might be after you since you blasted him in the face.”
“Which probably improved it,” Stiles pointed out, staring at the ceiling. They lay in silence for awhile before Stiles gives into the little nagging feeling at the back of his skull. “Why didn’t Derek come warn me himself?”
He could feel the bed shift as Scott shrugged. “I don’t know, dude,” his friend said around a yawn. “Maybe he didn’t want to get blasted across the room.”
“I did apologize.” Stiles kicked at Scott’s head.
Scott smacked vaguely in Stiles’ leg’s direction. “Not to my shirt, asshole.” Stiles blew a raspberry at the other teen. Their laughter died away slowly as both drifted in the dark quiet. Stiles was pretty sure he’d dozed off at some point because suddenly the room was bright and it wasn’t his fault.
“Shit,” he muttered as he rolled off the bed, wiping at his mouth as he did so. Scott grumbled in his sleep and rolled over, spreading out from his awkward position. Stumbling into the hall, Stiles nearly ran into his father as the other man came down the hall in uniform.
“We need to talk,” the older man said, grabbing Stiles’ arm and pulling him back into his room. “Scott!” The Sheriff guided Stiles into his computer chair before kicking the bed to wake it’s occupant. Scott managed to roll off the bed as he flailed, making Stiles snort.
“Worst ever,” he whispered under his breath. That earned him a glare from the werewolf as he settled himself back onto the bed. They both turned towards the Sheriff at the same time.
“There was an attack,” the man said slowly, eyes flitting between the two teens. “A sunrise hiking group found a body in the woods not far from the entrance to the path. Coroner says it was an animal attack that occurred within six hours of him arriving at the scene. A big animal.” He turned towards Scott with his eyebrows raised. “Your turn.”
Scott opened and closed his mouth twice before turning to Stiles. “It wasn’t an animal,” Stiles offered with a sighing, settling farther down in his chair. “There’s a rogue werewolf and we thought it was gone but...” he spread his hands out in front of himself.
The Sheriff nodded. “Did you know about the attack when you showed up last night?” The question was directed again at Scott and the teen shook his head quickly.
“Derek said he’d picked up the scent again but it wasn’t that close to town. He would have told me.” He sighed as he got to his feet and dug his phone out of his pocket. “I should call him. And Allison.”
“Do that.” The Sheriff moved aside to let Scott exit the room before turning his attention on his son. “Why didn’t you tell me? I’m assuming you knew since you know everything any other time. Is this why you asked about your mom??
Stiles stared at his hands as the Sheriff talked and glanced up after a moment to find his father doing the same. “Claudia wanted so much for you,” the man continued in a quieter tone, “but I know this wasn’t in her plans.”
“I’m sorry,” Stiles said softly, cutting the apology short as he felt a burning inside that had nothing to do with his power. “I didn’t mean for any of this.”
“I know.” The Sheriff reached out and rested his hand on Stiles’ shoulder for a moment before stepping away. “I need to head to the crime scene. If I see you there, you’re grounded the rest of the summer and no amount of arguing over adulthood will get you out of it, are we clear?” Stiles nodded, forcing a smile that matched the strained one of his father’s face. “Be good.”
Stiles nodded again before covering his face with his hands. He stayed like that until he heard Scott return from making his calls. “Derek wants you at his loft,” the werewolf said as Stiles straightened up again. “Him and Isaac are on their way out to the forest and he wants you to work with Peter to plot out where they pick up traces of the Omega.”
“And you?” Stiles asked as he pushed himself to his feet, moving to grab the nearest pair of jeans on the floor to pull over the boxers he’d slept in.
“I’m meeting up with Allison to talk to her father. Retired or not, he’ll want to know.” Scott tossed a shirt from Stiles’ closet towards him before running a hand through his flattened hair.
“Fun times all around.” Stiles took a deep breath as he checked to find his wallet, keys, and phone already in place. “Let’s get started.”
“Fuck,” Stiles breathed out as he hung up his phone. Peter glanced up from the map he was studying with an interested expression on his face. “Yea, just...” he looked back down at his phone and dialed up Scott. “Yo, man, conference call time.” He didn’t wait for Scott to say anything before dialing up Derek as well. Once everyone was on the line Stiles turned on the speakerphone and settled onto the chair closest to him.
“So I just got a call from my Dad,” he began, resting his chin on his hands, elbows on the table. “The body they found wasn’t killed at the drop site annnnd, because life is shit, it was a twenty year old male, short brown hair, wearing a red hoodie.”
“Like you were that night in the woods.” Scott’s voice came across rushed and tinny.
“Yup,” Stiles nodded.
“Have they found the kill sight?” Derek questioned.
Stiles answered negatively. “They’ve put out a bulletin and released some information to the local news stations but no one has come forward yet to report any attacks or missing persons.”
“There isn’t enough of a pattern in where you’re picking up traces either,” Peter spoke up, glancing down at the map he and Stiles had worked out. “He’s doing this on purpose.”
Derek sighed audibly, “That much is obvious. And it’s not hard to figure out the reason.”
“Yes,” Stiles pulled a face despite Derek not being able to see it, “Please feel free to blame the human. Again.”
“I didn’t say it was your fault,” Derek argued.
“Yea,” Scott agreed, “He obviously is just jealous of your glowy hands of doom.”
“Seriously?” Peter and Derek speaking in sync was not something that would ever not amuse Stiles. The werewolf in residence cut off his chortle with a glare.
“You may as well come back here,” he said firmly, rolling his eyes at Stiles. “You’re not going to find him.” Peter reached over and hung up the phone despite Stiles flailing at him. He sneered at the teen before disappearing upstairs and leaving him with nothing but a map for company.
“Asshole,” Stiles whispered bitterly.
“I can hear you,” Peter called from somewhere above.
“I know,” Stiles shouted back. He pulled a face at the ceiling before glancing over at the couch. His body suddenly felt like it weighed a metric ton and he forced himself to his feet, dragging himself over to the cushioned surface and dropping down with a groan. “Fucking werewolves,” he grumbled, not bothered by the fact that Peter was probably listening to his every move. He settled his hands on his stomach and closed his eyes, giving in to the desire to ignore the world for just a little while.
The door slamming open woke Stiles from his nap with a jerk and he glanced up as Derek and the Betas rushed in mid-argument. “It’s only a few days,” Derek was saying as he walked right past the couch without realizing Stiles was there.
“That could be a few more dead bodies,” Scott insisted. He stared Derek down when the other man turned to face him and Isaac valiantly moved to stand out of sight.
“Once the animal attack story makes its rounds no one will be out at night, not for at least a week or two.” Derek sighed and crossed his arms. “We’re not doing it until after the full moon. No,” he spoke over Scott. “We don’t know where he is and he’s smart enough to cover his trail. That means he’s smart enough to see us coming.”
Peter chose that moment to speak up from where he’d sat at on the stairs midway down. “So we set a trap?” Derek shook his head even as Scott and Isaac shrugged.
“It wouldn’t work,” the Alpha insisted. “He knows we’re hunting him so he’s not going to be dumb enough to come out in the open if there’s a chance we’re downwind.”
Stiles spoke up from where he was sitting, apparently invisible, on the couch. “What about the old Hale house?” The pack turned to face him with confused looks. “I mean,” he pushed himself to his feet, “it already smells like wolves, murder, and general localized mayhem. Perfect place to set a trap for someone with a giant sniffer.”
“His nose wasn’t that big.” Stiles turned to make a face at Scott.
“Right,” he said as he faced Derek again. “So… yes? Good job, Stiles? Great plan, Stiles? I might actually express an emotion that doesn’t involve threats of bodily harm, Stiles?”
Derek growled at him even as Peter chuckled in the background. “And how do you propose we get him to this spot of murder and mayhem?” Stiles raised his hand above his head and pointed a finger at himself with a ‘duh’ expression loud and clear on his face. “Not happening.” Derek turned away and stalked towards the table.
Stiles blinked after him and stuttered, “Not… not happening? Not. Happening?” He rushed to stand opposite Derek across the table. “And why the hell not?” He slammed his hands into the table a split second before he realized they were crackling. “Shit,” he hissed as he backed away, knocking into the window.
“That’s why.” Stiles decided Derek could only look more smug if he was standing over the teen’s bloody body. “You have no control.” Derek looked even more sure of himself as Stiles felt the thunder building inside of him, a grin crossing the werewolf’s face that was all teeth and bright eyes. Stiles glanced down and saw light completely obliterating anyone’s ability to see his individual digits.
“You’re just really good at pissing me off,” Stiles muttered as he focused on quieting the storm inside of him. He took several deep breaths and finally was able to see the light fizzling out. A conversation had started buzzing around him.
“It’s not a horrible idea actually,” Peter said. He was standing in front of Derek when Stiles looked up and the two looked like an explosion waiting to happen. “We hide out in the ruins and put Shiney Hands over there, front and center.”
“He’ll get hurt,” Derek insisted. Stiles wanted to argue but he spotted Scott shaking his head minutely from behind the Alpha.
“We have three days until the moon,” Peter said calmly. “It’ll be enough time.” The solent argument continued and made the loft feel stifling.
Stiles finally broke up the Great Eyebrow War. “Time enough for what?”
Peter turned to him with an appraising look that bordered on hunger. “To find out what turns you on.”
“Let’s try again.” Derek paced the length of the loft with his hands clenched behind his back and shoulders tense. “Focus on visualizing… something.”
“Like a long yellow coat?” Derek turned to face Stiles with a confused expression but Peter huffed out an annoyed breath from where he was leaning against the brick wall nearby, having delegated today’s practice to his nephew. “Green and red pajamas? Should I just wiggle my fingers and go ‘Shazam!’?”
“Come on,” Derek growled, cutting off Stiles’ further. The teen took a step backwards as the werewolf stalked towards him again. “The full moon is tomorrow and then your brilliant plan goes into play. Two days. That’s it.”
“I know,” Stiles snapped back. He pushed at Derek when the man came within reach but the thunder was dull and Derek barely flinched.
Derek grinned ferally again at Stiles’ attempt to move him away. “You can’t just wait and hope you have enough time to get sufficiently afraid,” he whispered, stepping closer. “You have to be offensive.”
“I thought you always found me offensive,” Stiles forced out on reflex. Derek’s chest was warm under his hands and he found himself preoccupied by the feel of the other man’s heartbeat.
“That’s because you are.” Derek shifted his weight slightly and Stiles didn’t have time to register what was happening before there was a flash that forced the man back several steps. Peter applauded lazily from his vantage point as Derek brushed a hand over his burnt shirt. He flashed his red eyes up at Stiles before tearing the offending material away.
“You have no control.” Derek threw the shirt to the ground. Stiles gawked at the man as he did so before indignation took over.
“I do fucking so,” he insisted. “You’re just really good at threatening people who are more fragile than you.” Derek growled at that, teeth lengthening visibly in his mouth. “And pissing them off.” Stiles stepped forward and tried to push at Derek again, hands bright, but the werewolf moved quickly, circling around Stiles and wrapping himself around the teen, using his arms to pin Stiles’ hands down against his sides.
“I don’t want to see you hurt,” Derek rumbled into Stiles’ ear, the words echoing in the teen’s chest.
Stiles took a deep breath and forced himself to relax as much as possible. “Then let’s pretend you like me enough to keep that from happening?” Derek released him so suddenly that Stiles found himself flailing for balance for a moment. He righted himself and turned around in time to see Derek disappearing up the stairs.
“That went well.” Stiles turned his confused look on Peter and the other man merely shrugged at him. Peter pushed himself away from the wall and walked over with his hands in his pockets. “It’s probably a bad idea to poke at werewolves on the day of the full moon so this is your last chance.” He spread his hands wide in invitation.
The teen hesitated for a moment before stepping closer, hands held in front of himself. He closed his eyes, breathing deeply through his nose, and tried to remember what it felt like each time he’d managed something akin to control of the power. His mind kept flitting between the nighttime woods and the grin that had split Derek’s face the first time he’d zapped the man. The confusion rattled inside of him and he felt it block out the thunder he’d been hoping for.
“I can’t,” he breathed out, opening his eyes. Peter regarded him with his head tilted to one side.
“Well,” the man said slowly, “I could always make sure Derek was in eyesight when the Omega showed up. Granted, that means he’d be a target too and even a strong Alpha can be challenged by a rogue wolf but…”
“No,” Stiles snapped, cutting Petter off. “No one else is in harms way if we can help it.”
“Then get control.” Peter’s eyes flashed blue before he took a breath and a step backwards. “You’re the one who decides how many more people get hurt.” He turns away and wanders over to the table, idly looking over the map. “To be honest, it’s quite possible the Omega will move on eventually, whether we stop it or not. Especially if it’s able to take you out. They never stick around for long in areas with established packs.”
“So it’s my fault?” Stiles asked, cursing the shiver in his voice. “If I hadn’t blasted it in the first place then that man wouldn’t have been killed?”
“Well…” Peter shrugged and turned to face Stiles. “I didn’t say that, precisely.”
“You never do.” Stiles grits his teeth and turns away, heading for the door.
Stiles stayed in his room the next day, flitting around and unable to concentrate on anything at all. Derek and the pack were spending the day and night of the full moon in the woods around the house, spreading out their scent and finding the best positions for everyone. For Stiles’ big plan. He huffed out a laugh as he thought about it yet again and dropped onto his bed, pulling his pillow over his face. His scream was muffled but so was the sounds of his door opening.
“Son?” Stiles tossed the pillow aside and sat up to find his dad standing warily in the doorway.
“It’s my fault,” the teen let slip, pulling his knees up to his chest as the Sheriff walked over and dropped down on the foot of the bed. “If I wasn’t… If I hadn’t…”
The Sheriff stretched forward and covered Stiles’ hands with his own. “None of this is your fault.”
“It really is,” Stiles insisted.
“Stiles.” The Sheriff forced the teen to meet his gaze. “None of this is your fault. Period. Whatever is going on with you, with the wolves, you have no control and…”
“THAT’S THE PROBLEM!” Stiles pushed off the bed quickly and paced across the room. “I have no control and someone else is going to pay for that.” He turned and watched the fight go out of the Sheriff.
“I wish your mom was here,” the older man said glumly. “She never wanted to talk about it and now…” The Sheriff shrugged and ran a hand through his greying hair. “But she would tell you the same thing. Focus on the important things you can hold in your hands and everything else will slip through and away.”
Stiles nodded and sat down next to his dad, leaning into the man a bit. “How do you hold onto lightning?” he sighed.
“By staying grounded.”
“That…” Stiles choked back a laugh. “That was an awful pun.”
“I know.” The Sheriff smiled widely at him for a moment before pushing himself to his feet and reaching out to rest his hand on Stiles’ head for a moment. “Worth it though.” Stiles smiled up at his dad and waved slightly when the man left his room. He lies back with a smile still on his face and didn’t wake up until the moon was high and hidden behind roiling black clouds.
“Holy shit,” Stiles gasped as he sat up with a lurch looking out his open window as another bolt of lightening lanced the sky. He rushed to his feet and stumbled over clothes lying haphazardly on the floor. The window slammed shut just before he reached it and rain started pelting the glass, wind tossing the tree outside as if it wanted to pull it straight out of the ground. “Shit.” He stood breathless as every rumble of thunder was echoed in his heart, every lightening strike cutting through him to his core.
One particularly close bang lead to the electricity in the house flickering out, leaving Stiles alone in the darkness. Taking a step forward he pressed his nose against the glass, watching the storm through the foggy glass. He wasn’t sure how long he was standing there until his dad came up behind him, buckling his gun belt into place.
“I gotta get out there,” the Sheriff said as he leaned in to hug Stiles from behind. “Don’t be stupid.”
“You either!” Stiles called after him, twisting as the man left the room in a hurry. He moved over to his bed and slid to the floor, leaning back and watching the storm rage on. It lasted for hours and by the end he was exhausted.
Scott climbed off of his bike next to Stiles’ Jeep and met the other teen around the far side of it. “You don’t have to do this alone,” he insisted in a hushed whisper. “I could…” He gestured at the woods in front of them.
Stiles shook his head, “No you can’t. The plan will work.” He didn’t add on the ‘because it has to’ that was rattling around in his head. “I go from here to the house, touching as many non poisonous things as possible, and the Omega will catch the scent and track me. If he smells any of you then the gig is up.”
“I know,” Scott crossed his arms to keep from reaching out to his friend. “But that doesn’t mean I like the idea of you being out there alone. What if he gets to you before you’re close enough for us to help?”
“I can handle it,” Stiles insisted, wiggling his fingers in Scott’s direction. “You guys just be ready to… do whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing.” Scott nodded warily before heading back to his bike riding off before Derek appeared out of the twilight woods to take his place.
“You shouldn’t be joking about this,” he snarled quietly. “Mess up and you’re going to get yourself killed. You’re just human.”
“No I’m not,” Stiles reminded him, embracing the ache of the lightning inside that flared every time Derek was around to antagonize him. “If I was, I’d be dead instead of some college kid who went camping in the wrong spot.”
“Stiles…” Derek took a step forward.
“No, Derek, don’t you dare. I can take care of myself now; nevermind that I kept myself alive all through high school. Me, Derek, not you.” Derek grabbed Stiles wrist and hissed when the teen grabbed back, jolting the wolf hard enough to see a spark of red in his eyes. “You can’t stop me from ending this,” Stiles bit out, “so either help me or fuck off.” Derek stared into his eyes for a moment longer before nodding minutely and pulling away. Stiles let go reluctantly and pointedly looked away from the angry red mark circling the Alpha’s wrist.
Derek moved towards the woods again but Stiles heard a muttered “Be careful” before his disappeared. Stiles nodded at the deepening darkness and took a deep breath. His hands were still tingling with energy just under the surface, like the feeling of running stocking feet over rough carpet knowing that as soon as you try to open a door you’re going to feel a shock.
He moved slowly through the woods, partially to ensure the path was unmistakable for the Omega to follow and partially to calm his nerves. Every step that took him closer to the old Hale House took him closer to a confrontation he’d have rather avoided. He dragged his hands along trees as he went, trampling over foliage, snapping limbs, scorching fingertips into bark as he passed. By the time he reached the edge of a clearing he was sure a blind Boy Scout would have been able to follow the trail he’d left behind.
“So that was fun.” He took a deep breath before moving towards the tree near the house they’d decided to center the ambush around. The pack was spread out around him but he didn’t know where anyone was, partially to keep him from glancing in their direction and partially to avoid any tell tale heart rate jumps if the Omega questioned him. Stiles dropped down onto the ground to wait.
He’d almost dozed off when he heard a twig snapping at the edge of the clearing. The teen stood up quickly and stared at the Omega as the stranger stalked towards him.
“If it isn’t the little lightning bug,” the man snarled. “Where are your friends? The ones with the teeth?” He opened his mouth wide enough for the waning moonlight to glint off of his own.
“You are one walking, talking cliche,” Stiles snarked, backing up a bit until he felt the tree firm against his back. “Is there where you huff and puff?”
“This is where I rip your head off. I owe you for that bit of magic you pulled on me the other night.” The werewolf growled deep in his throat, eyes flashing blue as his snout elongated.
“Nothing magic about it.” The teen took a deep breath and brought his hands up, embracing the fear inside of him until they lit up like fireworks. “Just a little Stilinski mojo.”
The wolf didn’t say another word before he ran at Stiles, the teen moving to the side enough to push the man away with a hand against his neck. The Omega howled in pain, one hand raising up to cover the wound left behind by Stiles’ power.
He straightened up, dropping his hand away, before advancing on Stiles again, moving slowly and calculatingly. “That was a freebie,” he said calmly as he backed Stiles against the tree again. “It’ll take more than a burn to stop me from killing you. And I will treasure every second you bleed out.”
Stiles coughed out a gasp as the werewolf lunged again. He stood his ground this time, reaching forward with both hands and planting them right on the Omega’s face. The sound the werewolf let out as he collapsed was chilling, all whimpers and pain. Stiles moved around him, moving across the lawn until he spotted Derek moving towards him from the shadow of the house.
“He isn’t…” Stiles glanced back at the body still writhing on the ground.
“Not yet,” Derek agreed. He had come to a stop facing Stiles midway between him and the Omega. “We’ll take care of him but… you don’t have to be here.”
Stiles nodded slowly and then stopped before shaking his head. “I do,” he insisted. “I do have to be here.”
Derek opened his mouth to say something else but his words were cut off, eyes flashing red. He spun around just as the Omega took him to the ground in a running tackle. The Alpha fought back, claws ripping and teeth gnashing. Stiles felt something inside of him shatter when the Omega wrapped a hand around Derek’s neck.
He reacted without thought, taking every little piece inside of him and forcing them out. The lightning arced away from him, slamming into the rogue wolf, knocking him off of Derek in the process.
Stiles took several steps forward and did it again. Again. Again. Finally he was standing over Derek and the Omega was crumpled up across the clearing. He raised his hands to fire off again but was startled by a hand wrapping around his ankle.
“It’s fine, Stiles,” Derek breathed out. “It’s done.” The teen took several breaths before he was able to drop his hands and look down at the man at his feet. “It’s done,” Derek repeated. Stiles nodded numbly, Derek grounding him. He heard Scott call out his name even as he dropped down to his knees next to where Derek was sitting up. The Alpha rested a hand cautiously on the teen’s shoulder and Stiles felt everything fade away. All of the fight or flight. All of the power. Stiles was a teenager crouching in the darkness surrounded by monsters and he was utterly exhausted. He didn’t say a word as Scott pulled him to his feet again, Derek’s hand slipping slowly away.
“I want to go home,” he whispered finally as Scott lead him out of the clearing. His friend only nodded, wrapping an arm tighter around Stiles’ waist as they made their way into the woods.
Stiles sat on his floor in the darkness, knees pulled up to his chest. He felt hollow inside, like every thought just slipped away, leaving him with nothing but the memory of the Omega lying dead in the clearing and the hunger that had filled him when he’d unleashed on him. He’d sent Scott away twice already and was about to give into the exhaustion that seemed constant over the last few days when he heard the scrambling at his window.
“Dude,” he ground out as he pushed himself to his feet, “Did you forget about Dad and his special… bullets…” He watched the man coming through the window straighten up. “Hi, Derek.”
“Stiles,” the man nodded, glancing around the room quickly. The teen followed his gaze and rushed to pull the dirty boxers off of his desk, tossing them backwards over his shoulder as he toed more clothes under the chair. Derek only smirked when Stiles looked back at him.
“To what do I owe the pleasure?” Stiles asked quickly, shoving his fidgeting hands into his pockets. “Not that it’s a pleasure having you in my bedroom in the middle of the night or anything like… that…”
Derek’s smirk softened softly and he glanced down at the floor. “I wanted to thank you.” He looked back up and Stiles could only gape at him silently. “For the other night. I wasn’t paying attention and you…” Derek nodded slightly. “Anyway, thank you.”
“You’re… welcome?” Stiles pulled a hand out of his pocket in order to run in through his hair and then stopped midway, shoving it back in. “That’s not a question,” he says quickly. “You are actually welcome.”
Derek grins again before cocking his head slightly and looking at the floor again. “Your dad’s worried about you.” Stiles pulled a confused face when Derek met his eye again. “He’s on the phone.”
“Are you listening in?” Stiles sputtered, “Dude! Privacy!” He bit his lip for a second before more words rushed out. “Who’s he talking to? No!” he snapped when Derek opened his mouth. “Don’t tell me!” Derek look exasperated and the older man just shook his head before moving towards the window.
“Deaton’s back in town,” he said over his shoulder as he slid through it. “He wants to see you.”
Derek was gone before Stiles could say another word and all that he left behind was a warmth in the room Stiles couldn’t help but want to inhale and hold inside himself after days of feeling cold.
Deaton seemed more inclined towards random statements and fact avoidance than usual when Stiles met up with him the next evening at the animal clinic. “Once more,” he said calmly after Stiles had told him what had happened over the last few weeks. “But I want to know what you were feeling.”
“I’m pretty sure terrified sums it up rather well,” Stiles sighed.
“Fear is a powerful motivator,” Deaton agreed with his usual soft tone. “I don’t think it accounts for everything that happened. So, the final fight, one more time.”
Stiles took a deep breath and closed his eyes. “The Omega ran at me. I dodged and caught his neck with my fingers. That just pissed him off more which made him stupid so when he ran at me again I was able to get him right in the face.” Stiles paused as he remember the soft look on Derek’s face as the man placed himself between Stiles and danger. “I thought he was down and out but I was wrong. Derek got in the way.”
Deaton cut him off there. “Intentionally or not?”
“Intentionally,” Stiles admitted. “He had his back turned and…” He swallowed and cleared his throat roughly, eyes closed tight. “The Omega tackled him and they wrestled and I…” He hesitated and opened his eyes. Deaton was watching his hands and Stiles looked down to see them clenched in tight fists, light seeping between his fingers.
“What did you feel?” Deaton asked softly as he looked up again.
“I was afraid.” Stiles stared Deaton in the eye and the vet shook his head slightly.
“What did you feel?” he questioned again.
Stiles ground his teeth together before answering. “I was scared,” he insisted.
“For whom?” Stiles opened his mouth and then closed it again with a snap. He shook his head slightly and Deaton looked at him ever calmly. “Whom were you frightened for? Not yourself, I assume, since you were out of danger at that point.”
“I wasn’t…” Stiles shook his head again. His chest hurt and wanted to escape. “As long as the Omega was alive…”
“But he was focused on Derek,” Deaton continued, “and the others would have stepped in.”
“He had Derek by the throat. He was going to kill him and no one could get there fast enough.”
“Are you sure?” The question hung in the silence. Stiles turned his gaze to the floor and pressed a palm against the ache in his chest. Eventually he straightened up and saw that Deaton had turned his attention to several books that were spread out in front of him.
“Thanks for… Yea.” Stiles said weakly as he made his way to the door.
“Fear is a mighty motivator,” Deaton called after him. “But the greatest fear any of us face, the feeling more infuriating than anything at all, goes by a different name.” Stiles didn’t turn but nodded instead and hurried out.
Less than an hour later Stiles found himself out at the Hale House, staring at the spot where the Omega had been laying prone and unbreathing.
“He was buried in the woods.” Stiles jumped, startled, and turned quickly to find Derek walking towards him. “Far out. If it makes you feel any better.”
“It doesn’t,” Stiles snapped. “It doesn’t make me feel better.” Derek looked like he was about to unleash a torrent of platitudes and Stiles wasn’t ready to hear any of them. “Burying the body of the man I killed doesn’t make me less of a murderer or… it doesn’t help. It doesn’t just go away.”
“I know,” Derek said calmly, holding his hands out to the sides.
“No. You. DON’T!” Stiles tore at his hair. “You don’t know. You don’t understand. You were born into a world with a totally different moral code and you don’t know. I killed him, Derek.”
The older man took a step forward and reached out. “Stiles…”
“It’s worse, this time,” the teen continued, taking a step back. “Because this time I can’t even pretend it was self-defense. I could have run. I could have…” He took a shaky breath and shook his head in an attempt to clear it. “I could have done a hundred different things.”
“Name one alternative you knew of at the time.” Derek stepped forward again and Stiles stepped back, tripping over a root and going down. The Alpha dropped in front of him and reached out, wrapping a hand around his ankle as he tried to move away on the ground. “Stiles.”
“I could have…” he tried to take a breath but the air felt superheated around him. He closed his eyes tight enough to see spots. “I could have done… something…” His throat felt ragged and when he opened his eyes again all he could focus on was Derek’s hand around the sharp bone of his ankle.
“The Omega was a murderer,” Derek said calmly, still crouched close to the teen. “And had he not been able to kill you that night then he would have hunted anyone close to you. Scott. Your dad. He may have hunted every one of us down even if he’d killed you.”
“He may not of.” Stiles’ voice sounded weak in his own ears.
Derek shook his head. “You did what you had to do,” he insisted. “Stiles… listen to me. Take a deep breath… And another...” Stiles forced himself to comply, breathing in as Derek squeezed his ankle and letting it out as the grip relaxed. Derek put them into a rhythm and Stiles followed it. Once Stiles’ vision had steadied somewhat he looked up to find Derek watching him. “You did the right thing,” the man said slowly. “Morality doesn’t come into it. You killed him because he would have killed everyone. Do you understand?”
Stiles nodded slowly and took another breath. “I’m okay,” he said, pulling out of Derek’s grasp and climbing to his feet. “I’m okay. You don’t have to… coddle me or anything.”
“Coddle?” Derek was up in a flash and right back in Stiles’ face. “I wasn’t coddling you.”
“Of course you were!” Stiles insisted. “Why else would you have been…” He waved his hands between them. “I know I’m pitiful but I don’t need you...” There was going to be more to that statement but Derek’s eyes flashed red and Stiles felt the thunder rolling through him in an instant.
“I don’t pity you,” Derek growled between human teeth. “I just…” Stiles tensed up as Derek rushed forward, certain the other man was going to strike him. He was so keyed up that he didn’t even register Derek’s lips on his before he was pushing him away, lightning flaring between them and knocking the werewolf onto his ass.
“Shit,” Stiles breathed out. “Did you…? Did I...?” Derek climbed to his feet slowly and Stiles took a step forward to help him up. “I didn’t…”
Derek grumbled as he pulled away and brushed a hand over his shirt. “I’m sorry,” he ground out, not meeting Stiles’ eye. “I shouldn’t have done that.” Stiles gaped at him as the man turned on his heel and started to stalk away.
“Wait!” he called out after a moment, sprinting across the clearing to grab onto the man’s shoulder. Derek allowed himself to be spun around but his face was blank and eyes empty. “You should have,” Stiles insisted. “You totally should have.” He watched the understanding creep cautiously across Derek’s face.
“Don’t electrocute me,” Derek said as he leaned in again, slower this time.
Stiles muttered, “I can’t promise anything,” and then Derek’s lips were on his. They were dry and the movements were cautious but Stiles could feel warmth spreading out between them. Derek pulled away with a gasp, reaching up to run a hand over his reddened lips.
“Ow.” Derek’s smile drew Stiles back in and he reached up to grab onto Derek, fisting one hand in his hair and the other in his t-shirt as he pulled him into another kiss. This kiss lingered longer before Derek pulled away with a yelp, rubbing at the back of his neck when his fingers had trailed down.
“I’m sorry,” Stiles rushed out, pulling his glowing hands away from the werewolf. “I just…” he looked down and took a deep breath, picturing the storm in his chest settling before looking back up. “I think…” Derek reached for him this time, hands cupping Stiles’ jaw as they kissed in front of the ruins of his old home. Stiles held his hands out to the sides, closing his eyes as he let Derek guide the kiss. The thunder rolled within him but even the brightest lightning was no match for the spark of that moment.
It took three days for Stiles to find himself back at the loft, this time free of the threat of maiming or torture. Derek leaned against the window, watching him as Stiles meandered slowly towards him, fingers running along the back of the couch as he passed it. “So…” Stiles drew out the word as he came to a stop with the table between them. “The other night?”
“Was a bit chilly for the summer.” Derek’s eyebrows didn’t even move as Stiles scoffed at him.
The young man rounded the table and smacked Derek’s arm. “You’re an asshole.” Derek huffed out a laugh, his face softening from impassive to something Stiles would almost call fond.
“I’d apologize but you’re kind of an asshole as well so…” Derek shrugged and grinned as Stiles stepped up closer. “If I kiss you again am I going to regret it?”
“That depends on whether or not you realize what you’re getting into. I’m sarcastic and obnoxious and a bit on the impulsive side and I…”
Derek cut him off, grabbing Stiles hands to tug him even closer. “And loyal to a fault to the people you feel worthy of it.” His eyes flickered over Stiles’ face, going from his eyes to his lips and back again. “And infuriating and aggravating and…”
Stiles kissed him quiet, tugging his hands free so that he could wrap his arms around the other man, pulling him close. Derek tilted his head slightly and allowed Stiles to move him how he chose, resting his hands on the younger brunet’s hips. Stiles focused on the feeling of Derek’s chest moving against his with each breath even as he felt like he’d explode from the excitement of it.
“Breathe,” Derek whispered as he pulled back. Stiles just shook his head, tugging Derek close again and kissing him again, deepening this kiss until he felt consumed entirely by the heat of the other man.
Derek pulled back again and forced Stiles back a step. “Breathe,” he said again, a smile on his lips. “And make sure this is what you want because…”
“Stop,” Stiles said, fisting his hands in Derek’s shirt. “You left the other day and I get why, I really do, so I gave it time and I waited and I thought about it, repeatedly, in the shower, but I don’t want to wait anymore and I…” This time it was Derek who initiated the kiss, forcing Stiles back until he leaned back over the table as Derek moved to mouth at his neck. “Oh my god,” Stiles groaned out as Derek encouraged him to sit up on the table. He tilted his head back, giving the man free access to his throat and collarbone as Derek pulled down the edge of his shirt and littered the pale skin with toothy kisses.
“You have no idea,” Derek ground out as he tugged Stiles’s shirt over his head, “no idea how much I wanted this.” He pulled his own shirt off as well before diving back in to press against Stiles chest to chest, mouth to mouth. Stiles’ hands never stopped as they glided over skin so hot he felt seared by it. Derek’s hands gripped at his ass, pulling him forward until he was half on the table, half supported by where Derek was pressed up against him. He spread his legs and wrapped them around Derek’s thighs, grinding up and moaning as Derek’s grip tightened even more.
“Fuck… Stiles…” Derek moaned against his mouth, pulling back to look at the other man. Stiles dug his fingers into the man’s shoulder blades as Derek’s hips hitched against his, cocks pressing together through far too many layers. Derek’s eyes flashed red and Stiles couldn’t help the way the thunder that had been building inside of him seeped out a bit.
“Shit,” he hissed, pulling his hands away from Derek’s back as the other man arched against him. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I…” Derek shook his head, pressing a kiss against Stiles forehead that was so sweet it seemed totally disconnected from the way their hips ground together in a quickening rhythm.
“It’s okay,” Derek assured him even as Stiles shifted his grip to the table edge.
“I can’t… control it… yet…” Stiles moaned as Derek sucked a bruise under his ear.
“Then we should practice more.” Innocent words came out like a growl and it was the final straw to Stiles’ weakening resolve. He came in his pants with a shuddering moan, not even caring that he was likely to be embarrassed by the adolescent ending to their makeout session. He didn’t even get a chance to blush though before Derek dropped his head onto Stiles shoulder and groaned long and low.
“Oh my god,” Stiles drew out. “Did you just…?” They stood in silence until Stiles knuckles got sore from where he was still clutching the table. He shifted enough the run a hand up Derek’s arm and felt rather than heard the chuckle the other man let out.
“Well that didn’t go as planned,” the man said as he straightened up enough to meet Stiles eye. He pressed a kiss against the corner of Stiles’ mouth and another on his cheek.
“And just what did you plan, Derek? Some roleplaying maybe? Me in red, you in fangs.” Derek stepped further back and shook his head.
“I haven't actually figured out why I like you yet.” Stiles stuck his tongue out in response to Derek’s smirk, straightening up off of the table and grimacing at the cooling mess.
“My boxers are ruined,” he whined as he tried to adjust himself as subtly as possible.
“My table is ruined.” Stiles followed Derek’s eyes down to the singe marks on the wood.
“Oops?” Stiles bit back a laugh as Derek rolled his eyes and tugged him forward. “This is gross,” he complained as Derek held him so close he could feel wetness seeping through his jeans. Derek pulled a face and just planted his hands on Stiles’ ass to press him in even closer. “Not that I care,” Stiles amended, grinning widely as Derek’s arms moved to wrap around his waist.
“You’re an idiot,” Derek said softly as he leaned his forehead against Stiles.
“That is not something I’ve ever actually argued.”