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My Babysitter's a Werewolf

Chapter Text

Stiles jumped up at a knock on the door, excited for a break from marathoning Twilight movies with his little sister. He still didn’t understand why his mom let Jane watch them, they were frankly inappropriate and laden with sexist themes. Letting a vampire watch you while you slept? Not exactly something he wanted his little sister looking up to. To make matters worse, most of the population at his high school was also obsessed. At least everyone knew Edward was creepy; in this day and age, everyone loved a good werewolf story.

Opening the door, Stiles was ecstatic to see his best friend, Scott, arms filled with a dozen bags of sundae supplies. “What did you do, rob an ice cream truck?”

“Just about,” Scott shrugged, causing some of the bags to slip further down his arms with a grunt. He called into the living room for Jane to come join them, but she yelled back that she was too busy for ice cream.

The boys got to work unpacking the bags on the table and beginning their plan of attack. Stiles believed there was an art to eating, especially ice cream. He also believed that there was a way to create a sundae that was both aesthetically pleasing and delicious.

Scott triumphantly unearthed a bag of mini marshmallows from the mess on the table. Stiles groaned. “No Scott, please no, I can’t handle that again.”

They had a running competition to see who could fit the most marshmallows in their mouth. It was always fun but by the end of it, Stiles’s mouth was usually pretty sore, and sometimes he was worried that he’d stop breathing.

“Too chicken?” Scott teased, brandishing a fistfull of marshmallows like he was already the triumphant winner.

“Oh it’s on.” Stiles replied, reaching for the marshmallows with a grin.

Neither of them noticed the loud noises from outside or Jane leave the house to investigate. Which meant they didn’t notice her wandering it to the street, narrowly avoiding being hit by a car. They didn’t notice until Melissa McCall was laying on the horn outside of the house. Both boys ran outside, choking on marshmallows, to see Melissa’s car in the street and John Stilinski with a tight grip on his daughter's arm.

Melissa leaned out of her car, pointing at her son. “Scott, honey, get in the car. We’ll talk about your mistakes later.” Scott spit out his mouthful of marshmallows into the bushes by the house and gave Stiles a tight smile before scampering off to join his mom in her car.

Stiles chewed his marshmallows, trying to pull on a face of shame instead of looking like a mildly abashed chipmunk. This wasn’t the first time he, and Scotty for that matter, had messed up with their parents when it came to watching Jane. The last time, when Stiles had forgotten to give Jane her ADHD meds, his dad had told him he had one more chance to prove himself. Personally, he didn’t understand the anger, because he missed his meds all the time and he was (debatably) fine.

“What were you thinking?” His dad asked, after tucking Jane in bed.

Stiles tucked his feet under him, curling into his pillows with a tired sigh. “I know Dad, I get it, I keep messing up. I’m sorry.”

“There’s kids being murdered left and right out there. Jane was following some unknown sound, right into the street, and Melissa and I almost hit her,” he snapped “There’s so many dangers that could happen to your eight year old sister and we can’t lose another family member, Stiles, we just...can’t.”

“I’m sorry. I get stupid sometimes with Scott but I swear Dad...just one more chance. Please?”

John shook his head. “No. From now on? You guys have a baby sitter.”

Chapter Text

“A BABYSITTER?” Scott couldn’t seem to decide if he thought the situation was hilarious or horrible. “How old are we again? And your dad’s getting you a babysitter? God, we weren’t cool before…”

Stiles banged his head against a tree. “Scotty, shut up, I know...it’s bad.” He and Scott hadn’t been allowed to bike to school together today, as a punishment, so they’d both gotten to school a little early and met in the school’s courtyard to talk. Scott complained about the punishment Melissa had given him - he would be cleaning out the McCall garage all weekend. Then, Stiles had filled Scott in on his punishment, the babysitter situation.

They both hitched their backpacks higher up on their backs and Stiles put on a brave smile as they walked into the school. Scott was scanning the faces of every girl in the school.

“So, which of these lucky ladies will be taking up residence in the Stilinski home every Friday night?”

Stiles leaned against his locker. His mom had died right after Jane was born and Scott’s mom had been there to help pick up the slack. He and Scott had been inseparable since kindergarten and when Melissa stepped in to help, they became like brothers. They were 16 now and over the course of 8 years, their parents had finally grown to a place where they were openly going on dates. Which meant every Friday, they went out to something new and fun and exciting. And now they were hiring a weekly babysitter because Stiles had proved inadequate, yet again.

“First of all Scott, does it have to be a lady? That’s sexist and you know it.”

“Right but who is going to be caught dead at your house?” Horror dawned on Scott’s fact. “Say it isn’t so? Did your dad hire…” his voice dropped to a whisper, in case it would summon the kid in question, “Did he hire Isaac? You know Isaac’s dad won’t let him.”

Isaac was the third musketeer in their friend group, but Stiles and Scott had always been so codependent that a third friend had always been a bit too much for them. Plus, he was perpetually grumpy, which was understandable, but Stiles worried about him. All the sass could be a bit exhausting, which was coming from Stiles, who couldn’t resist a good comeback if he thought of one. Isaac could be downright rude sometimes.

“No, Scotty my boy, he did not hire Isaac. Despite our beliefs that we have to take care of our parents, they do have some level of common sense.” Stiles gathered his books from his locker and slammed it shut, slipping the hood of his favorite hoodie over his head in hopes he could further disappear into the general population of the school. “For your information, it is a girl. I just didn’t like your implications there.”

Scott followed him through the hallways, resuming his scan of all the faces in the hallway, as if hoping someone would have a look on their face that screamed “HERE I AM - THE BABYSITTER TO HUMILIATE STILINSKI.” At 16, neither of them had ever had a relationship, though for Stiles there was the added complication that he was bisexual, yet not a single girl or guy in the school had any interest in him. Scott, who had the cutest baby face, had at least had his first kiss by now. Stiles, however, had no such luck.

“So, what do we know about her?” Scott asked as they rounded the corner into the main lobby of their school.

“All I know is that her name is Erica, she’s in our year, and that I will be talking my parents out of this.” They went to a huge school, so even a name wasn’t going to make this easy for Scott.

The boys came to a stop in front of the bulletin boards, where their new principal, Mrs. Finch, was hanging up posters for the newest missing student in town. It was likely a matter of hours before the news popped up that the body was found, torn apart by wild animals. As she sadly placed a pin into another poster, Kate Argent strode up to her.

Kate Argent, a senior, was a pretty blonde bombshell who led the drama club. Her hair was always perfectly curled, lips always red like she’d be drinking blood, and her clothes always accentuated her body just right. Kate’s little squad included popular redhead Lydia Martin, Lydia’s jock boyfriend Jackson, and the quiet but talented Vernon Boyd. All four of them were impossibly beautiful and radiated power in a way Stiles envied. In his experiences, no attention was good attention, but if he looked and moved like them then maybe, just maybe, his luck would change.

Kate plucked the coffee from Principal Finch’s hand with a smirk, under the guise of holding it for her while she pinned up posters. Stiles and Scott hadn’t stopped close enough to hear everything that was happening but they still lingered to watch what was happening. She took a large sip from the coffee and quipped something to the nervous looking woman in front of her, as if she was the adult and their principal was merely another person made to follow her. Her entire drama club posse laughed behind her as she handed the cup back and stalked off. Stiles and Scott just stared at her as she walked past. Principal Finch shook her head as if clearing a daze, noticed them watching, and loudly stated “Drama club students, always making a scene,” before ushering them off to class.

---

Third period was lunch, where Stiles and Scott met up again. Lunch was, supposedly, chili, which the lunch lady slopped messily on to Stiles’s plate. He thanked her with a weak smile and then turned his attention to Scott, who was excitedly yammering on about his “state of the art alien DNA detector goggles.” Scott was rarely a nerd unless something had him really excited and he always latched on to those things with puppy-like enthusiasm. Like his obsession with Star Wars.

Stiles snapped the goggles off of Scott’s head. “Remembering how I didn’t want any attention today?” he hissed. “This? This draws attention to us. We got through freshman year with only slight branding as dorks. We’re Sophomores now. Let's get through the next three years with minimal dork-branding, please?”

Their fighting drew attention from Isaac. “Hey dude,” he yelled from further up in line. “I need money, care to help me out?”

Stiles didn’t have the mental energy to deal with his energetic puppy of a best friend or their grumpy tag-a-long. “I’m abandoning ship,” he muttered, turning around with looking. “Or else I’m doomed to be a -”

“Dork!” the guy he crashed into yelled, frowning down at the chili now covering his shirt. He shrugged off his leather jacket and frowned at the mess painted on his white t-shirt. “Thank you so much, you ass.”

Stiles watched as Derek Hale, one of the hottest guys in school, stormed away from him. Shit.

---

Derek was not loving today. With everything that was happening with Kate, he was already dreading the talk he needed to have with Erica today. Then, the lunchroom was serving chili and he could tell by the smell that it wasn’t real meat. And now the fake meat was seeping into his shirt because some clumsy sophomore couldn’t handle his own two feet.

Derek slunk past the table where Erica was selling merchandise for the fourth Twilight movie, hoping she wouldn’t notice him. He was planning on talking to her, just not now and not here. No luck.

“Derek, wait up!” his best friend called, getting up from the table and pausing her movie. Derek sunk into a seat at a table, resigned to his chili soaked fate. Erica sat next to him. “I’ve been texting you all morning. What happened to your shirt?”

Derek grimaced. “Yeah, don’t ask.”

“Well, get this.” Erica seemed excited, so Derek figured it had to be about Twilight yet again. “I already sold like...200 tickets for the screening. And only seven more days until the event! Can you believe it?”

“Nope.” Derek could believe it, he just didn’t really care anymore. There were bigger things to worry about.

“You skipped math today… Were you with Kate? If I had a cute significant other, I would skip class too.” Derek gave her a doubting look. “What? I totally would.”

“You’re a good girl, Erica; you don’t break the rules.”

“Well, neither do you.”

Erica wasn’t even wrong. Derek never thought he would skip classes or argue with his parents or do anything remotely wrong in his life. He was fine just skating by, being mildly popular and totally normal.

Erica started listing all of Derek’s finer points and then took a pause. “Anyway, you’re coming to the Twilight screening, right? I saved you two seats.”

Derek sighed. “Uh, yeah, about that… Kate’s not really a Twilight fan?”

Erica clutched her heart dramatically. “Derek, how could you? I could never…Book Two changed my entire life.”

Derek sighed. “Trust me, I know.”

A few tables away, three kids were jostling one another around, one of them being the kid who had chili-ed Derek. If Derek tried hard enough, he could hear what they were saying.

The kid in the red hoodie had his face on the table, looking for all the world like he wanted to disappear. His dark haired friend was patting him on the shoulder, saying something about Erica. A curly haired boy seemed to be listening in confusion.

“Dusker girl over there,” Dark Hair was saying, glancing at Erica, “is the only Erica in our grade who I can imagine needing to babysit anyone. She could totally be the Catwoman to your Batman. Unless of course, you’d rather pursue her friend. If so, you made a brave move in branding him with your lunch. And then Erica can be the Leia to my Han.”

Red Hoodie seemed to sink even lower. Derek could just make out him mumbling a reply. “First of all, you could never be Han Solo. Second, it’s probably not the same chick. Doesn’t she have like...seizures or something?”

Suddenly, Dark Hair stood up and began making his way over to Derek and Erica. Red Hoodie slammed his head against the table while Curly Hair gaped like a fish.

“Nerd alert,” Derek whispered.

Dark Hair plopped down across from them. “Hey, I’m Scott.” He held out his hand to shake, which Erica took with a smile. Derek stared at him, unimpressed. “Sorry about the chili,” Scott said, nodding to Derek.

You didn’t do it,” he replied, crossing his arms to hide the stain.

“Not wrong.” Scott gave him a bright smile before turning to Erica. “Anyway, you’re Erica right?” She nodded. “Do you happen to be watching the Stilinski kids tonight?”

Erica gave Derek a nervous look before replying to Scott. “Uh...yeah. Do you happen to know them?”

Scott laughed and turned back to where his friends were sitting. “Oh yeah, one of them’s my pal Stiles over there.” At this point, Stiles Stilinski (what the hell kind of name was that?) looked ready to book it from the lunchroom. Derek thought it might be funny to watch.

Giving a wave to the table, Scott stood up. “Nice meeting you, Erica, I’m sure I’ll see you tonight.” He gave her a wink before sauntering off, shoulders shaking with laughter.

By the time Scott was back at his table, Stiles’s face matched his clothes. Derek was sure if he had tuned into the conversation, he would have heard him chewing Scott out for embarrassing him. Derek just didn’t care enough to listen anymore. He gave Erica a tight smile and excused himself, on the hunt for a change of clothes during his free period.

---

As they met in the main lobby after school, Stiles felt his pocket vibrate. “Oh hey Scotty, news report on the missing kid.” Both Scott and Isaac pushed up to him to read over his shoulder.

Scott paled a little. “Torn to pieces? Again?”

Stiles sighed. “Yeah, I have a feeling Dad might not being going on that date with your mom at all tonight.” The station was likely to be insane and he wouldn’t be surprised if his dad was there all night. Melissa would probably be stuck at the hospital as well; it was a full moon tonight and with this news, people would be checking themselves into the hospital just to keep safe.

Scott punched his shoulder. “You’ll still get stuck with a baby sitter.”

“Not if I can help it.”

Pocketing his phone, Stiles pushed open the double doors leading outside to the parking lot and headed over to the bike racks where he and Scott usually chained up their bikes in the morning. There was a gathering of seniors over by a tree, Kate Argent’s convertible parked underneath. Derek Hale was leaning against a tree, Kate standing in some sort of power pose in front of him, Boyd was leaning on her car, and the rest of their group not far behind. Kate and Derek seemed to be arguing about something and for the first time, Stiles found himself wishing he had the super hearing of the supernatural creatures in those Twilight movies everyone loved so much.

“Bummer,” said Scott behind him. “Looks like Kate got to Derek first.”

Stiles glared at Scott. This wasn’t news to him… not that he cared.

Derek pushed himself off of the tree as Stiles and Scott wandered close enough to hear the conversation. “No thanks Kate,” he retorted. “We’re done here.”

“You’ll change your mind,” she warned him. “You need us.”

As Derek grabbed his bag off the ground, Erica ran up. As one, Kate’s friends formed a barrier between Erica and Derek. As Stiles busied himself with his bike lock, feeling awkward that they’d lingered so long, he caught Erica asking Derek why he was avoiding her.

“He has us now,” Kate retorted. “He doesn’t need you.”

Derek snorted. “I’ll handle this later.”

Kate stuck out her arm. “At the party tonight.”

As Derek pushed past, Erica yelled something about Twilight.

Kate’s group snorted and piled into her car. As they drove past the bike rack, Jackson yelled “DORKS” and threw his soda, narrowly missing Scott’s head.

“Yeah, I’m definitely getting rid of the babysitter,” Stiles muttered. “I don’t need more of this.”

Chapter Text

Stiles looked up from the pot of mac n cheese he was stirring as his dad came down the stairs. His rodeo outfit was hanging sadly on a hook by the front door, waiting to be returned to the costume shop he’d rented it from. Every Friday night, John and Melissa took a break from their busy work schedules to enjoy a themed night out together. Except today; with another dead body found mauled to pieces, it didn’t look like John was going to be getting a night off for a while.

John smiled at his son as he buttoned up the top button on his uniform shirt. “Mac n cheese, huh?”

“Just because I don’t let you eat it, doesn’t mean I can’t make some for Janie,” Stiles pointed out, brandishing a cheesy spoon. “Melissa dropped off a healthier dinner option for you.”

Picking up the tupperware of salad, John sighed. “The two of you are always looking out for my health, thank you. Even though it means I have to eat like a rabbit some days.” He packed the tupperware away in his bag and leaned down to give Jane a kiss. “Hopefully the babysitter will be here soon, I really need to get back to the station…”

Stiles groaned. “Hey Dad… I’ve been meaning to talk about that. I really don’t think we need a babysitter.”

“Not this again,” John groaned, rolling his eyes. “We went over this. This is your punishment, until you prove you can focus long enough to keep Jane safe.”

“Right but, I think you may need to concede. Erica’s already late, I’m responsible enough to be making dinner, and if you don’t want to be late to work you’re going to have to leave Jane with me for a bit anyway.”

His dad reached around him and shut off the stove. “Split the mac n cheese between you and your sister and get over it. You may not love it, but Erica won’t be here for you, she’ll be here for Janie. If she doesn’t get here within an hour, maybe I’ll consider it. But until then, you need to make peace with the situation.

Stiles grumbled unhappily, dishing out the cheesy pasta between him and his sister. “I’ll be eating in my room, staging a protest.”

“Ha. Yeah kid, you do that.”

Grabbing his bowl of mac n cheese (people who ate it on a plate were idiots), Stiles went upstairs to his room. On the door hung a sign that said “Gotham employees only” that Melissa had gotten him for his 16th birthday. He shut his door with pointed force, plopping down at his desk and carefully placing his dinner next to his keyboard. From his dad, he’d gotten a nice gaming computer for his birthday. Some kids got cars, Stiles got a computer. He wasn’t complaining.

Booting up the computer, he turned on his webcam. When Scott had asked why he didn’t keep it on all the time, Stiles had reminded him that anyone could hack in and Scott had looked at his laptop in horror. Sometimes, it felt like Scott was his little brother, or at least that Stiles needed to protect him against all potential horrors. Often, when they started up a Skype call, Stiles had to remind Scott to move the post-it note that Stiles had taught him to tape over his laptop’s webcam. Which was happening right now, in fact.

“Scotty, the paper…”

“Oh yeah!” Suddenly, Scott’s face appeared on the screen.

“There ya go, big guy,” Stiles said, slightly muffled by the mouthful of mac n cheese he had just stuffed in moments before the call started.

“So…any sign of Erica yet?”

“Nope, she’s running late. I’m hoping I can convince Dad to quit this concept soon if she doesn’t show up.”

“Well, if she does, you know I’ll be there with popcorn and Twilight movies.”

----

Derek was following Erica silently through the path in the woods, glad she couldn’t tell he was there. He told himself it was to ensure her safety, which was mostly true. Kate was out for revenge and he could only imagine she’d go after his best friend to retaliate against his rejection. After all of her pushing, he’d decided to break up with her. He still needed to keep his distance from Erica so Kate wouldn’t get any ideas, but following her was totally acceptable. Plus, what he wasn’t really admitting to himself was that he missed her and following her through the woods was the only way he could safely get near her.

Focusing too much on Erica made Derek clumsy and he hissed in a breath as he stepped on a branch. Erica had clearly heard the crack and was looking frantically around the woods before speeding up. As she reached the bottom of the stairs, Derek heard more noises further ahead of them. Too quiet for Erica to notice but as the wind shifted, he picked up the faint scent of Kate’s pack on the breeze. They were closing in; his suspicions had been right, they were planning to go after his best friend to get to him.

Without thinking, Derek sped forward until he was only a few steps above Erica and called out her name. She spun around and Derek could hear the way her heartbeat sped up in shock. As a beta, he couldn’t do everything an alpha could but he was enjoying some of the wolf senses he’d gained. Just not...everything else.

“What are you doing?” Erica asked, eyes wide in terror. “You can’t just sneak up on a girl like that. How didn’t I notice you before.”

Derek scratched the back of his neck, trying to look sheepish. “Sorry.”

Erica chewed on her ponytail, which she often did when she was nervous, searching Derek’s face as if she might find an answer for everything that had been happening there. The longer they stood still, the more anxious he felt. Kate had turned him at the beginning of summer and he’d learned to control his shift two full moons ago. Yet he still worried on full moon nights. It wasn’t safe to be out in Beacon Hills and he could smell Kate’s pack approaching faster and faster.

“So…” he said, hoping to break the silence.

“So…” Erica replied, looking annoyed. Derek could smell the hurt rolling off of her though, hitting him like waves. He actually bit back a whimper. “Going to finally apologize for ignoring me for months now?”

He sighed. As much as he wanted to explain everything with Erica, he couldn’t. Not without getting her into trouble. Plus, there was no guarantee she’d believe him. “Erica… I can’t explain it. I’ve just been busy.”

Erica seemed more angry than upset now. She crossed her arms, glaring at him. “You’ve been saying for months now that you’re ‘too busy,’ but last I checked best friends were never supposed to be too busy for one another.”

“Well, with Kate in my life I -”

“Oh, Kate,” Erica hissed, cutting him off. “Kate this, Kate that. What happened to the promise we made as kids, huh Der? Stick together, no matter who got a date first or who managed to convince the popular kids to let them hang out. That’s what we said, what we swore by, what we stuck to. Why does Kate have to change that?”

Erica’s voice was getting louder and louder, making Derek feel more tense because he knew Kate’s pack was closing in and could hear them. What was worse is that he didn’t really have a defense here. She was right, they’d always promises to stick together. When Erica got obsessed with Twilight, Derek had followed her, falling madly in love with the books alongside her. When Erica became popular among the Twilight nerds, they still made time for one another, Derek even joining the club she’d started. When Derek’s inherent athleticism because apparent, he’d joined the team. Erica had come to every single one of his games, cheering alongside his parents in the crowd. And afterwards, he’d almost always picked hanging out with her over the team. They were so close, people had begun to thought they’d date, but Derek wasn’t interested and neither was Erica. He didn’t even think he really liked girls...until Kate came along.

There was something magnetic about Kate that made Derek want to know her. Erica had been crushing on another one of the drama club kids, so Derek had attended the end of the year performance with her. He met Kate afterwards and had been swept into her life. When he found out she was a werewolf, the pieces clicked together. He’d gladly accepted the bite after confiding in her he’d always loved the thought of being like Jacob. But then things got hard. He could barely control his shift at first and he wound up having to ditch Erica because he couldn’t maintain two lives. Later, he’d learned to truly unlock his powers, he needed to bite and turn another person.

He couldn’t bring himself to do that. Smiling sadly at Erica, he finally found the response he hoped would placate her. “Kate and I are over. I just need to take a break from our friendship so she doesn’t take it out on you.”

Erica’s gaze soften minisculely. He could tell she believed him, but not entirely. “Listen, Der, I don’t get it because I’m single, but this is not the time to be backing out of my life. The Twilight premiere is coming up, I’ve sold like over 200 tickets, and I really need you there. This is the event of a lifetime, the thing we’ve been anxiously awaiting and planning for. You don’t get to ditch it now.”

How could Derek care about vampire and werewolf movies when his life had become filled with the supernatural? “Erica… it’s just a movie.”

He regretted the words the minute he said them. Erica backpedaled away from him, hurt flashing across her face before she regained her angry composure. “I don’t have time for you anymore Derek, I need to babysit.”

“Erica, wait,” he called out, but it was too late. As she spun around, she collided right into Boyd, who had appeared quite suddenly behind her. From behind the surrounding trees stepped Kate’s pack. Derek had been so caught up in his thoughts and the fight that he’d stopped smelling for the danger. A beta’s mistake.

Kate smiled wickedly at Derek. “Well hello Der Bear, it seems it’s time to make a decision.”

Derek gritted his teeth, glancing up at the sky. As the moon rose higher, it became harder and harder for him to resist the wolf inside him. He glared back at Kate. “I told you, it’s over.”

She tutted softly at him. “Tick tock, the time is up. You’re coming with me, or else.” From behind Erica’s back, her face shifted, revealing long canines and glowing red eyes. She leaned in, as if to bite Erica.

Derek leapt forward with a cry. “Step away from her.” It took everything in his power not to shift then and there. He didn’t want Erica to see his face, wanted to keep her from the truth as long as possible. “Kate… you said it was my choice.”

Erica squared her shoulders, looking down at where Boyd’s hand rested on her hip. “Derek, what are you guys even talking about?”

Kate smiled at Erica, having tucked her shift away so easily. Derek didn’t want to bite an innocent, he didn’t want to become a full wolf or run with alphas, but he did envy how easily Kate seemed to turn. The other alphas had it easy, but somehow Kate made being a werewolf look effortless. “We want Derek to come to our full moon party tonight,” she explained, tucking Erica’s hair behind her hair. Another alpha trick - there was something in the softness that Kate put forth that made people want to go with her.

“Oh, so while I babysat because you were ‘too busy to hang,’ you were going off to a cool senior drama party?” Erica was angry again.

“You can come to the party,” Boyd said, tightening his grip around Erica’s waist. “Derek will be there, a ton of cool seniors will be there, and I’d love for you to come.” Erica seemed to brighten at that, turning to stare at Boyd in shock.

“No that’s…” Derek sighed. “I don’t want to go and Kate doesn’t seem to understand that she and I are over.”

Kate laughed. “Oh Derek, you could never be over me.”

Derek growled, moving towards Kate. Erica pushed forward.

“I’m going.”

“No, Erica, you’re babysitting.”

“No, Derek… you don’t tell me what to do. I’m going.”

“Erica, this isn’t like you.” Derek was pleading, trying to convey to her with his eyes how foolish she was being.

Erica just tossed her hair, already backing towards Kate’s convertible. “You’re not the only one who gets to revolt, Derek. I’m so sick of being a good girl. It’s my time to be bad.”

Kate tossed Boyd her keys and he caught them with a grin. “You go on ahead with everyone else,” she told him. “Derek and I need to have a little talk.” As Boyd and Erica drove off, the rest of the pack disappeared into the woods. They were probably shifting, ready to run under the full moon before the party.

Derek glared at Kate, repeating what he had already said to her. “You said I got to choose. When you gave me the bite, you said I could choose what I would be.”

Kate just laughed. “Oh Derek, but you said you wanted this. You wanted to unleash the wolf inside.”

“I wanted to become a werewolf, not a raving mad alpha,” he growled back. He could feel his shift happening. When he’d first shifted, Kate had been his anchor. Now, he wanted nothing more but to be free of her. Anger was forcing his shift.

“Some decisions need help. Besides, I’m not raving mad.” Kate shifted too, eyes flashing red in a way that should have made him, as her beta, bare his neck in submission. Instead, he just ran at her, taking a swipe with his claws at her stomach.

She was faster than him and was able to dodge his reaching claws easily. He could hear her laughing as she bounced around, narrowly avoiding him again and again. As he got angrier, he could hear a voice in his head telling him she was just goading him. He chose to ignore that voice.

As they fought, Derek was vaguely aware that people nearby could probably hear their howling. Maybe they’d finally attribute those strange murders that had been happening lately to a wolf, he thought bitterly to himself. Instead of just a crazy teenager like Kate.

It was that train of thought that distracted him, allowing Kate to slam into him at full force. As Derek flew comically through the air, he registered that their fighting had brought them closer to the houses at the edge of the woods. Which is how he landed with a loud thud in the front yard of a home. As he straightened up, having been startled out of his shift, the front door opened.

“Well,” said the man in the door gruffly. “You don’t look like the babysitter.”

Derek scrambled for an excuse as to why he was in this man’s yard, covered in twigs and bleeding from a cut on his arm. He settled on Erica being sick and sending him as a replacement. The man stepped aside to let him in.

--

It was getting close to the hour his dad was giving the babysitter and Stiles was getting excited. If Erica didn’t show up in the next ten minutes, he’d be babysitter free and might be able to save the small shred of reputation he still had left in his high school career. Scott, on the other hand, looked a little dejected at the thought. Either he was excited to have something to hold over Stiles’s head or he was excited to hang out with a girl… or both.

“Woah, do you hear that?” Stiles asked, holding up a hand to silence Scott, who had been in the middle of trying to explain for the fifteenth time why it was bullshit that Anakin could have perfected the Force Ghost skills.

From the woods came a series of howls and faint growls. Stiles suddenly wondered if maybe the recent attacks had been wild animals and decided he should probably mention it to his dad.

“Oh dude, I totally hear it,” Scott said. Stiles glanced back at his computer to see Scott with his thinking face on. “Do you think the recent attacks have been -”

“- wild animals?” Stiles finished, grinning. “Yeah, one step ahead of you kiddo.” Just then, he heard a loud thud outside of his house. He could hear his dad opening the front door and a muffled but pointedly loud hello. “Shit...I think the babysitter’s here.”

“Go check!” Scott yelled. “If you don’t Skype me back in like… 5 minutes I’m so coming over.”

Stiles wrenched open his door and pounded down the first set of stairs. And he rounded the stairwell, he stopped dead in his tracks and almost tumbled down the remaining steps. That was so not Erica in his doorway.

“Stiles, I’d like you to meet Janie’s babysitter…” his dad trailed off, turning back to their guest.

“Oh uh, Derek Hale,” he replied, hanging up his jacket and wiping his hands on his pants before shaking the Sheriff’s.

John’s eyes darted down to Derek’s arm, where there was a gash with a small trickle of blood. “You’re bleeding.”

Derek pulled his arm away, blushing. “I, uh, took a shortcut through the woods. It’s nothing.”

“I’ll get you a bandaid!” Stiles blurted out, immediately mortified.

Derek raised one eyebrow, looking up at where Stiles gripped the railing to stop himself from tumbling down in shock. “Dude, seriously, it’s fine.”

Jane tugged at the hem of her new babysitter’s shirt. “Hey babysitter? You any good at Wii games?”

He smiled down at her and Stiles’s heart actually skipped a beat at the sight. “Of course kiddo.”

Jane pulled him towards the living room. “While my brother gets the first aid kit, I’m going to kick your butt at Wii Bowling.”

Stiles could hear Derek laughing at the challenge as he ran back to his room, tripping over himself. He couldn’t hang out with Derek Hale in his pajamas. He’d totally been crushing on Derek for a year now and had been content enough to never interact with him. Until, of course, earlier today when he’d smeared chili all over Derek. Pulling on his sweatpants, he could feel himself turning red again. Would he ever actually live that down?

Leaving his room, Stiles felt like he at least looked a little more presentable in low slung sweats, a tighter tee, and his favorite flannel. More presentable than his well worn pajama pants at least. On the way downstairs, he grabbed the first aid kit from the hall closet.

His dad met him at the bottom of the stairs. If he noticed the outfit change or newly gelled hair, he politely kept his mouth shut. “I gave Derek and Janie fudgesicles, I hope that’s okay, I know they’re your favorites.” Stiles just shrugged, giving his dad a tight smile. “Still upset about the babysitter?”

“I mean, my social standing wasn’t that great anyway, so who am I to care?”

“That’s the spirit! Okay, well, provided the station isn’t an utter madhouse tonight, I should be home around midnight?” He called out to Janie and Derek, who both popped their heads in from the kitchen. “Derek, there’s numbers on the fridge if you need them and don’t be afraid to make Stiles do some labor around here.”

Derek gave a small wave while Jane called out an enthusiastic “bye Daddy!”

Once his dad had closed the door, Stiles walked down the hall to the kitchen. “I got the first aid kit for you.”

Derek was holding his injured arm behind his back and sucking the last remains of fudgesicle from the stick. Stiles internally noted how quickly he’d managed to devour the snack while he handed him the box. Great sucking skills was his exact thought but he was definitely not going to acknowledge that brain blip anytime soon. Nope.

Just as he went to say something incredibly insightful about ice cream, there was a loud knock at the door. He’d completely forgotten Scott was planning on stopping by, which would have been welcomed before but now just sounded overwhelming. Scott actually had a key to the house, just knocked to be polite, and then let himself in. He bounced into the kitchen, already talking.

“- obviously I would have brought us Star Wars so we could keep watching them in the Machete Order, but I figured maybe the first season of that cool werewolf show would be more Erica’s speed? Or maybe Twi -” he stopped mid sentence, blinking at the boy standing next to Stiles. “Oh… you’re not a girl.”

“No, genius, he’s not.” Stiles rubbing his eyes in exhaustion. “Very observant.”

Scott just stared at Derek, until Derek spoke up. “Bathroom?”

Stiles pointed wordlessly down the hallway, too uncomfortable to speak anymore lest he say something as equally embarrassing as Scott.

“I’ll show you,” Jane said, leading Derek out of the kitchen.

When she returned, she just smirked at her older brother and his friend. “Has anyone ever told you that you’re both dweebs?”

“Has anyone ever told you you’re a nuisance?” Stiles retorted.

She jabbed at him with her fudgsicle but he slid out of the way. “Don’t drip any on the floor.”

“Or on me,” Scott reminded her gently. She just stuck her tongue out at him.

Stiles smiled at his sister. “Hey, why don’t you go get the Wii set up? I think Derek’s really underestimating your ability to kick his butt in Bowling.”

Scott pulls out his phone. “Well now that we’ve got like, one of the coolest guys in school over, we need a total plan overhaul.”

“No, Scott, what we need is to lay low and pretend this isn’t happening to me.”

“Or, we could order a ton of pizzas and you can quickly explain to me why you’re suddenly wearing your best sweats when you were in ratty PJs on our Skype call.”

“Or you could leave,” Stiles pointed out. “Besides, I made mac n cheese for me and Jane earlier.”

“Pizzas it is.” Someone on the other end picked up. “Hey, Danny, it’s me. Yeah, the usual order, but doubled. We’ve got a few people eating tonight. Stiles’s place, you know the one. And remember, if it’s not here in thirty minutes? It’s totally free.” He hit the end call button with a huge smile.

Stiles groaned. Once Scott got moving, you couldn’t stop him. Admittedly, Stiles had the same problem. They made a good pair. He glanced at the stove, realizing Derek had been in the bathroom for a little bit. Pushing Scott towards Jane in the living room, Stiles wandered down the hallway to check on Derek.

Without thinking, as was his specialty, he pushed the door to the bathroom open. Derek jumped and when he turned towards him, Stiles took a step back. Instead of the hazel and green swirl they usually were (not that he’d been looking at them at any point before), Derek’s eyes were glowing bright gold. His teeth seemed to be poking a bit out of his mouth while he panted. Glancing at his arm, Stiles noticed the seemingly deep cut from before was gone.

“What are you, some kind of idiotic perv?” Derek’s question sounded more like a growl. When Stiles looked back at his face, it was totally normal again. Normal teeth and normal eyes. His lips were pulled back in a snarl but that seemed like a standard expression for him.

“Oh uh no, I just wanted to make sure you were okay,” Stiles said, backing out of Derek’s way.

“I’m fine,” he insisted. “And speaking of fine, you’re fine here on your own right? You’re like, what, a freshman?”

“No, a sophomore, not that it really matters. Yeah we’re find here, but what am I supposed to tell my dad if he comes back and you’re not here?”

Derek shrugged. “Make something up, it’s not like I plan on babysitting here again.”

As they reached the front door, Stiles reached to grab Derek’s jacket at the same time as Derek. When their hands met, Stiles felt a huge shock roll through him and his head threw back suddenly. Instead of his front foyer, Stiles could see a graveyard with fog rolling in. The scene flashed to Derek behind a tree before he was suddenly staring at Derek in his house again.

Derek seemed to sniff the air and then looked puzzled at Stiles. “What the fuck was that?”

But before Stiles could even make something up, Derek was out the door and running. He turned around the see Scott staring at him from the doorway to the living room. “Okay dude, I have to agree with Derek. What the fuck was that?”

Stiles tried to explain what happened, which was hard considering he had absolutely zero clue what had just went down. When his hand had touched Derek’s, he’d suddenly seen a completely different setting. It hadn’t really hurt so much as completely shocked him.

Scott blinked at him. “So, you’re going crazy.”

“Probably. But I need to know what that was.”

“So… we should probably follow Derek?”

“Yeah but we can’t leave Janie.” Stiles glanced into the room where his sister was dejectedly playing Wii Bowling by herself. She was a pain in the ass but he couldn’t leave her alone.

“How about my boss?” Scott asked, already pulling out his phone.

“Deaton? Isn’t he like… I dunno. Not qualified?”

Scott snorted. “Listen, dude, he told me if I ever should need anything to reach out, especially if something unexplainable seemed to happen.”

The situation was pretty strange, Stiles could admit. “Alright, fine, but let him know I expect only the best caretaking from him.”

“Relax. If he can take care of sick puppies, he can take care of Jane.”

“I’m not a puppy!”

Chapter Text

When Deaton showed up, Stiles remembered why he might not want him to babysit Jane. Deaton was… well, Scott trusted him and he seemed responsible… Stiles just… ugh he didn’t know what it was about Deaton that bothered him, just knew he felt a little unsettled by the vet. But Scott trusted the dude enough to watch Jane and he loved her like his own sister, so Stiles had to just accept it. He was way too curious about what Derek was up to, why his eyes were glowing, and his own weird vision to really think it through. Plus… when did he ever really think things through? That was his whole thing. Not thinking (or thinking too much sometimes).

Jane tugged on her brother’s sleeve. “Deaton smells funny,” she mumbled.

Stiles glanced at the vet. “It’s just… vet smells. I’m sure you’ll get used to it.” He was rewarded with an eye roll and a huff as she stomped off to the living room, probably getting Twilight ready to watch again.

Scott was going over a list of instructions for taking care of Jane with Deaton. Scott was always really patient with Jane and he explained her nuances to his boss with a little smile. Stiles busied himself grabbing a backpack with supplies in it from his room.

Once he was done, he wandered back into the kitchen, where Scott was finishing up his explanations. “The pizza should be here in 20 minutes. If it’s even a minute late, refuse to pay. Danny knows he can’t trick the McCall-Stilinski methods but sometimes he tries anyway.” Deaton looked mildly amused at his employee’s attention to detail.

As they passed the living room, Stiles popped his head in to smile at his little sister. “We’ll be back so soon, I promise. Just be good for the nice vet and I’ll reward you.”

“I hate being eight.” Jane’s glares were getting scary. Stiles had a feeling some revenge was coming his way soon.

After they left, Scott tugged on the pack slung over Stiles’ shoulder. “What’s with the bag?”

“You can’t possibly expect us to investigate the supernatural without proper supplies, Scotty!”

Stiles unzipped the backpack, revealing some of his dad’s gear he’d slowly been pilfering from his visits to the station. He’d tinkered with some of it, just for fun, to be able to detect supernatural entities and magic. It probably didn’t work, but then again Stiles had thought magic probably didn’t exist and yet… he couldn’t deny the weird vision or the way Derek’s eyes glowed at him before.

Scott pouted when he noticed his alien DNA detector goggles among the equipment Stiles had brought. “Hey, you said those were too ‘dorky’ to allow.”

“Yeah… at school. Besides, we won’t really be using them, I just keep all of my cool gear in one bag. I’m thinking we’ll just need the night vision goggles to try and find Derek.”

“You do realize Derek already thinks you’re a perv,” Scott unhelpfully pointed out. “I don’t think stalking him with night vision goggles is really going to help your street cred here.”

“Okay, I get that. But like… my dude. His eyes were glowing. I saw some freaky shit.”

Scott smirked at him. “Dude, did you consider this could all be some sort of trick? Like maybe he knew how to make the light hit his eyes all special. His best friend is like… the biggest Twilight fan in the school. Did you consider this could all be a trick?”

“God Scotty, you’re starting to sound like me.” Usually Stiles had the dumb theories, but for once he knew he was right. “Do you think we’re getting punked? Pranked?” At that, he threw his arms in the air. “Oh shit, you got us Derek! Come out come out wherever you aaaare.”

Scott grabbed at his arms in a panic. “Okay, I get it, I’m being dumb. Please don’t wake up the neighborhood, I don’t want Mr. Harris failing us tomorrow because you were mocking me.”

Since shutting up Scott had been his only mission, Stiles stopped yelling. “Come on, I think Derek was headed towards Kate Argent’s house, since they’re dating and stuff. She lives in town, we can cut through the woods to get there.” He snapped his night vision goggles on his head, tossing Scott a pair. “You’ll want these, you know how clumsy you are.”

Stiles led Scott to the entrance of the woods, hoping they weren’t too far behind Derek to catch up. It was probably hopeless, considering that Derek was probably some really cool superpowered creature who could run fast. Or something.

They trekked through the woods towards what Stiles hoped was town. He’d never actually cut through the woods at night before. They walked a few feet apart, both sweeping their surroundings hoping to catch a glimpse of what Derek was up to. He wanted to at least catch the mysterious boy before he reached the Argent house so he could ask him about the vision. Derek had to have put that in his brain.

Stiles paused, trying to get a bearing on his surroundings. “I feel defeated,” he admitted. “I don’t know exactly why I feel the need to figure this out.” He slid his night vision goggles around his neck, visibly discouraged.

Scott walked up to him, clutching his stomach. “Because you’re stubborn. But even more, I’m starving. Can’t we go back to the house and eat the pizza I ordered? Before our parents get off work or your dad catches us out here?”

“No…” Stiles couldn’t explain it, but he could feel a pull, like there was something he was missing and needed to figure out. “He’s out here. I can feel it.”

“What do you mean, you feel it?”

Stiles tried to pinpoint the feeling in his stomach, tried to find the words to explain the pull he was feeling. Before he could though, he heard a rustle of leaves about to the left of them. Based on how Scott stiffened next to him, eyes widening, he’d heard it to.

Tugging Scott’s sleeve to signal to him to walk behind him, Stiles crept forward. From his bag, he pulled out a baseball bat, which he saw Scott frown at. It wouldn’t do much, if it was something other than Derek, but he figured it would help. He also had a silver knife and a cross in his bag. Let no one say he wasn’t prepared for whatever weird shit the universe pulled.

They crept slowly towards the source of the noise. As the approached, Stiles thought he could hear the crunch of bones. The thought made his heartbeat speed up and suddenly the noises stopped. Whatever it was had seemingly noticed the change in his heartbeat, making it aware that Stiles and Scott were there. Stiles pushed his night vision goggles back on, signalling Scott to do the same. He continued to move forward, towards the huge tree trunk that was blocking his view of the creature.

This is dumb this is dumb this is dumb his brain yelled but Stiles resolutely ignored it. Something was telling him he’d be safe.

He peered around the tree trunk and cursed his intuitions for being so completely wrong. Why couldn’t his anxiety beat out his impulsivity, just this once?

Scott crashed into him, staring in horror at the sight before them. Because there was Derek Hale, but it wasn’t quite Derek. His nails were long, his face was sufficiently hairier, and his face was… twisted. Golden eyes glowed from underneath a furrowed and pronounced brow. There was blood staining his mouth and fangs protruding from his mouth. The only hint that this beast was Derek was the signature leather jacket and the somehow still perfectly styled hair.

The worst is that Derek was totally surrounded by bunny carcases, with a limp rabbit clenched in his hand. When the two younger boys had rounded the tree trunk, he’d fallen back seemingly in shock and gave a loud roar. As they stood there, too shocked to run at first, his face began to meld back into the face of Stiles’ babysitter.

Of course, that’s when Scott finally realized what was happening. Bless his soul, he wasn’t the sharpest kid around. He let loose a scream, tugging Stiles back by the hood of his sweatshirt. “Dude, we have to run.”

As Stiles willed his legs into motion, Derek quickly stood up. He looked like he was about to say something, but Stiles didn’t really have the guts to find out what. The scowly teen was probably going to kill them he decided.

As he and Scott ran through the woods, the panic finally settled in. “Holy fuck… my babysitter’s a werewolf?!”

They crashed through branches, giving up on any semblance of quiet. If there were any more wolves in the vicinity they were bound to hear them from a mile away.

Scott was screaming out phrases from their favorite video games. “Remember that scene… in Tomb Raider where… Lara’s running from… the Russian in the woods…?” he panted.

Stiles made a mental note to shove an inhaler at him the minute they were safe. “Uh yeah, she does that really cool thing where she uses the trees to hide and makes evasive maneuvers?”

“We have… to do… a Lara.” Scott was really struggling to breathe. “We… have… to… evade.”

As Scott tried to pull a cool move, he wound up tripping over a branch and tumbling down the hill into the creek that ran through the woods. Stiles rushed to catch up to him, mentally cursing Scott for thinking he could really pull off Lara Croft level moves. He pulled out Scott’s inhaler, crouching down next to him.

“Do I really have to remind you that you’re my very asmathic best friend, not Lara Croft?”

Scott puffed his inhaler a few times. “Yeah but… werewolves apparently exist. I thought I could at least do this.”

Stiles smiled affectionately at him. “Next time, buddy.” He gently pulled Scott up from where he’d landed on the very edge of the creek bank, getting his jacket sleeve wet. “How you doing?”

Scott tried to smile at him. “Good enough to run again.”

As they turned to start the run back home again, Stiles gave a yelp as Derek stepped out from behind a tree, approaching them menacingly with yellow eyes glowing. “Uh, maybe not.”

Derek had them pinned. If they ran towards the creek, they’d probably get caught in the flooded rapids that came from the nearby mountains. If they ran away from it, Derek could easily catch them with his speed. They were cornered, much like prey. And Derek was probably a hungry wolf.

Stiles held his hands up, in the form of a surrender. “Listen, you probably don’t want to eat us, dude. Do you see me? I’m all skin and bones. And Scotty’s probably way to muscular, it would be like eating straight up grit off a nasty chicken. No offense Scott.”

Derek rolled his eyes, which had returned to their much less glowy human color. “You talk too much. Plus, don’t you think if I wanted to eat you, I’d already have done it?”

Scott gasped in a sharp breath. “Oh man, he’s totally going to eat us, Stiles.”

A growl rumbled from Derek, low and dangerous. “No. I just want to talk to you guys.”

“Derek Hale… talking?” Stiles mumbled. “Ludicrous.”

“Just hear me out, please,” Derek pleaded.

Scott fumbled in the pack that Stiles had miraculously held on to during the chase, pulling out a cross. “Demon of the night, begone!”

Derek just lifted an eyebrow.

“Scott, you idiot, that only works on vampires.” Stiles couldn’t believe he had to explain that to Scott.

“Oh, right.”

Derek watched as Scott slid the cross back in the bag. Underneath his gruff exterior, he actually looked a little amused. Huh. Stiles never thought his potential murderer would look amused right before killing him off. The werewolf uncrossed his arms with a sigh, potentially trying to soften his stance but instead looking a little robotic. “Whatever you guys saw, it’s not what it looks like.”

“You’re a werewolf who apparently kills innocent bunnies and eats them in the woods,” Stiles yelled, flailing his arms to emphasize his point. “I’m pretty sure it’s exactly what it looks like!”

Scott piped up again from behind Stiles. “Listen dude, I’m warning you, my boss is like scary good at identifying animal marks and he’ll be able to tell we’re sporting claw marks from a wolf if you kill us.”

“God, do either of you ever shut up?” Derek looked pissed, but not really at the boys. He seemed moreso annoyed at the entire situation. “You don’t know anything about werewolves and you’re just making these assumptions and -”

Stiles cut him off. “Well, sourwolf, enlighten us then.”

Derek’s signature eyebrow quirked at the nickname. “Listen… I can’t turn you, I’m not an alpha. You have to be an alpha to turn people. Well… that’s not accurate. Betas become alphas by forcing the bite on an unsuspecting human. I don’t know the exact methods, I don’t want to know, I just know I don’t bite humans anyway and I would never kill another person. I eat whatever animals I can find to survive but I try not to kill deer because I know we have a rare population of them. And this is all unlike my crummy ex-girlfriend who is an alpha and does bite humans and god she actually has eaten real people for some gross twisted reason. I was a normal guy until my shitty ex bit me and I will stay normal, unlike her. I’m a beta wolf and I’ll remain one.”

When he finished, he looked surprised at himself. Stiles had a feeling it was the most words he’d ever strung together in his life. Before Stiles could say anything sarcastic about Derek not being the absolute best at something for once, Derek continued. “Plus if I don’t figure out how to stop her soon, I’m going to be pulled into her pack for good. There’s this gross connection between pack members that makes me want to be around her and to kill and I need to stop it. Or at least stop it from happening to more people, like Erica who is currently in danger.”

Stiles didn’t actually know how to properly reply to anything Derek had just blurted out. Scott was now clutching the back of his sweatshirt, lightly tugging as if hoping to walk away. Of course, Stiles couldn’t quit while they were getting tangible evidence of something weird out of Derek. “So…” he ventured. “If that’s all true… that means this isn’t some stupid thing to promote the new Twilight movie that you and Erica are doing?”

Scott tugged harder on his hoodie. “Dude don’t poke the wolf more please.”

But Derek just let out a huff, which may be the closest thing to a laugh he could muster. “Come on, we need to get out here. I’m not the only wolf out here and some don’t control their shift as well. Plus, the cops are doing patrols in the woods, you don’t want Sheriff Stilinski to catch us here. We need to get home and hopefully I can find Erica before it’s too late.”

Stiles chose to focus on two words Derek had said. “Oh, are we an ‘us’ and a ‘we’ now?”

“I am your babysitter.”

“Oh, so he does have a sense of humor.”

“Stiles please stop aggravating him!”

--

Erica couldn’t believe her luck. She and Derek had always been at the same social standing, with Erica at least trying to get noticed. Unlike her perpetually grumpy best friend, who stayed in the shadows and pretended enjoying Twilight with her was a chore. Yet somehow Derek had been scooped up by Kate Argent and inducted into the cool kids circle, with Erica left alone with her epileptic seizures and fan club.

But tonight, Erica was queen. Kate and her crew had invited her to a party. A party that Derek wasn’t even going to grace with his presence. And she was in a car with Vernon Boyd. Her real life Jacob, she used to tell Derek. She’d had the biggest crush on Boyd for so long and here he was, taking her to a senior party.

As they pulled up to the Argent mansion, Erica angled her phone screen towards Boyd. She thought his eyes glinted a strange color as the light hit him, but chalked it up to her nerves. On the screen, Robert Pattinson was talking about his very amicable breakup with Kristen Stewart and how they were working through things to get the movies done.

“God, I hate Edward,” Erica pointed out. “I mean, everyone does. Jacob for life, you know? But Robert is just so pretty I can’t help but love watching his interviews.” She smiled shyly at Boyd. “What do you think? Big Twilight fan? Team Jacob, right?”

“Honestly?” Boyd let out a sigh. “The amount I do not care about fake werewolves is insane.”

Erica bit her lip sadly. “Oh.”

A voice crackled out of the speakers. “Password?”

“Wolfsbane,” Boyd replied and leaned back in his seat and the gates slip open.

Erica mulled over the word in her head. Wolfsbane. That was the only thing, beyond silver, that could kill a werewolf. It couldn’t be a coincidence. So she pointed that out to Boyd, asking him if he was sure he didn’t care about fake werewolves.

“I’m positive and you’ll see why.”

The answer was cryptic but Erica knew when to stop prying.

Chapter Text

When they finally get back to the house, Deaton is dozing in the armchair and Jane is sitting on the floor with a bowl of popcorn and the TV on shockingly loud. How Deaton was sleeping through it, Stiles had no idea.

“Seriously, Scotty, I put my sister’s life in the man’s hands and he sleeps?”

Scott just shrugged sheepishly. “He works a lot, he’s just tired…”

Derek herded them into the kitchen, ordering Jane to stay put. She’d just shrugged, pouring the M&M’s she’d totally pilfered from John’s secret stash (good girl) into the bowl of popcorn. He didn’t say anything at first, just stood there staring at the boys as if trying to gauge how to approach whatever was on his mind.

Stiles decided to break the ice because he couldn’t stand silence. “So… how much attention do you think you could get around school by telling Twilight fans you can,” and he wiggles his fingers menacingly to emphasize his point, “wolf out?”

Derek growled, lunging for Stiles and pushing him bodily against the wall. Stiles refused to acknowledge the twitch in his pants or how good Derek looked up close. No. This was not a thing he was going to explore right now, when he should probably be crapping his pants in fear. Not getting turned on. Derek sniffed as Stiles tried to force down the thoughts, dropping Stiles back down to the ground with a twitch of his nose.

Stiles patted out the wrinkles in his hoodie. “A sour topic I see.”

“You can’t actually tell anyone about werewolves, Stiles.” Derek leaned against the fridge wearily. “Neither of you can,” he warned, flicking his gaze to Scott who held up his hands to symbolize innocence. “If you tell people, a lot of bad things could happen. First, your dad could decide to try and arrest Kate. Second, people are going to get in my personal business. Third, hunters are going to come into town. Which is already a risk but you’re going to draw them in. And, of course, if you tell people, Kate will probably try and kill you.”

“Okay. Yup. Got it. No tell-y.”

“Stiles, you have to promise me.”

Stiles licked his lips nervously, looking at the werewolf. He looked both angry and terrified at the thought of being found out. Today was the most he’d ever heard Derek say to anyone, which probably betrayed the true seriousness of the situation. Stiles could totally be serious.

From next to Stiles, Scott pipes up finally. “Listen, Derek.” The wolf’s gaze slides to him. “I’m cool. I probably don’t seem it, but I don’t really talk to anyone so I’m not about to go telling anyone anything. And Stiles is so ADHD that no one really listens to anything he says like...ever.”

Derek regards him carefully and seems to make up his mind. “I don’t trust you, but for now I’ll have to.”

“Fair enough,” Scott concedes, holding out a hand to shake. Derek looks at him in shock before giving it a quick shake with a curt nod. It was for all intents and purposes an alliance.

Stiles smiles encouragingly at his babysitter and his best friend. “So, sourwolf, what’s the plan?”

“I’m going to protect your house.”

“Uh… how?”

From Derek’s bag, he pulls out an unmarked pouch. “It’s called mountain ash. I’m going to line all your doorways and windows with it. So if anyone from my exes pack traces my scent here, they won’t be able to break through the barrier. And then, I’m leaving.”

“Nuh uh, you can’t leave us here! We’re like defenseless, dude. I’ve got a baseball bat. If someone tracks you here, we’re totally dead.”

Derek just smirks. “I know what I’m doing. When I leave, don’t let anyone try and come in.”

As he pads off to begin creating the barrier, Stiles and Scott go into the living room and settle in with Jane. The eight year old is so tired she actually tucks herself into her brothers side and he smiles down at her. Scott looks hesitantly at his sleeping boss before deciding it’s not worth the effort yet. He settles down next to Jane. She’s not watching Twilight, for once, instead apparently settling on an old Disney Channel movie.

Derek leaves just as Stiles begins humming along to Hilary Duff singing “Hey Now.” He watches the werewolf spread a line of the ash across the inside of the doorway. It’s fascinating to watch the teen push against the air and pull back with a grunt as some invisible barrier pushes his hand back. Stiles thinks he sees the air shimmer. He nods, apparently satisfied with his work, and pulls the door shut.

Just as the credits roll and Stiles is about to send Jane up to bed, the doorbell rings. He looks at Scott in shock. “Do you think Derek came back?”

Jane mumbles sleepily against her brother’s side, where she is curled up, “could be the pizza. Never came.”

Stiles stomach growls, unhelpfully as Scott gets up. “Derek said not to let anyone in.”

“Right, but he didn’t say I couldn’t stick my human arm through the barrier and grab pizza,” Scott points out.

Not knowing how to argue with Scott but not feeling comfortable with the idea, Stiles lightly pushes himself away from his little sister.

“Besides,” Scott continues, shuffling his way to the door. “If the guy does get in, we know he’s just a harmless human who is delivering pizza 45 minutes late. It’s probably Danny. You love Danny.”

Stiles does love Danny, he’s had a mild crush on him since third grade. Nothing to rival his crush on Lydia, of course, or the way he felt earlier when Derek slammed him into the wall… nope. Still not thinking about that. Thinking about Danny’s dimples. Except, problem, the guy at the door is not Danny, it’s someone Stiles doesn’t recognize which is unusual for the one pizza place in Beacon Hills. His hat is pulled low over his face and thick hipster glasses perch on his nose. “Pizza?” the guy asks, holding up the box to emphasize why he’s there.

Scott smiles warmly, stepping towards the guy a bit. Stiles can’t help but feel something settle uneasily in his stomach at where Scott’s foot landed, but he’s so hungry and the pizza smells so good that he can’t place it and keeps getting distracted. Stupid ADHD brain.

“You do know this is free,” Scott points out conversationally, taking the box from the guy. “I mean, I’ll tip you because you’re probably new but you can remind Danny that we don’t pay for late pizzas in this friendship.”

Scott sets the pizza down on the hall table and fumbles in his pocket for cash to give the pizza guy. As he does, the guy tentatively steps into the home. There’s something about the hesitancy of his initial step that triggers a thought in Stiles brain.

He glances down to where Scott had accidentally broken the careful mountain ash barrier Derek Hale had placed in the doorway. Swallowing thickly, he tries to sound calm. “Hey, my dude, you don’t need to come in here.”

But the guy steps in anyway and Stiles thinks he sees a glint of red from under the glasses but the guy still has his face cleverly obscured so Stiles can’t tell if it’s one of the werewolves. Derek had been pretty careful to say “ex girlfriend” and not “Kate,” but Stiles wasn’t stupid. Kate and her oddly close and physically fit theater group had to be the likely werewolf candidates. And if he could just get a close look at the guys face he’d be able to tell who it is and if he’s a threat.

He tries to communicate his concerns to Scott silently. Derek Hale isn’t the only person capable of communicating with eyebrows; Stiles and Scott had mastered silent conversation a long time ago. But Scott is too preoccupied in the pizza sitting on the hall table and counting out an acceptable tip.

As Stiles inches closer to the door to warn Scott of his suspicions, the pizza guy seems to sniff the air. As he lifts his head, Stiles recognizes that jawline. Of course he does, the guy had spent most of their lives bullying him for his crushes on Danny and Lydia and inability to join a singular sports team. He also happened to be part of Kate’s group.

Scott blinks at Jackson Whittemore with a smile. “Oh hey Jackson, of course Danny has you delivering pizzas for him!”

Jackson smiles, well, wolfishly and glances at Stiles. Red bleeds into his eyes. Stiles doesn’t know what it means, because Derek’s eyes had been golden when he’d transformed. “I smell Derek on you. Where is he?”

Stiles shrugs and keeps his voice even to disguise his fear. “He left and I don’t know where he’s going.”

“Hm, I think I know how to draw him back.” Fangs drop down from Jackson’s lips and he removes his glasses with clawed fingers and throw them, along with his hat, carelessly to the side. “You’re going to yell at me one last time, Stiles Stilinski.”

--

In the end though, it’s Scott’s shout of terror that brings Derek back to the house. He’d lingered in the backyard for a bit, tracing his hand over a large and mysterious tree in the backyard. There was a supernatural energy radiating from it - he was getting better at sensing these things - and he was curious if Stiles was hiding a secret knowledge of magic from him. A thought he quickly shook from his head.

He’d already let the other boy into his head too much. After Kate he’d sworn he’d never get close to anyone else. Stiles couldn’t hide anything from Derek because that would imply there was a friendship to hide things from. Derek was an accidental babysitter for the eight year old Stilinski sister and her older brother now knew his secret but that was as far as all of this would go.

Or so he told himself. But he was only half way down the street before he hears Scott screaming in terror in the house. If he was a better wolf, an alpha, he might have long since sensed the smell of another wolf at the house. How Stiles’ heartbeat had ticked up a few notches and the heavy scent of fear surrounding the house; instead, he was a beta and had apparently wandered away from the house as danger unfolded under his nose.

Derek ran back to the house. The front door was ajar and the mountain ash he’d so carefully created a barrier from was broken. Those idiot boys…

He burst into the house with a snarl and he can feel himself shifting. Forcing himself between the offending wolf and the boys he feels the need to protect, he snarls “get Jane and get upstairs.”

Stiles snaps into action, running into the living room and bodily scooping up his sleepy sister. Derek can sense that Deaton hasn’t left but this time, he pays attention and realizes the man is faking sleep. Interesting, but he can’t ponder on it because he needs to focus on the alpha wolf he somehow has to defeat. He’s vaguely aware of Stiles bumping into him, holding Jane and pulling at Scott before they thunder up the stairs.

Jackson smirks at Derek. “Protecting humans, Hale?”

Derek growls. “Anyone with a sense of decency would.”

Jackson just laughs at that.

“Of course,” Derek ventures. “No one in Kate’s pack would know decency if it whipped out it’s dick and danced in front of them. God, I’m surprised Lydia even stays with you. I know she’s a banshee witch but doesn’t she know she’s better than your pathetic alpha ass? And does Danny know yet? That you’re a wolf. That you’ve killed humans with no care and that you turn innocent people into wolves with the promise of a better future? Or do you not tell him because you’re aware that it’s something to be ashamed of? Is there still human in you, Jackson?”

He knows it’s dangerous to taunt an alpha. He knows he shouldn’t talk so much. But this way the other boys and Jane should be safely locked into a room upstairs. And if he can take Jackson off guard, shock him just enough that Derek can get one move in, he might actually be able to win this.

“Or did Kate suck all your human out through your dick when she cheated on me? Does Lydia know? Does anyone know?”

That’s all it takes. Jackson, blinded with rage, lunges at Derek who easily sidesteps him. After he was first turned, Kate made him spar with all of her packmates. Derek knew how every single one of them fought and he knew how to win. Betas weren’t supposed to win against alphas, he knew it, but he was hoping he’d worked Jackson into enough of a rage that his finesse would be gone.

Derek tsks his tongue at Jackson. “That’s all you can mange? Some alpha…”

Jackson roars and its ear-splitting. Derek has no idea how Deaton is sleeping (even if it’s fake) through this. He lunges again for Derek, clumsy in his rage, and Derek neatly slashes his claws across Jackson’s throat. It’s not deep enough to kill him, he knows, but it should knock him out in time for Derek to get Stiles, Scott, and Jane out of the house.

He bounds up the stairs and knocks frantically at the bedroom door. He can feel that the boys have pushed a bed against the door but he knows if he pushes hard enough he can get in. Their heartbeats are erratic on the other side and he can hear how they soothe out a little bit when they realize it’s him.

Pushing into the room, he shuts the door heavily and helps them push the bed back up against.

“Did you kill him?” Scott asks, eyes wide in fear.

Derek shakes his head breathlessly. Jane is sobbing in a corner and he hears her start to repeat “kill?” in shock. Scott rushes to her side to hold her, while her brother instead rounds on Derek.

“What are we supposed to do, sourwolf?” Derek hates the nickname Stiles has given him. It’s painfully accurate, for starters, and he really doesn’t want them to be friends enough to have nicknames. He can’t lead another person into this supernatural world.

“I don’t know,” Derek admits. His voice is gruff and he knows he’s on the verge of a panic attack. There’s nothing in the room that can work as a weapon. It’s obviously Stiles’ room; it smells strongly of him and there’s dorky posters and action figures everywhere.

Derek makes his way over to the window to get fresh air. He hadn’t bothered to line the upstairs windows with mountain ash, so he can easily remove the screen from the window and stick his head out. He takes a deep breath and realizes there’s a smell Kate trained him for on the air - wolfsbane. Dropping his gaze to the garden below, he’s shocked to find an abundance of the stuff growing.

“Uh, Derek, not that I don’t appreciate your wolf communing with nature and all,” Stiles says in that stammering voice of his. “But like… dude there’s a very angry and nearly dead Jackson in downstairs and I don’t know how to protect us and you’re just standing there which doesn’t help even a little. So what do I do? I don’t have any silver. Does silver even work against you guys? The internet says yes but the internet is known to be fake. For instance, the internet told me I wasn’t gay as a kid, which was true but it didn’t provide bisexuality. Or that time I looked up -”

“Stiles. Stop.” Derek glares at him, aware that he has let some gold bleed into his eyes. “You need to learn to shut up sometimes.”

Stiles opens his mouth as if to interrupt but instead watches curiously as Derek stalks over to his dressers and pulls out a shirt. “Wh -”

“I’m going to pick a very toxic flower from your garden and we’re going to weaponize it.”

Derek drops out of the window before Stiles can reply. He can dimly hear Scott’s shocked gasp or how Stiles’s heartbeat picks up again and he rushes to the window to watch. Derek delicately picks a large handful of wolfsbane using the shirt as a barrier. He then uses his claws to scale up the side of the house with ease.

Stiles is gaping at him like a fish. “Dude… that was so Batman of you.”

Derek hands Stiles the t-shirt wrapped flowers with a shrug. “Can you bring these up? We can use them. And, for your information, silver won’t kill us. Only wolfsbane can, the silver was an old myth. It definitely hurts to cut us with it, but it doesn’t really kill.”

As Stiles uses a lacrosse ball to grind up the flowers, Derek inspects his shelves. He finally finds the perfect thing, smirking as he turns to Stiles and brandishes the surprisingly sharp and silver debate trophy. “So, I see your inability to shut up got you first place in debating club, huh?”

“Oh f-” Stiles stops himself with a glance at Jane. “Fudge off,” he corrects. Derek can’t help but quirk an eyebrow at the attempt to fix his cursing. Irritably, this stupid kid has Derek’s eyebrows expressing a lot of emotions today.

Just as Derek hands the trophy to Stiles to start spreading the wolfbanes poultice on it, he hears Jackson thundering up the stairs. Jane having calmed down a bit, Scott gets up to help Derek push against the door. Stiles is shaking as he creates the weapon.

Jackson lets loose another loud roar just as a shrill noise rings out from the red hoodie Stiles has hung thrown on the door. Stiles looks panicked. “That’s my dad’s ring.”

Derek tries to tell Stiles not to answer, that it’s a bad time, but Stiles is already answering the phone, shoving the now coated trophy at Scott and throwing himself against the door with a grunt. His chest is pressed far too closely to Derek’s for comfort.

“Uh, hey Dad,” Stiles forces out, keeping his voice as low as possible. “Long time no talk. How are you? I’m just dandy.”

With his higher hearing, Derek can hear the Sheriff’s affectionate but annoyed sigh in response. “Hey son, is Derek there?”

Derek starts panicking. Would people have filed a noise complaint? Does the Sheriff know? He tries to signal to Stiles not to give him the phone but the human ignores him, holding it against Derek’s face for him. He tries to give Stiles a glare that communicates his ability to hold a phone but again, he’s ignored.

“Hi Sheriff,” he says, attempting to even out his voice. He can hear Jackson wandering slowly down the hall, sniffing out what room they’re hiding in.

“Hey Derek, just calling to check in on how everything is going.”

“Oh it’s great. We’re having fun.”

“Okay, I’m probably going to be pulling a late night. Feel free to leave once Jane is asleep. Stiles can handle that much.”

“Affirmative, sir.”

Luckily he manages to hang up right before Jackson’s hand punches through the door. He quickly grabs the other wolf’s wrist and twists, satisfied the hear the crunching of bones. Jackson rears back in shock, his composure broken for a fleeting moment. Derek knows he can’t kill him. That killing him is just another way to make himself an alpha.

Instead… “SCOTT NOW,” he roars. He sidesteps, allowing Scott to plunge the wolfsbane coated trophy straight into Jackson’s chest. The adrenaline has clearly gotten to Scott as the large spike of the trophy plunges deeply into Jackson’s chest.

They watch through the hole in the door as the werewolf slowly dies in front of them. Black blood dribbles out of his mouth and gushes from his chest. Spreading out from the wound, his veins run black. Derek has never seen the effects of wolfsbane. The kind growing in the Stilinski garden must be especially potent, he decides, with how quickly it kills Jackson. Maybe Scott managed to get it in the perfect spot. No one is sure.

Derek herds them out of the house, covering Jane’s eyes as they pass Jackson. Derek will have to drag the body out to the woods and bury it.

--

After shoving bleach and gloves that he’d found in the kitchen at them, Derek had left with the body of the dead werewolf in his arms. He was probably going to bury it in the woods. Completely wolfed out as it was, hopefully no one would uncover it and realize who it was.

Stiles was refusing to think about who it was. Yeah, Jackson had made his life hell for years, but no one deserves to die. Not even him. So instead he thinks of it as just a werewolf, dead after trying to kill him.

Jane is in bed. She’s probably too scared to sleep, Stiles knows it. But she’s safe there. Somehow Deaton slept through the entire ordeal. There was something seriously wrong with that vet…

As they scrub the floor, Stiles tries to calm down a shaking Scott. Jackson had bullied Scott too, but Scott was soft. Stiles wishes he had been the one to plunge the trophy into his heart. Scott can’t handle these things. Stiles was also just a skinny nerd… but he was convinced he could have handled it better. He didn’t mind the thought of killing the things that threatened his family as much as he probably should have.

So Stiles just keeps reminding Scott it wasn’t Jackson he killed. It was a power mad and blood thirsty alpha werewolf. Scott was protecting them. They were safe.

Derek returns soon after they finish cleaning. He shrugs his leather jacket back on, hiding the blood staining his gray henley. He smiles tightly at Scott and Stiles, who both try to return the smile.

“I have to go to Kate’s party,” he tells them. It’s pretty much the first time he’s saying that the head alpha is Kate. “Erica’s there. I need to save her. Kate’s… she’s going to turn people.”

Derek is back to short sentences. Stiles gets it. “You shouldn’t go alone,” he informs the wolf.

Scott nods weakly next to him. “We can help you.”

Derek snorts. “You guys did good but I can’t ask you to stroll into a werewolf party with me on a full moon. Trust me. I need to protect Erica, you guys need to stay here. Safe. Out of trouble.”

“Can’t argue with that,” Stiles concedes.

They let Derek go, curling up with one another on the sofa. He promises them that the alpha who pursued them is dead and that Kate won’t risk sending anymore. She needs her pack, he tells them. She can’t risk anyone else, she’ll wait for Derek to come to her. Stiles thinks Kate sounds psychotic.

As they begin to doze off, Stiles wondering if they should wake up Deaton and send him home, Scott’s phone starts ringing. He fishes it out of his pocket and frowns lightly as Isaac’s goofy contact photo pops up. Stiles will never understand how Scott got him to smile that way for a contact picture.

Scott thumbs the phone until the call is accepted and on speaker. “Duuuudes,” Isaac voice is slurred. He sounds a little drunk. “Guys, guess where I am?”

Stiles really doesn’t want to deal with their friendship third wheel right now. “Isaac, the point? Get to it. We’re tired.”

“What, you don’t want to hear about how I’m at the coolest party to hit Beacon Hills High School?” Isaac sounds uncharacteristically hyperactive. Must be the alcohol.

“Not really?” Scott supplies. “Isaac how are you at a party? You’re uncool and antisocial.”

“Ha ha ha Scott, very funny. I’ll have you know that Kate Argent herself told me I’m very cool and invited me here to party with the drama club seniors. I was hoping her niece would be here. They’re only two years apart, did you know? She’s pretty. Almost Scott pretty.”

They’d both frozen up when Isaac mentioned Kate and only his drunken comment about Scott was able to shake them enough to react.

“Isaac, you need to leave that party.” Stiles tries to impress a sense of urgency into his voice. “You shouldn’t be there.”

“I take offense to that. Maybe I’m secretly cool and you just can’t see how hot I am. Plus that chick that’s supposed to be babysitting you is here and I heard Derek Hale’s going to show up.”

“Isaac, you’re cute. We know. But you’re not cute enough to be at a senior party. It sounds fishy. You could get hurt.”

It only serves to make Isaac mad and he hangs up on them.

Chapter Text

“Well fuck,” Stiles sighed, staring at a goofy selfie of Isaac with the words “call ended” flashing on it. “Now what?”

Scott shrugged. “I guess we probably have to go after him?”

“Scott… Scotty. Leave the dumb suggestions to me. Because going to a senior party. No. Scratch that. A Senior werewolf party has to be the dumbest idea either of us have ever come up with. Ever.”

“But it’s also our only choice. Think about it, Stiles. If we don’t go rescue Isaac, he could be like… eaten alive. Or turned into a werewolf! And I’m not positive which one is worse. He’s pretty grumpy. With all that werewolf-y energy in him, he might be off killing people before we can even attempt to stop him.”

Stiles thought about it for a moment. Scott wasn’t wrong - if they didn’t go after Isaac, it would kind of be their fault if something happened. On the other hand, Stiles didn’t really care about Isaac or anyone that wasn’t Scott, Melissa, Dad, and Jane. But on some third hand Stiles didn’t have, Derek was headed to that party and if the three of them went then maybe, just maybe, they could actually rescue Isaac.

“I hate when you’re right,” he said. “But I do have to remind you that we don’t have a car and the Argent’s house is way too far for us to walk there quickly. My mom’s old Jeep is out of commision, my dad has the squad car, and your mom has your car at work.”

“I don’t think Deaton will mind. Or notice,” Scott pointed out, nodding to his somehow still snoozing boss in the living room.

“Point taken. ”

Jane crossed her arms and pouted up at the boys. “Are you really leaving me with this dude, again? He slept through… whatever that was… clearly you don’t care about my safety very much.”

Stiles sighed and crouched down next to his sister. “If you’ll just stay here and behave and don’t tell Dad, I’m sure everything will be fine.” When Jane gave him a dubious look, he did something he knew something he’d probably regret later. “I’ll owe you one.”

With Jane appeased, Stiles and Scott ran out to the car. As they jumped in, horror dawned on Stiles’s mind. They were two teenage boys. Two defenseless human boys with no means of fighting against an entire house of werewolves. Senior werewolves. All they had was Derek, once they picked him up, and there was no way he could hold his own against a house of alphas. He could barely hold his own against just Jackson as a beta.

Stiles pointed this out to Scott, who gripped the wheel tightly. “Uh. Uh shit? Okay no, we’ll be fine. Sometimes Deaton brings vet stuff with him everywhere, check the trunk to see if anything is useful? It’s an old car, the seat pulls down. Don’t give me that look dude, I’ll drive slow and you’ll be fine.”

Shimmying carefully over the center console, Stiles yanked the backseat down and began sorting through the various items in the trunk. There was a lot of clothes, some weird herbs he couldn’t place, bandages, and various other vet crap. He was about to give up when he noticed a long duffle bag near where the trunk would pop open from the outside. Pulling it towards him, he unzipped the bag.

“Holy shit,” he breathed. “Are these what I think they are?”

Out of the bag, Stiles pulled two swords.

“Holy shit,” Scott agreed.

Stiles couldn’t tell if they were silver or iron or if that even mattered but as he ran his finger along the blade of one, blood welled up and he grinned. They were sharp and they were going to work. “Thank god we never stopped pretending to be Jedis, huh Scotty?”

As they drove towards the Argent house, they finally happened upon Derek. Stiles was surprised he hadn’t run or cut through the woods. Maybe, subconsciously, he wanted the other boys to come back him up. Not that you’d be able to tell with the snarl he threw them when they called to him through the open window.

“What are you doing?” Derek prowled over to the car, reminding Stiles exactly how much of a predator he was.

Scott frowned and leaned over Stiles. “Our friend’s at that party, we couldn’t stay behind. Now, did I steal my boss’s car for nothing or are you getting in?”

Derek flung open the door (he had a lot of anger problems) and slid into the backseat. “When we get there, you’re not going inside.”

“We’ll discuss it,” Stiles replied.

“You’re not. Going. Inside.”

“Hey! Without us you would have never defeated Jackson.”

“If you idiots could hold your own against a werewolf, I wouldn’t have ever needed to ‘defeat’ Jackson.”

“If you hadn’t dated a deranged werewolf, none of us would be in this predicament in the first place!”

Scott slammed on the breaks, causing Stiles to crack his head against the dashboard and flinging Derek forward into the center console. “Not to sound like my mom, but if you two don’t stop bickering like an old married couple, I’m going alone.”

“No!” Derek and Stiles yelled in tandem, settling back into their seats with their arms folded. Scott gave Stiles a knowing smirk and Stiles very maturely stuck his tongue out at him. Since when was Scott the sensible and mature one in their lives?

They rode the rest of the way in silence, some dumb classical music filtering out from the radio that Scott didn’t seem to mind. Stiles could feel Derek’s eyes boring into the back of his head as he stared resolutely ahead. If the babysitter wanted to think they would stay behind, then he could. Stiles wasn’t the type to wait in the car though and Derek was just going to have to learn his lesson.

They were nearing the house when Derek instructed them to pull over outside of the gate, where the car wouldn’t be seen.

“Listen assholes, stay in the car and don’t get into any trouble. If I see either one of you, I’ll kill you, provided you’re not already dead.”

Stiles threw up his hands in (mock) defeat. “Alright, alright. We’ll sit here, out of sight, but if a werewolf catches our scent and comes to kill us, I’m blaming it on you.”

Derek smirked at them. “As if you’d survive to tell anyone.”

“I’ll tell God.”

Derek’s face began to change and he snarled at Stiles, eyes flashing gold. “Shut up and stay out of -”

“Trouble,” Stiles cut him off. “Yeah yeah, you’ve told us this already. Just go. And by the way, you’re looking for Isaac Lahey when you’re in there. Scrawny, curly hair, perpetually scowling kind of like you. Hard to miss. Look for a dumb scarf.”

---

Derek spritzed cologne on, attempting to cover up the scent of Scott and Stiles in order to keep Kate from looking for the two Sophomore boys. They were beginning to be a thorn in his side and yet he kind of liked having them around. Stiles was fun to fight with, if not a little annoying. Maybe that’s why he’d walked along the road instead of taking the faster route. That and he was pretty nervous about facing down the entire pack at a party full of innocent humans.

Back when he’d first started dating Kate, she’d taught him about a hole in the fence so that he could easily sneak in. Not that Kate had any adults to sneak past, it was more so her niece (who was only two years younger than her) wouldn’t know he was coming over. Ducking through the hole in the fence, Derek trudged up the long driveway toward the Argent house. He’d go in, rescue Erica, and try to save Scott and Stiles’s annoying little friend as well. If he didn’t succeed, that wasn’t really his problem.

Once he arrived, Derek realized how difficult finding Erica might be. The house was packed with werewolves and humans alike and with Derek’s beta nose, he wasn’t guaranteed to be able to pick out her scent among the others. He decided to tackle the problem room by room; Kate wouldn’t see him, not yet, as she’d be meeting with her inner circle in her bedroom.

As luck would have it, Derek stumbled on Erica in the first room he checked. As luck wouldn’t have it, she was snuggling with Boyd. Prepared for a fight, he stalked over to the pair.

Erica smiled up at him, clearly dazed by something. “Der Bear!”

“I see Jackson talked some sense into you,” Boyd said with a smirk. “Where is he, anyway.”

Derek shrugged. “Oh, I’m sure he’s somewhere. He was just dying to get our little fight over with.”

Boyd hummed in response, eyes narrowing a little bit as he began to sent the air.

Determined to leave without a fight, Derek reached down to pull his best friend to stand up. “Erica, we have to get going. You’re not safe here, this isn’t what you think it is.”

She shrugged him off. “Derek, you’re crazy. Look around. This is a senior party. I never thought I’d be cool enough. You can’t convince me to leave.”

“No but Erica, I’m serious. You need to listen to me. This isn’t my first party like this, I know what’s going on. You need to get out of here.”

Standing up, Erica pushed at Derek accusingly. “You made this your world and you never wanted me in it. This is just another attempt to shut your lame best friend out of your perfect fantasy.”

Derek grabbed her wrist and her eyes widened, likely surprised at how strong he’d become. “Please just listen to me.”

“No. I won’t. Look around you. No one is even drinking. This is like… the most chill party ever and I can take selfies and prove that I’m here.”

“Your selfies won’t work.”

“What does that even mean?”

Behind her, Boyd was listening with rapt attention, like he knew exactly what Derek’s next move was. It was unsettling that he wasn’t trying to stop Derek from saying anything. What was his plan here? Derek couldn’t let that distract him.

“Erica, I’m going to tell you Beacon Hill’s biggest secret. You can’t freak out when I do, you need to respond calmly and rationally and get out of here with me.”

“Why are you acting so weird?”

“Erica… werewolves? They’re real. We’re surrounded by them. This is Kate’s pack. She’s a wolf, they’re all wolves, and I don’t know why but they’re going to make you and everyone else here wolves… or kill you.”

There was a moment of silence before tears welled into Erica’s eyes. “That’s not funny, Derek Hale. You’re trying to use my obsession against me. That’s low, even for you.”

She tried to shove past him and he shot out his arm to stop her, utilizing his werewolf speed. “You need to listen to me. I can prove it.” He began to will his face to shift and eyes to glow, but before he could, a loud slam alerted them to the arrival of Kate. Her smell filled the room, causing the hair on Derek’s arm to raise.

“Welcome, everyone,” she greeted, spreading her arms wide. “To the party of the century.”

---

Unluckily for Derek, Scott and Stiles were terrible at listening. They watched him as he went up the long driveway and the minute he was in the front door, they were ready to go. Stiles lay the swords in the backseat where they could be easily accessed, provided if anything happened they actually managed to make it back to the car. They’d seen where Derek had snuck in, he wasn’t very great at sneaking, and utilized the hole to get into the Argent property. They stuck to the shadows of the driveway, hoping no wolves would see them approaching. Stiles decided not to remind Scott that werewolves could probably smell the humanity rolling off of them. Hopefully their time with Derek had disguised their scents in some way.

They went around back, hoping Isaac would be hanging out by the pool or somewhere easy to grab him and make a break for it. Of course, that wasn’t the case and when they stumbled out of the bushes, the entire group of wolves all turned to look at them.

“Stiles,” Scott whispered. “They’re all… hot. And scary. And looking at us.”

“Play it cool Scotty. Act like a wolf. Act like a wolf and they’ll believe it.”

He decided not to remind Scott that werewolves could probably sense lies like in Twilight. Standing up straighter, he tried to pull an intense look on his face to mirror the wolves around them. Hopefully they’d decide not to snack on them.

Scott punched Stiles in the arm. “Boy, did I love hunting those deer in the woods last night!”

Stiles glared back. “Act like a chill werewolf.”

They walked over to the punch bowl, where Scott still couldn’t find his chill. “Full moons. Amiright or amiright?”

Stiles shoved punch at him. “Drink this and shut up.”

They lingered by the punch bowl, nodding along to the music. There was no way the werewolves didn’t see right through them, but Stiles overheard one of them refer to them as “cute, over excited puppies” and decided it was good enough.

After bouncing around for a while, Stiles spotted Isaac’s curly mop of hair in the crowd. He nudged Scott, pointing to their friend. As they made their way towards him, he seemed to notice them and waved enthusiastically, which was his usual reaction upon seeing Scott actually but Stiles still suspected he may be pretty drunk. One of the party goers, likely a werewolf, was hovering close to Isaac, looking almost hungrily at the younger boy.

“Dudes! You came, I totally knew you would. I mean, I was pretty mad at you telling me I wasn’t ‘cute enough’ for a senior party but that’s fine because you’re totally wrong. Look at this sick hickey I got.” Isaac pulled aside his signature scarf to reveal a large, bite shaped mark on his neck.

Stiles recognized it instantly. During his time trying to figure out what people loved so much about Twilight, he’d done a lot of exploring of fan fiction online and a lot of what he found was highly explicit. One thinking had been “marking” - the act of a wolf biting down on the person to signify that they had… you know… done the thing. He highly doubted Isaac had gotten truly down and dirty with a werewolf, but it was likely the pack was using the marking techniques for something else at this party. Signifying who might join the pack, maybe? Or signifying their claim on the human they most wanted to snack on… Stiles didn’t want to stick around long enough to find out.

He scratched his neck awkwardly. “Uh, buddy? I don’t think that’s a hickey…”

“Hickey, bite mark, call it whatever,” Isaac shrugged and pushed his scarf back over the mark. “I still got to makeout with a hot senior.”

Scott was shuffling awkwardly next to them. “Isaac, we need to leave. This feels weird.” Stiles nodded in agreement.

“No way dudes! You’re just jealous I got action!” Isaac crossed his arms and glared at his friends.

“No we-”

Isaac waved a dismissive hand. “Whatever, I’m getting some punch.”

Scott moved to go after him but Stiles put a hand out to stop him. “We did what we could, Scotty.”

“But he’s going to die or like become a rabid werewolf!”

“And we tried. The best we can do is try and find Derek, help him get Erica out of here, and save our own butts.”

They bickered back and forth for a while but Scott finally conceded. Isaac was infuriatingly stubborn and they weren’t going to get the drunk idiot to do anything they wanted. So instead, they snuck inside to where a large group of werewolves were gathered, including Derek.

---

When Kate walked into the room, every instinct of Derek’s screamed at him to run. Even his wolf was trembling in fear of the alpha. He started to back out of the room, knowing there was no real escape, and was not surprised to see two member of Kate’s pack move to block the door. He snarled at them but they both just smirked in reply.

Kate laughed behind him. “Oh Derek, honey, you’re not going anywhere.”

He turned slowly to look at her. “I’m not going to join your pack. I didn’t ask for this life, I don’t want to be in it even more.”
“Oh, but you will. After you see tonight, how powerful we become, how powerful alphas can be, you’ll join us.”

“Never.”

“Maybe so. But I think I know best.”

She was pointless to argue with, so Derek crossed his arms and shifted protectively closer to Erica, trying to shield her from Kate. But during his stare down with Kate, Erica and Boyd had managed to slip away. His heart skipped a beat and he scanned the room frantically. But there were so many people at this part that he couldn’t pick up her scent and he knew if he tried to find her, Kate’s pack would go after him.

“You know, I’ve researched werewolves,” he said, looking at Kate once more. “And I’m pretty sure this is unethical, even by werewolf standards.”

Kate laughed in reply and began addressing the crowd of wolves around her. Derek tuned her out, sniffing the air frantically, hoping to push his beta senses to figure out where Erica had gone. Instead, he picked up on what he thought were Stiles and Scott’s scents… but no. They weren’t that stupid. Right? They wouldn’t have blatantly ignored him to save their friend… He scanned the room again, looking for them, but didn’t notice them. And he figured he’d at least hear the idiots as they were both quite loud.

Eventually, he turned his hearing back to Kate. He already knew her disgusting plan for the party and knew stopping her was futile. As he listened again, she was triumphantly declaring “we’re all hungry, the moon is full… let’s bite!” The pack around her cheered in agreement while the dazed humans around them blinked in surprise. It was amazing what you could get away with amung drunk high schoolers.

A door opened behind Derek and out stumbled Boyd and Erica. His heart skipped a beat as he noticed a large bite on Erica’s shoulder. He’d failed her. His knees felt weak and he almost sunk to the ground, but he couldn’t let his weakness show. Not now. If he could keep Erica from participating in the alpha ritual, he wouldn’t have completely failed. They’d be betas together, they could make their own pack, find a kinder alpha. This could work.

Before he could call out to her, a distraction arose from the crowd as the two idiot boys he’d been convinced to bring here were pushed out of the crowd and into Boyd’s path. They had clearly been eavesdropping and fear rolled off both of them in waves. Derek would have to tell them later how bad they smelled. Boyd grabbed both of the boys by the shirt, causing Stiles to cry out in pain.

“Derek?” Scott called, looking pleadingly at him.

Before he could react, Kate had strode over and grabbed Derek’s wrist. “Do you know these boys?”

“Yeah, they’re my… I babysit them.” He didn’t know what else to say, it wasn’t like they were friends.

The surrounding wolves howled in laughter and Stiles and Scott both went red. Their scents changed from fear to mortification, sour and sickly. Derek almost felt bad, but all he could feel was white hot rage. Why was no one listening to him today?

Boyd dragged Scott and Stiles to the middle of the room and from the crowd came a third voice.

“What’s going on here?” The curly headed boy that Derek had seen with the boys before popped out, looking confused and scared at his manhandled friends. “Hey you weren’t kidding when you said we should leave, huh?”

Scott and Stiles both struggled against Boyd’s grip, clearly trying to get to their friend and escape. When he proved too strong, Scott spat out “douche,” which was a word Derek didn’t think he even knew. Boyd glared at him.

“Drop the boys, Boyd. They’ll stay when they hear my idea.” Kate’s grin turned wicked as she looked at Derek. “Since you’re in charge of these insolent sneaks, I have a brilliant punishment for all of you.” She motioned towards Isaac. “Bite him. Make your pack and then merge with mine.”

Derek bit down a sassy response, knowing it would likely get all four of them in trouble, and possibly Erica too. Instead, he backed closer to the group of boys, reading to grab them and run.

--

When Stiles heard Kate’s command to Derek, his only response was to reach out to Derek as the werewolf backed towards them. Which was, of course, a mistake because next thing he knew the room around him was jerked violently away and replaced with another scene.

There was a small church in a sunny field but suddenly, it erupted into flames. Stiles watched in horror as the church burnt down around him. He was frozen, watching this sudden scene, with the awareness that nothing was real.

When he returned to the party, his hand was still clutching Derek forearm. The other boy was glaring at his hand, dark eyebrows knit together in anger and confusion. Stiles moved his hand away and bit his lip. “Uh…”

Before either could speak, before Derek could bite Isaac or whatever, the room erupted into chaos. Erica, Derek’s friend he’d been here to rescue, came rushing at all of them. She violently shoved at Derek and lunged for Isaac, biting down on his shoulder. Scott yelled in shock at the scene before them and Stiles noticed a healing bite on Erica’s shoulder.

“Shit…” Stiles said, at the same time as Derek was yelling “Erica, no!”

She turned on Derek with a bloody grin, eyes flashing red. “You may have been too weak to change your life, but I had nothing good before tonight.”

Stiles was standing close enough to Derek that he felt the shocked tremor at Erica’s words. But then the beta pulled himself together and motioned at Scott and Stiles.

“It’s time to run like your lives depend on it. Because trust me… they do.”

Stiles yanked Scott’s hand and pulled him away. As they ran past the crowd, he heard Kate bark orders for a few of her pack members to follow them. “But give them a headstart,” she added, “just to make things fun.”

And so they ran. Stiles was pretty sure if there wasn’t so much adrenaline rushing through his veins, he’d never have been able to escape. As they ran, he felt his pocket for Scott’s inhaler, knowing his best friend would need it when they reached the car.

By some miracle, they actually did reach the car, but at this point the three wolves were on their heels.

“They’re only betas,” Derek quickly commented, maybe hoping that knowing the wolves weren’t at their top abilities would inspire Stiles and Scott.

“And we’re only humans,” Stiles quipped back. He tossed Scott his inhaler as they skidded to a halt. His best friend doubled over, breathing in the medication with a panicked look on his face.

“We’re going to have to fight. If we drive off, they’ll catch up.” Derek had begun to wolf out and despite having seen it already, Stiles watched in awe before shaking himself into action and popping open the trunk of the car and pulling out the swords.

“We can do it.”

Derek’s eyes widened as he took in the swords. “If you live, we’re discussing where the fuck you found those.”

Stiles smiled widely at him before tossing a sword to Scott, who pocketed his inhaler and nodded bravely back at him.

“Just like playing Jedi, right Stiles?”

“Right Scotty.”

The three wolves leaped the fence with a snarl. Derek rushed forward, tackling one to the ground and sinking his claws into her chest. The other two rushed at Stiles and Scott, who readied their swords. What happened next was a complete blur for Stiles. He refused to let fear take over, but he managed to black out for the entire fight. Later, he was dimly aware of the lightsaber noises he and Scott were both making and made a mental note to beg Derek not to tell anyone what nerds they were.

Somehow, Derek managed to severely wound the other beta but not kill her. A distant howl made the three wolves slowly back away. Kate must have decided they weren’t worth it after all. Derek motioned to Stiles, who nodded in reply and grabbed at Scott. Throwing the swords in the trunk of the car, they all piled in and drove off.

Stiles felt at his cheek and his fingers came away red. Scott’s sweatshirt was slashed open on the arm and was wet, but it didn’t look serious. They’d have to find a way to explain it to their parents but… they were alive. And that’s what mattered.

Chapter Text

Stiles had no idea what to expect at school the next day. How many people would be missing? Did turning into a werewolf make you super hot? He suspected his bisexual heart couldn’t handle it if suddenly everyone at school was super hot.

That’s what you’re worried about?!” Scott asked incredulously when Stiles voiced his fears to him. “Not like, I don’t know… if Isaac survived the bite, if turning into a werewolf is going to make everyone around us turn all rage-y and angry, or maybe like if anyone survived?!”

He shrugged awkwardly back. “Okay, fair, but I was trying to make a joke here.”

They made it through the day, but there were a handful of absences that Stiles noticed during each of his classes. Not that he was looking but Derek wasn’t there either. When they’d parted ways last night, he had seemed really upset about Erica and Kate, so it made sense that he might need a break. They also couldn’t find Isaac anywhere, which worried both of them, but Scott managed to reach him through text and he said he’d find them after school.

As they left for the day, Isaac came running towards them. Just as Stiles had feared, there was a certain energy radiating off of him. Not that Stiles would ever be attracted to that curly headed weirdo, but he definitely seemed to carry himself with far more confidence and there was a sparkle in his eyes that hadn’t really been there before. He flung his arms around his two friends, not seeming to notice how they both tensed up at his touch. To be fair, their only real interactions with werewolves had been Derek (grumpy), Kate (scary and manipulative), Jackson (very scary), and the werewolves they’d fought with (scary but epic).

“Hey guys,” he said. He sounded different in some way. “So, dope news.” He lowered his voice. “I’m a werewolf now.”

Stiles shrugged him off. “It came with a personality change, I see.”

“Ignore him,” Scott replied, but he also stepped away from Isaac. “He means we’re glad you survived the bite.”

“Everything has changed. I feel like… powerful now. I think even my dad sensed it.”

“Good or bad?” Stiles asked. They knew Isaac’s dad wasn’t… the best.

“Strangely good. He didn’t yell at me once for coming home late? And he left out eggs for me this morning?”

Scott high fived him, Isaac’s happiness seeming to melt away his worries. “Dude, that’s awesome!”

“Anyway,” Isaac shrugged. “I’ve got to act super cool so Kate will let me stay in the inner circle. We’re going to some lame church today.” His voice had instantly mellowed out, excitement about his father being replaced by the signature bored persona they were so used to interacting with.

“Same attitude, same scarves, new friends?” Scott wasn’t keeping the obvious upset of potentially losing his friend out of his voice (Stiles really didn’t understand why Scott liked the kid so much).

“Kate says that it’s my right now, as a werewolf, to do stuff and have a pack. So lame church and… something about cuban animals?”

“Cuban… animals…?” Stiles replied slowly.

“Something like that, I don’t really -” Isaac cut himself off, looking suddenly towards the parking lot. Kate Argent’s fancy car squealed to a halt. “Uh, I gotta go.”
They watched their friend run off, joining Kate and her friends by the car. Stiles thought he might be able to see Erica’s blonde curls with the group, but he couldn’t tell from afar. It made him wonder how Derek was holding up again and he regretted not getting the other boy’s phone number so he could send him a text. Although Derek probably wouldn’t reply, Stiles still felt the need to check in and talk to him.

Stiles tugged on Scott’s sleeve. “Come on Scotty, we’re headed to the church by the graveyard.”

Scott’s protests fell to deaf ears and they walked back to the Stilinski house. Stiles explained his plan on the way.

“Listen, Derek taught us how to grind up wolfsbane to make some dope weapons. I’m thinking we get your dad’s old combat knives, the ones he left behind when he left? And we coat them in the wolfsbane concoction. They’ll be way more discreet than silver swords for sneaking through town. I know I saw a graveyard in that vision I had last night. Don’t scoff at me, I know that you think the vision thing is bullshit but I’m banking on it. I had a vision with both a graveyard and another with a small church in it, so it stands to reason that the super old graveyard on the edge of town would be a place to scope out. And Isaac mentioned that the wolves were going to a church today!”

Scott sighed behind him. “I really don’t want to fight werewolves again.”

“I promise, we’ll just be spying on them.”

First, they went through the garden at Stiles’s house, looking for more of the Wolfsbane plant. Stiles sent his dad a quick text, saying that they would be working on a group project and he’d be home for dinner, likely with Scott in tow. McCall-Stilinski combination dinners were common, as were Scott and Stiles being paired on assignments at school, so all Stiles got back from John was an “okay.”

After rooting up everything they could, they headed to Scott’s house, where his mom also kept a garden. Stiles started looking while Scott went inside to try and find his dad’s old knives. He was delighted to find a healthy supply of wolfsbane growing there as well. What was with this town and wolfsbane? Why was there such an abundance in random gardens? He gathered as much as he could, leaving some for emergencies, and went inside to meet Scott.

Since he knew where everything was in the McCall house, he immediately went into the kitchen and found where Melissa kept her mortar and pestle set. As he worked on grinding up the flowers and making the concoction, Scott wandered in from downstairs, holding the four combat knives his dad had left behind when he left. He’d left them for protection, according to Melissa.

From his pocket, Stiles pulled out some glass vials with stoppers that he’d pilfered from the Chemistry lab earlier that day. Scott raised an eyebrow in response but didn’t comment. He was used to Stiles having random things on his person.

“Do you have a funnel?” Stiles asked and Scott dug through a few drawers before finding one. “Cool, okay, help me out here.” Carefully, Stiles funneled a majority of the wolfsbane concoction into the glass vials and handed a few to Scott. The rest of the concoction, he carefully spread over the blades of the combat knives.

“What are these for?” Scott asked, indicating the vials he’d been handed.

“Backup. In case we need to recoat the knives or we can throw them in case of emergency.” Panic grew on Scott’s face in response. “Not that we’ll need them!” Stiles shot what he hoped was a reassuring smile back at his best friend.

Scott had also found the holsters that his dad had left behind for the knives, which strapped on the upper arm and thigh. Stiles grabbed for the thigh one, joking about being as hot as Lara Croft, which elicited an eye roll and a groan from Scott.

They made the long trek to the graveyard, both uncharacteristically silent the entire way. Stiles was turning the plan over and over in his head, making sure he was doing what he could to keep Scott safe while also knowing what was going on with the werewolves. He could tell Scott was nervous, by the way he was biting his lip and fidgeting with the vials in his pocket.

At the edge of the graveyard, Stiles motioned for Scott to stop. “We don’t know if Kate’s pack is here, so we need to stay low, quiet, and somehow downwind.” He was whispering, even though he knew if there were werewolves in proximity, they could probably hear. But Scott didn’t always think that far ahead.

“Do you even know how to stay downwind?” Scott hissed in reply.

“It’s the opposite way of the wind,” and Stiles licked his finger and stuck it dramatically in the air, like they did in the movies. A quiet laugh escaped Scott.

They crept through the graves, towards where the old stone church stood on the hill. They could see cars parked on the hill and the pack seemed to be gathered around a cluster of graves. It was hard to tell what they were doing, even as they got close. Stiles found the perfect gravestone to perch behind and motioned to Scott to stop. No one had seemed to notice them, until a sudden growl sounded behind them.

Stiles turned, his heart in his throat, and almost yelled in surprise to find… Derek Hale. “Jesus dude, way to give us a heart attack, what the fuck?”

Derek glared down at them, looking every part the menacing werewolf. “Why are you here?”

“Why are you here?” Stiles countered. “Is hanging out in graveyards like the cool werewolf thing?”

Above him, Derek’s eyebrows furrowed. “No, you absolute idiot. I overheard Kate’s pack talking about coming here soon, I’ve been tailing them for part of the day.”
Scott finally spoke up. “Oh well, our friend Isaac mentioned this weird thing to us? And Stiles says he had some sort of vision or something and so we decided to come here.”

“Weird thing?”

“Yeah uh… he said they were pursuing cuban animals or something?”

At that, Derek paused for a moment, before sinking down below the gravestone with the other two boys. “Do you mean cubile animus?”

“Maybe?” Stiles replied. “Isaac is kind of an idiot.”

“I’ve never heard Kate talk about needing cuban animals but I remember her talking about something called a cubile animus. I can’t remember her saying what it was and my Latin is a little rough…”

Scott pulled out his phone. “I can Google it,” he offered. Derek waved at him to go ahead at the same time as Stiles leaned in to look at Scott’s screen. Derek’s hand wound up whacking Stiles in the shoulder, which was all it took to push Stiles into another vision.

There was a gravestone swimming in his vision, likely from the very graveyard they were in. He could make out the name “Deucalion” etched into the stone and as the vision came into focus, a date of birth and a date of death. There was nothing else and as the vision changed, the numbers on the gravestone began to change and spelled out “219.” Suddenly, the image was replaced with an ornate box.

Stiles snapped out of the vision with a gasp and noticed both boys staring at him. He was trying to sort through what the vision could mean and for once in his life, words were failing him as he recentered. He looked at Scott for help, who triumphantly held up his phone.

“Well, I found something on this… cublie animus thingy,” Scott said, biting his lip as he completely butchered the pronunciation of the word. He said it like “queue-bile ani-moose.”

Derek snorted in derision. “Cubile animus.”

Scott shot him a look. “Do you want to know what I found out or not?” When Derek motioned to him to continue, Scott read off of the article he’d found on his phone. “So I’m not getting very much on it but… it seems to roughly translate to ‘nest of souls’ and it looks like this.”

When Scott titled the phone screen towards them, Stiles grabbed the phone from him. “No freaking way. I just saw this in my vision!”

“What the fuck -” Derek began, but then in the distance, the pack of werewolves began hollering.

The three boys peaked around the large gravestone to see what was going on. Kate was triumphantly holding out a box that looked to be about the size of the box Stiles had seen in his vision. Derek was staring hard at the scene before glancing back at the image on the phone. He nodded confirmation that it was one in the same.

Stiles sighed, leaning back against the headstone. “Spy mission successful.” He held up a fist and Scott bumped him back.

Derek turned his signature glare on them once more. “What did you idiots think you were doing?”

Stiles explained how Isaac had told them about the meeting and that they’d come prepared. “We stayed downwind!”

“Actually, you didn’t, they’re just too busy to be on the lookout.”

“Oh…” That was awkward.

Scott pulled his arm out of his jacket to show Derek the knife strapped to his arm. “We came prepared though dude.”

From his pockets, Stiles pulled out the vials of the wolfsbane concoction Derek had taught them to make. But, as he did, he fumbled and one of them dropped, smashing on to the ground near Derek’s hand. Some smashed on him and he roared in pain and then shot both boys a panicked look. “Run.”

They booked it, Derek jumping over gravestones with insane precision. Stiles tripped over his feet and blessed the adrenaline for keeping him moving. The wolves didn’t seem to be in pursuit, hopefully assuming that the three of them were too clueless to have overheard them.

Once they reached a neighborhood, they paused, Scott doubling over and pulling his inhaler from his pocket to take deep breaths. Derek pulled out a packet of wipes from his leather jacket and wiped at his hand, wincing in pain. Stiles went to apologize, but instead Derek asks “visions?”

Stiles scratched his neck sheepishly. “Uh, so this is really weird and might seem far-fetched but also, you’re like a werewolf so you really can’t judge me you know?” Derek’s brow furrowed yet again. “Dude if you keep furrowing your brow you’re going to get serious wrin- oh, right okay you don’t care. Well, so far, we’ve had accidental physical contact I think three times? And every single time, I’ve been flung into what could be described as the weirdest and most intense daydreams. Except that they come in weird images and phrases and things I’ve never seen before. It’s really strange and exhausting and I don’t know if it’s because your a werewolf or what. But it keeps happening.” Derek looked dubious, so Stiles reached towards his hand. “Look, I can try again.”

Derek snatched his hand away with a growl. “Chill, Casanova.”

Next to Stiles, Scott was barely holding back laughter. “Hey Derek, maybe if I hold your hand, I’ll get a vision.”

“If I see that hand again, I’ll consider it a snack.”

Both boys shoved their hands behind their backs and nodded. Stiles quickly changed the subject, instead asking Derek about Kate. “Did she never mention a prophecy? Or the number 219?”

“Stiles… I turned away from Kate soon after she turned me. I was a beta and now, now I’m technically an omega because I don’t have a pack. She’s told me the bare minimum, trust me. There wasn’t enough love there. I gave -” and then he cut himself off. “The point is, no.”

“Well shit, we know she’s up to no good but I can’t ask you to go back to that hell to find out more.” Stiles could have sworn the look Derek gave him was almost grateful.

“And it’s not like anyone in Kate’s pack would ever just… tell us anything,” Scott supplied.

But that reminded Stiles that they did have an in, someone who was newly turned but who had proven time and time again that he was their friend. “Scott… What about Isaac? He’d probably tell you anything.”

Scott’s eye widened and he pulled out his phone again to call their friend.

-

Later that day, Stiles was at home, researching everything he could find on werewolves and just wolves in general. There was a knock on his door frame. When he’d gotten home, his dad had confronted him about the gaping hole in his door. He’d stumbled through a lie about a lightsaber fight with Scott and his dad scolded him for being a clutz.

“Hey Stiles, I’m going to grab some boards so you can fix up the door. You know I believe in privacy and all that, or I’d just remove the door itself. I can’t really afford a new one.” There was a tired smile on his face.

Stiles smiled back at his dad. “Hey Dad? I’ve got a weird question.”

“Shoot kid, most of your questions are weird.”

“Do you… ever get weird visions? Like you’ll be going about your day, having fun with friends, and then suddenly there’s weird images and you’re not really there anymore.”

“No kid, can’t say I have. Then again, I was never into drugs. Are you doing drugs son?” His dad’s voice was mocking but good-natured.

“DAD,” Stiles yelled, throwing the nearest object (a Chewbacca plushie) towards him; he knocked it out of the way and came to sit on the bed.

“When you were a kid, really little, right after your mom died,” John began. Stiles could hear the softness and sadness in his tone. “I used to sneak in here after you fell asleep to just watch you. In my defense, it was the only time you were calm and quiet.” That was fair, he’d been a tornado of a kid. “As I looked down on you as you slept, I used to have this vision of you when you were older. You were so strong and so smart and such a decent kid. The son of a cop and, more importantly, just like your mother. I knew, in those moments, that you were going to do great things one day.”

Stiles could feel the tears welling up in his eyes and leaned forward to pull his dad into a tight hug. “I love you, Dad.”

“I love you, kiddo.” John pulled back and looked at Stiles. “But seriously? If you get into drugs, I will not hesitate to arrest your dumb ass.”

Stiles gave a mock salute. “Yes, Sheriff Dad.”

There was another knock on the doorframe and Stiles looked past his dad. To his surprise, Derek Hale was leaning into his room, looking stressed out. “Hello Sheriff, Stiles.”

John stood up and shook Derek’s hand. His voice was teasing once more as he told Derek “I have to say, I’m impressed. The kids just can’t wait for you to babysit again.”

“Dad, please leave?” Stiles begged, groaning in embarrassment.

Before heading down the stairs, John called back that Melissa had dropped off cookies, in case the boys wanted any.

“Not that you’re not welcome here but… why are you here? I just saw you earlier and uh… you don’t seem to like me that much.”

There was an awkward pause, as Derek neither confirmed nor denied his opinion of Stiles. Finally, he spoke. “I uh… I haven’t really been honest with you. Or myself. I’ve been pushing this into the back of my mind and just kind of choosing to forget it but. There’s a reason Kate’s been trying to force me into her pack.”

Whenever Derek said so much, Stiles was always taken aback. It just didn’t feel like such a free flow of words should come from the strangely grumpy boy.

Derek continued. “When I was bitten, I refused to turn into an alpha. I was so mad at Kate for what she’d done. I’d fallen - no, that doesn’t really matter. The point is, I refused. Well Kate’s pack, it’s not all werewolves. There’s a witch in the group? Her name is Lydia, Lydia Martin.” Stiles knew who Lydia was. He’d had the biggest crush on her growing up, but then she’d gone to this pretentious school for maths and sciences and he hadn’t seen her since. “Well, when I refused and when I broke up with Kate… Kate had her curse me. If I didn’t turn another wolf within 28 days of being bitten, I’d die.”

If Stiles didn’t know better, he’d think Derek’s voice had been shaking. “Derek… how long do you have to live?”

“One week.”

“One week?”

“Only if it’s true. And I’ve been deciding it’s not.”

“But one week. You can’t ignore it for another week because if you do, you’re dead.”

All Derek could do was nod. They sat in silence as the weight of the situation, the reality of it, settled over the room. Then, Derek spoke again. “I went to the library after we were done earlier and I looked around the older books. I found this really interesting book, about the history of of the town. I’m going to read from it.”

From his backpack, Derek pulled out a small book, covered in dust from being untouched for many years. Stiles leaned forward, begging his ADHD brain to listen to what Derek was reading.

“The town of Beacon Hills was actually once known as Black’s Church, founded in 1809 by Reverend Horace Black… Who some conspiracists claim to be one of the original werewolves. Black’s disciples preyed on the nearby townspeople, who either joined the cult or died, until the night of a lunar eclipse, when the remaining folks trapped them in their church and burned it to the ground. Only one cult member survived, having been in the forest at the time. 219 people died and their remains were buried by the surviving member in an unmarked grave. Many years later, the area was repopulated and reborn as Beacon Hills. The remaining cult member had never been heard from again.”

They sat in silence once more, for just a moment. This was probably the most silence Stiles had ever let himself experience. Then, Stiles interjected. “There has to be something missing here, Derek. There’s got to be more details here.”

“But how do we figure it out?”

Stiles extended a hand. “I have one idea.”

“This better be real,” Derek replied and he reached out his hand to grab Stiles’s. They clasped hands and rested them on the small black book on the bed between them.
For a brief moment before the vision pulled Stiles in, he noted how big Derek’s hand was compared to him and how well they fit together. Before he could bring himself to be mortified at the thought, the room was yanked away and was instead replaced with images. A women who looked scarily like Kate was wearing 1800s clothing with tears running down her face as she faced a burning church. Suddenly, she released a howl and wolfed out and the setting changed again, revealing a large tree. But before Stiles could register where Kate was now, he was pulled back out of the vision.

He pulled his hand from Derek, aware of how tightly he’d been clutching the other boy. “Hey Derek? I don’t know how to say this but… the vision I got? The remaining wolf, I think it might have been Kate.”

Derek reeled back. “No. No? NO. Werewolves, we’re not immortal, Stiles.”

“I don’t know how or why but Derek, it’s what I saw.”

“Is that why you get that weird look in your eyes? You’re… seeing things.”

“I swear.”

Suddenly, there was a loud clatter against the window, shattering the moment. Stiles ran to the window and sighed when he found Isaac in his yard. He pulled his window open and called down.

“What the fuck do you want?”

“Let me up!” Isaac called back.

“Only if you don’t bite me,” Stiles retorted and he stepped back from the window to sit at his desk again, leaving Derek perched on the bed.

Isaac climbed through the window and shot Stiles a look. “Dude, no offense? Or, full offense, actually? I really don’t want to bite you. Your taste? In my mouth? Nasty. Gross. Never.”

Derek sniffed the air, eyes narrowing. “Is this your friend from the party?”

“Friend is a… generous word,” Stiles replied.

“Rude.”

“And I’ll repeat. Isaac, my dearest friend, why are you here?”

Isaac shrugged. “Scott said you guys needed my help and usually he’s here.”

Derek was silent behind Stiles, to the point where Stiles had thought he’d actually left. Apparently, Stiles would be explaining everything himself.

“So here’s the deal, Isaac. What we’ve garnered from our silent but deadly friend Derek is that Kate? Is some pretty bad news. I know she’s your pack alpha, your leader, but I’m asking you to listen to me as someone you’ve known for a while. I think that if we don’t stop Kate, something bad is going to happen. Derek here will probably die. You’ll probably die. If you don’t care about humanity, about me or Scott, look out for your own self-preservation.”

“See, when you’re vulnerable with me, I know you’re real.” Isaac held up his hand for a fist bump. “What do you need from me, Stiles?”

Derek finally spoke up. “Kate has this amazing library in her house. Can you look through it?”

Isaac nodded. “No problem. Also, that cubile animus thing? It was a total bore. We dug for hours for some lame box that Kate and the main pack were super excited about. Even some of the new guys joined in the hype but I thought it was lame. Kate was overly happy though. She looked crazy - maybe that’s why I find it easy to believe you.”

With that, Isaac was out the window again.

Stiles and Derek went downstairs in search of cookies and Derek bid his farewells to John and Jane. Jane stuck her tongue out in reply.

Derek nodded at Stiles. “I’ll be at school tomorrow,” he promised. And with that, he was gone.

Chapter Text

Derek didn’t particularly want to go to school. He could remember when he used to like school, liked learning about space and being around Erica. But now, he’d accepted his upcoming death like there was a countdown timer over his head and his best friend was a werewolf in his crazy ex’s pack and Derek didn’t find school all that important. But he’d promised the ever persistent Stiles that he’d be at school and for some reason, he cared enough to uphold that promise.

So he went to school and met up with Stiles and Scott in the parking lot. Any hopes he’d ever had of being cool would go out the window the minute anyone got word of him hanging out with these boys, but the world was at stake and his life was at stake so he couldn’t really bring himself to care. Right now, what mattered more was that the pack was facing him down. There was no sign of Isaac, which meant he was doing as Stiles would have instructed him: going to Kate’s library while she was at school. But there was also no sign of Erica or Boyd, which concerned him.

Kate laughed, flicking her long blonde curls as she looked at the boys by Derek’s side. “This is the company you keep now, Der?”

Derek shrugged in reply, refusing to give Kate any words. From next to him, anger rolled off of Stiles in hot waves and Derek had to resist reaching out to calm him. Why did he care about him so much?

A final car pulled into the parking lot and out of it climbed Boyd and Erica. Seeing his best friend was like a punch in the gut for Derek. She walked with power now, a confidence he’d always wanted to see her wear but never like this. Everything about her had changed. She wasn’t hiding behind her Twilight sweatshirt now. Her hair was curled in perfect ringlets and her clothes clung to her body in a way that would be a complete dress code violation, if he didn’t know for a fact that werewolf intimidation worked wonders on humans.

She smiled wickedly at him as she and Boyd took their places next to Kate. Her smile reminded him of Kate, of a predator, and he felt fear curl in his stomach despite himself. Inside him, he could feel that his wolf was trembling in anger, wanting to fix this somehow.

“Hi, Derek,” Erica said. She sounded sweet and like herself, but Derek could hear the power in her voice.

“Erica.” He couldn’t help the words that came out. “I see you’re dressed like a slut today.”

“Hey now. My best friend would never use those words,” she tutted.

It was horrible because she wasn’t wrong. But he was too angry to care.

He turned his eyes to Kate and flashed his eyes in warning. She responded, but he felt no pull to his alpha. “If your pack continues this way, I will find a way to end you. This is not a threat, it is a proper warning. I will not let you destroy my town. I will not let you destroy my family. You cannot win, I will find a way to stop you.”

Kate just laughed in reply. “Oh Derek, you and your humans? You can’t stop this. Stop me. You’re just an angry ex-boyfriend. And I can ruin everything in your world.” As if to prove her point, Kate pulled in Erica, who bared her neck in submission to her alpha. Derek was forced to watch as his ex-girlfriend, who’d broken his heart, kissed his best friend ruthlessly and without passion.

She was trying to hurt him and it worked.

As they pulled apart, Erica smirked towards Derek. “You thought you could be on top without me Derek. But instead, look how far I’ve come.”
He couldn’t find words.

The pack turned away, headed towards the school. Erica looked back once more. “Oh Derek? You’re not helping me with the Twilight premiere anymore, but you must come to it. You’ve got to enjoy the small pleasures you have left this week. I hear you’re going to die.”

Derek stood with Scott and Stiles as they watched the pack saunter away.

There was a light touch at his elbow, careful and cautious. He almost jumped, but instead turned to glare at Stiles. Stiles was the only person who would dare touch him.
“I know you don’t like being touched but… the bell just rang.”

“Oh, thanks Stiles.”

Derek didn’t speak to either boy on the way in. They trailed behind him, whispering to one another, but he turned off his hearing. He didn’t care right now. He couldn’t care; everything was crumbling around him.

Later, during his free period, Derek met up with the other two boys. It turned out they all had free period together, so they huddled in the back of the school library. Derek had cased the place to make sure none of Kate’s pack was nearby. Isaac had just texted Scott a video of him at Kate’s library, where he’d found some sort of book relating to the cubile animus and a prophecy.

Stiles had filled Scott in on everything they’d discovered the night before. Derek didn’t know if Scott knew he only had a week to live and he didn’t really care to know. He’d foolishly given that much of himself to Stiles, if Stiles gave that to Scott it didn’t matter anymore. And now, Erica had mentioned it anyway.

In the library, Stiles and Scott shared headphones, while Derek used his heightened hearing to listen in. Isaac was reading from a book.

“An angel’s nest shall seed the Earth
Soul for soul the black army’s rebirth
Neath a swallowed moon the dead take route
The barren orchard bears the devil’s fruit.”

They listened to the recording multiple times before Scott pulled the earbud out of his ear. “I hate poetry,” he grumbled, running a hand through his dark hair. “It never makes any sense to me.”

Stiles had a look on his face that Derek hadn’t seen before. He looked like he’d discovered something amazing and was putting pieces together in his mind. When he looked at his friend, there was a small smile on his face. “Well, Scotty, poetry might be beyond you but. Let’s think about it, huh? Cubile animus is supposed to be the nest of souls. And the pack, they found it under an angel in the cemetery. Remember, the gravestone they searched under looked like an angel?”

Derek was admittedly impressed at how Stiles worked through things so quickly.

“How about seed the Earth?” Scott ventured. He was probably used to Stiles’s brain and knew exactly how to pull his thoughts out.

“I’m not as sure here, but my thought here is that the box was buried in the ground, like you might a seed.”

“The black army?”

“Oh that’s obvious, that has to relate to Reverend Black’s old pack.”

“Color me impressed,” Derek spoke up. “Who knows if you’re right but… you did that so quickly.”

Scott laughed lightly. “He gets amazing grades, despite having ADHD. Stiles is a wonder, Derek. You’ll learn.” The two younger boys fist bumped at that.

“Did Isaac send you anything else?” Derek asked.

“Yeah actually. The trailer for the next Twilight movie? He said he couldn’t give too many details but he thinks Stiles can put it together.”

Derek didn’t doubt he could.

After they watched the trailer, Stiles sighed. “I think we’re going to have to go to that premiere.” Scott made a noise of protest, but Stiles continued. “No, listen to me. The final movie? It’s called Eclipse guys. And the premiere? It’s happening on the night of the first lunar eclipse in years. That can’t be a coincidence.”

“But what does the eclipse matter?” Scott asked.

This time, Derek replied. “The poem, it mentioned a swallowed moon, which would make sense because the moon would appear to be swallowed during an eclipse.”

Stiles glanced at Derek. “How many people RSVPed to the event, last you heard?”

“I’m not sure, maybe close to 200? Probably a little more.”

“Derek. 219.”

“The number from your vision?” Scott cut in.

“And the number of people who died in Reverend Black’s pack,” replied Stiles.

“A soul for a soul.” Derek added. “I don’t know how, but Kate’s going to kill all of them and bring back her pack.”

--

Stiles was convinced that the next couple of days went by like the stereotypical movie training montage. Derek told them that he needed them to be more than the two awkward teenage boys that they were.

“What music would play during this scene,” Stiles asked Scott. “If we were in a movie?”

“Eye of the Tiger.”

“Oh good, we’re an 80s cliche.”

It was really cool, training with Derek. They often did it at the McCall house, because Melissa wasn’t home and they had a high fence to prevent the neighbors from knowing what the three boys were doing.

They used broken fence slats as fake swords, learning how to slash and dodge and where to stab at a werewolf in every form. Derek couldn’t do everything an alpha could do, couldn’t be in the full wolf form like they could, but he could wolf out as best he could to help them train.

They learned how to artfully dodge his claws and teeth. Derek was fast and very powerful, but he was big. Stiles and Scott were both wiry and small and he taught them how to use that against him. They could force him off balance, using their size as an advantage.

Derek found hay bales, somewhere. Maybe he lived on a farm or something. He taught them how to jump, roll, and move around the obstacles in a fight. They’d likely have to deal with the seats in the movie theater and the hay bales taught them how to do that, as well they could.

There was also a scarecrow wolf and a regular scarecrow they could practice against. They told Melissa they were making a movie for school and she accepted it. They’d done weirder things before. When Derek needed to do his own practicing, they could use the scarecrows to practice maneuvers against.

Being nerdy teenage boys, Stiles and Scott owned plenty of nerf weapons. Derek taught them that a crossbow would likely be their best weapon, because a wolfsbane coated arrow would do serious damage to a werewolf. A gun would be better, but they couldn’t really sneak any of those. Nor did they know how to create wolfsbane bullets. So they practice shooting against targets and then scarecrows with nerf crossbows. Eventually, Stiles had snuck into his dad’s weapon shed and pilfered some real crossbows from there. John never really went in there, so Stiles knew he wouldn’t notice them missing for a while. Derek was able to, somehow, buy silver arrows from some sketchy dealer online. They would coat them with wolfsbane the night of the movie premiere. Stiles had to teach Scott to use a ranged weapon; he’d learned years ago from his own dad. Scott’s dad hadn’t taught him anything, other than how to wield a knife in an emergency.

He didn’t know if they were really ready to face Kate’s entire pack. But he felt far more ready than before. And he really liked spending time around Derek. He liked to think Derek was warming up to him and to Scott. He yelled at them a lot during their movie training montage days but there was something there.

Chapter Text

Some things couldn’t exactly be stored at the McCall house, which is how Stiles found himself in a precarious situation with his little sister. Jane had been mercilessly silent the last few days about everything that had gone down. She’d shockingly backed up his story about a lightsaber fight with Scott and hadn’t mentioned a thing about the murderous werewolf that rampaged through the house. She hadn’t seen all that much though, which Stiles was grateful for because he didn’t really want his baby sister developing PTSD at such a young age. But, he knew her silence wouldn’t last long.

When Stiles reached his room, Jane was perched on his bed waiting for him. He’d ran home with crossbow arrows bundled in his jacket, as he couldn’t get them all in his backpack. The shock of seeing his sister in his room, despite her knowing she was never allowed in without permission, made Stiles skid a halt and a few arrows dropped from his arms and clattered to the floor.

Jane tilted her head in curiosity. “Watcha got there, big brother?”

“Uh… nothing?” Stiles tried to pick up the arrows, but this only led to more falling out of his arms. He hastily kicked everything under the bed and stood back up. “Why are you in my room?”

His sister jutted out her lower lip. “You haven’t been home all week and I missed you. Plus, I knew I’d catch you doing something wrong at some point.”

“You’re too clever for an eight year old.”

“Why do you have arrows, Stiles? Did you steal them?”

“No, I got them online… They’re, uh, they’re for a school project.” That’s what they’d been telling John and Melissa, so he figured he’d keep up the lie with his nosy little sister.

“Stiles, I’m eight, not an idiot.”

“Jane, you’re eight, you don’t know how high school projects work.”

“Those are real arrows!”

“The movie needs to be realistic.”

Stiles couldn’t believe that he was having an argument with his kid sister, like she was his mom or something. Jane was staring him down and he could see the gears in her diabolical little brain moving as she tried to find some way to get him.

“You owe me.”

Shit. He did owe her. She’d said before he’d have to pay for her silence and she’d been silent for very long.

“I’ll give you $10 keep your mouth shut.”

“I don’t know. Don’t you think Dad wants to know the truth behind your door? Or where you’ve been all week?”

“$20.”

“I’ll take it.” She reached out and shook his hand. “Anyway, Dad’s calling Derek because he needs a babysitter for me tonight. He says because of the movie premiere tonight the town’s going to be a little crazy.”

“Oh shit, we’re going to have to leave you with Deaton again. We’re all supposed to go to the movie together.” He pulled out his phone to shoot Derek a warning text; they’d ended up exchanging numbers for the logistics of training.
Jane crossed her arms, eye narrowing. “I don’t like Deaton. He smells like wet dogs and he’s boring. I want to go to the movie.”

“No!” Stiles couldn’t help but yell. He couldn’t let his sister into the frenzy of everything. “I mean… We just don’t have enough tickets.”

“I’m so telling Dad.”

“$20, I’ll do all your chores for a month, and I’ll play DDR with you whenever you want.”

They shook on it again.

--

Derek found himself at the Stilinski house again, pretending to babysit Jane once more. He’d made small talk with John but he was itching with anxiety. He was well aware that the metaphorical timer was still ticking down to his potential death and the potential deaths of 200 innocent movie goers was on the horizon. Luckily, he had a slight reputation already for being a boy of few words, so John didn’t seem to catch on.

Scott was already over, as always, and he’d called his boss to come watch Jane again. Derek couldn’t understand why Scott’s boss of all people would willingly babysit some random kid. He’d never heard of an employer/employee relationship quite like that, but he didn’t really care to question it.

As the three of them prepared to leave, they gathered in the kitchen. Derek had advised both of the other boys on how to dress for combat and when they’d done the exact opposite, he’d dragged them upstairs to find new clothes. Stiles had reeked of embarrassment while Derek had gone through his clothes, which made him smirk. In the end, he’d managed to scrounge up outfits for the two boys to wear.

They went back downstairs to find that Deaton had arrived and was leaning against the kitchen counter. Scott greeted his boss with a wave and he motioned them to come closer. Derek was in no mood to delay leaving further, but there was a sense of urgency in the veterinarian's eyes. As they moved closer, he shifted over to reveal a duffel bag tucked behind his broad frame. He didn’t say a word, just rummaged through it and pulled out a set of daggers.

“Are those… silver?” Derek asked, recognizing the sheen immediately.

Deaton nodded. “Good eye… wolf.”

Derek bristled and he felt his eyes flash a challenge at the older man. Deaton just smiled in reply.

“May I ask what the fuck is going on?” Stiles interjected.

“If you’re going to be battling in close combat, you’re going to need these, those swords you stole from me won’t cut it.”

Stiles looked to his best friend, who was standing there with his mouth open. “Dude. Your boss is wild.”

“I have more things for you,” Deaton said, reaching once more into his bag. “For you, Scott, a spellbook.”

Scott reached forward to accept the small leather book, turning it over in his hand with a confused look on his face. “A spellbook?”

A small voice spoke up from behind them. “Mr. Deaton, are you a witch?”

They turned to find Jane perched on the kitchen table, eyes wide with curiosity. Derek cursed himself for not noticing her sneaking in.

Deaton smiled mischievously, walking over to Jane. “No child, not a witch. My kind are called druids, we’re different and far more fun than witches.” He tapped a drawing of Jane’s that was sitting on the table and it began to move. The girl on the page seemed to be laughing while the dog danced around her feet.

Jane’s eyes widened and she smiled brightly. “Scott’s boss ROCKS,” she declared. “Sorry I thought you were lame before.”

“I had to pretend to know nothing,” he told her, tapping the drawing so it stilled once more. “I couldn’t reveal myself until I was needed.”

It made sense that he would reveal himself tonight, of all nights. Derek wondered how much the man knew. Before he could ask though, Scott held up the spellbook once more. “Why did you give this to me?”

“Ah, Scott, my boy. I couldn’t tell you this until I felt you were ready. You have the makings of a first rate spellmaster.”

Scott looked pleased with himself, thumbing through the spellbook.

Deaton turned to Stiles next. “And the energies that Stiles has, he’s a seer. He sees the past, the present, the future.”

It made sense now, why Stiles had gotten visions. Derek hadn’t realized there was so much magic in the world, but if werewolves existed, than magic existing wasn’t very far fetched.

“What do you mean, a seer?” Stiles asked.

“Well, you’ve been getting visions, right? It was supposed to hit when you reached puberty, but you likely needed something to spur it. Another strong supernatural present, like your werewolf friend here. I could tell the first day Scott brought you by my shop, what you were. You have some of the strongest energies I’ve ever felt and they sparked to life the other day.”

Derek finally spoke up again. “So, as a druid, you can see our energies?”

Deaton nodded. “Certain energies give off certain colors.” He walked back over to the counter and handed out the silver knives to the other two boys. “These are imbued with magic and wolfsbane, so use them carefully.” The last thing he pulled out was a set of keys, which he tosses to Derek. “Remember, evil is always at a disadvantage. The Earth is good, you’re fighting on the right side. Yes, even you Derek. The wolf in you is good-hearted.”

They grabbed their final belongings and piled them into the car. Stiles loudly claimed shotgun and Scott sunk into the backseat without an argument. As they pulled out from the driveway, Stiles pulled up the notes he had on his phone about the night.

“One thing I found out, about the cubile animus, is that it’s some sort of… soul vacuum?” Derek noticed that Stiles licked his lips a lot, especially when he was doing research. Not that he was watching.

“A soul vacuum?” Scott inquired from the back, looking up from his spellbook for a moment. He look confused as he thumbed through it, trying to decipher the words.

“Yeah. I guess when it’s opened, it will be able to absorb the souls of the people in the room. You know in Harry Potter, when the dementors give you the kiss and suck out your soul? It seems like that. Except like, in this case, you actually have to die first so… potentially worse?”

“God,” Derek groaned, hitting his head on the back of the driver’s seat. “Kate is so evil, I can’t believe I wasted my first kiss and relationship on that bitch.”

Stiles looked at him, his mouth falling open. “She was your first kiss?! But you’re 17! I mean...you’re so pretty. I mean…” He had turned beet red and stunk of embarrassment. His mouth snapped shut as he looked firmly ahead.

Derek only rolled his eyes in response.

From the back Scott cried out, “Deaton couldn’t given me a book in English?!”

Derek snorted and they drove on in silence, something remarkable for both of the other boys but comfortable for Derek.

Chapter Text

They pulled up across the street from the movie theater, where Derek could see a large crowd gathered out front. A strawberry blonde was standing before the crowd and seemed to be scanning each person with magic as they walked in. She was flanked by two leather clad werewolves.

“Is that Lydia Martin?” Stiles asked, leaning forward in his seat to get a better view.

Derek nodded in confirmation. “She’s scanning people with her magics; we’ll need to sneak around back if we want to get in safely.”

He drove the car around the block, finding a relatively hidden parking spot on the street behind the theater. All three of them climbed out and began strapping on their gear. All three of them pulled on bags full of various weapons and pieces of their plans.

Scott was clutching his spellbook, brow furrowed. As they approached the theater, he gasped and both Derek and Stiles came to a halt, looking at him. “I found a spell to make werewolves disappear! I think…”

“Well, practice saying it!” Stiles prompted. “But first, Derek, step away.”

Derek tucked himself behind a tree while Scott stumbled over some Latin. He could tell he’d completely butchered it and his suspicions were confirmed when Scott cried out “dammit!”

“Way to go idiot, now you don’t have a spellbook.” Stiles wacked his best friend on the back of the head as Derek came back out from behind the tree.

“If you’re done being idiots,” Derek retorted. “We have a mission to get on with.”

The door to the back of the theater was propped upon, likely by some janitor who needed easy access to the dumpster by the door. The three of them crept in and waited until the lobby cleared out. They then parted ways, as was the plan. Derek would go into the theater to keep an eye on things. Stiles had a special mission in the utility room. And Scott would guard the entrance.

Derek stood in the front of the theater, off to the side of the screen and tried to listen to what Kate was saying. He found a place where he could blend into the shadows in his all black outfit but still be near the door in case of emergency.

Kate and her pack stood to back of the room, so Derek tuned his hearing towards them.

“Get ready to avenge your ancestors,” she said to the pack with a wicked smile.

Erica gave a dramatic yawn. “Can you say boring? When do we get to hunt?” A shiver ran down Derek’s spine, to hear his best friend of nearly 12 years be so cruel.

Kate glared in response to her packmate. “Patience, bitch. Souls first… snacking later. We have 219 guests here, my dears. You know what we must do.” She then sniffed the air, wrinkling her nose. Derek realized she could likely smell him and quickly dipped back behind the curtain and into the hall. He would come back in when the event started.

--

Stiles had successfully found his way to the utility room and busied himself with his task. “This better work,” he muttered, rummaging through his backpack for the supplies he needed.

--

Scott’s entire life had been turned around in one week. There were werewolves now, and his boss was a druid. He was supposed to be some powerful spellcaster, except he’d promptly made his spellbook disappear. And Stiles was a seer with freaky visions. This was not how he thought his sophomore year would be going.

Now, he was leaning up against the snack counter of the local movie theater. The guests had almost finished filing into the movie, only a few lingering for pictures with the cutouts of the Twilight characters or to get snacks. He’d adjusted his clothes so all of his weapons were hidden and was occupying himself watching the cute girl behind the counter as she worked.

“Popcorn?” Scott blinked, coming out of his thoughts. The pretty girl was right in front of him now. She had beautiful brown hair and a smile with dimples to match. “It’s on the house,” she offered. “Since you’re so cute.”

Scott felt himself go red and a tripped over his words at first. “Uh. Yeah. Uh. Large? You only live once.”

She smiled again. “Sounds good. I’m Allison, by the way.”

Scott tried to smile back. “Scott McCall.”

Allison busied herself getting him popcorn and his phone buzzed in his pocket.

(Bi)les (Bi)linski
Wolfsbane plan is in place.

Scott squared his shoulders. It was only beginning.

--

The pack had moved up front, to the screen. Derek ran along a side corridor and found a side entrance to the room, where he managed to slip back in unnoticed and sat next to a girl he recognized from his English class. She smiled sweetly at him and he swallowed nervously, wondering if she’d die before he could put an end to everything.

Erica stepped out ahead of the pack, spreading her arms in a welcoming gesture. Everyone behind her was wolfed out, but no one in the theater seemed particularly alarmed. Derek could hear whispers around him about cool special effects and people wondering where they could get glowing contacts like that. He heard one girl wonder when the head of the Twilight fan club had gotten so hot.

There was a very wicked smile on Erica’s face. “Welcome to the premiere of the final Twilight movie, Eclipse. It’s simply… to die for.” The pack behind her all laughed, drawing a wave of laughter from the crowd. If only they knew the truth.

“First, we’ll do the raffle,” Erica announced. Boyd stepped forward with a bag, which Erica rummaged around in dramatically. She pulled out a ticket and read the number out. “Ticket 205? Ticket 205!”

A girl in the back started shrieking. “I won! I won!” She ran forward to the front excitedly.

Derek’s heart jumped into his throat as he realized what was going to happen next, but he couldn’t stop it. Kate stopped the girl and before she had time to process the werewolf in front of her, Kate bite down. But this wasn’t a bite to turn her. No, Kate was ripping out her throat.

Instead of panicking, cries rose out of the crowd about the phenomenal theatrics the drama kids were putting on. The girl next to Derek turned to him excitedly, saying ““oh they must have picked her on purpose and planned this fake scene as a fun pre show! I’m so jealous, I would have loved to have been picked.”

He didn’t reply, instead staring ahead as Kate opened the ornate cubile animus and collected the girls soul. Derek felt frozen in horror. A few people around him started shifting uncomfortably, catching on that maybe this wasn’t all fun and game. Just then, a voice rose up from the back.

“Shit, a fire! Everybody needs to run,” Stiles yelled as the alarms started going off as planned. Scott would have found a way to pull the alarm.

The entire room erupted into a panic. People began running everywhere, trying to get out of the theater before they were trapped. Theater attendants were trying to calm the crowd, to no avail. Then, Kate unleashed her pack with a shout to kill them all before they could escape.

Derek sprung into action to protect as many people as he could. Before he could reach one girl, a wolf ripped into her and Derek watched as her soul was sucked up into the cubile animus. He launched himself onto the wolf and they battled it out in a war of teeth and claws. He managed to rip into the wolf severely enough to wound him and the kid backed off, blending into the crowd with a whimper.

Stiles was shooting wildly with his crossbow, but Derek was impressed. His aim was relatively true and he didn’t seem to be hitting any of the innocent humans in the room. As he watched Stiles, the other boy shouted something out, but Derek couldn’t hear over the panic of the crowd. Suddenly, anbolt whizzed past him and he spun around the see it hit a werewolf who’d be rearing up to attack him in the eye. The wolf pulled it out with a sickening pop and Derek swallowed the bile that rose up in his throat so that he could move to tear at the other wolf. There was no time for sensitivity in a fight.

He saw a total of five souls enter the cubile animus as they battled it out.

--

When Scott had seen Stiles enter the theater, he turned apologetically to Allison. “Uh, I have to do something a little weird.”

He had set down his backpack and pulled out a crossbow. The sword slid out as well, since they’d brought it as a precaution. Allison had backed up in terror as he vaulted himself over the counter. When he’d heard Stiles yell out “fire,” he quickly pulled the alarm. They knew the water system wouldn’t kick in until there was smoke and he hoped they wouldn’t need that at all.

All hell had broken loose and the girl behind him had unfrozen. Despite all the training, Scott just couldn’t aim the crossbow well and he kept almost missing the wolves as they chased people out of the theater.

Allison pulled on his arm. “Hey, try the sword.” She handed him his silver sword and he thanked her before vaulting over the counter once more. He slashed towards the wolf, slicing one in half with a sickening crunch.

Behind him, Allison cried out. A werewolf had dove towards her and she’s picked up the crossbow. Her bolts hit their mark 1, 2, 3 times and the werewolf shuddered before her. The fast acting wolfsbane on the silver arrows had done its job.

Scott rushed towards her, making sure she wasn’t injured, and he noticed that she was wearing a vintage Star Wars shirt. It totally wasn’t the time for this, but he didn’t care. “A girl who can shoot like that and loves Star Wars? You might just be perfect.”

She laughed shakily. “After whatever this is, take me on a date. But how about we try and survive first?”

Scott had his first kiss in that moment, impulsively leaning in. She kissed him deeply, before pushing him away.

“I said survive first.”

Scott left Allison with the crossbow and the sword. “Kill anything hairy.”

--

The crowd had pushed Stiles down and he’d lost his grip on the crossbow. As he straightened back up, he pulled one of the daggers strapped to his ankle from its sheath. A werewolf landed in front of him and then snorted out a laugh.

“A knife? Big fracking deal.”

Stiles spun the dagger in his hand, squaring up against the wolf. “Dude, you like Galactica?”

“Totally! Season three is the bomb, man.”

“No, wrong answer. Season four is the bomb! And this is no knife; it’s a silver dagger and it’s laced with wolfsbane.” With that, he moved forward, plunging his dagger deep into the chest of his fellow nerd. He pulled it out with a bloody squelching noise and groaned, wiping the blood on his pants. He still couldn’t find his crossbow, so he decided he’d have to continue on with the dagger instead.

Stiles ran through the crowd and saw a wolfed out figure ahead. As he raised his dagger to stab, the wolf turned around and Stiles recognized the curls of his friend.

Isaac held up his hands in surrender. “Uh… hey dude, I know you don’t like me the most, but no need to stab.”

“Why are you even here?”

“It was mandatory! But that doesn’t really matter, does it? Shouldn’t you be going after Kate and her box thing?”

Stiles raised up his dagger again and Isaac’s eyes went wide. But he threw it past him, where it lodged in the chest of a werewolf behind them that was about to pounce on an unsuspecting girl. He pulled another dagger from his pocket and shot a look at Isaac. “Hey Isaac, please don’t attack any humans.”

“I promise, I won’t. It sounds horrible, I swear.”

“Okay. Now just… go hide.”

He watched as his friend ran off and wished the curly haired weirdo had never gotten involved in the first place. Then, he spotted Kate sneaking off with the cubile animus in hand and moved to follow her, but instead was distracted by a scene with Derek. He remembered the exit she used so they wouldn’t lose her and moved towards Derek. He could see Scott headed that way as well.

--

Derek wound up killing. He didn’t want to, it wasn’t in his nature, but the fight had gotten heated, much like the fight with Jackson. He’d ripped out the wolf’s throat, watching as the light flickered from his eyes.

A voice tutted above him and he looked up to see the girl he’d once called his best friend. “This is no way to treat your pack,” she said in an admonishing tone.

Somehow, he’d ended up near the front, where the entire pack was. He glared at Erica, straightening up and wiping the blood from his face. “This will never be my pack,” he told her. Maybe he could appeal to her better nature, the friend he once had. “Erica, can’t you see this is wrong? This isn’t who you were supposed to be, this isn’t your nature.”

Erica’s eyes narrowed. “No, Derek, this is who I wanted to be...my whole life, I have been pushed around, bullied, laughed at...never again. I really don’t want to hurt you Derek. But if you get in the way, I’ll have to.”

She lunged forward, tackling him to the ground with a vicious snarl. She had the strength of an alpha, but clearly no one had thought to train her. Derek had gotten plenty of training in since becoming a wolf, determined to be strong enough to fight Kate. They grappled on the ground for a while, evenly matched. Erica’s eyes flashed wildly as she tried to tear into him. Eventually, he managed to pin her and she struggled against him, growling through her fangs.

“I’m not giving up on you,” Derek told her, blinking away the sweat dripping into his eye.

She whimpered in reply.

A shadow crossed over them as Boyd shouldered his way forward, growling protectively. “Let her go.”

“Over my dead body.”

Boyd lunged towards Derek, just as Scott appeared and stabbed towards him, tripping him up. His dagger clattered to the ground as Boyd grabbed him. He let out his claws and smirked down at Derek. “A brave geek is still just a geek. Let Erica go, or the geek dies.”

Stiles came forward, standing atop the back of the theater seats with a knife drawn. Boyd dug his claws further into Scott’s neck as a warning, so instead Stiles threw his knife to the ground. But he wasn’t giving up. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a lighter.

Boyd looked at him, clearly confused and unsure if he should kill Scott. Derek didn’t loosen his grip on Erica, but sighed deeply. “On to plan B?”

“On to plan B,” Stiles replied. He flicked on his lighter, holding it up to the smoke alarm. That was all the theater’s system needed for the emergency water system to spring to life.

From the sprinklers came something that was not water, but an extremely potent wolfsbane solution that was created to quickly kill off werewolves. The pack would be soaked in it and any with injuries would likely instantly die as it entered their bloodstream. Derek felt some splash on his hands and hissed in pain, releasing Erica quickly. Stiles jumped down from his seat and threw his jacket over Derek, he could feel himself getting weak from the small amounts of solution that had hit him. Boyd dropped Scott, who hit his head hard against a seat and seemed to almost pass out. Stiles then grabbed his best friend, managing to carry him (where did he have the muscle strength?) as they made an escape. Derek hoped weakly in the back of his mind that Erica would survive the incident. She’d been near enough to exit and he’d never wanted her to die.
--

They made it outside and around to the back. Stiles felt every muscle in his body groaning as he carried Scott to the car and he shoved him in the backseat.

“Derek, we need to leave.”

The werewolf groaned weakly. “I’m not going to be able to make it.”

“You’re not dying on me.”

“I need to recuperate. You need to go on without me, get Scott to Deaton to get checked out. I’ll recover.”

“I’m not leaving you.” Stiles was adamant; Derek was an idiot if he thought he was being left behind.

But then, despite his weakened state, Derek roared up at him. “You’re leaving me here, you’re getting to safety, and that’s an order.”

Stiles backed away, feeling some strange urge to bare his neck in submission. He could have sworn Derek’s eyes flashed red. Could werewolves become an alpha without turning another wolf? Had Derek made a pack out of Stiles and Scott instead?

He’d do the research later, he decided, climbing into the car and pulling away. Derek looked small again, but Stiles guessed he couldn’t worry about that.

Chapter Text

Scott was in the backseat, mumbling something about a girl named Allison, sharpshooters, Star Wars, and first kisses. Stiles tried to get him to talk about something that made sense, but he was far too out of it. So instead, Stiles combed over all of his recent visions in his mind, trying to make sense of anything that might help them stop Kate’s plan. As he thought through them, he voiced them to Scott, who was no help… at first.

“I think, in one vision, I saw an orchard,” he told Scott, turning into their neighborhood.

“Mm,” Scott replied. “We live on Orchard Park! I should tell Allison, she could visit us.”

“Scott, I still don’t know who -” Stiles cut himself off. An image from his visions flashed before his eyes. An old tree, in the park behind Scott’s house. Kate, standing before it, facing him down. “I know this tree.”

He pushed down on the gas, speeding towards the street that Scott had grown up on. He slammed on the breaks and turned to look at Scott. “You need to stay here. I’m pretty sure you’re concussed and I’m going to tell Deaton to come help you.”

Scott’s phone had fallen to the ground and Stiles scooped it up, inputting in his best friend’s passcode. He located Deaton’s number and prayed that the druid had a phone capable of texting. He shot him a quick text, explaining the situation and telling him where they were. After that, he sucked in a breath, steeling himself for the fight ahead. He couldn’t face Kate, he knew this. But he only had to hope that Derek that would recover and come to help him.

He grabbed the remaining daggers from Scott and left the car behind. He cut through the back of Scott’s yard and into the park behind the house. Kate was standing under the large tree, running her hands along the trunk. She turned towards him when he approached.

“Funny how they name streets after what they tore down to build them. This used to be my orchard; one of my favorite spots to hunt until your idiot ancestors burned my pack alive.” Her smile seemed almost sad. If she wasn’t so evil, perhaps Stiles would have found it in him to pity her.

“You know, I probably wasn’t related to any of them,” he quipped. He’d be sarcastic to the end.

Kate ignored him, continuing on as if he hadn’t spoken. “You and my pitiful ex-boyfriend ruined my plans tonight, but not all was lost. I collected a few dozen souls tonight; I had no hesitations in collecting the souls of the pack members you idiots managed to take out.. They were nothing to me, nothing like the pack I will be resurrecting with the souls I have collected. I’m going to call forward the strongest werewolves in history. And with my real pack by my side, I will break the curse set on me. We will rule once more and we will die by one another’s side. I was cursed with immortality. I have lived and been reborn too many times, dying only of natural deaths. But now my pack will be here and I will finally be free.”

That explained how she’d stayed alive so long; a curse. When Stiles had looked her up, there had been a birth certificate. She had been born an Argent, but he’d thought maybe she’d faked it.

“You’ll be our first prey.” Kate turned her glowing red eyes back on him.

Stiles had to fight, it wasn’t in him to let this happen. He drew one of the silver wolfsbane infused daggers. “I’m going to reunite you with your pack, but not in this life.”

Kate just laughed as he lunged forward, easily knocking the dagger from his hand. “Pitiful.” She pushed him to the ground, stepping hard on his chest with her heeled boots. “You know, I knew your grandfather’s grandfather. He was a loser, too.”

From the shadows, Scott came barreling towards Kate like an oaf. Clearly Stiles had not gotten through his concussed brain to stay in the car. But he completely missed, tripping over his own dazed feet and falling to the ground next to Stiles. Kate just laughed, grinding her heel deeper into Stiles’s chest, causing him to wheeze in pain. At least if he was going to die, he was going to die with Scott by his side.

Above him, Kate held up the chest towards the moon, which was becoming fully eclipsed. She began a chant, crying out to the sky.

“The hour of rebirth has come. My pack, my brothers and sisters...arise!”

Dark energies began rolling off of her. Stiles wondered weakly if these were what Deaton could see around people all the time. The blackness surrounding her was becoming oppressive and if Kate’s heel hadn’t already been choking him, he thought the thickness of the actual, real life evil would be doing the trick.

Another shape came barreling out of nowhere, but this one was all leather and fangs and claws. Derek Hale charged towards his ex-girlfriend, snarling in hatred. But Stiles could see he was still weakened. The shock of the werewolf appearing caused Kate to shift, releasing Stiles from under her foot. He rolled over to catch his breath and put his body between Scott and the horrors happening above them. Stiles watched helplessly as Kate, empowered by the energies surrounding her, slammed Derek into the tree, holding him up by his neck. He struggled against her, snapping his fangs as she laughed. Stiles couldn’t help but think she’d perfected her Disney villain laugh.

But Kate had made a mistake. In attacking Derek, she’d dropped the cubile animus and it bounced to a stop by Stiles. He picked it up and pushed himself to his feet, powered completely by adrenaline and not wanting to see his crush die. (He’d have to address mentally calling Derek his crush later, now was not the time).

“Hey Kate, I have your friends.” She snapped her head around, eyes narrowing as he brandished the box.

“Well, I have your babysitter.”

From the ground, Scott hazily retorted “he’s Jane’s babysitter.”

A burst of fondness for his best friend bubbled in Stiles’s chest as he stared Kate down. Her grip on Derek’s throat tightened, drawing blood, and he started to choke.

Scott spoke again, this time urgently, Derek’s pain seemingly jerking him out of his haze in some way. “Stiles… give her the box.”

“What?! No, Scotty, no we can’t let her win.”

“She’s going to kill Derek, and then probably us. Don’t you see the urgency here? Because I somehow do.”

“Listen to your friend,” Kate warned. “Or I snap Derek’s neck.”

Stiles could feel his heart pounding, threatening to escape his chest. “I…”

Before he could make a choice, the sound of a window being slammed open rang through the silence. Stiles looked up and over to the house to see Deaton clutching his sister’s hand and leaning out of the window of one of Scott’s upstairs rooms. He couldn’t make out what they were saying from this far away, but he could sense the power radiating from them. They continued chanting as Kate yelled at Stiles to give her the box.

Suddenly, a bolt of lightning came crashing down, hitting only Kate but sending electric waves traveling towards all of them. She let out an inhuman and blood-curdling scream as she dropped Derek. He rolled away from her, gasping for air and looking at Stiles with panicked eyes.

Somehow, he knew what to do. He flung the box open, releasing the souls trapped inside. They rushed forward, silvery and white and full of anger. Stiles averted his gaze. Kate might be evil, but he couldn’t stand to watch someone else die today. Instead, he crouched next to Scott, checking his head wound again. But he could hear Kate’s agony as she was consumed by the vengeful souls trapped within the box.

Derek crawled over and put his hand on Stiles’s shoulder. He was numbly aware this was the first time Derek had willingly touched him as a friend. The three of them stayed crouched there until Deaton and Jane came forward. Deaton checked on Scott while Jane pulled her big brother into a bone-crushing hug. Derek moved away, checking on the remains of his ex-girlfriend, hopefully the last of her they’d ever see.

Chapter Text

Derek Hale found himself back in the Stilinski house after an exhausting night, as he still needed to pretend he’d been babysitting the entire night. Scott was safely at his house, his boss looking after him. He’d used some magic to instantly fix Scott’s concussion but needed to ensure it had taken hold. Stiles had gone upstairs when they’d come home to tuck Jane in. He hadn’t come back down. Derek could faintly hear him upstairs, talking softly to his sister while she struggled to fall asleep. The eight-year-old would likely suffer from nightmares in the upcoming weeks. They all would.

He sat in the armchair and pulled a blanket over himself to hide his bloodstained clothes. He was terrified the sheriff would somehow know what had happened and know of his involvement in it all. Derek was hired to keep Jane (and Stiles) safe and at home. They were supposed to play DDR and eat Mac n Cheese, not almost die and cast spells.

The key turned in the lock and John came in, accompanied by Melissa McCall. There was pain radiating off of John and Derek had to stop himself from rushing forward to find out. Instead, he nervously pulled the blanket higher up, looking sleepy. “Wild night?” he inquired.

John held up his arm, encased in a cast, with a sad look on his face. “I managed to trip over a branch on my patrol and they took me to the hospital.”

“Where I was his brave nurse and brought him home,” Melissa added with a smile.

“I’ll have to check in at the station tomorrow,” John said. “I don’t know if there was any trouble in town and right now, I’m so hopped up on painkillers I don’t care. How was your night, son. Any trouble?”

“Eh, it was pretty much dead.” Derek smirked at his own pun.

“Where are the kids,” Melissa asked.

“Oh, your son went home early, I kicked him out to do homework. And Stiles is putting Jane to bed.”

“I should head home, too. John, you okay?” Melissa asked, turning towards the sheriff in concern.

He smiled in reply. “I’m going to check on my kids and then pass out.”

“Do you mind if I stay a while?” Derek asked, careful not to move the blanket. He knew if he got up, they’d see the blood all over him. There hadn’t been a chance to change out of his ripped combat clothes, the bruises around his throat were still healing, and there was definitely blood caked under his nails. He’d thought up an excuse already. “All of us kids are out of the house tonight and I’d promised my parents I’d make myself scarce for a while, but you came home a little early.”

John nodded. “That’s fine, you can let yourself out. Use the spare key under the rock to lock the door behind you.”

--

Stiles and Scott met up with Derek in front of the school the next morning. The bruises and cuts around his neck had healed nicely and he’d managed to clean the blood out of his nails. Scott was cured of his concussion, thankfully. Stiles still had to meet up with Deaton to get checked out, but he thought he might want to keep some of his injuries. They’d make for cool scars.

The principal was making a bullshit announcement that played over the loudspeakers. He was discussing the “movie debacle,” making statements about faulty 3D glasses and claiming no more weird outbursts should continue. It really spoke to the willful ignorance of the average human that the students around them were nodding and just accepting it. Stiles wondered how he would explain the deaths.

“How’re you feeling,” he asked Derek when the werewolf reached him. “Wasn’t last night when your timer was supposed to ding.”

Derek raised an eyebrow at the stupidity of his statement, but he also gave him a reassuring and rare smile. “I feel pretty alive. Maybe my curse was lifted when Kate died. Or maybe it never existed in the first place.”

Scott held up his fist for a pound, which Derek very slowly and reluctantly reciprocated. Stiles let out a loud whoop in response. They were totally becoming a pack.

In the distance, Stiles noticed Erica climbing out of a car and he nudged Derek in the ribs. Derek smiled an uncertain smile in her direction. Boyd climbed out of the car as well. Stiles was surprised to see him alive and hoped the duo wasn’t going to cause trouble for them in the future. The three of them watched as Erica and Boyd walked across the parking lot and joined Isaac. Stiles thought he might miss having Isaac in his friend group, just a little bit. But he was glad he’d found friends.

Derek excused himself and headed hesitantly towards the three in the distance. Erica broke off from the group and they stopped to talk. Stiles hoped it would go well.

Scott noticed a curly haired brunette in the distance and pulled Stiles towards her. Stiles shook him off. “I’m not really in a people mood, but go say hi.”

They stopped close enough for Stiles to hear snippets of their conversation.

“I never got your last name,” Scott said to her. Stiles guessed this was the Allison he’d mumbled about. “Are you new here?”

“Oh… it’s Argent. My Dad and I had just moved into this school district to live with my aunt. She’s actually our age… but she went missing last night?”

Stiles backpedaled away at that. He knew that Kate had been a resurrected spirit and that this girl probably didn’t get her whole… crazy thing, but if they were related he wanted no part of that mess for a while.

He shot Scott and Derek texts, saying he’d catch them at lunch, and head inside to his locker. As he touched the front door of the school, he had another vision. This vision was long and intense.

There was Deaton, saying “an empty dead body is a demon’s playground.”

He saw Isaac kissing a cheerleader who looks suspiciously like Scott.

Stiles saw himself in one of those stupid wrestling headpieces.

There was a very hairy werewolf and he had both Stiles and Scott in a headlock.

Scott zooming by in a go-kart.

Derek with his signature grouchy face, hair all crazy in a way Stiles knew he’d never let happen.

The very weird occurrence of Isaac kissing Erica.

Scott in a powder blue tux, of all things.

And Derek, slow dancing with Stiles.