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The Nature Of My Game

Chapter Text


  

The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for.”

- Bob Marley

 


 

Stiles wasn’t having a great evening up until now, because of the whole, you know, Parish-is-taking-the-dead-chimeras thingy, but Theo’s decision to finally show his true colors wasn’t making it any better. At all.

He closed his eyes and forced himself to take a deep breath. Of course he’d been right. He shouldn’t have stopped investigating Theo, and now that he’d let his guard down, it came back to bite him in the ass.

“You know, Stiles, I never lied about why I came to Beacon Hills,” Theo said, while taking a step in Stiles’ direction. Stiles took a step back. “I’m here for a pack. I came for the were coyote, the one whose first instinct is to kill.” He took another step forward. An uneasy feeling settled itself in Stiles’ stomach. He didn’t like where this was going. “I came for the banshee, the girl surrounded by death. I came for the dark kitsune, the beta with anger issues, I came for Void Stiles. That’s the pack I want.” Stiles stood with his back against the wall now.

“How am I of any use to you?” Stiles said, really hoping Theo hadn’t noticed the slight hitch in his voice. God, he hated this guy. “The nogitsune is gone, I don’t have any powers.”

“Yes,” Theo said, and his eyes briefly flickered to Stiles' lips. Did he just imagine that? No, there's no way. Stiles was suddenly very aware of how close he was, and even though Stiles was taller than him, he felt extremely small and vulnerable. He pushed his back against the wall in an attempt to get as far away from Theo as possible. “That may be true, but you’ve still got more blood on your hands than any of us.” And with those words, Theo grabbed Stiles’ face with both hands and pressed their lips together.

For a solid three seconds, Stiles was too surprised to move. Once the shock wore off, he tried to push away from Theo, but Theo held his face in some sort of death grip. So, Stiles tried something else; he punched him in the jaw as hard as he could. Theo slammed into the ground, and Stiles felt kind of proud he’d managed to pull that off. But that didn’t last long, because almost immediately Theo jumped to his feet, spit on the ground, and laughed. “There he is!” Theo yelled, and Stiles shrunk back. “That’s Void Stiles. It felt good, didn’t it?” Stiles briefly wondered if he was talking about the kiss, or the punch, but he could guess, because then Theo came at him again. He put his hands up to try and defend himself, or, best-case scenario, maybe fight the son of a bitch off, but Theo grabbed his wrists and pinned his arms above his head. Stiles’ eyes widened in fear, and Theo smirked. He could feel Theo’s breath on his face as he came closer, which sickened him, so before Theo could press their lips together again, Stiles turned his head away. But Theo didn’t go for his lips, he went for his neck, while pressing their bodies together. No matter how hard Stiles tried to move, he wasn’t strong enough. His stomach turned.

“Theo, Theo don’t-” Stiles tried to squirm away, but he couldn’t move an inch. “Please, stop, please, Theo-” Theo did stop, which gave Stiles a spark of hope.

“I think we’re almost out of time anyways,” Theo sighed, and that spark died instantly. He grabbed Stiles’ arm and started dragging him to his car. Stiles knew he wasn’t going to get out of this. Theo was way stronger than he was, plus, the fangs. But Stiles wasn’t going to come quietly.

Stiles waited for Theo to loosen his grip on his arm, even for a little, and when that moment came, he ripped his arm away and started sprinting towards the road. “Scott!” He screamed at the top of his lungs, hoping he would hear him. “Scott, help! Scott!” He heard Theo growl behind him. Oh God, oh God, Stiles thought, and he tried to run even faster, while trying to suppress the panic that was rising in his chest. “Scott, please he-”

Suddenly, Stiles slipped, and fell. He tried to scramble to his feet, but Theo had already reached him. “You’re making this way too easy,” Theo said, and kicked him in his stomach. Stiles doubled over in pain. “But I can’t have you screaming like that again.” Stiles looked up at him, arms clutching his stomach. Theo raised his fist, and before Stiles could even put up his arms to block it, he punched him in his face. He didn’t expect it to hurt this much, but it did. He could only describe the pain like fireworks, but not at all beautiful, just agonizing. His vision blurred, but the pain wasn’t enough to knock him out.

“Please…” He muttered. Theo’s eyes glowed, and Stiles saw him raise his fist again, so he squeezed his eyes shut, waiting for the blow. It was even more excruciating than the last one. Stiles felt himself slip away.

 


 

There were a lot of things Scott wanted to be doing right now: stopping Malia from killing her mother, getting Kira back, stopping Theo from doing more damage, or making things up with Stiles. Fighting his own enraged beta during a super moon was not one of them. And yet, here he was, fighting for his life, trying not to die at Liam’s hands.

“I can’t let you kill me,” Scott said, his lungs still burning from the wolfsbane in his inhaler. He turned towards the window and breathed in slowly, letting the power of the super moon run through his veins. He immediately felt better. But before he could turn around to face Liam, he heard something. Or rather, someone.

“Scott!”

Scott froze. He knew that voice. Was that… Stiles?

Liam roared and started charging at him, but Scott didn't want to deal with him anymore. He grabbed Liam’s shirt, slammed him down into the ground and roared as hard as he could. Liam whined and almost instantly turned back to human.

Huh, He thought, didn’t know I could do that.

“Liam, shut up for a second.” He ran back to the windows and opened one, perking his ears. There it was again! He heard it clearer now.

“Scott, help! Scott! Scott, please, he-”

Stiles went quiet, and Scott’s heart rate accelerated. He needed to get to him, right now. He sprinted to the entrance of the library, and started banging his fists on the wall of mountain ash.

“Stiles!” He yelled, “Stiles, I’m coming!” He couldn’t get through. He wouldn’t reach Stiles in time. He would lose him too- “Goddamnit!” He yelled. Very frustrated, he tried kicking the wall, but that didn’t work either. He took a few steps back, and charged, but all that got him was a very painful shoulder. Scott could feel Liam watching him, but he ignored him. He got up to try again, and started running, but right before he hit it, Mason came running through the door. Scott almost crashed into him, which caused Mason to let out a surprised yelp.

“Scott! What’s going on? What happened?” His eyes flickered to Liam, who was still sitting on the ground, a little dazed.

“I’ll explain later. Stiles is in trouble, you need to break the line,” Scott replied quickly, and Mason looked at him, a confused look on his face. “The mountain ash, break the line of mountain ash!” He clarified. Mason nodded, looked down, and spotted the line. He kicked it open. Liam stood up and jogged towards the two of them. He looked scared, but Scott doubted that that was because of him. 

“Is Hayden-” Liam started to say, but Mason interrupted him.

“She’s alive, Liam. Melissa saved her.” Liam relaxed visibly, and Scott felt relieved (and a little proud, because come on, his mom was a freaking badass) too, but then his mind snapped back to Stiles.

“We need to leave,” Scott said, and the two younger boys nodded. Together, they ran to Mason’s car.

Ten minutes later, they were driving in the direction from where Scott had heard Stiles scream. Scott was hanging out of the window, trying to catch a scent. Liam was calling Stiles for the fourteenth time, but he wasn’t getting ahold of him, which made them all considerably more agitated than they already were.

"So Theo is a chimera too," Mason said, and Liam nodded. "And he wants to take Scott's power."

"Yeah, by having me kill him, and then by killing me," Liam added. He hung up the phone again when it went to voicemail for the fifteenth time, and then started another call.

"Okay, makes sense. Makes sense. But shouldn't you maybe, I don't know," Mason said.

"Maybe what?" 

"Apologize for trying, dude," Mason whispered. Liam went silent. Scott acted like he hadn't heard them; They'd handle that later, and besides, this wasn't the time nor the place. 

They had been going for a while when they passed the sheriff’s station, and Scott picked up on something. “Mason, stop!” He yelled. Mason immediately slammed on the brakes, causing all three of them to be thrown forward. Scott opened his door and bolted in the direction of the impound lot next to the Sheriff's Station, Mason and Liam right behind him. Suddenly, about halfway there, he stopped dead in his tracks, causing Liam to bump into him.

“What, did you find something?” Liam asked, and Scott nodded. He searched the ground with his eyes, looking for the source of the strong scent. They landed on a few seemingly black drops. Slowly, he bent down, and touched it with his fingers. The liquid wasn’t black; it was red. Blood. Liam inhaled sharply.

“Do you think it’s Stiles’?” Mason whispered. Scott didn’t answer. It probably was, and he was pretty sure they all knew it. He stood up, ran further until he reached the lot, and tried to find another lead. Just something, anything, that could help them find Stiles. When he walked onto the lot though, a very strong burning smell reached his nose, drowning out all the others. Crap.

“He was following Parrish,” Scott mumbled.

“But Parrish is just taking the bodies of supernatural beings,” Mason remarked, “If Stiles had gotten in his way, Parrish wouldn’t have taken him.” Scott nodded. Mason had a point, but that made everything much more complicated.

“So who did take him?” Scott sighed.

“Hey, guys, I think I’ve got something here,” Liam called. He’d almost forgotten he was there. Mason and Scott ran up to him. “Someone spit on the ground here. And there’s a little bit of blood in it too. It smells different then the blood back there.” So Stiles fought. Of course he did. Scott’s head started spinning a little. All of this was his fault. If only he had listened to Stiles, if only he hadn’t gotten into that situation with Liam, hadn’t trusted Theo-

Scott stopped blaming himself for a second.

Theo.

Chapter Text

Stiles! Stiles, wake up.

Stiles groaned and turned on his side in an attempt to get away from the voice. “Dad, c’mon, ‘m tired.”

“Stiles, open your damn eyes, or I’m going to make sure you’re not waking up at all!”

Wait. That wasn’t his dad’s voice. And he wasn’t in his bed either! He slowly opened his eyes and blinked a couple of times so he could get used to the bright lights that were right in his face. His head started throbbing, and he let out a small whimper. Goddamn, what did he get himself into this time? He tried to get up, but he couldn’t move his arms, as his wrists were zip tied to some sort of pipe above his head. Pulling free wasn’t an option, he figured, because he wasn’t a powerful supernatural being, so instead he looked around for another way out. Instead, he saw an operation table, and a huge glass cube filled with green liquid and a person-like figure. It seemed that he was in some sort of laboratory.

“Stiles, over here!” Stiles turned his head. At the other end of the room was a girl, who was also tied up. He had to look twice before he recognized her.

“Lydia?” He asked in disbelief. “What- where are we?”

“I have no clue where we are,” She said, pursing her lips. “But that’s not really the priority here, is it? Why did Theo take you? What did he do to you?” That’s right, Theo brought him here. Stiles sat up straight with his side against the wall, and he pulled his legs to his chest as he tried to recall what happened to him. It was still a little cloudy, and his headache wasn’t helping.

“I- I think he was planning something, and didn’t want me to tell Scott. And about this,” He gestured at the bruises on his face, “I started calling for Scott to come help me, so he knocked me out.” He left out the part where Theo had kissed him. Even though he knew it was bullshit to be ashamed of something like that, his cheeks still burnt with embarrassment at the thought of it. He tried to hide it by looking away, but Lydia, being Lydia, immediately noticed something was wrong.

“What? Did something else happen?” She asked, “Stiles, what else did he do?”

“I, uhm- He-,” He stammered, “He kissed me.” The last part was more of a whisper, but Lydia heard it, alright. Her jaw almost literally dropped to the floor.

“He did what?” She hissed, and Stiles cringed. Her eyes were narrowed, and her face reddened. This was a side of Lydia he had never really seen before, and it kind of scared him. Sure, he’d seen her angry, outraged even, but this was on a whole new level.

“He w-was trying to get a reaction out of me, to get ‘Void Stiles’ out, so he started kissing me and- and feeling me up,” He said quietly.

“Yeah, and I bet you liked it.”

Stiles and Lydia both jumped and looked behind them. Theo had returned, and he did not look happy. Lydia stood up and violently pulled on the zip ties on her wrists. Stiles thought at first that she was scared, but then he saw the look on her face.

“You son of a bitch! Don’t you dare touch him again, I will kill you!” She yelled, but Theo just scoffed, and slowly walked over to Stiles. Stiles fixed his eyes on the ground to avoid Theo’s gaze. Theo grabbed Stiles’ chin and forced him to look at him. “You asshole, I said don’t touch him!” Lydia screamed, but Theo ignored her.

“You screwed everything up, Stiles,” Theo said calmly. “Liam was supposed to kill Scott, so I could take his power. But it seems like your little act back at the impound lot ruined that.”

Theo was too close. Get away from me, Stiles thought, and he tried to move his head away from his grip, but Theo wasn’t letting him. Stiles desperately tried to stay calm, because there was no way in hell he was going to show that asshole how scared he was.

“I guess it’s partially my fault too,” Theo went on, “I should’ve known you were going to pull some shit like that. You always were kind of annoying, even back in fourth grade. I wonder what the Dread Doctors could possibly want you for.”

Stiles’ blood turned to ice. Lydia, who had been yelling threats to Theo in the background, went quiet.

“Oh, did I not mention that?” He laughed. “How stupid of me. The only reason you are here is because they wanted you here for an experiment. Isn’t that exciting?” Stiles stared at him with wide eyes, completely in shock. This couldn’t be happening.

“Now as for you,” Theo said, turning to Lydia. He stood up and walked towards her. “I need a pack, but in order to get one, I need to know where the Nemeton is.” Lydia lifted her chin and looked at him. For a moment, Stiles thought she was actually going to tell him, but then she spat Theo in his face.

“Go to hell!” She sneered. Theo aggressively wiped the saliva from his face.

“You are going to tell me, Lydia,” Theo hissed. He turned on his heels and stomped back to Stiles. “Luckily, we have a lot of time, because there’s no way Scott can track you both here.” To Stiles’ surprise, Theo cut the ties around his wrists. He immediately tried to scramble backwards, but Theo grabbed him and shoved him against the wall. A malicious smile spread across the boy’s face.

“Let’s get comfortable, shall we?” Theo said, and he pushed his body against Stiles’s. Theo didn’t stop smiling, and pressed his lips on Stiles’ own. Stiles wanted to throw up. He pursed his lips together. Maybe, if he didn’t comply, Theo would just go away, and maybe Scott would get there in time to save them both.

“You son of a bitch, when I get out of this, I’m going to rip your head off!” Lydia screamed. Theo didn’t seem too bothered by her threats. Worse still, his hands were suddenly everywhere. Stiles tried pushing them away, but they kept coming back, and there was no stopping it. Theo stopped making out with him, and continued to kiss his neck. Stiles’ eyes burned, and he desperately attempted to suppress his tears. But then, Theo was trying to get his belt off, and he realized what was going to come next. He whimpered, an his breath quickened. Please, dear God, no. His throat tightened and he started trembling, completely overwhelmed by fear. A loud sob escaped his throat, and he squeezed his eyes shut as the tears started running down his cheeks.

“Okay!”

Theo stopped, and turned his head around, questionably looking at the girl on the other side of the room. Stiles stared at her as well, tears still flowing out of his eyes. The determined look on Lydia’s face sent a shiver down his spine, and he immediately knew what she was going to do.

“I’ll take you to the Nemeton.”

 


 

Panic is rarely a good thing. That’s what Scott’s mother used to tell him. If you’re ever in a stressful situation, it can be very damaging to start panicking. Because you see, if you do that, you’ll make decisions you’ll almost certainly regret later. So whatever you do, his mom had said, if you’re ever in a situation like that, keep yourself together, and do not panic.

Scott was panicking.

He didn’t know what to do. They wouldn’t find Theo, he would lose his best friend, and it was all his fault. He had started pacing up and down, while Mason and Liam just stood there helplessly.

“Scott, we need to do something,” Mason said. Scott stopped walking.

“Yeah, but what?” He growled, and his eyes flared red. Liam shrunk back with a small whine, but Mason didn’t seem impressed. He even rolled his eyes at him. For some reason, that annoyed the hell out of him.

“I don’t know, man! Something!” Scott glared at him and went back to pacing. Mason sighed.

“Can’t Lydia find him? She’s a banshee, right?” Mason asked, but Scott shook his head.

“Her powers don’t work like that.”

“What if we went back to the hospital? Maybe Hayden or Mrs. McCall’ll know what to do,” Liam suggested, and Scott stopped pacing again to stare at Liam. He hadn’t even thought of that!

“That’s actually not a bad idea, Liam,” He said. A look of pride briefly flickered over the young beta’s face. “Let’s go.”

 


 

“What do you mean, he tried to kill you?” Mellisa hissed, her arms crossed and a deadly stare in her eyes. Scott ran his hand through his hair, and reluctantly looked at his mother. They were standing in the hallway, while Liam and Hayden were reuniting in the hospital room. Scott and his mother both knew, however, that Liam could hear every word.

“Well, he didn’t mean-”

“He tried to actually kill you?”

“Mom, there was a super moon-”

“I don’t care if there was a super moon, Scott!”

“Mom, we need to focus on Stiles! We don’t know where Theo took him, and God knows what’ll happen to him if we don’t reach him in time!” Scott sighed. Melissa looked at him with a bewildered look on her face. “I can deal with what happened later. Is Hayden strong enough to come with us?” Melissa stared at him.

“Are you serious? She almost died, she can’t run off to fight evil scientists right now! And frankly, neither can you,” She said. Scott furrowed his brows. This time, it was her turn to sigh. “Scott, you’re not strong enough to be a hero today. You’re still weakened by the wolfsbane.”

“The super moon is still out there, mom, I think I can handle myself. Stiles needs me.” Melissa fell silent. She knew she couldn’t stop her son from putting himself in danger.

“Fine. Take Hayden, but only so you won’t be alone with that beta of yours.” Scott nodded eagerly, ignoring how she spat out the word ‘beta’. He turned around and went back inside the hospital room. Hayden, Liam and Mason were quietly talking, and it almost seemed like they hadn’t picked up on anything that went down between Scott and his mom, but when Melissa entered, he saw Liam cringe a little. Scott smirked.

“Alright, we need to get moving.”

 


 

Stiles didn’t think he had ever been this scared in his entire life. Lydia had gone with Theo, and he knew she probably wasn’t going to come back. He didn’t want to lose another person he cared about. (His fault, stupid, failure.) Theo’s advances had made him even more vulnerable, disgusted, and scared of what was going to happen once he returned, especially now that there was nobody around to watch. (disgusting, pathetic, weak.) And then there was Theo’s slip-up that revealed Stiles was going to be the Dread Doctors’ new project.

He realized that even the nogitsune was no match for this, because back then, at least he knew his friends were doing everything in their power to save him. Now, they probably hadn’t even realized he was gone. He was alone.

Theo had tied his hands back up before he left, so now he was just sitting on the floor, his wrists bloody and hurting from trying to pull free, and sobbing uncontrollably.

He couldn’t take it anymore.

He knew he wasn’t going to die, but at this point he didn’t know if that was a good thing. He was and always would be a part of the supernatural world, but he didn’t want it like that. And what would become of his dad? If Theo was even going to let him leave, he wouldn’t be himself anymore. The tears hadn’t stopped flowing, and he didn’t know if they ever would. He closed his eyes.

He was tired.

Chapter Text

Stiles was dreaming. The atmosphere was nice and warm, and he felt a little fuzzy, but he was aware he wasn’t awake.

He was sitting on the couch in Lydia’s lake house, with his friends, but not really his friends. It took him a while to see, but eventually he noticed they had no faces. All of them, except Lydia. She looked different, somehow, like she radiated something that looked like an aura of light, and it had a strange calming effect on him. She smiled softly.

“Stiles, I need to tell you something,” She spoke. Stiles stared at her, and tried to ignore the others, who were looking at him. Well, looking wasn’t really the right word, because they had, you know, no faces. They didn’t appear to be moving or speaking, but he still felt a little uneasy. “I’m not part of your dream. This is the real me talking to you.” Strangely enough, he had no trouble believing her. Talking through dreams was new, but she hadn’t discovered the limit of her banshee-powers yet, so it was likely that this was really Lydia he was talking to. “I’m okay. I’ll save you the details, but Scott found me. I don’t know where you are, because Theo blindfolded me when we went out, but we will find you. Do you understand?”

“Yes,” He whispered. Lydia closed her eyes and exhaled, a relieved look on her face. Then, the room started to darken, and Lydia’s eyes shot open again.

“Scott told me to say something else,” She said, “He, and I, for that matter, wants you to know that whatever happens, whatever the Dread Doctors or Theo do to you, we will always love you. We would never hate you for something that someone else did to you. Okay?” A warm feeling spread in Stiles’ chest, and he smiled. Of course he knew that, but actually hearing it from them was relieving.

“Thanks,” He said. Lydia smiled back. The darkness was almost closing in on him now, but right before he slipped away, Lydia’s smile disappeared, and she got an empty look in her eyes.

“Wake up, Stiles,” She said, “They’re back.”

Stiles opened his eyes, and not even a second later, he heard a loud bang. His whole body jerked.

“God, how pathetic.” A girl laughed. Stiles focused his eyes on the figures towering over him. He now recognized the girl who had spoken to be Tracy. He narrowed his eyes. Was he still dreaming? She couldn’t be here, she was supposed to be dead. Beside her stood Corey and that Diaz kid, but they didn’t seem nearly as arrogant and happy to be alive as Tracy did. They actually looked uncomfortable as their eyes slid over Stiles’ face. How were they all here? Maybe he’d gone insane, there was no other explanation. “He’s been crying, do you see that? Shit, Raeken, what did you do to him?” She threw her head back and laughed a cold, humorless laugh.

“Was it really that optimistic of me to think you were a nice person in real life?” Stiles snapped, and that earned him a snarl from the girl. She even made her claws appear, but he wasn’t scared of her, because he knew (or guessed, rather) that she wasn’t allowed to harm him, given the fact that Theo was a manipulative control freak. And he was right, because within a second, Theo grabbed her arm and pushed her back.

“You’re only allowed to touch him when I say so,” He growled. Tracy rolled her eyes, but walked away anyway. To Stiles’ relief, Theo left the room too. Now, it was just him, and two very uneasy chimera’s.

“Look, Stiles…” Josh began, rubbing the back of his neck, but Stiles interrupted him.

“I’m not going to ask you to get me out,” He said, which made them both visibly even more uncomfortable. “You owe him your life, blah blah. Just know that you’re siding with the wrong people here. Theo is evil, and so are the Dread Doctors.” Josh and Corey glanced at each other, and then proceeded to walk to the other end of the room. They started bickering very quietly, and Stiles almost couldn’t hear them. He leaned forward and pricked up his ears.

“We can’t help him, Theo will kill us! And I mean that literally,” Josh hissed.

“So you propose we just leave him here?” Corey asked in disbelief. “Look around, Diaz, look at Stiles’ face! Do you really want to be in the pack of someone that does stuff like that-” He gestured at Stiles, “-for monsters like the Dread Doctors? Because I sure as hell don’t!” Josh let out an exasperated sigh.

“You don’t know for sure Theo knows what the Dread Doctors have done to us,” Josh tried, and Corey look at him skeptically.

“Of course he does! Why else are we in their lab, and more importantly, alive?” Corey shot back, “And by the way, don’t you dare try to tell me you didn’t smell Theo all over Stiles. I don’t know what that guy did to him, but there’s a reason Stiles’ face is covered in tear-stains, and you and I both know it’s not good!” Stiles cheeks burned, but he tried to ignore it. Not my fault, he repeated in his head. Josh aggressively ran a hand through his hair.

“I know, I know, you’re right. But we can’t just get up and leave with him,” He pointed out. Stiles chuckled and shook his head, which caused the two boys to look in his direction.

“You two know there’s like, a whole other pack in town, right? There’s people that can help,” He said. The surprise on both their faces didn’t fade away.

“How did you-” Corey started to say, but suddenly they all heard footsteps approach, and Corey bit his tongue. Theo walked in, and Stiles instinctively curled his lips.

“Now, now, Stiles, that’s no way to greet someone,” Theo said. Stiles scowled in response.

“Oh, go fuck yourself,” He spat. He didn’t want to take Theo’s shit anymore. Theo’s eyes widened and he raised his eyebrows in surprise, but a smile also formed on his lips as he started walking towards Stiles. He crouched down to get at his eye level.

“Where did this kind of talk come from, Stiles?” The chimera asked, “When I left, you were scared out of your mind and couldn’t stop crying, and now you’re insulting me? What in God’s name happened while I was away?” Stiles felt a jolt of fear in his stomach because of how close Theo was, but he ignored it.

“I made a promise to myself,” Stiles responded, and Theo laughed.

“A promise?” He said, and Stiles looked him in the eye.

“I promised to myself that when I get out of this, I will kill you, very, very slowly, and not lose one night sleep over it.” He said. Theo’s eyes lit up.

“Well, damn,” He called, “I couldn’t have found a better time to introduce the fourth member of my pack.” Theo whistled, and Stiles heard someone coming down the hallway. Fourth member? Stiles thought, could Hayden be-

“I’m not your damn dog,” A way too familiar voice said, “Now, what’s that surprise you keep mentioning?” Stiles’ stomach turned when he saw the boy standing at the door, and before he knew what came over him, he turned to his side and threw up. Corey and Josh jumped back in surprise, but Theo seemed unfazed, his eyes shining brightly.

“I would introduce you two, but I believe you already know each other!” He said. Stiles could only stare, and the amused look the boy had on his face caused him to shiver.

“Yeah, we do,” Donovan said. “How are you, Stilinski?”

 


 

Scott couldn’t believe the bad luck his pack had had this night. At this point, he was one-hundred percent sure they were cursed. Could there be a witch involved? He thought, and then, are witches even a thing? He hoped not. He was fairly sure they weren’t, but who could really be sure these days?

Only two good things had happened until that point; Hayden had survived, and they had found Lydia. Even though Scott hadn’t even realized she was gone. Because he was fighting his fifteen-year-old, heartbroken beta to the death. For fuck’s sake, he was such a bad friend. He looked at the clock. It was 3 AM, and stiles had been missing for six hours.

“Are you sure you can’t do anything else?” He asked Lydia for the millionth time, pacing up and down the examination room in the animal clinic. She, once again, pursed her lips.

“Yes, Scott, I’m sure,” Lydia sighed. “Sending that message was the best I could do. We need to think of something else.”

Scott sat down on the examination table and buried his face in his hands. There was no way Doctor Deaton could help them since nobody had been able to contact him in a few days, Malia and Kira were out of his reach, as was Derek… He was running out of options.

Suddenly, Scott, Liam and Hayden simultaneously lifted their heads.

“What? What’s wrong?” Mason asked. Liam shushed him.

“Someone’s outside,” Scott whispered, and he jumped off the table. Slowly, he approached the door to the waiting room, keeping the others behind him, and reached for the doorknob. But before he could grab it, the door swung open, and the five teenagers sprang back.

Parrish stepped through the door, tightly holding a very scared and pissed off Corey by his arm. Lydia breathed in sharply, and Liam even growled.

“Come on, man,” Corey snarled, “I can walk!” He ripped his arm out of the deputy’s grip and hastily took a few steps away from him. Parrish sighed and shook his head, then turned to a still very confused Scott and his friends.

“I found him lurking around outside,” He said, “So I thought I’d bring him in.” Scott looked warily at Corey. He knows where Stiles is! Scott thought to himself. Then something else occurred to him; Lydia saw him go with Theo, he wasn't on their side.

“Thanks, Jordan,” Lydia said, and Parrish nodded.

“I need to get back to the station,” He said, “But before I go, I need to talk to you, Scott.” Scott stepped outside with Parrish and looked at him expectantly. “Your mom told the sheriff and me about Stiles. Before you say anything, she’s with him now, and he isn’t going to look for him. He wanted me to say to you that he trusts you, but if you don’t find his son he’ll ‘turn you into a hearthrug himself’. Not my words.” Scott chuckled and shook his head.

“If you see him, tell him we’ll find Stiles. I’ll do whatever it takes to get him back.”

Parrish left, and Scott went back inside. Corey was sitting were Scott had been only five minutes ago. Scott walked up to him and grabbed him by his shirt. Mason started to object, but Liam held him back.

“Why are you here?” He said calmly, but he knew his eyes were glaring red despite his tone. Corey cringed. “Why and where is Theo holding Stiles?” Corey audibly swallowed.

“Hey, man, I’m not here to taunt you or anything, I’m here to ask for help,” He rambled, but Scott didn’t let go. “Josh and I just couldn’t take it anymore, we had to do something! Stiles was pissing Theo off, so he had promised Donovan he could have some ‘fun’ after the procedure, and-” Scott interrupted him.

“Whoa, whoa, hold up. Donovan?” He said, and Corey nodded. “The guy who Stiles killed?” Corey looked down.

“Yeah, he- he mentioned something like that,” He whispered, “Donovan told us on our way to the lab that Stiles killed him when he tried to get revenge on the sheriff by killing his son.” Scott let go of him. His head was pounding. “It’s just- Theo wouldn’t let us leave together, but Josh and I couldn’t take the screaming anymore, couldn’t let him be tortured like that anymore, so I went to get you.”

“Oh my- Oh my God.”

Scott looked at Mason. Shit, what now?

“Didn’t you just say-,” The boy swallowed, and looked at Lydia. “Corey, didn’t you say that Donovan was only allowed to tor- to hurt Stiles after the procedure?” Scott shuddered. No, there was no way. Corey must’ve heard it wrong. 

“Take us to him, Corey, please,” Scott practically begged. 

“That’s why I came to you in the first place, man. Let's go, I'll show you the way.”

Chapter Text

This couldn’t be it. He couldn’t die now, not after all he and his friends had been through.

(Murderous alpha. Not too bad. They handled that pretty well. Kanima. Much, much scarier, but still, there had been a happy ending. Very old, psycho hunter. Man, he’d hated that guy. But whatever, he was dead now. Probably. Uhm, What else? Ah, the alpha pack, of course. And the darach! Also, being thrown into a sick game by a nogitsune, which nearly made him lose his mind and everyone he loved. The dead pool. And now a what, a pathetic butthurt lamprey-chimera who was going to murder him -correction, torture and then murder him- while he was tied to a water pipe with zip ties? What the hell is that in comparison?)

Nope, no fucking way. This was NOT how he was gonna go down.

“I’m sorry, Stiles, I really am,” Donovan said. “This didn’t use to be about you, you know. I wanted to hurt your dad, not you. But. by killing me, you made it personal, which means you brought this on yourself.” Stiles rolled his eyes. Was this guy for real? He seemed to actually believe it.

“Are you really this dense, or did the Dread Doctors do something to your brain, too?” Stiles scowled, and without warning, Donovan punched him in the face. Pain exploded in his head.

“Hey, man, not cool! Isn’t what Theo did to him enough?” He heard someone say, but it sounded like the person spoke through a tunnel. Was that Corey? Oh, shit, he had nearly forgotten Josh and Corey were still even there. Donovan turned to the two boys on the other side of the room.

“Oh, come on, I’m just having a little bit of fun,” He replied. Man, Stiles was light-headed. He barely even noticed that Donovan had cut the ties, but by the time he did, he was being thrown onto the operating table. He heard the other two shout in surprise and anger, trying to stop him, but the chimera ignored them and tied him down by his hands, and feet. Stiles couldn’t move an inch. He looked at him, a little dazedly.

“Ah,” He slurred, “Not only dense, but also a coward. A scary supernatural being who has to chain a fragile little human up to keep him under control?” He heard Theo, who was leaning against the wall, snicker. His head had started to clear a little, and Stiles suddenly realized that Donovan’s expression during this whole ordeal had not changed, like, not even a little. He wanted that creepy smug plastered on-smile gone.

The situation began to worsen when Donovan brought his hand up to his arm, and some sort of mouth opened up in his palm.

“Hey, hey! What are you doing? Get away from me!” Stiles yelled, while struggling against his restraints. The hand came closer, but right before the teeth could bite into his skin, Josh grabbed Donovan’s arm and forced him back. Stiles relaxed a bit, and exhaled. That was way too close.

“Dude, stop! Are you kidding me?” Josh snapped. And, well, Stiles got what he wanted. Donovan stopped smiling. His eyes flared with anger, he grabbed Josh by his shirt and pushed him to the ground.

“Do not get in my way!” He fumed. Josh scrambled backwards, and Corey rushed towards him to help him get up.

“You aren’t allowed to touch him, dumbass,” Corey growled. Theo coughed.

“Did I say that?”

Everyone turned to look at Theo. Stiles felt numb.

“Excuse me?” Corey asked. Theo glared at him. You could cut the tension with a knife.

“I asked you if you heard me say to Donovan that he isn’t allowed to touch him,” Theo repeated.

“Well, not to Donovan, but you said to Tracy-”

“What did I say to Tracy?” Corey was beginning to look like a kicked puppy.

“That she wasn’t allowed to touch him unless you said-”

“Exactly.” Theo yawned, and started walking towards the door. “Donovan, you can hurt him as much as you’d like, as long as you keep him alive. Josh, Corey, come with me. We wouldn’t want to interrupt our pack member again, do we?” They both hesitated, looking from Stiles, who was looking at them with pleading eyes, hoping they wouldn’t leave, to Donovan, but they eventually complied and followed suit. At the door, Corey turned around, and made eye contact with Stiles.

“I’m sorry,” He whispered, and shut the door behind him. Stiles kept looking at the closed door.

Out of the corner of his eye he saw Donovan reaching out with his mouth-hand again, and he braced himself. The pain that he felt once the hand closed around his arm was horrendous. It seemed much, much worse than what he experienced at the high school parking lot the other night. He literally felt his flesh being torn to shreds by the razor-sharp teeth.

Stiles screamed his lungs out. After a full ten seconds, Donovan pulled back his hand to look at the damage he’d done, and he chuckled. The motherfucker even traced the wound with his fingers, which caused Stiles to flinch. Stiles was panting, his chest already burning from the screaming, and when he looked to his right, and saw a round, deep wound on his arm, and around it a pool of blood on the table. Stiles looked away with tears in his eyes. Donovan let his gaze slide over Stiles’ body, looking for a new place to mutilate.

Keep it together, Stiles, he said to himself as Donovan reached out to his right leg, you can get through this.

Stiles tried to hold his scream back this time, but the pain was so overwhelming, so excruciating, that he couldn’t. He probably lasted for about two seconds before he let it out. Once Donovan’s hand was gone again, tears were streaming out of Stiles’s eyes. He didn’t get much of a break, though, because he was reaching out for a new place again.

“Please,” He begged, “Please stop, come on man, please-” But Donovan didn’t listen. Of course he didn’t, why would he?

Stiles screamed. God, did he scream.

 


 

On their way to the Dread Doctors’ lab, Corey filled Scott in on what had happened before he left. How they couldn’t do anything to help Stiles, how his screams were so loud, that the chimeras could hear them as if they were standing next to him and how Theo and Tracy had found that very amusing. Josh and Corey, however, couldn’t stand it anymore, and tried to leave with the excuse that they wanted to go to their families, but Theo only allowed one of them to leave at a time.

Scott glanced at the clock on the dashboard of Mason’s car; 3:18 AM. They’d left Lydia and Mason behind, because Scott didn’t want them in any kind of danger. In his opinion, they, and especially Lydia after what she went through, needed a break from that. His heart was racing. Chill out, almost there, he thought, and stepped harder onto the accelerator, pushing everyone back into their seats.

“We’re almost there,” Corey said, “Take a left.” Scott turned the wheel, and everyone was flung to the right. Nobody complained though. He accelerated again, and went at least 20 miles over the speed limit, but it wasn’t like there was someone else on the road anyway at this ungodly hour. “Wait, wait, dude, too far! Take a right there!” Scott slammed his hand on the steering wheel.

“Goddamnit!” He yelled, and backed up as fast as he could. After five more minutes of driving like this, they reached an empty, warehouse-like building.

“You should stop here, otherwise they’ll hear us coming.” Scott nodded, and stopped the car. He turned around to face Hayden and Liam, who were sitting in the backseat.

“Alright, listen up,” He said, “Josh is on our side, so it’s going to be five against three. Do not hesitate if they come at you. We can do this.” The three teens shot nervous glances at each other, but they all nodded.

“Let’s do this,” Hayden said. They got out of the car and followed Corey to a back door on the side of the building. When they entered, Liam, Scott and Hayden instinctively covered their noses with their hands. A disgusting smell hung heavy in the air, and it drowned out every other scent that could’ve been there. Corey noticed the revolted looks on their faces.

“It’s supposed to keep a supernatural being from finding their way by following a scent,” He explained quietly. He gestured for them to follow him, and they swiftly made their way through the long and filthy corridors. They went down a lot of stairs, and hallways, until Scott was sure they weren't even under the warehouse anymore, but in some kind of maze under the ground. 

Eventually, when they reached a series of doors, they all started to hear something. Screams, loud ones. Scott recognized the voice. Stiles. And if that wasn’t bad enough, one of the doors opened, and two people walked out; Theo and Tracy. Corey immediately disappeared, while the others just froze. The assholes were laughing, and they obviously hadn’t spotted them yet, but then, they did.

“How the hell did you find us?” Tracy demanded, completely perplexed, and Theo just growled, baring his teeth. Scott shot a look at Hayden and Liam, and they all made themselves turn.

“You’re going to wish you were dead when I’m finished with you,” Scott hissed.

“Oh, we’ll see about that,” Theo sneered. Scott charged, followed by Liam and Hayden. Hayden and Liam both leaped on Tracy, while Scott attacked Theo. Hayden forced Tracy to the ground while Liam tried to hold her tail still, but suddenly, Tracy head butted Hayden so hard she went limp and fell to the floor, passed out. Liam yelled her name and tried to get Tracy under control by biting her, which caused her to scream.

Startled, Scott turned his head, and Theo saw that as a good opportunity to sucker punch him. It shouldn’t have hurt as much as it did, but Scott suddenly remembered he was still weakened because of the wolfsbane in his inhaler. Theo came at him to throw another punch, but Josh blocked him. Theo scowled.

“What are you doing, Josh? You’re alive because of me!” He yelled.

“Maybe you shouldn’t have brought me back,” Josh said, and tried to scratch him with nails, but Theo was faster, and plunged his own in Josh’s stomach.

“Josh!” Out of nowhere, Corey appeared and held Josh up, trying to stop him from falling. Theo just rolled his eyes, and shoved them aside as hard as he could. Scott prepared himself for another blow, but to his surprise, Theo walked past him, punched Liam off Tracy, and helped her up. Scott strained every muscle in his body to get up, breathing very heavily, and he tried to get to Theo, but suddenly he felt a tiny pinch in the back of his neck. He brought his hand up to the place where he had felt it, and there was a tiny cut. His limbs went numb, and down he went.

“Not so alpha-like now, are you?” Theo laughed, and Scott scowled.

“Coward!” He yelled, “Pathetic piece of shit! I will kill you!” He was lying on his stomach, facing a closed door, the one where Stiles’s screams had come from, and could not move, which made him furious. Josh, who was bleeding from his stomach, had to be supported by Corey, and they both looked scared as hell, and Hayden and Liam were passed out.

Except for the fact that Liam wasn’t passed out. He’d been pretending, Scott realized. The kid was smarter than he was ever given credit for. Theo and Tracy weren’t looking at him, and Scott watched as Liam hit Tracy on her head with a pipe he had found on the floor. Her eyes rolled into her head, and she passed out. Theo yelped, but before he could do anything Liam had already run past him. He opened the door that Scott was facing, and stopped dead in his tracks when he saw what was in front of him. 

Stiles, who was laying on an operating table, was an absolute mess. He was covered in blood, and there were multiple flesh wounds covering his body. His face was stained with tear tracks. Anger bubbled up in Scott’s chest, and he knew his eyes were probably also flaring up. He was going to end Theo. Donovan was standing next to the table, his arms red with Stiles’s blood.

Stiles turned his head, and his eyes widened in shock when he noticed Liam in the doorway and Scott on the ground behind him.

For a brief moment, nobody dared to move. But then, Donovan started to rush towards Liam, who scrambled back with a loud “Oh, shit!”, and suddenly everything was happening at once.

Chapter Text

One on his right leg, three on his left leg, one on his right shoulder, one on his left arm, two on his chest and stomach. Eight wounds. Could be worse. One on his right leg, three on his left… Stiles kept counting them, over and over. Maybe as a way to stay sane, to keep conscious, to avoid slipping away (Don’t slip away, keep your eyes open), or maybe because it kept him from thinking about things he didn’t want to think about. Like what was going to come next.

He was actually surprised with how little blood there was. Like, yeah, he was covered with it, and so was Donovan, but there were eight wounds. Eight. He’d just expected there to be more. He was also very sure that he should be dead right now.

“We’ve been going at it for less than an hour! Can you believe that, Stiles?” Donovan laughed, and Stiles closed his eyes. He hated how Donovan said his name that way. It annoyed him. He made it sound like they were friends or something.

All of a sudden, there was a yell in the hallway. Stiles and Donovan both turned in surprise to look at the closed door, behind which they could hear a struggle going on. There were multiple yells and screams, but after a couple of seconds, it was quiet again. Then, the door flew open, and Liam came bursting through. Scott was laying behind him on the ground, paralyzed from head to toe (most likely Tracy’s doing). Stiles stared at them with wide eyes. It seemed like the world had stopped for a second.

Donovan was the first to move. He broke into a sprint towards Liam, who, in reaction, scrambled away as fast as he could.

“Liam, look out!” Scott grunted, but it was too late; Theo came out of nowhere behind Liam and grabbed him, before punching him in the nose. Stiles could hear it break, all the way from across the room. Liam fell to the ground with a yell, clutching his face with both hands. Meanwhile, Donovan walked up to Scott, put his foot on his back, and pushed. Scott began to struggle for air.

“Stop!” Stiles yelled. Donovan looked at him, and smiled.

“No, I don’t think I will.” He pushed harder. Scott was beginning to turn purple. His eyes flashed in the familiar red color, and Stiles, in blind panic, struggled harder against his restraints. He wasn’t losing all his friends because of these assholes. Not here, not now. (He wasn’t. He couldn’t.) They’d come this far, they’d survived much, much worse, they were not losing now. Scott’s eyes rolled back in his head, and Stiles screamed.

The room exploded in a very bright, white light, and Donovan and Theo were blasted against the wall.

A white, flamelike aura was dancing around his body, and Stiles looked at it in a mixture of amazement and horror. The Dread Doctors had already operated on him. How could he have been so stupid? How could he forget that they erased the memories of everyone that saw them? Slowly, the wounds on his body began to disappear, and the pain ebbed away. As if on autopilot, Stiles began to sit up, broke his restraints like they were nothing, and got off the table. For a moment, he stared at his own body. The beautiful white flames with a nearly divine appearance were embracing his skin.

The first thing he saw when he looked away was his reflection in the windows. His irises were glowing white, and he could see now that the white aura around him had a shape that kind of resembled a fox. No, it didn’t just resemble a fox, it looked exactly like one. Like Kira’s, but more serene, and smaller (although he didn’t know what hers normally looked like, since he’d only seen it when she lost control).

Stiles suddenly heard Liam groan quietly, and he remembered where he was. He sprinted out the door, towards Scott, who he now noticed wasn’t breathing.

“Scott, please, wake up,” He begged, “Don’t you dare do this to me!” But Scott didn’t reply. It had no use; his eyes were empty. His best friend, his brother, was gone. Stiles fell to his knees, and a sob escaped his throat. No. This couldn’t be happening. He could not be dead. Stiles reached out his hand to touch his back.

As soon as he touched the lifeless body of the alpha, the aura extended to Scott. Stiles flinched and almost pulled his hand back, but something inside him told him not to. At first, nothing happened, but then, all of a sudden the flames disappeared in Scott’s back.

Scott inhaled sharply, shot up and started coughing violently. Stiles almost collapsed as relief washed over him. He really felt like passing out right now. “Stiles?” The alpha croaked, a hint of unsureness in his voice. Stiles nodded and wiped his eyes as his best friend (who was alive!) pulled him into a tight hug.

“I thought I’d lost you, man,” He whispered, and Scott huffed.

“You can’t get rid of me that easily.”


Scott couldn’t believe it. Stiles seemed to be fine. Physically, at least. Scott found himself unable to stop staring at him. Because not only was he so, so glad his best friend was alive, the fox-like aura around him was enchanting. Scott just had to keep watching.

It actually looked a lot like Kira’s, but at the same time, it was nothing like it. This fox seemed smaller, slier. More peaceful. Kira’s fox spirit was literally made of electricity, while Stiles’s… wasn’t.  He couldn’t really describe what he was seeing. It looked and felt kind of familiar, but Scott couldn’t quite put his finger on it.

Scott watched as Stiles placed his hand on Josh’s arm. The white light flowed to the wound in his stomach, and it began to heal. The room lit up slightly, and Corey watched in awe.

“How do you know how to do that?” Scott asked. Stiles turned to look at him with furrowed brows, and shrugged. His irises were still white, and it made Scott a little uneasy. It felt weird to look at his face and not see the familiar brown eyes.

“I-I don’t think I’m doing anything,” He said. “I mean, I’m moving on my own, but I’m not making the flames do anything.” Suddenly, he looked at something behind Scott. His eyes widened, and Scott tensed in alarm, but then he realized Stiles was smiling. “Hayden’s alive?” He asked, and ran past Scott, not waiting for an answer. Scott didn’t turn around to look what he was doing, but walked over to Liam.

“Are you guys both okay?” He asked Corey and Josh, while bending down to help his beta get up. The room lit up again, and he heard Hayden gasp. Corey nodded, but Josh wasn’t paying attention, completely enchanted by Stiles’ fox.

Liam was still clutching his nose, and his eyes were narrowed from anger and pain. Liam took a step towards Theo, who was lying very close to where Liam had been sitting, and before Scott could stop him, he kicked the chimera in the face. Scott and Corey both flinched, but Josh laughed and high-fived him. Scott rolled his eyes and turned to Stiles, who was helping Hayden stand up. The light around him was dimming a little, and Stiles looked exhausted. 

A bang sounded in the distance. The teenagers simultaneously turned their heads in the direction from which it had come.

“I think it may be best if we…” Liam trailed off. Scott nodded.

“Yeah, we should leave.”

The car ride to the animal clinic was silent. Stiles kept saying he was tired and then proceeded to close his eyes, but every time he did Liam snapped his fingers in front of his face to wake him up again. “Maybe not the best idea right now,” Hayden said. Stiles just nodded.

When they finally arrived, Lydia literally threw herself in Stiles’ arms, almost the second they stepped through the door. “Stiles, thank God!” Stiles, whose fox was now completely invisible to normal, human eyes, chuckled quietly.

“Hi Lyds,” He whispered. She pulled back to look at him.

“I’m glad you’re okay, man,” Mason said. Stiles’ smile faded, and an uncomfortable silence fell over the room. Lydia immediately picked up on it.

“You are okay, aren’t you?” She said slowly, her eyes narrowed with suspicion. Stiles shrugged and turned to Scott, as if to ask him to explain.“Can someone please tell me what’s going on?” Scott sighed. Why did he always have to explain stuff like this?

“We were too late,” He started, and Stiles tried to look everywhere but the two people in front of him. “Stiles isn’t human anymore.” Mason gasped, but Lydia didn’t seem very surprised. Instead, she looked at Stiles with a wary and curious look on her face.

“So, if he isn’t human,” Mason said carefully, “What is he?” Lydia was still studying Stiles, as if she were in some kind of trance. Stiles grew visibly a little restless under her gaze. Scott noticed, and nudged Lydia, and she immediately came out of it.

“Sorry,” She said to Scott, and turned back to the group. She had a dark look in her eyes, and Scott didn’t like it one bit. “He’s a kitsune.” Everyone except Scott stared at her with wide eyes.

“How did she-” Josh began to say, but the alpha interrupted him.

“She’s a banshee, just roll with it,” He said impatiently, as Liam began leading the pack to the other side of the room so they could sit down and relax a bit. “Lydia, what else did you see? What’s wrong?”

Lydia stared at him for a second, and he could see her try to form the right words in her mouth. “I- I don’t know. It’s just, something’s off.” She turned around to stare at Stiles, who was sitting on the only chair in the room, again.

“Well, can’t you find out what it is and how we can fix it?” Of course he knew he couldn’t ask her that, since she wasn’t in total control of her powers. And, as he expected, he received a nasty glare from her.

“How should I know?” She said, and Scott sighed, which caused her to roll her eyes. “You should ask someone who knows their kitsune lore.” Scott stared at her. “…Come on Scott, really? Like an actual kitsune?” Then it hit him.

“Oh,” He said slowly, “Oh!” He grabbed his phone out of his back pocket and dialed Kira’s number. It went over once, twice, and then she picked up.

“Scott, whatever’s happening, you know I can’t help-” Scott’s heart jumped at the sound of her voice.

“Kira, just listen to me. Are you and your parents home?”

“What does that-” Kira sighed. “Yes, we are.” Scott smiled.

“I’ll see you in ten minutes.”

Chapter Text

Scott had decided to only take Stiles and Lydia with him to Kira’s, so the younger members of his pack could calm down a little. They all had already been through a lot more than Scott had wanted them to, and he didn’t think they could use more stress at the moment. Stiles’ condition hadn’t worsened for so far as Scott could tell, except for the fact that he had a scent around him that he did not like. Lydia couldn’t smell it, and that did nothing to ease his mind.

When Scott pulled into Kira’s driveway, she was standing in her doorway, waiting. Leaning against the doorway with her arms crossed, she eyed the car with a worried expression on her face. Scott’s heart jumped when he saw her, and quickly turned off the ignition to get out and greet her. “Hey Kira,” He said as he pulled her into a tight hug. She awkwardly hugged back for a moment, but almost immediately pulled back again, and stared confusedly at Stiles, who was still trying to exit the car.

It was almost painful to watch him struggle like that, and Scott felt relieved when Lydia got out of her side of the car, still on the phone with Sheriff Stilinski, and rushed over to help him. “Scott, what’s going on?” Kira said, her eyes flashing between his face and their friends behind him. “I can’t help you, you know that. It’s way too dangerous!”

“Yeah, I know Kira, but we actually need your parents’ help,” He said. Kira furrowed her brows, but didn’t look away from Stiles. “You see, Stiles… isn’t exactly human anymore.”

That caught her attention. After Scott quickly explained everything, she rushed them inside, and within two minutes, Stiles was seated on her couch, Mrs. Yukimura on a chair in front of him. She was staring very intensely into his eyes, but Stiles seemed very calm and at ease this time, unlike when Lydia or Scott couldn’t keep their eyes off of him.  

“Have you seen the fox spirit?” Mrs. Yukimura asked without looking away, and Scott nodded. Kira  nudged him, and he immediately realized Mrs. Yukimura wasn’t looking at him, and hadn’t seen his response.

“Yes- Yes, we did, Mrs. Yukimura,” Lydia said quickly, and shot him one of her ‘why are you like this’-glances. Before Scott could react, the old kitsune cleared her throat to catch their attention.

“Please, call me Noshiko,” She urged, “Now tell me; what does it look like?”

Scott was struggling to find the right words. How could he describe something that looked so… unreal? “Well, it’s kind of like Kira’s, except it’s, smaller I guess?” He briefly looked at Lydia, who nodded encouragingly. “And it radiates this, I don’t know, this feeling, like everything is going to be okay somehow.” Noshiko nodded slowly. Stiles kept oddly quiet.

“Yeah, it looks a lot like flames, too. White flames,” Lydia added.

“He healed us too, back there. Plus, he can bring people back from the-” Scott trailed off when everyone except Noshiko and Stiles turned to stare at him. Lydia even quirked an eyebrow, and Scott’s stomach sunk. Shit. He hadn’t mentioned the ‘I died’-part to anyone yet, and he wasn’t  really a fan of the idea of sharing it now.

“Scott,” Kira said slowly, “What did you just say?” Scott’s heart started racing, and he ran a hand through his hair.

“Look- Can we maybe talk about this later?” He tried. Lydia made a disapproving sound. He turned to glare at her, daring her to say something, but she just rolled her eyes.

Noshiko, however, finally broke eye contact with Stiles and turned towards him. “Every detail is important, Scott. You can’t hold anything back if you want your friend to get better.” Scott sighed and rubbed his face with his hands. Damn, he was going to get shit for this.

“We were losing. Hayden was passed out, Liam’s nose was broken, Josh badly hurt, and Tracy got me with her kanima venom. Theo and Donovan were taunting Stiles, and then Donovan- Well, he kind of killed me.” Scott did everything he could to avoid the stares Lydia, Kira and Mr. Yukimura gave him, and instead just focussed on his hands. Noshiko nodded thoughtfully.

“I actually don’t think you were dead, Scott. Just very close to it.” Before Scott could ask her how she knew that, she turned back to Stiles, and took his hands in hers. “Stiles, can you close your eyes for me?” Stiles mumbled a quiet ‘sure’ and did what she asked. “Thank you. Now please, focus on the warmth inside you. Don’t let anything distract you.”

At first, nothing happened. But then, suddenly, Stiles opened his eyes, and his irises were white. The moment he did that, the flames burst out of him again. Noshiko shot back in her chair. Exactly like Scott and Lydia had described, the white flames were dancing around Stiles’ skin.

Noshiko looked at them. “It’s very important that you keep very still,” She whispered. “Don’t distract him, or he might snap out of it.” Scott heaved a deep sigh and Lydia crossed her arms. He could tell she was very nervous as well. “Who are you?” She asked Stiles, and Scott couldn’t help but feel very confused at that. This wasn’t like the Nogitsune, was it? Stiles opened his mouth, and the voice that came out was his, but not only his. A deep sound accompanied the words he spoke. 

We are one.”

It made Scott’s skin crawl. This could not be good. “And who is this ‘we’?” Noshiko asked. A scornful look crept across his best friends’ face. The serene and magical feeling the fox spirit had given off not even a second ago had completely disappeared, and Scott could only watch as if he were in shock at the conversation that was taking place in front of him.

Well, that question is hardly necessary, isn’t it? The boy and I, of course.”

“Yes, I figured. But who are you, and why are you possessing him?”

I am not, as you put it, ‘possessing’ him. I was invited. The door was open. The boy likes me, needs me, and I myself am rather content here as well.” Noshiko briefly glanced at Scott, as if looking for a confirmation from him, and he nodded, while mouthing the words ‘I guess’. Stiles had not seemed bothered by the fact that he was not human anymore. If anything, he seemed happier than before. She turned back to the spirit.

“So what went wrong?”

Stiles (No, not Stiles, the fox spirit, Scott reminded himself) looked a little thrown by that. “What are you implying? Nothing went wrong.

“Oh, but it did. The banshee already saw something that was not quite right. The boy is obviously dying. We can all smell it in here.” The words hit them like a wave. So that was that weird scent he had picked up on in the car. Scott almost choked, and Lydia smothered a surprised shriek with her hand, while Kira and her dad remained almost stoic. 

He’s not- We’re not-” The kitsune spluttered angrily. All of a sudden, his face went blank, Stiles’ eyes closed, and the flames disappeared for a second or three before returning.

“You see?” Noshiko said smugly. The fox scoffed. 

You are right. The boy’s dying. I haven’t the faintest idea why. Find a solution, or we will both die before the next full moon.

And with those words, the flames, and therefore the fox, disappeared again.


 This wasn’t exactly how Stiles had had being a supernatural being in mind. He felt like utter shit; not like back at the Dread Doctor’s lab, he wasn’t in pain or anything, just so damn tired. When he opened his eyes, he was met by the worried faces of his friends and Kira’s parents.

“Hey guys,” He said, “What- what happened?”

Nobody seemed very keen to answer, but before he could ask again, Noshiko cleared her throat.

“Stiles, as you already know, you’re a kitsune,” She said, and he nodded in reply. “Well, it seems that the Dread Doctors have opened the gap in your mind and summoned a fox spirit, who is currently possessing you.”

“Wow,” He said, and he meant it. It was kind of cool. “Like Kira?” Noshiko shook her head.

“No, the kind of Kitsune that you become is a representation of your personality. Kira is a Sanda Kitsune, which means Thunder. I am a Tengoku Kitsune, which means celestial. You are a Jikan Kitsune.”

“Jikan means Time,” Mr. Yukimura said.

“Yes. That’s why you were able to heal your friends, and why I don’t believe Scott was dead. You sped up their healing processes.” Stiles exhaled. Jeez. A Jikan Kitsune. How in the hell was he going to explain that to dad? And, oh, that’s right, they didn’t come her to figure out what he was, did they.

“But?” He said, “There has to be but, right?”

There was that silence again. No-one dared to open their mouths for a moment. This time it was Scott who broke it. “FUCK!” He yelled, which caused Lydia and Kira to flinch. “I’m sorry, guys. It’s just- buddy, it looks like you’re- you’re dying.” 

Stiles let the words sink in. “Again, huh?” He chuckled, but it was humorless. “What-” He stopped to cough for a bit, “What do we do?”

“We find out what’s wrong,” Lydia said, “And we cure you from whatever it is that is killing you.” Everyone fell silent again.

“Well,” Mr. Yukimura said, “Look on the bright side, at least you’ve got a plan.”

Scott, Lydia and Stiles thanked the Yukimura’s and said goodbye. They had work to do, and they really needed to sleep. After dropping Lydia off, they drove to Stiles’ house together.

Sheriff Stilinski and Melissa were waiting for them in the living room. When Scott opened the door, they both leapt to their feet and rushed towards their kids. “Thank God, you’re okay,” The Sheriff said, and hugged Stiles. A guilty feeling settled itself in his stomach. He didn’t know what he would do if Scott hadn’t been there.

He couldn’t tell his dad he was dying on his own, no way.

“Dad, I think we need to sit down for a moment.” 

Chapter Text

Morning came faster than Scott had wanted it to. He’d had a total of 4 hours of sleep, and waking up would not have been possible, if it hadn’t been for Lydia. Lydia had shown up on his doorstep, looking well-rested and fresh, demanding he’d get out of bed and pick up Stiles.

“How are you alive?” Scott groaned, sleepily rubbing his eyes. He slowly strolled through his kitchen and grabbed a bowl. “You must’ve gotten even less sleep than me!”

“What does that matter?” She said, “We don’t have a lot of time, and we have stuff to do.” Scott yawned and slowly started pouring milk in his cereal, while staring into space, thinking about all those hours of sleep he was not getting right now. He was so not up to this. Lydia cleared her throat. “How did the Sheriff take it?” She asked.

“I… I suppose as well as you could expect him to,” Scott sighed, “He was very happy that Stiles was alive, and he wasn’t mad or disappointed or anything like that. He was- I guess a little sad. That his son had become the thing he had not wanted to be.” Lydia didn’t respond. “Stiles seems- weirdly calm about this whole thing, doesn't he?” He went on. “It’s almost like he’s happy he’s not human anymore. Is it just me, or is that weird?”

“Maybe the realization hasn’t hit him yet,” Lydia suggested.

“Maybe so.”

Lydia sighed as he sat down and started eating with a blank expression on his face. “Can you please hurry up? Kira and Stiles are waiting for us!”

Scott put down his spoon. “Jesus, Lydia, five extra minutes aren’t going to hurt anyone.” Lydia rolled her eyes en scoffed. “And besides, what are we even going to do now? We don’t know shit about kitsune, and it isn’t like there’s going to be a manual about supernatural illnesses in the library.” Lydia stared at him for a second, genuinely confused. Then, she started laughing. Now Scott was the one staring.

“Oh, sorry Scott,” Lydia said, “It’s just- it was stupid of me to think that you would’ve already checked your phone.”

“My phone is upstairs.”

“Of course it is,” She sighed, “I’ll just explain it to you. Noshiko is taking Kira to Shiprock to the Skinwalkers, because she thinks they can help her control her fox spirit.”

Scott blinked. “Skinwalkers?”

“Yeah, shapeshifters that can turn into whatever animal they want. Apparently they know a lot about the supernatural. Noshiko knows a group of Skinwalkers that lives in Shiprock, New Mexico, and Kira suggested that maybe they can help Stiles as well.”

A warm, hopeful feeling spread through his chest. This could be it, maybe they could save Stiles after all. “Alright,” Scott said, while quickly shoving the rest of his breakfast in his mouth. “But what about-” Lydia interrupted him.

“I already took care of the puppies. I told them Liam’s in charge, and they can hide out here until we get back.” Scott quirked an eyebrow. Did he hear that right? Did she just say puppies? Lydia shrugged. “Stiles came up with it, not me.” Scott chuckled and stood up.

“Let me just take a shower. I’ll be down in five minutes.” He threw his bowl in the sink and hurried upstairs.


The journey to Shiprock was long, hot and uncomfortable. The drive there took at least ten hours, and for its entirety, nobody seemed very keen on starting a conversation. Stiles slept almost the whole time and Scott just stared out the window. About eight hours in, Kira and Lydia decided to look over their homework together. Of all things they could be doing, Scott thought, and smiled to himself.

He almost drifted off to their soft chatter about some English assignment he, too was supposed to be doing, when Noshiko turned off the highway. “We’re here.”

The landscape was actually stunning; Beautiful rock formations stretched out in front of them, as far as the eye could see. But it felt very uninviting. Scott couldn't smell or hear any living organism near them, and it made him a little uneasy.

Scott supported Stiles as he got out of the car, and the five of them stood in front of the vehicle for a moment. “How do we find them?” Kira asked. Noshiko stared off in the distance as the group waited for her response.

“Skinwalkers are powerful shapeshifters and not particularly welcoming to strangers on their land,” She said. “They’ll find us.”

All of a sudden, about fifty yards away, the ground cracked, and a hand shot out of the ground. Scott yelped in surprise. “From now on, don’t move. Let me do the talking,” Noshiko warned. They all nodded and looked on in awe as three Skinwalkers rose from the ground, and walked towards them.

“Ho-ly shit,” Stiles whispered, as they came to a halt right in front of Noshiko.

“What are you doing in our territory?” The Skinwalker in the middle, seemingly the leader, demanded, gaze focused on the old kitsune.

“My daughter and a friend of hers seek your assistance,” Noshiko responded calmly. The Skinwalker’s gaze drifted away from her, and to Kira and Stiles. Then, she, and the other two women, started to walk over to the them. Noshiko ushered Scott and Lydia away from them, and Kira quickly took over from Scott and supported Stiles.

The Skinwalkers slowly walked in circles around them. “They are afraid,” The one with the red face paint said. Scott had to agree with her, Kira an Stiles looked anything but relaxed. On the contrary, they were clutching each other as if their lives depended on it. Not that he could really blame them, the Skinwalkers weren’t really the most kind-looking people he’d ever seen.

“Yes,” The leader responded, “But not of us.”

“The girl is afraid of herself, it seems,” The third said. “But the boy… No, he’s scared of his friends.” Scott felt the blood drain from his face. Lydia grabbed his hand and held her breath.

The leader stopped walking right as she was standing in front of Stiles. She narrowed her eyes and studied his face, as he cringed away from her. “Why?” She asked, but the question wasn’t directed at Stiles, but rather at her companions.

“Maybe because of his shame for what’s been done to him,” One of them said. Shit. Scott got a lump in his throat. With all the commotion about Stiles becoming a kitsune, he hadn’t even thought about Theo and Donovan anymore. An angry feeling settled itself once again in his stomach. He was still going to rip that asshole’s throat out, he hadn’t just been joking back at the Dread Doctor’s lab.

“Or maybe he’s afraid of what they think of what he’s become.”

Scott and Lydia watched their friends with wide eyes. Scott didn’t really like where this was going, and he made himself completely ready to intervene if the Skinwalkers were to do something he didn’t agree with.

But then, the Skinwalkers stopped circling them, and walked back to the place in front of Noshiko, where they had stood before. Scott and Lydia hurried back to Stiles and Kira, who both looked more than relieved. “Can you help them?” Noshiko asked, and for a moment, they all held their breath.

“The Thunder Kitsune we may be able help,” The leader said, and Kira and her mother sighed, both a bit relieved. Lydia whimpered. “The Time Kitsune, however, has to work through this on his own.”

Fuck. Did they waste a whole day coming here, only to hear some random Skinwalkers say his best friend is going to die? “Are you serious?” Scott said through gritted teeth, “You can’t just do that, he will die on his own! There must be something you know that could help him!” He felt that his eyes flared red, but he didn’t bother to try to control it.

The leader was not at all affected, and if she was, she certainly didn’t show it. “Calm down. We aren’t just going to send your friend away,” She said. “We just can’t train him to stop rejecting his fox spirit. He needs to come to terms with what happened to him, and only he can do that.”

“So what do I do?” Stiles asked.

“Confront the ones that wronged you, and defeat them,” The Skinwalker on the leader’s right said. “And as for the Sanda Kitsune, you are going to stay with us, and we’re going to teach you control.”

“What? For how long? Will I be able to visit my family and friends?” Kira asked with a high-pitched voice.

The leader looked as though she wanted to roll her eyes. “You will stay with us for as long as it takes. As for your second question, separation from loved ones or their pack is never good for a supernatural being. It will only obstruct your progress, so yes, you are allowed to visit them.”

Scott felt agitated. Not only did they have to leave Kira there, they also had a ten-hour drive back ahead of them, before Stiles had to fight Theo and Donovan. But how in the hell was he supposed to do that in this condition?

They all hugged Kira goodbye, and walked back to the car. Noshiko quickly spoke to the Skinwalkers and took Kira’s katana with her before joining them.

Before they drove off, Scott looked back at the four figures, that were now mere silhouettes because of the setting sun, and then, suddenly, they disappeared into the ground right before his eyes.

They were gone.


Liam had always known he wasn’t the best at making decisions, or at looking after and leading a group of supernatural teenagers, but this really took the cake. His alpha had been gone for a little less than nineteen hours, and everything had already gone to hell.

It shouldn’t have been a very difficult task, all he had to do was lay low until Scott was back. They’d figured it would take a while for the chimeras to heal, so the younger members of the pack would be safe for the time being. But no, the universe obviously hated Liam.

He’d been on the phone with Scott, who had told him about the Skinwalkers, and the plan they’d made, when a very angry Theo, together with an equally angry Tracy and Donovan behind him, turned up at the doorstep of Scott’s house.

Before they even had a clue of what was going on, Hayden and Josh were paralyzed, Corey was out cold, and Mason was being held in a headlock by Donovan. “Hello, Liam,” Theo said. Liam was standing with his back against the wall, Theo less than two feet away, and he had to keep himself from letting out a whimper.

There was nothing he could do. Even if he could fight Theo off, Tracy and Donovan were there, not to mention his friends. He simply couldn’t risk it. He was sure that if he tried anything, his friends were going to get it.

“What do you want, Theo?” Liam said, and damn, that would’ve sounded so much cooler if his voice hadn’t been trembling with fear. He knew that every non-human in the room could hear his heart racing, and he figured that was also why Theo was smirking.

“You are so cute when you’re terrified,” Theo smirked. Liam swallowed. He had no idea what to make of Theo’s body language, but all of his instincts were screaming at him to get the fuck away from him. The mixture of fear and disgust he was feeling nearly made him throw up.

Then, all of a sudden, a scent reached Liam’s nose. A very faint smell was coming off Theo. Liam recognized it, but he couldn’t really place it. At first. But then, the penny dropped. It was arousal. Oh no. Not good. Very, very, very bad. “But you know what I want,” Theo went on, while softly brushing Liam’s cheek with his fingertips. It took every fibre of his being to keep from recoiling, but Liam managed to just turn his head away from the touch. He squeezed his eyes shut, too scared to look at him. “You are going to tell me what Scott is planning, and we’re not leaving until I know everything I need to beat your sad little pack.”

Liam inhaled slowly, trying to calm down, and forced himself to look at Theo. “What makes you think any of us knows?”

Theo scoffed. “Oh, don’t play dumb. I heard you talking to Scott on the phone when we got here. He told you his plan, and you didn’t tell them yet, so I suggest you spit it out.”

“And if I don’t?” Liam stammered. Theo raised his eyebrows.

“You know what happens.” Shit, what do I do? Liam thought, staring at Theo with wide eyes, and he frantically shook his head as he fought back the tears that started to form in his eyes.

“You wouldn’t,” He whispered.

“Liam, don’t tell them anything! We’ll be fine, I promise!” Hayden called from the floor. Tracy and Donovan cackled.

Mason began to struggle to get free. “What’s so funny about that?” He snapped at the two of them, and Theo, thank god, turned away from Liam to look at his best friend. It wasn’t until then that Liam noticed with how much force he had been pressing his back against the wall. He had to find his way out of this, like, right now.

“It’s funny, because he’s not scared of what we’re going to do to you three,” Theo explained, and turned back to Liam. “But of what I’m going to do to him.” Liam heard the heart rates of his friends accelerate. They all knew what he’d done to Stiles, so they understood what he meant by that. Mason took a deep breath.

“Alright. Okay. You know what?” He said, his voice kind of high-pitched, but also controlled. “I don’t really feel like putting up with this.” In a very smooth and quick motion, Mason pulled a syringe from his inside pocket and stabbed Donovan in his leg with it. Donovan screamed, let go of him, and after a few seconds he fell to the floor.

Theo whipped around, and Tracy shoved Mason against the wall. “Liam, go! We’ll be okay, just go!” He yelled, and Liam didn’t want to go, but he knew it was safer for everyone if he did. He sprinted as fast as he could to the back door, threw it open, and ran onto the road, ignoring the outraged “Get back here, little shit!” from Theo.

He ran, and ran, using every bit of stress and fear from the past ten minutes to run even faster. Jesus Christ. How was this his life now? He had been kind of okay with the life threatening situations that came with being a werewolf, but a sex-crazed asshole trying to get his way by threatening with assault was too much. Way too much.

Liam stopped for a second to try to catch his breath, which proved fairly difficult. He had to calm down, he had to figure out where to go. Argent maybe? Or the Sheriff? He doubted they could take on the three chimeras, but who else could he go to? Scott wouldn’t be back for at least two hours. He was starting to feel dizzy from the heavy breathing. Come on, calm down, breathe, you’re okay, nothing happened, he thought to himself, but the thought that something could have happened overshadowed the fact that it didn’t.

He heard approaching footsteps in the distance, and he realized Theo was slowly catching up. Liam couldn’t keep this up much longer, he had to think of something, now, or Theo would get to him, and if he couldn’t fight him-

Suddenly, a car stopped next to him with screeching tires. Liam nearly jumped out of his skin, but relaxed a bit as soon as he saw who the driver was.

“Get in!” Mrs. McCall yelled, and shit, he didn’t have to be told twice, because Theo was less than 60 feet away. Mrs. McCall stepped on the gas, and to Liam’s great relief, he could see Theo getting smaller and smaller in the rearview mirror.